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  • Tuesday, March 28, 2006

     

    Orange Unified Schools Digest UPDATE

    Group wants OUSD to use Donated Funds for Benham Report

    At the Orange Unified School Board’s March 23rd meeting, the OUSD Trustees voted in their Consent Agenda without comment to accept $14,673 in donated funds earmarked to save OUSD music programs from the Orange Education Foundation. Those funds however are at the center of a controversy over how the money was raised (and by whom) and what the funds could be used spent on. The controversy has split the two community groups that were initially both involved in the fundraising, the Orange Education Foundation, and the now independent Music Matters Committee.

    Passing the funds on to OUSD initially created a controversy when on March 1st the Orange Education Foundation donated the funds that Music Matters Committee deposited with the Foundation to OUSD. The Music Matters Committee learned about what they consider an abrupt transfer of the music funding it raised after informing the Orange Education Foundation that the Music Matters Committee wanted to use part of the music fund money it raised to pay for an independent audit by renowned school district and music budget specialist Dr. John Benham. Benham has helped save music programs across the U.S. and Canada with his budget audits. The local print media quoted Orange Education Foundation Chair Denise Bittel as stating the donated music money was transferred because “we had to get it off our books. The Foundation did its fiduciary duty giving that money to the district”. The Music Matters Committee members also report that members of the Orange Education Foundation refused to meet with them to discuss the transfer which helped lead to the break between the two community groups.

    After the Music Matter’s Committee ended it’s affiliation with the Orange Education Foundation, it began working with the OUSD Trustees and the OUSD Administrators to pay for the Benham Report. An agreement between the group an the district was reached with an understanding that Orange Unified Superintendent Thomas Godley, Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Cohen and Elementary Executive Director Rachelle Morga will speak with Benham by conference call to get a better understanding of what his report will cover. The OUSD Administration will then decide whether or not to recommend that OUSD purchase the Benham Report.

    OUSD has been under fire for a number of years for the over-the-top use of educational tax dollars on numerous consultants. In particular, OUSD’s multi-year $2.5 million dollar spending spree on the Focus on Results consulting model has been a constant source of concern and criticism by community watchdogs, the Greater Orange Communities Organization. Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Cohen in a recent report to the OUSD Trustees on Focus on Results was unable to cite hard researched data of any benefits from the program, so instead characterized the $2.5 million educational tax dollar program as being akin to “marriage counseling”. When Focus on Results was first introduced in OUSD years ago, Prospect Elementary Principal Kathy Bruce failed to reveal to the OUSD Trustees that she was also a Senior Consultant for the Focus on Results firm. Orange Net News in a Special Investigative series, Focus on Consultants, revealed Bruce’s affiliation, and later the fact the bi-monthly OUSD Focus on Results meetings were using copyrighted materials without the author’s knowledge or permission.

    More recently, at the March 9th OUSD Board Meeting, the OUSD Trustees approved educational tax dollars for a 3 day $10,000 consultant to train leadership staff on a psycho-business team-building model called “method teaming ” (CLICK ON: http://www.ondonline.com/ ).

    The Benham Report cost is approximately $8,000 and would be paid for by the donated music money funding, not educational tax dollars.

    Orange Unified Newest Offer to Teachers
    At the March 23rd OUSD Board Meeting the OUSD Trustees approved a 3.25% raise for support staff and gave the same 3.25% to the district administrators. Negotiations have been stalled with teachers. This week, the district offered what amounts to a 1.84% salary increases to teachers for this year and a 4.75% for next year. (for an update on Negotiations from the OUEA CLICK ON: http://www.teachersoforange.com/Negotiations.html)


    Orange Unified Schools Digest UPDATE
    is an independent news service of
    /O/N/N/

    OrangeNetNews@verizon.net
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Friday, March 24, 2006

     

    Metro VIEWS



    Angel LaMarca is president of the Music Matters Committee, a citizen group working on behalf of music education within the Orange Unified School District.


    Fight for School Music Is Far From Over
    By Angel LaMarca

    On March 10, headlines told of a victory for children in the Orange Unified School District: elementary music instruction would be restored, two years after officials voted for its elimination.

    This was certainly better news than the alternative, but parents and taxpayers in Orange County can’t afford to take false solace from it. The March 9 vote is merely the latest step in a long process, and the irreplaceable benefits of hands-on music at the elementary level are still very much in jeopardy.

    At this point, the outcome depends more than ever on dedicated action by an energized community. Concerned residents of Orange County have the power to decide this issue, but only if they become informed, contact their elected leaders and make their case.

    Perhaps the greatest concern is that the restored program will turn out to be music education in name only: the $400,000 amount budgeted by the OUSD Board of Education for next year is much less than a full program would require. As things stand now, there’s no guarantee that people with certification in music will have any say in determining curricular standards or the way the money is allocated. As things stand now, for example, elementary music in the district will be taught by regular classroom teachers in whatever way they decide, whether or not they have any music skills.

    Broader issues hang in the balance as well. The Orange County Department of Education stands ready to test a new blueprint for music education in one of the county’s 28 districts. The budget situation in the Orange Unified district, as well as the state of its existing music program, make it a perfect candidate for this test program. Concerned citizens need to be heard by the people who will make that decision with input from professional music educators.

