Opinion: Your Vote Matters for Natomas School Board

Due to establishing of by-trustee area representation within the Natomas Unified School District boundaries, trustees Jag Bains and Lisa Kaplan were ineligible to run for re-election in 2022 as they reside within the same trustee area as Susan Herredia, who was re-elected in 2020. / Map: Natomas Unified School District

FOR THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

What is one of the most important elections on the ballot that has a huge impact on our community? Your local school board.

According to the National School Boards Association, school board members “. . . establish the vision and goals for the public schools in their district, and they set standards for the performance of schools and superintendents.”

School boards oversee how that funding is managed, and how well the administration educates students. For example, during this school year, our Natomas Unified School District board of trustees will oversee a projected budget of $222,181,972 million of our tax dollars to prepare an estimated 17,500 of our scholars to either attend college or enter the workforce proficient in the basics of reading, math, critical thinking and writing.

The upcoming race for two new board members deserves every eligible voter’s full participation.

Last year, the Natomas Unified board of trustees approved a resolution that directed staff to lead the school district from at-large elections to by-trustee areas. This new by-trustee area method requires each trustee to live in the region they wish to represent.

Additionally, the voters who elect them must live within the specified neighborhood as well. This method ensures a greater opportunity for voters in every neighborhood to be represented, which ultimately fosters equity and greater inclusion.

This Nov. 8, Trustee Area 1 (blue) and Trustee Area 4 (green) will have vacant positions and each voter residing in one of those areas may vote for one candidate.

Regardless of whether you have a student attending a Natomas Unified school, it is important to educate and familiarize oneself with the individuals whose decisions and interests may be implemented as they ultimately impact our entire community. A high quality school system benefits our entire community.

Natomas Unified recently began offering new alternative career and learning options such as the Cosmetology Pathway and Dual Immersion School for our learners. Additionally, Natomas Unified is also in position to support the implementation of local initiatives such as youth and job-readiness programs, food distributions, and the aquatic center and sports complexes.

The four candidates running for Natomas Unified school board offer a clear choice in the direction of the school district. Below are a few ways in which you can have your voice heard.

• Review each candidates’ websites for more details and information. Links included below.

Area 1 (South Natomas & West Natomas)

Noel Mora – Area 1 https://www.noel4schools.org/
Megan Allen – Area 1 https://megan4schools.com/

Area 4 (North Natomas)

Monique Hokman – Area 4 https://moniquehokman.com/
Cindy Quiralte Area 4 https://cindy4natomas.org

See the map here of the five new trustee areas. Trustee areas 2, 3 and 5 will be up for election in November 2024.

• Please register to vote if you have not done so already. You can register to vote at https://registertovote.ca.gov/.

• Natomas Black Parents United has invited all the school board candidates to a virtual forum that is open to all community members at 6 p.m. this Wednesday, Oct. 19 via Zoom. You may follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/100068962934694 or Instagram @nbpu2020 for details.

Natomas Black Parents United is a grassroots group created and maintained by volunteers to support the needs of our highly capable students within the Natomas Unified School District.

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