Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 07/28/2010 06:21:05 PM PDT

A number of area residents have signaled their intent to run for the region’s school boards as the filing period for the Nov. 2 election has just passed its mid-point.

More than 30 school board seats are being contested at the Inland Valley school districts of Central, Alta Loma, Chaffey Joint Union High School, Chino Valley, Cucamonga, Etiwanda, Fontana, Upland, Mount Baldy, Mountain View, Ontario-Montclair, and the San Bernardino County board of education.

A new contender for the county Board of Education is Ronald Coats, of San Bernardino, who is among eight county residents to take out filing documents.

Coats said he would work to provide financial literacy education for the county area students.

“The problem with most kids these days when they graduate from high school is they don’t have any exposure whatsoever to any financial literacy knowledge,” he said. “They don’t know how to balance a check book, interest rates, dividends and IRAs. In this day and age, that’s just a crime.”

Elsewhere, Silver Aguilar is making a third attempt at winning a Chino Valley Unified school board seat, after unsuccessful runs in 2006 and 2008.

Seats for current board members Sylvia Orozco and Charles Dickie are up for election on the November ballot. Aguilar joins Orozco, Brandon Blanchard and Irene Hernandez-Blair as interested contenders.

Among the issues at the district, Aguilar said he’s concerned about improving safety for district students after the arrests of two Chino Hills High School teachers in recent weeks on suspicion of sexual relationships with students.

“We have to get to the bottom of this,” Aguilar said. “I’m not sure what they’re doing at the district to take care of the kid’s safety. I think the safety of all the kids is at question here and I wish the district would do more to safeguard the children. There are background checks, but somehow these individuals have been getting through the cracks.”

Hernandez-Blair, a district parent, said she was concerned with the “unnecessary” litigation costs incurred by the school district in recent years, in addition to the school district being placed in program improvement status.

“At one time, this school district was as thriving quality school district, and under the current leadership, it has now fallen into program improvement,” she said. “Reduced funds cannot be used as an excuse to provide a less than quality education.”

Blanchard said he would bridge a gap of misunderstanding between district administrators, employee unions and the community regarding financial issues.

“When money is involved everybody thinks each side isn’t telling the truth and I talked to some and some people in the community and they think the teachers want too much, but I don’t believe they have all the facts.”

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