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.

Attorney Dan Shinoff has managed to corner the school legal market in town for decades. But things are changing. A group of attorneys is abandoning the firm, and a handful of districts – some of which have lost high-profile cases that cost millions – are phasing him out. One is openly criticizing his methods.

Students are fleeing the South Bay school in droves. Experts say the school-choice program that kick-started the exodus helps disenfranchised communities, but it also provokes a chicken-egg dilemma: How can suffering schools improve if students keep jumping ship?

Training and conferences only account for a quarter of San Diego Unified school board president Kevin Beiser’s time out of the classroom. The rest are sick and personal days. That likely doesn’t violate any rules, but it does highlight a problem with the system itself.

Mar Vista High School teacher Gene Chavira helped lead the charge for a new election process for Sweetwater schools. In a new Q-and-A, he tell us what went into the reform process, and what he expects out of November’s election.