SDUT Profiles Reform California’s Campaign to Win School Board Seats Statewide

SDUT Profiles Reform California’s Campaign to Win School Board Seats Statewide

San Diego Union Tribune says Reform California leading statewide effort to “train and support” candidates to fix local school boards in California

Reform California’s statewide campaign to reform school boards and remove toxic curriculum from the classroom is gaining attention. The San Diego Union Tribune ran a profile in its Sunday edition today on the grassroots effort to flip school board seats and two candidates that are receiving training and support. 

Reform California founder and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio said the organization aims to train and support candidates with a goal of slating a candidate for every school board seat on the ballot.

“The school boards don’t respect parents,” DeMaio said. “Parents are the clients or customers of schools … The parent’s voice is so important. Unfortunately, we have school board members who, because they are owned and operated by these special interests, have shut parents out of the discussion. The only way to get those changes is to completely shake up leadership in each of the school districts.”

DeMaio said Reform California will offer training and mentorship to its candidates and possibly organize them in slates for individual districts. It may also provide financial support for campaigns, but that would be decided on an individual basis, according to “the seats that are most winnable, the candidates that are working the hardest,” he said.

Read the Full Union Tribune Story

Parents Groups Forming in Local School Districts Seek Reform in 2022

Parents Groups Forming in Local School Districts Seek Reform in 2022

The overwhelming success of the San Francisco School Board recall may be just the beginning of a statewide parents’ revolt. That’s why Reform California is leading a campaign to recruit and support candidates for school boards who will respect input from parents, remove controversial curriculum from the classroom, and fix failing schools.

The vote wasn’t even close. When all the ballots were counted this past week in the San Francisco School Board recall election, voters overwhelmingly voted to remove three controversial school board members from office. Even in the Democratic stronghold of the Bay Area, parents are rising up to oppose extreme curriculum and demand elected officials fix failing schools.

The lopsided vote suggests parents of all political persuasions are rising up to seek change in how school districts are being run.

Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, explained the concerns parents are feeling.

“Parents are fed up for a number of reasons — and contrary to what you read about in the liberal media, it’s not just over schools being locked down for 18 months in California while the rest of the schools across the country were open or the divisiveness of mask and vaccine mandates,” DeMaio explained.

“Parents from all political backgrounds are shocked by the extreme and divisive curriculum being taught in the classroom and by the disrespectful treatment of parents by school officials and board members,” DeMaio continued.

“On top of that, parents see that student academic achievement is plummeting, but school officials seem focused on divisive political topics rather than doing what is best for the children,” DeMaio noted.

DeMaio’s organization, Reform California, is helping parents statewide to organize and demand change. By partnering with local groups and policy think tanks, Reform California seeks to improve collaboration and coordination among various stakeholders who should work together to force changes in schools.

In addition to coalition building to put pressure on existing school board members to enact reforms on their own, Reform California is prepared to take the issue of school reform to the ballot box in the 2022 elections.

That’s why Reform California is actively working to recruit, train and support candidates for school boards across the state.

“We’re working to win school board seats and elect common-sense school board leaders who will actually listen to parents and run our schools with professionalism and with a laser-focus on doing what is best for students,” DeMaio explained.

One of those candidates is Becca Williams, who is running for San Diego Unified School Board District C. Williams, a mother of two and former teacher, says that school mandates, extreme curriculum, and learning loss from remote schooling spurred her to run for office.

“I feel strongly that every family deserves to have a tuition-free public school option that they can trust, and I think trust is the biggest thing that’s been eroded,” said Williams. “There are just so many things that have really alienated families and they don’t feel that they can trust sending their kids to schools anymore.”

Williams pledged to be a voice for parents and blasted the current San Diego Unified School Board for not following the science, calling them a “hot bed” of everything that could go wrong.

“It turns out feelings are not a strategy for budget or for ensuring students get a quality education — they’re also not a strategy for complicated challenges like Covid,” said Williams.

DeMaio encouraged parents and concerned citizens to get involved in the fight to reform school districts in 2022.

“We cannot wage this battle alone — we rely on the support of grassroots contributors and volunteers, so this is a fight that everyone needs to join today — our children are depending on us to act,” DeMaio concluded.

Join the Fight: Reform California Campaign to Elect New School Board Members

“Where’s Charda?” Controversial School Board Member Being Recalled Now Faces Legal Questions Over Her Residency

“Where’s Charda?” Controversial School Board Member Being Recalled Now Faces Legal Questions Over Her Residency

Court records and multiple voter registrations show La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board Member Charda Bell-Fontenot may have been ineligible to hold her position for over a year.

