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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Education & Student Activism
Soquel Union Elementary School District and the Brown Act
Soquel Union Elementary School District Board continues to create an environment that misinforms the public, minimizes community input, and discourages citizen involvement.
Missing – Mutual Respect and a Shared Vision
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY – A follow-up investigation by the Grand Jury found that the SUESD Board continues to create an environment that misinforms the public, minimizes community input, and discourages citizen involvement. The goal of this report is to encourage the SUESD Board to embrace a more transparent, inclusive approach to the business of school governance.
The report is available here:
The Santa Cruz County Grand Jury is a civic body composed of nineteen members chosen from the voter rolls, driver registration records, and applications submitted by the public (available at http://www.santacruzcourt.org/divisions/jury/grand%20jury). Jurors serve for one year, from July 1st through the following June 30th, and may choose to serve a second year. The Santa Cruz County Grand Jury office is located in the County Building at 701 Ocean Street, Room 318 -I, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
Separate investigations of the Soquel Union Elementary School District’s Board of Trustees (SUESD Board) were conducted by both the 2015 – 16 and 2016 – 17 Santa Cruz County Civil Grand Juries. These investigations revealed that the SUESD Board has created an environment that misinforms the public, minimizes community input, and discourages citizen involvement. The 2015–16 Santa Cruz County Civil Grand Jury investigated the SUESD Board and reported on discrepancies in record keeping procedures and two instances of violations of California's open meeting laws known as the Brown Act. The SUESD Board’s response to that report indicated ongoing operation outside the bounds of state law, in conflict with their own policies and bylaws, and contrary to the guidance of the California School Board Association. The goal of this follow-up report is to encourage the SUESD Board to embrace a more transparent, inclusive approach to the business of school governance.
The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.
California Government Code (Cal Gov Code, CGC) §54950 “The Brown Act”
Download the complete, 15 page PDF, report.
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Download the complete report as a 15 page PDF.