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School Board Election Town Halls Wrap Saturday

A meeting facilitator with the nonprofit RISE San Diego takes down community ...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: A meeting facilitator with the nonprofit RISE San Diego takes down community input at a town hall meeting on school board elections, April 26, 2018.

A series of town hall meetings on San Diego Unified School Board elections wraps up Saturday at Lincoln High School. Meetings were planned for each of the district’s trustee areas, including one at Sherman Elementary School Thursday.

A few dozen people showed up to weigh in on whether trustees should have term limits and be elected in smaller, local runoffs, among other things.

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Attendee Trace Cimins said the opinions at her table were split.

“It ranged from school district employees to parents in the community,” she said. “I was just really moved by the passion. We had varying degrees of opinions, but the bottom line, everyone wants what’s best for the students.”

Cimins said she doesn’t necessarily think school board elections should change, but more people should hold board members accountable.

A grand jury report recommending the changes spurred the town halls, as well as a packed San Diego City Council committee meeting earlier this year where several citizens urged the council members to put an initiative amending the election rules on the June ballot. The San Diego City Charter governs school board elections.

“We’re trying to have an open community process where parents, and neighbors, and fellow citizens can talk to each other, as opposed to having politicians or figureheads speak down to them and, on the opposite side, the audience lines up at a microphone and screams back,” said meeting facilitator Dwayne Crenshaw. “We’re trying to have a civil dialogue where folks get listened to, they get to express their thoughts and we put it down honestly and without bias.”

That feedback will go to the school board trustees, who will decide next month whether to pursue a November ballot measure on how they are elected. If a ballot measure moves forward and is approved, the changes would go into effect in 2022.

The Lincoln High town hall is scheduled for 10 a.m. People can also share their thoughts via an online survey through May 4.

A series of town hall meetings on San Diego Unified School Board elections wraps up Saturday at Lincoln High School. Meetings were planned for each of the district’s trustee areas, including one at Sherman Elementary School Thursday.

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