purely political, By James Buckley
Superintendent Christy. Sounds good, doesn’t it? And what a change, what a burst of energy and purified air it would bring to what has become a sclerotic and outdated institution. She would no doubt open the windows, throw away the masks, and let in the bright sunshine if elected.
First a little background.
Christy Lozano, who is indeed running for Superintendent of Santa Barbara County Schools against incumbent Susan Salcido, has been a teacher in the Santa Barbara Unified School District for more than 18 years. She has taught physical education and leadership classes; she is a qualified responsible teacher. She has served as assistant manager, department manager, union representative and head coach for women’s soccer programs.
Christy is office-ready—she’s also an LCI-trained bike instructor—and has experience at every level: nine years at Dos Pueblos and San Marcos high schools, four years in middle school (La Cumbre and Santa Barbara Junior High ) and six years at McKinley and Cleveland elementary schools.
It’s at this elemental level that Christy really shines.
“I especially enjoy teaching elementary school,” she says, “because those are the fundamental years of a child’s learning, and I seek to develop a strong foundation in all of my students.
“I love teaching,” she added. “This is my passion.”
Oh, and she also has a Master of Arts (with a major in Instructional Leadership) and a Preliminary Diploma in Administrative Services from California Lutheran University.
Ms. Lozano is also a veteran, having served in the Air National Guard from June 2001 to June 2007, serving in posts at Los Angeles International Airport during 9/11, then stationed in Germany in 2003 in the Air Force Squadron. aeromedical evacuation with the 146and Channel Island Air National Guard.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
Over the years, Christy has proven herself to be a strong but fair advocate for student rights. You could call his teaching method “gentle but firm”. She insists that her students do the right thing. She doesn’t back down from a fight if she thinks she’s right, and she will defend a student if she feels they’ve been wronged, wrongly accused, or unfairly reprimanded.
She is currently at odds with the Board of Education and the administration because she refused to be vaccinated.
“I had COVID and I have natural immunity,” she explained.
Christy has publicly challenged the Santa Barbara Unified Council on a number of issues (via Zoom) and rebelled against the school district’s curriculum which includes “Exploring Gender Stereotypes with Role-Playing” and reading books such as “My Princess Boy” for 5 years. She also opposes the district’s total devotion to the Black Lives Matter agenda.
She’s a maverick who plays by the rules and insists everyone else does too. This is probably why there is panic in the rarefied air of the Administrative Center, where weariness and leisure are the order of the day.
Christy’s candidacy is so boring – upsetting indeed – for the powers that be that the first response from people close to the current Santa Barbara County Schools Superintendent has been to challenge Ms. Lozano’s right to be even on the ballot and to sue to impeach Christy Lozano’s name from the upcoming June 7 primary ballot (unsuccessfully, thanks to a timely court ruling).
There’s a lot at stake. Not only are the overpaid positions of many at the top at risk, but so are the perks of awarding cushy “tips” gigs and other favors.
Money at the top is sloshing around, and there’s something for everyone. For example, Dr. Salcido’s annual salary in 2019, according to public records, was $277,624. That was two years ago, so one can only assume that his salary has increased, not decreased, over that time, which leads me to conclude that his pay position is now in the category of $300,000 or more.
You may be surprised that, again, according to public records, his 2019 salary was estimated to be 259% above average and 307% above median salary at the Santa Barbara County Office of Education.
Other examples of administrative overload:
Assistant Superintendent, Administrative Services took in $218,122 in 2019. The next three Assistant Superintendent positions require salaries of $213,669, $204,739 and $189,062. All of these salaries are well above the Bureau of Education’s median annual salary of $68,165.
When the list of highly paid employees finally reaches teachers, rather than administrators, the first teacher on the list was a preschool specialist who received $153,026 in compensation in 2019. Right behind her was a special education teacher which pulled in $146,547 a year.
I have their names, but my intention is not to embarrass anyone, just to point out that administrators almost always earn more than teachers and do less.
Generally speaking, the teachers are some of the best people in the country. And some are very well paid. Most, however, earn middle-class salaries and, according to Ms. Lozano, are not treated with respect by the crowd of overpaid administrators at the top of the school district’s food chain.
That’s why Christy Lozano has thrown her hat in the ring and is asking voters to appoint her as Superintendent of Schools for Santa Barbara County.
“I am running,” she said, “because I can no longer sit idly by and watch our schools fail. The current results are unacceptable. More than half of Santa Barbara County’s 67,470 students perform below California state achievement levels from kindergarten through high school. Tens of thousands of students have fallen behind unnecessarily. It is time to refocus on academic results.
“I ask,” she concluded, “that people join me in building a solid educational foundation for every student.”
Earlier this year, while waiting to find out if she would be reinstated as a teacher despite her unvaccinated status, Christy put together a YouTube video that went viral and caught the attention of Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham, who contacted her and invited her to appear on his popular show, “The Ingraham Angle”.
In this video, Christy objects to the Santa Barbara District’s current school curriculum in a very pointed way, scrolling through and revealing some of the material she finds inappropriate for younger students (K-3) .
“My biggest objection,” she said, “is that the curriculum they offer — what they call the culturally responsive curriculum — focuses on culture. Teaching culture to children would be one thing, but that’s not what this program does. He replaced the things they really need.
“They don’t teach critical thinking. They don’t focus on the core curriculum, whether it’s English, math, writing, reading, social studies, or science. They don’t focus on physical education, art or music. Instead, they bring in ideologies and belief systems and focus on these, rather than equipping children with knowledge and a solid foundation. Children need a solid base to draw from, and they spoil that with what they offer instead.
“They teach kids things their parents probably don’t know, because a lot of it is hidden behind a password-protected portal. And so, we don’t give them the program; parents do not know what is taught. And so, they are given no choice, and it forms the thoughts and minds of their children without their knowledge.
James Buckley is a longtime resident of Montecito. He welcomes questions or comments to [email protected].