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VOSD Podcast: The Problem With the Plan for Porter

Porter Elementary’s got a plan, sort of. One of the highest-profile bills in the state Legislature was suddenly shelved. And Scott Lewis got a call he’d been longing for.

Porter Elementary School / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

If there’s an urgent problem unfolding in front of you, and your plan is to keep doing what you’re doing, do you really even have a plan?

On the podcast this week, Will Huntsberry joined hosts Scott Lewis, Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts to talk about the San Diego Unified School District’s plan for Porter Elementary.

There are some big problems at Porter. It is on the state’s list of lowest-performing schools because of its high absenteeism, high suspension rate and low test scores. Parents and a school counselor told Huntsberry the campus is unsafe, and that families can’t get accesses to services.

NAACP representatives say they were blocked from the school’s campus when they tried to follow up on problems at Porter.

The San Diego Unified board of trustees acknowledged that concerns are swirling over Porter by giving a presentation on the school at this week’s board meeting. But many were surprised by the disconnect between the picture painted at the meeting, and the reality of parent and employee experiences there.

The interview with Huntsberry starts at 23:30.

SB 50 Shelved

Right before recording the podcast this week, we got a bit of breaking news: Senate Bill 50 has been put to bed till next year.

The bill by Sen. Scott Weiner would allow for higher, taller buildings near transit, in many cases overriding local government restrictions. As it made its way through various committees it grew more complex, but essentially would have legalized construction of more homes across the state.

Libby talked a bit about what this means for the bill, and how the process works for measures that don’t make it through the suspense file.

That discussion starts at the top of the show.

Scott Gets the Call

A landline phone rang in the Lewis household this week. On the other side of the call was a recording asking a series of questions about local candidates and issues.

Among them were some interesting tidbits. Carl DeMaio, a radio talk show host, was included as a prospective mayoral candidate (which up until now has not been a thing). Cory Briggs was too, despite having already pulled out.

TransNet was also mentioned. The sales tax has been the matter of some recent debate as SANDAG’s director, Hasan Ikhrata, has discussed how he thinks the agency should move forward given the reality that it can’t pay for everything it originally promised to voters.

Lewis believes the early poll could point to TransNet as a potential wedge issue invoked by local conservatives in 2020.

That starts at a bit after minute 8.

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