On March 10, nearly 250 teachers and staff who serve the county’s most troubled students gathered for a town hall meeting inside a movie theater at the Mission Valley Hazard Center. They were prepared to air their workplace grievances and get answers, but what came to pass instead was a party.
Employees of the San Diego County Office of Education in attendance all received $100 vouchers for use at the nearby Barnes & Noble or Lakeshore Learning stores. The catch: The money had to be spent on the spot, that same day, before 8 p.m.
Several teachers who were present said they were told they could stay for the planned question and answer session or “vote with your feet,” take the vouchers and go shopping. The vouchers could be used for items that support employee or student learning.
The offer caused an exodus. Nearly everyone left the gathering and filled the aisles of the two bookstores.