By Pat Washington, PhD
Political and Education Advocacy Consultants
Assemblymember Marty Block authored two bills, AB 2401 and AB 2402 that cleared a major hurdle when they passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 29th.These bills will help restore guaranteed admissions for local students who meet California State University requirements.
June 4, 2010 marks the new deadline that looms ahead. All bills introduced this year must be out of their house of origin no later than next Friday, June 4. If the Assembly does not approve AB 2401 and AB 2402 them by that date, they die.
Creative learning model is part of agenda at June 8 forum on Alpine's new high school
By Megan Werland
Alpine resident and member of the 12th HS Design Team
May 29, 2010 (Alpine) -- On June 8th, the GUHSD’s 12th High School Design Team will introduce its curriculum and architectural design to the community of Alpine and Blossom Valley (BV).
People will see innovation that will inspire them and may even make them a little nervous. Because after all, a school of the future will not look like the high school we attended when we were younger. Not to worry, parents!
May 29, 2010 (Alpine) – Grossmont Union High School District will host a forum on Alpine’s planned new high school on Tuesday, June 8 at 6 p.m. in the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Boulevard in Alpine. Residents from throughout the Grossmont Union High School are welcome to attend. While boundaries for the new school’s attendance are still being finalized, parents from Alpine and Blossom Valley are particularly encouraged to participate in the forum.
Speakers will include GUHSD superintendent Bob Collins, assistant superintendent mike Lewis, facility planner and project lead Dena Johnson, director of instruction Cindy Douglas, as well as the architectural team from IBI Group/Sprotte-Watson and the GUHSD design team.
Update: Rick Powell won the Republican primary and will face off against Democratic Assemblyman Marty Block in November.
EDUCATION IS KEY ISSUE IN THE RACE
May 27, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Two military veterans square off in a Republican primary in the 78th Assembly District. Republican Emma Turner, a 27-year Navy veteran, is president of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board and says she’s running to fight for more funding forpublic schools, particularly K-12 education.
Col. Rick Powell, who also has a distinguished military career, thinks the answer to education is not more money for public schools, but instead providing vouchers and supporting charters that would let parents use public funds to send their children to private schools.
The winner in the GOP primary will run against Assemblyman Marty Block, an educator and former San Diego State University administrator who now chairs the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Block has championed education causes, particularly efforts to help college students and their families.
The 7th Annual Golf Classic, sponsored by the Santee Chamber of Commerce and the Santee School District Foundation, will be held on Tuesday, June 29, 2010, at the Carlton Oaks Country Club. Tee time is at 12:00 p.m.
The funds from this event are used to provide resources for the visual and performing arts and technology for students in the Santee School District.
May 25, 2010 (San Diego) -- Students from the Renewable Energy Leadership Institute (RELI) demonstrated their newly-learned skills to the San Diego Unified School District Board today, unveiling an electric go-cart and solar charging station.
The RELI pilot program was conceived under leadership of school board member Shelia Jackson to generate excitement among high school students about career opportunities in the renewable energy industry.
May 20, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will host a farewell party for Grossmont Union High School District Superintendent Robert Collins at Hooley's Irish Pub in Grossmont Center. Festivities start at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 4th. The public is welcome to attend.
May 19, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – One week after signing a controversial immigration bill that opponents fear will lead to racial profiling by allowing police to question anyone believed to be in the U.S. illegally, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed a new bill that outlaws ethnic-studies programs in public schools. The move has sparked outrage among some educators and students, while drawing praise from other quarters.
TRIBAL LEADER TO ALPINE SCHOOL NAMING COMMITTEE: REAGAN SHOWED “OUTRIGHT CONTEMPT FOR NATIVE AMERICANS”
May 19, 2010 (Alpine) – Short of smoke signals, Viejas Vice Chairman Robert “Cita” Welch couldn’t have delivered a stronger message to members of a committee appointed by the Grossmont Union High School Board to recommend names for a planned new high school in Alpine. Despite a “long and proud tradition” of working with the District, Viejas has "increasing concerns" over a proposal to name the school after Ronald Reagan, Welch said.
"Your actions WILL have an impact on our future relationship with the district," he told committee members, then added that former President Reagan “is NOT well-regarded in Indian Country. At best he didn’t really care too much about Native Americans. At worst—and in some well-documented cases—he showed outright contempt for Native Americans. This should matter to each of you."
