What’s Going on at the Elk Grove School Unified District; Will it Weaken One of the City’s Four Legs of Success?

May 6, 2017 |  

The last several months have not been good for the reputation of the Elk Grove Unified School District on several fronts. The most recent unflattering story came with this week’s arrest of a male Sheldon High School teacher who allegedly had sexual relations with a 17-year old female student at that school.

This was the latest in a series of black eyes on one of the state’s largest school districts. Along with the arrest of school personnel on several allegations of inappropriate contact with students or employees with criminal backgrounds, there has also been the controversy surrounding the termination of Elk Grove High’s former head football coach amidst the unauthorized construction of a team shed on school grounds.

With all these occurrences, it is reasonable for district residents to ask what’s going on in the district.

Elk Grove News does not regularly cover the EGUSD, so we are not in the position to offer an assessment of the cause of these problems. We, like other residents, are relying on the excellent coverage of district affairs by Sacramento Bee reporter Diana Lambert.

Based on Lambert's reporting, a casual observer of the district’s woes would be correct to ask if there are systemic administrative problems with the district. Does it come from the Board of Trustees, the Superintendent, or perhaps some institutional malaise? 

In the coming months, it will be worth watching to see how and more importantly if, the Board of Trustees addresses these problems. Will they stick their head in the sand, or will they flex their muscles and provide meaningful oversight of district operations and root out the causes of these problems?

While the children and parents in the district deserve nothing less than muscular oversight from the Trustees, there are other things at stake. Just ask any number of parents who have staked their families future on Elk Grove based on the district’s reputation.

Elk Grove’s relative success has been a four legged stool. Those legs have been affordable housing, quality public schools, parks, and public safety. 

One could argue that good schools have been one of the main selling points for families moving to Elk Grove. People may not move to an affordable community if they have low-achieving schools, but they will sacrifice and pay for higher housing costs if it means their children have access to quality educational opportunities. 

The EGUSD Board of Trustees should address these problems in an open and honest way and be willing to take corrective actions no matter where it leads them. Failure to do so could have enormous implications for Elk Grove’s future success. 

If the EGUSD does not cure these festering wounds, the reputation of the district and the City could be permanently tarnished. We urge the EGUSD Board of Trustees to be tough, fair and thorough in their oversight because we all know what happens when one leg of the stool wobbles.  


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1 comment

Steve Barnett said...

While the events that have taken place recently are a concern, we must remember that these people were caught. This is a sign that the EGUSD is doing something right. I would be FAR more worried if they weren't caught. Obviously this subject needs review but I have confidence in the District getting their arms around the problem.

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