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When you drive a school district into near-bankruptcy and just about completely fail with regard to graduation rates and test scores, you probably don’t have much of a chance at re-election. That is the awkward position that Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) School Board President Jose Alfredo Hernandez finds himself in as he attempts to get elected to the seat he was previously appointed to.
The man’s ego is truly outrageous. Just have a look at his campaign website, where he refers to himself as a “shining success.” And check out this whopper, “Hernández has brought his professional expertise to wisely balance the financial responsibilities of the District with the competing needs of the many District stakeholders.” Is this guy serious? The District fired most of its classified employees – in fact Hernandez said at one meeting that he fired his own Aunt, who raised him! And the District has a massive budget deficit! Que mentiroso!
Hernandez likes to say on his website that he is “giving back to the community.” But I have heard he has his eye on Assemblyman Jose Solorio’s seat. Hernandez needs to stay on the SAUSD School Board or else his ambitions of higher office are dead.
The greatest indictment of Hernandez is that he is endorsed by fellow SAUSD Trustees Audrey Noji and Rob Richardson. The lot of them ought to be locked up or at least booted off the SAUSD Board. He is also endorsed by Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and a slew of lawyers. Check out the rest of his endorsements at this link.
And Hernandez lied on the KCal/Channel 2 Online Voter Guide:
3. How do you plan to fix those problems if elected?
JOSE ALFREDO HERNANDEZ: In the past 1 1/2 our, graduation rates have gone up from the previous year. In my opinion, a primary reason at least in my district is that the expectations have been raised. Right before I got on the Board, our district would issue a certificate of completion to those students that did not earn a High School diploma, either because they did not pass the High School Exit exam or because they did not have enough units to graduate. I voted to eliminate that certificate. As far as our leadership, I will insist on accepting responsibility, ensuring accountability and demanding that our administrators, teachers and staff raise their level of expectations for our children.
NOT TRUE: In the Spring of 2007, Jose Hernandez along with Rob Richardson and Audrey Noji voted to extend by a year the giving of a certificate of completion for students not passing the high school exit exam. He also allowed those students to participate in the graduation ceremonies.
This policy was first approved for the class of 2006 (4-1 vote) and then for the class of 2007 it was passed again on a 3-2 vote with Rosemary Avila and John Palacio voting no. Jose Hernandez was the swing vote. This practice ended for the class of 2008.
5. What measures would you take to optimize the use of funds for your district?
JOSE ALFREDO HERNANDEZ: This past 1 1/2 I have been part of a board that has cut over 30 million dollars (over 110 million in the last 5 years). We have had Budget Reduction Committee reviewing all of our expenditures and revenues to see where exactly we can cut or save. Our district has been very responsive in seeking restricted funds and using them wisely. I .would ensure that we continue along that path and audit ourselves to make sure that we are spending every penny wisely.
How about the loss of $6 million that the District had to pay the State? The SAUSD cuts would of been significantly less if it was not for the mismanagement. How about all the remodeling in the District offices?
There are eight other candidates running for the SAUSD School Board. My advice? Do NOT vote for either of the incumbents, Hernandez and Rob Richardson. That would be a good start. I have endorsed Irene Ibarra and Valerie Amezcua. I am still not sure who I will be supporting for the third seat on the SAUSD School Board – but I guarantee it won’t be Hernandez.