acsd board

The deadline to apply for the provisional appointment to fill the vacancy on the Anaheim City School District Board of Education is today (December 29) at 4:00 p.m. In order to be considered, applicants must e-mail a completed application form and resume to by the deadline. Click here to download the application.

The vacancy was created by the resignation of Board member James Vanderbilt, who was elected to the Anaheim City Council). According to the application, “Qualified Candidates will be invited to a personal interview with the Board of Education to be held at a public meeting on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Each candidate will be contacted on January 7 and provided with an interview time. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.”

Questions that come to mind are what makes a candidate qualified or not qualified, and who makes that determination?  This is especially pertinent since the first question on the application is unrelated to qualifications:  “Do you currently have children in public school?

Does that matter? The state Education Code says “Any person, regardless of sex, who is 18 years of age or older, a citizen of the state, a resident of the school district, a registered voter, and who is not disqualified by the Constitution or laws of the state from holding a civil office, is eligible to be elected or appointed a member of a governing board of a school district.”

All taxpaying voters pay for public schools and cast ballots in school board elections, regardless of whether they have children in public school, or have children at all.  Furthermore, the quality of the education provided by public schools impacts everyone to some degree or another, giving all of us an interest in who governs school districts.  Since one doesn’t have to have children in public schools in order to run for school board, why should that even be a consideration on the application – let alone the first question directed at applicants?

Interestingly, this question doesn’t ask if the applicant has children in the ACSD, just whether they have children in any public school. Also, not until further into the application are applicants asked far more relevant questions such as “Why do you want to be a school board board” or “What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the ACSD Board?”

This has the ring of an elimination question. Answer “yes” and you’re deemed “qualified.” Answer “no” and you get tossed into the “not qualified” pile.

At least, that is my suspicion. I hope I am wrong. Reviewing all submitted applications and seeing who is deemed qualified and who is not would provide some sort of answer.