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Lucia Mar school board recall petitions fail to qualify for ballot

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Posted at 4:05 PM, Nov 05, 2021

An effort to recall three trustees on the Lucia Mar Unified School District Board of Education failed to gather enough signatures to qualify for a ballot measure.

Among other concerns, including mask mandates, Central Coast Families for Education Reform (CCFER) claimed the school board failed its students by not advocating for a return to in-person learning as soon as guidelines allowed.

The group was specifically looking to oust trustees Don Stewart, Dee Santos, and Colleen Martin.

CCFER's recall petitions received approval from San Luis Obispo County Elections officials in late May. They had 160 days to collect 8,302 signatures per trustee in order for the recall to qualify for the ballot.

CCFER says they collected nearly 6,000 signatures.

In a statement, the group says members are disappointed but they do not consider the effort to be unsuccessful.

"The recall effort has awakened our community to become involved when it matters," the statement said.

In a joint statement, trustees Stewart, Santos and Martin said, "Despite the distraction of the recall effort and protests at our homes, our priority as Trustees has always focused on learning, student success, and the health and safety of our students and staff. Those principles will continue to guide every decision we make as an elected Board of Education."

According to the school district, a recall would have likely required a special election costing the district approximately $350,000.