    One element of the proposed “blueprint” would be the creation of a public-private task force to revamp school music throughout the Orange Unified district. But even without the full blueprint implementation, members of the Music Matters Committee have called for the creation of just such a task force. How will we solve this problem: by shouting across a divide, or working together at the same table?

    Beneath all this wrangling are a number of bedrock truths. First of all, a detailed study of school finances shows that cutting music teachers actually leads to a net increase in educational expenses, due to the resources that are required elsewhere to teach the same students. Cutting music to save money won’t just fail; it will backfire.

    Most important is the way we frame this issue. Music is a part of the core curriculum, and district leaders need to treat it as such when they make decisions about our children’s future. The research is unequivocal: scientists have shown that it fosters growing brains, leads to greater success in school and elsewhere, and correlates with later skills in math and science – but these benefits can only be realized in the very young. After a certain age, the boat has sailed. Are the kids in the OUSD to miss it?


    Note: You can contact Angel LaMarca at
    angelcpt@pacbell.net or by telephone at 714-493-0121



    Metro VIEWS is a community service of the Greater Orange Communities Organization. Opinions expressed in Metro VIEWS are the opinions of the writers and not necessarily the networks that ecast them.

    Thursday, March 23, 2006

     

    SPECIAL REPORT on /O/N/N/


    California releases API Scores:
    OUSD’s Panorama: A Perfect 10-10

    The annual California Academic Progress Index scores were released this week from the state achievement tests taken last spring by students in 2nd- 11th grade throughout California. Orange Unified School District had one school that ranked a 10-10, Panorama Elementary School. Panorama scored 887 on the possible 200 to 1000 point scale. California’s goal is to have all schools score 800 or above. Schools are ranked in two categories on a 1-10 deciles score. The first rank is the Statewide Score Rank. The second ranking is the “Similar Schools” Rank which compares schools to 100 other schools with like characteristics (ethnic make-up; poverty levels; credentialed teachers etc.). The rankings cannot be compared from one year to the next because of changes in “weighting” and changes in “similar schools” characteristics. Also released were the performance targets for this year.

    California State Superintendent of Public Education Jack O’Connell praised all California Schools because a majority continued to make “steady progress” on the states growth model testing scheme despite the fact that less than a third of the schools met the state’s achievement goals. One bright spot was that state-wide schools passing the 800 test score goal was up from 21% last year to 25% this year. Orange Unified, like the rest of the state’s schools, showed no extraordinary gains despite a multi-year investment by the OUSD Administration of over $ 2.5 million educational tax dollars spent on the consultant firm Focus on Results. As evidence, OUSD’s two “poster” schools for Focus on Results, Prospect Elementary School and Portola Elementary Middle School, both had very poor showings (see Program Improvement Schools below).

    OUSD had 6 schools rated a 10 in the State-wide rank (Chapman Hills Elementary; Nohl Canyon; Panorama; Serrano; El Rancho and Canyon H.S.). Nine OUSD schools ranked a 9; and four ranked an 8. At the other end of the rankings, Fairhaven Elementary had a 628 API Score, but ranked a 1. Two schools ranked a 4; and three schools ranked a 3. The rankings for the eight OUSD state identified Program Improvement Schools were: California Elementary 4-8; Esplanade Elementary 2-5; Fairhaven Elementary 1-3; Handy Elementary 3-3; Prospect Elementary 2-3; Sycamore 3-3; Yorba Middle 4-8; Portola Middle School 2-5.

    The lowest ranking school in California was the Academy for New Americans in Fresno. The school’s mostly recent immigrant students scored 267. Faria Elementary School in Cupertino continued its streak as California’s top scoring school for the third year with a 999 score.

    The API expectation of yearly incremental progress is not compatible with the No Child Left Behind Act federal standards that has a goal of complete grade level proficiency of all students by 2013. One of O’Connell’s goals is to “harmonize” the two testing systems.

    For Orange Unified Schools API CLICK ON:
    http://api.cde.ca.gov/APIBase2006/2005Base_Dst.aspx?cYear=&allcds=3066621&cChoice=2005BDst

    State Superintendent of Public Education Jack O’Connell’s API Press Release CLICK ON: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr06/yr06rel27.asp


    For Information on Panorama Elementary School CLICK ON:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/sarc/pdf/panorama_sum.pdf

    For Information on Faria Elementary School CLICK ON:
    http://www.cupertino.k12.ca.us/Faria.www/ and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faria_Elementary_School

    For information about anonymous free speech and its historic place in the United States including historical information on the Founding Fathers practice of anonymous free speech, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation website: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Anonymity/

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

     

    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST

    Orange Unified’s March 9th Board Meeting:
    MORE MUSIC! MORE CONSULTANTS! MORE DRAMA!

