Chico Unified School District elections (2014)

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2014 Chico Unified School District Elections

General Election date:
November 4, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
Chico Unified School District
Butte County, California ballot measures
Local ballot measures, California
Flag of California.png

Three seats on the Chico Unified School District Board of Education were up for general election on November 4, 2014.[1] At-large incumbents Eileen Robinson and Kathleen E. Kaiser ran for re-election against candidates Gary M. Loustale and Cynthia Van Auken.[2][3]

Despite attempting to remove herself from the race, candidate Cynthia Van Auken's name still appeared on the ballot on November 4, 2014.[3] Loustale, Robinson and Kaiser won the general election.

About the district

See also: Chico Unified School District, California
Chico Unified School District is located in Butte County, California.

Chico Unified School District is located in Butte County, California. The county seat of Butte County is Oroville. Butte County was home to 222,090 residents in 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau.[4] In the 2011-2012 school year, Chico Unified School District was the 119th-largest school district by enrollment in California and served 13,646 students.[5]


Butte County underperformed compared to the rest of California in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 24.0 percent of Butte County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 30.5 percent for California as a whole. The median household income for Butte County was $43,339 compared to $61,400 for the entire state. The percentage of people below poverty level for Butte County was 20.6 percent while it was 15.3 percent statewide.[4]

Racial Demographics, 2013[4]
Race Butte County (%) California (%)
White 87.0 73.5
Black or African American 1.8 6.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 2.4 1.7
Asian 4.4 14.1
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.3 0.5
Two or more race 4.1 3.7
Hispanic or Latino 15.1 38.4

Presidential Voting Pattern, Butte County[6]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 42,669 44,479
2008 49,013 46,706
2004 42,448 51,662
2000 31,338 45,584

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[7]

Method of board member selection

The Chico Unified School District Board of Education consists of five members elected at-large to four-year terms. There was no primary election, and the general election was held on November 4, 2014. Three seats were up for election in 2014, and two seats will be up for election in 2016.[1][2]

School board candidates had to file with their county elections department during the candidate filing period. The filing period began July 14, 2014, and ended August 8, 2014. To vote in the 2014 general election, voters had to register by October 20, 2014. Voters could request vote-by-mail ballots from October 6, 2014, through October 28, 2014.[8]





Election results

Chico Unified School District, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngGary M. Loustale 28.6% 15,068
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngEileen Robinson Incumbent 28.2% 14,844
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKathleen E. Kaiser Incumbent 24.3% 12,824
     Nonpartisan Cynthia Van Auken 18.5% 9,728
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.5% 248
Total Votes 52,712
Source: Butte County Registrar of Voters, "General Election - November 4, 2014, Official Results," accessed December 22, 2014


The Butte County Democratic Party and the California Labor Federation endorsed incumbent Eileen Robinson and challenger Gary M. Loustale.[9][10]

Campaign finance

Candidates had to file contribution reports within 24 hours of receiving an aggregate total of $1,000 or more from a single source. The first scheduled pre-election report filing deadline was October 6, 2014. If candidates raised or spent less than $1,000 during the 2013 and 2014 calendar years, they had to file Form 470 at that time. If candidates raised or spent more during that time, they had to file Form 460 by the pre-election report filing deadline.[11]

Candidates required to file Form 460 also had to file a second pre-election report on October 23, 2014, and they must file termination reports by December 31, 2014. If a termination report is not filed, candidates must file a semi-annual report by February 2, 2015.[11]


Candidates did not report any contributions or expenditures to the Butte County Registrar of Voters as of October 24, 2014. Only incumbent Eileen Robinson carried an existing balance of $134.97.[12][13][14][15]

Candidate Existing balance Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Kathleen E. Kaiser N/A $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Eileen Robinson $134.97 $0.00 $0.00 $134.97
Gary M. Loustale N/A $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Cynthia Van Auken N/A $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

Past elections

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

Candidates discuss charter schools, master plan and art education at forum

Incumbents Eileen Robinson and Kathleen E. Kaiser and challenger Gary M. Loustale gathered at a candidate forum on September 25, 2014, to discuss a number of issues in the Chico Unified School District. Challenger Cynthia Van Auken did not attend the forum, but she urged the audience to listen to the candidates and choose wisely on election day.

