Representatives of the group Recall CUSD Board claim that they are “very close” to reaching the number of signatures needed to officially put a measure on the ballot to recall three Cupertino Union Schools District board members.

If they succeed, a special election this year will include a measure asking voters to remove Lori Cunningham, Sylvia Leong and Phyllis Vogel from office.

The petition for a recall was filed in October, only a couple weeks after the board voted 3-2 to close Meyerholz and Regnart elementary schools and consolidate Muir.

Aegean Lee of the Recall CUSD Board team wrote in an email to the Town Crier Thursday that they had been advised by experienced recall organizers not to share specific numbers for publication, but that it would very likely come down to the difference of a small number of signatures.

“If we don’t feel we have enough because 10-15% may not validate, we will file this again. Community support is rampant,” Lee wrote.

The rep points to the omicron wave in December and January as greatly negatively impacting their signature collection efforts and said the group is exploring legal avenues to secure a two-month extension.

“We have the support of the community and will succeed. We’ve achieved what we have done so far without raising any money, which is unheard of at this scale for recall races of any type,” Lee wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “If we have to run it again, we will be even more organized, ready to raise real funds and more tapped into influencer supporters, including some major political leaders and more.”

So far, it appears as if this campaign is more successful than the previous effort to recall Cunningham last year, which gathered less than half of the 11,000 signatures needed by Oct. 4 to call a special election. The original recall effort was launched in response to what Recall CUSD believes was a failure to reopen CUSD schools in a timely manner amid the pandemic, thus lowering the quality of CUSD students’ education and driving families to private schools, which resulted in declining enrollment numbers across the district.

The recall effort this time around targets the three board members who voted to close and/or consolidate schools, alleging that the board did not take the proper steps when considering the closures and that Cunningham, Leong and Vogel may have had ulterior motives when casting their votes. CUSD board members countered that they did all they could to prevent school closures, but they are necessary to maintain fiscal balance because of declining enrollment, underfunding and a failed parcel tax.

This story was updated to reflect that the petition for recall was filed in October, not November of 2021. It also now includes the name of the representative from the Recall CUSD Board team, Aegean Lee.

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