After a 10-month “listening tour,” Mayoral Candidate Nathan Fletcher was ready to speak.
Fletcher announced a plan for education reform and improvement as one of his major platform goals on Tuesday at the Qualcomm headquarters.
Fletcher’s announcement comes a few months after his opponent Bonnie Dumanis’ education plan. Her eight-point plan involves adding four more members to the San Diego Unified School District and adding a new Independent Financial Advisory Board.
Fletcher’s differs in his focus on technology and innovation. He announced the plan at Qualcomm, and was introduced and subsequently endorsed by Paul Jacobs, the son of Qualcomm’s co-founder and philanthropist Irwin Jacobs. The younger Jacobs’ presence and support tied in with Fletcher’s four-point plan to bring more internet and technology access to students.
The plan aligns with his goal to make San Diego’s new motto the “World’s Most Innovative City.”
It also hinges on the establishment of what he called “the Mayor’s Education Foundation,” which would be privately funded. It would set up a military academy as well as an innovation academy for science and technology advancement in schools.
“We will depend on support of philanthropic and business leaders,” Fletcher said, standing next to Jacobs.
One similarity between Fletcher’s and Dumanis’ education reform plans is their insistence on the mayor of San Diego having a role in education. Mayors and the city typically leave matters of public education to the state. Yet both insist that during times of cutbacks and economic strains, the city has an obligation to step in.
In a recent poll, Fletcher tied with Dumanis in support at 11 percent. GOP candidate Carl DeMaio racked in the highest amount of approval with 25 percent. The lone Democrat among the major candidates, Bob Filner, has a 20 percent of the pollsters.
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