The three candidates agreed on most issues. They were all in favor of the state's new local funding formula as well as the district's open enrollment options. They also agreed on arts education, wanting only to expand on what the district had. Robinson said she hoped the money coming in from a recently passed bond measure would help such programs flourish at the elementary school level.

When asked about charter schools, Kaiser said they worked best when they were "wedded" to their community. She was happy to say that the district has a number of those and that they "glow." Kaiser added that she did not think charter schools thrive well if they are added to a community without that support in place. Loustale agreed that the district has some very good charter schools that fit a need in the community. Robinson considered charter schools an indicator of a need that is not being met by other schools in the district. She said the board needs to study the successes of charter schools in order to implement those same strategies in other schools, maintaining a relationship of cooperation between all schools in the district.

One question presented to the candidates addressed concerns that the board's master plan went far into the future and dealt with money beyond the amount the recently passed bond measure had given to the district. Loustale said that passing the bond measure gave the district the opportunity to fully evaluate its needs. He explained that the master plan reflects all those needs and gives the board the opportunity to decide which changes need to be made and in what order. Robinson said that the good news was that the bond allowed the district to grow its middle school program. "What happens after that needs to be revisited," she said.

Kaiser reminded the audience that the bond money is only available to the district in increments. She emphasized the district's decisions to build sustainable, energy efficient buildings, which have allowed the district to received money back from the state. "What we do, we want to do well," she said.[16]

Candidate still on ballot despite removing herself from race

Voters were able to choose between four candidates for the three seats up for election on the Chico Unified School District Board of Education on November 4, 2014, even though one of those candidates excused herself from the race. Cynthia Van Auken contacted Butte County election officials to remove her name from the ballot in early September 2014, but as election information had already gone to the printers, her name remained on the ballot.[3]

If Van Auken had been able to fully leave the election, she would have left the race for the three seats to three candidates, essentially guaranteeing them each a spot on the board. Because her name could not be removed, Van Auken could technically have won the election but still came in fourth.[3]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Chico Unified School District election in 2014:[11][17]

Deadline Event
July 14, 2014 First day for candidates to file nomination documents
August 8, 2014 Last day for candidates to file nomination documents
October 6, 2014 First day to request vote-by-mail ballot
October 6, 2014 First pre-election report due
October 20, 2014 Last day to register to vote
October 23, 2014 Second pre-election report due
October 28, 2014 Last day to request vote-by-mail ballot
November 4, 2014 Election Day
December 31, 2014 Termination report due
February 2, 2015 Semi-annual report due

Additional elections on the ballot

See also: California elections, 2014

This election shared the ballot with municipal elections and other school board elections, as well as general elections for several state executive offices, one U.S. House seat, one state Senate seat and two state Assembly seats.[2][18] Two countywide ballot measures on medical marijuana were also on the November 4, 2014, general election ballot.[19]

Recent news

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See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chico Unified School District, "Board Members," accessed July 15, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Contest/Candidate Proof List, General Election," accessed August 18, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 ChicoER, "Candidates for Chico school board still need to get votes," September 4, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 United States Census Bureau, "Butte County, California," accessed May 5, 2014
  5. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed April 22, 2014
  6. Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Past Elections," accessed July 15, 2014
  7. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  8. California Secretary of State, "Summary of November 4, 2014, General Election Calendar," accessed July 14, 2014
  9. Butte County Democratic Party, "2014 Butte County Democratic Party Endorsements," accessed October 21, 2014
  10. California Labor Federation, "November 2014 Endorsements - Butte Glenn," accessed October 21, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Fair Political Practices Commission, "Filing Schedule for Candidates and Controlled Committees for Local Office Being Voted on November 4, 2014," accessed August 19, 2014
  12. Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Viewing filing activity for Kaiser, Kathleen," accessed October 24, 2014
  13. Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Viewing filing activity for Robinson, Eileen," accessed October 24, 2014
  14. Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Viewing filing activity for Loustale, Gary," accessed October 24, 2014
  15. Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Viewing filing activity for Van Auken, Cynthia," accessed October 24, 2014
  16. Chico Enterprise-Record, "Candidate Forum - Chico Unified School District," September 25, 2014
  17. Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Calendar of Events: General Election November 4, 2014," accessed July 15, 2014
  18. Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Primary Election - June 3, 2014, Butte County, California - Official Results," accessed July 15, 2014
  19. Butte County Registrar of Voters, "Local Ballot Measures," accessed September 2, 2014