---Leave it to Abel. It’s been just four months since he lost the lieutenant governorship to Gavin Newsom, and he’s already dusted himself off and set his sights on a new office.
That would be Democrat Lois Capps’ congressional seat — which may no longer be such a safe bet for her once redistricting occurs.
As a moderate Republican with both political experience and name recognition, Maldonado will be strong competition for Capps — something we haven’t seen in the 23rd district for quite some time.
Voters have got themselves a horse race, and to start things off, we toss both candidates post-time bouquets.
Teachers adopt evaluation program
Teachers at seven schools in the Lucia Mar district — Mesa, Judkins, Dorothea Lange, Fairgrove, Nipomo, Oceano and Grover Heights — deserve go-the-head-of-the-class bouquets for voting to adopt a new teacher evaluation and training program.
Only one Lucia Mar school — Dana Elementary — declined to participate. And even at that campus, 66 percent of teachers voted in favor of the program, though that still fell short of the 75 percent needed.
Now that teachers have endorsed the program, the district can move forward with the launch of the TAP (Teacher and Student Advancement) program.
Funded by a $7.2 million, five-year federal grant, TAP is designed to boost student performance at schools that serve large numbers of low-income families. It includes use of master teachers, additional coaching for classroom instructors and monetary bonuses for teachers and principals.
And speaking of TAP ...
Much as we like the TAP program — and believe the federal grant is a not-to-be-missed opportunity — we can’t help but shake our heads over the vagaries of school financing.
On the one hand, Lucia Mar is receiving millions in federal funding to begin a new program that will create eight new positions. On the other, the specter of more state cutbacks could force the district to lay-off 56 staff members, including teachers, counselors and instructional aides, and reduce the hours of 22 other employees.
That scenario isn’t certain, but it could occur if the state is unable to extend temporary taxes that are due to expire. The governor wants to put those tax extensions on the ballot, yet Republican lawmakers have continued to block his plan to call for a special June election.
We strongly believe that the voters of California have the right to decide this critical issue — and we’re routing a school bus crammed with dunce-capped brickbats to those Sacramento lawmakers who are standing in their way.