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LAWSUIT AGAINST GUHSD OVER FUNDS FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL TO BE HEARD IN COURT DEC. 5

 

East County News Service

November 22, 2014 Alpine) – Alpine Union School District (AUSD) and the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability are seeking an injunction to stop the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) from spending money that plaintiffs contend should be set aside to build a high school in Alpine.  The case will be heard on December 5 at 1:30 p.m. in San Diego Superior Court, Dept. C-66 by Judge Joel Pressman.   View the lawsuit here.

The suit contends that the Grossmont district is “unlawfully wasting school bond revenues approved by the voters for an Alpine high school” by spending the money from Prop H or U on other unauthorized projects.  However the Alpine plaintiffs seek only to block bond fund use on any new or future construction projects – not interrupt any pending or contracted for construction projects.

JIMMIE JOHNSON CHAMPIONS GRANTS AWARDED TO LOCAL SCHOOLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2014 (El Cajon)--Once again, six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has proven himself to be a hero for education in his hometown, El Cajon.

The Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education has awarded $556,623 in grants for 2014—including grants to three schools in the Grossmont Union High School District.  The local grants include

  • Chaparral High School - $29,482 to create a computer lab that will augment the program at Chaparral through the use of online learning and digital arts instruction.
  • El Capitan High School - $23,000 to purchase new laptops for teachers so they can be better equipped to use digital/paperless resources and to teach students how to use the online resources and apps available to them.
  • Grossmont High School - $80,458 to integrate technology and foster collaboration and making connections between the arts and core academic classes.

Other grants went to schools in North Carolina, Okalahoma, and to Loma Portal Elementary School in San Diego.

UC REGENTS APPROVE 25% TUITION HIKE OVER 5 YEARS UNLESS STATE BOOSTS FUNDING

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 21, 2014 (San Francisco)—Ignoring protests from students, opposition from the Governor and legislative leaders, University of California’s Board of Regents voted Thursday to approve Tuition hikes.  The increase will be 5 percent a year over the next five years – 25 percent total—at all UC campuses .  For the 2015-2016 school year, tuition will be $12,804 and by 2019, students will be forced to pay $15,000 a year in tuition.

Some Regents indicated that if that state increases funding, they would vote to reduce tuitions. 

Assembly  Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego)  has pledged to introduce a measure to boost funding for the UC system.  She had urged the Regents to reject any tuition or fee hikes. Atkins, an ex-officio Regent with voting rights, called the fee hikes “unacceptable” adding, “California students and their families have faced too many fee increases already.”

PROTESTS MOUNT AGAINST UC TUITION HIKES

 

East County News Service

November 18, 2014 (San Diego)—Students staged sit-ins at all 10 University of California campuses statewide Tuesday to protest a new tuition hike that regents are expected to vote on this on Wednesday, November 19th.  If the 5% increase a year over the next five years is approved, tuitions will have tripled since 2005.

Already, the average student is graduating with $26,000 in debts—and many have not found jobs in today’s challenging economy.

The tuition hike is supported by UC President Janet Napolitano, who cites cuts in state funding to support the UC system as the primary reason why she believes tuitions need to rise.

But Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newson, who sits on the Board of Regents for the UC system, has denounced the proposed rate hike and has launched a petition to oppose it. You can sign the petition here: http://www.gavinnewsom.com/petition/stop-tuition-increases/

WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE AT SDSU AIMS TO INSPIRE COUNSELORS TO HELP STUDENTS ATTAIN COLLEGE DEGREES

 

East County News Service

November 18, 2014 (San Diego)--First Lady Michelle Obama gave a video welcoming message at a White House-sponsored conference designed to help high school counselors motivate more students to get college degrees.  A similar event was recently held at Harvard University.

The First Lady told those present, “I know that if we truly want to help our young people reach their college dreams, we need to support our school counselors. Our young people have so much potential, and they need someone in their lives who (believe) in them, and who can show them the steps they need to take to get to college.”

SDSU AGAIN AMONG BEST FOR VETS

 

SDSU is ranked No. 38 in the nation in Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 ranking.

November 11, 2014 (San Diego)-- Just in time for Veterans Day, Military Times has released their annual Best for Vets College rankings and San Diego State University is once again in the top 50.

EAST COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RESULTS: WARNER SPRINGS AND RAMONA RACES STILL TOO CLOSE TO CALL

 

By Janis Russell and Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A week after the election with 28,000 absentee and provisional ballots remaining to be counted countywide, two East County race remain too close to call.

SPLIT RESULTS ON EAST COUNTY SCHOOL BONDS

 

By Janis Russell

November 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)-  Cajon Valley, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, and Ramona’s school districts  all had school bond measures on the ballot. Each bond measure needed 55% of the votes to pass.  Lemon Grove’s school bond passed by a healthy margin.  Lakeside’s school bond narrowly won approval.  Cajon Valley and Ramona’s bonds appear to have failed by slim margins, though the Registrar of voters still has about 28,000 absentee and provisional ballots countywide left to count.  Below are details.

