BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — With three weeks to go until Election Day 2022, seats on the Kern County Board of Education are on the ballot.
Board Area 1 is the Rosedale Union School District. The district consists of 9 schools and serves northwest Bakersfield. The two candidates vying for this seat are Tara Carter, a mother of five who says she’s tired of the way the education system is set up, and incumbent Ronald Froehlich, who says his 45 years of experience as a school board member make him an invaluable asset to the district.
Tara Carter has two children in high school, and like most parents, she’s worried about fentanyl, a drug that has been found on campuses around Kern County, and says the fentanyl issue will be her first area of focus if she is elected.
“We have a serious, serious problem, and the schools are not taking it serious enough,” said Carter. “The problem is the parents are saying ‘We need your help,’ and KCSOS isn’t answering the call. They are having a meeting to have a meeting and that is absolutely unacceptable when you have kids that are dying at such a proportional rate.”
This is Carter’s first time running for the board of education, but she says her initial reason for waging a campaign was the transparency of school funds. Although she acknowledges that the position she is running for does not oversee local school policy or budgets, she says she wanted to run for the higher level board.
Carter challenges longtime board member Ronald Froehlich, who was initially elected to the board in 1977. He, like Carter, argues that curriculum is a big challenge for schools, although he knows there is not much the board can do about it.
“Keep going in our direction and knock some of this critical theory stuff and get back to the reading, writing, arithmetic, and get back to the normal,” said Froehlich.
With drugs and violence being a concern for many Rosedale Union School District parents, the question of school discipline and expulsion policy is foremost with administrators and board members.
Carter points to experiences she has had with her son being labeled problematic, and says there needs to be a better way to approach expulsions and expulsion appeals.
“I think you hear what is going on, I think you look at the whole thing, and I think you talk to the family,” said Carter. “The thing is, too many people push papers. They look at what happened in this situation, they look at what the teachers wrote, they look at the notes, but did they look at the kid back in 4th grade when something happened to him?”
Meanwhile, Froehlich has dealt with many expulsion appeals in his 45 years on the board.
“You get a feel for it, for what is good and what is bad,” said Froehlich. “Like the one we overturned a while back. I think the young man is going to be good, and i am very interested after a year or two tracking him.”
Both candidates also expressed support for charter schools.
23ABC will continue to update you on this and all the school board races happening this year as we approach the November 8th election.
Other Kern County Board of Education candidate profiles:
- A closer look at the candidates running for Kern County Board of Education for Area 2
- A closer look at the candidates running for Kern County Board of Education for Area 3
- A closer look at the candidates running for Kern County Board of Education for Area 7