The four people running for West Contra County school board drew an audience of about 80 people for a candidates forum Monday night at Harding Elementary School in El Cerrito.
The 6:30-8 p.m. event was co-sponsored by the Kensington Hilltop Elementary School PTA and Harding and Mira Vista elementary schools. About 80 people turned out for the panel, moderated by Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor of Kensington Hilltop PTA.
The event also marked a test run of live video coverage by El Cerrito Patch. It was our first attempt at live streaming of news. We hope to provide access to a recording of the forum and also, in future video coverage, to fix the problems with the picture quality we experienced in this initial effort.
Among the issues discussed by the candidates were funding, class sizes, school bonds, career academies, what to do with a $5 million windfall, charter schools, breaking up the large district and two ballot measures designed to raise funds for the district.
On July 24, the board voted to place two revenue measures on the November ballot – Measure E for a bond measure to rebuild or retrofit several of the district's old schools and Measure G to extend the current parcel tax for academic spending.
The four candidates for two open seats on the five-member school board of the West Contra Costa Unified School District are
- retired school principal Randall Enos
- parent volunteer Todd Groves
- incumbent Antonio Medrano
- parent volunteer Robert Studdiford
The large West Contra Costa district ranges from El Cerrito and Kensington in the south to Hercules in the north.
We hope to have a more detailed report about the candidates' discussion soon.
The election will be held Nov. 6.
Two other school board candidate forums are scheduled next month:
• Thursday, October 11, 2012, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
El Cerrito High School Cafeteria
540 Ashbury Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530-3299
• Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Murphy Elementary School Multi-purpose Room
4350 Valley View Road
Richmond, CA 94803-1499