Families for a Better School Board

Our Students Deserve Better.


Petition to Recall Stockton Unified School District Trustees Maria Mendez and Scot McBrian

In the middle of a public health crisis, four Trustees of the Stockton Unified School Board conspired to force, and then voted to accept, the resignation of Superintendent John Deasy in a secretive emergency meeting on April 21, 2020.

Trustees Kathy Garcia, Maria Mendez, Scot McBrian, and Cecelia Mendez did this during the COVID 19 pandemic in a tele-conference meeting, with virtually no public participation or input, with no explanation of why they were forcing this action, and with no plan on how to run the District during this challenging time.

Superintendent Deasy was in the role for less than two years of a three-year contract. His resignation makes him the seventh Superintendent in 15 years to leave SUSD, and will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars as we head into an economic recession. 

Over the course of the campaign to remove Superintendent Deasy, the actions of these four trustees led to the Board violating the Brown Act several times. These trustees also forced the hiring of outside, additional legal counsel to enact their agenda at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the District and then sought to reinstate a former superintendent who was removed from his job under a cloud of scandal. Lastly, and most upsettingly, given that the School Board’s energy has been focused on personal politics rather than on what is best for our young people, the District has fallen behind in planning for how students will return to school amid the pandemic.


Who are Families for a Better School Board and what is their goal?

Families for a Better School Board is a coalition of families, community leaders, and educators who are coming together to make sure that the Stockton Unified School District Board is made up of thoughtful and dedicated trustees who put educational outcomes, health,  and safety for students first in their decision making.

What happens when a board member resigns?

When a vacancy occurs from six months to 130 days before a regularly scheduled Board election at which the position is not scheduled to be filled, a special election to fill the position shall be consolidated with the regular election. The person so elected shall take office at the first regularly scheduled Board meeting following the certification of the election and shall serve only until the end of the term of the position which he/she was elected to fill. (Education Code 5093)

Why do we believe that these board members are responsible for the Superintendent’s resignation?

  • On February 24 board members hired outside legal counsel, separate from the District legal team, at a great cost to the District. 
  • On March 10, the board members began meeting in closed sessions to ‘evaluate’ the Superintendent despite giving him a positive review and a raise just months before to reward progress in schools. The Board also reaffirmed its approval of a contract for hundreds of thousands more dollars to keep their extra law firm in place to help them perpetuate their political agenda while the District faces a multi-million-dollar budget shortfall coming out of the pandemic.
  • On March 26, they created confusion among parents when they chose not to give emergency authority to the Superintendent and voted against a resolution communicating that schools would remain closed, even though it was mandated by the State. They chose to put their secondary issues ahead of sending a clear message to students and families about what to expect from the School District at a critical time.
  • Later, on April 21, during a time where their energy and focus should have been on the health and safety of our children, they maneuvered behind closed doors to force the resignation of the Superintendent and called an emergency meeting, in violation of the Brown Act, to formally accept it. At this meeting, which was held via tele-conference, over 100 public comments were submitted in support of the Superintendent but few were read. Over 1400 citizens signed a petition disavowing the Board’s habit of cycling through Superintendents at a cost to our children… but these pleas were ignored.
  • On April 28, shortly after this decision, they attempted to hire a former superintendent who left SUSD under a cloud of scandal as a consultant to them.
  • On June 9, an expensive one-year contract was approved for a new interim Superintendent, which will be paid at the same time as the board continues to pay the former Superintendent’s salary through June of 2021. 


We are a grassroots effort working to ensure that the Stockton Unified Board of Trustees (majority) create and implement education policies that prioritize strong educational outcomes for students while providing good stewardship of SUSD resources.