Shelli DeRobertis 5:08 p.m., June 19
Filner releases education plan
Mayoral hopeful Bob Filner yesterday released a multi-point education plan that focuses on increasing the city’s involvement in the lives of children and families away from school, as well as developing closer connections to various local agencies that have responsibility for local schoolchildren.
“There is a clear need for mayoral leadership in this area,” said Filner in The Daily Transcript. “Locally my governing mantra will be a city, not just a school system, but a city has to be responsible for its children.”
Filner explained that three different agencies with little coordination are responsible for students’ daily lives: San Diego Unified School District focuses on education while the city is responsible for safety and recreation and the county handles health and social service issues. His plan calls for the creation of a youth development office that would identify gaps in service and opportunities for the different entities to collaborate.
Other items in Filner’s plan call for the creation of an internship and apprentice program for teens and young adults, restoration of a 2000 ordinance directing six percent of the city’s general fund dollars to libraries, establishing a San Diego Education Foundation to raise money for schools, and the issuance of free student transit passes to use Metropolitan Transit System buses and trolleys to get to and from school.
City Council president Tony Young attended Filner’s press conference and backed the plan. This is his third such appearance, as he also showed up in support of a plan presented by third-place primary finisher Nathan Fletcher and again last month to show approval for Filner opponent Carl DeMaio’s call for an education stakeholder summit to address disparities in school performance between council districts. Young, however, has yet to actually endorse a candidate, saying he’s “trying to push the issues” by withholding his endorsement for the time being.
Filner, whose political career started on the San Diego Unified school board, didn’t leave the conference without a potshot at DeMaio, who he says has only recently begun talking about education as a means to appeal to moderate voters.
“Show me a statement in four years as a councilmember where he ever said education is important,” he said. “He discovers these things after four years, so I don’t trust anything he says.”