SD Rostra

San Diego Schools Going Bust?

We’ve been following, some with great puzzlement, at the seeming collapse of the San Diego Unified School District.

School district officials and board members say that without a serious, life-saving infusion of state revenue or drastic cuts, such as closing schools, the state could take over the district due to fiscal insolvency, or bankruptcy.

Here’s just a couple samplings of the coverage reaching beyond our little world quoting San Diego parents, board members, district and state officials on the intrigue.

Far and away the heaviest coverage comes complements of Voice of San Diego, which recently wrote a Fact Check on a claim by board member Shelia Jackson that the school closure plan, designed to help stymie the blood-letting, was not her fault: “It’s not appropriate for people to come to us and be upset. We didn’t even know what the criteria was, we didn’t even tell the staff which direction we wanted.”

The news organization deemed the statement “Huckster Propaganda.”

To be sure, emotions are running high and we’re seeing parents, like my clients with UP for Ed, trying to make heads or tails of the situation.

State take-overs of schools mean just that: the superintendent and school board are fired and replaced with an administrator and an advisory panel. The public voice disappears from the process while the state offers the district loans to stay alive, which must be paid back. Similar situations occurred in Oakland and Compton with mixed results for the students.

What could be done to save the schools without further damage to students? Is bankruptcy the only option if revenue doesn’t turn up? How would an insolvent school district affect the City of San Diego?

Tough questions for a Friday. Sorry, cats and kittens.

– Follow me @erica_holloway.

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