Public Press wins an Excellence in Journalism award for ‘Public Schools, Private Money,’ in the winter 2014 edition

 

Special Reports

Housing Solution: Activate S.F. Ballot Box Again to Fund Affordable Housing

Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 25 2014 - 10:44am

Nonprofit housing developers across the city say they have been waiting for years to begin building more than 800 planned, permanently affordable homes. A housing bond could get those projects off the ground, but politicians have other priorities. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Housing Solution: Revisit the Much Maligned Live-Work Loft to Build Nonprofit Artist Housing

Victor Valle, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 19 2014 - 2:05pm

What if San Francisco took another stab at promoting live-work lofts by effectively targeting actual working artists? With enough funding, nonprofit organizations could house them in old, retrofitted commercial properties. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

San Francisco and New York Affordable Housing Plans Compared

Paayal Zaveri, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 4 2014 - 11:13am

San Francisco is not the only city in a housing crisis. The multi-year plan proposed by Mayor Ed Lee bears some similarities to those proposed by Bill de Blasio, the new mayor of New York, where even last week a major initiative advanced to fix older affordable buildings. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Education Reformers Say Students Need a Voice in State Funding for Equity

Paayal Zaveri, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 8 2014 - 2:25pm

With California public schools set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding in the coming school year, education reform groups say Bay Area school districts have not done enough to bring students — not just parents and other district residents — into the decision-making process.

Stanford Divests, Bay Area Still Spews Carbon

Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press — May 30 2014 - 3:18pm

With Stanford University dumping its coal investments, and Plan Bay Area’s “smart growth” strategy aiming to reduce regional greenhouse-gas emissions by 2035, has the Bay Area finally turned the corner on climate change? Far from it. In fact, Stanford’s divestment won’t even sting coal companies, and, as reported by the Public Press, Plan Bay Area will actually result in an increase in carbon pollution in the atmosphere.

Groundwater Depletion Is Destabilizing the San Andreas Fault and Increasing Earthquake Risk

Katherine Bourzac, San Francisco Public Press — May 14 2014 - 9:01am

Research published today also links seasonal water levels to seasonal patterns in seismicity

Depletion of groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley is having wide-ranging effects not just on the agricultural industry and the environment, but also on the very earth beneath our feet. Massive changes in groundwater levels in the southern Central Valley are changing the stresses on the San Andreas Fault, according to research published today.

How Fundraising and Cuts Increase Inequities in S.F. Schools: Jeremy Adam Smith on KALW’s ‘Crosscurrents’

Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 28 2014 - 2:46pm

Jeremy Adam Smith spoke with host Hana Baba on KALW’s “Crosscurrents” about the disparity that parent fundraising creates between elementary schools in San Francisco, which he covered at length in a recent investigation for the San Francisco Public Press.

10 Solutions to Inequality in Elementary School Fundraising

Jeremy Adam Smith, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 13 2014 - 3:58pm

PTA fundraising at public elementary schools in San Francisco is wildly uneven, with only a small number of schools raising enough money in recent years to avoid the worst effects of state budget cuts. Based on Public Press research and conversations with experts in the field, here are some options for addressing uneven access to funding for San Francisco’s public elementary schools.

Part of a special report on education inequality in San Francisco. A version of this story ran in the winter 2014 print edition.

Albany School District Levels Parent Fundraising Playing Field

Emilie Raguso, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 13 2014 - 3:58pm

Concerned about equity, 3 elementary school PTAs pool money for daytime enrichment

The tiny Albany Unified School District in the East Bay was, until 2011, like many others in the state: Schools with the best parent fundraising were able to reap all the benefits for their own kids. Superintendent Marla Stephenson said the disparities had been immediately apparent when she began working for the district in 2008. Three years later she led the switch to a single annual campaign for all three schools — one that could provide an example for San Francisco and other districts struggling with inequities made worse by parent fundraising.

Part of a special report on education inequality in San Francisco. A version of this story ran in the winter 2014 print edition.

Two PTA Presidents, Two Realities

Jeremy Adam Smith, Luke Thomas and Tearsa Joy Hammock, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 13 2014 - 3:57pm

Photo essay: Ana Hernandez, Junipero Serra Elementary; and Barry Schmell, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy

Today, after five years of severe budget cuts in the San Francisco Unified School District, PTAs are being asked to pay for teachers, reading specialists, social workers and school psychologists, computers, basic school supplies, staff training and more. But not all PTAs can afford those things. Parents at just 10 elementary schools raise more than half the PTA money that all 71 elementary schools in the district take in. Many of the rest raise nothing, or almost nothing.

Ana Hernandez and Barry Schmell come from very different backgrounds, but they have at least one thing in common: They both lead their schools’ parent-teacher associations

Part of a special report on education inequality in San Francisco. A version of this story ran in the winter 2014 print edition.

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