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Letter: Jim Cogan has the experience and dedication needed for school board 

letter to the editor

To the editor,

I support Jim Cogan for Paso Robles School Board to represent Area 1. I have worked with Jim and know that he sincerely wants to serve our students. He has the experience of over 20 years of public service. He is a local business owner and a dedicated volunteer for Paso Robles, serving as the vice president of the Heritage Ranch Owners Association Board of Directors, the chair of the Supplemental Sales Tax Oversight Committee, an elder at Highlands Church, and a director on the boards of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce and Paso Robles Recreation Foundation.

There are a number of important issues facing the Paso Robles school district such as learning loss from the pandemic, student literacy by third grade, student emotional health, loss of teachers and staff, declining student enrollment, and deferred facility maintenance.

Unfortunately, the current school board seems more interested in promoting national political agendas than dealing with the issues actually affecting our students. Perhaps, it is because only one of them has students in the district or perhaps they just see the school board as a stepping stone to higher office.

Whatever their rationale, their approach is failing our students. Unnecessary, controversial issues that are simply meant to divide our community waste time and energy that should be spent serving our students. Jim is running for school board, because as a father of two district students, he thinks it is time to make it about the students again! His priorities focus on improving the district for all of our students.

If elected, he will focus on:

  • Increasing opportunities for student achievement – We can’t be satisfied until every student graduates from high school prepared for a career or college.
  • Fiscal responsibility – The budget is currently in the black. In fact, the 2022-23 budget has approximately $100M to educate 6,500 students, but some of this is one-time money and we need to ensure that the district budget remains sustainable where expenses don’t exceed revenue.
  • Quality extra-curriculars and athletics – These programs enhance our students’ experience and, in some cases, keep them in school. Whether its athletics, career training, or visual arts, we must make sure these all these programs are available to everyone.
  • Retaining and attracting great teachers and staff – Last year we lost some amazing teachers and staff. It has been a big challenge to replace them and in some cases we haven’t. Some who left, referenced the unnecessary controversies and divisiveness of the current school board as their reason for leaving. Our students deserve better, actually they deserve the best! Teachers and staff make up the majority of our coaches and mentors for athletics and extra-curriculars, but they can’t volunteer if they can’t afford to live here or don’t feel appreciated by the district.


Improving communication with parents and community members – It can be difficult for even tech-savvy parents to get the information they need. If you are a single parent struggling to make ends meet or if English is your second language, then your chances of being informed and providing feedback on issues that matter to your students is extremely unlikely. The current school board seems happy to play on the fears of a vocal minority and avoid communicating with the majority of parents and residents. Jim will work to ensure that all of our parents and community members are informed and involved in the decisions they care about.

Anyone interested in learning more about Jim can check out his website at There are links to email him and to donate to his campaign on the site. I encourage you to follow his campaign on Facebook at Jim Cogan for School Board 2022 or on Instagram at CoganforPasoSchools.

It is clear to me that Jim’s experience and dedication to our community will serve us well on the school board. After getting to know him as a candidate, I am confident that you will feel the same way.


Valerie Tingley
Paso Robles

Editor’s note: Opinion pieces and letters to the editor are the personal opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paso Robles Daily News or its staff. We welcome letters from local residents regarding relevant local topics. To submit one, click here.

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