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Universal pre-K on its way

 December 16, 2021 at 7:57 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Thursday, December 16th>>>>

The impacts of Free transitional kindergarten on childcare providersMore on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

Four new cases of Omicron covid-19 variant were reported in San Diego county on wednesday. The two previously reported cases of the variant were people who were fully vaccinated and had received booster shots, while the four new cases are people who were fully vaccinated but had not received booster shots. County public health officials say the delta variant is still the predominant strain spreading in San Diego. In the county’s latest data, more than 600 new covid-19 cases were reported on wednesday, and two additional deaths.


California’s new mask mandate went into effect on Wednesday. OSHA, the agency that regulates workplace safety, will soon decide whether or not to impose fines on businesses that do not enforce the rule on employees.

Todd Walters is the president of the local United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which represents 10,000 grocery, drug and retail workers in San Diego County.

“so it’s very real to them and I just think the public needs to understand that it’s not their fault, please don’t take it out on them we’re all on them, if you’re asked to wear the mask just put it on.”


Tuesday’s storm set records for the amount of rain received in a 24-hour period in parts of san diego county. Ramona, escondido and el cajon, just to name a few.

Here’s national weather service meteorologist Alex Tardy.

“i think it’s more important, more significant that all that occurred just in an hour or two.”

The San Diego river rose to nine-and-a-half feet, but did not spill over its banks. Tardy says we may get some more rain TONIGHT (Thursday night).


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

Soon, California public schools will offer free transitional kindergarten for all 4 years olds. It will be a big help to working parents. But KPBS reporter Tania Thorne tells us it may have unintended consequences for childcare providers.

Pamela Casas’s 4 year old goes to an in-home daycare. It costs her about $700 a month.

But by 2025, kids his age could go to free transitional kindergarten at their public schools.

But Casas doesn’t know what she will do.

“I worry that there’s not enough one on one attention so in that aspect I’d consider staying where I am at now.”

Some parents told KPBS the cost of their childcare exceeds their mortgage payment.

Casas’s payment isn’t that high, but she says she would continue paying out of pocket. That’s if she doesn’t like what is being offered at the public school.

“Is it going to be equitable across all districts? Because we already know the districts the way they are in CA there's a lot of disparities even in that.”

But not all parents have the luxury of choice.

“I think it’ll be a good thing for some families because at least it will decrease the cost but even though there's a cost benefit analysis, is it still the right choice?”

MAAC is a county wide organization that helps low income families with resources like full day childcare. CEO Arnulfo Manriquez says while universal TK is free, it will have a shorter schedule, which may not work for some families.

“The majority of our population don't have the structure of work, they are essential workers, and they have to be onsite for the most part, so that would that that's something that was very concerning for us. But it is important that the universal TK is out there. Needless to say, there’s still a huge need for it. ”

But he says if it’s run well, it will help prepare kids for the classroom environment in kindergarten.

Still, there may be unintended consequences to childcare providers.

“In mid August I lost about a third of my enrollment very unexpectedly, because the local elementary schools in our Community had suddenly opened up a late threes early four year old program.”

Holly Weber, the owner of Magic Hours Preschool, lost some kids to a new TK program in Mira Mesa.

Now, she has had to apply for a license to care for younger children to make up the loss.

But changes to her business aren’t her biggest concern.

“there were children that still had frequent accidents throughout the day. That that couldn't hardly express themselves to communicate and articulate their needs, those are very, very critical components in a child's life.We could talk about how this is going to affect businesses all day long, but what we need to really, really focus on. Is the developmental concerns and the generation of children that will stem from this.

Weber fears that school districts will be burdened with a new set of responsibilities.

“You know there's a reason why childcare centers have staff with very specialized education under for children birth through five years, as well as elementary staff have specialized credentials for teaching above five years of age and how its proposed to to mix those models I don't know I don't know….

Already, kids born between September and December get free TK. One teacher for that age group says for the program to work, schools need the proper resources. She asked that KPBS not use her name to protect her job.

“I am concerned about how the district is going to implement this and whether or not they have the staffing to provide the adequate support for all of the students that will be coming in. With the added extra students they would definitely need to get a lot more staff that have both the teaching credential and the early childhood education units.”

That despite school districts across the region facing massive staffing shortages. Public schools have until the 2025 school year to figure it out.


The preliminary hearing into the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard continued on Wednesday. KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh has the latest from the courtroom.

