Bill Takes Aim At Campaign Corruption In California Schools

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LORENA GONZALEZ
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

A California bill banning school and college administrators from raising money for their board members’ campaigns -- a major conflict of interest brought to light by recent scandals in multiple school districts -- passed out of the State Assembly on Monday and now awaits the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown (D).

Authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D), the bill prohibits administrators and superintendents from making cash donations to both school board candidates’ and incumbents’ campaigns or legal defense funds.

“This important bill will help prevent real or perceived corruption in our school and college districts,” Gonzalez said in a press release Monday. “Top-level administrators who are involved in the making of contracts with district contractors, vendors and employee unions should not be raising campaign cash for the school and college board members, especially when those administrators are employed at the pleasure of those board members.”

The bill was triggered by revelations of bribery in recent years at California’s Southwestern College, San Ysidro School District and, most notably, San Diego County’s Sweetwater Union High School District, which recently sentenced more than a dozen indicted officials involved in trading votes on multimillion-dollar construction contracts in exchange for extravagant gifts, NBC San Diego reported.

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