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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Encinitas Union School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Leslie Schneider

Leslie Schneider

13,818 votes (25.65%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Fiscal Integrity - I am committed to ensuring taxpayer dollars to to core acacemic areas including STEM, reading, writing, art and physical education, to reduce class size and resotre special education teaching positions.
  • Accountability - I will be accountable to Encinitas Union School District families, listening and being responsive to parent and community members' voices. I will never forget I work for you.
  • Transparency - I will demand that school board meetings and documentation be publically broadcast so that you can know all details that inform the board's actions. I will insist this board uphold all provisions of the Brown Act.



University of Arizona Bachelors Degree, Interdisciplnary Studies: Business, Communication and French (1992)

Community Activities

Elected Parent Representative, School Site Council, Flora Vista Elementary School, Encinitas Union (2016–current)
Elected Parent Representative, Encinitas Educational Foundation, Flora Vista Elementary School, Encinitas Union (2015–current)


My family and I have lived in Encinitas since 1998. My husband Roger and I have two children in the Encinitas School District, one in 6th grade and the other in 3rd.  My husband and I have been engaged parents in our school community, with recreational sports leagues and with the YMCA Indian guides program.  Because of both of our involvement, I have an excellent perspective on what is happening in our district, in the classrooms and with our kids firsthand.


After earning an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Communications, I worked for 13 years in the private sector and have been a small business owner for the past eight years.


I am also active in community service, volunteering for Camp Pendleton family services and with the YMCA’s homeless youth street outreach program in coastal north county San Diego.


I am running for Encinitas Union school board because I am committed to three areas of reform to improve our children’s education and future success: fiscal integrity, accountability and transparency. 


Fiscal Integrity: I promise to spend our scarce education dollars on fundamental, necessary curricula impacting important areas such as STEM and the critical support of special education teachers.


Accountability: I will listen and respond to parent and community concerns about all matters. I will work for you.


Transparency: I promise to ensure the public has access to important information and documents for timely inspection, as the Brown Act requires, and fully comply with the spirit of open meeting laws.

Facebook Page

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Kristin Gaspar, City of Encinitas Mayor
  • Assemblymember Rocky Chavez
  • Senator Pat Bates

Organizations (3)

  • The Lincoln Club of San Diego
  • Association of Builders and Contractors
  • San Diego Republican Party

Elected Officials (3)

  • Maureen "Mo" Muir, Trustee San Dieguito Union High School Board
  • Mark Muir, City of Encinitas Councilmember
  • Matt Hall, City of Carlsbad Mayor

Individuals (1)

  • Mark Wyland, Former Senator

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Answer from Leslie Schneider:

For most people, school funding is a topic that is difficult to understand.  This is made even more so by the fact that many school districts are poorly managed and parents are relied upon to provide funding for areas that districts are expected to cover.  This is certainly the case in Encinitas Union School District. 

In Encinitas Union, we have a budget of approximately $50 million for our 9 elementary schools and we are a basic aid district receiving almost no state funding and only about 9% in federal funding.  Although we do not have a district wide math or science curriculum, our district superintendent and elected board continue to fund extracurriculars like yoga for $400k per year, a farm to grow tomatoes for $480k per year and millions of dollars on iPads for all 5300 students that are replaced every 2 years. 

Although required by law, Encinitas Union School District does not engage with our community in educational workshops or robust feedback sessions about how our schools are funded and how outcomes are measured.  

Transparency in funding and decision making is a major concern for our community and in fact, our board and superintendent have been caught violating transparency laws (the Brown Act) several times in just the past couple years.  Our district has also earned the Golden Fleece award from the San Diego Taxpayers Association for its exceedingly poor management of taxpayer funds in the sale of a former school site to our very own city for 3 times its appraised value thereby sticking us with the bill.  In addition, our school district was rated one of the least transparent districts in all of San Diego County for its poor access to documentation on management of the $44 million in bond dollars from Prop P passed in 2010. 

If elected to the board, I would insist on robust educational workshops for the community on how our schools are funded.  I would encourage feedback and questions from the community and also provide explicit information on performance goals and outcomes for the public.  I would advocate for all public board meetings to be live broadcast online and archived on the district website so that all members of our community could have access to issues and the decision making process our board is engaged with.  Working parents, parents with small children at home and seniors are often unable to attend board meetings and live broadcasting these meetings would allow these concerned citizens to be engaged with their local elected school board.  I would have an open door policy to all community members and would work to be their voice. 


Questions from League of Women Voters of North County San Diego (1)

What is the most significant challenge facing the Encinitas Union School District, and if you are elected, what steps will you take to address it?
Answer from Leslie Schneider:

EUSD has a significant challenge with our community due to a lack of transparency, poor fiscal integrity and a refusal to be accountable to the public they serve. 


Transparency in funding and decision making is a major concern for our community.  One of our board’s violations of the California transparency law known as the Brown Act, was reported by several press outlets and detailed a board retreat in Palm Springs costing taxpayers over $10,000.  It was discovered that this retreat included happy hours in the superintendent’s hotel suite and extravagant dinners out, all paid for by our school district.  In addition, the board also conducted formal business which they later had to reverse when they were found to have been in violation of the Brown Act which requires that all school board business be conducted in public.  If elected to the board, I would insist that all public board meetings be live broadcasted online and all meeting materials be available for inspection prior to every meeting.  In addition, I would have an open door policy to all constituents to make sure they know their voices are being heard.


Regarding fiscal integrity, parents raise close to $2 million/year to fund programs that are in fact core curriculum such as PE, art, music and lab science.  Encinitas Union does not have a district adopted math or science curriculum but our board spends $400k per year on yoga and funds our district “farm” for $480k per year.  Board spending priorities do not match parent priorities or provide for the full and robust academic needs of our children.  As a board member, I would reallocate those dollars to fully fund the academic needs of our children first and would work to lower class sizes by hiring additional general and special education teachers and aides.


Teachers are also unhappy with the over insistence of the use of learning apps in the classrooms over student/teacher face time.   Teachers complain that our district monitors how much time they are using learning apps in their classrooms and will ask them to increase screen time for the kids.   At the same time, parents are concerned about limiting screen time for children as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  When parent concerns are brought to the board, they are routinely dismissed.


If elected to the board, I would represent the parent voice of our community.  Currently, the school board has no elected parents on the board.  Two of our current board members have been on the school board for over twenty years.   Elected bodies should be comprised of individuals who can genuinely represent the various stakeholder perspectives of that community.  Without roots within the communities they serve, elected officials can easily avoid accountability and we have seen this with our current school board.


Our children deserve better and I would be honored to fight for their interests on our school board.


Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am a conservative policy advocate who believes in fiscal responsibility and a government who plays a subordinate role to individuals and private industry.

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