San Diego – “Where does she really live and did she commit fraud by serving on a board for which she was no longer eligible to serve?” That is the question many parents and civic leaders in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District are asking today as evidence is being released that suggest that Board Member Charda Bell-Fontenot may have ineligibly served on the board for over a year. Those questions are expected to be voiced at tonight’s school board meeting.

Three weeks ago Bell-Fontenot attracted national scorn for not only voting against a school reopening plan but dismissing concerned parents and fellow board members as “white supremacists” and “racists” for wanting to reopen schools for their children. Bell-Fontenot’s offensive remarks were condemned by district officials and fellow board members, but she has refused to apologize. Last week parents launched a Recall campaign against her seeking her removal from office.

However, in the process of serving the Recall papers a legal question has now emerged regarding Bell-Fontenot’s residency. Under California law it is illegal for an elected official to serve in a position if they are no longer eligible as a registered voter and actual resident in the district they are supposed to represent.

According to San Diego county voter records, Bell Fontenot has been registered at multiple properties across San Diego County since she first ran for the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board.

According to two separate legal proceedings filed against her in San Diego Superior Court (one in 2019 and one as recently as February 2021), Bell Fontenot is known to have resided at an address in El Cajon that is completely outside the La Mesa-Spring Valley school district boundaries.

While Charda Bell-Fontentot registered at an address in Spring Valley immediately after her election in November of 2018, she subsequently re-registered at a different address and kept the El Cajon property outside the district as her official mailing address.

Then on March 3, 2021 – after questions regarding her residency and eligibility on the board were raised by parents – Bell Fontenot suddenly re-registered at the Spring Valley address she used back in November 2018. With multiple addresses floating around and a rushed re-registration occurring just days ago, it all begs the question if she was registered in the district before she was elected and during the length of her current term.

Reform California also has a pending Public Records Act request with the school district to determine any additional addresses she has provided and is also investigating whether she has kept a homeowner occupied status on her El Cajon property with governmental taxation entities.

If she is found to have not lived in the district during the entire time of her service on the board, she could face criminal sanction and would have to be removed from the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board.

“We already knew that Charda Bell-Fontenot needed to be removed from her position for her gross misconduct at board meetings and for opposing school re-openings – and now we have to ask whether she broke the law by serving on this board while not maintaining proper residency in the district,” noted Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California which is supporting the recall.

Reform California is one of the largest grassroots advocacy organizations in California with over 650,000 subscribers and a statewide supporter and volunteer base of over 50,000. More information on school board recalls can be found at www.SchoolBoardRecall.org

Reform California Joins Parents to Launch Recall Campaign Against Controversial School Board Member

Reform California Joins Parents to Launch Recall Campaign Against Controversial School Board Member

Parents Launch Recall Campaign Against School Board Member Who Was Caught on Video Calling Reopening Schools an Act of “White Supremacy”

La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board Member Charda Bell-Fontenot Opposes School Reopenings and Claims Asking Teachers to Return to Work in Classrooms is an Act of “Slavery”

A group of outraged parents and concerned citizens today formally announced a recall campaign against La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board Member Charda Bell-Fontenot. Among the charges being made in the recall petition are that Bell-Fontenot has irreparably hurt children by keeping schools closed, has callously disregarded parental input, and has created a hostile work environment with her recent offensive comments at a board meeting.

On February 23, the District Board met virtually using zoom video. When the issue of reopening schools came up, Bell-Fontenot became agitated, attacked fellow board members and staff, and declared that asking teachers to return to work in classrooms “seems like a very white supremacist ideology to force people to comply with…you know…to conform…just letting you know…I don’t want to be part of forcing anybody to do anything they don’t want to do – that’s what slavery is.”

The video with these offensive remarks is posted online at www.SchoolBoardRecall.org

The recall is being launched with the backing of Reform California – the same organization that backed that last successful recall of a state office holder in California and is also currently backing the Recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Charda Bell-Fontenot not only voted to continue to inflict harm on our children by keeping La-Mesa Spring Valley Schools closed, but her use of false, reckless and racially-divisive smears to attack those that support school reopening has created a hostile work environment,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California.

“For all these reasons we’re eager to make Board Member Bell-Fontenot the first California school board member to be recalled over the issue of closed schools – and if California politicians don’t reopen our schools soon, I predict she won’t be the last,” warned DeMaio.

“I support the recall against Charda Bell-Fontenot because she insulted and belittled parents and her fellow board members and claimed she NEVER has to give a date to reopen,” said Spring Vick, a district parent. “We need school boards members who will work with parents, not against them, that’s why I support the recall” concluded Vick.

Reform California is one of the largest grassroots advocacy organizations in California with over 650,000 subscribers and a statewide supporter and volunteer base of over 50,000. More information on school board recalls can be found at www.SchoolBoardRecall.org