Backpacks of students hang outside a bungalow style classroom at Johnson Elementary School on Sept. 14, 2022. Funding would be used to replace the older style bungalows.
Backpacks of students hang outside a bungalow style classroom at Johnson Elementary School on Sept. 14, 2022. / File photo by Ariana Drehsler

San Diego Unified’s budget has increased by a lot over the past five years. But that hasn’t translated to more district staff, as Jakob McWhinney reports. 

The numbers: Federal money has helped the district recover from the pandemic. The district has seen about a 43 percent increase in funding, but its total staffing has only increased by about 2.6 percent. This increase has been led by an uptick in the number of paraeducators, individuals who work alongside and under the supervision of certificated teachers, certificated managers and professional and technical staff. Meanwhile, the number of food service workers has dropped significantly, and gardening and clerical employees have inched down slightly. 

But despite having a budget more than $600 million larger in 2022 than it had in 2017, the district now employs 18 fewer classroom teachers. 

A drop in the bucket: San Diego Unified still employs nearly 5,500 teachers, so the slight decline only works out to nearly a .3 percent decrease. The number of non-classroom teachers, who support classroom teachers based on the needs of a school, has ticked up in the same period.  

“As enrollment declines, the district must allocate fewer teachers,” San Diego Unified’s Communications Director Maureen Magee wrote in an email. The staffing numbers are based on filled positions, she wrote, and “due in part to the labor shortage, recruitment continues to be challenging, resulting in a notable number of unfilled vacancies.” 

Read more here. 

Positive E. Coli Test at Imperial Beach Drinking Water Sites

Imperial Beach / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

As if Imperial Beach didn’t have enough water problems to worry about. The seas are rising around the low-lying city which is already prone to flooding. Sewage spills over the U.S.-Mexico border and closes its beaches. 

Now anyone using drinking water in the Silver Strand area of Coronado and Imperial Beach should boil it first, according to an advisory from the State Water Resources Control Board

California American Water, a private company that sells drinking water to Imperial Beach, Coronado and parts of Otay, got a positive E. Coli test Wednesday from a sampling site at Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach, said Brian Barreto, an external affairs manager for the company. 

E. coli is found in the intestines of humans and animals. Many strains of it are harmless but some can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“We believe this has to do with the recent hurricane and the amount of water we received,” Barreto said. “Because there were contaminants throughout the environment, our sampling may have become contaminated with E. coli.” 

The boil advisory is precautionary: The company is working to do more testing to determine whether there’s a systemwide E. coli issue – or whether this positive test was an isolated incident at this particular site. The company believes that the contamination likely came from surface water and that there’s no reason to believe E. coli is physically inside the water system itself. 

Barreto said the company tests sites that are part of the external drinking water system, like a hose bib, the kind of twistable tap where one might connect a garden hose. And, they test internal parts of the water system. It takes 24 to 48 hours for additional test results, Barreto said. 

Coastal waters along beaches from the border to Coronado frequently fail water quality tests due to sewage spills from Mexico. Barreto said there’s no confirmed link between that problem and this one. 

Here’s what you should do when a boil advisory is issued. 

San Diego Loyal Calling it Quits

ricardo campos and marcus bush at VOSD Podcast live show, Whistle Stop Bar
File photo of Ricardo Campos / Ariana Drehsler

After years of speculation, news broke in May that a coalition including an Egyptian billionaire and the Sycuan tribe had formed to buy into the MLS, America’s premier soccer league. While welcome news to some, this wasn’t necessarily good news for the San Diego Loyal – the city’s USL team, which is a sort of lower division league. 

The team, which launched in 2020, has prided itself on building close ties with the community, and by all accounts has done a good job of doing so. It initially projected confidence, writing in a statement on Twitter that “We aren’t going anywhere.” 

The news: But now, months later, it seems the city proved to not be big enough for the two teams, as the Loyal have announced this will be their final season

The shuttering of a USL team is a common outcome when the MLS moves into town, but there had been hope by some that the new MLS team would absorb the Loyal.

“The focus was not so much to (become an MLS team) but to build a club that’s a reflection of the community,” Loyal President Ricardo Campos said during a live Voice of San Diego podcast the week the MLS expansion was announced. “We need two parties to be willing to work together … with any partnership. And our door’s open,” he said.

Ultimately that did not happen.

Owner Andrew Vassiliadis said the decision was a painful one that came after a thorough search of the San Diego area for a new home for the team. Vassiliadis said no new location was found and he was unwilling to move the team from San Diego.

“I believe together in these last four years we have set a new standard for what it means to be a professional soccer team in this city and be a reflection of our community, and I’m proud of that,” Vassiliadis said in the video posted on Twitter.

In Other News 

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

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1 Comment

  1. “Scott Lewis is traveling. There won’t be a Politics Report tomorrow. But you can still make him feel badly about that by asking where it is.”
    somewhere very remote without Internet, i guess.

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