https://mv-voice.com/square/print/2020/10/23/santa-clara-county-school-board-trustee-grace-mahs-fundraising-tops-300k


Town Square

Santa Clara County school board trustee Grace Mah's fundraising tops $300K

Original post made on Oct 23, 2020

Santa Clara County school board trustee Grace Mah received a staggering $243,400 in contributions, primarily from charter school groups and representatives, during the most recent reporting period.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 23, 2020, 1:06 PM

Comments

Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:04 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

Good! Mah needs the help, to counter her targeting by teachers' unions and "Los Altos anti-charter people" whose rhetoric against Bullis I have witnessed on this site for years. (I have no connection to any of these schools and no children to be affected by them -- though have been asked to vote on this position -- so I am able to read with detachment.)

Mah is clearly an able and widely-supported candidate; Baten Caswell is far more controversial, as illustrated (just for example) by the comments to the Voice's recent endorsement: Web Link


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:12 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

The controversy I mentioned includes Baten-Caswell's past rejection for an endorsement by this newspaper's sister publication in Palo Alto:
Web Link


Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 24, 2020 at 10:11 am

SRB is a registered user.

Deja Vu all over again?

Seems likes every time there is a viable contender, the out of town Charter School lobby opens its deep pocketbook.

See Mercury News article from Halloween 2012

"PAC money floods local school board races"

Web Link


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2020 at 12:24 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

If it's deja-vu you want, the recent and relevant reference point isn't from 2012 but 2020.

Baten-Caswell's campaign started the whole funding race, with "$90,000 early in the campaign, including from labor unions and teachers unions (both of which are perceived as anti-charter) and the Bullis critics." Web Link

'Mah said she hasn't had discussions with the charter school organizations but sees their support for her campaign as driven by a "threat of the anti-charter school sentiment." She said she's been shocked by the amount of money coming into both her own and Baten Caswell's campaign and thinks there should be limits on fundraising. In her last three campaigns for this seat, she said the most she ever raised was $10,000. In her 2016 campaign, she raised less than $4,000, according to campaign finance reports.' Web Link

Former school-board member Steven Nelson nailed all this in his comment to the first Voice article I linked above:

"This is Clearly a Big Money Battle - both sides, of Public Charter Schools vs. regular public school districts & unions. That's ALL!

I prefer a well managed Public Choice system, and Grace Mah has helped vastly tighten up Public Charter oversight during her terms on the County Board."


Posted by Victor Bishop
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Victor Bishop is a registered user.

I did not realize that school board trustee is such a desirable position.


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2020 at 8:02 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Victor,

Any government position with the ability to manage multimillion dollar expenditures becomes a very important position. This agency is involved with the disbursement of State and Federal funds isn't it?

The education system in the County is one large one.

Let alone it is possibly ranks higher in community service than the Fire fighters in the County. All families that either send students to public or charter schools are impacted be decisions made here.

I am though very concerned about the "Big Money" impacting on decisions here, just like any other governmental administration.


Posted by Charter industry revs up $ and PR
a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Charter industry revs up $ and PR is a registered user.

What does the Santa Clara County Board of Education (SCCBOE) member actually DO? The SCCBOE member is elected by voters in a particular trustee area to serve students throughout the county. The SCCBOE member primarily serves public school students through our local public school districts. For our trustee area, 27 OUT OF 30 DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS HAVE ENDORSED MELISSA BATEN CASWELL. They want Melissa Baten Caswell to help them face the challenges and costs of coronavirus. These school board members are familiar with Grace Mah’s performance over her 13-year tenure and they reject it. The choice is clear: vote Melissa Baten Caswell!


Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2020 at 3:59 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

People backing Melissa Baten Caswell should consider her campaign supporters. $10K donations were given by several Los Altos residents with obsessively antagonistic attitudes toward Bullis Charter school. They spread lies about the charter in that case. Not only that, but one of the donors operates a website which has racist allegations about Bullis Charter, which include false interpretations of state charter law. The web site basically has a couple of 'research' pieces which claim Bullis has an obligation to place a cap on how many Asians it admits. It says that the program allegedly wrongly appeals to Asian families. That's clearly a racist position in more than one way. But the site also goes on to discuss the alleged superior performance in school by Asians and also by kids it identifies as mixed race. The gist is that having school choice is wrong because it doesn't guarantee that there won't be too many Asians in your school.

