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Valley Public Radio Staff
Wed August 8, 2012
Group Announces Effort to Recall FUSD's Vang
A coalition of teachers and education activists gathered today to announce an effort to recall Fresno Unified school board member Tony Vang.
A group calling itself Community United For Education Justice held a news conference this afternoon outside the downtown headquarters of the Fresno Unified School District to announce an effort to recall Dr. Tony Vang from his seat as a school board trustee.
Earlier this year, an investigation by the Fresno Bee raised questions about Vang's legal status as a school board member, after critics claimed he did not live in the Fresno Unified District, as required by law. The Bee's investigation revealed that Vang had registered to vote at a home he owns in the Clovis Unified School District.
Javier Guzman says if the recall group gathers enough signatures, it may seek a special election to replace Vang in early 2013, if he doesn't choose to resign first.
"The intention of the group is to begin gathering signatures to recall Mr. Vang in September, and put forward a qualified candidate to replace him if he chooses not to step down."
Vang stepped aside as president of the school board in June, but did not resign his seat as a trustee. Mai Summer Vue, a member of the Fresno Teachers Association says that's not good enough.
"He's still on the board, he's still making major decisions that impact negatively our children's education and lives in this community. He should not be a voting voice, he should completely step down. He's not representing the district, he doesn't live in the district."
In order to force a recall election, the group would need to gather signatures from 25 percent of the people in the McLane High School area who voted in the last election.
A spokesperson for Vang released a statement today claiming that his client is in compliance with the requirements for his board seat and that he does not intend to resign.
Vang has been a consistent supporter of Fresno Unified superintendent Michael Hanson, who has faced increasing criticism in recent years from the Fresno Teachers Association and other groups over his handling of district affairs.