“You can make this happen.” That was what San Diego Unified School Board Trustee Marne Foster told district Superintendent Cindy Marten after Foster revealed her plans to sue San Diego Unified for $250,000 in connection with an unflattering college evaluation written for her son.
“That’s weird you are going to file a claim against the school,” Marten replied. The claim eventually came, but Foster’s name wasn’t on it. Instead, the name of the father of Foster’s son appeared. The father later told our Mario Koran that he was told by Foster to sign a blank document and “didn’t think twice.”
The revelation that Foster had pressured the superintendent to pay for what amounted to her son’s college tuition came on Thursday as part of a search warrant unsealed by a judge in Foster’s criminal proceedings. Foster agreed to a plea bargain on Tuesday, which requires her to resign and serve probation in return for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor of accepting illegal gifts as a public official.
• At least one school official doesn’t think San Diego Unified should have done much differently in the handling of the Foster ordeal, and that most folks have other school issues on their minds. School board trustee Richard Barrera, who’s “always been one of Foster’s biggest champions,” Koran writes, believes Foster’s actions were “handled the right way” by the district.
Now that Foster is out, Barrera doesn’t think the resignation of his choice candidate has any serious impact on how people view the school district. “Few people express interest” in Foster’s legal troubles, Barrera said. What happens next is to “fill the seat with the right person,” he said. Only one person, LaShae Collins, has committed to running for Foster’s school board seat so far.
Meanwhile, in the Classroom …
Last year, we found that Memorial Preparatory school in Logan Heights was the local school most avoided by San Diego parents. Grand visions of knocking the place down and building another school in its place have been expressed by community leaders, but the project may come at great cost and with some uncertainty of outcome. Koran joins NBC San Diego’s Monica Dean to break down what the plans are for Memorial Prep in our most recent San Diego Explained.
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Dear Mother Marne,
Any idea who I can use as a character reference on my college application?
Other than the obvious disappointment - it is sad to see those who so believed in Ms. Foster being faced with the reality rather than 'serving' her major objective was 'to use'. Time to clean house.