Herbert Hoover High School in City Heights on Sept. 27, 2022.
Herbert Hoover High School in City Heights on Sept. 27, 2022. Hoover is one of the five schools San Diego Unified is rolling out community school strategies at this year. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Community schools have become a buzzy concept locally and statewide. But what exactly are they? 

Jakob McWhinney writes that they represent a shift in education to provide more integrated services at schools. That’s mental health support, free meals and elements that focus on the needs of parents. Because community schools are intended to focus on the needs specific to the community they serve — they aren’t uniform, though they are guided by four key pillars. 

Last year the state created its $3 billion California Community Schools Partnership Program that awards grants to districts and schools to develop new community schools and support existing ones. And earlier this year San Diego Unified approved its first cohort of community schools. The district ended up receiving nearly $13 million from the state’s grant program to help fund local community school development. 

According to studies, the benefits of community schools can include significant improvements to student attendance, behavior, learning, graduation rates and a reduction in racial and economic achievement gaps. But advocates warn that benefits don’t come overnight. The community schools that yield the best results are the ones that have been around the longest and have developed robust community partnerships and built trust among community members.

Click here to read more about community schools. 

Don’t miss this! Be sure to come to Politifest on October 8, where McWhinney will lead a panel with SDUSD school board candidates to hear their positions on community schools.

City and County Hosting Joint Meeting on Housing to Sidestep SANDAG

File photo of San Diego City Hall / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

San Diego County Supervisors and the City Council are hosting a joint meeting next week at San Diego State University. The intention, according to a memo sent to City Council members on Wednesday, is to acknowledge the region’s lack of affordable housing and work together to boost the supply.

The Union-Tribune reports that the city and county haven’t held a joint meeting in 22 years. The goal this time is to build 10,000 subsidized housing units on public land by 2030, most for low-income residents. Normally that kind of goal setting might fall on the San Diego Association of Governments.

“What makes this especially important is some of the dysfunction we see at SANDAG,” Elo-Rivera told the U-T. “I sit on the board, and it’s the opposite of collaboration at many times. There are obstructionists who are trying to prevent actions from being taken.”

Several smaller cities have fought back against state-mandated housing goals. Not all the homes are expected to be built on city and county land.

Chula Vista Dems Continue to Back Candidate Who Died 

Chula Vista City Hall / Photo by Jakob McWhinney

Chula Vista’s veteran deputy city attorney, Simon Silva, died earlier this month of cancer. But because he’s still on the November ballot and Democratic Party leaders, including Mayor Mary Salas, are still encouraging residents to vote for Silva, it’s entirely possible he’ll win — which raises a number of procedural questions.

The City Council may need to appoint an interim city attorney and hold a special election next year. In that event, Fox 5 reports that a stand-alone city-wide election could cost almost $2 million.

Current City Attorney Glen Googins, who’s termed out, told the Union-Tribune after Silva’s death that he recommended his city colleagues use an independent attorney to figure out how to proceed and avoid a conflict of interest.

At a meeting earlier this week, Salas defended her decision to keep backing Silva over Republican Dan Smith. She said critics were disrespecting Silva’s history and goodness. 

Meanwhile in the mayor’s race: Councilman John McCann held a press conference to announce that a private investigator had captured footage of his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, for 32 nights straight going to his girlfriend’s home in Bankers Hill.

McCann argued that Campa-Najjar doesn’t live in Chula Vista, but his presser isn’t getting the reception he expected. “John McCann stalks political opponent” was KUSI’s headline. The TV station also noted that Campa-Najjar’s visits to a condo in San Diego are not illegal.

Campa-Najjar called McCann’s efforts a “circus show.” 

In Other News

  • As the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, San Diego home prices have fallen. (Union-Tribune) 
  • The Union-Tribune also reported that as the trial of a sailor accused of setting fire to an amphibious assault ship in 2020 continued to unfold, agents testified that a second suspect had been identified, but that investigations had ceased when the suspect was discharged from the Navy. 
  • Former city attorney Mike Aguirre told the Union-Tribune he plans to appeal a Superior Court judge’s ruling that the city’s now former 101 Ash St. lease was legal despite his arguments that it violated the state’s constitutional debt limit.

The Morning Report was written by Jakob McWhinney and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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