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Roundtable: Health Care in California, Poway Says No, Charter Schools On The Rise

Poway Says No, Obamacare In Trouble, Charter Schools


Mark Sauer


Maya Srikrishnan, Reporter, Voice of San Diego

Kenny Goldberg, Health Reporter, KPBS News

Mario Koran, Education Reporter, Voice of San Diego


Will California Health Care Suffer Under Trump?

Californians are big users of the Affordable Care Act.

About 17 million in the Golden State benefit from Obamacare, either through Medi-cal or tax subsidies. The percentage of California adults without health care insurance dropped from 24 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2015.

It seems that just about every Republican holding – or about to hold - federal office, perhaps including Tom Price, the nominee for Health and Human Services, has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare.

So far, no replacement plan has been put forward. House Speaker Paul Ryan says there are lots of ideas, though.

Related: Consumer Advocates: Obamacare Repeal Would Be Disastrous For California

Poway To Vets: Get Lost

In a November meeting, after months of public hearings, the Poway City Council voted 3-2 to reject a small housing development.

This event might have gone unnoticed by the press, except for the nature of the project. It was a Habitat for Humanity development of 22 affordable, for-sale houses, primarily for veterans.

It was slated to be built on two-and-a-half acres that the city is legally obligated to use for affordable housing.

The objections of Poway citizens who showed up at community meetings over the summer were many - including increased traffic, increased density, decreased street parking and most significantly, the belief that low-income housing means an increase in crime.

Affordable housing is a tough sell in affluent communities. Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, an advocate for veterans, and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, who voted no for financial reasons, exchanged angry tweets over the issue.

Related: 'We Do Not Owe Them a House in Poway

Charter Schools Charting Upward?

There may be a debate over whether charter schools (independently run, publicly funded, open borders) are good for education, but not as far as Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Education is concerned.

Betsy DeVos is not only a fierce advocate of school choice and charter schools in particular, but she is an advocate for their operation without much oversight or regulation.

Since charter schools first arrived in San Diego in 1994, the city has seen a steady growth in numbers, as well as in the number of students who want to enroll.

Some charters in the San Diego Unified School District, like O'Farrell Charter School and Gompers Preparatory Academy, are outperforming public schools.

The argument against charter schools is highlighted by the NAACP’s recent call for a moratorium on charters because they believe a dual school system is unconstitutional. There is, however, big pushback from communities of color, who believe urban charter schools are outperforming public schools.

Some urban charters, in fact, have become the classic neighborhood school.

Related: In Southeastern San Diego, Charters Are The New Neighborhood Schools

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