JROTC CADETS AT MOUNT MIGUEL & GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOLS HONOR VETERANS IN SERIES OF EVENTS

 

November 4, 2014 (Spring Valley)--Veterans were remembered with honor on the morning of Monday, November 3, as the JROTC Program at Mount Miguel High School held its 25th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony. Principal Steve Coover and retired JROTC Instructor Major John Bachmann were joined by parents and staff who witnessed the ceremony as more than 200 JROTC Cadets honored military personnel who have served our country throughout history.

FUTURE HIGH SCHOOL, SCHOOL SAFETY TOP ISSUES IN ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Left, Glenn Dickie.  Lou Russo did not respond to our request for a candidate photo.

October 25, 2014 (Alpine) – Six candidates are running for the Alpine Union School District: Michael Beraud, Glenn Dickie, Nina Gould, Al Guerra, Lou Russo, and Eric Wray.  We sent a questionnaire to all six of them over a week ago. Only two responded by deadline: Lou Russo and incumebent Glenn Dickie. (If others respond later, we will post their replies at the end of this story, so check back.)

Dickie says he strongly backs building an Alpine High School and wants to help the AUSD through unification with the Grossmont District to build the Alpine High School. Russo says he would only support unification if it is the only way for Alpine to meet its goals.

Both candidates have had children ho attended district schools.  Both platforms include financial accountability.  Both candidates are conservatives though Dickie has the County Republican Party endorsement.  Dickie has a degree in finance and career experience that includes accounting and information technology. Russo, a former Marine and ex-teacher, has made school safety the number one plank in his platform and called for armed guards on campuses. Dickie also supports safe schools but has other approaches in mind. Dickie wants to start a summer learning program and sees declining enrollment, implementing Common Core standards and increasing technology in the classroom as important issues.

Below are their responses in full.

ALPINE TAXPAYERS AND ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT SUE GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

Forum on unification of Alpine, Grossmont districts set for Oct. 20 in Alpine

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (Alpine) – Two lawsuits have been filed against the Grossmont Union High School District this week over its failure to fund construction of an Alpine High School. The litigation was filed by Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability (ATBA) along with individual Alpine taxpayer plaintiffs who allege waste and misuse of Propositions H and U bond funds under the California Code of Civil Procedure. The ATBA law suit was filed simultaneously with an action by the Alpine Union School District (AUSD). Both suits seekan injunction to prevent the further expenditure of Prop H and Prop U bond funds until a decision is rendered by the State Board of Education in the coming months on how GUHSD assets will be allocated with regard to Alpine’s proposed unification of its school district. 

Amid the controversy, a forum on the proposed unification of the GUHSD and Alpine Union School District organized by supporters of unification is scheduled for Monday, October 20th at 6:30 p.m. at Alpine Elementary School’s auditorium, 1950 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE RACE PITS RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVE AGAINST SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2014 (San Diego)--One of the more colorful election contests locally this year is a race for a seat on the San Diego Community College Board of Trustees between Donna Woodrum, a religious conservative, and  Maria Neito Senour, a professor with a commitment to social justice and diversity.

LA MESA SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES SPEAK WITH ECM

 

 

By Janis Russell

October 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)- Four candidates are running for the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board. They are incumbents  Bob Duff, Jerry Lecko and Rick Winet, and newcomer David Chong in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. (See the district map: http://www.lmsvsd.k12.ca.us/cms/lib2/CA01001633/Centricity/Domain/184/MAP-Schools.pdf).

ECM spoke with Superintendent Brian Marshall about the issues the district is facing. Marshall cited the budget, implementation of academic and innovative programs, wages, and bringing technology into classrooms.

GOVERNOR VETOES FUNDS FOR UC AND CSU CAMPUSES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2014 (Sacramento)—Governor Jerry Brown earlier pledged to sign a $100 million funding bill for the University of California and California State University systems ($50 mlilion each)—but only if property tax revenues met or exceeded projections.

FRESHMAN CLASS IS HIGHEST-ACHIEVING IN SDSU HISTORY

 

The most competitive applicant pool in SDSU history has yielded its highest achieving freshman class

October 3, 2014 (San Diego)--The numbers are in and San Diego State University’s incoming class of freshmen is the highest-achieving in the history of the university.

GIRLS OUTSCORE BOYS IN SCHOOL GRADES WORLDWIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --Girls will be girls, and boys will be boys. That seems to be the finding of a new study that’s found dramatic differences between the genders when it comes to how kids learn.

EDUCATION ACTIVIST POSTS SITE ON GROSSMONT SCHOOL BOARD CONTROVERSIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A new website, www.GUHSDBoardCandidate.com, has been set up by critics of the Grossmont Union High School District Board to draw attention to controversies involving some board members seeking reelection.

LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO DEBUT BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION DOCUMENTARY FILM SEPT. 29

 

 

District-Sponsored Student Speech Contest commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision a huge success

September 26, 2014 (La Mesa)--Dr. Emma Turner, President of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board of Education, and the District Governance Team, will host a screening on September 29 featuring the First Annual Student Speech Contest held earlier this year.  The topic of the speeches was “60 Years Later: What is the Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education?”

