The lobby of the San Dieguito Union High School District office. / File photo by Adriana Heldiz
The lobby of the San Dieguito Union High School District office. / File photo by Adriana Heldiz

Journalism won’t die if you donate. Support Voice of San Diego today!

San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Cheryl James-Ward last week made comments linking the academic success of Asian students to wealth.

She made the comments during a diversity, equity and inclusion training session on April 11 in response to Board Trustee Michael Allman’s question about why Asian students do so well in school during a discussion about grade data. An anonymous user posted a three-minute clip of the meeting on YouTube. 

Outraged parents and community members said she was reinforcing stereotypes about Asian Americans and pitting people of color against each other. Many have since called for her resignation or firing, but the district board on Wednesday voted to place James-Ward on administrative leave.

The news comes a week after Board Trustee Melisse Mossy announced her resignation from the board citing constant threats and harassment from the public, as well as the difficult position she often found herself in of being a sort of swing vote.

Mossy was elected to the board in 2018. Her term was set to expire this fall. 

Read more about the district’s response to James-Ward’s comments here.

Council Committee Wants City to Analyze All Sports Arena Bids

A couple weeks ago, city of San Diego staff recommended the City Council drop two of the five bids from groups hoping to redevelop the roughly 50 acres of land the city owns around the Sports Arena. One of them city staff felt did not have enough affordable housing. The other didn’t have a viable plan or the experience needed to replace the aging arena. 

Staff wanted to focus their efforts on deep analysis of the other three bids. 

But Thursday, the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee voted to recommend the city study all five bids. The City Council as a whole will need to weigh in. 

City, County To Seek State Homeless Housing Money After Initial Whiff

Tents lined up along 17th street in downtown San Diego on Aug. 18, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

The city and county are preparing to apply for state homeless housing funds after missing an initial deadline for roughly $61 million reserved for the San Diego region.

Mayor Todd Gloria and Nathan Fletcher, chair of the county Board of Supervisors, announced Thursday that the city and county are setting the stage to seek at least $11.8 million in state Project Homekey dollars to back a 40-unit supportive housing project in El Cerrito. The proposed project includes prefabricated, container-based housing units and a health and rehabilitation clinic.

City housing commissioners are set to vote on the funding application on Monday and county supervisors will weigh in Tuesday on whether to allocate about $11 million to support capital, services and operating costs for the facility. The joint application is due to the state by May 2.

The Thursday announcement comes a month after Gloria and two city councilmen sent a memo to the Housing Commission urging it to look beyond the sort of hotel proposals it won state housing funding for in 2020 and consider a wider array of housing types so the city wouldn’t miss an opportunity to pull in state funds to house homeless residents.

Continue reading about the request for funding here.

In Other News

  • Nine cities in the San Diego region renewed their contracts with the county Sheriff’s Department in recent weeks. Times of San Diego reports that local cities have annually paid anywhere from several million dollars to more than $20 million for the department’s services.
  • A proposed ballot measure that would transfer hiring power now held by the city’s independent Civil Service Commission to Mayor Todd Gloria got unanimous support from the City Council’s Rules Committee Wednesday. The move could help the city fill hundreds of open jobs more quickly and reduce its vacancy rate, reports the Union-Tribune.
  • Positive COVID-19 cases doubled between April 19 and April 20 in San Diego County. The uptick is still nowhere near the surge seen during the winter Omicron variant, reports ABC 10, but subvariants are on the rise across the country.
  • A burst of rain Thursday will transition into hot, dry gusty winds by Sunday. (NBC 7)

This Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, Scott Lewis, Lisa Halverstadt, Megan Wood and MacKenzie Elmer. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.