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  • Writer's pictureEvie Sijl

Superintendent challenger Lozano calls for increased transparency in schools

Christy Lozano Hopes to Bring Transparency

County Superintendent of Schools challenger Christy Lozano hopes to bring transparency to curriculum and put an end to partisanship if she is elected after a race that is being contested for the first time in 40 years.

Lozano is running against current Superintendent Susan Salcido, who has served in the position since 2017. Since the race only has two candidates, whoever is the top vote-getter after the June 7 primary will be named to the position.

The physical education teacher in Santa Barbara has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels across her 18-year career. She launched her campaign in March, running on a platform focusing on educational outcomes, transparency and safety.

"I believe a successful school system must partner with parents, and that starts with the transparency of 'show and tell,' not the current distrust of 'hide and seek,'” Lozano said. "Transparency builds trust, and trust is one of the most important components of education, or — in fact — any successful relationship. The more trust you can build, the more willingly all people will step up to do tough things."

Lozano gained recognition in January when she released a YouTube video titled "Christy Lozano: Password-Protected Portal: Culturally Responsive Curriculum — What Parents Should Know," where she went over teacher training aids on topics like racism and anti-racism, as well as LGBT topics like gender-inclusive biology. She subsequently appeared on the "Laura Ingraham Show" in a clip titled "California teacher exposes school's woke agenda," that has nearly 1 million views on YouTube.

"In Santa Barbara, they've been doing teacher trainings for us for the last 10 to 15 years, where they've pretty much indoctrinated the teachers to then indoctrinate the students," Lozano told Ingraham.

If elected, her first two goals will be on school safety and increasing literacy. Lozano believes that the county should not be removing school resource officers, and should focus on managing classroom discipline. Her safety platform led to her receiving the endorsement of the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs Association. As for literacy, Lozano's plan begins with identifying what does and doesn't work throughout the county by creating a literary task force.

"The goal of this task force is to raise countywide language proficiency from below 50% — where it is today — to over 90%, where it needs to be," she said. "That means doing what works and ending what doesn’t. That means aligning incentives with outcomes. That means putting resources directly into the classrooms where the magic of learning happens."

Throughout her campaign, Lozano has also highlighted what she feels are the frustrations of students and teachers alike, calling county administrators' pandemic response and classroom management "botched."

"Both students and teachers are suffering under a lot of unnecessary frustration," Lozano said. "I know that both students and teachers want to be successful and I want them to be successful too. As superintendent, I will ensure that more monies go directly into the classroom based on effective outcomes, and not to outside vendors or more layers of bureaucracy and waste."

Lozano first got the itch to be a teacher while pursuing her kinesiology degree at Cal Poly, which had an optional emphasis on teaching that ended up inspiring her. Since then, she's spent her teaching career in Santa Barbara, saying that elementary school is her favorite.

"We have so many amenities and opportunities at our fingertips and the Central Coast still has the feel of a small town. It's an environment where the opportunity to build close relationships is limitless," she said. "I get to see my former students grow into adults that are committed to our community. It has been so rewarding to see them everywhere I go and it is truly the hidden benefit and blessing of being a teacher."

Before receiving her degree and becoming a teacher, Lozano served in the Air National Guard doing medical evacuations, including serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It's a time that she believes was foundational for her.

"I grew in my belief in the importance of helping others, in working together as a team to accomplish complex goals, and in the deep satisfaction found in true public service," she said. "In my 18-year career as a teacher, I have found that the best and most impactful educators share these same values."

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