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Report: Young Black Students Suspended At Higher Rate In San Diego Unified And More Local News

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A new study published by researchers at San Diego State University details the disparities in test scores and school discipline for black students at San Diego Unified School District. Plus, a program in LA, and across the state, finds homes for the chronically homeless. Turns out, putting them in an apartment saves money for taxpayers. And, President Trump is criticizing Gov. Gavin Newsom over the handling of wildfires. How Trump's threat to hold up emergency funding could affect San Diego.

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Tuesday, November 5th. I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. A new study from San Diego state details test score disparities for black students at San Diego unified and a program in LA and across the state lines, homes for the chronically homeless

Speaker 2: 00:19 when somebody is really vulnerable living out on the street. Um, they are costing a lot of money just by visits to the ER.

Speaker 1: 00:26 That more coming up right after the break. A new study published by researchers at San Diego state university details the disparities and test scores and school discipline for black students at San Diego unified school district. KPBS education reporter Joe Hong spoke with a researcher and the district about what parents should take away from this report.

Speaker 3: 00:52 The report when they teach us the education of black children in San Diego is described as a brief for parents of black students along with persisting historical achievement gaps. The study found the biggest disparity and suspension rates exist for boys in kindergarten through third grade. In the 2017 2018 school year, a black male student in these grades was nearly four times as likely to be suspended than his classmates. Muhammad OBD-II is an academic success coach at SDSU and one of the coauthors of the study.

Speaker 2: 01:20 They are young children. They should not be getting suspended specially in kindergarten through third grade. These are the early years where they learn and good practices start yelling

Speaker 3: 01:29 in response to these finding San Diego unified board. President Sharon White, her's Payne said both parents and the district need to do their part.

Speaker 4: 01:37 One of the things that I've encouraged a system to do this district to do is to continue to look for ways that they can help teachers to work with children who have special needs, who, who may be on acting in a different way than what they expect.

Speaker 3: 01:55 White hairs, pain, urge parents to enroll their children in preschool to better prepare them for the classroom setting. Joe Hong K PBS news,

Speaker 1: 02:03 how speaker Nancy Pelosi participated in a forum with San Diego. Congressman Mike Levin. Monday afternoon, KPBS reporter Shalina Celani says, Polosi discussed ethics in politics.

Speaker 5: 02:15 Pelosi came to Oceanside to rally support for a house resolution one or the for the people act. The bill targets things like partisan district gerrymandering and illegal foreign assistance to politicians. Pelusi didn't specifically talk about impeachment of president Trump, but when asked whether Republicans would comply with the investigation, Pelosi said they ought [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 02:36 to any of the people who do not respond to a request from Congress, uh, maybe engaging in obstruction of justice so they're not making their case any clearer.

Speaker 5: 02:46 She also showed her support for Democrat Levin, who's running for reelection of the 49th congressional district seat next year. Shalina chat, Lani KPBS news

Speaker 1: 02:55 San Diego County will have new satellite voting offices for the March primary election. KPBS reporter Prius for either explains Monday, the San Diego board of supervisors held an unscheduled meeting to cast their second vote on whether to fund for satellite voting offices. There'll be extensions of the registrar's office where citizens can register and vote on election day. The registrar of voters. Michael WGU says the County needs the offices to comply with the new state law that allows same day voting registration at all polling stations across California.

Speaker 6: 03:28 The data shows the experience shows and my 23 years of experience also shows that this is going to be an issue

Speaker 1: 03:37 having four satellite offices that can process registration in addition to the registrar of voters office can hopefully make the lines more manageable. At the 1600 polling stations across the County, two supervisors oppose the measure calling the state law an unfunded mandate. Priya [inaudible] K PBS news. Once again, president Trump is criticizing governor Gavin Newsom over the handling of wildfires. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman has more on Trump's threat to hold up emergency funding and the possible local impact.

Speaker 7: 04:10 Over the weekend, Trump criticized Newsome and California saying when the state has fires, it looks for federal aid, but no more.

Speaker 8: 04:16 There's nothing you can do to prevent those fires once they get started.

Speaker 7: 04:19 Bill Paskel is chief of the Alpine fire protection district. He says, federal money is key for helping tackle wildfires.

Speaker 8: 04:24 We need federal dollars to help that happen. Because none of the, none of our small communities can afford to pay for these.

