- Voice of San Diego - https://www.voiceofsandiego.org -

Morning Report: Teacher Misconduct Reports to the State Are Surging

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The state agency tasked with reviewing teacher misconduct is seeing a record number of cases [1].

Kayla Jimenez reveals that the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing received 5,895 misconduct cases last year – about 400 more cases than it received five years ago.

And the commission’s executive director says her office wasn’t designed for such an influx of cases.

Jimenez explains why the number of cases may have spiked in Voice of San Diego’s latest effort to dig into how the state and local school districts are responding to sexual misconduct allegations. As the CTC’s caseload surges, the impact can be devastating: The longer it takes to investigate problem teachers, the longer they can remain working in classrooms [2].

State Cash Coming as Chaos Continues for Asylum-Seekers

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed a bill to quickly invest $5 million in efforts to aid asylum-seekers.

The Los Angeles Times reports [4] it was part of one of two bills Newsom signed to sink about $131 million into emergency drinking water projects, support for communities hit by wildfires and emergency preparedness initiatives.

For months, San Diego nonprofits have scrambled to shelter and care for asylum-seeking families left on San Diego streets in the wake of the federal government changed its longtime policy of ensuring those families had established travel plans.

Newsom visited San Diego [5] late last month to meet with local leaders to discuss their efforts and learn more about the county’s plans to offer up a shuttered courthouse as a temporary shelter location for those groups.

-As the county and the state ramp up their response, immigration authorities are ramping up a new policy of their own. They are now returning families processed in the U.S. back to Mexico.

The Union-Tribune reported Thursday [6] that the first asylum-seeking families were returned to Mexico this week as part of the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” — known informally as “Remain in Mexico.”

The newspaper also reported that the American Civil Liberties Union, which is part of the nonprofit coalition aiding migrants in San Diego, sued the Trump administration [6] over the new policy on Thursday.

County supervisors last week voted to separately sue the feds [7] for dropping asylum-seekers on San Diego streets, forcing the county to expend resources on medical care.

MTS Is Ready to Develop Its Property

The Metropolitan Transit System took the final step Thursday to start getting all the land it owns around trolley stations — much of it currently under-used as service parking lots — into the types of transit-focused housing that has become the basis of city and regional plans to combat the housing crisis and thwart climate change.

MTS’s policy would let the agency seek out partnerships with private developers to make better use of its land. A few years ago, a statewide study found that San Diego was worse than every other major metropolitan area [9] at developing dense housing near transit.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer is increasingly committed to making it easier for developers to build those types of dense projects [10] within a quarter-mile of transit stops; the MTS plan would give that a boost, making sure the stations themselves are at least built to that development standard.

MTS’s policy would require developers to set aside 20 percent of the homes in their project for affordable housing, and encourage them to provide transit passes for future residents.

News Nuggets

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.