The issues of planning, class size and funding confront voters in the Placentia Unified School District next month.
Five candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for three seats on the school board. One incumbent, William A. Yates, a 17-year board veteran, is not seeking reelection.
Barbara S. Williams, who is seeking her third four-year term, said finances are the biggest problem faced by the growing school district.
“Current funding formulas do not provide for class-size reductions, competitive salaries for school employees who live in Orange County, and the maintaining of a variety of student programs,” Williams said. “I will insist on careful management of tax dollars to achieve the maximum benefit for students and employees.”
Stacy Holland, who is seeking her second term, said: “In Placentia Unified, as with all districts in the state of California, the biggest problem schools are facing is that class size and student-teacher ratios are too large. There are too many students in our basic-skills classes.”
Holland said the district nevertheless is trying to reduce class sizes and already has done so in first-grade reading and ninth-grade writing classes. But, she said, there is a “need to convince the Legislature to help districts fund this.”
John M. Dillard, a businessman, said the biggest problem in Placentia Unified is “planning and management of facilities and staff for one of the fastest-growing districts in the county.” He said he would bring experience to the board in the field of human resource management.
Judy Miner, a former teacher in the Anaheim Union High School District, said the biggest problems in the Placentia school district are “lack of a stable funding source for education” and “need for unity among geographic areas, managers, employee associations, citizens and students.” She said solutions to the money problem include lobbying the Legislature and organizing “grass-roots efforts to support measures which lead in the direction of more stable funding.”
William R. Scarberry, a business owner, said a major issue for all public education is “how to make due without adequate state funding.” He added: “Creating a manageable budget, taking into account needed capital improvements, technology and employee salary and benefits, will be a problem.”
He called for “continued pressure on Sacramento” to help get more education money. He also said he hopes “to work with other board members to set realistic priorities, addressing needs on a proactive basis and not on a reactive basis.”
The teachers union, the Placentia Unified Education Assn., has endorsed Williams and Holland for reelection and Miner for the seat being vacated by Yates.
PLACENTIA UNIFIED SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES
Five candidates, including two incumbents, are running for three seats in the Nov. 8 election. Board members are elected on a districtwide basis.