    Two weeks after voting to end the Elementary Music Program because of lack of funding, the March 9th, 2006 Orange Unified School District’s Board of Trustees meeting began with Orange Unified Superintendent Thomas Godley making an announcement that OUSD had the money to continue the Elementary Music Program next year. Citing a February 23rd, 2006 California Legislative Analysts Office report that shows the economy growing and tax revenues up, Godley predicted the district would have the $400,000 needed to continue the Elementary Music Program and some Class Size Reduction programs not yet cut. In response to a question from Trustee Rick Ledesma, Godley indicated the district would be able to sustain the programs for more than the coming year. Later in the evening during the scheduled Report on Elementary Music, the OUSD Administration reported of the 15 Orange County school districts with elementary schools, eleven fund some type of music program.

    While part of the Legislative Analysts Office report on the proposed budget did predict higher tax returns based on current economic activity, nothing in that part of the report indicated that the expected extra money would be dedicated to educational funding. In the part of the Legislative Analysts report dedicated in the Governor’s Budget Proposals on K-12 educational funding, the recommendation to the California Legislature was not to approve funding the $400 million requested for seven new categorical programs including the Governor’s Art and Music program (see link below). That report includes providing alternative approaches to the budget proposal including some to address the fiscal concerns of unfunded mandates by local school districts. In addition, the report states “We identify several alternative budget strategies the Legislature could adopt to reduce the impact of Proposition 98 on the state’s financial condition”. The uncertainty of how the politics of the budget process would unfold was originally what Godley cited just two weeks before as his reasoning for recommending that as a budget precaution the Trustees end the Elementary Music Program and take a wait and see approach to the budget and revisit music later in the process. Then just two weeks later, with a Second Interim Financial Report balance of $8,770,065 over required reserves, plus an independent budget expert hired by the local Music Matters Committee, and apparently all of OUSD’s budgetary caution (like the answer my friend to what’s the real story behind the OUSD music fiasco) is just Blow’n in the Wind.

    LINKS:
    Legislative Analysts Recommendations on K-12: http://www.lao.ca.gov/Pubdetails.aspx?id=1449

    Recommendations on Categorical Programs http://www.lao.ca.gov/analysis_2006/education/ed_05_anl06.html
    Recommendations on K-12 Budget Issues http://www.lao.ca.gov/handouts/Education/2006/Analysis_022306.pdf
    All Legislative Analysts publications on Budget http://www.lao.ca.gov/

    OUSD Unappropriated Amount Projected to Increase
    Two weeks ago when OUSD Assistant Superintendent Jon Archibald reported on the Second Interim Financial Report balance of $8,770,065, he tried to explain the large sum away by noting that the amount does not include any negotiated salary settlements for this year with the three groups of OUSD employees: Leadership (Administrators); Classified (non-teaching staff); and Certificated (teachers, nurses and counselors). The March 23rd Board Agenda includes agreements with two of those groups for 3.25% salary increases, Leadership and Classified (Agenda Items 12E and 12F). Currently the teacher’s association, the Orange Unified Educators Association, and OUSD have not reached an agreement and indications are negotiations may again be headed to again being declared at impasse.

    In light of Godley’s March 9th budget revelations, Archibald’s March 9th comments about why the outstanding balance don’t appear to hold up to the required AB 1200 Information on Page 35 of the March 23rd Board Agenda. With only the teachers now unsettled, the required projected budget assumptions (with an increase of 5.18% COLA- Cost Of Living Adjustment- in funds from the state) on the Page 35 AB 1200 Information show in 2006-2007 a continued $8,721,024 projected surplus above required reserves, and in 2007-2008 (with a smaller projected 3.4% COLA from the state and $1.3 million more in expenditures) a $14,967,466 projected surplus.

    $3333.33 a Day Consultant Approved
    The OUSD Administration got its $10,000 business consultant Bob Sadler for “three days of professional development-strategic planning-to the district”. Sadler is “a Method Teaming Practitioner” ( http://sadlerconsulting.net/main.php?Page=22 ). Will OUSD be better off from Method Team Practice? Will the OUSD Management team still be using this a year from now? A month from now? At all? Check out the website on Method Teaming and you decide if this is your educational tax dollars well spent CLICK ON: http://www.ondonline.com/ .

    VPRC Second Amendment Defeated
    In a rare defeat for the OUSD Administration, and a blow to the backers of Villa Park Elementary School Restoration Corporation, the Orange Unified Trustees voted not to approve the amendment agreement between OUSD and VPRC. Citing reasons that included unclear language regarding fund raising benchmarks, unclear wording, and fatigue with the long process and the many opportunities given to VPRC, in a split vote (4 –No; 2 Yes; 1 Abstain) the Trustees voted down the amendment which would have given the VPRC additional time for planning and fundraising. Now it’s back to the drawing board for another attempt at an amendment, or proceeding to cancel the lease of the VPRC and have OUSD take over the historic buildings.

