Death threats, financial woes for San Ysidro School District

SAN YSIDRO-- School drama leads to death threats, teachers furious over salaries, benefits and that's not all.

“I’m going to be very honest, I’m tired of all the fighting,” said San Ysidro School Board president Rosaleah Pallasigu during Thursday's meeting.

For four years the allegations of financial mismanagement by those at the San Ysidro school district keep coming back and on Thursday it all came to a head when the Board openly talked for the first time, flanked by the entire teacher’s union.

“Is this rock bottom? I don’t know but the board is getting threats,” said board clerk Marcos Diaz.

Members of the school board said they’ve been receiving death threats over the drama that has seen three superintendents in as many months. The board chose Thursday night to hire a Los Angeles-area educator, Mary Willis, to take over as the interim superintendent after the previous one lasted only two months.

Willis has some 40 years of experience in education, specializing in turning around troubled districts. She will receive $1,000 a day not to exceed $42,000 while the national search for permanent replacement happens. She’ll be walking into allegations of scandal in one of San Diego’s poorest school districts. One that has narrowly avoided bankruptcy the past few years. The former superintendent, Julio Fonseca resigned in September but received a $376,000 separation package from the district for just 26 months of work.

“I understand we have real issues and we shouldn’t diminish those issues. This should be investigated,” added Pallasig.

The board is demanding the District Attorney’s office investigate financial issues surrounding both previous superintendents and hope together they can all move forward.