Most of us don’t think about what the Orange County Dept. of Ed. School Board does. We know the County writes our paychecks, and you may have been to some professional development offered by OCDE. But what else do they do? Well, besides holding the money for districts, they also supply legal help to districts, they have final approval over district budgets and Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) which determine how districts can spend LCFF funds. They oversee the education of students in county facilities. They also make the final decision regarding expulsions and charter school applications.
Why should you care? Because the current Orange County School Board is determined to undermine the decision of locally elected school boards, including CUSD’s Board. They are taking away local control over education decisions. And this current board is creating chaos by micro-managing the elected County Superintendent of Schools.
There are five Trustees on the County Board. Three seats are currently up for re-election in the upcoming June primary election. The Teachers for Local Control Political Action Committee (TLC PAC) is working quickly to unseat those trustees up for re-election who are taking away the authority of our own locally elected school board and who are clearly anti-public education. At this point the Representative Council of CUEA has authorized payment to the TLC PAC of $4,000 from our own HOPE political action fund toward this effort, and we endorsed the following three candidates who are pro-public education: Rebecca “Beckie” Gomez from Trustee Area 1 (Santa Ana, Tustin, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove); Michael Parham from Trustee Area 3 (Irvine, Lake Forest, Orange, Villa Park, Yorba Linda, Brea); and Jack Bedell, pro-public education incumbent, from Trustee Area 4 (Anaheim, Fullerton, La Habra, Buena Park, Placentia).
Although our Trustee Area is NOT up for re-election yet (Linda Lindholm, anti-public education, is our Trustee), some of our members may actually live in and/or have friends and family in the other Trustee Areas. We need ALL CTA members in Orange County to vote in June for the TLC PAC endorsed candidates to turn this board around. Trustee elections are often overlooked on the ballot because they are near the bottom of a long ballot. We MUST get the word out! This is critical to maintaining local control of public education in our District. More details will be coming through your CUEA Reps this month.