If you’re a journalist excited about the high stakes of K-12 education in California, the bare-knuckle politics, the challenge of closing an achievement gap and the promise of more than 6 million students each year, then you may be the next education reporter at CalMatters.

This is one of the most important beats in California and the single largest segment of the state budget. For a reporter, it’s an opportunity to reveal the politics and interests behind state education policy, to evaluate how major state programs are working and to hold educators and policymakers accountable. It’s a beat that will range from the California Capitol to district-level comparisons, classrooms and students. 

Among critical issues facing our public schools: how to close persistent achievement gaps; how to remedy lost learning, chronic absenteeism, declining enrollment and other consequences of remote learning during the pandemic; and how to ensure that the state’s expansion of transitional kindergarten is working as intended.

Responsibilities include:

  • Report and write longform enterprise and investigations, shorter breaking new stories and multimedia presentations about California education issues with close attention to state policies and legislation, the lobby community and advocates. 
  • Follow district and school examples that illustrate relevant responses to statewide issues. 
  • Think creatively about formats and tools for communicating issues to a broad, statewide audience.
  • Appeal to a broad audience in a big, diverse state with keen awareness about social and cultural distinctions and story sources that reflect our population.
  • Participate in audio reporting, radio shows, public events and live video.
  • Work with our data, visual and social media journalists to maximize engagement.


  • Minimum of three years’ of professional reporting experience beyond college, ideally including coverage of California K-12 education and the policy-making process.
  • Sharp writing skills, with work samples that showcase the ability to engage readers and translate complex education issues into relatable, human stories.
  • Based in Sacramento or able to travel to the Capitol frequently 


  • The ability to interview in English and Spanish
  • Deep familiarity with California and its diverse communities
  • Skills in data collection and analysis

Compensation and Benefits:

The salary range for this position is $70,000 to $90,000 per year; higher compensation may be available for someone with advanced skills and/or experience.

CalMatters offers a complete benefits package with medical, dental and vision insurance – we cover 90% of the cost for employees and 70% for dependents – from a range of HMO and PPO providers. We’ll match contributions of up to 4% of your salary to our 401(k) program, provide life insurance at no cost, and give you an allowance for personal use of your cell phone and a budget for professional development opportunities like classes and conferences.

We are an expanding and collaborative newsroom, successfully forging a new model for sustainable, intelligent, nonprofit journalism. We’re committed to reflecting the people of the state we serve and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. If you’re interested, please provide a resume, work samples and a cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.

If you have trouble with this form or prefer to apply by email, write to jobs@calmatters.org with the job title in the subject line.