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Roundtable: Courts Get Cut, Teachers Stay Employed, Kreep Becomes Judge

Mark Sauer, senior news editor at KPBS, and U-T San Diego reporter Greg Moran talk to KPBS about the week's news.

Guests:

Greg Moran, UT San Diego

Kyla Calvert, Education Reporter, KPBS News

Dave Maass, San Diego CityBeat

Transcript

SD Courts Get Whacked: The budget for San Diego County Superior Court will be cut by 21 percent next year. The cuts open questions about public safety and access to justice in San Diego County.

The list of closures and cuts for FY 2013 is startling:

--Ten courtrooms will close, including six criminal courtrooms downtown.

--Probate court and a juvenile dependency court in Vista will close and cases will be transferred downtown.

--The system will layoff 75 personnel this year and another 90 in FY 2014.

--Business offices will close to the public every Friday at noon.

--The court will no longer provide court reporters for civil cases; litigants must pay to have transcripts made themselves.

--Employees must take two furlough days a month.

More drastic cuts are expected for FY 2014.

No judges will lose their jobs or salaries, which are constitutionally protected.

SDUSD, Teachers' Union Reach Agreement: Most of the 1,500 planned layoffs at the San Diego Unified School District have been prevented by the tentative agreement reached this week by the school board and the San Diego Education Association, the teachers’ union.

The deal calls for teachers to defer a 7 percent planned raise next year and to extend the district’s five furlough days for two more years.

SDEA President Bill Freeman told KPBS that the teachers chose to give up what they don’t yet have in order for others to keep what they do have.

The agreement was also notable because it took so long for the teachers to engage in talks and because of a board member's call to the district to declare insolvency.

Kreep Elected Judge: Gary Kreep, an attorney who doesn’t believe President Obama is a U.S. citizen, was elected to a judgeship in San Diego County Superior Court.

With almost all outstanding votes counted, Kreep maintained an insurmountable lead this week.

The San Diego County Bar Association declared Kreep unqualified for the position. To some, Kreep's election raises questions about how much the public knows about judicial candidates, whether the press was asleep at the wheel, whether judges should be elected at all and what difference judges’ personal beliefs should make to their qualifications for office.

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