    Poutsma Can’t Muzzle Rocco as Trustees Laugh at ONN
    As Trustee Steve Rocco made his way through one of his trademark end of the evening rants, Trustee Wes Poutsma interrupted Rocco and in Poutsma’s first ever original motion of his term, Poutsma moved to adjourn the meeting and thus cut off Rocco. Trustees John Ortega and Nichols joined Poutsma in voting to adjourn, but the motion failed with a 3 to 3 tie vote (Rocco, Smith and Ledesma voted against adjournment; Moffat had left early). Rocco then continued speaking and began citing a July Orange Net News report on Administrative and Trustee conference expenses. At this point with Nichols, Smith and Poutsma laughing, Poutsma threw up his hands and left the meeting. Rocco commented that apparently those laughing did not like Orange Net News. Then Rocco and a laughing Kim Nichols exchanged words over Orange Net News. A chuckling Kim Nichols in a rare show of sarcasm stated "Not an actual reliable source of actual facts always". Nichols then added, "And I'd like to know if you know who the author of that document is?"
    Rocco replied, "It doesn't have a name, I wish it did".
    "They typically, don't”, Nichols retorted.

    The Greater Orange eBlog has three posts covering this episode and what it was all about (just click on the blue links below).
    For a full report on the episode and background of what it was all about:
    OUSD TRUSTEES LAUGH AT ONN
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/03/ousd-trustees-laugh-at-onn-report.html

    While Nichols claims that ONN is “not an actual reliable source” the information from the OUSD source documents (and how to get copies of the documents) is posted at:
    Children’s Education is No Laughing Matter

    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/03/childrens-education-is-no-laughing_18.html

    The original Special Report that Rocco was referring to from July 2005 can be viewed at:
    July 27th, 2005 Special Report on Expenses
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/03/july-27th-2005-special-report-on.html

    For information about anonymous free speech and its historic place in the United States including historical information on the Founding Fathers practice of anonymous free speech, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation website: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Anonymity/

    First OUSD Executive Director of Secondary Education to Retire
    Fran Roney, OUSD Executive Director of Secondary Education will retire at the end of August according to the March 23rd Board Agenda. The OUSD Trustees created two positions of Executive Directors adding another bureaucratic layer to the OUSD Administration hierarchy during the California State Budget crisis two years ago. Former OUSD Superintendent Robert French called the two new positions an administration “cut”. In her career Roney served as a teacher as a school administrator included Villa Park High School Principal. As Executive Director, she represented OUSD on the Charter Board of Santiago Charter School before OUSD’s failed move to revoke the Santiago Charter.

    Highlights of the NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING March 23 , 2006
    To view Agenda CLICK ON:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/pdf/agenda_032306.pdf

    State of the School Report: Canyon H.S by Student Representative Erin Hong

    Item 9E - Recognition of School Bus Driver Day- April 25, 2006
    Item 12A- Fred Kelly Joint Use Agreement – The long anticipated new FEE SCHEDULE
    Item 12B/C Resolutions supporting budget proposal for Arts Grant and Charter Schools Legislation
    Item 12D- Legislative Coalition 2006 Platform -2nd Reading
    Item 12E- Contract for CSEA (non-teaching staff) 3.25% Salary Increase
    Item 12F- Salary Adjustment for OUSD Administrators 3.25% Salary Increase


    Digest’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2006
    “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: $ 222,317.00
    :
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally:
    3/09/06 Bob Sadler 3 Day Workshop $ 10,000

    2006 Attorney Fee Tally:
    1/19/06 Parker & Covert: $200,000

    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel:
    2/9/06 Roney and 5 principals to Florida $ 10,623
    2/23/06 Rooney 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: MARCH 23, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 6:30 pm, Regular Session begins at 7:30 pm
    For a complete OUSD Board Agenda CLICK ON:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/pdf/agenda_032306.pdf
    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040

    Orange Unified Schools Digest is an independent news service of
    /O/N/N/
    OrangeNetNews@verizon.net
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Saturday, March 18, 2006

     

    OUSD Trustees Laugh at ONN Report

    Kim Nichols

    At the March 9th Orange Unified School Board Meeting OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco announced he finally got his email, all 1200 plus. After OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma's motion to adjourn the meeting in the middle of another one of Rocco's signature end of meeting rants failed, Rocco went on to cite one of the backlogged emails. The email was an Orange Net News Special Report from July 27th, 2005 (posted below). The report concerned OUSD Trustees and OUSD Administrators conference expenses (including Wes Poutsma and Thomas Godley when they were Assistant Superintendents) after they had approved more money for the conference budget at their July 14, 2005 meeting. At the time, the Orange Education Foundation, with the OUSD Trustees and OUSD Administration's blessing, had sent a letter to OUSD parents asking for donations of $175.00 each to supplement the OUSD Budget to save classroom programs from cuts.

    Rocco apparently brought forward the report to use to bash one of his favorite targets- the OUSD Legislative Coalition. Board President Kim Nichols asked him the source of the document. Rocco stated it was Orange Net News at which point Trustees Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma and Kim Nichols laughed out loud. Rocco commented that they must not like ONN.

    A giggling Kim Nichols in a rare show of sarcasm stated "Not an actual reliable source of actual facts always". Nichols added, "And I'd like to know if you know who the author of that document is?"
    Rocco replied, "It doesn't have a name, I wish it did".
    "They typically, don't", retorted a chuckling Nichols.

    At that point Trustee Wes Poutsma threw up his hands, then gathered up his items and left the meeting.

