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Crosscurrents

Bay Area organization gets readers across the country up to speed

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Courtesy of www.readingpartners.org
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This week, the California Department of Education gave us some grim news: according to its biannual report on the financial health of the state’s school systems, nearly one-fifth of school districts in the state face bankruptcy, and that includes six Bay Area districts – four in Santa Clara County and two in San Mateo County.

And so, as the academic year ends, school districts around the Bay Area have the daunting – and often frustrating – task of forecasting the future of their school budgets for next year.

Current predictions hold that the Oakland Unified School District will need to downsize its budget by $100 million in the next three years. The San Francisco School District predicts a deficit of $119 million over the next two years if Governor Brown’s tax proposals do not pass. In short, things are looking dire for students; particularly low-income children who lack the resources to seek outside help with school. Enter Reading Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting these students up to reading speed. Founded 11 years ago in the Bay Area, it now works with more than 3,300 students nationally. KALW’s Ninna Gaensler-Debs has the story.

Find out where to find Reading Partners near you.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs is a reporter and editor for Crosscurrents. Since 2012, Ninna has worn a variety of hats at KALW - she was both a producer and event planner for Localore project Hear Here. Ninna also programmed and organized the Sights and Sounds live events - two in Bayview, and most recently, one in East Oakland.