I hope I am not alone in finding this more than offensive. Check it out for yourself. The web site is easy to find and it has been widely circulated to the LASD community as the so called "Unintended Consequences" website. The attitude is that it is "intended" that there be racial quotas in school admissions.

The web site is filled with similarly bad logic in other areas as well. It totally ignores the fact that Bullis Charter has only grown to serve 25% of the district because there were charges that the school was elitist. Now that it has 25% of the district enrollment in elementary school and a lot more interested but who don't fit means something. It's not a racial thing, that's for sure. And Melissa has accept support from such a person. And Melissa is a white woman running against an Asian. Think about it.


Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2020 at 4:08 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

Also, Bullis does enroll a representative cross section of the LASD-wide makeup, in terms of race and economic level. Nit picking about a need to match % for % exactly is a tactic to fight against school choice. The state laws are that the school can't discriminate and it must strive to reach everyone. Matching +- 10% shows a good result, for sure, no discrimination. There's no such thing as having a program which appeals to one race, and to say that is itself racist. Unintended Consequences is filled with that type of charge.

SCCBOE serves 20,000+ charter school students in our county, by the way.


Posted by ICYMI
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 26, 2020 at 10:11 pm

ICYMI is a registered user.

LongResident’s spouse works for Bullis. Just sayin’


Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2020 at 12:00 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

I just got done watching the documentary called "The Great Hack".

And after my experience with the MV Voice there are a couple of things I need to plead to this Newspaper and website.

I admit I for years posted under the name The Business Man, BUT I never withheld who I was. And I was VERY transparent about it.

I have come to an understanding now that any use of an anonymous identity regarding the discussion of any news article should be prohibited.

As an IT Security Expert, I find the lack of accountability to be the biggest reason.

The idea that people can write what is in effect press releases under the guise of an anonymous fictional person, especially where they have a financial conflict of interest, just cannot be allowed anymore.

The idea that people use a platform to attack people personally, use insults, and make false claims about them requires that anonymity cannot be allowed. The language can inspire real life consequences, like inspire possible criminal acts by others.

If you have a valid argument with solid unbiased evidence to support it, WHY not own your argument?

The idea that someone can use multiple identities on this service is abused.

There should be a means where to register and post one has to provide proof of identity, like having a credit card validated, so that if any issues arise, like cyberstalking is investigated, a proper trail can exist to identify the offender.


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2020 at 1:22 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

Unintended irony inheres in comments placed here under a screen name "Charter industry revs up $ and PR," "a resident of another community."

First, because the original "rev up of $" in this contest was anti-charter, supporting Baten Caswell, "from labor unions and teachers unions (both of which are perceived as anti-charter) and the Bullis critics" according to MV Voice Web Link

Second, I've been registered here for years, commenting on various news items, living in an identified neighborhood. Yet the screen name "Charter industry revs up $ and PR" only appeared on this website a week ago, for posting rhetoric about this Grace Mah campaign. If it's not, itself, part of a professional PR effort then it's a good imitation; there's no way readers can rule out that prospect. Especially as (a) this has apparently happened before, in Town Square comments pages where teachers' unions felt threatened; and (b) such organizations already were credited by the Voice (link above) with starting this unusual funding war.

As previously stated, I have no "horse" or agenda in this contest and am only a detached observer and voter. One thing I observed in years of reading Voice articles: when controversies arose about Bullis Charter School, the most extreme, underhanded, and organized-looking comments here on Town Square usually came from people bitterly opposed to Bullis or to charter schools generally. You can see that for yourself with a little archive research. Thus the comments from "LongResident" re "$10K donations by several Los Altos residents with obsessively antagonistic attitudes toward Bullis Charter school...lies about the charter...one donor operates a website which has racist allegations... which include false interpretations of state charter law..." ring truer than they would without the past history of related behaviors in Voice comments pages for BCS-related articles.


Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2020 at 2:50 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

The tactics used by the anti-Bullis minority in LASD to deceived the public are shameful. The LASD administration helps facilitate this by misleading as to the significant cost savings that have accrued to the district as Bullis has expanded. They support this narrative that having 25% of students served by the independent charter school harms the district financially, where the opposite is true! But as I noted above it doesn't stop there. They also misinterpret Charter law and send unwarranted letters charging the county board with not doing things properly. The staff there has responded with the truth, but they persist in claiming that they are right and the county lawyers are wrong. One of the Melissa big contributors has this Unintended Consequences web site which is filled with lies and distortions. It's not only racist in some of its major arguments, but it has innuendo and unsupported charges presented as being factual.