Neighborhood public schools are usually the first option parents consider when deciding where to send their child, but in neighborhoods where the public school is struggling, charter schools can end up becoming the best option for students. Mario Koran highlights two charter schools in southeastern San Diego exemplifying that scenario, one of which serves students who would otherwise end up at the struggling Lincoln High School nearby.

At Gompers Preparatory Academy, students arrived to their first day of school to upbeat music and bubble machines while their teachers danced joyously around them. All of this designed “so when students step foot on campus, they’re transported to a place where anything is possible,” Koran reports. The numbers speak for themselves: With 90 percent of its students qualifying for free lunch programs, Gompers has graduated nearly 100 percent of its students over the last five years.

Schools like Gompers achieve success at the cost of their neighborhood public school, though. While students clamor for admission to Gompers, the very needy Lincoln High School watches millions of dollars in public funding go elsewhere. “Every year $12.3 million that would otherwise go to the district goes to Gompers,” Koran writes.

San Diego Unified in the last few years has doubled down on efforts to attract families to their closest neighborhood schools. “If traditional schools want to compete, they’ll have to look to charters to see what they’re doing right,” Koran writes.

Poway Picks Two for School Board

In the first election since the Poway Unified School District board formally fired and sued its superintendent, the residents of Poway voted in one new union-supported board member and re-elected another board member who was opposed by unions. Kimberley Beatty was first elected the board in 2012 in the wake of a Voice of San Diego report revealing Poway Unified’s use of expensive financial products that put Poway residents on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments. Beatty is seen as a reformer. “Her biggest political foe was Poway’s teacher union,” Ashly McGlone reports.

The union supported two candidates in the election, one of them was Darshana Patel, who won a seat. “Patel’s campaign focused on collaboration and unity,” McGlone writes. Whether Patel aligns herself with other reformers on the board or with members who value stability could make all the difference in the board’s future priorities.


Ramifications from Tuesday’s election are starting to roll out. NBC 7 reports the plastic bag ban that was approved by California voters has been quickly implemented by some San Diego businesses, with customers being caught unawares. For its part, Encinitas’ City Council has decided to give up on Styrofoam takeout containers as well, the Union-Tribune notes. Up in Oceanside, a story we broke about a deceased man who was on the ballot for city treasurer has received national attention now that he won. The loser in that race is calling shenanigans, NPR reports.

Cannabis proponents are celebrating their victory (you might imagine how), with some looking forward to the positive impacts the plant can  have … on their dogs. (CBS 8)

• It’s also that time of year again when inewsource lets you snoop on how your neighbors voted on key issues, including Proposition 64 (most everybody loved it) and Measure C (most everybody hated it).

With votes yet to be counted, Rep. Darrell Issa says he’s confident he will hold his two-point lead and return to Washington to work with Donald Trump, whom Issa endorsed. His opponent Doug Applegate hasn’t conceded the race yet. (OC Register) There are more than 4 million uncounted ballots in California, the L.A. Times reports.

 Rep. Duncan Hunter is showing up on leaked lists said to identify people who will be vetted for Trump’s national security team. (NBC)

Finally, there’s some more news about courtroom wrangling in progress, vis-a-vis President-elect Trump’s legal problems, which will play out in San Diego courtrooms. (NBC 7)

No Oncology Care Model Here

inewsource’s Cheryl Clark reports on a new model for treating the side effects experienced by cancer patients, which is being rolled out by government medical agencies. The new model has been shown to help keep costs down and to improve patient experiences, but “no San Diego County oncology practices are among the 195 in the country that signed up” to try out the new model, Clark reports.

Lightning Round: Election Season Begins Anew

• Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to be the next governor of California. (Times of San Diego)

San Diego is exceeding its climate goals, thanks to better data collection and state-mandated changes. (KPBS)

In searching around for a bit of good news, all I could find was that the San Diego Zoo is singlehandedly bringing back the endangered Lord Howe Island stick bug in North America. It grows to be about seven inches long and may not go extinct now, thanks to modern science.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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