By Sharon Jones
Paying for and then using hateful, misleading and untruthful publicity is a dishonest way to run a school board campaign. But that’s exactly what’s happening in the San Diego County School Board‘s District 3 race.
The American Federation of Teachers, or AFT, has issued a mean and dishonest “hit piece” against Katie Dexter, who is the opponent of their endorsed candidate, Alicia Muñoz. They call her “unqualified,” but in reality what they are trying to do is stack the K-12 county school board with community college teachers.
Katie Dexter is actually the only candidate running in District 3 with real community service and school board experience! “Unqualified”? If this weren’t such a nasty mailer sent to thousands of potentially uninformed voters, it would almost be laughable. Anyone who knows Katie Dexter is aware of her sterling accomplishments in pubic service in K-12 public education: 12-year member of Lemon Grove School District, incoming president of county-wide San Diego County School Boards Association, elected representative to state-wide delegate assembly which is the public policy-making core of the California School Boards Association.
Here are the real questions to ask: Why has the AFT felt compelled to recruit community college teachers who have no background in K-12 public school governance to run for the San Diego County Board of Education? What is their agenda? They have already gained three seats on the county board with their endorsements. Now they want a fourth.
And why would the AFT besmirch a local school district with such hateful innuendo, disregarding how accomplished that district really is? Lemon Grove School District is a countywide leader in classroom technology. They serve an ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse community with student-focused and family-oriented programs that are welcoming to their diverse community.
School boards are the most immediate form of democracy. People like Katie Dexter who run for school boards do so because they are active voices in their community who care deeply about issues affecting their schools and public education.
The AFT must really want community college teachers to dominate the San Diego County Board of Education to stoop this low. I wonder why?