On January 19, Suneal Kolluri received an envelope in the mail from the California Attorney General’s office. Inside was the official title and summary for the College for California ballot initiative, a proposal to give every Californian a free college education, that was drafted by the high school students he teaches in East Oakland. The clock started ticking: Kolluri has 150 days to get 807,615 signatures.

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A month after the Oakland Unified School District board voted to close five elementary schools, members voted Wednesday night to allow Life Academy, a small health and sciences high school in East Oakland, to expand to offer middle school classes as well. At a packed meeting that mostly focused on the district’s financial issues, board members also discussed the most recent state audit as well as a report on teacher and staff retention.

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