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  • Monday, June 19, 2006

     

    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST

    OUSD Board Approves a 4.75% Pay Hike to Godley and Contract Extension

    At the June 8th, OUSD Board meeting, the Orange Unified School Board approved a one year contract extension until June 30, 2009 for Superintendent Godley and a 4.75% retroactive pay hike. The retroactive amount Godley will receive for 2005/06 is $4,893. For 2006/07 the 4.75% increase will amount to a $9,787 a year increase. The total for the retroactive to January of this year, plus three additional contract years is $34,260.

    The debate over the pay raise and contract extension brought heated exchanges between the Board members. The fiscally conservative OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma argued that the November election has a majority of OUSD Trustee seats up for reelection (including Ledesma’s) and therefore extending Godley’s contract a year beyond the original contract, right before the election, was irresponsible. Ledesma argued that if a new Board had different dynamics with the current administration, then buying out Godley’s contract to remove him would increase to over $400,000 of educational tax dollars. Ledesma likened the move to a “political ploy” that the former Recalled Board would have done (in fact after loosing the recall election, the former Recalled Board in their last meeting did grant then OUSD Superintendent Barbara Van Otterloo and top administrative allies huge pay increases, which the current Board rescinded immediately after being sworn in).

    Ledesma also questioned the fact that the contract extension was placed on the agenda a week before the formal superintendent review by the OUSD Trustees, in effect having an agenda item granting a raise and contract extension in place before the formal review and evaluation took place by the Board. Ledesma called the current process “deceitful” to the public, “irresponsible” of the Board, “terrible management” of resources and a “political ploy” which in all his time on the Board he had never seen before (he has been elected twice inconsecutively). Trustee Wes Poutsma took exception to the Ledesma comments and after exchanging words with Ledesma, tried to cut off discussion by a motion to have an immediate vote. As in a past attempt to cut off Trustee Steve Rocco from speaking, Poutsma’s motion was again voted down by the Trustees, and the discussion continued.

    After support for the measure was voiced by Moffat, Smith and Nichols, the original motion to approve the Godley raise and contract extension was approved: 5 Yes (Kim Nichols, Kathy Moffat, Lissa Smith, Wes Poutsma and John Ortega); 2 No (Rick Ledesma, and Steve Rocco). Immediately after the vote, Moffat started to clap. The four other trustees who voted yes and the administrative staff joined in the applause.

    Trustees to dump $163,400 on “marriage encounter” Consultant program

    The OUSD School Board was scheduled to approve without comment another year of the controversial Focus on Results program for $163,000 at June 8th meeting. However, Trustee Rick Ledesma again pulled the item to be voted on separately. After Trustee Kathy Moffat parroted the administrative line (without any hard evidence to support her comments) that the program was responsible for increased testing scores across the district, the Trustees approved the $163,400 more for the program: 4-2 (Yes- Kim Nichols, Kathy Moffat, Lissa Smith, and Wes Poutsma, No- Rick Ledesma, and Steve Rocco with John Ortega not present to vote). At one time in a report to the OUSD Board on what Focus on Results, Assistant OUSD Superintendent Cheryl Cohen compared the million tax dollar plus program as akin to “marriage encounter training”. Cohen also revealed she had a personal “consultant” from the program.

    When Focus on Results started in OUSD, the district had only two California designated Underperforming Schools. Now after over a million of dollars dumped into Focus on Results, OUSD has eight California Designated Underperforming Schools (California, Esplanade, Fairhaven, Handy, Prospect, Sycamore, Portola, and Yorba) and two Targeted Assistance Schools, Palmyra and Taft (http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/sw/rt/tasinfo.asp). In addition, designated Underperforming School Esplanade has also just been designated a high risk State Monitored School, subject to a state take over (see http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/lp/iu/stmonschls.asp).

