AUHSD Superintendent Matsuda Using District Funds For Anti-Charter School Political Conference

Why is the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees paying $1,800 for Superintendent Mike Matsuda to go to Philadelphia to participate in a conference whose purpose is organizing political opposition to charter schools?

At its October 10, 2019 meeting the AUHSD Board of Trustees unanimously approved up spending up to $1,800 for Superintendent Matsuda to travel to the 2020 National Conference of the Network for Public Education (NPE).

The NPE is a teacher union-funded group whose purpose to organize political opposition to charter schools across the nation. It virulently against any form of educational choice that falls outside the teacher union-dominated status quo.

The NPE’s 2020 conference features nearly 50 panels – virtually all of them focused on various methods and strategies for “fighting charters” and “defending public schools.”  Matsuda is a co-presenter on a panel led by Carol Burris, the executive director of the NPE. Other presenters on the panel include Adell Cothorne, a principal-turned-professor with identity politics views.

Does spending $1,800 in district funds to send Matsuda to a political conference enhance the education of AUSHD students? Will it address the district’s low test scores, or low ranking in terms of college acceptances for graduating seniors?

The answer is: it doesn’t. It only serves to subsidize Superintendent Matsuda’s war against charter schools.

Charter schools are popular with parents and students. Study after study demonstrates charter schools outperform traditional public schools in educational; outcomes. Given the option, most families will opt to enroll their kids at a charter school than a traditional public school.

Hence, the unremitting hostility of those who have a vested interest in the public education status quo. Here in Orange County, the AUSHD has become the epicenter of anti-charter school activism since Matsuda’s appointment as superintendent. The district’s hostility to educational choice extends to denying hundreds of transfer requests by parents seeking better learning opportunities for their children outside the AUSHD – to a degree county education officials view as “unbelievable.” When those students leave, their $13K in per-student funding follows them – and keeping those dollars in the district matters more to the AUHSD than what is best for those kids educationally.

We e-mailed AUSHD Public Information Officer John Bautista asking how this trip benefits AUSHD students and staff, as well as how Matsuda responds to concerns he is using taxpayer dollars to participate in a political advocacy conference – advocacy that is at odds with the political opinions of many AUHSD residents.

10 days later, Bautista responded with a curt, “Superintendent Matsuda declines to respond.”

Perhaps that because he is using AUHSD taxpayer money to engage in political activity that many, if not most , AUSHD taxpayers oppose. Shouldn’t Superintendent Matsuda indulge in his political crusades on his own dime, rather than the taxpayers?


  1. The venom over charter schools from unified school districts and Anaheim being just one of many…is deplorable. The taxpayers should not be footing the bill to send Superintendents to conferences to educate them on how to fight charters.

  2. This war against charter schools is getting totally ridiculous. Public schools only want to to keep the money flowing in to their systems and continue feeding their unions and the charter schools seem to threaten this mission. I believe that the anti -charter fanatics are afraid to let the parents choose. Why is that?

  3. Rather than build capacity by supporting teachers and administrators superintendent Matsuda spends all his time and our money on his political ambitions. He just put another principal on leave at Oxford academy – at current count 80 percent of the district administration has quit, been forced out or been fired. The district is a mess and enrollment is declining quickly in spite of all of his east Berlin blocking tactics.

  4. If his newest puppet – Ms Torres (who was hired at Auhsd Dale jr high by Matsuda appointee Lorena Moreno) wins in her bid for school board in Santa Ana – look for her to hire Matsuda as Superintendent over there. This is the grand plan to take over another army of door knockers (bros and bras) for Jose Moreno’s bid for congress .
    That school board vote is today…. could be good news for Anaheim Cypress and LaPalma. – sorry Santa Ana

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