Suspending students has enormous consequences. If a student misbehaves in class, kicking them out for a while certainly doesn’t help their educational careers. Students of color can disproportionately find themselves in the “school-to-prison pipeline” where endless suspensions leave them so alienated, they end up in the illegal economy.

New school data now lists suspension rates.

To address this, San Diego Unified adopted a process called “restorative justice.”

“Restorative programs represent a fundamental cultural shift in the way schools view behavioral issues and discipline,” Maya Srikrishnan writes.

But the effort to move the district towards restorative programs requires training, staff, and a budget. Parents and trustees have recently begun asking questions about the budget that supports those programs and whether the district is staffing appropriately for the programs to make a difference. It doesn’t look like it is, Srikrishnan wrote in her weekly Learning Curve column.

After recent budget cuts, one department that was focused on race relations and drop-out prevention was cut from seven staff down to three. The district created a new “Department of Restorative Practices,” but it has a staff of only one person.

Superintendent Cindy Marten says the limited resources for restorative programs reflect an approach that is “sustainable for the long term.”

City Attorney’s Power: San Diego Explained

For many years, the role of the San Diego city attorney has been evolving. Now, the city attorney takes independent stands and issues public memos that have wide-ranging impacts on average San Diegans. Scott Lewis and NBC 7’s Monica Dean break down how things have changed in our most recent San Diego Explained.

SANDAG Wins Executive Order Lawsuit

A state Supreme Court ruling on Thursday gave clarity to a legal issue that has haunted San Diego’s regional transportation industry SANDAG since 2011. That was when SANDAG was sued for failing to act on an executive order issued by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that directed public agencies to bring down emissions by 80 percent below levels recorded in 1990, by the year 2050. California’s Legislature had already set different, less difficult goals for San Diego, and SANDAG argued the legislature’s goal was the one it had to legally follow. Thursday’s ruling sided with SANDAG’s interpretation on that point, but declined to rule on other aspects of the case which were decided in lower courts. (Union-Tribune)

Tax vs. Fee: Airport Edition

Courthouse News reports that a taxi company is suing the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. The plaintiff claims that a fee the authority collects from passengers of taxis and other ride-hailing services is actually an illegal tax. The thin line between taxes and fees is a source of constant conflict in San Diego and California. In this case, the fee was implemented ostensibly under the guidance of a memo from the attorney general in 2008 urging airports to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But opponents argue that guidance applied only to shuttles, not to taxis and ride-hails, and that the airport authority has since increased the fee to pay for unrelated needs.

If a levy funds things that don’t benefit directly the people paying the fee, than it is a tax. And as we should all know by now, if a local agency wants to raise a tax, it must put it to a vote of the people. If the tax is earmarked for a specific purpose, than two-thirds of voters have to approve of it.

Fix Sought for Mt. Woodson Parking

Fans of hiking the trails at Mt. Woodson will be glad to hear that a solution is being worked on for the issue of parking around the popular site, which often sees dozens of cars lining the shoulder of Route 67 in Ramona, and pedestrians walking in the lanes as cars speed by at 65 miles per hour. Mt. Woodson is home to “potato chip rock,” which people can’t stop taking pictures of, and which helps draw the crowds. Private landowners near the highway have offered to let a parking lot be built on part of their land if the remaining parts can also be approved for development. (Union-Tribune)

Lightning Round

The state of California has looked favorably on Balboa Park, Barrio Logan and Oceanside and has designated parts of each as a California Cultural District.

 The Chamber of Commerce is warning that the housing crisis is getting worse.

 Everyone knows San Diego’s roads are in desperate need of better care. But a new audit finds that even when we do fix our roads, they deteriorate faster than they should. (Union-Tribune)

People are starting to announce their candidacy for the City Council seat being vacated by David Alvarez in 2018. (San Diego Reader)

 President Trump’s border wall is shrinking, bigly.

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

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

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