Seaman Apprentice Ryan Sawyer Mays is accused of arson and Hazarding a vessel. A federal National Response Team spent months combing through the fire scene. Defense experts, including a former federal fire investigator, questioned whether there was enough evidence to rule the fire an arson. Mays’ attorney Gary Barthel:“Seaman Mays is presumed innocent. He has maintained his innocence in regard to these allegations.” It has taken more than a year for prosecutors to bring this case into court. The Navy also produced a sailor who saw Mays heading to the deck where the fire started. Hearing officer, Capt. Angela Tang will now have to make a recommendation as to whether there is enough evidence to send Mays to a court martial for the July 2020 fire. Steve Walsh KPBS News.


On wednesday a new homeless shelter opened in the midway district as officials scramble to deal with rising numbers of people living on the streets and existing shelters nearing capacity.

KPBS’ Matt Hoffman visited the shelter and brings us this report. he starts with Alpha project CEO Bob Mcelroy.

An old department store off sports arena boulevard is the city’s newest homeless shelter.. It has 44 beds and is designed to help those with substance abuse or mental health conditions.

Nathan Fletcher, San Diego County Supervisor

We’re launching a new category a new program and effort to meet a need that is not presently being met

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher partnered with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria to make this specialized shelter a reality.

Todd Gloria, San Diego Mayor

The conditions on our streets are unacceptable no one here is happy with the conditions and that’s why in the middle of the pandemic we’re here working on creative solutions to get people off our streets

These 44 beds, I want San Diegans to know is just the beginning.

The city is paying for building and operating costs while the county is handling outreach and treatment efforts. Family health centers has been contracted to provide C-hart, or community harm reduction teams. While there is multi-year funding, the shelter is considered temporary as the property is part of the midway redevelopment plan. MH KPBS News.


The Oceanside Museum of Art opens its 5th Artist Alliance Biennial this Saturday. The juried exhibit was conceived to elevate the voices of Southern California artists and celebrate the best work from the museum's Artist Alliance.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando has this preview.

Alessandra Moctezuma is a professor of fine art and a curator with three decades of experience. As this year’s juror for the Oceanside Museum of Art’s Artist Biennial she had the daunting task of narrowing down the 900 submissions to the 61 pieces for the exhibit.

ALESSANDRA MOCTEZUMA: I really look at the unique vision that they have, the way that they deal with different topics or themes. And also what is innovative about how they approach a particular technique or media.

Moctezuma is excited to have people appreciate the diverse artistic styles in person at the Oceanside Museum of Art starting this Saturday. The exhibit runs till May of next year.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.


Coming up....we all know people are leaving California. In the past, the number of people leaving has usually been balanced by newcomers to the state. But during the pandemic, that changed. More on that, after the break.

The idea that California is too expensive, and that people are leaving, is an idea KPBS hears a lot, and for a long time now. But the question we're all trying to understand is just how many people are leaving. A new study out this week from the University of California finds that since the start of the pandemic more people are moving out of state than coming in.

One of the study’s authors is Evan White. He’s also the executive director of the California policy lab at UC Berkeley. He spoke with KPBS’ Cristina Kim on Midday Edition about the study and its findings. Here’s that interview.

So what exactly did your research show in terms of the number of people moving in and out of the state since March, 2020?

Speaker 3: (01:20)

Yeah. So since the start to the pandemic, uh, we saw that the state was losing population due to, uh, domestic migration. The big story is not that people are leaving it's that fewer people are coming. So entrances to California, since the pandemic began are down by nearly 40% now, exits are also somewhat up, but they're matching a pre pandemic trend, which was already showing that people were leaving, uh, California in small numbers. Uh, we're seeing this trend pretty much statewide. Um, every region in the state has had entrances go down by anywhere from 25 to 45%. Um, but we're seeing that it's especially pronounced in the San Francisco bay area.

Speaker 1: (02:04)

Why do you think that is? Why is the bay area kind of leading this right now?

Speaker 3: (02:07)

I would say that it's the jury's still out. Uh, we really don't know. We hope to do future, uh, future research on that question, but this report really just focuses on the numbers because a lot of, uh, the reports that have come out have been sort of speculative or the used data, that's not, uh, that's not very comprehensive. So we've tried to put some numbers to this debate.

Speaker 1: (02:26)

I wanna ask you about that data, but first I wanna turn to San Diego, how many people have left San Diego to move out of state and how many people are moving in compared to other years?

Speaker 3: (02:35)

Yeah, so our data show that over 30,000, uh, San Diegos have left the county for other states and only about 14,000, uh, moved in that's in the third quarter of 2021. The change since the beginning of the pandemic is that exits are up by 8%. But the biggest changes that entrances from other states into the, the county of San Diego are down by 39%.

