School board election results
I was encouraged that incumbents mostly did not fare well, except for James Na, who has stood against the other members on cuts and other issues. Dave Black, as expected, came several thousand votes short.
The big surprise was that Fred Youngblood, the top vote-getter in his last election, now appears to have been knocked off by Andrew Cruz, a newcomer that no one has heard of and who barely campaigned. Last week Youngblood was 140 votes ahead of him in the count. Then the county counted 30,000 provisional ballots county-wide, and Cruz now leads by 109, a gain of 249. 4500 provisional ballots will be counted and posted Monday. Its hard to see Youngblood picking up 150 votes in Chino Valley based on 4500 county-wide. It looks like Youngblood is gone.
If so, I will not mourn. He was a unrelenting enemy of special ed kids and their parents, because he was a reliable shill for the district administration in every situation. I know nothing about Andrew Cruz, but it's hard to imagine he will be worse.
Two other candidates who were not incumbents were definitely men of the status quo. Brandon Blanchard was appointed to fill a vacancy and then resigned to avoid a conflict of interest when the district hired his wife. He was far back. Likewise Roman Nava collected all sorts of endorsements from politicians and certainly represented the thinking of the incumbent board, and he clearly would have been more of the same. He spent a lot of money and worked hard, and he too finished well out of the money.
So the message in Chino is that people seem to be getting the idea that the way of the present board, shilling for the superintendent and his administration, and ripping off those that don't seem able to push back, is maybe not such a good idea.
If so, the district hasn't gotten the memo. They just filed for a due process hearing to avoid paying for an independent assessment on a kid that they have ripped off ever since she showed up in the district a year ago, although they have been unable to teach her and haven't figured out why. But their assessment is perfectly appropriate - it's fine that it hasn't shown them why they're totally failing her! We plan to file for a Section 504 hearing because they have discriminated against her all year and retaliated against her mother instead of trying to figure out how to do their jobs. As the girl herself wants to know, "Why am I getting As when I'm not learning anything?"
Would the district cheat like that, in order to push a kid up and out without doing their job? You bet they do, all the time. Now you know how much to trust the education industry's statistics.
Other good news: we did elect one of our own in Central School District - Kristie Sepulveda-Burchit. Not bad for our first year.