Putting Education First!
Why He's Voting for Jeff Tilton
Manteca Bulletin, September 20, 2014
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
As I sat waiting to get my haircut at Ripon’s Medeiros’ Barber Shop, I was asked why I was supporting Dr. Jeff Tilton for County Superintendent of Schools instead of “the establishment guy.” You see, I am the only superintendent in San Joaquin County who has publicly endorsed Dr. Tilton, so it was a fair question.
The reasons are simple. The same group of folks have been in control of the San Joaquin County Office of Education for nearly 25 years and it is time for a change. They have spent billions (yes, billions) of your tax dollars over the years, much of it squandered on international trips, high end vehicles, and expensive luncheons for the higher ups. There have been questionable pension spiking tactics which have made previous superintendent, Rick Wentworth, a very wealthy man (“The $296,205 a year retiree”, Manteca Bulletin, March 11, 2014). There is rampant nepotism, where even one director in the business department has had eight (8) family members hired at SJCOE. The old adage definitely applies, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, are your schools better off now than they were 24 years ago?
Despite having risen to superintendent of what is now the sixth largest district in the county, I have always been at odds with the system. I came from the private sector, leaving the farm in 2002 to work at the district where five generations of my family have attended. To say I am not a traditional educator is an understatement. Schools should be run more like a business; our product is education and our customers are the students and parents of our communities.
Dr. Jeff Tilton shares this approach. He is a native of the Manteca/Ripon area and has an incredible breadth of experience in education. All the while he has maintained his Central Valley common sense approach to education. His message is quite simple: Students first, adults second. You will notice he does not have the endorsement of the teachers’ unions, which should speak volumes to you the taxpayers. If the unions don’t like him, he obviously is putting students and you, the taxpayer, first.
I will leave you with these last questions: Why isn’t the man who is currently the County Superintendent (and the establishment guy’s boss) endorsing Dr. Tilton’s opponent? Shouldn’t that tell you something, as well?
New Jerusalem Elementary School District