We toss a grade A bouquet to retiring County Schools Superintendent Julian Crocker, who has been a class act in local education for more than 25 years. Crocker, 72, announced this week that he will not seek reelection but will serve out the remainder of his term, which ends next January.
Crockers been superintendent of schools for 16 years and prior to that, was superintendent of the Paso Robles Joint Union School District for nine years.
Hes been unfailingly good-humored, hard working, accessible and, of course, always a strong advocate for children and education.
Hes often at the forefront of efforts to lobby for fair funding for schools whether by asking voters to approve a bond measure, calling on the governor and state Legislature to restore revenue to education, or writing Viewpoints for these pages to explain the vagaries of the complicated system of state funding for education. In short, hes worked hard to help ensure the success of tens of thousands of local students and for that, he has our admiration and gratitude.
Cutting bus routes a thrifty move
We offer the San Luis Coastal school district a frugal bouquet for deciding to eliminate bus service for students who dont attend their neighborhood schools. (Transportation still will be provided to Pacheco and Teach, which are magnet schools.)
Its great that the district can offer families the option of enrolling their children in the school of their choice, even if its outside their attendance area. Not every district provides that opportunity. But if families decide to send their kids to a school thats on the other side of town (or in another town altogether) its only fair that the families provide transportation. Thats especially true given the districts financial struggles. To save money, it stopped busing high school students this year and reduced the number of routes to junior high and elementary schools, which means some have much longer rides. By eliminating busing for transfer students, the district may be able to restore some of those routes. Were glad to hear it.
Ad trailer shouldnt park at school
Were generally willing to cut novice campaigners some slack, which is why we werent rushing to point fingers at local candidate Lynn Compton. In case you missed Thursdays editorial, her campaign has been towing a U-Haul trailer plastered with a big Compton-for-supervisor sign to strategic spots in South County.
Normally, temporary outdoor political signs cant be displayed until 60 or 90 days before an election, depending on the jurisdiction. But because local agencies have no ordinances restricting temporary campaign signs on vehicles, the U-Haul signs are technically OK a loophole that we hope to see closed by the next election.
Again, no laws were violated. Still, we cant let the Compton camp off unscathed. In our view, it committed a brickbattable offense if not a technical one when it parked the billboard-on-wheels in the parking lot of Arroyo Grande High School on weekends, possibly creating a mistaken impression in some minds that the district had endorsed Compton.
School district officials told us they had not been contacted by the campaign and did not give permission to park the U-Haul there.
Oddly, though, district officials also said the campaign technically didnt violate any rules. While the district has a policy that prohibits employees from displaying campaign signs on campus property during working hours, there is no policy covering non-employees. Thats another big loophole that should be closed ASAP.