In 2016-2017, although Latinos make up more than 44 percent of the overall enrollment at San Diego Unified, they made up only 33 percent of the GATE program. For black students, the disproportionality is even worse, with an 8 percent overall enrollment rate, but only a 3 percent enrollment in the GATE program.

San Diego Unified has said the high number of teacher retirements could mean schools in wealthier neighborhoods may be impacted by the turnover just as much as low-income schools. But even once layoff notices are rescinded, the process has a bigger impact on low-income schools, which tend to have more junior employees.

San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten said Tuesday that teacher layoffs for the 2017-2018 school year may drop below 200, down from 952 notices this spring. Marten offered no other explanation, and district staff said this week final layoff numbers are not yet available.

The state gives more money to school districts with higher numbers of impoverished and vulnerable students. But it remains difficult to gauge exactly what some of the money pays for and the effectiveness of some positions and programs funded. In San Diego Unified, funds for those students have been spent on “copy paper,” “conferences” and “supplies.”

Six years ago, Jesus Gandara resigned as the superintendent of the Sweetwater school district following a series of stories of malfeasance and corruption. An investigation by the District Attorney into the period eventually landed convictions of bribery and conspiracy. It was, for good reason, a high profile story throughout the county, and reporter Ashly McGlone […]

An investigation into the Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent eventually snowballed into a massive scandal that resulted in convictions for several school leaders and dominated the news for years. Missing from most of those stories was the small, devoted group of parents and community members who set the whole thing in motion.