Candidates, union respond to detractors’ charges

….Fitzgerald, an attorney and parent of two including a special needs student, said the accusations were an effort to detract from her qualifications as a candidate. She said it was also an attack on her support for local teachers as well as the significant contributions teachers make to the success of students. She said casting teachers in a negative light was “destructive rhetoric.”

“Frankly, this type of political gamesmanship puts our teachers in the crosshairs and is bad for teacher retention, bad for attracting the best teachers to our district and ultimately bad for students,” she said.

Goldberg, the executive director of the Conejo Schools Foundation, said anyone who has worked with her knows that she is not a yes man.

“At the end of the day, the teachers are there to support the students, and that’s always been my focus,” she said. “If it comes down to a choice between program for students or teachers’salaries, that’s going to be a hard conversation to have, but I’m willing to have it.”

Gorback, a retired teacher and counselor who draws a CalSTRS pension, said he thinks about school spending in terms of concentric circles centering on students. He said the funds spent directly on students and student supports get the highest priority, but as the dollars move further away from children and the classroom, the more willing he is to look at where cuts can be made.

“I have close teaching friends, but I would still stand up to them and say this is an unnecessary expense, we can save this money and direct it to X, Y or Z,” he said….


Candidates, union respond to detractors’ charges