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School Unification Group Collecting Signatures

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The petitions have been printed, and the group pushing for a ballot measure for Tuolumne County school unification will soon begin a full-scale effort to collect signatures.

Tuolumne County Committee for Unification of Resources For Education (TuCCURE) member Domenic Torchia says the petition recently received the legal okay from County Elections Official Debi Bautista and County School Superintendent Joe Silva. TuCCURE is now putting some of the final touches on their plan of attack.

“We’re having briefing sessions, and the final one will be this Saturday, and then hopefully we’ll have some sites where we can set up tables and have people come by and sign the petitions,” he says. “We haven’t started a real concerted effort yet to collect signatures, and that will probably come in the next week.”

The group is calling for all Tuolumne County public schools to be placed under a single school superintendent and a sole Board of Trustees.

The group needs to collect signatures from at least 25% of the voters in each individual school district to qualify as a ballot measure. Before actually getting on the ballot, there would also be hearings in the individual school districts, and the measure would need to be approved by the California State Board of Education. “We still have a long process to go through, but hopefully this time around we will be prepared to go to those hearings and present a legitimate case,” adds Torchia. “But I think with 25% of the registered voters signing the petition, if we get that far, I think it will speak volumes.”

The group has stated they hope to have Tuolumne County school unification on the 2014 ballot, but that date could be delayed depending on how soon signatures can be collected and when hearings can be scheduled.