The San Diego teachers union has withdrawn its endorsement for school board candidate Scott Barnett, a Republican budget analyst who is running against longtime school board member John de Beck.

Barnett earned the teachers union endorsement earlier this year, pledging to reform finances and redirect more spending to the classroom. Though Barnett had criticized unions in the past, former union President Camille Zombro said they felt that he would listen and work with teachers. De Beck, once a labor ally who regularly got the teachers union endorsement, has been sharply at odds with the union in recent years.

But the union changed its mind. Bill Freeman, the new president of the teachers union, said it dropped its support for Barnett because the candidate told them he could not support a proposed parcel tax to fund San Diego Unified schools.

“We need someone that’s a strong supporter of public education finance,” Freeman said.

Earlier in the campaign, Barnett had said he would not have put the tax on the ballot in the first place, but would back it because schools needed the money. Now that it isn’t backing Barnett, the union will not endorse anyone in the race to represent the coastal stretches of San Diego Unified.

I’ve left a message for Barnett to ask for his thoughts. Check back later for more details.

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter:

Emily Alpert

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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