Politics & Government

Cayucos superintendent announces run for head of county schools

Jim Brescia
Jim Brescia Courtesy photo

Cayucos Elementary School District Superintendent Jim Brescia officially announced his candidacy for San Luis Obispo County schools superintendent Wednesday, a day after he received an endorsement from the current office holder.

Current county schools Superintendent Julian Crocker plans to retire at the end of his term in January 2015, and threw his support behind Brescia.

“I am passionate and committed to working collectively with our school district leaders, staff, community partners and parents to provide all students with equal access to a high-quality education that includes the humanities,” Brescia, 49, said in a news release.

The county Office of Education provides outreach and resources to the county’s 10 public school districts, which together serve about 34,600 students.

In an interview Wednesday, Brescia said he would continue to build relationships between the county school districts and find ways to partner or share services.

“We duplicate a lot of efforts, and I think we could say, ‘How do we share, how do we help out,’” Brescia said. “How can we share transportation or fiscal services? I can’t afford a full-time mechanic in our district; I’m contracting with another district.”

Other challenges include engaging residents who don’t have children in county school districts to support strong schools; arming students with skills needed to compete in a global economy; and responding to needs of certain groups of students, including English-language learners and those in poverty.

In Sacramento, Brescia added, state leaders are discussing whether to allow school districts to have more local control of some funds by loosening restrictions.

“The governor is saying he wants to allow school districts more autonomy and more decision making, and is asking county offices to work with the districts,” Brescia said. “I think it’s exciting where we’re restoring more control.”

Brescia has worked in education for 28 years, including as a teacher in the Paso Robles school district. Besides serving as superintendent/principal of the Cayucos Elementary district, he is a clinical education faculty member for Cal Poly’s School of Education.

He received his bachelor’s degree and teaching credentials from the University of California San Diego and completed an administrative services credential at Cal Poly, a doctorate at UC Santa Barbara and an additional graduate degree from Cal State Dominguez Hills.

His website is www.jamesbrescia.org.

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