Fresno Bee voter guide

Welcome to our guide for Election 2016 races. Compare candidates' views side by side, then create your own ballot, which you can print or email.

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Important note: Candidates' responses have not been edited except for clarity, language and libel. Candidates provide their own photographs and video. Candidates for non-partisan offices are listed as No Party Preference, regardless of party registration.

Central Unified School District Area 5

Fresno Bee stories about this raceCentral Unified school board candidates look to tackle growth, improve academics

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  • Cynthia Berube

  • Candidate picture

    Randy Rocca

  • Richard Solis

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Biographical Information

Were you pleased with how district officials spent new Local Control Funding Formula dollars this past school year? How would you like to see the new dollars spent this year?

School districts across the state are adjusting to the new Common Core standards. Is the district doing enough to prepare teachers and students for the new standards? What, if anything, would you change about how schools transition to this new way of teaching?

In your opinion, what are the district's top three challenges? How would you address each of these issues?

Do you favor or oppose Proposition 55, which would extend by 12 years the temporary income tax increase enacted in 2012 to support schools and colleges?

Is technology in education important? Is the district doing enough to get devices into the hands of kids? If so, how would you help improve access to technology, especially for low-income or other at-risk students?

Why are you the best candidate to serve on the school board? (Text or YouTube video.)

Age 66
Residence Fresno,
Family Married 45 years to husband Michael. We have 6 children and 17 grandchildren
Education Graduate of UC Davis
Occupation Family Nurse Practioner
Public service experience 25 years school board, 4-H community club leader, school site councils, parent clubs, booster clubs, and church council.
Yes. I like the process of having stake holders (parents, teachers,and community members) having an input on how public funding is spent. They have knowledge of what their individual school site needs. I would like to see an increase in dollars spent towards career technical education pathways based on student needs.
I believe Central Unified is adjusting to the ever changing Common Core standards. We are offering workshops and Teacher mentoring programs district wide. I believe that politicians need to stay out of the classroom and leave teaching to our teachers, the experts.
1. Continued growth that has led to over crowded classrooms. Seek funding to build new school sites in impacted neighborhoods by supporting state school bonds. 2. Fiscal balance. With state cut-backs and increased mandated programs, I will continue to support academic, arts, and athletic programs. I will address this by budgeting wisely and making sure the district maintains a 5% reserve. 3. Health and safety. We need to continue providing nutritious, cost effective meals to our students. Match this with immunization programs, health screening, counseling and safety programs for students and staff.
Yes I do support Prop 55.
Technology is very important to this generation of students. It is the new way of learning,test taking, and communicating. Central has been a leader in technical education. We have put a tablet into the hands of every student. We have partnered with companies, such as AT&T, to help expand services to our rural areas. We have offered 4G families that don't have access to Wi-Fi.
I'm a committed advocate of public education for children. I have a proven track record of successfully building schools , implementing technology, and raising test scores in this district. My leadership comes with experience and I will continue to fight to improve education, athletics, arts, and technology to make Central a leader of education in this state.
Age 58
Residence Fresno
Family Wife - Christy - married 31 years Son - Nick 27 yrs and his wife Kim and baby due on election day! Daugher - Katie 25 yrs
Education BS in Viticulture from Fresno State
Occupation Farming/Field Representative
Public service experience Fresno County Planning Commissioner for 8 years, Chairman of the local Bill Glass Prison Ministry Committee for 10 years, church council member, member of the Fresno State Viticulture Alumni.
Facebook/Social media FaceBook: Randy Rocca - Central Unified Trustee Area 5
Since this is a fairly new program, our district officials did reasonably well with LCFF funds as compared to other districts, but I’m intent on seeing funding more focused on student programs and opportunities. More professional development for teachers should also be a priority.
Our Administration has a healthy grasp of the new Common Core State Standards and has been a step ahead of the program by implementing the 1:1 device initiative a few years ago. They also understand the difference between CCSS and the misnomer that there is a "Common Core Curriculum." When the change to CCSS began, our administrative leaders were proactive during professional development sessions with teachers at all grade levels. There is always room to improve and grow and I have confidence not only in our teachers, but our administrators who are doing all they can to facilitate the change and capitalize on the best aspects of Common Core. Much of the criticism of Common Core involves the execution of the standards rather than the actual standards. The district needs to continue investing in professional development to ensure they align their budget plan with their core value of “Continuous Improvement". As a board member I'll insist on perennial research and training to address the ever changing needs of our digital learners and technology.
A board who is increasingly micro-managing and helicoptering over the people they've hired, creating an atmosphere of distrust. The Board's job is to oversee, not micro-manage, to be good stewards of the taxpayers hard-earned dollar, set policy to hold district staff accountable, approve budgets to focus funding on students, and to serve as an advocate for students and our community. 2. Due to the above distrust, many quality employees are leaving our district in search of a place to work where they feel valued and trusted. We need to bring that feeling of trust back to our top administrators which will in turn trickle down to all our amazing Central Unified certificated and classified staff. 3. More focus on students. Employees are important and need to be appreciated, but students and parents are the district's client.
Prop 30 was passed as a temporary bridge financing tax during the recession. It was designed to sunset when the state economy recovered. The economy has recovered. We should hold the state accountable to adequately fund schools under Prop 98. Additional taxes aren't a solution. Highly effective fiscal management, like the district has had for the past decade is. Central came through the state recession fiscally strong. It a matter of focus and priority.
Technology is absolutely important in education! Our district has been a trend-setter in this area with the 1:1 device initiative which was quite an ambitious plan. Our administrators have navigated the highs and lows of this initiative but ultimately, the students have benefited, essentially leveling the playing field between students who can afford access to technology and those who cannot. There are still kinks to work out, but again, Central Unified has some great folks working on every aspect of this venture. Recent resistance and potential board wavering support is a great concern. Central has been on the leading edge, and its students and community deserve that trend to be fully supported.
I am a life-long resident of Central Unified, graduating from Central in 1978. My father served on the Teague Board and was an integral part of the unification process in 1981. I follow in his footsteps as a business owner, fiscal conservative, with a passion for this district. I was an involved parent when my children attended Central East, serving on the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, Measure B Committee, and anything to do with aquatics! We are expecting our first grandchild and I would like to see Central be the best it can for our next generation. My involvement in and passion for Central Unified, combined with my experience on other boards, committees, and commissions make me the best candidate to serve as your Area 5 Trustee.
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