Parents begin gathering signatures for the CUSD board recall

Frustrated parents will have until Oct. 12 to get enough signatures to recall four out of the five CUSD board members.

Posted: May 18, 2021 6:16 PM
Updated: May 19, 2021 10:00 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Frustrated parents now have the green light to start circulating petitions to recall four out of the five Chico Unified School District board members.

This recall effort comes not just from students being stuck in the AM/PM model for the entire school year, but also from the board wants to change the classroom curriculum in the future.

“What has gone on has just really put an impact on the future generation," said Kimberly Snyder, co-chair of Chico Parents for In-Person Learning.

The board approved a return to full-time school in the fall, but it comes too little too late for these parents.

"They say a lot of things,” said Snyder. “So them saying that they are going to open up in the fall, it doesn't mean anything to me."

Dr. Kathleen Kaiser, one of the four board members they are trying to recall, said it just was not logical to make the change during the school year.

“Reopening would have meant that 2,000 elementary kids would have changed with their classrooms and teachers and we had what? Only five weeks of school to go," said Kaiser.

The district is also in the early stages of changing how math will be taught in classrooms and making adjustments to the reading curriculum.

Kaiser told Action News Now this direction for change is coming from the state.

“If the state says it has to happen then it has to happen,” said Kaiser. “There is no rational reason to believe that the state would put out something that would disadvantage our students.”

Snyder wants parents to be a part of these conversations, and still see four new board members that she believes will fight for her kids.

RELATED: Parents and students rally for in-person learning at Shasta Elementary

“I will pull my kids out of school before they have to learn those sort of things that the school boards are implementing,” Snyder told Action News Now.

The initiative is four separate petitions for each of the four board members.

If they get enough signatures, the county will hold a special election.

“Our early estimate is it would cost at least $475,000 to do a recall,” said Keaton Denlay, manager for Butte County Elections. “The school district would be paying for it.”

The price tag does not worry Snyder.

"I think that that's a bargain, our tax dollars well spent,” said Snyder. “I would pay anything to get our kid's lives back to normal and help the ones that are suffering."

Snyder added that today’s recall signing by Shasta Elementary School was just the first of many more to come.

They will have until Oct. 12, 2021, to reach just under 11,000 signatures per petition.

They are shooting for 14,000 supporters.

“I think that we are going to do it,” said Snyder. “Deep down in my heart, I have been fighting for so long for the kids that are suffering and the parents that are suffering.”

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