Updated: Mar 3, 2021
San Juan Unified School District's board met on February 23, while the meeting agenda items didn't include any major actions, the public comments from community members were of note. Beyond the repeated demands to “re-open schools now” that several commenters chanted, the following comments caught SJPC’s attention in particular:
Carolina Flores called in to comment that cultural arts programs are lacking for students that live in impoverished parts of the district and stressed the needs for quality education and representation for the Arden Arcade area, which she noted has the highest rates of Latino and Black student expulsion.
Mario Galvan, a retired SJUSD employee, criticized the district for
favoring magnet schools and catering to the “elite white” instead of focusing on schools in need like Encina and San Juan.
Multiple callers expressed concern over increased absenteeism, homelessness, and failing grades among Black and Brown students during distance-learning.
Magali Kincaid, a parent of an English language learning student complained about the
lack of transparency from the board, disorganization among staff, and the need for board members that live in the area, neighborhood elections, and diversity of thought.
Magali, Carolina, and other commenters asked for consideration of a seven – instead of five – member board to improve representation and diversity, particularly for economically challenged schools and children of color in the underrepresented Arden-Arcade communities within the district.
Shout out to Angela Hearring for taking notes at this board meeting. As SJPC ramps up note-taking for school board meetings, we will have more social justice updates to share from Sacramento public school districts.
The San Juan Unified School District is the 11th largest school district in California and serves students in Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Orangevale, Citrus Heights and Fair Oaks. The SJUSD Board of Education is the governing body for the District, and the five board members (who are elected at large by the community to four-year terms) meet for their regular board meeting on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Board agendas are available the Friday before each meeting.