SANTA ANA, CA—Proponents of a $ 145 million school bond proposal filed a lawsuit this week striking back at recent opposition.
The complaint seeks to remove portions of a ballot argument filed by Tim Whitacre, a self-described community leader, and Jose Moreno, a self-described community activist. The argument criticizes school trustee Nativo Lopez and issues surrounding bilingual education.
A Superior Court judge on Wednesday set a Sept. 1 hearing on the matter and ordered that ballot arguments not be published until the issue can be considered.
Voters will decide the bond measure Nov. 2. If the required two-thirds approve it, funds would be used to build two new high schools and 11 new elementary schools, and renovate or repair other schools. Property taxes would go up about $ 45 per $ 100,000 in assessed valuation.
“(Whitacre) has chosen to attack one of the school-board members, Nativo Lopez, and the organization that Nativo works for.
They are trying to make this into a bilingual issue, and it has nothing to do with bilingual issues,” said attorney Mark Rosen, who is representing Karen Schaefer, president of the Santa Ana Council of PTAs. “It is setting up a red herring. It is easier to attack something like that than deal with the need for construction in Santa Ana. “
Whitacre said he is focusing on what he sees as poor school-board management. He said the district has not tried hard enough to get state funding for school construction .
“Just look at their record: The board under the direction of Nativo Lopez has encouraged parents to seek waivers so that children will not be taught in English, but in Spanish,” reads the ballot argument he wrote against the measure.
Lopez has not returned phone calls.