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Twenty bucks for a student activities card here, otherwise no band or sports for your kid. Fifteen hundred dollars there, or cheerleading is out.

Pretty soon you’re talking about real money — and a dilemma for San Diego schools.

A number of campuses are charging students who want to take part in activities like athletics, choral ensemble and martial arts. Even art class can come with a price.

The problem is that public education is supposed to be free — including necessary supplies. Our story looks at the debate over what one attorney calls “a fuzzy issue.”

In other news:

  • With the help of UCSD researchers, neuroscientists now have a resource that may eventually give them access to everything known about the mouse brain.

    The Whole Brain Catalog, an open-source, online venue, was unveiled this week. It “will be a place where tens of thousands of researchers will come together to assemble this brain, something no single laboratory could do,” says a UCSD neuroscientist.

    Why the mouse brain? Because it’s the most commonly studied brain in the world and is used in much human brain research. (Unlike, say, the brain of one Abby Normal.)

  • Speaking of research, we could use your help. Earlier this week, San Diego Unified School District officials announced that they had overspent their budget this year by $16.6 million. We now have the details about how they did that but if you have a minute to help us look through them, that would be great. Who did they hire they didn’t have money for? What did they buy they couldn’t afford? Let us know.
  • Also on our site: San Diego State is creating a new real-estate department. And there’s a new possible contender for San Diego school board.
  • Elsewhere: The U-T reports that developer Malin Burnham, a “key backer” of a new San Diego City Hall, doesn’t want it to go up for a public vote because the issue is much too complicated for voters to handle. Fewer than one percent of Americans, he said,” understand the complexity in how to put these kinds of projects together.”

    I predict this “key backer” becomes more of a silent partner after this memorable remark.

  • The LAT runs an obituary of “Bill Poole, a legendary captain and leading pioneer of sportfishing in and beyond San Diego.”
  • An ad campaign is advising county residents to not buy guns for other people. Um, is that a big problem? Well, it’s not really clear. (NCT)
  • And finally, the California Supreme Court isn’t going to leave nude sunbathers hanging: In a ruling regarding San Onofre State Beach, it said the state could forbid people from going au naturel. (AP via U-T)

    But a state parks spokesman says “officers will not conduct sweeps of nude beaches.” That will spell relief for patrons of San Diego’s own world-famous Black’s Beach, where clothing-optional types are tolerated in the section that’s part of Torrey Pines State Beach.

    That could be good news for sunscreen manufacturers too.

RANDY DOTINGA

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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