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Community colleges in San Diego County are stepping into the housing game thanks to a flurry of state legislation aimed at providing funds to support such efforts. Some of the legislation is still in the works, but SB 169, which awards both planning and construction grants to community colleges, is already paying off.
Schools in every community college district in the county received grants ranging from $155,000 to $812,000 to fund the planning of housing on or near campuses. This is a far cry from the dollars needed to actually build that housing, but officials say it’s an exciting step.
Some colleges, like San Diego City College, are working toward specific projects, while others like Palomar College are still figuring out what’s needed and where it will go.
But providing new housing isn’t cheap and colleges will have to find a way to pay for it.
Some of that may end up coming from SB 169 construction grants — all of the schools plan to apply to receive some of the more than $360 million available for construction over the next two years — but even that pot isn’t big enough to fund all of the projects in their entirety. So colleges are trying to figure out where the rest of that money may come from and everything from partnerships with developers to additional grants to bond measures are on the table.
Read more about the housing projects at local community colleges here.
Don’t Want to Wear a Mask? Don’t Come to School, Says Board Member
With COVID cases and hospitalizations on the rise, San Diego Unified is enforcing a new mask mandate. And for those who aren’t comfortable or can’t wear a mask, the district’s board president had a tough message: Don’t come back.
In an interview with KUSI News, board president Sharon Whitehurst-Payne said students who don’t want to wear a mask should plan on attending online school via Zoom. What about students who want to go to in-person classes and are already attending summer school, the interviewer asked her.
“They should make it known they don’t feel comfortable and at that point not return,” said Whitehurst-Payne.
“I’m struggling to understand why a school leader would put out this exclusionary message in any context,” tweeted education journalist Anya Kamenetz. “We know that many of the kids who have trouble tolerating/complying with masks have special needs and also have trouble benefiting from online school.”
As Kamenetz pointed out, and educators have frequently acknowledged, students are more likely to fall behind and languish in online school.
In a letter sent home to parents, San Diego Unified officials did not say whether there might be any exceptions to the new mask mandate. During previous mask mandates, special needs students who were not able to wear a mask were not able to attend school in person.
In Other News
- Late Tuesday night, the Union-Tribune confirmed that hotel workers at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront will go on strike starting today. This decision comes hours before the start of Comic-Con’s preview night. Negotiations with the hotel for a new contract had been slow-going, as Jesse Marx wrote in June, as the union pushed for pay increases and daily room cleaning.
- A KPBS analysis of 475 incidents where San Diego County police used force found just 12 instances where officers were disciplined.
- The civilian group reviewing Sheriff’s Department misconduct deemed the beating of a transgender woman who was placed in a jail cell with three men “a systemic failure” and has ordered changes to department policies to mandate that deputies book people into jails that align with their gender identities. (Union-Tribune)
- Local and state housing prices declined slightly last month. (Times of San Diego)
- The city is set to fork over $5 million to settle a lawsuit with an indoor soccer company that it evicted from a site next to the North Park water tower in 2019 amid concerns about the facility’s roof. (Union-Tribune)
- Congresswoman Sara Jacobs of San Diego was among the 17 House Democrats arrested Tuesday at an abortion rights demonstration. (Axios)
- San Diego state lawmakers Ben Hueso and David Alvarez signed onto a California Latino Caucus letter urging U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to halt a border construction project that would effectively destroy iconic Friendship Park.
- City Attorney Mara Elliott is suing an outside law firm and one of its former lawyers alleging mishandling of a wrongful termination case involving a former assistant city attorney that ended with a $3.9 million jury verdict.
This Morning Report was written by Jakob McWhinney, Lisa Halverstadt and Will Huntsberry. It was edited by Megan Wood and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.