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Tuesday June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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State of CaliforniaCandidate for Superintendent Of Public Instruction

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Steven Ireland

658,037 votes (11%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • SAFETY & SECURITY - We need to make sure our kids are safe and secure in their schools. School Counselors and other mental health professionals need to be funded in our budgets - they can serve as a first line of defense against school violence.
  • SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE - Our schools are falling apart - It's time to make our schools look like the future we want for our kids. We need to find new revenues and fix the problems with our crumbling infrastructure.
  • STUDENT WELL-BEING - CA has over 200,000 homeless students on any given night - 30,000 of them "without a roof." We need to help our students be ready to learn, addressing issues from hunger to mental health to homelessness. We can do better.



Owner, SLIvideo TV (1999–current)


Glendale Community College Certificate, Real Estate Broker (2014)
Indiana University Bloomington Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Journalism & Film/Theatre (1984)

Community Activities

Trustee Chairman, Toluca Lake United Methodist Church (2001–2012)
Cubmaster, Cub Scout Pack 18 (2008–2011)
President, PTA of Toluca Lake Elementary (2007–2010)

Who gave money to this candidate?


More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Why Steven Ireland for Superintendent?


A brief summary of why I am running for this office.  

Dear California Parents & Voters –

I am announcing my campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of California.  The election is held on June 5th, 2018 on the statewide ballot.   

What is the Superintendent? 

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is the only elected seat on the California Board of Education.  The Governor appoints the other eleven members of the board.  This means it is the ONLY opportunity for voters to decide who represents them on their own State Board of Education. 

The Board of Education oversees an annual budget of more than $76 Billion dollars and sets the direction for all public schools in California.  The Superintendent carries out the board’s wishes and has a LOT of say in how our children are educated.    

Why is the Board so Important?

Special interests have poured money into this race because they want to claim that 12th seat as an advantage for their side.  But in the ongoing debate about Charter Schools versus Teachers Union, one voice is consistently left out of the discussion – PARENTS! 

For too long, special interest money has dictated school policies across our state.  This is why our school infrastructure is crumbling, needed positions are not funded and student morale is low.  California schools used to be among the highest performing school systems in the country – now we’re desperately trying to raise graduation rates. 

What Can Be Done?

Finally, we are seeing students and parents fed up with dysfunctional schools across the country.  Students are demanding to be safe in their own schools and they are marching to show the world what they want.  Many parents want a greater say in how their schools are run. 

That’s why I’m running as the “PARENT” candidate – to give a voice to parents on the CA Board of Education.  I believe ALL of our children deserve 3 things from our school system: 

·       *  Safe & Secure Schools

·       *  A Welcoming and Positive Learning Environment

·       *  Ability to Be Healthy and Ready to Learn

To accomplish that, I’m focused on these three issues:


Democrats & Republicans agree on almost nothing when it comes to guns and protecting our schools from shootings.  But they do agree on one thing – mental health plays an important role in keeping our schools safe.  So, both sides agree but what do they do?  They CUT funding for school counselors and mental health professionals in our schools. 

It’s time that PARENTS DEMAND FUNDING for these positions as a first line of defense against school violence. We also need to develop a set of “best practices” for our schools to follow that help ensure the safety of our kids. 


It’s been said that “if a school looks like a prison the students are more likely to go to prison but if a school looks like a college they are more likely to go to college.”  Many of our schools are falling apart with sinks hanging off the wall, unsafe drinking water and peeling paint (our local elementary school had peeling lead paint – more about that later).   We need to make our schools LOOK LIKE THE FUTURE we want for our kids. 


It is estimated that California has over 202,000 homeless students on any given day – 15% of them are considered “without a roof” which means they are literally sleeping on the streets.  Think about that – 30,000 plus students sleeping on the street before going to school.  Thousands more living in cars, relative’s homes or motels. 

If a student spends the night on the street, he or she likely will show up at school unwashed, hungry and not ready to learn.  This affects not only the homeless student personally but also other kids in class.  He or she may have behavioral problems as a result of their home life, resulting in more teacher time spent away from the rest of the class.  Graduation rates may be impacted by continued distractions. 

