As a longtime resident of Santa Barbara, and an engaged community member with many ties to the teachers in every district in our area, I write this letter with hope for the future but concern that we will fail to make our way forward. I know that many people do not know how to make a decision about who to vote for School Board. This time it really matters. I strongly endorse incumbents Jackie Reid, Wendy Sims-Moten, and Laura Capps for Santa Barbara and Max Rorty and Sholeh Jahangir for Goleta.
The challenges our public schools face are overwhelming. This is a time for steady leadership with people who have proven they can work together to deal with the historic inequity in our school systems and whose values and vision is for a society that is fair and inclusive.
Our schools have struggled against the inequity in our society for a long time. This school board has made significant progress. We now have a required Ethnic Studies course for all graduating high school students. We now have policies that support our LGBTQ students because we want all our children to feel safe in school, without the bullying that has traditionally assaulted them. We have Restorative Justice and attention to the social and emotional needs of our young learners. The incumbents on our school board now hold accountable any educator who continues to neglect marginalized groups or caters only to the wealthy and well connected. We need to sustain the progress our incumbent candidates have made in the last few years.
I’m writing this letter to the community because there are dark forces afoot here in our town, seeking to undue this progress. It matters who is on our school boards! I urge you to vote for the incumbents!