    Rocco then went on to assert the report stated that the Legislative Coalition paid for trips for Trustees, which Nichols quickly denied. Nichols was correct, the Legislative Coalition never paid for trips for OUSD Trustees, OUSD taxpayers did. The items Rocco focused on state that Nichols, OUSD Trustee John Ortega, and former OUSD Superintendent Robert French went to Sacremento in March of 2003, as part of the yearly lobbying effort of the Legislative Coalition. Seeing the words Legislative Coalition, Rocco apparently jumped to the conclusion that Legislative Coalition paid for the trip.

    However, far from being inaccurate, the report is based on OUSD documents (for copies see below).The report gives the amount that OUSD paid for Trustees to go with the Legislative Coalition on its lobbying trip to Sacramento. The amounts were: Nichols (4/20 - 4/21 2004) $460.00; John Ortega (3/11-3/12 2003) $585.46; Former Superintendent Robert French (3/10-3/11 2003) $651.49; Smith (3/10-3/12 2003) $144.48.

    The information used for the report and the entire orginal July 2005 Special Report follow below. To request to receive either an emailed copy of the scanned original OUSD documents, or a FAXed copy of the orginal documents, email your request to: OrangeNetNews@verizon.net.

    For More information on the reasons and the Right to Anonymity in Free Speech, and its connection to the Founding Fathers of the United States CLICK ON:http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Anonymity/

     

    Children's Education is No Laughing Matter

    CUMULATIVE TOTAL OF EDUCATIONAL TAX FUNDS SPENT ON CONFERENCES AS TRUSTEES ASK COMMUNITY TO PAY FOR CLASSROOM PROGRAMS: $44,854.48

    If like the three laughing OUSD Trustees you'd like to see the documentation, just email ONN. We will FAX, mail or email you the original documents, because when it comes to wasting tax money designated for a children's education, its no laughing matter.

    (To view the orginial July 2005 Special Report, scroll down or CLICK ON:http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/03/july-27th-2005-special-report-on.html

    This is the information contained in the Original Documentation:

    2002-03 Conference Attendance Fees
    OUSD Trustees/ Superintendent


    French Fees (Former OUSD Superintendent)
    California Supt’s Conf.-San Diego 5/1/03 $153.54
    LegCo-Sacramento 3/10-11/03 $651.79
    ACSA Supr Symposaim - Monterey — 1/29/03 $1,479.41
    CSBA Annual Educ Conf - San Francisco 12/5-7/02 $258.79
    California Supt’s Conf- San Francisco 10/2-4/01 $751.78
    Mi]]er Brown & Dannis Work/Shop 10/25/02 $185.00
    CSBA Back To School Work/Shop r 9/25/02 $125.00
    ACSA-Supt’s County Meeting 2002-03 2002-03 $250.00
    French Total $4,855.31

    Ledesma
    CSBA Annual Educ.Conf- San Francisco 12/4-6/02 $1,098.48
    Ledesma Fees Total $1,098.48

    Lewis
    Lewis Fees Total 0.00

    Moffat Fees
    EdSource 4/3/03 $50.00
    Nat’l Laser Science Educ. 7/21-26/02 $490.50
    C0BA Annual Educ,Conf - San Francisco 12/4-7/02 $1,706.22
    Miller Brown & Dannis Work/Shop 10/25/02 no charge
    CSBA Back To Schoo] Work/Shop $125.00
    CSBA - San Diego 11/28/02 $98.80
    CSBA Masters in Governance 1/17/03 $1,200.00
    Moffat Total $4,676.52

    Nichols
    CSBA - Sacramento 12/4-7/02 $227.00
    CSBA Annual Educ.Conf.- San Francisco 12/4-6/02 $949.98
    Miller Brown & Dannis Work/Shop 10/25/02 $$160.00
    CSBA Back To School Work/Shop 9/25/02 $125.00
    Nichols Total 1,461.98

    Ortega
    CSBA Legislative Action 5/18-20/03 $691.16
    League of Calif Cities Latino Caucus 4/30-5/10/31 $216.96
    LegCo - Sacramento 3/11-12/03 $585.46
    CSBA - New and First Term‘ 1/312/1/03 - $897.34
    CSBA Annual] Educ.Conf.- San Francisco 12/4-7/02 $1 ,177.09
    Calif Latino Schl Board Mrnbr Assoc - 10/3-5/02 $752.88
    NALEO Annual Conference 6/27-29/02 $829.10
    CSBA Masters in Governance7/02 1,200.00
    NALEO – Membership 7/l/02 $40.00
    Ortega Total $7,069.99

    Smith
    CSBA Annual Educ.Conf,- San Francisco 12/5-7/02 $980. 98
    LegCo - Sacramento 3/ 10-12/03 $144. 48
    Smith Total $1,125.46


    Viviano
    CSBA Annual EducConf.- San Francisco 12/3-8/02 $1,909.50
    CSBA Masters in Governance 10/5/06 $1,932,88
    Viviano Total $3,842.38

    Grand TOTAL 2002-2003 Conference Fees OUSD Trustees/Superintendent
    $24,150.12



    2002-2003 Conference Attendance Fees
    OUSD Assistant Superintendents


    Cohen
    Current Law for Educators-Long Beach 10/25/2002 $200.00
    CEC Conference 11/6-11/10/02 $989.00
    Dr, Richard DeFour - Costa Mesa 12/12/2002 $120.00
    2003 Governor’s Budget Wkshp-Ontario 11/15/2003 $130.00
    Cohen Total $1,439.00

