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Meet Manuel Perez, candidate for SJUSD school board

Manuel Perez. Image courtesy, candidate.

Note: As part of The Sentinel’s 2023 Special Election coverage, we have asked a series of six identical questions to both of the candidates running for the Area 7 seat on the San Juan Unified School Board. The questions are designed to give each of the candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the community and give voters an opportunity to learn more about each candidate’s life and background. Candidates replied via email, and those who responded to each question in less than 100 words have their answers published word-for-word.

Why are you running for school board and what are your qualifications?

I am running for school board because I am a father, volunteer police officer and lifelong resident of Citrus Heights who is passionate about our kids’ education. I want to ensure that all students in our district have a safe, supportive, and challenging learning environment.

I am qualified to serve on the school board because I have a deep understanding of the challenges facing our schools today.

What is one decision the school board has made that you disagree with (if any)?

I wouldn’t say there is one decision I disagree with but rather a deep concern for the direction our state seems to be heading. We have lost focused on the quality of education our students deserve. We are seeing a political agenda that is encouraging schools to keep secrets from parents and focus on topics that will not help our kids learn how to become contributing members in our community. We must stop this political agenda and I believe that it is important to have a strong academic foundation for all students… (edited for length).

What are your top 3 priorities, if elected?

If I am elected, my top three priorities will be:

  1. Safety: I will work to ensure that all campuses in our district are safe and secure for students and staff.
  2. Parent Involvement: I will encourage and support parent involvement in our schools, and I will make sure that parents have a voice in the decisions that are made about their children’s education.
  3. Academics not politics: I will work to raise academic standards and ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education without the distraction a political agenda forced on them.

What is your view of school choice?

I believe that parents should have the right to choose the best school for their child, regardless of their zip code. I support school choice programs that give parents more options, such as charter schools and vouchers.

Do you believe teachers are paid adequate salary and benefits in SJUSD?

I believe that teachers should be paid a fair wage for their hard work and dedication. I will support efforts to increase teacher salaries and benefits and ensure money is spent on the local teachers and classrooms and not for statewide teachers unions. It is crucial that we recruit and retain quality teachers to our district.

Who are your top 3 campaign donors?

My top three campaign donors are: Capital Lincoln Club, Betsy Mahan and Saul Hernandez.

Editor’s note: The Area 7 school board seat largely covers Citrus Heights, except for several portions of the city south of Greenback Lane and east of Mariposa Avenue. To learn more, see story: SJUSD Special Election 2023: Who’s running and how to vote

Voters can view the campaign websites for each candidate below:

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