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Special education enrollment numbers are down at San Diego Unified, but up across the state.

VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan explains what’s behind the unusual dip in special ed enrollment.

The number of students with disabilities enrolled in the district dropped by 11.27 percent between the 2011-2012 school year and the the 2014-15 school year. Srikrishnan found that the drop in special ed enrollment is, in part, related to the work the district has been doing to correct issues flagged a decade ago by a Harvard researcher, who found that minority students were far more likely than their peers to be labeled disabled and put into special education classes in the district.

The district has been chipping away at the issue, implementing practices to ensure it is only placing students who truly have disabilities into special education, but there’s more work to do.

“The district’s own data still shows room for improvement when it comes to who is identified as disabled, and what services and interventions students receive,” Srikrishnan writes. “At a special education committee meeting last week, data showed the district is still potentially putting English-learners in special education who may not need to be there.”

• Voice of San Diego’s Good Schools for All podcast has been on a break, but it’s back this week with an episode on school choice. Hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn explain the map we made to help parents navigate the difficult decision of where to send their kids.

• San Diego Unified board president Richard Barrera told KPBS the district might put a school funding measure on the 2018 ballot.

Vacation Rental Rules Set in Del Mar

There’s been a moratorium on new vacation rentals in Del Mar, but this week city leaders there adopted rules that will allow them, with restrictions.

Short-term vacation rentals are limited to residential areas and can only be rented out 28 days per year, with a seven-day minimum stay, explains Ruarri Serpa in the latest North County Report.

Also in our roundup of news from the north: North County biz in the podcast spotlight, Sheriff’s deputies versus an inflatable chicken, Encinitas is ready to weigh in on pot cultivation and more.

Studies Say Art Makes Money

The city’s Commission for Arts and Culture posted two new studies on its website, both by the national nonprofit Americans for the Arts.

One looks at the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in San Diego, and another zooms in specifically on the economic impact of arts and culture nonprofits in Balboa Park.

Citywide, the report says arts and culture groups generate about $1.1 billion in total economic activity, and the Balboa Park cultural industry produces about $670.1 million in total economic activity.

The economic impact studies come after Mayor Kevin Faulconer threatened to cut arts funding by $4.7 million earlier this year. Arts advocates rallied to oppose the cuts, many making the economic-impact argument, and the mayor ultimately cut the funding by a lot less.

Quick News Hits

Circulate San Diego released a report Wednesday that shows the progress of a new city program that encourages developers to include affordable units in their buildings.

 Using personal email accounts for city business isn’t against the law, but it can make it harder for the city to pull complete public records requests. KPBS put in a public request for the email San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate sent when he sent a confidential city attorney’s memo to a SoccerCity initiative consultant and found that he appears to have used his personal email account.

• SeaWorld is cutting about 350 jobs companywide. Company reps told CNBC the money saved will go toward marketing efforts to try to boost attendance, which has been on a steady decline since the “Blackfish” documentary questioned the company’s practices.

 Lemon Grove is welcoming its first-ever brewery.

 President Donald Trump tweeted a video Wednesday showing the progress of the border wall prototypes being built here.

 This pricey painting of former mayor Bob Filner ain’t pretty.

 The Associated Press talked to a doctor from UC San Diego who says genomics and gene-targeting drugs are helping cancer patients.

 A physician and former a civil engineer has thrown his hat in the ring in the the race against Rep. Scott Peters. (Union-Tribune)

Kinsee Morlan

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture...

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