At a school that serves over 1,178 students, only 20 parents were present at last Friday’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) election at Cesar Batalla School. In other words, approximately 0.6 percent of eligible parents voted on Batalla’ new PAC Board.
These aren’t normal statistics for Batalla. Over 500 eligible parents showed up at the school’s last election according to district officials. That’s approximately 30 percent.
Why was there such a huge decrease in parent involvement? Perhaps it’s because, unlike previous elections, this election was run by District PAC leadership.
Rather than allow the school to organize their own election, the Working Families Party-aligned District Parent Advisory Council strong-armed Batalla principal Hector Sanchez into allowing them to take over the election process.
The result was a rushed, poorly attended election, where over 98 percent of parents were disenfranchised.
This is nothing new for the control-hungry District PAC. Parents were not at all involved in ousting former Batalla PAC President Juan Torrealba. Rather than allowing parents to vote on whether they wanted Torrealba to stay, the District PAC leadership decided behind closed doors to get rid of Torrealba and the rest of his executive board.
The ballots they handed out Friday cleverly did not allow parents to write in their own president or vice president nominee. The spot normally reserved for write-in candidates was crossed out.
If that wasn’t enough, District PAC leadership attempted to plant their own candidate for vice president, current bilingual secretary and Working Families Party crony Albert Benejan
Their hopes of packing Batalla’s PAC backfired. None of the candidates on the ballot for president showed up.
District PAC leadership was forced to allow write-in candidates, which ended in the election of Charles McNeal, a strong supporter of Torrealba, as Batalla’s PAC president.
Several other board members who disagreed with District PAC’s appalling lack of transparency were elected, as well
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