As a resident of California since 1970, and as a board member of the Carpinteria Unified School District, I have seen many donations to CUSD.
Two donations, however, involved cannabis profits, and I did not approve of either — as a private citizen nor did I vote for as a board member; both have been written about in the Coastal View News.
(1) Coastal View, Jan. 17, 2019, “After significant discussion, the board voted unanimously to amend the previous agenda, acknowledging a $1,200 donation from the CARP Growers. “This donation had been presented to the board as a gift to CUSD coming directly from the Carpinteria Rotary Club when the board knew that it was a gift from CARP Growers, an association of cannabis growers in Carpinteria.
(2) Coastal View, Sept. 5, 2019, reported upon a 189K donation from CARP Growers. This is a violation of the school board’s charter, as well as state and federal rules governing drugs. Marijuana is a drug and basic common sense tells me that drugs and children are a bad mix.
I find this especially concerning as the sole Hispanic on the CUSD with a student population that is more than 75 percent Hispanic, with three children of my own.
What kind of example is the board establishing for our students? It is also not in compliance with CUSD Policy 5131.6 and I believe shows disturbing and unethical behavior on the part of District Leadership.
The funds for a Carpinteria Middle School should and could come directly from the district’s reserves as they are quite healthy for the next three years.
Furthermore, as a matter of public record, Carpinteria High School has had the recent retirement of our teacher Casey Roberts. Also, note that Barnaby Gogler, the principal of Rincon and Foothill alternative high schools, has just left CUSD. The district decided not to replace them. That comes to approximately a combined income of $250,000 annually. Funding for a middle school counselor can easily come from those extra funds, without compromising the integrity of our schools by accepting drug money.
As a proud member of this community, let me state loudly and clearly that no group should be allowed to dominate our school district.
I say this as more “gifts” are expected from CARP Growers. This is wrong!