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

Seats in trustee areas 1, 2 and 7 were up for election Nov. 8. Only one candidate registered for each area. All were incumbents. The following candidates are expected to be automatically seated and the races will not appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

  • Trustee Area 1: Sue Roth.
  • Trustee Area 2: Bruce Van Allen.
  • Trustee Area 7: Abel Sanchez.

Click the photo to learn more about the candidate. Sue Roth declined to participate and Abel Sanchez did not respond to requests for comment.

Background on the Santa Cruz County Board of Education 

The Santa Cruz County Board of Education is elected by county voters to evaluate and adopt policies for programs administered by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The county office of education provides leadership and services to school districts in the county. The board has the power to:

  • Set budgets for the Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools.
  • Acquire, lease, sell or transfer land for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.
  • Hear appeals of district expulsions and denials of inter-district transfers.
  • Oversee reorganization of school districts in the county and district boundaries. Read more about the board’s responsibilities.

Qualifications include:

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

Compensation:

  • Trustees may receive a monthly stipend of $240. Trustees are eligible to receive employee health insurance. Trustees must pay the full cost of premiums.

A map of trustee areas for the Santa Cruz County Board of Education. Click the map to look up an address and find the corresponding district. (Santa Cruz County Office of Education)

The Santa Cruz County Board of Education board has district elections. Each trustee is elected by voters in a geographical area. The trustee areas are:

  • Area 1: San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District and Scotts Valley Unified School District
  • Area 2: Happy Valley School District and part of the City of Santa Cruz and part of Live Oak.
  • Area 3: The North Coast, Bonny Doon and most of Westside Santa Cruz.
  • Area 4: Mountain Elementary School District in the Soquel hills, part of Live Oak and part of Soquel Union Elementary School District.
  • Area 5: The northern part of Pajaro Valley Unified School District, including Aptos, Rio Del Mar and La Selva Beach.
  • Area 6: City of Watsonville and surrounding unincorporated areas.
  • Area 7: The southern part of Pajaro Valley Unified School District, including parts of Monterey County.

What we heard from voters

Santa Cruz Local talked to voters, residents and students in interviews and an online survey. Their most common questions were taken to the candidates. A candidate responded in writing. The candidate’s responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

The top themes raised by about 25 Santa Cruz and Live Oak voters, residents and students included:

  • Teacher pay raises.
  • A need for teacher housing.
  • A broader curriculum that better reflects the wide range of student needs.
  • A need for more vocational training in high schools.
  • A need to address racism in schools.

The top themes raised by 29 Pajaro Valley Unified School District voters, residents and students were:

  • Teacher pay raises.
  • Plans to keep school campuses safe from gun violence.
  • Healthier options for school lunches.
  • A need for more after-school activities.

The top themes raised by 12 Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley voters, residents and students were:

  • A need to address bullying in schools.
  • Plans to keep school campuses safe from gun violence.
  • Teacher pay raises.
  • A need for more after-school activities.

Read more about what Santa Cruz Local heard from voters.

—Kara Meyberg Guzman and Allison Gasparini

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