Berkeley Citizens Action has also endorsed candidates for the School Board, off and on, during the years.
This BCA poster is from April 17, 1979, when both Anna de Leon and Jeanie Rucker were elected. Rucker was jointly supported by BCA and the Berkeley Democratic Club, which can happen for School Board, where everyone agrees on the need to provide a good education. School board has always been non-partisan, compared to the City Council.
The details still get in the way, especially how to balance the needs of academic achievers (usually kids from the hills) against those of lower income, minority kids with poorer test scores (usually from the flatlands). And many hill parents will often resort to private schools if the balance is not in their favor.
Berkeley has been wrestling with this problem for at least 40 years, since the schools were voluntarily integrated. The problem seems to defy any solution, although everyone tries their best.
Many years ago, during the period of BCA's greatest electoral success, the entire School Board consisted of BCA-endorsed candidates. Their focus was more on the non-achievers. This appeared to make matters worse, precipitating a backlash from hill voters around issues such as which surplus schools to close. Non- BCA hill candidates have subsequently been very successful in getting elected.
For a time BCA lowered its School Board profile. But this changed, and BCA discovered that it could once again endorse School Board candidates who would win in low profile races.
District Elections only covered the City Council, and the Berkeley Board of Education continues to be chosen at large. The School Board members remain a political mixture, who struggle with their limited budget, and generally avoid the acrimony for which the Berkeley City Council is famous.