Funding is not the issue! Enormous resources have been directed at the homeless in the last few years, but in the Los Angeles Unified School District alone, the rate of homeless students went up almost 40% in the last two years, from 12,000 per night to 17,000.  By helping the most vulnerable students in our state, we lift up all students.


Of course, there are many other issues facing our schools.  These are just a few of our challenges but addressing them will make our students safer and happier so they can focus on getting a good education. 

If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll SHARE THIS MESSAGE across your social media to any CONCERNED PARENTS and interested citizens.   

If you agree with me, please consider giving our campaign a $10 donation on my website at


Thank you for listening!


Steven Ireland Responses to USC Rossier School Questions - en Español


Steven Ireland's responses to the USC Questions provided by the USC Rossier Center for Education, Policy, Equity, and Governance (CEPEG) translated to Spanish language.  (Edited for space limitations) 


1. Ella T. contra el Estado de California es una demanda interpuesta por estudiantes de escuelas públicas, ex docentes y organizaciones comunitarias la cual cuestiona la incapacidad del estado para proporcionar acceso a la alfabetización para todos los estudiantes y la ubica como inconstitucional según la constitución estatal. ¿Cuál es su posición en la demanda?

La demanda de Ella T contra El Estado de California nos dice lo que ya sabíamos: que estamos fracasando en proveer instrucción básica a un gran segmento de niños en California. Si no se logran las habilidades literarias básicas en la escuela primaria, se producen muchos de los problemas que vemos en nuestras escuelas secundarias, incluyendo las altas tasas de abandono escolar y las bajas tasas de graduación.

Necesitamos enfocar nuestros recursos en estos estudiantes de bajo rendimiento en la primaria para brindarles las herramientas que necesitan para tener éxito en los grados posteriores. Esto significa asegurar que todas las escuelas reciban su parte justa de los fondos escolares para crear una atmósfera segura y acogedora en la cual los niños puedan aprender.

Un programa en Ontario, Canadá, se enfoca en estudiantes de inglés y ha tenido un gran éxito. En los tres primeros años de haber llegado a la escuela pública, los hijos de inmigrantes nuevos se desempeñan tan bien en pruebas de aptitud como los niños nativos. Lo logran con clases intensivas de alfabetización en inglés por la mañana e integran a los estudiantes en clases regulares más tarde en el día. Su maestra de inglés está disponible para ayudarlos durante las clases regulares en caso de que necesiten más ayuda. Debemos considerar implementar un sistema parecido si esperamos solucionar este problema.

La Junta de Educación necesita crear alianzas con organizaciones comunitarias como los demandantes en este caso y motivar a los padres a ser proactivos en el desarrollo de las habilidades literarias de sus hijos. Solo trabajando juntos podemos abordar este tema extremadamente importante. Es la hora de invertir en el futuro de nuestros hijos por el bien de California.


2. El Secretario DeVos ha indicado que eliminará la guía de la época de Obama sobre el uso desproporcionado de la disciplina escolar. ¿Qué harás como superintendente para proteger los derechos civiles de todos los estudiantes?

 La disciplina efectiva en las escuelas implica un acto de equilibrio delicado entre abordar las conductas disruptivas en el aula y garantizar que los alumnos reciban un trato justo y equitativo.

Los maestros y administrativos deben poder sacar del aula a un estudiante que está siendo disruptivo física o verbalmente sin temor a ser castigado con el fin de mantener un ambiente de aprendizaje apropiado para todos los estudiantes. Al mismo tiempo, debemos asegurarnos de que los estudiantes no sean atacados injustamente debido a su raza, religión, orientación u otros factores no relacionados con los comportamientos disruptivos.

La Junta debe desarrollar un conjunto claro de políticas que describan qué tipo de disciplina se permite y cuándo. Las juntas locales deben asegurarse de que sus sistemas escolares se adhieran a esa política a fin de mantener una política de disciplina justa en todo el estado. El estado necesita monitorear efectivamente cómo se administra la disciplina, y es necesario que haya un procedimiento de informe justo y simple para que los padres denuncien las quejas sobre los procedimientos injustos de disciplina en su escuela.

