April 10, 2020
On May 12, we will be asked to fill the unexpired seat in the 25th Congressional District. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has been running an attack ad on TV that distorts candidate Christy Smith’s school board record and is designed to spread disinformation. The ad asks, “Can you imagine firing teachers when times get tough?” and, “[Smith] voted to lay off teachers and slash salaries.” These distortions are taken out of context and have no connection to reality.
Christy Smith served as a board member in the Newhall School District during the Great Recession. As superintendent at the time, I made recommendations during those dark fiscal years to issue layoff notices for teachers and furlough staff for short periods.
Like Christy, all of Newhall’s board members — Democrats and Republicans — made the hard calls in unanimous votes to furlough employees and issue layoff notices, within deadlines defined in law. Teacher and support personnel representatives agreed to the necessary reductions. And we were proud to be able to actually SAVE teachers’ and support personnel jobs as we navigated the recession.
Christy’s votes were for fiscally conservative actions that were necessary under very difficult circumstances. The school board Christy served on was looking out for both taxpayer dollars and the well-being of our employees and their families.
The kind of deceptive political ad generated on behalf of candidate Mike Garcia is reprehensible – he should denounce it. Should the NRCC strategy reflected in this ad be rewarded? I hope voters see through it and say no.
Marc Winger, Ed.D.
Retired Superintendent, Newhall School District
*This letter was published in The Signal and can be viewed here.