SDSU ROCKS THE VOTE

 

Last day to register for Nov. 4 election is Oct. 20

September 23, 2014 (San Diego) - San Diego State University's Rock the Vote campaign  officially launched this week and will continue through Election Day on Nov 4.  To kick off the campaign on Sept. 23, Associated Students hosted a barbecue on campus with live music, free food, and voter registration tables.  Students can also register to vote online at SDSU.edu/Rockthevote.

ADVANCED TRAINING ASSOCIATES HOSTS GRADUATION CEREMONY AT RONALD REAGAN CENTER

 

September 17, 2014 (El Cajon)--Advanced Training Associates, an accredited private college that provides training in medical and business occupations to civilians, veterans and active duty military located in El Cajon, CA, hosted the largest graduation ceremony in the school’s history on September 9.

SD UNIFIED TO FEDS: THANKS, BUT NO "TANKS"

 

September 19, 2014 (San Diego)—You won’t be seeing an armored vehicle on San Diego Unified School District campuses after all. The District has decided to return a Mine Resistant  Ambush Protected Vehicle, or MRAP, that had been donated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

GUHSD SUPERINTENDENT ISSUES STATEMENT ON UNIFICATION; ALPINE EDUCATION LEADER RESPONDS WITH REBUTTAL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: GUHSD Superintendent Ralf Swenson

September 18, 2014 (Alpine)—The Grossmont Union High School District Board (GUHSD) has passed a resolution opposing the proposed Alpine unification initiative.  Now, Superintendent Ralf Swenson has issued a statement to media voicing disappointment that a County committee has approved the unification measure and sent it on to the State Board of Education to take action. He wants to see all voters in the district have a say on unification, not just voters in Alpine. 

In his letter, Swenson claims a unified Alpine district won’t be able to afford to build and operate a high school offering programs comparable to those in the Grossmont district but insists that the GUHSD can’t afford to build the school, either.  Moreover, he  claims that the GUHSD remains 2,400 students below the “trigger” that the district has set for enrollment and that further declines are projected, making the likelihood that the district would ever build the promised 12th high school for Alpine appear to be virtually zero.

His letter has sparked a heated response, including a rebuttal from education leader Bill Weaver debunking dubious claims made by the Superintendent. Weaver has previously co-chaired education and business commitees for both the East County and Mountain Empire Chambers of Commerce.

DISTRICT RECEIVES NATIONAL DIVERSITY AWARD

 

State’s only community college district to net 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

September 17, 2014 (El Cajon) - The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Tuesday received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award, a national honor recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

MINIMUM SCHOOL DAYS DUE TO HEAT

 

Sep. 14, 2014 (San Diego) The San Diego Unified School District has announced that schools will be on minimum school day tomorrow due to the heat. These will be schools without 100 percent air conditioning.

CHIEF JUSTICE OF CALIFORNIA ADDRESSES UCSD ALUMNI ON NEED FOR CIVICS EDUCATION

 

By Nadin Abbott

September 11, 2014 (San Diego)--California Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Tani Cantil-Sakauye addressed UCSD alumni at the Symphony Towers in downtown San Diego today. She emphasized the need to teach civics to students. She believes it is critical “to educate so people can better understand what the branch does and why we do it.”

UC SAN DIEGO NAMED NATION'S 8TH BEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY BY U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

 

Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

September 9, 2014 (San Diego) - The University of California, San Diego is ranked the 8th best public university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The publication’s 2015 Best Colleges guidebook, released today, ranks UC San Diego the 37th best university in the U.S. among more than 200 public, private and for-profit institutions.

DIVERSITY DIALOGUE CONTINUE TO ENGAGE AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE: SERIES STARTS SEPT. 17, RUNS THROUGH NOV. 12

 

September 8, 2014 (Rancho San Diego)--The power of music. People of different generations working together. Disabilities that go unrecognized. Talking to your kids about diversity. These topics and more will be covered over the fall semester in six workshops at Cuyamaca College’s Diversity Dialogues, a series now in its third year that focuses on a variety of diversity awareness and social justice issues.

HELIX MUSIC PROGRAM HOLDS REHEARSE-A-THON TO RAISE FUNDS FOR COMPETITIVE SEASON

 

Community asked to sponsor a student for $50 each

September 7, 2014 (La Mesa)--On Saturday, September 13th, the students and staff of the Helix Highlander Band and Color Guard have committed to a 12 hour practice challenge for their annual Rehearse-A-Thon, raising money while perfecting their competitive show.

ANTI-SEMITIC GRAFFITI FOUND AT SDSU

 

Provided by The Times of San Diego and San Diego Jewish World, both members of the San Diego Online News Association (SDONA)

September 6, 2014 (San Diego)--A person who was held by campus police after authorities found a San Diego State building marred by graffiti, including swastikas, was described by an SDSU spokeswoman on Wednesday, Sept. 3,  as a “54-year-old man from Santee who has known mental issues and was off his medication.”

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