Algunos comportamientos disruptivos se deben a factores en la vida hogareña del alumno (fuera del aula). Estos van desde problemas de salud mental hasta el hambre y la falta de vivienda y pueden afectar negativamente la educación de todos nuestros estudiantes.


3. A la luz de las recomendaciones/propuestas del administrador de Trump para recortar el financiamiento del Título II, ¿cómo podría prever garantizar que los educadores, especialmente los nuevos maestros, reciban apoyo en California en sus primeros años?

Si algo está claro es que no podemos esperar a que el disfuncional establecimiento educativo de Washington DC resuelva nuestros problemas. Necesitamos abordar financiación crítica en todo el sistema escolar, incluida la búsqueda de nuevos ingresos para apoyar a nuestras escuelas y maestros. De acuerdo con la encuesta de Quality Counts de EdWeek 2017, California ocupa el puesto 46 en toda la nación en cuanto a fondos por alumno y eso se nota.

Nuestras escuelas se están cayendo a pedazos, los maestros están comprando sus propios suministros y se han recortado los puestos críticos y los programas. Los consejeros escolares y las enfermeras son una rareza en muchas escuelas. Los programas de música y arte se han cortado en todo el sistema, aunque los estudios han demostrado repetidamente que los programas de música mejoran las puntuaciones matemáticas.

Los demócratas y republicanos no están de acuerdo en casi nada cuando se trata de armas y proteger nuestras escuelas de los tiroteos. Pero sí están de acuerdo en una cosa: la salud mental juega un papel importante para mantener nuestras escuelas seguras. Entonces, ambas partes están de acuerdo, pero ¿qué hacen? Recortan la ayuda financiera para consejeros escolares y profesionales de salud mental en nuestras escuelas. Es hora de que los padres demanden financiamiento para estos puestos como primera línea de defensa contra la violencia escolar.

Necesitamos buscar nuevos ingresos para las escuelas, incluyendo la lotería, los intereses de los juegos y el nuevo dinero de la economía del cannabis. Deben otorgarse bonos y otras recompensas a los maestros que estén dispuestos a trabajar en las escuelas más difíciles a fin de garantizar una educación de calidad para todos los niños. Necesitamos planificar para el futuro que queremos para nuestros hijos.


4. ¿Qué va a hacer para incorporar la voz, la participación y el liderazgo de los padres a fin de cerrar la brecha en el rendimiento académico para los estudiantes de color? 

Los padres son la razón por la cual me estoy postulando para este puesto en la Junta de Educación de California. Como padre de tres adolescentes, he estado en una variedad de escuelas, incluidas escuelas públicas, escuelas autónomas afiliadas y escuelas charter independientes. Es fácil detectar las escuelas que tienen más éxito: son las escuelas donde hay participación de los padres.

Finalmente, estamos viendo a estudiantes y padres hartos de escuelas disfuncionales en todo el país. Los estudiantes exigen estar seguros en sus propias escuelas y marchan para mostrarle al mundo lo que quieren. Muchos padres quieren una mayor participación en la administración de sus escuelas.

Es por eso que me postulo como el candidato "PARENT" (candidato de los padres) en un esfuerzo por dar una voz a los padres en la Junta Estatal de Educación. Creo que todos nuestros niños merecen 3 cosas de nuestro sistema escolar:

Escuelas seguras

Un ambiente de aprendizaje acogedor y positivo

Capacidad de estar saludable y listo para aprender


Para lograr eso, estoy centrado en estos tres problemas: 

Protección y seguridad

Infraestructura escolar

Bienestar de los estudiantes

Las familias son cruciales para hacer de las escuelas un lugar donde los niños quieran aprender, aunque algunos administradores escolares prefieren que los padres "se mantengan fuera del camino". Eso necesita cambiar: los padres deben ser bienvenidos como compañeros en sus escuelas. A cambio, todos los padres tienen la responsabilidad de hablar y exigir una voz en la educación de sus hijos.

