Education

Arynne Gilbert, Kelly Rauch, Kristie Leyba and Peggy Munoz

 

K-12 districts throughout the Valley have been grappling with how to educate students in the fall without contributing to the spread of COVID-19. To learn more about how Fresno Unified School District teachers are reacting, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with elementary music teacher Peggy Munoz, Roosevelt High School applied medical science teacher Kelly Rauch and English teachers Kristie Leyba from Edison High School and Arynne Gilbert from Sunnyside High School.

 

Dympna Ugwu-Oju

For many African-American parents, part of the responsibility of raising a child includes preparing them for the racism and violence they may experience because of the color of their skin. To discuss what it is like to raise a black child in the Valley, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Isaac Sandifer Jr., a retired educator and brigadier general from Bakersfield, Dr. Edythe Stewart, a general surgeon who practices in Merced, Shantay Davies-Balch, CEO of the Black Wellness and Prosperity Center in Fresno, and Dympna Ugwu-Oju, editor of Fresnoland.

John Fensterwald, Monica Velez and Ema Sasic

This week governor Gavin Newsom announced a revised budget plan to address the more than $54 billion dollar deficit the state is facing in the wake of COVID-19. In his address, Newsom called on the legislature to dramatically reduce funding to public schools. It’s the latest blow to districts already grappling with campus closures and an uncertain future. To learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting education and school budgets, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with education reporters.

California Center on Teaching Careers

 

California faced teacher shortages long before schools closed due to COVID-19. Seventy-five percent of the state's school districts say there are not enough qualified teachers to meet student needs according to the Palo Alto-based Learning Policy Institute.

To help districts fill the gap, the state turned to Silicon Valley for inspiration.

Lisa Blecker, Kristen Beall Watson and Laura Moreno

COVID-19 is disproportionately hurting vulnerable communities like seniors, ag workers and the homeless. To learn about efforts to protect these at-risk populations, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Lisa Blecker, pesticide safety education program coordinator for the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Laura Moreno, chair of the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care, and Kristen Beall Watson, CEO of the Kern Community Foundation.

Alice Daniel / KVPR

   

Ashlee Arteaga squats down near the pale pink blooms. I’m cutting all the roses that are already dead,” she says. The 11-year-old  navigates her clippers swiftly along the thorny stems.  “I’ve done this a lot of times,” she adds with a bit of authority in her voice.  

There are 4000 rose bushes, and 250 varieties, to care for here at the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden. That’s not to mention zinnias, wisteria, hibiscus, sunflowers, lavender and ornamental peppers: one called Medusa starts out yellow, then turns orange, then red.

Courtesy of Jordan Mattox

In our studio today, a group of students from Wilson Middle School in Chowchilla and one of their  teachers, Jordan Mattox. Together, they’ve created a podcast that delivers the goods when it comes to discussions about everything from stress to homework, from social media to school fights. It’s called Welcome to Middle School.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The future of one of the most prominent public officials in Fresno could be on the line Tuesday, but his name won’t even be on the ballot. The results of a vote on a local school bond and the political leanings of two new Fresno Unified School Board Trustees could be a signal about how much local support there is for district superintendent Michael Hanson.

Voters in Fresno are casting ballots on a $225 million school bond called Measure X and on two new trustees to take a seat on the board.

California’s budget calls for six billion dollars in automatic education cuts if voters reject Proposition 30 next week. But legislative Republicans say they would support reversing those cuts if the governor’s tax measure fails.

Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, who represents portions of the Central Valley, says the elimination of up to three weeks of school would be “devastating” – and if Prop 30 doesn’t pass, both parties should work together to find alternatives.