As a Carpinteria Unified School District board member, I have seen many donations to the district. Two donations, however, involved cannabis profits and I did not approve of either as a private citizen—nor did I vote for them as a board member. Both have been written about in the Coastal View News.
“Cannabis money…” (CVN, Jan. 17, 2019): “After significant discussion, the board voted unanimously to amend the previous agenda, acknowledging a $1,200 donation from the CARP Growers...”
While this donation was presented to the board as a gift to CUSD from the Carpinteria Rotary Club, the board knew that it was a gift from CARP Growers, an association of cannabis growers.
2)“Cannabis growers pledge…” (Sept. 5, 2019): CVN reported on a $189,000 donation from CARP Growers.
This is potentially a violation of the board’s charter, as well as state and federal rules governing drugs. Marijuana is a drug, and basic common sense tells me that drugs and children are a bad mix. Accepting these donations shows disturbing and unethical behavior on the part of district leadership.
As the sole Hispanic on the board for a district with a student population over 75 percent Hispanic, I find this especially concerning.
The funds for a middle school counselor could come directly from the district’s reserves as they are quite healthy for the next three years. Furthermore, high school teacher Casey Roberts and Rincon and Foothill principal Barnaby Gloger resigned this year. By not replacing them, the district saves $250,000 annually. Funding for a middle school counselor can easily come from those extra funds without compromising the integrity of our schools.
As a member of this community, let me state loudly and clearly that no group should be allowed to dominate our school district.