People stand in front of Perkins Elementary School in Logan Heights on March 14, 2023.
People stand in front of Perkins Elementary School in Logan Heights on March 14, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Poverty looms large over nearly every quality-of-life issue in America. From life expectancy to mental health issues to Covid death rates, income plays a role in just about every aspect of a person’s life. And education is no exception. 

Test scores are inextricably linked to poverty, writes Jakob McWhinney, and despite years of grappling with these connections, San Diego Unified has made little, if any, progress closing the gap. 

“It’s very stark,” one school board member said. “It’s crazy that Zillow could be your most accurate benchmark in terms of (who) meets and exceeds (standards on tests.)” 

Data gathered for our 2023 Parents Guide to San Diego Schools shows just how tight the relationship between poverty and academic outcomes really is.

McWhinney unpacks those numbers and how officials plan to move the needle. 

Read the full story here.

Politics Report: What Did Faulconer Know and When

In the latest Politics Report, Scott Lewis makes sense of a feeling, many people are expressing, that Jason Hughes, the prominent real estate broker who pleaded guilty last week to a misdemeanor violation of the state’s conflict of interest laws, got off easy. 

The deal: Hughes must pay the city $9.4 million he collected from his once-secret contract with the landlords trying to sell the city two office towers. His license to practice real estate is now in jeopardy and probation is no fun.

The case was complicated: Lewis writes that there is one big reason why Hughes didn’t face harsher penalties and that’s former Mayor Kevin Faulconer. It’s still not clear what Faulconer knew exactly about Hughes’ dealings on his watch and the district attorney felt it was enough of a complication that, among other considerations, she had to take a deal and at least get the city its money back.

Read the Politics Report here. The Politics Report is available to Voice of San Diego members only.

VOSD Podcast: In the latest episode, our hosts tell the tale of the downtown high-rise that plagued the city for the better part of a decade. They also get into a proposal to open a safe campground at a parking lot in Balboa Park’s Inspiration Point. And why some people are upset. Listen to the latest episode here or download it wherever you get your pods. 

Fletcher Ends Senate Campaign

Late Sunday night, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced he was ending his run for State Senate, as he plans to seek treatment for post traumatic stress and alcohol abuse.

Fletcher said in a statement that he has been suffering with post traumatic stress from combat and childhood trauma that, “has been exacerbated by alcohol abuse.”

“With the recommendation of my therapist and the insistence of my wife, this week I will be checking into an extended inpatient treatment center for post traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse,” he said.

Fletcher has long been an advocate for veterans, especially those with mental health illnesses. As supervisor, he has pushed for improved behavioral health services.

Fletcher also plans to take a medical leave from the board.

In Other News 

  • An analysis of staffing data at San Diego Unified has revealed that dozens of schools are making it work with just one nurse or counselor on campus a few days a week. The district has not been able to staff more of these workers on campuses despite funding provided by the state. (Union-Tribune) 
  • The Union-Tribune also unpacks what’s next for 101 Ash St. and how the scandal could impact officials up for reelection. 
  • The Aztecs are headed to the Final Four in Houston. San Diego State beat Creighton 57-56 Sunday. (Union-Tribune) 
  • ICYMI: The latest Cup of Chisme unpacks why people are shook that San Diego city officials want to open a safe campsite in Balboa Park’s Inspiration Point. Read it here.

The Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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