The issues motivating the five candidates vying for the Santa Rosa school board range from making smart budget choices to expanding pre-school education to fostering stronger ties between local schools and their surrounding neighborhoods.
The Santa Rosa City Schools board is expected today to once again vote on the closure of Doyle Park Elementary School. The vote comes just weeks after board members deadlocked over closing the school. But pressure to find a suitable campus for a French-American charter school has put the proposal to close Doyle Park back on the table.
A controversial proposal to close Doyle Park Elementary School failed Wednesday night after the Santa Rosa school board did not have enough votes to go forward. The proposal, which generated a huge community outburst after being presented last month, would have shuttered the 61-year-old campus at the end of the school year.
Santa Rosa City Schools is pressing forward with finding a new superintendent after accepting Sharon Liddell’s resignation late Wednesday. Liddell announced Friday that she is leaving the district after seven years as superintendent.
Santa Rosa City Schools took a first step Wednesday toward putting a tax measure before voters in November. While stopping short of agreeing to pay for a consultant to poll voters, the school board asked for more information on how a survey would be conducted and how to proceed with defining what the district would do with more money from a bond measure or parcel tax.
Should Doyle Park Elementary School be closed and replaced with a French charter school? Some teachers and parents expressed concern that the school, which serves a large number of Spanish-speaking students, will be replaced by a French school with predominantly white and affluent students.
Santa Rosa City Schools moved forward with a transitional kindergarten program to be launched next fall by approving the hiring of an administrator to develop curriculum for the state-mandated program. Currently, California’s late birthday cutoff means that students well past their 6th birthday can be seated next to 4-year-olds in kindergarten.
Sonoma County’s largest school district is examining how it elects its school board members as other districts across California move to broaden their representation — and avoid litigation. Santa Rosa City Schools plans to examine whether the current way trustees are elected disenfranchises minority voters and fails to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. Currently, all seven members of Santa Rosa’s board live on the east side of Highway 101, and three of the seven live in Fountaingrove.
A group dominated by Santa Rosa City Hall insiders has been selected to explore ideas for improving how city government operates. The Charter Review Committee, appointed last week, has 21 citizens charged with suggesting changes to the city’s by-laws to be put before voters next fall.