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Incumbents Muñoz, Shea Keep Seats For County Board Of Education Districts 3 And 5

 San Diego County Board of Education candidates Cheryl James-Ward, Rick Shea,...

Photo by Megan Burks

Above: San Diego County Board of Education candidates Cheryl James-Ward, Rick Shea, Eric Lund and Alicia Muñoza are shown in this image.

UPDATE: 3:55 p.m., June 6, 2018

San Diego County Board of Education incumbents Alicia Muñoz and Rick Shea held onto their seats in Tuesday’s primary. It ended a local fight between charter school backers and unions, but that fight hasn’t ended at the state level.

Weeks before the election, charter advocates and teachers unions pumped at least a half a million dollars into the county board races, and they’ve done so up and down the state. At issue: power in granting new charter schools permission to open up shop. Charter advocates obviously want more, unions want fewer.

Charter backers didn’t gain anyone in their court locally. But the races for state superintendent of public instruction and governor arguably matter more in this regard. They’re both going on to a November runoff.

The superintendent can help set the agenda in legislative talks that would impact charter schools. He may have the opportunity to weigh in on whether districts should have more leeway to block charters that hurt their bottom line. The governor wields the greatest power, appointing a state board that has the final say on whether a charter can open.

In 2017, the county board denied five out of eleven charter school appeals, sending them to the state for another opinion.

UPDATE: 10:00 a.m., June 6, 2018

With all precincts reporting, San Diego County Board of Education District 3 saw incumbent Alicia Muñoz with 56.7 percent of the total votes. Meanwhile, District 5 saw incumbent Rick Shea with 52.4 percent of the total vote.

UPDATE: 11:37 p.m., June 5, 2018

Incumbent Alicia Muñoz is in the lead for the San Diego County Board of Education’s 3rd District with 57.57 percent of the votes with 52 percent of precincts reporting. For County Board of Education District 5, incumbent Rick Shea holds the lead with 53.13 percent of votes with 32 percent of precincts responding.

Read Original Story Below:

Not many voters are familiar with the San Diego County Board of Education. Its schools are limited to very specific populations — children who have been involved in the criminal justice system, are in foster care or are homeless.

But two political action committees have made themselves very familiar with the board’s candidates in recent weeks, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the races for districts 3 and 5, according to filings with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

The spending signals what’s at stake for the board in Tuesday’s primary. Whoever receives a majority vote will be elected and could tip the board in favor of charter schools or maintain a labor-friendly majority.

California Charter Schools Association Advocates has spent $304,772 to support Eric Lund in his bid against incumbent Alicia Muñoz, and $138,034 to back Cheryl James-Ward in her race against incumbent Rick Shea.

Meanwhile, a group called San Diego Teachers for Local Control is funding efforts to support Muñoz and Shea. During the month of May, the California Teachers Association and local faculty and teachers unions contributed $254,340 to the PAC. The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College faculty union has also funded its own efforts on behalf of candidates in several races, including Muñoz and Shea.

In addition to overseeing its own schools and district budgets countywide, the county board hears appeals from charter schools denied by their local districts. Charters can also appeal to the state board.


San Diego County Board of Education District 3 incumbent Alicia Muñoz and District 5 incumbent Rick Shea held their leads.


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