Writer opposes Rocketship, Antioch School Board candidates supported by charter schools


Wake up Antioch voters. Our students are not for sale.

You may have noticed in the last couple of weeks in the midst of the huge amounts of campaign material in your mailbox, two very expensive campaign flyers supporting 3 candidates for Antioch School Board, Navarro, Terry and Sawyer-White.  What is important for the voters of Antioch to know is who paid for those campaign flyers.  Up in the left hand corner of these flyers you will notice these were paid for and sent out by the California Charter Schools Association, Advocates Independent Expenditure Committee, FPPC #1339522.  What is even more interesting is that there is a pending application before Antioch Unified School District for a Rocketship Charter School. You may or may not be in favor of Charter Schools. I personally am not opposed to community driven nonprofit Charter Schools, Antioch already has two very successful community driven Charter Schools, ACA I and ACA II,  that are supported by Antioch Unified. So what is the difference?

Rocketship Charter Schools are sweeping the state, infiltrating communities that have many families that are economically challenged, in an effort to expand their schools. Because of flawed laws governing Charter schools, they receive dollar for dollar what would otherwise would go for a student in our public schools. They take our hard earned tax dollars that are designated for public education, set up shop without having to meet the stringent standards of public education, and in most cases stick their students in front of a computer with as many as 50 students in a classroom without the benefit of a credentialed Teacher.

Many of the Charter School investor’s benefit from business related partnerships on track with the Charter schools for things such as their curriculum, construction projects or retrofitting Rocketships sites and more. Most of these investors are millionaires looking for a way to profit off the back of students and their families.  Two of the three candidates mentioned above have taken campaign donations from these outside millionaires as reported in their mandatory reporting 460 form.

What is also terribly troubling is that several other local residents have joined forces with this sham in what appears to be an effort to support their own personal financial gain.  John Crowder, Angel and Argentina Davila-Luevano have been disappointed in Antioch Unified Schools Districts financial support of their afterschool Math program and John Crowder has wrote disparaging letters about other School Board candidates. Could this be an effort to support the Charter School Association and Rocketship’s agenda?  Were they possibly promised a job by Rocketship?

[A] picture [was] taken over a month ago at a Rocketship School in San Jose, Ca. In the picture are current appointed School Board Trustee and School Board candidate Fernando Navarro, who is aggressively promoting the pending Rocketship application before Antioch Unified School District and John Crowder, Angel and Argentina Davila-Luevano with a Rocketship employee. This photo was taken on September 30th the same date as the submission of the Rocketship application to Antioch Unified School District.

I have always wondered why Rocketship Charters are not in wealthy communities if their “style” of education is so successful. Why do they prey on poorer communities?  This is a question you need to ask yourself before you vote next week.  Are our students in Antioch for sale to millionaires who think they can take advantage of them?  Should current sitting School Board Trustees be publically supporting schools that take away much needed public education monies for our students? Please do your research, visit stoprocketship.com and please consider voting for those candidates for School Board that have shown years of commitment to the Antioch community, Antioch schools, students and families.  This is not a game, it is serious stuff, and we need to wake up before it is too late.

Selina Button, 28 year resident


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