Letter: Laguna – Are You Paying Attention?

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Laguna, are you paying attention to the school board? For many that don’t have students, this year’s school board election might seem irrelevant or you don’t have a dog in the fight, but you do. Property taxes fund over $57 million of the District’s $65 million budget. That’s 26% of all Laguna Property tax revenue.

So, I ask again, are you paying attention? There are four candidates (Howard Hills withdrew and supports Sheri Morgan and Amy Kramer). The parent community over the last few years has become very vocal, expressing multiple concerns with little change– we can start with current failure to get our secondary kids back to school as promised and continue with issues on rising litigation budgets, questionable committee resolutions, the exclusion of one of their own due to inconsistent confidentiality practices (that confuse anyone I speak to), abuse of power judgments against the District and Superintendent and principal turnover. The parent community has lost confidence in the board.  They are supposed to serve their constituents, the people and voters of Laguna, and have oversight for the best education experience possible to our children. I hear a lot of “I’s” from board members and a lot of “you’s” from the community. The community feels and is underserved.

While one could argue this election is as divisive as ever, how do we get to the we. Two seats are open, one incumbent candidate is running and been on the board over 30 years. Let’s keep this short, it’s time for change. One newcomer, Kelly Osborne, a teacher, has closely aligned herself with the incumbent and is endorsed by the sitting Board President. To me this smells like an inside job to protect the current board makeup. Multiple forums have been held and both these two candidates push an “everything’s alright” message.

Well Laguna, “everything’s not alright.” The other two candidates Sheri Morgan and Amy Kramer and the children of Laguna need your help. Most boards (business or community) need and demand diverse backgrounds and experiences. We aren’t a community of teachers, we need representation. The new candidates listening to the community are Sheri and Amy. They have responded with platforms of transparency, strong accountability, positive leadership and inclusivity. Let’s keep politics out of our school board and bring strong, diverse backgrounds to a board that desperately needs change.

Laguna – Thank you for Paying Attention!

Jeff Simpson, Laguna Beach

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