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Filner’s New Education Plan Touts Coordination Between City, Schools

Aired 9/7/12 on KPBS News.

The city of San Diego doesn’t have much power over the local school board. But a lot of voters have kids in school, so it becomes an issue politicians weigh in on.

— Democratic Congressman and mayoral candidate Bob Filner’s newly released education plan focuses on the idea that San Diego has a responsibility to take care of the children living here. He said right now the city, the county and the schools all deal with kids, but in different ways. He said that has to change.

"Each agency works within silos, as we say. They seldom work together, seldom cooperate," Filner said. "The result, of course, is a lower quality of education for our children, lack of coordination, gaps in the delivery of services that our children need. There is a clear need for mayoral leadership in this area."

Among other things, Filner’s plan calls for creating training and internship programs for students, supporting branch libraries and parks and establishing the San Diego Education Foundation to raise money for local schools.

Filner’s opponent in the mayor’s race, Republican City Councilman Carl DeMaio, has also addressed education. At a recent debate, he spoke of the need to enlist cultural institutions to provide for students.

"Arts and culture programs are so critical to the after school programs I want to restore," he said. "So that our kids are not exposed to these bad influences, that we have programs to keep them occupied and focus their energies, from the hours of, not only 3 to 6, but 3 to 9, because mom and dad may not get back until that late."

Both candidates are attempting to reach out to moderate voters as they sprint toward Election Day. They have at least 20 debates scheduled between now and November.

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