    Godley (as OUSD Assistant Superintendent)
    2003 Sch. Finance & Mgmt Ontario 7/15/2003 $218.80
    Budget Basics -Ontario 1/10/2003 $180.00
    2003 Governor’s Budget-Ontario 10/21/2002 $235.55
    Godley Total $543.80

    Poutsma (before election as OUSD Assistant Superintendent)
    ACSA Collective Bargaining -Mission Vly 9/20/2002 $129.97
    Labor & Employment Law - Monterey 9/25-9/27/02 $1,006.83
    Employee Benefits - Ontario 10/21/2002 $235.55
    Fiscal Aspects of Negotiations-Orange 11/14/2003 $265.00
    2003 Governor’s Budget Wkshp-Ontario 1/15/2003 $130.00
    ACSA-Pomona 2/26-2/28/03 $548.80
    2003 CaISTRS Long Beach 4/3-4/4/03 $281.60
    CASBO 4/22-4/26/03 $739.20
    Poutsma Total $3,406.75

    TOTAL 2002-2003 Conference Fees
    OUSD Assistant Superintendents $5,388.75


    2003-04 Conference Attendance Fees OUSD Trustees/Administrators

    French
    CSBA Back-to-School 9/24/03 $155.00
    CA City/Schools Sup Conf -San Francisco 10/1-3/03 $817.90
    CSBA Annual Education Cont 12/10-13/03 $875.00
    ASCA Superintendent Symposium 1/27-30/04 $1,478.93
    CA City/Schools Supt Conf-San Diego 5/6-7/04 $721.68
    French Total $4,049.50

    Ledesma
    CSBA Annual Education Cont 12/10-13/03 $1,285.37
    Ledesma Total $1,285.37

    Lewis
    Lewis Total 00.00

    Moffat
    CSBA Back-to-School 9/24/03 $155.00
    Sch Svcs Wrkshp-How to Stay out Trouble 12/10/03 $55.00
    CSBA Annual Education Conf 12/10-13/03 $1,004.53
    Ed Source-Overhauling Sch Funding 3/19/04 $87.50
    Moffat Total $1,274.53

    Nichols
    Sch Svcs Wrkshp-How to Stay out Trouble 12/10/03 $55.00
    Sch Svcs Governors Budget Wrkshp 1/14/04 $130.00
    Ed Source - Overhauling Sch Funding 3/19/04 $87.50
    LegCo 4/20-21/04 $446.74
    Nichols Total $1,463.32

    Ortega
    CSBA Back-to-School 9/24/03 $155.00
    CSBA Annual Education Conf. 12/10-13/03 $995.06
    CSBA Sacramento -- 1/9/04 $234.50
    Reimbursement by OSBA ($234.50)
    CSBA Sacramento 2/27/04 $209.70
    Reimbursement by CSBA ($209.70)
    CSBA-Educ Opp for Hispanic Students 3/19-21-04 $4,780.06
    NALEO Annual Conference 2004 6/23-26/04 $1,100.00
    Nat’l Hispanic Leaders Summit 7/12-13/04 $460.00
    Ortega Total $3,490.12

    Smith
    CSBA Annual Education Conf. 12/10-13/031 $955.49
    Smith Total $955.49

    Viviano
    CSBA Annual Education Conf. 12/10-13/031 $1,161.37
    Viviano Total $1,161 37

    Total 2003-04 Conference Attendance Fees
    OUSD Trustees/Administrators $12,518.33


    2003-2004 Conference Attendance Fees OUSD Assistant Superintendents

    Cohen
    Beyond the Basics Costa Mesa 10/23/2003 $150.00
    Cailf. Inst. For School Improvement Costa M. 11/3/2003 $130.00
    SELPA Meeting - Sacramento 12/3-12/4/04 $397.50
    Cohen Total $677.50

    Godley
    Current Law for Educators - Long Beach 11/21/2003 $150.00
    How to Stay Out of Trouble - Ontario 12/10/2003 $266.0
    Governor’s Budget - Long Beach 1/14/2004 $164.25
    Office of Pubic Sch Construction Sacramento 2/11/2004 $249.88
    May Revise Workshop- Rancho Cuca 5/19/2004 $109.00
    Godley Total $844.13

    Kissee
    Fiscal Aspects of Negotiations GG 1/7/2003 151.55
    Current Law for Educators Long Beach 11/21/2003 25.22
    ACSA Symp For Negotiators San Diego 1/7-1/9/04 136.38
    Navigating Cert Layoffs – Cerritos 1/21/2004 136.38
    CSUF Job Fair - Fullerton - 3/30/2004 150.00
    Biola University Job Fair 3/31/2004 130.00
    Leave of Absence Workshop -Cerritos 5/4/2004 46.65
    Kissee Total 1275.65

    Grand Total 2003-2005 OUSD Assistant Superintendents Fees $2,797.28


    T OUSD Board of Education email address Board@orangeusd.k12.ca.us

    The Orginal July 2005 Special Report follows.

