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Republican Club

by Brian Harmon

LW contributor

Orange County School Board President Mari Barke will speak at a future LW Republican Club meeting. The date and time were not confirmed as of press time. Barke will speak to the club about Critical Race Theory (CRT), ethnic studies and school choice.

“There is nobody working harder than the president of the Orange County School Board Mari Barke to educate Orange County families and beyond about ethnic studies and CRT,” she said in a telephone interview.

“I want to make sure that everyone knows what is in the curriculum and I want to protect parent rights.”

She said that the board has already hosted one forum on the subject at the office in Costa Mesa, and another one is coming up on Aug. 24.

“It is important to understand what our children are learning,” she said, “because there is a lot of confusion out there.”

Barke said that she wants to

make sure that every child in Orange County has the same educational choices that her children enjoyed.

She added that she is very interested in public charter schools and parental choice.

“I believe that every child deserves access to a great education, and they should be able to choose whether they want to attend a traditional public school, a public charter school, a private school or be homeschooled. Every child is unique and therefore should have choices,” she said.

She started helping the parent unions in Santa Ana by teaching ESL to adults and supporting their events. At about the same time, Mari decided she could really make a big impact on education in Orange County by running for the Orange County Board of Education.

Barke, a longtime resident of Rossmoor, was elected to the Orange County Board of Education in June 2018 to represent the 2nd District. She currently serves as the board president.

After graduating from California State University, Northridge, with bachelor’s in finance, Barke spent 12 years in the insurance industry, progressing from underwriter to commercial business unit manager.

In addition to consulting at a non-partisan California think tank, Barke is very involved in her community. She is an ambassador for the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of directors for the Cypress Chamber of Commerce. She also donates time to Fisher House in Long Beach.

••• The leadership team of the LW Republican Club would like to express its thanks to the Democratic Club for its kind bipartisanship in congratulating the 60-member GOP caucus that endorses a reasonable response to climate change. This caucus supports policies that would combat climate change without shutting down the oil, natural gas and coal industries as quickly as humanly possible.

House Democrats formed a similar caucus that has attracted 12 members, at last count.

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