By Ken Stone
On Tuesday night, the Democrat said he won’t run for the District 7 seat on the San Diego City Council — the race to replace termed-out Scott Sherman.
“I just want to focus on my job on the school board and focus on my family and my career,” Beiser said at Lincoln High School’s theater while waiting for the annual State of the District event.
Beiser entered the race in mid-January and reported raising $20,500 in the first six months of 2019 (with some of that returned). He spent about half of that, mostly on consultants.Will he serve out the remaining three years of his San Diego Unified school board term?
“I’m just going to play it day-by-day,” Beiser told Times of San Diego. “But I’ve worked so hard for so many years to help San Diego schools to get where they are today. I still have a lot of fight left in me.”
In April, the 2009 San Diego Math Teacher of the Year came under fire from board colleagues (who called for his resignation) and the county Democratic Party the month after a John Doe civil suit accused him of rape and five years of abuse. Settlement details are being kept secret.
(Three other men also accused Beiser of assault or harassment.)
On Tuesday, waiting to hear remarks by schools Superintendent Cindy Marten and state schools chief Tony Thurmond, he sat between school board members John Lee Evans and Michael McQuary with no sign of tension.
Had he stayed in the District 7 council race, he would have faced potential rivals Raul Campillo, Sharon Larios, Monty McIntyre, Stephanie N. Narita, Wendy Wheatcroft and Noli Zosa. (All but Larios have pulled nomination papers.)
Beiser is still on paid administrative leave in the Sweetwater Union High School District — removed from his teaching job at Castle Park Middle School in Chula Vista.
“The school district is evaluating the situation,” noted Beiser, who says he’s “participated fully in that investigation.”
On Wednesday, a Sweetwater district spokesman said: “As of today, Mr. Beiser is still out on leave and we do not have an anticipated return date. As you are aware, any additional information about this case cannot be shared because it is a personnel matter.”
The Serra Mesa resident hopes to return to full-time teaching.
“I’m a teacher [to] the core of my being,” Beiser said. “I’ve been doing it for an incredible long amount of time, and I’d sure love the opportunity to continue to help children learn and thrive.”
Updated at 7:07 p.m. Nov. 20, 2019
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