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Interim Schools Chief Calls For A New Sense Of Teamwork

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Aired 2/18/10

The San Diego Unified School District's interim superintendent says the district is in a state of transition but local schools remain strong. He's calling for a new, deeper sense of teamwork.

— The San Diego Unified School District's interim superintendent says the district is in a state of transition but local schools remain strong. He's calling for a new, deeper sense of teamwork.

San Diego school principals and other administrators gave William Kowba a standing ovation at their annual community breakfast.

Kowba is credited with bringing more transparency and honesty to district affairs. Some want him to be the permanent leader.

Kowba says San Diego Unified is in a "state of change" as a result of leadership and budgetary setbacks. He says the district is now relying on the community to influence high-level district decisions. That includes a new budget and a new superintendent. Kowba says it's time to focus on a new spirit of teamwork.

"We need to create a new broad based partnership strategy that brings more parents, more businesses and more community groups into our schools. We are at the beginning of a new and deeper team awareness," Kowba said.

District officials say more volunteers will be needed to keep programs going. Businesses will need to provide extra funding. And community groups will need to offer more partnerships.

Norma Trost is with the San Diego Kiwanis Club. She's happy the district wants to be a more united, community-friendly place. But Trost remains skeptical.

"I don't think public education can survive without community assistance and support. However, it has to be more than lip service. It has to be really meaningful," Trost said.

The district faces a projected $90 million state budget shortfall for next year. San Diego Unified's official State of the District address will be held next month.

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