     

    July 27th, 2005 Special Report on Expenses

    This is the orginal report from July 2005 that OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco brought up at the March 9th 2006 OUSD School Board Meeeting and was met by laughter from OUSD Trustees Kim Nichols, Wes Poustma (who threw up his hands and left the meeting)and Melissa Smith:


    On July 14th 2005, the OUSD Trustees approved an open agenda item of conferences to spend the conference budget. Who and how they spend it is not tracked or reviewed-except now, for the first time, by Orange Net News.
    SPECIAL REPORT

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


    ORTEGA LEADS OUSD CONFERENCE COSTS
    The Orange Unified School District taxpayers shelled out over $10,500 in educational tax dollars for conference expenses for OUSD Trustee John Ortega to attended 15 conferences for the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years. Ortega topped the long list of conference expenses for OUSD Trustees and OUSD Administrators for the expenses of those two school years (the 2004-2005 conference expenses were not yet available to ONN). OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma topped the list for highest average expense in those two school years with two his two conferences costing an average of $1191.92 per conference / $349.55 per day (see charts below).

    In analyzing the data, the results of having no OUSD expense policy results in large differences in expenses for the same conference by elected officials and district bureaucrats. The following are examples:
    Example 1
    The California School Board Association (CSBA) 2002 Annual Conference held for four days in San Francisco from 12/4/02-12/7/02. Former OUSD Trustee Bob Viviano arrived a day early and left a day after the conference (6 days total), yet had the second lowest daily expense account-$318.25 a day. OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith only stayed two days, yet had the highest daily expense of almost $500.00 a day. Trustee John Ortega had the lowest daily rate for the San Francisco conference at $294.27 a day. Totals for all OUSD attendees:
    Melissa Smith: daily cost $490.49 x 2 days= $ 980.98 expense total
    Kim Nichols: daily cost - $474.49 x 2 days= $ 949.98 expense total
    Kathy Moffat: daily cost - $426.55 x 4 days= $1706.22 expense total
    Robert French: daily cost $419.60 x 3 days= $1258.79 expense total
    Rick Ledesma: daily cost $366.16 x 3 days= $1098.48 expense total
    Bob Viviano: daily cost - $318.25 x 6 days= $1909.50 expense total
    John Ortega: daily cost - $294.27 x 4 days= $1177.09 expense total

    Example 2
    Totals for the 2003 CSBA Conference 12/10/03-12/13/03:
    Rick Ledesma: daily cost $321.59 x 4 days= $1286.37 expense total
    Bob Viviano: daily cost - $290.34 x 4 days= $1161.37 expense total
    Kathy Moffat: daily cost - $251.13 x 4 days= $1004.53 expense total
    John Ortega: daily cost - $248.76 x 4 days= $ 995.06 expense total
    Melissa Smith: daily cost $238.87 x 4 days= $ 955.49 expense total
    Robert French: daily cost $218.99 x 4 days= $ 875.99 expense total
    Kim Nichols: daily cost - $186.02 x 4 days= $ 744.08 expense total

    Example 3
    At the revocation law firm Miller, Brown, Dannis one-day workshop called Current Law for Educators held on October 25, 2002 in Long Beach, the following expenses were paid:
    Trustee Kathy Moffat $ 0
    Trustee Kim Nichols $ 160.00
    Ass’t Superintendent Cheryl Cohen $ 200.00

    A year later on November 21, 2003, OUSD employees had these expenses for the Miller, Brown, Dannis workshop Current Law for Educators :
    Ass’t Superintendent Thomas Godley $55.00
    Ass’t Superintendent Ed Kissee $25.22

    OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley reported that the recently approved Orange Unified School Board budget for 2005-2006 school year included cutting the Conference Budget from $50,000 to $20,000. At the last OUSD Board meeting July 14th 2005, the OUSD Trustees approved Item DD giving blanket approval for the Trustees to attend local conferences for this year to spend that $20,000. ONN has obtained the completed conference expense records for those “local conferences” that are covered by similar Item DD Blanket Budget approval for the 2003-2004 and 2002-2003 school years. Those year’s were the beginning of the current budget crisis were cut backs and layoffs began as then Assistant Superintendent Thomas Godley announced his three budget possibilities including his now famous “doomsday” budget. While the district spent freely over 1.5 million dollars on a controversial consulting program called Focus on Result, the following conference expenses also piled up.

    (For next year’s 2005-2006 budget to make-up for the shortfalls and cutbacks, the OUSD Trustees for the first time turned to the Orange Education Foundation. The Orange Education Foundation sent out letters to parents asking for a donation of $175.00 per family).