May 19, 2010 (El Cajon)—After advancing through two phases of competition, the Mount Miguel High School JROTC leadership team will participate in the final Championship round of the 2010 Army JROTC Leadership Symposium in Washington, D.C. at George Mason University, June 25-29, 2010. This event is sponsored by the Army JROTC and conducted by College Options Foundation.
The Mount Miguel High School JROTC team competed in two rounds of competitive online play against thousands of JROTC students from across the world to win a place in the championship and the trip to DC.
May 18, 2010 (San Diego) – Pazzaz, a nonprofit organization focused on helping under-achieving students attain academic success, will host two events to benefit disadvantaged students in the southeast San Diego region. On May 22, a pancake breakfast will raise funds for college scholarships. Then on June 26, the 12th annual Salute to Rising Stars Achievement Celebration will provide hope and determination to students to succeed in school and life.
May 18, 2010 (Poway) – By a unanimous 5-0 decision, Poway Unified School District’s board last night voted to eliminate all school busses for the 2010-2011 school year, with the exception of special education transportation. The District, which faces a $25 million budget gap, estimates the move will save $750,000.
The decision raises serious concerns about student safety, coming on the heels of the murders of Poway High School student Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, who was kidnapped while walking to school in Escondido.
May 18, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – An estimated 800 to 900 teachers and supporters demonstrated in front of the Grossmont Union High School District board meeting on May 13th to protest proposed cuts in salary and health benefits.
Wearing red T-shirts, marchers carried umbrellas to urge that trustees spend “rainy day” reserves. Teachers, counselors, parents and others shouted “It’s raining, it’s pouring and class size is soaring!” The district is facing huge deficits due largely to state budget cuts in education.
May 18, 2010 (Alpine) -- A committee appointed by the Grossmont Union High School District to come up with naming suggestions for the district's 12th high school will meet Wednesday, May 19 at 5 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd.
The District has failed to respond to East County Magazine's written request last week for at least 24 hours notification of the naming committee meeting, as is required by law under the Ralph M. Brown Act. The GUHSD has drawn criticism from the Union-Tribune for loading up the naming committee with a majority of Republican politicians and party operatives in an apparent effort to push through a proposed Ronald Reagan High School name.
Diamond Sponsor Viejas also honored with special award
May 16, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) – Huindreds turned out at the Cuyamaca College Foundation dinner last night to honor past presidents and raise money for student scholarships.
“This place has grown up. It’s a wonderful, beautiful campus that is fulfilling its role in our community,” said former Dr. Samuel Ciccati, one of four former presidents present at the event, titled “Shine On.”
Jazz 88.3 FM, Coles Fine Flooring Team Up to Collect Donated Instruments
SAN DIEGO (May 14, 2010) – Music Matters has been a five-year duet to benefit students of San Diego and inspire future generations of musicians. Throughout May, Jazz 88.3 FM and Coles Fine Flooring are collaborating on their fifth annual Music Matters drive to collect musical instruments. Flutes, violins and other instruments are refurbished and repaired by the Community Council for Music in the Schools (CCMS), a nonprofit organization. CCMS places the instruments with music teachers in San Diego Unified School District (including elementary, middle and high schools) for loan to students in school music classes, bands and orchestras. All donations are tax deductible.
GIPPERGATE: PUSH TO NAME ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL FOR REAGAN SPARKS COMPLAINTS OVER SCHOOL BOARD'S TACTICS
Board meets May 13; Critics slam GUHSD for secretly stacking advisory board with conservative political figures
May 12, 2010 (Alpine) – Why doesn’t the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) want the public to be given the names of people appointed to serve on a committee to name Alpine’s planned new high school?
“It’s a secret that East county’s high school district evidently would prefer you didn’t know,” stated a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial. The GUHSD board forced the newspaper to file an official public records act request to obtain committee members' names. The list suggests the GUHSD trustees hand-picked political figures, a large majority of whom support naming the new school after former president Ronald Reagan.
Update: This bill was sent to the suspension file, which likely means it will not win passage this session.
May 11, 2010 (San Diego) – San Diego State University (SDSU) president Stephen Weber sparked campus-wide protests when he announced elimination of guaranteed admissions for local students who meet California State University (CSU) requirements, dashing dreams of a college education for many who can't afford to live away from home.
Now Assemblyman Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove) has authored AB 2401, a bill that would mandate that all CSU campuses give priority to local students. The measure is set for hearing tomorrow in the Assembly Appropriations Committee--and backers are seeking public support.
