Editorial: Will SAUSD Taxpayers Pay For Another Political Junket For Trustee Rigo Rodriguez?

By:OC Independent Editorial

There they go again.

Earlier this month, the radicals who populate the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved sending Trustees Rigo Rodriguez and Hector Bustos at a political organizing conference called the “Local Progress 2024 National Convening” – at a cost to district taxpayers of $6,000.

READ: Editorial – SAUSD Taxpayers Funding Political Junket For Trustees Hector Bustos and Rigo Rodriguez

Tonight, the usual suspects are at it again. Item 14.10 on this evening’s SAUSD Board agenda is spending $1,800 for another blatantly political junket: sending Trustee Rigo Rodriguez to the “2024 Birth to 12th Grade Water Cooler Conference” in Sacramento. 

The “rationale” in the staff report claims that “Attending the Birth to 12th Grade Water Cooler Conference is a pivotal opportunity for stakeholders in education and racial equity to address systemic misalignments and advocate for inclusive, sustainable solutions for children and families of color.  This conference, focusing on “Bridging Systems to Center Racial Equity,” offers a critical platform for engaging in strategic dialogues, networking with diverse advocates, and exploring innovative, whole-child approaches amid economic uncertainties.  It represents not only a chance to deepen understanding and share community-centered strategies but also to actively contribute to a collective movement towards a more equitable and just educational system, making attendance essential for those committed to fostering meaningful change.”

Translation from social justice mumbo-jumbo into English: this is an opportunity for Rigo Rodriguez to network and hobnob with other left-wing radicals and pick up ideas on institutionalizing radical political and racial theories in SAUSD curriculum, policies and Board politics.

Not that they need help: the current five-member Board of Education has been doing that since they took power. Their Board meetings are public exercises in discussion-free woke group-think.

Despite the innocuous name the “Birth to 12th Grade Water Cooler Conference” occupies the far, far Left of the political spectrum, and makes no bones that its goal is radicalizing school districts. Headlining this year’s conference is Dr. Bettina Love, a critical theorist professor the Teachers College at Columbia University (surprise! surprise!) and a true believer in abolishing the police, “anti-racism” and all the Marxist nostrum’s used by the post-modern Left to explain everything perceived injustice and social outcome as the fruit of omnipresent racism and white privilege. Love is the godmother the radical abolitionist teaching movement.

Love is the co-founder and Board member of the Abolitionist Teaching Network, which describes her as “an educator who teaches, writes, researches, and advocates at the intersection of racism, education, and abolition. She is the author of the book We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom.

Here’s a post from the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s Facebook page from just six days ago – inculcating small children with Hamas talking points and thinly-veiled anti-Semitism:

Love’s education philosophy is “informed by critical pedagogy, critical race theory, and Black feminism, and she has won a number of awards for her scholarship, teaching, and advocacy efforts related to anti-racist educational reform.” In other words, for Love, public education should revolve around racial and gender politics and ideology.

Love also wrote the approving forward to “Reading, Writing, and Racism: Disrupting Whiteness in Teacher Education and in the Classroom.”

She’s a devotee of the core anti-racist precept that color-blind policy is immoral and that the only way to rectify past racial discrimination is for the government to racially discriminate against white people and “white-adjacent” ethnicities like Asian-Americans:

Does Trustee Rodriguez subscribe to Love’s ideology and intend for SAUSD to link up with her Abolitionist Teaching Network’s “network of critical educators committed to the abolition of the school-prison nexus and the radical transformation of all learning spaces”?

The agenda for the Water Cooler Conference is explicitly political and oriented toward school board electioneering and the Left’s “collective fight” against parents who don’t want to sign over their children’s minds to woke indoctrination:

What does any of this have to do with providing a quality education for SAUSD students, or ensuring they can read and do math at grade level? Or with preparing them to earn a living or be a productive citizen who loves their country (rather than disdain it as a racist hellscape)?

Nothing. This conference is about politics and narratives and “building power.”

It nigh-certain the SAUSD Board will approve dunning district taxpayers to send Rodriguez on his woke political junket. It’s clearly a done deal: after all, the conference starts tomorrow morning. No doubt Rodriguez’s flight is booked, his hotel room reserved and his luggage packed.

But why should SAUSD taxpayers foot the bill for Rodriguez’ blatantly political junketeering? It would be refreshing if Rodriguez offers – or one of his Board colleagues requests – an explanation of why Rodriguez wants taxpayers to fund his trip instead of paying out of his own pocket? And a real explanation – not jargony obfuscation, but an honest pitch in plain language that a normal person would find persuasive.

Don’t hold your breath. It will likely be another exercise in SAUSD Board hive mind.


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