Support for Superintendent Maldonado

It is a common occurrence that leaders of color, especially BIPOC women, are treated with disdain. Their leadership is often subject to questioning from conservatives. As a community organizer, I have witnessed these condescending remarks and the lack of understanding toward a leader of color. Perhaps these criticisms stem from external motives other than legitimate professional issues or concerns. Is this really “constructive feedback” or plain obstruction?

From the moment Superintendent Maldonado arrived at SBUSD she was met with hostility. Despite being a new Superintendent during an unprecedented global pandemic, she was ridiculed for not visiting campuses while there were stay-at-home orders. Many of the concerns pertaining to COVID-19 also made her the scapegoat for mask mandates, hybrid learning, vaccine mandates, and tough teaching conditions.

Superintendent Maldonado has placed the idea of equity at the forefront of education in Santa Barbara. This aligns with the mission and values of our youth, as our student leaders have advocated for an “A-G for All” policy — which satisfy course requirements for entry to the UCs — more diverse staff, additional support services (tutoring/counseling), a pipeline for low-income youth to four-year university, and meaningful parental engagement within SBUSD. Superintendent Maldonado took initiative to meet with students to hear their concerns and actually work to implement these equity initiatives.

Superintendent Maldonado has worked continuously to ensure a college-going culture among Santa Barbara youth. I admire the work that she has done and her commitment towards promoting equitable education in Santa Barbara.


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