Still scratching your head over the San Diego Unified school board races?

• Check out our profiles of the two candidates vying to represent the coastal areas of the school district. It’s a fascinating race between Scott Barnett, a budget consultant with an eclectic political past, and veteran school board member John de Beck, whose reputation for loose lips cuts both ways. It’s also the first time that de Beck, a former union leader, has lost love from the teachers union.

• Farther inland, a seemingly simple school board race between two very different candidates, Kevin Beiser and Stephen Rosen, got more complicated when incumbent Katherine Nakamura jumped back into the race as a write-in candidate. Her run has also sparked legal questions and nobody is sure what happens if she wins.

It was a shock that Nakamura was knocked out in the first place; Vlad Kogan analyzed whether voters were upset with the school board majority and mistakenly taking out their anger on Nakamura, a board dissident. His conclusion? Nope.

KPBS did a nice job of looking at how the teacher pay debate fits into this race.

• If you want to step back and take a look at the big picture, read about the the unusual system that San Diego Unified uses to elect its board members.

• Don’t forget about Prop. J, the proposed parcel tax for San Diego schools. It’s way down the ballot. The $98 per-parcel tax could bring in roughly $50 million annually for the next five years. That would be enough to dent — but not plug — the nearly $142 million deficit that San Diego Unified faces next year.

We explained why the school parcel tax faces a higher hurdle than other taxes — so much so that one of its biggest backers, school board President Richard Barrera, nearly pulled it off the ballot.

The Union-Tribune gives a good rundown of the political battle over Prop. J between critics who say the school district is wasteful and backers who say the tax will help kids.

We also sorted through your questions about the tax, such as whether San Diego Unified would have to use the money to undo employee furloughs. If you’re hungry for more, read our other Q&As on the tax.

• Finally, it wouldn’t be campaign season without facts to check: We checked Prop J. opponents’ claim that school employees are getting a 14 percent compensation increase (misleading) and supporters’ argument that hundreds of school administrators were cut (false). We also analyzed claims on both sides about what’s happening to school spending and test scores.

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter:

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.