Para obtener más información visite mi sitio web en:


5. La FAIR Education Act y la CA Youth Youth Act obligan a las escuelas de CA a incorporar un plan de estudios LBGTQ +. Sin embargo, muchas escuelas actualmente no cumplen. ¿Cómo garantizará que nuestros jóvenes reciban una educación integral sobre las identidades e historias homosexuales?

Nuestros estudiantes deben conocer las contribuciones de todos los grupos a nuestra historia colectiva, incluido LBGTQ +, como parte de una educación equilibrada. Aprender unos de otros fomenta una mejor comprensión de nuestros compañeros y conduce al respeto por otras culturas e ideas como parte de nuestro mundo moderno. Las historias de la comunidad LBGTQ + y de otros grupos deberían integrarse tanto en las lecciones de historia como en otras áreas de estudio como la música y las artes. 

Todos los estudiantes merecen respeto y la capacidad de vivir una vida feliz y saludable, incluidos los estudiantes LBGTQ +. Una discusión franca de la sexualidad, con aportes de los padres, es una necesidad para mantener a nuestros niños seguros y saludables. Todos los niños deben saber que son valiosos y que pueden hablar de sus sentimientos y hacer preguntas sin temor.


6. ¿Qué esfuerzos realizará para garantizar que la instrucción abierta cultural/críticamente es la norma, no la excepción? ¿Cómo planea expandir las oportunidades de educación bilingüe para estudiantes y maestros por igual?

 La instrucción cultural y críticamente abierta es crucial para las escuelas de hoy. Los estudiantes aprenden mejor cuando pueden relacionar la lección que están aprendiendo con sus propias vidas. El uso de historias de la propia cultura del estudiante ayuda a promover el interés y la comprensión, lo cual debería ser el objetivo de cualquier maestro al presentar una lección.

Ningún docente incorporará referencias culturales exactamente de la misma manera, pero existen numerosas estrategias para agregar materiales culturalmente amplios a un plan de clase. Mis dos hijos asistieron a una Academia Culinaria de la escuela media en el LAUSD. Las lecciones se enseñaban a través del lente de la comida, por lo que la historia griega incluía una mirada a lo que comían los antiguos griegos, así como un viaje al restaurante griego local. Esto ayudó a llevar las ideas de la antigua Grecia a una relevancia moderna (¡y sabrosa!).

El programa canadiense que mencioné en una pregunta anterior incluye instrucción culturalmente receptiva como parte de su proceso de aprendizaje del inglés. Utilizan alimentos, tradiciones navideñas y otras costumbres culturales para ayudar al alumno a relacionarse con su nuevo entorno y aprender inglés. Esto ayuda al alumno a sentirse más cómodo y a promover el entendimiento con otros compañeros de clase.


7. ¿Qué hace que cada uno de ustedes sea diferente de los superintendentes estatales anteriores? ¿Cómo y por qué deberíamos confiar en usted?

El Superintendente de Instrucción Pública es el único asiento elegido en la Junta de Educación de California. El Gobernador nombra a los otros once miembros de la Junta. Esto significa que es la única oportunidad para que los votantes decidan quién los representa en la Junta de Educación.

En gran medida se considera una posición "ceremonial", pero de hecho el Superintendente preside la Junta que supervisa un presupuesto anual de más de $ 76 mil millones de dólares y establece la dirección de todas las escuelas públicas en California. El Superintendente tiene mucho que decir sobre cómo se educa a nuestros hijos.

La Junta actual tiene 6 médicos, 1 asistente legislativo, 1 director de educación, 1 enlace de escuelas chárter, 1 enlace de sindicatos de maestros de California y 1 representante estudiantil. ¿De quién es la voz que falta? Padres.

No he tomado ninguna donación de interés especial y no estoy comprometido con ningún grupo que no sean los padres y niños que represento. Me comprometo a poner siempre a nuestros hijos primero.

No permita que intereses mezquinos compren su puesto en la Junta de Educación de California. VOTE por STEVEN IRELAND - el candidato PADRE - el 5 de junio de 2018. 

