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  • Tuesday, January 17, 2006


    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST


    Orange Unified School District (OUSD)
    Trustees at their January 5th meeting
    directed OUSD Superintendent and Secretary to the Board Thomas Godley to reinstate the second public Comments to the Board at the end of the OUSD Board of Trustees Agenda. The only place for public comments on the Board Agenda
    before the Orange Recall was at the very end of the Board Meeting. This created problems for citizen’s who wanted to make comments during meetings with controversial issues because the meetings often went on late into the night. When the current Citizen’s Board took over after the OUSD Recall they added a public comment section in the beginning of the meeting as one of their many reforms and also kept the ending comment section giving the public two chances to address the Board. That practice stopped (apparently without telling the Trustees) shortly after Godley became Superintendent.

    In November 2005, in response to an Orange Net News inquiry
    about eliminating the second Public Comment section, Godley wrote:
    “Communications from members of the community are welcomed and
    encouraged. Currently, there are two opportunities for community
    members to address the Board during a Board Meeting: the first is
    relevant to individual agenda items (see notice at the beginning
    of the agenda), and the second is relevant to items not on the
    agenda (see item 11. of the agenda). It is believed that these
    two opportunities to address the Board are sufficient to encourage
    open communications to the members of the Board during the open
    meetings. I hope this addresses your concern.”
    Thomas A. Godley
    Superintendent of Schools and Secretary to the Board

    At the January 5th meeting, for the second time since removing
    the second opportunity to address the Board, the problem again
    arose where a citizen came late to the meeting and put in a
    request (a “blue card”) to speak to the Trustees about a concern.
    Since it was after the Public Comments section, the Board was
    required to consent to hear the speaker. Board President Kim Nichols
    expressed concern that this procedure could continue to be a problem
    without the second chance to address the Board at the end of the agenda.
    Trustee Kathy Moffat (who was Board President when Godley made the
    change last year) stated she was “Surprised when the second
    communications to the Board was removed.” Moffat stated she saw
    no “downside” in having a second opportunity for the public to
    address the Board. Trustee Rick Ledesma added that some people
    arrive late to skip the opening items and that not many people
    speak at the end. After asking for Board consensus, Nichols directed
    Godley to reinstate the second Public Comment section.

    Agenda Item 12 A (Agenda page 2-3) for the January 19, 2006 OUSD
    Board Meeting has staff recommendations for awarding high school
    Diplomas for the 2006 graduating class. This year the California
    High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) is required to pass to earn
    a high school diploma. Agenda Item 12A states 200 seniors in OUSD
    have yet to pass both sections of the test. The OUSD Administration
    is recommending the Board approve Diplomas for the following students:
    • Students meeting all graduation requirements and passing CAHSEE by March 2006
    • If the Chapman Settlement is passed by the state legislature:
    Special Education students who have met all graduation requirements
    and have taken the CAHSEE at least twice (once in their senior year) and participated in intervention classes to pass the CAHSEE, but still
    have failed to pass both sections.

    The OUSD Administration is recommending the Board approve Certificates
    of Completion and allow these students to participate in all graduation
    activities including the graduation ceremony for the following students:
    • Students meeting all graduation requirements and have taken the
    CAHSEE at least twice (once in their senior year) and participated
    in intervention classes to pass the CAHSEE, but still have failed
    to pass both sections by March 2006.

    The OUSD Administration is recommending the following students not
    receive a diploma or a Certificate of Completion and not be allowed
    to participate in any graduation activities including the
    graduation ceremony:
    • Students not meeting graduation requirements whether or not
    they passed the CAHSEE
    • Students not meeting graduation requirements and have not passed
    both sections of the CAHSEE and have not taken the CAHSEE at least
    twice (once in their senior year) and participated in intervention
    classes to pass the CAHSEE.
    For information on the Chapman Settlement CLICK ON:

    The OUSD Administration is proposing larger class sizes in
    negotiations with the Orange Unified Education Association (OUEA)
    according to a statement released by the OUEA.
    Current agreements between the OUEA and OUSD set the
    staffing ratio formula as 30:1 in elementary schools.
    According to the statement, the OUSD administration wants
    to increase the staff ratio formula to 32:1. The 32:1 increase is
    not an individual classroom cap, but part of a formula for school
    staffing that counts all personnel at a school site (teachers in
    classrooms and others not teaching in a classroom) who hold a
    teaching credential. Under the ratio formula the current 30:1 ratio
    produces classrooms with 32 students and higher. Under the new
    proposed ratio, classrooms in elementary schools could approach
    40 per class. Another one of the many proposals OUSD is making
    is to “bank” minutes in elementary schools to allow schedules
    such as “late start” days that are currently in the secondary grades.

    Last year during the state budget crisis the OUSD Board voted
    to eliminate class size reductions then reinstated some with
    the help of fundraising efforts from the Orange Education Foundation.
    The Trustees have been widely criticized by some in the community
    for rubberstamping OUSD Administration spending during lean years
    like the $2 million plus Focus on Results consulting contracts.
    Cuts to music programs and class size reduction programs helped
    produce this year’s OUSD budget surplus of over $15 million dollars.
    Next year’s budget proposals by the Governor see OUSD gaining at
    the least, a 6% cost of living (COLA) increase to its budget
    from the state.
    For OUEA Release CLICK ON:

    Highlights of the NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING January 19, 2006
    State of the School Report: Canyon H.S. by Student Representative:
    Erin Hong
    Item 12 B- Board Policy Revisions- OUSD Administration (2000 series)
    Item 13 A – Report on Pulliam Information System
    Item 13 B- Williams Settlement Complaints Report
    Item 13 C- School Calendars- proposal calls for a Fall Break
    (one week off at Thanksgiving) with the days added to the beginning
    of the year.
    Item 13 D- Costs and Fee Schedule for Kelly Stadium adjustments to
    pay for the “new” Kelly Stadium
    CONSENT AGENDA- $200,000 to OUSD Law Firm
    Parker & Covert Item 14 D page 28

    COMMUNITY DONATIONS: Office Max donated office
    supplies to Canyon Hills E.S.
    “We’re a $220 million dollar business;
    we’re going to spend the money somewhere”
    -OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma 9/22/05
    Total for Watched Tax Dollars spent in 2006: $ 200,000.00:
    2006 Attorney Fee Tally:
    1/19/06 Parker & Covert: $200,000

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars spent in 2005: $ 978,300.000:
    Total 2005 Conference Administrator/Board Fees: $ 7,500.00
    2005 Attorney Fee Tally: $730,600.00
    Total Watched 2005 OUSD Consultant spending: $ 270,200.00

    The next Orange Unified School Board Meeting: January 19, 2005
    Closed Session will begin at 6:30 pm, Regular Session
    remains at 7:30 pm
    For a complete OUSD Board Agenda CLICK ON:
    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office
    at 714-628-4040

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