San Diego Unified School District – 101

Why the 2022 race for two San Diego Unified will be unlike any other

The Aristotle Foundation

In the Presidential election of 2020, San Diego voters passed two important school board ballot measures that will reshape the 2022 election, where two of five school board seats for California’s 2nd largest school district will be decided.

Measure C changed an election process that allowed any voter from within one of the five sub-districts to cast a vote for individual sub-district representative. This process was changed to a district-only election, where voters within a sub-district are the only ones allowed to cast a vote for their representative on the school board.

Voters passed a similar measure in 1998 for San Diego City Council races. Prior to 1998, voters from every Council district could weigh in to elect a City Council representative from other districts, a clear violation of the California Voting Rights Act. Thanks to Measure C passed in 2020, San Diego Unified candidates must now convince the voters in the sub-district they seek to represent. City-wide races for school board are now aligned with California’s Constitution for representative governance.

Measure D, also referred to as the ‘Filner Rule’, passed by nearly 80% of San Diego voters. Measure D was the community response to the multiple credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving San Diego Unified Trustee Kevin Beiser. Kevin Beiser refused to step down amidst the public charges of sexual impropriety and was asked to resign by a plurality of opinion that included the Democratic and Republican parties of San Diego as well as unanimous vote by his four remaining fellow Trustees. Beiser remains a member of the SDUSD board.

The significance of District-only elections should translate to greater accountability and representation in one of the Nation’s largest school districts. Independent demographics will matter more than ever in 2022.

San Diego parents and taxpayers are understandably frustrated at the lack of leadership and solutions amidst school closures. The frustration over California coming in last to reopen in the Nation while ranking in the bottom half of public education in the country has soured the status quo of education-union run schools, leaving many to conclude that the San Diego Unified Board has become too political and unresponsive to the fundamental needs of the San Diego community.

Academic performance, mask mandates, Superintendent search, or the ambiguities of highly controversial implementation of education laws passed at the State level lies in contrast to external factors as reasons for achievement or lack thereof, and has provided a safe haven for Trustees that has been unwilling to listen to the community.

With the San Diego Unified Board enjoying complete dominance by special-interests that have pumped millions of dollars into electing union-friendly candidates and incumbents, 2022 may be a time where residents of Districts B & C, presently represented by Kevin Beiser and Mike McQuary. McQuary has signaled that he will not run again in 2022, and we expect Beiser will step down to allow for a graceful exit while the union-friendly board will appoint someone with similar sentiments.

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