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.”

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.

In 2005, SANDAG was looking to maximize the possibilities for Transnet, its newly passed tax measure. So it did what other public agencies were doing: It played around with sophisticated financial arrangements that few understood. Now it has a roughly $100 million liability hanging over its head. Agency leaders say the deal is working as intended.

At very least, an appellate court ruling this week is a momentary setback for the San Diego County Water Authority at crucial time in California water policy and politics. The Water Authority has two major decisions to make by the end of the year and the ruling plays some part in each of them.

If you take one high-profile count of the region’s homeless at face value, you’d assume homelessness in the South Bay is dropping. But a closer look reveals many homeless families there are hidden out of sight, a reality that has real implications for some of the most vulnerable populations in the South Bay.