Board of Education in University Heights on Oct. 24, 2022.
San Diego Unified offices in University Heights on Oct. 24, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

A couple months ago, five of San Diego Unified School District’s area superintendents received pink slips from district officials. Pink slips are notices that a public school employee may be laid off, reassigned or demoted.

Last month, the district announced it would be recruiting new hires for those positions.

The staffing changes came as a surprise to many in the community who had built relationships with their area superintendents. Some community members also criticized the district for failing to seek public input beforehand.

The district says the staffing changes were necessary because the positions have evolved and District Superintendent Lamont Jackson needs to build a team that he’s confident about. 

Some community members also told education reporter Jakob McWhinney that they have concerns about the hiring process and whether or not public input will be a priority for the district.

Read the full story here. 

Border Report: Why Cross-Border Truckers Are Worried About California’s Plan to Phase Out Diesel Trucks 

Electric vehicle chargers for class 8 electric trucks at Truck Net LLC in Otay Mesa on April 27, 2023.
Electric vehicle charging modules at Truck Net LLC in Otay Mesa. April 27, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

California has decided to phase out diesel-fueled trucks. 

That move has cross-border truckers and their clients worried that the change will disrupt trade at Otay Mesa. Voice contributor Sandra Dibble writes that stakeholders on both sides of the border are saying that the rules will be difficult, if not impossible, to implement. 

They say Mexico is not prepared to transition to zero emission vehicles as the country lacks trucks, charging stations, regulations and programs to fund and motivate such changes. Otay Mesa is the busiest commercial crossing on the California-Mexico border. 

Trucks are a major contributor to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Communities near highways and ports are the most vulnerable. That’s why environmental advocates say the transition is critically important. 

While full implementation of the state’s plan will take time, one provision that affects trucks entering ports and rail yards, is around the corner. 

“None of the Mexicans are going to be able to purchase zero-emission trucks and have an opportunity to charge them because the system is just not in place and they’re not even available in Mexico, period,” said Alejandra Mier y Teran, executive director of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce

Read the Border Report here. 

Blakespear: Cities and Counties Should Be On the Hook for Housing Homeless People

A new bill could require cities and counties to provide enough beds for their homeless populations, Cal Matters reports.

Cities across the state are facing severe shortages of shelter beds for homeless people, and there are currently no state mandates that require cities to have enough beds available.

A new measure authored by State Sen. Catherine Blakespear, formerly the mayor of Encinitas, could penalize local governments for failing to have space and services for their homeless populations.

The bill is still working its way through the legislature, but could extend beyond temporary shelters to include permanent housing solutions.

Carlos Cortez Resigns as Chancellor of San DIego Community College District

In an email sent Monday, the San Diego Community College District announced that Chancellor Carlos Cortez had resigned. The district wrote Cortez had resigned “in order to care for his parents, who are experiencing health issues.” The resignation comes just over a month after Cortez announced he would be taking an extended emergency family leave in a March 30 email.

Greg Smith, the district’s vice chancellor of people, culture and technology services, who was appointed as acting chancellor when Cortez went on leave, will continue in that role while the district conducts a search for a new chancellor. 

Cortez began his tenure as chancellor of California’s second largest community college district less than two years ago, following six years as president of the district’s College of Continuing Education. The district’s previous chancellor, Constance Carroll, served in the role for 17 years. 

“I am incredibly proud of the progress we have made together over the past two years on behalf of our students and community we serve,” Cortez wrote in the resignation email. “My time at the district, both as President of the College of Continuing Education and as District Chancellor, have been the highlight of my career thus far.”

In Other News 

  • Today the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will decide how to fill Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s seat. Fletcher has said he plans to leave the board on May 15. His resignation followed the news that a former employee of the Metropolitan Transit System, which he chaired, was accusing him of sexual harassment and sexual assault.  Watch the meeting here
  • Related: The Union-Tribune had a story over the weekend on the options the board could consider, and what some advocates are pushing for. And the Politics Report had some deets on San Diego Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe’s decision to campaign for the seat. Read the newsletter here.  
  • Two water agencies in rural North County want to purchase cheaper water from outside San Diego in an effort to keep farmers farming. Water managers in Fallbrook and Rainbow have been attempting for years to start buying wholesale water from Riverside County, but switching over could mean slightly higher bills for other ratepayers. The issue will be considered by the Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, on June 5. (Union-Tribune)
  • A state agency is allowing teachers at Gompers Prep Academy to vote on decertifying their union. Some teachers at the public charter school say they were forced to join the San Diego Education Association, and now, they want out. Teachers can vote on decertification starting May 10. (KPBS)
  • Title 42, the U.S. public health order that allows border authorities to turn away asylum seekers at the border, is set to expire in 10 days, and there are roughly 16,000 asylum seekers in Tijuana waiting to enter the U.S. Thousands of migrants are expected to flood the border, but there’s still no clear guidance from U.S. officials on how border authorities are supposed to process all of them. (KPBS) Last October, Voice of San Diego’s Lisa Halverstadt reported on the surge of migrants that crossed the southwestern border and had to stay in city-funded homeless shelters. Shelter providers in San Diego are already unable to accommodate homeless San Diegans who are seeking shelter. (Voice of San Diego)
  • Related: NBC 7 reports that hundreds of asylum seekers are arriving at the San Ysidro Port of Entry daily as Title 42’s expiration date nears. Some migrants have been waiting at the border for days with no food, water or shelter. (NBC 7)
  • The first phase of San Diego’s Pure Water sewage recycling system is 50 percent complete, but city officials are making major adjustments to avoid delays caused by flooding at the Morena Boulevard pump station. Those changes include recycling less sewage than planned and possibly switching the system’s sewage storage site. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Jakob McWhinney. 

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

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.