Updated at 10:10 a.m. June 4, 2014
Kevin Beiser, president of the San Diego Unified School District board, was looking ahead to a likely second term after leaving challenger Amy Redding far behind on Tuesday.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Beiser had 68.2 percent of the vote to fend off a challenge by Redding, who chairs the District Advisory Council for Compensatory Education, which advises the board on meeting the needs of disadvantaged students.
“Leading already with 68% of the vote! Thank you to all of my supporters, let’s carry this energy into November!” Beiser posted on his Facebook page about moving on to the general election this fall.
- For complete coverage of San Diego County races, see our Elections at a Glance.
Redding said she ran because she disagreed with prior board decisions to save money by shortening the school year and increasing class sizes.
She tweeted on Tuesday, “The primary results aren’t surprising. My opponent spent almost $60,000. Tomorrow, the general election campaign begins and I am ready.”
Beiser, a teacher in the Sweetwater Union High School District and former county Math Teacher of the Year, said he will concentrate on trying to avoid increasing class sizes further; protecting art, music and career vocational education; and improving graduation rates.
In the other school board seat up for election, Michael McQuary ran unopposed. McQuary replaces Scott Barnett, who declined to seek a second term.
Beiser’s tenure representing the city’s northeastern neighborhoods has included spearheading an effort to keep cuts away from visual and performing arts programs, implementing an anti-bullying policy and a ban on Styrofoam lunch trays.
“We must continue to ensure all our schools offer a rigorous curriculum that includes music, the arts and systematic support programs to help students succeed and achieve their full potential,” according to a Beiser campaign statement.
Redding is a parent of two city school students, and she worked in biotechnology prior to founding the Parent Advisory Leaders group.
In her various roles in the district, she has pushed for district money to be used at school sites and for transparency because “too many decisions are made without community input and behind closed doors.”
Redding was prompted to run for the school board because she disagreed with some of its prior actions, including shortening the school year and increasing class sizes to save money.
Trustee Scott Barnett — whom Michael McQuary, the only candidate to qualify for the ballot, will replace — endorsed Redding over his colleague Beiser. McQuary represents the areas along the coast, Linda Vista and parts of downtown San Diego. Barnett announced via Facebook in March he would not seek reelection.
“In trying to be a responsible and productive board member on behalf of the students, employees and taxpayers, I have been required to use much emotional, intellectual and physical energy, which has interfered from meeting my personal, family and professional goals,” Barnett said. “I need to put my own life first again.”
— City News Service contributed to this report.
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