Sacramento school board election results show likely upheaval

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Participants in a march and rally at Hiram Johnson High School march to the transportation office Tuesday, March 29, 2022 in Sacramento during the SCTA and SEIU Local 1021 strike.

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The Sacramento City Teachers Association has endorsed three school board candidates from the Sacramento City Unified School District, in an effort to shake up the school board after the union’s eight-day strike earlier this year.

New election results released on Friday show these three union-backed candidates ahead of their opponents.

If the trend continues, incumbent directors Leticia Garcia and Darrell Woo would lose their seats to union-backed challengers Jasjit Singh and Taylor Kayatta.

In race three, union-backed teacher Tara Jeane stands up to state attorney Anna Molander Hermann. They are running to succeed administrator Lisa Murawski, who did not seek re-election.

Singh, a nonprofit director, holds the biggest lead among the three races. He trailed in early election night results in the race to represent East Sacramento on the school board.

He is now ahead of Garcia by nearly 1,000 votes, leading with 53.4%

“It’s a very tight race. Clearly people want change, and we hope the final tally goes in our favor,” Singh told the Sacramento Bee last week.

In Zone 1 of the district representing Land Park and Downtown, Jeane holds a lead against Hermann, 51% to 48%. Their race is separated by more than 400 votes.

In Zone 6 representing the Pocket and Greenhaven, Kayatta has a first-time lead against outgoing three-term Trustee Woo

Kayatta, a government attorney and parent advocate, holds nearly 52% of the vote, 6,853 to 6,329.

“I remain confident that when all the votes are tallied, I will be elected the first new board member to represent Sac City Area 6 in 12 years,” Kayatta told The Bee earlier this week.

Sacramento County still has about 145,000 votes to count, so leads in school board races could change again.

The election follows an eight-day strike that shut down the school district last spring. This led to a labor agreement that increased teachers’ salaries, provided them with bonuses and resolved a number of expense issues related to COVID-19 precautions. It was the union’s fourth strike vote in five years and its second full walkout during that time.

This story was originally published November 18, 2022 4:34 p.m.

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Marcus D. Smith covers black communities for The Sacramento Bee. Marcus is an alumnus of Texas Southern University in Houston. Marcus grew up in Sacramento and is thrilled to be back home after his passion for journalism.

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