FUSD Board Trustees Appoint District Equity Committee Members


At the FUSD Board of Education meeting on Jan. 30, the Board Trustees discussed the two agenda items that were postponed from the previous board meeting. The board appointed adult candidates from each school attendance area to serve on the District Equity Committee and also approved the newly requested budget increase for the Horner Middle School portable locker room project. 

The first item on the agenda was for the board members to vote on the applicants for the District Equity Committee, who will have to serve for a minimum of two years. The board members agreed that it would be best for them to fill out their ballots and send it electronically to Patty Sandoval, FUSD’s administrative secretary. For the American High School attendance area the board appointed Srikan Sangita and Annie Hay for Irvington. For the Kennedy High School attendance area Nancy Quay was selected and for the Mission San Jose attendance area Suli Lyn was chosen. For the community, Lucy Shen and Navpreet Bedi were selected, and for the parents Fahria Khan and Lisa Ip.

The applications had been out for approximately six to eight weeks, and many of the trustees urged for everyone to vote on this matter soon rather than postponing it and allowing more time for additional applications. Before everyone decided on an effective virtual voting method, Trustee Dianne Jones mentioned that it is important for the Equity Committee to have representatives from disproportionately impacted communities. For example, besides Larona Jones who will serve as a representative from the African American Parent Advisory Committee, only one African American and one Latinx individual had applied for this position, and there were no teachers or parents representing disabled students who applied.

During the open communications portion of the meeting in which members of the public were able to express their concerns or suggestions about a factor they want the board members to take into consideration when making their decisions, Antonio Birbeck-Herrera, a member of the Facilities Advisory Committee, brought up a similar point. 

“In the work that we’ve done in the summer, fall, and winter,” said Herrera, “what we’ve found is that not only were black and brown students being disproportionately affected by FUSD, but also students with disabilities. We know that they are disproportionately suspended, expelled, and referred to law enforcement almost at a rate of four times their student population.”

Additionally, Trustee Jones brings up the importance of having representation for the LGBTQ+ students attending Fremont schools.

“I would also like to point out that in our district,” said Trustee Jones, “we do not collect any data to identify our LGBTQ students, we don’t formally know who they are or track their progress but we know nationally that there are impacts to those students. I did not notice that any applicants’ parents identified that way, but if there are some community members who did so I would like to have representation from that community as well.”

The role of the Equity Committee will be to secure academic success for all students in the FUSD by closing achievement and opportunity gaps. The board concluded the session with quickly moving to approve Horner Middle School’s budget increase for the locker room project.