If Tuesday’s results were mixed for other races and measures, they were a clear victory for local school board and school bond races.
Facilities bonds benefiting Robla, Natomas and Folsom Cordova schools didn’t just win – they won by wide margins. That shows a commitment to education that’s admirable, though it also might have a lot to do with the thousands of dollars that builders, architects and other beneficiaries of the bond donated to the “yes” campaigns.
The Bee’s editorial board didn’t endorse one way or the other on the bonds. We know that California’s beleaguered schools can use more money, though we did suggest waiting a year or two to pass a bond might make better sense. No matter; residents believe in their local schools.
Now it’s up to the school boards and district administrators to provide strict oversight to make sure the funds from those bonds aren’t squandered by those who foot the bill for the campaigns.
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Fortunately, many smart people were elected to local school boards Tuesday to do just that. But that was almost a certainly because of the quantity of quality candidates in so many races.
In Sacramento City Unified, the teachers union backed candidates in all of the four races, clearly hoping for a decisive majority on the board. It didn’t get it. Only one union-backed candidate won: Ellen Cochrane, a teacher in Elk Grove schools, who knocked out incumbent Jeff Cuneo in Area 2. Thee two other incumbents – Jay Hansen and Darrel Woo – had weaker challengers and retained their seats.
The highlight of this race was the landslide for Jessie Ryan. Area 7 voters chose wisely. This bright young woman was by far the best of four candidates to replace Patrick Kennedy on the board of education.