A campaign to expand the San Diego Unified school board to include appointed members is running short on time to get its proposal on the June special election ballot — if there is a June ballot at all.

San Diegans 4 Great Schools hasn’t yet turned in the required signatures to the city clerk to get a measure on the ballot. If California lawmakers call a special election for June 7, as is commonly forecasted, the city clerk would need to turn in all its materials to the Registrar of Voters March 11, said Bonnie Stone, city clerk’s deputy director of elections and information services.

Before that happens, a petition needs to be turned into the city clerk, the city clerk needs to get the signatures verified with the registrar, and then City Council acts to put it on the ballot.

That tightens the timeline. Verifying the signatures alone can take a month or more, which would make it already too late for petitioners to get in their signatures to snag a place on an early June ballot.

But it’s still unsure whether there will be a special election in June, July or at all. Scott Himelstein, president of San Diegans 4 Great Schools, said he hasn’t given up on getting on a summer ballot.

“We’re moving forward with all due speed,” Himelstein said. “But we understand there’s a chance that timing won’t work out.” If that happens, they will turn their attention to the next election.

The timing is more than a detail: The San Diegans 4 Great Schools campaign has coincided with massive budget cuts in San Diego Unified. Those budget cuts could play a part in how voters feel about the school district and its existing board, though it isn’t clear whether it would help or hurt the campaign.

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at emily.alpert@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter: twitter.com/emilyschoolsyou.

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

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