Morning Report: High Tech High to Unionize

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Morning Report: High Tech High to Unionize

Students interviewed potential teachers and staffers during a hiring “bonanza” for High Tech High School back in 2009. / Photo by Sam Hodgson

Teachers at High Tech High – the largest charter school chain in San Diego County – appear to have the support necessary to unionize, reports Will Huntsberry. 

If successful, the teachers at High Tech High will join other prominent charter schools to see their teachers organize in recent years. 

When pushing for unions, charter teachers often say they lack job security and burn out rates are high among their colleagues. But critics argue that unions tend to hamstring charters in their ability to provide innovative educational opportunities to disadvantaged students. 

Preuss School and Gompers Preparatory Academy, two high-profile local charters, also both unionized in recent years. Pruess teachers managed to secure longer contracts, but some teachers within Gompers are still fighting to decertify that school’s union

Housing Commissioners Start to Sweat Whether it Can Dole Out Rental Assistance

The San Diego Housing Commission has launched a second round of rental assistance for residents who’ve lost income during the pandemic. But despite having more than $80 million to give, officials are worried that thousands of San Diegans could face evictions this summer as funds could go unspent.

The Housing Commission has received more than 9,600 applications so far in its second round of funding, but community groups and politicians say people are struggling to apply for rental assistance online and face other obstacles such as language barriers and concerns over immigrations status.

Maya Srikrishnan reports that many neighborhoods with the highest unemployment rates, like San Ysidro, Logan Heights and Encanto are seeing lower numbers of applicants. Maybe there’s a lack of need. Or people may be unwilling or unable to apply. 

We’ll find out if we see them kicked out.

“If the city sees mass evictions when the moratoriums are lifted and it didn’t give out all its rental assistance money, that would effectively mean it had the resources to protect people from evictions, but wasn’t able to distribute those resources,” reports Srikrishnan. “That possibility is driving a sense of urgency among housing commissioners and City Council representatives.”

Applications will be accepted until the funding is spent, but the city has a June 1 deadline to determine people who are eligible for the money or it must come up with a plan to expend all the state-allocated funds by Aug. 1

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In Other News

  • An Escondido police officer shot and killed a man Wednesday morning, after responding to a 911 call and finding him hitting cars with an 18-inch metal pole. Few details, or body-worn camera footage, were available Wednesday afternoon. A rally was planned in the city Wednesday evening. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten got another step closer to becoming the country’s number two education official Wednesday, after a Senate committee on education voted to confirm her nomination as deputy education secretary. All Democrats on the committee, plus three Republicans, gave Marten’s nomination the greenlight. (Union-Tribune)
  • Unions are pushing to get their members vaccinated for COVID-19, both by lobbying officials to make them eligible and communicating the benefits to workers. (KPBS)
  • The Chula Vista Police Department has been given the green light to continue using license plate readers for at least another year but has said it will suspend data-sharing with federal agencies. (Union-Tribune)
  • The county’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines continues to surge. Officials received 100,000 more doses this week than last week, and County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said there has not yet been any decline in demand for inoculation. (City News Service)

The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Will Huntsberry, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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