The Elk Grove Unified School District, once among the fastest growing in the state, peaked in 2009-10 with 62,500 students. Its enrollment has been slightly declining since then. During that period, the district has lost $110 million in state funding.
Area 1: Susan Parvis
In this open seat, Susan Parvis has demonstrated that she knows the district and has put in her time as a volunteer. At this key period of budgetary difficulties, she has served two years on the district's finance committee, currently as the vice chair. Her passion is making sure that kids at risk of dropping out can make up classes in time to graduate.
James Letoa, an advocate in the Samoan community, has a passion for addressing school bullying, as well as English learner issues. Tony Perez, on the Florin Resource Conservation District board for 12 years, is active at state and national levels on Latino issues, less so on issues specific to Elk Grove Unified.
Parvis has more experience in the district.
Area 6: Jake Rambo
After Pamela Irey resigned from the board, Jake Rambo was selected from a pool of eight applicants to fill the seat in March. Steve Ly ran in 2002 and was among applicants who applied for the seat in March.
Both are strong candidates, but Rambo has shown in his six months of service a grasp of complex issues. It was a baptism by fire, his first vote being for the hard-won two-year teachers' contract. He has worked to rebuild relationships with teachers. He gets out to school sites.
Ly is an immigrant success story, with a 16-year career as an educator, currently working with foster youths at the Sacramento County Office of Education. His big issue is what employees have called a "$65 million surplus" in the district, which others rightly call a prudent rainy day fund.
Rambo is the better choice.
Area 7: Al Rowlett
After Brian Myers resigned from the board, Al Rowlett was appointed in August 2009 and then ran unopposed in the 2010 election.
Rowlett is a "gold standard" board member, with a big heart and a constant presence at school sites. He is a big advocate for foster kids, a voice for kids who get forgotten.
Challengers Carmine Forcina, a retired teacher and school administrator, and Theresa Beals, an active PTA parent, focus on the perception that administrators get huge raises while teachers get laid off. As Rowlett points out, administrators and teachers took commensurate cuts, but chose to make them differently.
Retain Rowlett, an asset to this board.