AUSHD Admits “Yes On Measure B” Use Of Schools For Electioneering Is Illegal – Fails To Stop It

Why not? It isn’t THEIR money.

On Tuesday of last week, January 28, this blog published a story about Anaheim Union High School District resources were being used for a political campaign advocating passage of Measure B – the $398 million school bond placed on the March 3 ballot by the AUHSD Board of Education.

The precinct walks were being staged from all the high school campuses in the district. Walkers were being coordinated by the teachers union representatives at each school site.

This blog contacted both the AUHSD and the Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association about the union’s involvement and the use of school property for political campaign activities.

ASTA President Grant Schuster responded within a few hours, and are included in last week’s article.

The AUHSD took eight days to respond to questions. – e-mailing replies barely two hours before the precinct walk started.

We sent an e-mail to district Public Information Officer John Bautista on January 28 asking “some questions about the use of government property for electioneering purposes” and noting that Article 2, Section 7054 (a) of the California Education Code states “No school district or community college district funds, services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate, including, but not limited to, any candidate for election to the governing board of the district.”

We further noted that according to the Measure B campaign’s flyer, school district resources are being used to organize and stage the precinct walk.

More than a week later – about two hours before the precinct walks were set to begin – we recieved an email from Bautista with response to “some” of our questions:

Did the AUHSD give ASTA permission to use its high school campuses to stage this campaign precinct walk?

The precinct walks are being sponsored by Yes on Measure B organization. ASTA’s logo was on the flyer as they endorse the walks.

Will participating ASTA members be allowed to use their teaching positions to recruit students to participate in the precinct walk?

No.

Does the AUSHD have a policy governing the use of district facilities such as school campuses to conduct political election campaigns?

The District has a Facility Use Board Policy.

Does the AUHSD consider it legal and/or appropriate to allow ASTA and Measure B proponents to use AUHSD resources to advocate FOR Measure B?

No.

Does the AUSHD believe allowing the use of district property for this precinct walk is consistent with the requirements of the state education code?

AUHSD complies with all legal requirements.

Let’s leave aside the question of why it took the district more more than a week to furnish these tight-tipped replies.

The AUHSD’s answers acknowledge that A) a political campaign committee is using its facilities for campaign electioneering purposes and B) that such activity is illegal and/or inappropriate. Yet, not only did the AUHSD fail to act, but then claims it is following the law!

And so the illegal use of AUHSD facilities for campaign purposes went right ahead. Here is Renae Bryant, the district’s politically active director of English Learner & Multilingual Services, posting about the Yes on Measure B walk staged at Western High School:

Let’s double back to the involvement of ASTA. In our previous story, ASTA President Grant Schuster said that while his union supports Measure B, it has no involvement in the campaign.

And yet, ASTA’s fingerprints are all over this Yes on Measure B campaign event:

According to ASTA’s own social media, yesterday’s school site-based campaign precinct walk looks an ASTA-organized event.

The AUHSD agrees it is illegal to use district facilities, and yet ASTA posts photos of its members doing exactly that:

AESD Trustee and ASTA officer Juan Alvarez and ASTA President Grant Schuster engaged in election campaigning at Anaheim High School.

The AUHSD said ASTA members would not be allowed to recruit students to participate in yesterday’s campaign precinct walk, and yet here are students with ASTA members at the precinct walk staged from Anaheim High School:

Anaheim Blog will continue looking into this matter, and report back when we’re able to get straight answers from the AUHSD and ASTA.

15 comments

  1. So what are the consequences for these violations? None? Please pass this on to the main stream media!

    • Unless a complaint is made to the appropriate authorities – the DA or the FPPC or both – nothing will happen. This is SOP for teachers unions and has been for years.

      As for the main stream media – the OC Register is stretched too thin, and this sort of thing doesn’t fit into the Voice of OC narrative. The Voice ignores school district reporting.

      • Mr. Cunningham, can you please consider making a complaint on the behalf of residents? These are clear violations that will have serious consequences to us as residents and parents. They are asking for more and profess to have budget issues but have yet to be held accountable for their creative financial decisions to date. All the while our schools produce failing scores. Please consider to continue to expose them all.

        • Serious? You call yourself Anaheim and you are asking a blogger from Orange to make this complaint for you? That’s the problem with America…

          • Why don’t you make the complaint then, Vern?

            That’s right. You don’t care when politicians YOU support break the law or misuse public resources.

            And you never criticized when a blogger from Brea was filing complaints about things happening in Anaheim. Brother, what a hypocrite.

        • I can’t read your reponse right now, Anaheim, it’s too skinny on my phone. But just think how powerful the headline would be if yoy did it: ANAHEIM Complains aboit Measure B malfeasance.

          Oh. Or do you not live in Anaheim either?

  2. Many Ring camera pictures will prove that the high school students were walking for this measure to pass. The students were quoted as saying they get credit at school for participating. So with the lure of school credit the district gets some recruited students to walk for their cash grab.

    Please consider doing an article that explains just what it will cost us all if this measure is passed. It would be also be interesting to include what the fiscal budget is for the needy school district and what our schools current scores are. Where does the money go?

    CONSIDER VOTING NO ON MEASURE B

  3. Without a full understanding of this measure i can only respond to the above… It definitely was a violation of school and district policies… Fact and truth… Period… There should be some kind of accountability…

  4. VOTE NO ON B: Loara High School Principal robocall to ask you to vote yes. Use funds for students not politics.

    • I will vote NO on B – Due to the ignorant, egregious and illegal disregard for rules and policies forbidding the AUHSD and the ASTA from utilizing district resources to support Ballot Measure B. Please follow the rules, policies and laws in the future, as you are hurting your own agenda of making our schools the best they can be! Please understand residents are fed up with the cheating and lying to advance political agendas. Follow the rules.

  5. Bret: Well said. giving students school credit to pass out flyers in support of Measure B should be illegal. If they are using the students in that way what else? Where did the money go?

  6. There was Gross Negligence by Many Administrators in AUHSD, I personally was encouraged to have students meet after school and pass out flyers, Saturday School, School Day of Service to push this Measure. I wouldnt back it or encourage my students to get involved.

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