    June 22 OUSD Board Meeting Budget Estimate

    Agenda Item 12 A is a public hearing for Budget Estimated Actuals/2006-2007 Budget and predicts the OUSD 2006-2007 Budget will have $7,344,510 in Unappropriated funds beyond the legally required 3% ($6.9 million) reserve.

    $50,000 to Santiago Revocation Law Firm

    In the Business Services Consent Agenda (automatically approved without debate) on page 15 is $50,000 more for one of the many OUSD law firms, Miller, Brown and Dannis. The law firm gained widespread OUSD recognition as it spearheaded the OUSD attempt under then OUSD President Kathy Moffat to revoke the Charter of Santiago Charter School under the pretense of student safety. The plan met widespread community opposition and fell flat as the Miller, Brown and Dannis Revocation Report was systematically rebutted point by point by the community. The page 15 Agenda Item states: “The law firm of Miller Brown and Dannis provides specialized legal services in matters related to general counsel and school charters. The legal services will include reviews, recommendations and advice to the district.”

    Another $175,000 to OUSD Law Firm

    Also on the Business Services Consent Agenda page 15 is approval for $175,000 to Parker & Covert, LLP. The agenda item states: “An open purchase order will be established for payment of invoices for the period of July1, 2006 through December 31, 2006.” This year, the OUSD Board has voted twice for a total of $250,000 in “open purchase orders” to Parker & Covert (1/19/06- $200,000 and 4/20/06 $50,000). The total approved for the year-to-date for Parker and Covert will be $425,000.

    $2000 for Book Review Speech

    Those oral Book Reports most of us hated in school might have been a little easier if we were getting paid $2000 a pop. Agenda Page 16 has $2000 going to former Encinitas Union Schools Superintendent Douglas P. DeVore for a “keynote address” at the August 15 OUSD Leadership Conference. DeVore will get $2000 in OUSD educational tax dollars for a speech based on New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Thomas L. Freidman’s book, The World is Flat: A Brief history of the Twenty First Century. Author Friedman is a devoted and leading advocate of globalization based on internet technologies.

    Douglas P. DeVore quit Encinitas (located in San Diego County) in July 2005 and took a position as an Associate Professor with the University of La Verne and does consultant work(and apparently reads a lot). DeVore is no stranger to the subject of the leadership conference, “working with resistance to change”. Five months before leaving his superintendent position, he proposed a controversial change in the local city zoning codes to allow the school district to rent out a closed school site to developers for a 59,000 square foot medical complex. This proposal was after earlier trying to move the district offices to an undeveloped school site so another developer could have the current district office site.
    Community Donations: Mr. and Mrs. Nichols donated a sofa and chair to El Modena H.S.

    The next Orange Unified School Board Meeting: JUNE 22, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 7:00 pm, Regular Session remains at 7:30 pm

    Other Agenda Items:
    • OUSD High School Ninth Grade Initative will be introduced.

    We’re a $220 million dollar business; we’re going to spend the money somewhere.”-OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma 9/22/05


    Digest’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2006
    Total for Watched Tax Dollars spent in 2006: $ 669,717.00:
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally:
    6/22/06 Douglas DeVore $ 2,000
    6/08/06 Focus on Results $164,400
    3/09/06 Bob Sadler 3 Day Workshop $ 10,000
    Total $176,400
    2006 Attorney Fee Tally:
    6/22/06 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 50,000
    6/22/06 Parker & Covert $175,000
    4/20/06 Parker & Covert: $ 50,000
    1/19/06 Parker & Covert: $200,000
    Total $475,000

    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel:
    2/9/06 Roney and 5 principals to Florida $ 10,623
    2/23/06 Roney and 2 principals Tx/ Fl $ 4,050
    3/09/06 2 to Florida Conference $ 3,644
    Total $18,317

    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: JUNE 22, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 7:00 pm, Regular Session remains at 7:30 pm
    For a complete OUSD Board Agenda CLICK ON:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/pdf/agenda_062206.pdf

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions Just call Jon at the Business Services at 714-628-4015

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