Speaker 1: (03:00)

And what data did you use to measure where people are moving to and from? Yeah,

Speaker 3: (03:05)

So we used what we think is the most comprehensive data set that we've seen on this topic, which is data from one of the three nationwide credit bureaus. So when you take out a credit card or you have a, uh, a bank loan, uh, you, I provide your zip code to that, uh, lender, and they report it up to one of the credit bureaus. We use anonymized credit bureau data, um, to see, uh, whether people have changed their zip codes from one quarter to the next, we're able to see about 90% of adults in the state. Um, and so others who've used other data sources like the United States postal service data. This is a little bit more comprehensive and it's also, um, very up to date. So our numbers are through the end of September of 2021.

Speaker 1: (03:47)

I know there's a lot of focus on California losing a congressional seat due to population changes, but beyond that, why should people listening care about how many people are moving in or out of the state? Like, what does this tell us about our communities about politics? Why should people really be paying attention to this?

Speaker 3: (04:05)

Yeah, I think that's a really good question. I think people assume that losing population is sort of necessarily a bad thing and to be sure it has some negative consequences such as losing federal electoral power and federal funding, but I think there are other potential benefits, low population could decrease demand for housing, for example, and it, and thereby lowering housing prices. Uh, we saw a little bit of that at the beginning of the pandemic in San Francisco. Um, when rents went down, uh, it could also have labor market effects or impacts on, on tax revenues. So I think, you know, there's a lot of different ways. It could change things. I think the reason people are so drawn to this question is because influences their own perception of where they live. If they, they see other people leaving, they feel like maybe, maybe they should leave too or something like that. But, uh, I know for me personally, I, I love this state and the fact of people leaving or coming is not gonna change that

Speaker 1: (04:54)

In the last few years. It seems like we're always reading a study telling us about a potential California Exodus, but you say your research is in line with other university of California studies and doesn't find evidence of such an Exodus. How do you define and quantify an Exodus? And, and why do you think there's so much attention on kind of characterizing, you know, domestic migration this way?

Speaker 3: (05:17)

Yeah, it, it does seem like most weeks there's a story about people leaving California. Some of these stories, in my opinion, reflect somewhat of a conservative political bias, but some reflect genuine concerns with the livability of the state. Um, it's housing prices, it's homelessness crisis it's wildfires. We tried to bring some data, some actual data to this discussion and what our reports shows is it's really not as much about Cal eggs it as it is about Cal entrances. Uh, the bulk of the population loss from domestic migration is due to fewer people moving to the state, not not many people moving out of it. Um, so, um, you ask how we define an Exodus. I, I guess I'd look for a change in the rate of exits from the state, and we have not seen that go up. And in fact, in the early pandemic months that went down, um, although it's since rebounded to, to roughly the pre pandemic trend,

Speaker 1: (06:10)

Why is it important to kind of reframe the way we're thinking about inward and outward movements to really look at the fact that it's, that less people are moving into California? Does that reframe the issue or any potential policy points that we can make out of the data you're finding?

Speaker 3: (06:27)

I think in some ways it does, in some ways it doesn't. I think policy makers seem to be quite worried about population loss and they have to focus on both sides of that coin, keeping people, people here who are already here, but also attracting new residents. And so, because our study shows that there's so much more of a change on the entrances side, um, that could mean that California has to do a better job of marketing the state to non-California residents and trying to counter the narrative of, you know, prominent figures like Elon Musk can make a big show of leaving California, even though it factories are still here. And, uh, it may also mean improving conditions on the ground in terms of the things that matter to potential movers, things like high housing costs and homelessness and the business climate and wildfires. And I think that part is what hasn't changed because that is as true for people who live here as it is for people who we might wanna attract here. So

Speaker 1: (07:16)

You've mentioned this is the most comprehensive of dataset that you've been able to use in order to understand this phenomenon. What's next in terms of your research and questions you have as we move forward into 2022. Yeah.

Speaker 3: (07:28)

Well, we're gonna continue to monitor the trends. Um, so we'll see what changes in 2022. We also, uh, wanna take a, a closer look at the why questions to see if, and, uh, figure out what seems to be driving. Uh, these changes. Are we seeing people leave from higher cost areas or from areas where there's more availability of remote work options, or are we seeing people leave from areas where there's, um, a lot of wildfire risk. So trying to do some of that analysis to figure out the why of the question I think will be important to break through some of the high

Speaker 1: (07:59)

About this.

And that was Evan White, executive director of the California policy lab at UC Berkeley. He was speaking with KPBS’ Cristina Kim on Midday Edition.

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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California public schools will soon offer free transitional kindergarten for all 4 year olds. It will be a big help to working parents, but it may have unintended consequences for childcare providers. Meanwhile, a former Pier 1 Imports building in the Midway community has become the city’s latest homeless shelter. The city owned facility has 44 beds and will have 24-hour staffing through a contract with the San Diego Housing Commission. Plus, since the start of the pandemic, the number of people moving to California from other states has dropped by nearly 40%, according to a new study released by the California Policy Lab.