California school officials use President Trump to mask their own failures

LAUSD school busThe nuance – the back-and-forth – was lost on many Obama-haters who celebrated the president. But it was also lost on Trump-haters, including public education officials and union leaders in California. They’ve used President Trump’s non-decision as an opportunity to rally their faithful by terrorizing undocumented families in the state.

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California schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson denounced the president’s message as a “mean-spirited, political attack on students who are working hard to succeed.” Randall Booker, superintendent of Piedmont Unified in the Bay Area, said the president had launched a “direct attack on California families and their children.” In a letter to the California congressional delegation, University of California President Janet Napolitano called the president’s non-decision “callous and misguided” and said it “unnecessarily punishes hundreds of thousands of bright young people.”

Within a week of the announcement, closer to home, the board of the Santa Ana Unified School District voted to condemn the president’s move – or rather “non-move,” if you like. The resolution claimed “great uncertainty exists amongst students about what specific immigration policies will be pursued by the federal government, and immigrants and other populations within the SAUSD community are fearful of policies that may result in deportation or forced registration based on immigration status, religion or beliefs.”

I was the sole vote against the resolution, in part because we already passed a resolution in December 2016 asking Congress to act on immigration reform. But I was especially opposed to the resolution because the “uncertainty” it highlights has been caused by the very people behind this and similar resolutions. They are certainly the cause – and, if you believe them, the cure – of communal anxiety.

But I also voted against the resolution because I see it for what it really is: a tactic to transform Washington politics into local anxiety. Panic is useful for teacher’s union leaders and school officials who hope to distract us from the real issue: their failure to educate out students.

Their failure is documented in state tests that show a majority of our school children cannot read or perform math at grade level. Despite that undeniable evidence, SAUSD graduates these students from high school even though they’re unprepared for college or career. That’s a fraud.

Instead of correcting this social injustice, my fellow board members voted last week to condemn the president. That same night, teachers union leaders took their three minutes at the public-comments dais to condemn me for documenting the catastrophic, decades-long slide in student performance.

There is a crisis haunting our community. But it’s not a crisis the president caused. It’s not a crisis emanating from distant Washington, DC. Indeed, in the last several days, the president has begun talking with congressional Democrats about a deal that would permanently resolve the problem of people covered by the DACA program.

No, the crisis that should concern everyone has its origin right here in Santa Ana, California. It has been created by teacher’s union leaders, their allies and school officials who fail to educate generations of our children – and who attempt to distract us by sowing terror.

Under the law, all children, including immigrant children, have the right to a quality public education. Any other conversation is at best a sideshow meant to keep our community down.

This commentary appeared first in the Orange County Register. Cecilia Iglesias is a Santa Ana Unified school board trustee, president of the Parent Union, and director of community relations and education at the California Policy Center in Tustin. Researcher Stuart Clay contributed to this commentary.


  1. Minions will soon learn government is corrupt and the only person who can help is the individual itself. Take hold of your future as school choice is a step in the right direction. There is a saying all students had a chance to hear and learn…a government big enough to give you what you want is also powerful enough to take away everything you have. If Congress does not enact law, instead a President signs an executive order, another President can revoke the same executive order. Civics 101 and students should know this already, why the shock?

  2. THE CAPTIVE says

    Tom T -Janet N. and the others with nasty comebacks (customary for mean spirited Lib-Lefts ) are projecting the fact that they were bought off like BHO bought J.Brown- TheY are backing a big LIE –AND PROMOTING INDOCTRINATION OF THE SHARIA IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. They could care less about the illegals except that these people bring in more money for these politicos. It is WRONG~

  3. I’ve read somewhere that the CPUSA has control of all the major Unions now and it is very apparent that most of the politicians (party doesn’t matter) are under their control (get in line or go find a real job next time) and they have done an excellent job of re-educating the lemmings. Sad but the Socialist Progressive Left is no more than a tool of the Communist Party.

  4. Eli’s coming.

  5. Tiene usted papeles?

  6. Rottweiler says

    They aren’t teaching these students illegal or legal anything of value for any type of vocation unless community organizer, ANTIFA for hire or constant complainer pays the bills. These angry DREAMERS should have gone the proper route to becoming formal citizens instead of waiting for a bunch of politically correct, virtriol filled, nasty-spiteful progressives aka politicians de California to launch a hate campaign against President Trump while waiting to be granted amnesty. 7 more years yeah! I love Trump and why should he provide free education and now 2 square meals, free housing, free medical and free college when our education system is circling the drain? These unions suck and so does the curriculum. Overpaid entitled administrators suck too! The answer is become a sanctuary state and receive NO MONEY from the FEDS. That’s what Jerry signed and that is what he will get. He sucks and now so do his constituents. I hope they get all that they want as they pander to the DREAMERS for their vote. Pathetic really is there any wonder why graduates can graduate with a D average. Yikes what college would want them?

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