Community Voices for Education submits ballot measure to enact district-only elections and term limits for San Diego Unified School Board Elections
Concerned parents, community members and student advocates host press conference outside San Diego City Hall
SAN DIEGO (May 31, 2018): Challenging San Diego City Council members to honor the will of the community, Community Voices for Education (CVE) held a press conference outside San Diego City Hall to submit their San Diego School Board election reform and term limits ballot measure proposal for the 2018 November elections. The ballot measure aims to enact sub-district elections (also known as district-only elections) and enforce two, four-year term limits for San Diego Unified School District Boardmembers. Every other State and local elected official in San Diego is elected from within their own district, and is subject to term limits.
A coalition of committed parents and community members joined CVE as they submitted the ballot measure. “We can no longer allow City Council members and San Diego Unified School District members to use children as pawns to their political agendas. The Grand Jury has spoken. The community has spoken,” said President of Community Voices for Education Bret Casalvka. “What more does it take? We are disappointed in the lack of courage displayed by the San Diego City Council in ignoring the demands of the people. This is why we are here today, to let them know that enough is enough. Children over political agendas.”
“This issue is simple,” said parent and CVE member Karin de Jauregui. “The community has spoken. The Grand Jury has spoken. They all say the same thing: two four-year terms and in District elections will best empower voters and serve students. If SDUSD Boardmembers won’t listen, we hope City Councilmembers will.”
“I am a parent who lives in an underserved community within San Diego Unified,” added CVE member Francine Maxwell. “We just want the same rules for SDUSD Boardmembers as every other elected official. We want two four year terms and in District voting, just like everybody else. The City Council needs to do the right thing and listen to parents and community members like us.”
The ballot measure submission is a response to the lack of action by both the San Diego City Council and San Diego Unified School Board. After a scathing 2017 Grand Jury Report calling for these changes, the SDUSD School Board members convened a series of townhalls in an attempt at continued delay. However, while the Grand Jury Report specifically recommended enacting sub-district elections and term limits, the SDUSD committee added additional questions not raised by the Grand Jury Report in an attempt to distract from these primary concerns.
However, the community spoke in volumes and confirmed what the Grand Jury Report originally recommended; 80% said yes for term limits and 60% said yes to sub-district elections. And the majority rejected any other recommendations. But, despite these strong results, the school board ignored the community and voted to recommend half measures that continue to disenfranchise voters.
Presently, voters do not directly vote for their school board members and there are no term limits that allow for fresh talent to represent the unique communities of San Diego. San Diego voters have been selecting their representatives directly by district only for their local, state, and federal representatives for decades – CVE and parent advocates are fighting for the same democratic process to apply when voting for our school board members.
The solution is simple and clear: the City Council should place a measure on the November ballot proposing two four-year terms and in-District elections for SDUSD Boardmembers. Just like every other elected official in San Diego.
Community Voices for Education is a group of parents, community members and stakeholders working together to bring accountability, transparency, and representation in our San Diego Public Education system, so every child receives the quality education they need. If we want to guarantee a successful future for our children, we need to prioritize their education. But right now, the San Diego school board is leaving 130,000 students and 13,500 educators across San Diego without the resources they need to thrive.
For media inquiries, please contact Jane Murcia, 310-871-7525.