Steven Ireland Responses to USC Rossier School Questions


Steven Ireland's responses to the USC Questions provided by the USC Rossier Center for Education, Policy, Equity, and Governance (CEPEG).  (Edited for space limitations) 

1.      Ella T. v State of California is a lawsuit brought by public school students, former teachers, and community organizations that challenges the state's failure to provide access to literacy for all students as unconstitutional under the state constitution. What is your position on the lawsuit?

The Ella T v. State of CA lawsuit tells us what we already knew – that we are failing to provide basic instruction to a large segment of California’s children.  Failure to achieve basic literacy skills in elementary school leads to many of the issues we see in our high schools, including high dropout rates and low graduation rates. 

We need to focus our resources on these low-performing elementary students to give them the tools they need to succeed in later grades.  This means ensuring that all schools receive their fair share of school funding to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere in which children can learn. 

A program in Ontario, Canada focuses on English learners with great success.  Within three years of arriving in public schools, children of new immigrants perform as well as native born-children on proficiency tests.  They achieve this with intensive English literacy classes in the morning while integrating the students into regular classes later in the day.  Their English teacher is available to help them during regular classes in the event they need further assistance.  We must consider implementing a similar system if we expect to fix this problem. 

The Board of Education needs to create partnerships with community organizations such as the plaintiffs in this case and encourage parents to be pro-active in their children’s literacy development.  Only by working together can we address this extremely important issue.  It’s time to invest in our children’s future for the sake of California. 



2.      Secretary DeVos has indicated that she will get rid of the Obama era guidance on disproportionate use of school discipline. What will you do as superintendent to protect the civil rights of all students?

Effective discipline in schools involves a delicate balancing act between addressing disruptive behaviors in the classroom and ensuring that students are treated fairly and equally.  

Teachers and administrators must be able to remove a student who is being physically or verbally disruptive without fear of punishment in order to maintain a proper learning environment for all students.  At the same time, we need to make sure students are not being targeted unfairly due to their race, religion, orientation or other factors not related to the disruptive behaviors. 

The Board should develop a clear set of policies outlining what type of discipline is permitted and when.  Local Boards must ensure that their school systems are adhering to that policy in order to maintain a fair discipline policy throughout the state.  The State needs to effectively monitor how discipline is administered, and there needs to be a fair and simple reporting procedure for parents to report complaints about the discipline procedures at their school. 

 Some disruptive behaviors are due to factors in the student’s home life from outside the classroom.  These range from mental health issues to hunger to homelessness and they can adversely affect the education of all of our students. 



3.      In light of the Trump admin's recommendations/proposals to cut Title II funding, how might you envision ensuring educators-especially new teachers-are supported in California in their first years?

If anything is clear it is that we cannot wait for the dysfunctional Washington, DC educational establishment to solve our problems.  We need to address critical funding throughout the school system - including finding new revenues to support our schools and teachers.  According to EdWeek’s 2017 Quality Counts survey, California ranks 46th in the nation in per pupil funding and it shows.   

Our schools are falling apart, teachers are buying their own supplies and critical positions and programs have been cut.  School counselors and nurses are a rarity at many schools.  Music and arts programs have been cut throughout the system, even though studies have repeatedly shown that music programs IMPROVE MATH SCORES.  

Democrats & Republicans agree on almost nothing when it comes to guns and protecting our schools from shootings.  But they do agree on one thing – mental health plays an important role in keeping our schools safe.  So, both sides agree but what do they do?  They CUT funding for school counselors and mental health professionals in our schools.  It’s time that PARENTS DEMAND FUNDING for these positions as a first line of defense against school violence. 

We need to look for new revenues for schools, including the lottery, gaming interests and the new cannabis economy money.  Bonuses and other rewards should be given to teachers who are willing to work in the most difficult schools in order to ensure a quality education for all kids.  We need to plan for the future we want for our children. 



4.      What are you going to do to incorporate the voice, participation, and leadership from parents in order to close the gap in academic achievement for students of color?

Parents are the reason I’m running for this seat on the CA Board of Education.  As a parent of three teenagers, I’ve been through a variety of schools including public schools, affiliated charter schools and independent charter schools.  It’s easy to spot the schools that are most successful – they are the schools where the PARENTS are involved.  

