Opinion: Wake Up Antioch Voters, Our Students Are Not For Sale

By Selina Button

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Selina Button, a 28 year resident of Antioch, wrote about the issues facing the Antioch Unified School Board election and how she believes a Charter School is buying an election for three candidates.


Dear Community:

You may have noticed in the last couple of weeks in the midst of the huge amounts of campaign material in your mailbox, two very expensive campaign flyers supporting three candidates for Antioch School Board, Fernando Navarro, Alonzo Terry and Chrystal Sawyer-White.

What is important for the voters of Antioch to know is who paid for those campaign flyers.

Up in the left hand corner of these flyers you will notice these were paid for and sent out by the California Charter Schools Association, Advocates Independent Expenditure Committee, FPPC #1339522.  What is even more interesting is that there is a pending application before Antioch Unified School District for a Rocketship Charter School.

You may or may not be in favor of Charter Schools. I personally am not opposed to community driven nonprofit Charter Schools, Antioch already has two very successful community driven Charter Schools, ACA I and ACA II,  that are supported by Antioch Unified.

So what is the difference?

Rocketship Charter Schools are sweeping the state, infiltrating communities that have many families that are economically challenged, in an effort to expand their schools. Because of flawed laws governing Charter schools, they receive dollar for dollar what would otherwise would go for a student in our public schools. They take our hard earned tax dollars that are designated for public education, set up shop without having to meet the stringent standards of public education, and in most cases stick their students in front of a computer with as many as 50 students in a classroom without the benefit of a credentialed Teacher.

Many of the Charter School investor’s benefit from business related partnerships on track with the Charter schools for things such as their curriculum, construction projects or retrofitting Rocketships sites and more. Most of these investors are millionaires looking for a way to profit off the back of students and their families.  Two of the three candidates mentioned above have taken campaign donations from these outside millionaires as reported in their mandatory reporting 460 form.

What is also terribly troubling is that several other local residents have joined forces with this sham in what appears to be an effort to support their own personal financial gain.  John Crowder, Angel and Argentina Davila-Luevano have been disappointed in Antioch Unified Schools Districts financial support of their after school Math program and John Crowder has wrote disparaging letters about other School Board candidates.

Could this be an effort to support the Charter School Association and Rocketship’s agenda?  Were they possibly promised a job by Rocketship?

rocketshipThis is a picture taken over a month ago at a Rocketship School in San Jose, Ca.

In the picture are current appointed School Board Trustee and School Board candidate Fernando Navarro, who is aggressively promoting the pending Rocketship application before Antioch Unified School District and John Crowder, Angel and Argentina Davila-Luevano with a Rocketship employee. This photo was taken on September 30th the same date as the submission of the Rocketship application to Antioch Unified School District.

I have always wondered why Rocketship Charters are not in wealthy communities if their “style” of education is so successful. Why do they prey on poorer communities?  This is a question you need to ask yourself before you vote next week.

Are our students in Antioch for sale to millionaires who think they can take advantage of them?  Should current sitting School Board Trustees be publically supporting schools that take away much needed public education monies for our students?

Please do your research, visit stoprocketship.com and please consider voting for those candidates for School Board that have shown years of commitment to the Antioch community, Antioch Schools, students and families.

This is not a game, it is serious stuff, and we need to wake up before it is too late!

Selina Button
28 year resident of Antioch

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Selina, You are talking about ANTIOCH… Could Rocketship do any worse?! The California school budget is $68 BILLION and its a FAILURE. Stop being a shill for be government failures and bureaucracy.

  2. Wow, excellent investigative report here. Rocketship Charter seemed to arrive on the scene and I’m shocked at their agenda. As usual, just follow the money. How come the lame stream media can’t investigate, report and get in front of a story like this. Good job Selina

  3. Mr. Terry, Mr. Navarro and Ms. Sawyer-White should be ashamed of themselves. They are there for the children, not to line up the pockets of a charter school. These three never had my vote and today they still don’t. I have told everyone else not to vote for them.

    I think the questions Selina asked should be answered by all candidates. Follow the damn money for all candidates.

  4. Dear Mrs. Button, other parents and voters:

    As residents of Antioch for 50 years we have experienced many elections. At no time can we recall seeing or reading such vitriol and untruths as we have this year in the school district election.

    There are private schools and charter schools of all types in Antioch now. A large number of Antioch children have transferred to these schools in recent years for only one reason. To get an education.

    It is untimely Rocketship Charter has come to our district during this election but the election is about the success of our children. There IS nothing more important than our children’s education and Fernando Navarro, Alonzo Terry and Mrs. Sawyer-White have nothing else in common. They are not shills for anyone. We have met, at length, these individuals and are voting for the success of our children.

    John Crowder and Angel and Argentina Luevano are no shills for anyone either. These friends of ours are the most dedicated people in the fight to educate our children as you will ever meet.. They do not expect or want jobs at Rocketship nor have they been offered anything. They will continue to educate your children because they know it is necessary.

    The Antioch School District has very little success to brag about. The City will never attract the educated dot-comers it so desperately wants unless the schools improve. Unless we do a complete turn around the whole City of Antioch will continue to flounder.

    • With all due respect, you can’t accomplish that through privatization.

      I just question why Rocketship funding was accepted for campaiging. That is published information as reported in a MANDATORY 460 report, so that information is accurate. Plus, a picture was taken – evidence which speaks a thousand words.

      Should our elected officials accept bribe money? I still do not believe so. I find that to be unethical, corrupt, and a conflict of interest. But as stated, this is my opinion. I am just encouraging people to ask questions, do their own research and not be sheep following a flock to water, and then formulate their own opinions before heading to the polls.

      Personally, I cannot abide sell outs and money grubbing, greedy people. Especially people in elected positions. They are elected to represent the community at large. I find this behavior shameful.

  5. Thank you, Ms Button for pointing out just how unethical this behavior is. Those who believe the privatization of education will decrease achievement gaps display a shockingly poor understanding of their client…students.

  6. Ms. Button,

    Your entire article is based on opinion and appearances. Where are the facts? You should be ashamed of yourself. Antioch schools are a joke and any change would be welcome. You blow a lot of hot air, but where is your proof that Rocketship would hurt students?

    “I have always wondered why Rocketship Charters are not in wealthy communities if their “style” of education is so successful.” Are you kidding me?!! wealthy communities already have good schools, they don’t need any help.

    I believe you are afraid that you and your fellow government “educators” will be exposed as the failures that you are,

  7. And how do you feel about all the private schools that have proliferated in Antioch? Plus several church schools? The charter schools are California public schools that are paid for by anyone who pays taxes, you and I. I am for any strategy that will educate our children. Charter schools are not ideal for every child and neither is any other school. I want my children in the school with the best test scores, graduation rates and opportunities for underprivileged children and if that happens to be a charter school that would be where my child is.

    The piddling little amount Rocketship is donating to these candidates isn’t enough to buy anyone. The shopping center at Somersville gave $4,500 each to two council candidates. Do you think you would look into that? Be alarmed at that? How corrupt are they?

  8. How many of you who have been complaining and whining about Rocketship Charter have actually taken the time to visit one of the campuses? We actually have regular voters in the city who have taken their personal time to visit a couple of the school sites and were very impressed.

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