Joe HongReporter, CalMatters
Joe is the K-12 education reporter for CalMatters. His stories use data to highlight inequities in California’s public schools. Before joining CalMatters in June 2021, he was the education reporter at KPBS, the public media station in San Diego. Previously, he covered the schools in the Coachella Valley for The Desert Sun, a daily newspaper in Palm Springs. He has a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of California, Irvine and a master's degree from Columbia Journalism School.
Some parents who have been outspoken in their criticism of local school districts are finding allies in community members opposed to COVID safety protocols and other education policies. Buoyed by that support, they are now running to become school board members.
California’s schools are struggling to staff up — despite billions in state money flowing to school districts to remedy teacher shortages. Grants have helped but, educators say, they aren’t enough.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state officials said that the state mask mandate for schools will end, but local jurisdictions are free to impose their own requirements.