The new group of philanthropists, business leaders and others critical of San Diego Unified sharing its findings and worries at community meetings across the city, it doesn’t want the school district to show up.

San Diego Unified asked for a schedule of public forums where it could tag along and respond to San Diegans 4 Great Schools, a newly formed group that has called the district failing and wants to change how it is governed. The group is taking its message to the public before crafting a specific plan.

“We respectfully ask that you provide a schedule of your presentations to my office and I will work to have a district representative in attendance,” school district spokesman Bernie Rhinerson wrote in an e-mail to group leader Scott Himelstein and Jen Shira, who handles its public relations. “Hopefully, this can be a positive productive collaboration.”

The answer from the school district critics? Nope.

“It would be counterproductive to an open exchange of ideas to have district employees ‘monitoring’ these community meetings,” Shira replied to Rhinerson.

Rhinerson replied that they’d show up to any presentations that they heard about anyway.


Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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