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE ACTS TO KEEP TEXAS CURRICULUM CHANGES BACKED BY RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES OUT OF CALIFORNIA TEXTBOOKS
May 10, 2010 (Sacramento) – By a unanimous vote and with broad bipartisan support, the Senate Committee on Education passed legislation on April 21 to ensure that California textbooks will not contain changes made in Texas. In March, the Texas State Board of Education approved extreme right-wing curriculum changes. Due to the number of public school students in the state, textbook manufacturers are expected to make changes that could drastically influence textbooks throughout the country.
By Rachel Ford
May 10, 2010 (New Jersey) -- Imagine switching compost bins instead of sides on the tennis court? Planting vegetables in place of goals in the net. That’s exactly what Princeton High School kids in New Jersey are doing. In an elective program, they can choose to take Gardening in place of traditional PE classes.
COURT OKS STATE TO RAID LOCAL REDEVELOPMENT FUNDS TO BALANCE BUDGET & HELP SCHOOLS; DECISION IRES SOME OFFICIALS
May 6, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A Sacramento County Superior Court ruled last week in favor of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to raid more than $2 billion from local redevelopment funds. The Governor wants to transfer those monies to school operations.
“La Mesa will take a hit of $1,200,000.00,” La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid told East County Magazine in an e-mail.
May 4, 2010 (El Cajon ) – The Grossmont Union High School district board has called a special meeting for Thursday, May 6 at 4 p.m. to discuss search procedures for a new superintendent to replace Robert Collins, who is retiring in June.
Helix executive director Doug Smith to retire June 30; Charter renewed for 5 years
By Miriam Raftery
April 30, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Grossmont Union High School District and Helix Charter High School Boards have reached a settlement of all issues, the district has announced.
Watchdog group oversees construction bond expenditures
April 23, 2010 (El Cajon)--With three seats on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Citizens Bond Oversight Commitee to be filled in July, civic-minded East County residents are invited to apply for the openings by the May 27, 2010 deadline.
April 21, 2010 (El Cajon)--Just two days before their graduation, fire academy recruits will be demonstrating their firefighting skills for several Heartland Fire Chiefs, family members and for the media, at the Heartland Fire Training Facility, at 1301 North Marshall in El Cajon, from 10-11 a.m.
Students Advance to Global Competition in May that Focuses on Creativity, Problem-Solving, Teamwork
El Cajon, CA – April 13, 2010 -- Two teams from Granite Hills High School won first place in events against 150 other teams from across California at the Destination ImagiNation (DI) State Finals in San Jose, CA, last Saturday, April 10. All thirteen students will now represent California in the Destination ImagiNation Global Finals at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in May, competing against over 1,000 teams from around the world.
April 16, 2010 (Poway) – Faced with a budget crunch, the Poway Unified School Board will consider elimination of regular education transportation at the Poway Unified School District school board meeting on Monday, April 19. Cutting out buses would mean 3,300 Poway Unified students would have to find an alternative way to get to school.
April 10, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Grossmont Union High School District trustee Gary Woods has asked the board to rescind plans to hold a public hearing and vote April 15 on naming the new Alpine high school after Ronald Reagan. Instead, Woods is calling for establishment of a committee to receive naming recommendations from the public.
GUHSD TO HOLD HEARING APRIL 15 ON PROPOSAL TO NAME SCHOOL AFTER REAGAN
By Bill Weaver, Chairman, Alpine High School Citizens Committee
April 8, 2010 (Alpine) -- There has been correspondence accusing the Alpine High School Citizens Committee (AHSCC) of having name bias, and of being anti President Ronald Reagan. The AHSCC does not take a position on the naming of our high school, other than supporting (1993) Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Board police #7310, without exception, and nobody representing the AHSCC promotes an anti-President Ronald Reagan position.
The AHSCC's non-scientific sampling of area residents (www.ahscc.com), suggests that less than 10% of Alpine support's the GUHSD March 11th Board action to deviate from the original BP#7310.
Update: This class has been cancelled due to low enrollment. For info on future classes, contact Walter Davis via the information in the story below.
Social networking, digital movies and photo editing on the agenda
April 12, 2010 -- Want to learn technical skills for effective use of media? Walter Davis, founder of Marketing Strategies of California and the Citizens Internet TV Network, is offering a free technology class April 13 from10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sudanese Community Center, 4077 Fairmont Avenue in San Diego. Classes are free, though a donation of $5 to $10 is suggested.