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By Rick Monroe
Special to the Village News 

High School recall group offers to pick up signatures

 

Last updated 7/10/2021 at 8:37am



The clock is ticking for proponents to gather signatures to recall Diane Summers, board president of the Fallbrook Union High School District. They have until Sept. 23 to gather 5,562 signatures of district voters.

Sherry Weishaar, a spokesman for reclaimfbschools.com, said the first event to gather signatures will be a drive-through signing at the Fallbrook Library on Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Other events will be posted on the web page when finalized.

“As of now we are not allowed tables at most of the grocery stores because of COVID-19 restrictions,” Weishaar said.

In the meantime, Weishaar said volunteers will drive to the home of anyone wanting to sign an official recall petition. To arrange for this, email [email protected]

Proponents said they hope to gather 8,000 signatures by the deadline to assure the recall is brought to voters.

Weishaar said the group behind the initiative has developed a statement of why they think Summers should be replaced:

“When these board members chose to serve, we expected them to adhere to their own guidelines: To ‘advocate for public education and represent the needs of all students,” the statement reads. “They have instead been led by Summers down a road that grossly lacks in transparency and communication.”

The statement continues to state Summers:

“Allowed Board members to vote where a clear conflict of interest exists. For example, voting on funding the teacher’s retirement plan which they or their family directly benefits from.”

“Not addressed that 88% of the student body does not currently meet state standards in Math. Previous board meetings instead dedicated time to creating new staff positions for non-required subjects.”

“Set the meeting agenda, limiting public comments but allowing union representatives to speak freely without time limits throughout the meeting.”

“Knowledge of declining enrollment for 6-plus years which means a loss of revenue to the district. Instead of addressing the issue of student loss, there have been no adjustments made to district spending. As a result, FUHSD will be operating in a budget deficit of over $1 million for the 2022-23 school year.”

“As the students in our town are suffering, our school board continues to plow ahead with their own selfish goals, under the guidance of Diane Summers. Grades have plummeted, mental health has suffered. If Ms. Summers is allowed to continue, the futures of our children are in jeopardy and sit at the mercy and whim of someone who long ago disregarded their elected duty.”

The group also welcomes more volunteers. For details, contact [email protected]

Summers, who was elected to a four-year term on the five-member board in 2018, was contacted by email for a response, but replied, "I have no comment at this time.”

Superintendent Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez was also asked several questions about the recall, including costs of a recall. She couldn’t provide any details about the impact of the recall effort but explained the board policy on comments to the media, citing Board Policy 9010.

"All public statements authorized to be made on behalf of the board shall be made by the board president or, if appropriate, by the Superintendent or other designated representative,” the policy states.

It also states the board spokesperson shall not disclose confidential information or information received in closed session except when authorized by a majority of the board.

 

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