Irvine Unified PTA council to hold candidates forum for school board hopefuls

The Irvine Unified Council PTA plans to host a forum for candidates of the IUSD Board of Education beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held at the District Office, located at 5050 Barranca Parkway. It will also be aired locally for Cox cable subscribers on IUSD’s Channel 39.

Here’s how the forum will work: Each candidate will have the opportunity to make a statement and answer two uniform questions from an objective moderator. We’re told there will also be a limited amount of time for questions from attendees, who will then have an additional opportunity at the end of the program to talk one-on-one with candidates.

This year, nine hopefuls are vying for three seats on the Board of Education. They are: Paul Bokota an Irvine businessman; Lauren Brooks, an educator and businesswoman; Margaret Brown, a school planning director; Omar Ezzeldine, chair of the city’s finance commission and an educator; Carolyn Inmon, a retired teacher; Michelle Ollada Alipio, a school nurse; Michael Parham, an incumbent who is currently serving as school board president; Bob Vu, an educator, scientist and entrepreneur; and Cyril Yu, O.C. Deputy District Attorney.

The group that’s hosting the event, the Irvine Unified Council PTA, should be familiar to most Irvine families. The organization is made up of nearly 13,000 members from 32 individual PTA units that support schools throughout IUSD. President Petra Schaefer said the council’s election role aligns with its overall mission to advocate for public education.

“California’s public schools are facing a financial crisis,” she said, “and IUCPTA wants to ensure that the IUSD community has an opportunity to get to know the candidates so that they can make an informed choice on Nov. 6.”