Schools in the South Bay have become a hub for homeless students and their families to find everything from a place to shower to help with school enrollment to assistance applying for public benefits.

Last week, we got a firsthand look at the many ways in which students at East Village High School cheat on the district’s online credit recovery courses. A San Diego Unified spokesman dismissed claims that cheating occurs were merely “anecdotal.” Since then, more teachers and students have come forward with stories that suggest the problem is pervasive.

A group of well-resourced parents at Gage Elementary, and even the school board member who represents them, say they’ve hit a brick wall when it comes to getting answers from San Diego Unified about school budget cuts. If they can’t get basic info, one parent said, “What chance does the rest of this district have?”

On a recent visit to an online credit recovery course at a San Diego Unified high school, students — and even teachers — showed us just how easy it is to game the assignments, including Googling the answers in real time, muting lectures and typing gobbledygook in as responses and receiving credit.

District documents show the early retirement deals for 600 non-teaching employees would cost more than $24.4 million. But those numbers include the costs to replace every retiree – something officials said the district does not plan to do.

Last fall, months before San Diego Unified School District began testing all schools’ drinking water for lead, it did a special round of tests a Sunset View Elementary in Point Loma. The district found lead but didn’t tell parents. Rather, it told one parent – the one who’d requested a lead test.