Parents and community members attend a San Diego Unified school board meeting in which officials discussed a draft of the Local Control and Accountability Plan. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

A 2013 state law mandated that school districts create meaningful avenues for parents to provide feedback and input on how local schools educate children. It was part of a realignment of how the state funded schools, an effort to prioritize places with fewer resources. But five years into the new law, community participation in San Diego Unified School District has gone down.

Districts are required to create what’s known as a Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP. The LCAP must lay out how a district plans to provide a quality education for all children, and community members are supposed to have a big say in it.

As Suzie Reid reports, the district gave 14 updates at board meetings during the LCAP planning process two years ago. Last year, the district gave half as many presentations. A plan to hold community workshops on the LCAP was also never realized.

Few communities have a strong say in the LCAP building process and the district has not yet created a structure that would help communities engage.

Only 23 percent of fifth grade parents, and 12 percent of ninth grade parents, felt their schools offered opportunities for meaningful participation, according to a 2017 survey.

More Ed News

California’s graduation rate ticked upward very slightly in 2018, according to data released earlier this month. The state’s graduation rate rose from 82.7 percent to 83 percent, as Edsource reported.

San Diego Unified School District’s numbers mirror the same trend. The district’s graduation rate rose from 86.6 to 86.9 percent, as the Union-Tribune previously reported.

Interestingly, most news outlets don’t present these numbers in an apples-to-apples comparison. The state’s graduation rate includes charter schools, while San Diego Unified’s does not.

If you throw charter schools into San Diego Unified’s graduation rate then it is almost identical to the state’s at 83.1 percent.

The Latest from Tijuana

Coming to grips with the difficulty they’ll face entering — much less staying in the United States — Central Americans from the migrant caravan living in a Tijuana refugee camp are making contingency plans.

Hundreds of members of the migrant caravan now living are trying to find work in Mexico as it becomes clear they won’t have an opportunity to request asylum in the United States anytime soon, the Union-Tribune reports. Staffers at a job fair catering to the migrants, which opened nearly two weeks ago, say interest in local employment options spiked after Sunday’s violent confrontation at the border.

Meanwhile, dozens of others living in the Tijuana refugee camp are starting to return to where they came from, in many cases motivated by misinformation that’s passed through the camp, according to KPBS. Many of the refugees now falsely believe a child was killed in Sunday’s confrontation, and parents of young children say they’re leaving now before it happens again. Refugees are also discussing rumors of raids by Mexican immigration officials or attacks by cartels, both of which are unfounded.

The Union-Tribune also reported that officials in Tijuana are opening a second shelter, in a vacant event space on the city’s outskirts, in part out of concern for the heavy rains that are expected to start this morning. The local officials need final approval from federal authorities, but think the second shelter will better protect the refugees from the elements.

What to Watch for SDSU West

Voters approved the SDSU West measure — and rejected a competing measure — in November, clearing the way for the city to sell the former Chargers Stadium property to SDSU to make way for a new football stadium, river park and campus expansion.

But that voter approval was just the beginning of a complicated real estate transaction that has a number of big questions we’ll be monitoring in the coming months. Scott Lewis and Catherine Garcia, our partner over at NBC 7, walked through the four biggest questions in this week’s installment of the video series, San Diego Explained.

This segment featured Lewis’ dog, Coco. She’s the best dog. Very soft and lovable. She’s good with other dogs. (Full disclosure: This part may or may not have been written by Scott Lewis.)

A note from Scott Lewis: Garcia is now back doing the San Diego Explained segments in partnership with Voice of San Diego. Here’s a short video of Garcia and I reflecting and talking about why we do it. After nine years doing San Diego Explained, we are as inspired as ever to do creative things to help people understand all the parts of San Diego that, right now, only an elite few are able to discuss authoritatively. If you have suggestions of things you want us to explain or questions to pursue, head to our People’s Reporter page.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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