Livermore resident and retired legal businessman John Kupski is hoping to snag one of the three open seats on the school board this fall.
"I believe that our education system is in poor condition. This has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 situation, with so many students falling behind in essential learning," Kupski said in a statement to Livermore Vine.
While Kupski does not have a professional background in education nor does he have children currently attending Livermore schools, he said he has been made aware of shortcomings within the district that are negatively impacting students.
"Students have a poor grasp of the three R’s: reading, writing and arithmetic," he said in an email. "Knowledge of geography and American history fall far short. I personally learned of incoming college freshmen, as example, being asked to identify cities on a blank map. They placed Miami, Florida, on the West Coast; many were unaware of who won the Civil War and who fought in WWII."
Kupski is one of a total of nine candidates vying for three open positions on the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Board of Education.
The three incumbents whose terms are expiring this year are President Craig Bueno, Clerk Emily Prusso and Trustee Anne White, who are also all seeking re-election.
The other five challengers in the race are associate professor Steven Drouin, student and community organizer Hayden Sidun, development director Kristina Mazaika, doctor and businesswoman Deena Kaplanis and community member and mother Alex Izarraraz.
Kupski said that one of his reasons for running is that he disagrees with some of the curriculum and concepts that have been introduced to youth in recent years.
"There is far too much indoctrination in the schools. Students are being taught made-up history, like 'The 1619 Project,' falsely instructed as to groups who are oppressed and their oppressors and preposterously woke ideologies without parents’ knowledge or approval," he said.
"We need to return to curricula detailing verifiable facts and long-established truths. A commonsense approach -- tutoring students how to think, not what to think," he added.
Kupski also wants to address a number of other issues he believes are happening in Livermore schools.
"My priorities would be: to be fiscally conscious and conservative. I am especially concerned with the sexualization of children in the schools, seemingly from the very start. Also the blatant racist commentary and instruction particularly decrying specific groups. This is unconscionable," he said.
In order to identify strategies to tackle the issues he wants to confront if elected, Kupski noted that he would need to do more research.
"It would take further in-depth investigation and analysis on my part once I am elected," Kupski said. "Certainly these type of topics would never have been brought up or conceived of in the past. That is because they are totally false and defy intelligence. Hopefully, I can build consensus with other Board members in implementing these commonsense policies."
Kupski does not have a campaign website at this time.