Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

January 2, 2013
Group says it won't fight Sac City Unified's trustee appointment

It's starting to look like newly appointed Sacramento City Unified trustee Jay Hansen will not have his seat challenged through a petition calling for a special election.

Prior to Hansen's selection, the district's five bargaining groups and an outside coalition urged the school board to reconsider their decision to appoint someone to resigning board member Ellyn Bell's seat. However, board members said they did not want the district to have to pay up to $274,000 for a special election, particularly in a time of budget cuts.

Annette Deglow of the coalition Citizens to Elect School Boards by Areas said she was ready to challenge any appointment to the board because it did not allow the voters of Area 1 to select who would represent them for the remaining two years of Bell's term. Area 1 includes Land Park, downtown, midtown and Curtis Park.

However, Deglow said Wednesday that she has decided not to initiate the petition.

"There is no way to do it without it being personal," said Deglow, one of the original petitioners of measures that created trustee area elections in Sacramento City Unified.

"The only thing I wanted was for the community to select their candidate," she said. "My time at this point would be better spent fixing the problem, instead of muddying the waters. I oppose the process, but not one candidate over the other."

Deglow said her issue is that she could not challenge the district's decision to appoint a candidate prior to trustees making a selection. That, Deglow said, makes it seem like she opposes Hansen, when, in fact, she opposes the appointment process.

State Education Code allows for 30 days to challenge a trustee appointment. In Sacramento City Unified, a successful petition would need 2,500 signatures by Jan. 19 turned into the Sacramento County Office of Education.

Washington Unified in West Sacramento recently went through a similar process. Petitioners gathered 345 signatures to force a special election after trustees appointed a board member to fill a vacated seat. The special election is scheduled for March 5.

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About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

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lkalb@sacbee.com
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Twitter: @dianalambert

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