Finally, we are seeing students and parents fed up with dysfunctional schools across the country.  Students are demanding to be safe in their own schools and they are marching to show the world what they want.  Many parents want a greater say in how their schools are run. 

That’s why I’m running as the “PARENT” candidate – in an effort to give a voice to parents on the State Board of Education.  I believe ALL of our children deserve 3 things from our school system: 


·      Safe & Secure Schools

·      A Welcoming and Positive Learning Environment

·      Ability to Be Healthy and Ready to Learn


To accomplish that, I’m focused on these three issues:


·      Safety & Security

·      School Infrastructure

·      Student Well-Being


Families are crucial to making schools a place where children want to learn, yet some school administrators prefer that parents “stay out of the way.”  That needs to change - parents need to be welcomed as a partner in their schools.  In return, ALL parents have a responsibility to speak up and demand a voice in their child’s education.   

Please visit my website at for more information. 



5.      The FAIR Education Act and CA Healthy Youth Act mandate that CA schools incorporate an LBGTQ+ curriculum. However, many schools are currently non-compliant. How will you ensure our youth receive comprehensive education regarding queer identities and history? 

Our students should know the contributions of all groups to our collective history – including LBGTQ+ - as part of a well-balanced education.  Learning about each other fosters a better understanding of our peers and leads to respect for other cultures and ideas as part of our modern world.  Stories from the LBGTQ+ community and other groups should be integrated into both history lessons and other areas of study such as music and arts. 

ALL students deserve respect and the ability to live a happy and healthy life, including LBGTQ+ students.  A frank discussion of sexuality – with input from parents - is a must to keep our children safe and healthy.  All children must know that they are valuable and that they are able to discuss their feelings and ask questions without fear. 

The law provides flexibility for schools in its implementation, but the Board should outline suggested ways to incorporate these important stories into the daily curriculum.  The Board needs to monitor compliance and require non-compliant districts to implement a program according to the law. 


6.      What efforts will you take to ensure that culturally/critically responsive instruction is the norm, not the exception? How do you plan to expand bilingual education opportunities for students and teachers alike?

Culturally and critically responsive instruction makes sense for schools today.  Students learn better when they can relate the lesson they are learning to their own lives.  Using stories from a student’s own culture helps promote interest and understanding, which should be the goal of any teacher when presenting a lesson. 

No teacher will incorporate cultural references in exactly the same way, but there are numerous strategies to add culturally responsive materials into a lesson plan.  Both of my sons attended a middle-school Culinary Academy in LAUSD.  Lessons were taught through the lens of food, so Greek history included a look at what the ancient Greeks ate, as well as a trip to local Greek restaurant.  This helped bring the ideas of ancient Greece to a modern (and tasty) relevance. 

The Canadian program that I mentioned in an earlier question includes culturally responsive instruction as part of their English-learner process.  They use foods, holiday traditions and other cultural customs to help the student relate to their new environment and learn English.  This helps the student feel more comfortable and helps to promote understanding with other classmates. 



7.      What makes each of you different from the previous state superintendents? How and why should we trust you?


The Superintendent of Public Instruction is the only elected seat on the California Board of Education.  The Governor appoints the other eleven members of the Board.  This means it is the ONLY opportunity for voters to decide who represents them on the Board of Education. 

It is largely considered a “ceremonial” position, but in fact the Superintendent chairs the Board which oversees an annual budget of more than $76 Billion dollars and sets the direction for all public schools in California.  The Superintendent has a lot of say in how our children are educated.

The current Board has 6 Doctors, 1 Legislative Aide, 1 Director of Education, 1 Charter School Liaison, 1 California Teachers Union Liaison and 1 Student Rep.  Whose voice is missing?  PARENTS. 

I have not taken any special interest donations and I am not beholden to any group other than the PARENTS and CHILDREN that I represent.  I pledge to always put our children first. 

Don’t let special interests buy YOUR seat on the California Board of Education.  VOTE for STEVEN IRELAND – the PARENT candidate – on June 5th, 2018. 


Please visit my website at for more information.  






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