Speaker 7: 04:29 PepsiCo says losing federal funds would mean fewer crews available to fight fires.

Speaker 8: 04:33 That would mean a lot of the smaller agencies like mine, a small cities that send resources to help mitigate these large campaign fires or large natural disasters wouldn't be able to do that because they wouldn't, um, be reimbursed for their time and efforts. I mean, those firefighters up there to those incidents,

Speaker 7: 04:50 Newsome responded to Trump's tweets by saying, you don't believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation. Matt Hoffman, K PBS news,

Speaker 1: 04:57 despite Trump's threat to cut fire assistance, I CallFire spokesman says, there's been no official word that the state is losing aid. Our California dream collaboration is looking for solutions to some of California's most pressing problems in this case, homelessness and a project going on across the state that saves taxpayer money by housing the most homeless people. Those who cycle from the street to the ER and back again. K P cc's met to NOCO reports from Los Angeles on the program. In that city called housing for health.

Speaker 6: 05:33 Ebony Palmer is finally beginning to calm down. The paranoia went down tremendously though. She's only 25 she's already spent years homeless. About a year ago, she became one of the lucky ones who the LA homeless service system matched with housing is the first time she's felt secure in a long time. Like when I moved here, I had them changed the windows cause I thought someone was going to come in and get me the byproduct of a traumatic spent living in hotel rooms for car and on friends' floors. She was a foster child and she grew up in South LA. She fell into prostitution, which was her main mode of survival during her teens and early twenties now she lives in a two bedroom unit in a dingy mid century apartment building in Pomona. Her two kids are there too. It was when she became pregnant with her second child that she realized she needed to change her situation.

Speaker 6: 06:22 My main focus was this, where is this baby gonna live? She knew she couldn't raise her in a hotel room, so she started looking for help. There's gotta be something for pregnant and homeless, former foster youth like there has to be. She got a case manager and was matched to a County program called housing for health. It's a public intervention that covers rent for people who are or could quickly become the so called high utilizers. Those who cycle endlessly through the medical and justice systems. It's the LA Vanguard of the States whole person care pilot program, which does similar things in more than two dozen California counties, so she has stable housing now as do her two children who would have likely wound up in County custody if she kept on being homeless.

Speaker 9: 07:06 Yes, we got someone off the street so they're safer, but we've also provided an environment where those children can develop to the highest potential possible.

Speaker 6: 07:15 John [inaudible] is the CEO of LA care. The managed medical program in Los Angeles County. LA care provides millions of dollars for housing for health. The core problem is that there's little to keep the very poorest Californians who can't keep up with the cost of living from falling down to the street. This is Sarah Megan who works for housing for health. It sort of seems like the homeless system becomes the safety net of last resort. Housing for health is part of that system and an attempt to make up for decades of cuts to the American social safety net. It provides housing assistance for about 11,000 people and that provides something else, a steady mailing address so that the formerly homeless can consistently access what's left of that safety net. The biggest sell is how it saves taxpayer money. This is Libby boys housing for health program director. When somebody really vulnerable living out on the street, um, they are costing a lot of money just by visits to the ER.

Speaker 6: 08:07 Ambulance rides, police interventions like Ebony, she says she'd gone to jail at least six times for prostitution and was on the cusp of becoming chronically homeless for that person. It is cheaper to help them. A study by the Rand corporation of Las housing for health programs specifically found that for every dollar invested in the program, LA County saved a dollar 20. It costs less to cover someone's rent than it is to pay for their medical bills while they deteriorate on the street outside. The biggest challenge though is just the supply of cheap housing in California is largely non-existent. Even if you have a voucher, it's very hard to find somewhere to use it. Here's elec Harris Backus again.

Speaker 9: 08:45 Well, right now we're not helping on the supply side. We're doing a little bit on the demand side.

Speaker 6: 08:51 Ebony doesn't have to worry about that anymore. Instead, she can focus on baby daughter Zuri

Speaker 1: 08:56 and she's got big plans for her upcoming birthday.

Speaker 10: 08:59 Cause now I have a budget and I've been saving and I've been planning, so now I'm able to do that. Give her her first birthday party and I'm really proud of myself.

Speaker 1: 09:07 She says it's her first year in many of not being homeless from Los Angeles. I met Matt Tinoco, that's it for San Diego news matters today. Consider supporting this podcast by becoming a KPBS member today. Just go to

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San Diego News Now

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.