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Santa Barbara, CA: On May 23, 2022, it has been reported by Noozhawk that the Dos Pueblos Academic Senate has written a letter to express “no confidence” in the Superintendent of Santa Barbara Unified.
To be clear, the County Superintendent of Schools does not have the power to appoint or remove a district Superintendent. That governance role is rightly held by the local school boards and the communities which elected them. In a properly functioning democracy, it is the local school boards themselves which should be held accountable for unpopular decisions made by their appointed district superintendent.
However, the DP Faculty Senate complaint goes well beyond that of local school board personnel choices. It calls for “an immediate accounting of the spending practices and why the district is spending both government-provided funding as well as district reserves at an alarming rate,” according to the Noozhawk article that first reported this story.
This issue of financial oversight sits squarely within Superintendent of School’s constitutional bailiwick. The Superintendent of Schools is expressly empowered with the responsibility for “Accountability and Oversight of County Programs”. In this case, that means ensuring district budget viability, as well as, ensuring that taxpayer funds which are intended to help students, actually help students.
As SB Superintendent of Schools, I would instruct my staff to immediately investigate any and all credible concerns regarding questionable spending practices and district reserves. Where is the incumbent on this core responsibility of office? Silent, like always.
The choice in this first Superintendent of Schools election in 40 years is simple. Vote for the failed status quo, or me, Christy Lozano.