Ty Alper, Ka’Dijah Brown, Julie Sinai win Berkeley school board seats

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Ty Alper, Ka’Dijah Brown and Julie Sinai all secured seats on the board of Berkeley Unified School District, or BUSD, as of press time at 2:02 a.m.

Alper is projected to win with 30.89 percent of the votes, while Brown received 30.17 percent and Sinai received 25.94 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reported.

Berkeley Federation of Teachers, or BFT, President Cathy Campbell said in a previous interview that this election is important because the elected board will have to tackle ongoing union contract negotiations and will have to choose the next BUSD superintendent.

Alper, a UC Berkeley School of Law clinical professor, was the only candidate running for reelection, mainly because he said he is “proud” of the progress he has made so far. According to his website, Alper’s goals for the position are to end “racial predictability” in student success and “instill in our students a life-long love of learning.”

“I am proud of the work we have done in the District over the last four years,” Alper said on his website. “There is much more we can do to ensure that our schools support, and challenge, every student.”

During Alper’s first term, he helped revamp the ninth grade at Berkeley High School and maintained financial stability by making “difficult but prudent” budget cuts. He received endorsements from BFT, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21 and California state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

Brown, a fifth-grade teacher and BUSD graduate, said previously that she would bring unique insights into how the school board’s decisions will affect classroom activities.

Brown would like to update the BUSD Master Plan for English Learners to reflect Berkeley’s changing demographics due to increased gentrification in the city. Brown said previously that she believes current programs that address this issue should be furthered through more staff development. She is endorsed by Skinner, BFT and outgoing state Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond.

Sinai, a mother of two BUSD graduates, said that if elected, she hopes to add her experience to the school board, considering her past work with BUSD.

“I consider it my responsibility and my passion to help ensure that all of Berkeley’s students graduate ready to take charge of their education, their career, and their future,” Sinai said on her website.

Dru Howard, Norma Harrison and Abdur Sikder were among the candidates who ran but did not secure a seat. Howard received 4.88 percent of the vote, Harrison received 4.28 percent and Sikder received 3.66 percent.

“I don’t expect to get a lot of votes,” Harrison said. “So far, it does not seem like I’m going to get that many. I think people have lost interest in me.”

Contact Francesca Munsayac, Alyssa Bernardino and Mallika Seshadri at [email protected].