Get informed on the Nov. 8 local election

Read Santa Cruz Local's Election Guide

We break down the local races and ballot measures.
Get informed on the Nov. 8 local election

Meet the candidates

Scroll right and click each photo to learn more about the candidates.

Four candidates for four seats

Santa Cruz City Schools recently transitioned to district elections. Each trustee represents a geographical area. The district spans from the North Coast through Soquel. View a district map with trustee areas.

  • Four seats were up for election this year.
  • Only one candidate registered for each trustee area, so each candidate will be seated on the board. Because the candidates will be seated automatically, the races will not appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.
  • Santa Cruz Local gave questionnaires to these candidates so the public knows who they are and where they stand on issues that matter to local voters.

Background on Santa Cruz City Schools

The Board of Education of Santa Cruz City Schools is an elected body that ensures that the school district is responsive to the community’s values. The school board has the power to:

  • Set budgets for the district, including teacher pay.
  • Hire and fire the superintendent.
  • Develop goals for programs.
  • Set policies and approve staffing related to mental health, campus safety and other areas.

Qualifications include:

  • An ability to manage complex school budgets and allocate resources equitably.
  • A willingness to work with other board members to craft policies.


  • Trustees are eligible to receive health insurance provided for district employees. If trustees decline the insurance, they can receive a monthly stipend of $240.

What we heard from voters

Santa Cruz Local talked to about 20 Santa Cruz City Schools voters and students in interviews and an online survey. The voters’ most common questions were taken to the candidates. The candidates responded in writing. The candidates’ responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

The top themes raised by Santa Cruz City Schools voters were, in order of frequency:

  • Teacher pay raises.
  • A broader curriculum that better reflects the wide range of student needs.
  • A need for more vocational training in high schools.
  • Improvements to school facilities.
  • A need for more mental health support for students.
  • A need to address racism in schools.

Read more about what Santa Cruz Local heard from voters.

—Kara Meyberg Guzman and Nicklas Balboa

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