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  • Sunday, December 10, 2006


    Free Speech Lawsuit against OUSD on December 14th Board Agenda

    Orange Unified Schools Digest
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Free Speech Lawsuit against OUSD
    on December 14th Board Agenda

    The Free Speech Lawsuit against the Orange Unified School Board over the Rocco Censure Resolution is on the OUSD School Board agenda for the Thursday December 14th Closed Session Agenda as Item 4A. The Closed Session will begin at 5:30 p.m., one hour earlier than the usual closed session starting time.

    The lawsuit from Californians Aware President Richard McKee ( seeks to overturn the Rocco Censure and require guarantees that free speech at OUSD Board Meetings will not be violated in the future. Past legal wins by McKee against OUSD and other public agencies have resulted in the agencies also paying court and attorney fees.

    McKee spoke before the Closed Session at the November 16th OUSD Board Meeting and informed the OUSD Trustees that they were in further violation of open meeting laws by not providing required Facts and Circumstances of Closed Session discussed litigation. McKee informed the OUSD Board he checked OUSD Board Agenda’s for the prior year and did not find the required information available in the OUSD Agendas.
    For more information on the Free Speech Lawsuit CLICK ON:

    The December 14th Closed Session Agenda Item 4B-1 is a discussion of the Open Session Agenda Item 13A which gives a 6% pay hike for all OUSD Administrative Leadership except Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley. Closed Session Agenda Item 4B-2 will discuss Dr. Godley's pay with OUSD Attorney Spencer Covert.

    With the November election resulting in the re-election of all the OUSD Trustee incumbents, the December 14th meeting will have the re-elected trustees taking the oath of office. Trustee Kathy Moffat with the least amount of endorsements had the highest winning percentage of the vote, 62.7%. Trustee Melissa Smith, who faced two challengers, won with the least winning percentage of 46.8%. Trustees Rick Ledesma won with 58.2% and Kim Nichols won with 57.3%. (CLICK ON:

    For the first time since the Orange Recall Reforms, the election for OUSD officers will not be by the Orange Recall Reform system of rotation of officers.
    After the election of Trustee Steve Rocco, the OUSD Board did away with the rotation system to deny Rocco a leadership position. Only Trustee Rick Ledesma has not served as OUSD Board President from the original Citizen’s Board elected after the Orange Recall. Since then, Ledesma has fallen out of favor from the rest of the Board for his opposition in choosing Dr. French as Superintendent and his questioning of administrative proposals. As an example, Ledesma at the November 16th OUSD Board Meeting pulled the OUSD Administration proposal to reconfigure the OUSD Maintenance Department. While the agenda showed a significant savings to the district, under questioning, Dr. French explained the “savings” was actually the shuffling of funding that resulted in more “unrestricted” funding available which the administration was calling a “savings”. This kind of questioning has often resulted in terse exchanges from administrators and fellow trustees toward Ledesma.

    Outgoing OUSD Board President Kim Nichols will leave as her legacy the Rocco Censure and the resulting Free Speech Lawsuit for the next OUSD President to deal with.


    Hiring an outside consulting firm for hundreds of thousands of educational tax dollars appears not to be enough consultant expertise for OUSD Administrators. OUSD Administrator Cheryl Cohen when she was OUSD Assistant Superintendent explained the high cost of the OUSD Focus on Results program would be eventually off-set by OUSD personnel eventually taking over the program. However the community wasn’t informed that the OUSD personnel taking over would be retired administrators, rehired as CONSULTANTS. Recently retired OUSD Executive Director of Secondary Education Fran Roney is back as an OUSD Focus on Results Consultant. Roney is in charge of replacing the age-old American Educational Institution of the Three R’s by infusing the Marxist-inspired educational theory of Differential Instruction into the OUSD school system through the OUSD Focus on Results program.

    Speaking of OUSD’s Focus on Results program, we should add that the OUSD “model” Focus on Results” school, Prospect Elementary is also on the December 14th Agenda. Under Consent Agenda Item 15U, Prospect, along with Handy Elementary will be applying for a grant only available to state designated Underperforming Schools. The Principal of Prospect was also a Senior Consultant for the for-profit Focus on Results when OUSD Administrators recommended and the OUSD Board approved the contract with the first quarter of a million dollar contract firm. Prospect is listed on the firms site as one of six schools “that make a difference”. Only Prospect’s rising earlier rising state test scores are shown, the falling scores since 2003 and the schools status as a newly designated California Underperforming School are not shown.

    For a complete list of community donations see the OUSD Agenda page 24:
    El Modena Education Foundation-$10,000 for the Math Department; Linda Vista PTA- $102 for Art Supplies; Target Corporation-$174 in supplies to Linda Vista School; McPherson Education Foundation-$891 for a sound system.

    OUSD Board Agenda
    Agenda Item 13 B- OUSD Financial Update
    Agenda Item 14 – Approval of Student School Calendars

    "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: $ 849,717.00:
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally:
    6/22/06 Douglas DeVore Speech $ 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:
    7/20/06 Parker & Covert $100,000
    7/20/06 Parker & Covert $ 50,000
    7/20/06 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 30,000
    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 $655,000

    JUNE 8th , 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent power to APPROVE Travel Requests taking this item OUT OF PUBLIC SCRUTINY:

    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

    Next OUSD Board Meeting Thursday December 14th. For more information

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 5:30 PM on 12/14/06 Regular Session: 7:30 pm

    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
    Orange Unified Schools Digest is an independent news service of
    “Independent, Local, UNCENSORED News and Viewpoints”

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