Embattled school board president answers critics - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Embattled school board president answers critics

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - On Tuesday night, embattled San Diego Unified School District President, Marne Foster, responded her critics for the first time at length during the "State of the District" meeting.

Foster is accused of abusing her power, and there are calls for her to step down

"We believe in our students - we invest in our students," said Marne Foster. 

At Tuesday night's 'State of the San Diego Unified School District,' both the board's leader, and the district's Superintendent, made their mission clear. 

"Everybody has a singular focus - on students," said Cindy Marten. 

But in recent months, some of the public's focus has been on embattled board president Marne Foster amid allegations she abused her power by hosting a fundraiser (using district employees) to help pay for her children's college tuition.

Last month, the board allocated $40,000 to fund an independent investigation into Foster.

"She shouldn't be leading the district at a time that she is under investigation," said Sally Smith. 

Across the street from Tuesday's 'State of the District' address, former district parent Sally Smith led a one-person protest calling for foster to resign.

 "She should step down as trustee, and let someone step in that can truly represent the needs of the students without all of the problems that she brought on the district," said Smith. 
  
"I really don't respond to that [allegations]. I was born and raised in this community, and folks know me and they know my work. There is no need to respond to that," said Foster. 

Foster said she has no plans to relinquish her position as board president. 

"What I have learned is that my community wants me to continue to focus on the work and the outcomes for students. When I do that, everyone is elevated and so, I promise to be committed to that," said Foster. 

During the address, Superintendent Cindy Marten pointed to the collaboration between San Diego business leaders and the district's high schools in helping develop career pathways for students. 

She touted a significant decrease in the number of suspensions and expulsions in district schools. 

There was also an emphasis to fight for more funding for the district's children. 

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