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We’re guessing you, a normal human, don’t know much about the California Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team.
The obscure state fiscal agency has turned heads as it investigates the crisis at the Sweetwater Union High School District with its candid descriptions of district officials’ missteps, including calling the district’s bookkeeping errors a “cover-up.”
VOSD’s Will Huntsberry, who has been covering Sweetwater’s financial issues, profiled the agency that steps in when California school districts are facing financial problems.
“Lots of people call us the truth-tellers,” the agency’s chief executive director said. “We’re going to give districts the truth whether they like it or not.”
- The Sweetwater Union High School District board is having a closed meeting Friday to evaluate its superintendent and meet with its bargaining units amid a fiscal crisis and a pending state fraud audit, tweeted the Union-Tribune’s education reporter Kristen Taketa.
It Was a Day of Education News …
Teachers in several school districts around the state — Oakland is the latest — have been on strike, calling for higher pay, smaller class sizes and fewer charter schools. In this week’s Learning Curve, Huntsberry explains why lobbying school districts may not be the right approach, since they often don’t have the funds for such changes without increasing their structural debt.
No, Seriously, There Was a Lot of Education News
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez announced a bill Thursday that would create an independent entity at the school district level to oversee student complaints of abuse and harassment.
The bill was inspired by VOSD’s Ashly McGlone’s reporting about a longtime La Jolla High School teacher, who several women said had inappropriately touched them. Their complaints about the teacher rarely made it out of the principal’s office, and the school district said it had few records of the incidents the girls reported.
“Students are not being listened to and they don’t feel like they’re being believed — that is the common thread in these stories,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “This independent overseer will be a check at the school administration level, where there seems to be a problem.”
Quick News Hits
- San Diego officials will revamp curb-painting policies after a critical audit found a lack of a comprehensive policy, records and procedures. (Union-Tribune)
- Arts supporters fear that a new city budget may cut arts funding in light of the city’s other priorities, like housing, infrastructure and homelessness costs. (CityBeat)
- In March, San Diego Gas & Electric will change from a tiered billing system, where customers pay more as they use more electricity, to a time-of-use system, where customers pay different prices depending on when they use electricity. (Union-Tribune)
- The president of Palomar College is getting a $1 million suite in a new campus library. (inewsource)
- U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who is hearing the legal challenge to the government’s family separation policy in San Diego’s federal court, appeared poised on Thursday to order the government to expand the definition of which separated families the government is responsible for reuniting. (USA Today)
- The Padres made it official: They signed Manny Machado. It was not a cruel joke. It didn’t fall apart. Now all he has to do is save the city.
The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and edited by Sara Libby.