Trend of SDUSD Board Members being Backed by Unions Continues after 2020 Election Results

Written by Justin Culetu

The trend of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) board members being endorsed by the teachers union appears to be continuing after the results of this years election. Currently, all five members of the Board have been backed by the teachers union. Incumbents Richard Barrera and Sharron Whitehurst-Payne, as well as newcomer Sabrina Bazzo, all defeated their opponents with a significant amount of aid from the teachers union and the San Diego Education Association. Their opponents, Crystal Trull, Camille Harris, and LaWanna Richmond, received no support from those organizations. 

Here’s an example of how teachers unions use their influence and cash reserves.

Jordan Gascon was running for a seat on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College Board. The teacher’s union was worried their candidate would lose, so they spent over $100,000 on baseless ads slandering Mr. Gascon. Ultimately, they were successful, as Mr. Gascon’s opponent was victorious. The annotations provide the truth, which clearly was not important to the teachers union.

So while this year’s election results are a win for the teachers union, the children are the ones who will lose the most. The union’s first priority is not the students, like it should be. For example, the United Teachers of Los Angeles issued a highly political list of demands that they wanted to see met before they would approve of teachers going back to the classrooms. Teacher’s unions have been similarly prohibitive of reopening’s across the country.

With multiple studies showing that schools can safely proceed with the reopening process, one would expect the teachers union to be eager to get students and teachers back in the classroom. After all, countless studies have shown that remote learning creates major disadvantages for students. But with the power held by teachers unions, members can work to fulfill their agenda, and they will generally do so by any means necessary. 

The defeated challengers of the union-backed candidates made one thing clear, the school board needs to do a better job of communicating and working with parents and the community regarding the reopening process. Without any transparency, the future and prosperity of every student is at risk, especially if the “lockdown until zero cases” mentality and unnecessary politicization continue.