The San Diego Cooperative Charter School opted to close its Mountain View campus, pictured in 2015. / Photo by Dustin Michelson

Thrive Public Schools is done. The San Diego Cooperative Charter School elected to shut down one of its campuses. And statewide, lawmakers passed sweeping new regulations that gives school districts more power to shut down low-performing schools and to stop new charters from opening.

As VOSD’s Will Huntsberry writes in a new piece examining charter schools’ very bad year, “it’s almost certain that fewer new charters will be allowed to open under the new law. And it’s also reasonable to suspect that fewer charters – which must be re-authorized every five years in order to keep operating – will be renewed.” 

Charter school officials, however, said there’s reason to be hopeful. The regulations that passed aren’t as strict as the ones initially proposed.

“We were marked for death,” said Myrna Castrejón, president of the California Charter Schools Association. “But when it comes down to it, we survived.”

Staff Picks: Our Fave VOSD Stories of 2019

One of the most fundamental responsibilities of journalism is to hold powerful people and institutions accountable.

As our favorite stories of the year demonstrate, San Diego institutions didn’t always do the right thing when they believed no one was looking. School officials didn’t discipline a predatory teacher or report his behavior to police. Police, meanwhile, allowed cops to continue serving even after being convicted of crimes themselves. The health care system has allowed problems to fester to the point that mental health patients are being put in danger.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. We also explained the origins of the housing crisis, peeled back the curtain on a baseball myth and more.

State Continues to Grapple With Home Insurance in Wildfire-Prone Areas

The Associated Press digs into the turmoil that wildfires have caused in California’s property insurance market.
State Farm, Allstate and other insurers declined to renew roughly 350,000 policies in areas at high risk for wildfires since 2015, the AP reports.

We’ve reported on what those numbers look like in San Diego. Last year, insurance companies canceled 14,225 homeowners policies across the county. About 5,000 San Diego homeowners have had to turn to the state’s fire insurance provider of last resort in order to obtain insurance.

Earlier this month, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara placed a one-year moratorium on insurance companies dropping customers in areas that have recently experienced wildfires to try to address the issue, VOSD’s Sara Libby reported. That decision is being challenged in court.

Developers are hoping to build thousands of new homes in high-risk fire areas across San Diego County – an issue linked to two county housing ballot measures coming up for a vote in March.

How to Deal With Rising Seas

In a new column, the U-T’s Michael Smolens talks to Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath about how to deal with seal level rise. Boerner Horvath is the chair of the Assembly’s Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, which makes sense because her district has already experienced the impacts of sea level rise, like the collapsing Del Mar bluffs and the risk facing the train tracks that carry Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner.

But many of the solutions local governments need to take to address the impacts of rising seas – like moving people, buildings and other facilities away from the coast – have been wildly unpopular in communities like Del Mar.
A few years ago, we looked at how Imperial Beach was trying to deal with sea level rise. Adapting to seal level rise requires a lot of trade-offs – and money. 

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan, and edited by Sara Libby.

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