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In the latest development of Sweetwater Union High School District’s financial saga, leaders of the County Office of Education are proposing a $12 million loan to help the embattled district meet its financial obligations.
“The proposed loan comes as students are beginning to feel the pinch of $30 million in overspending by the district, first revealed last September by Voice of San Diego. High school seniors will not receive laptops this school year and free bus routes have been slashed at San Ysidro High School. The majority of students there are from low-income families, reports VOSD’s Will Huntsberry.
The loan would help Sweetwater catch up on some of its previous borrowing from a related building fund. Sweetwater is currently out of compliance with state regulations, because it has gone too long without paying the fund back. The county’s loan would help it do so.
Sweetwater students are more concerned with holding district leaders accountable for losing services, than whatever financial solution the district chooses. “We want the superintendent to put ‘Students First’ the way they say they do in the district slogan,” one student said.
Water Officials Don’t Love Publicly Explaining Mistake
The San Diego County Water Authority was forced recently to tell the public about a safety violation it incurred over an incident in April.
Officials now say they think the requirement is more confusing than informative, and say they think it could have unnecessarily stoked public fear about the quality of San Diego’s drinking water, Ry Rivard writes in the latest Environment Report.
“State regulators said it’s “likely” that the issue for which the Water Authority was cited didn’t create a public health threat and that the water eventually met state safety standards before it left the plant,” Rivard writes.
One Water Authority board member wrote to state officials that the notice they were required to send out “may be confusing to residents and cause unnecessary concern, both through a misinterpretation of the actual health risks.”
More Rural Residents Are Losing Their Fire Insurance
We first reported more than a month ago many East County residents in fire-prone areas were being dropped by their insurance companies, or seeing skyrocketing rates.
Now, the U-T has spoken with more residents struggling to find and afford fire insurance.
“Complaints lodged with the state by rural residents facing a loss of insurance has nearly doubled in the last two years and increased by more than 570 percent since 2010, according to data from the California Department of Insurance,” the U-T reports.
One issue insurance companies say is contributing to problems, as VOSD’s Ry Rivard has reported, is that state regulators won’t let companies set rates by taking into account the “new normal” of climate change and that they instead must predict future losses based on what’s happened in the past.
In Other News
- People who have been waiting in Tijuana for months to legally seek asylum in the United States are now prevented from doing so under a new Trump administration policy. The result of the new policy is that “those who decided against entering the US illegally are now paying a price for having followed the rules.” (ProPublica)
- Chinese scholars and researchers at UC San Diego say they’re collateral damage in the federal government’s trade war with China. (Los Angeles Times)
- Documents and emails show the city was warned many times about potential health risks at a training facility for San Diego firefighters. (NBC San Diego)
- The city of San Diego seized 2,500 scooters and bikes that were not parked according the new city regulations for them. The city is charging $65 to the companies that own them to retrieve them.
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby and edited by Scott Lewis.