The seven trustees on the Sacramento County Board of Education keep a low profile. Still, their oversight is broad — approving charter schools, running teacher training, operating classes for kids who’ve been expelled or incarcerated, plus handling the Local Control Accountability Plans that school districts use to set critical funding priorities.
Covering Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Carmichael and Folsom, this trustee represents schools with resources. Alcalay, however, also sees the bigger county picture. The owner of a public relations firm, he has long service on boards and committees, including for the San Juan Unified School District and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Commission.
As a trustee, his priority would be to close the achievement gap by funneling more grant dollars to the smallest districts, where students often fall through the cracks. For those already on the wrong path, he wants to increase parent engagement and leverage resources from the broader community.
Outgoing trustee Eleanor Brown has endorsed school choice advocate Joanne Ahola, but we prefer Alcalay’s broader view.
Nguyen is new to politics, but as executive director of Asian Resources Inc., she works with many of the at-risk youths that the county does. She wants to improve collaboration between the county and community-based nonprofits to help close the achievement gap in the Elk Grove, Clarksburg, Franklin and Galt district.
Her rivals to replace trustee John Scribner – Orlando Fuentes, Heather Davis and Jrmar Jefferson – also have useful ideas. Fuentes wants restorative justice programs and Davis wants more teacher training and school choice. But they lack her understanding of the board.
Grimes is the field’s most experienced candidate. He served on the county board and the Sacramento City Unified board before leaving in 2010.
Why return to his old seat, covering Fruitridge, Meadowview, Oak Park, South Land Park and Pocket? Because, he says, incumbent Harold Fong lacks visibility and has focused too narrowly on incarcerated and expelled students.
Now a social justice advocate with national ties, Grimes wants to incorporate national criminal justice reforms, including leveraging federal dollars for minority youths, to make for a more effective board.