Laura Rodriguez Elementary School in Logan Heights on March 10, 2023.
Laura Rodriguez Elementary School in Logan Heights on March 10, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Chronic absenteeism has skyrocketed nationwide since the Covid pandemic hit. San Diego Unified, like the state as a whole, has seen the percentage of students chronically absent from school nearly triple from pre-pandemic levels. But that bad news isn’t borne out equally.

What the numbers show: Of the 15 San Diego Unified schools with the highest levels of chronic absenteeism, more than two-thirds are located south of state Route 94 and in some of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city. 

Seven of those schools are in the same ZIP code, which has the lowest median income in the county. At those schools, between 89 and 63 percent of students are chronically absent.

Experts say these numbers represent a crisis, and there are some fixes to issues like transportation troubles that existed even before the pandemic. But the jury is out on whether schools know how to deal with the trickier issues of mental and social-emotional health brought on by Covid that are likely exacerbating chronic absenteeism disparities.

Read the whole story here.

Politics Report: La Jolla Secession, More Real This Time 

King tide waves slam onto the cliffs in La Jolla on Jan. 22, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

It has been easy to ignore the latest movement to incorporate La Jolla because it has been an old saw in local public affairs. Now, though, it seems it might be worth a look. 

The Politics Report got some confirmation that things are getting real and as one person put it, “… it seems it has some legs to it too …” 

Right now a pro in the biz and city reps are analyzing the revenues and costs associated with such a move. It’s not going to be an easy break up if it happens, there are two focal points that will matter. Read about those in the Politics Report. 

The weekly politics roundup is available to Voice of San Diego members. Support our work here and subscribe to the Politics Report. 

VOSD Podcast: In the latest episode, our podcasts hosts take turns dropping some hot takes on downtown San Diego. A recent national story featured the city’s civic core for its ability to return to pre-pandemic activity levels. This was based on sales tax revenue levels and cell phone activity. The hosts explain how the area’s current status is much more complicated. 

Listen to the episode here. Or wherever you get your pods. 

In Other News 

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

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