Resolution on San Dieguito Union High School School District Board of Education meeting June 23 to accept San Diego County Board of Education redistricting map not approved, by vote of 2-2.
Administrators Julie Bronstein and Katrina Young, who had vigorously advocated for the county to resume the mapping process and had openly supported the county map, voted against the resolution, causing confusion, bewilderment and even anger.
When I asked them both why they had voted no, since they had given no reason for their opposition at the public council meeting, Young never answered and Bronstein’s only official answer was that she had no comment.
I asked one of the (many) school district attorneys for an explanation and never received a response.
I asked SDUHSD Acting Superintendent Tina Douglas to tell me who drafted the resolution, and after calling and emailing her half a dozen times, she finally responded with this: ” Sorry, but I cannot answer your specific question at this time because the case is still in active litigation.
Although Douglas declined to tell me who drafted the resolution, it was clearly one of the school district’s attorneys. The language had “lawyer” written all over it. Why the secret is baffling.
So I took a closer look at the resolution and started to assume that the map resolution actually had more to do with an ongoing lawsuit against the school district that centered on possible illegalities on the first map , the one that the majority of SDUHSD administrators supported and the one that Bronstein and Young opposed.
To back up, after census figures indicated that the school district’s five subareas were no longer balanced in numbers, due to the strong growth of subarea 5 (the southernmost part of Carmel Valley ), a new map was needed to create a more evenly distributed population.
The school board voted 3 to 2 (Councillor Melisse Mossy has since resigned) to approve the so-called 8 card, which went far beyond simply adjusting as needed. Map 8 sliced up the district in a seemingly random fashion, dividing communities and elementary school districts and sparking a storm of protests.
It also resulted in a lawsuit against the district brought by two San Dieguito residents represented by San Diego attorney Cory Briggs.
In response to community outrage and based on a legal interpretation of the shortcomings of the SDUHSD mapping process, the county asserted that it had the right to review and potentially rescind Map 8.
After several public hearings, the county proposed a new map that was more of a simple boundary adjustment and addressed the concerns of those who opposed Map 8.
Since the new map appears to resolve the objections raised in the Briggs lawsuit, is the litigation now moot?
Two attempts to contact Briggs went unanswered.
Curiously, the SDUHSD didn’t even need to pass a resolution to approve the county map.
When I asked the county if the district should vote to accept the county map, Chief of Staff Music Watson said in an email, “Legally, the county map is up anyway. The map we developed was submitted and accepted without objection by the Registrar of Electors; this is the card that will be used for the next election.
Bronstein and Young voted against the resolution, probably not because they didn’t like the revised map. Both said they supported the county map over the school district’s Map 8.
So why not?
Several “considering” clauses in the resolution indicate that the district followed all the rules and submitted a legitimate card in a timely manner, and this may be the point of contention.
The San Diego County Office of Education, in its decision to resume the mapping process, said in its April 4 agenda that San Dieguito violated the law by not holding a public hearing until after the adoption of Map 8, among other alleged violations.
SDCOE board chairman Rick Shea said at the time: ‘We are aware that public hearing standards were not met by the deadline for submission of a qualified card. The review of the action is appropriate given the issues calling into question the speed and legality of the district’s action to pass a redistricting map, thereby triggering the county committee’s mandatory obligation under s. 5019.5(b) of the Education Code.
The school district clearly disputes this assessment.
The SDUHSD resolution contained statements asserting that the district had not violated any legal requirements – which, if accepted, could have weakened the Briggs lawsuit.
“If the board were to accept the county’s map and say we’re not going to fight it, why should a lawsuit filed to reject the district’s chosen map continue?” wrote Michael Allman, administrator of the SDUHSD, on a Facebook site.
“They would have gotten what they wanted, so there is no longer any reason to plead. The case becomes moot at this point and is dismissed by the court.
“All directors of the council have been informed that it is in the best interests of the district to pass this resolution, and that it is entirely factual and not misleading.
“[Y]You can see that there is nothing controversial in the resolution; he reviews what happened and says we are done and accept county card.
I guess Bronstein and Young would disagree that the terms of the resolution are factual.
Whether they want the lawsuit to continue, as cynics might suggest, or whether they simply can’t support a resolution declaring the district followed the law when they disagree, it’s up to them. is to guess.
The directive to the attorney who drafted the resolution was to be to shield the school district from the Briggs litigation by asserting that all the rules were followed, which would mean the lawsuit had no legs to stand on.
Failure to resolve may mean litigation can continue.
While they may have opposed the resolution solely because they challenged claims presented as fact, Bronstein and Young’s downvotes may result in increased taxpayer dollars spent fighting the litigation. , unless Briggs and his clients choose to quit. Unlikely, but possible.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. But it seems clear that the resolution of the card really had nothing to do with the card.
Opinion columnist and education editor Marsha Sutton can be reached at email@example.com.
Marsha Sutton is a columnist and presents her opinion. If you disagree or disagree with his opinion, we’d love to hear from you. Email your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Column: Combines news stories, stories, and commentary to make a point. Unlike journalists, columnists are allowed to include their opinions. Union-Tribune Community Press columnists are clearly identified to distinguish them from reporters.