    TOTAL OUSD 2002-2004 CONFERENCE EXPENSES for Trustees and Administrators (Ranked from highest to lowest):
    $10,540.11 15 Conferences – 29 Days
    John Ortega - Trustee
    $460.00 National Hispanic Leadership Summit-Washington D.C. 7/12/04
    $1100.00 NALEO Annual Conference 2004- Washington D.C. 6/23/04
    $780.06 CSBA Educational Opp for Hispanic Students 3/19/04
    No Charge CSBA Sacramento 2/28/04
    No Charge CSBA Sacramento 1/19/04
    $995.06 CSBA Annual Conference 12/10/04
    $155.00 CSBA Back to School Workshop 9/24/04
    $691.16 CSBA Legislative Action 5/18/03
    $916.96 League of Cities Latino Caucus Meeting 4/30/03
    $585.46 Legislative Coalition –Sacramento 3/11/03
    $897.34 CSBA New and First Term 1/31/03
    $1177.09 CSBA Annual Education Conference- San Francisco 12/4/03
    $752.88 California Latino School Board Association 10/3/03
    $829.10 NALEO Annual Conference 6/27/03
    $1200.00 CSBA Masters in Governance 1/17/02
    Average $702.67 per conference/ $ 363.45 per day
    (60 parents donating $175.00 each to Orange Education Foundation= $10,500.00)

    $8904.81 13 Conferences – 24 days (not including travel)
    Robert French, Superintendent

    $721.68 CA City/Schools Sup’t Conference- San Diego 5/06/04
    $1478.93 ASCA Superintendent Symposium 1/27/04
    $874.99 CSBA Annual Education Conference 12/10/03
    $817.00 CA City/Schools Sup’t Conference- San Francisco 10/1/03
    $155.00 CSBA Back to School Workshop 9/24/03
    $153.54 California Sup’t Conference – San Diego 5/1/03
    $651.79 LegCo Conference- Sacramento 3/10/03
    $1,479.41 ACSA Su’t Symposium- Monterey 1/29/03
    $1,258.79 CSBA Annual Conference-San Francisco 12/5/02
    $185.00 Miller, Brown, Dannis Workshop 10/25/02
    $125.00 CSBA Back to School Workshop 9/25/02
    $250.00 ACSA-Supt’s County Meeting No Date
    Average $684.98 per conference/ $371.03 per day
    (51 parents donating $175.00 each to the Orange Education Foundation= $8925.00)

    $5951.05 12 conferences- 19 days
    Kathy Moffat- Trustee

    $ 60.00 EdSource Overhauling School Funding 3/19/04
    $1004.53 CSBA Annual Conference 12/10/03
    $55.00 School Services Workshop-Ontario 12/10/03
    $155.00 CSBA Back-to School 9/24/03
    $60.00 EdSource Overhauling School Funds Workshop 3/19/04
    $50.00 EdSource 4/3/03
    $1,200.00 CSBA Masters in Governance 1/17/03
    $1,706.22 CSBA Annual Conference San Francisco 12/4/02
    $1,098.80 CSBA San Diego 11/28/02
    No Charge Miller, Brown, Dannis Workshop 10/25/02
    $125.00 CSBA Back to School Workshop 9/25/02
    $496.50 National Laser Science Education 7/21/02
    Average $495.92 per conference / 313.23 per day
    (34 parents donating $175.00 each to the Orange Education Foundation= $5950.00)

    $4003.75 3 Conferences -9 Days
    Bob Viviano- Trustee

    $1,161.37 CSBA Annual Education Conference 12/10/03
    $1,909.50 CSBA Education Conference-San Francisco 12/03/03
    $1,932.88 CSBA Masters in Governance 10/5/03
    Average $1334.33 per conference / $444.86 per day
    (23 parents donating $175.00 each to the Orange Education Foundation=$4025.00)

    $3406.75 8 Conferences- 14 Days (not including travel)
    Wes Poutsma –Assistant Superintendent (2002-2003)

    (Last year before his retirement, elected as Trustee last year)
    $739.20 CASBO 4/23/03
    $281.60 2003 CalSSTRS Meeting- Long Beach 4/3/03
    $548.80 ACSA –Pomona 2/26/03
    $265.00 2003 Budget Workshop 1/15/03
    $199.80 Fiscal Aspects of Negotiations Workshop-Orange 11/14/02
    $235.00 Employee Benefits- Ontario 10/21/02
    $1006.83 Labor and Employee Law- Monterey 9/25/02
    $129.97 ACSA Collective Bargining Workshop-Mission Valley 9/20/02
    Average $425.84 per conference / 227.11 per day
    (19 parents donating $175.00 each to the Orange Education Foundation= $3325.00)

    $2925.30 8 Conferences –15 Days
    Kim Nichols - Trustee

    $446.74 Legislative Coalition 4/20/04
    $87.50 Ed Source Overhauling School Funding 3/19/04
    $130.00 School Services Budget Workshop 1/14/04
    $744.08 CSBA Annual Conference 12/10/03 $155.00 CSBA Back to School Workshop 9/24/03
    $227.00 CSBA Sacramento 12/4/02
    $160.00 Miller, Brown, Dannis Workshop 10/25/02
    $125.00 CSBA Back to School Workshop 9/25/02
    Average $365.66 per conference /$195.00 per day
    (17 parents donating $175.00 to the Orange Education Foundation= $2975.00)

    $2383.85 2 Conferences –7 days
    Rick Ledesma- Trustee

    $1,098.48 CSBA Annual Education Conference-San Francisco 12/4/04
    $1,285.37 CSBA Annual Education Conference 12/10/03
    Average $1191.92 per conference / $349.55 per day
    (14 parents donating $175.00 to the Orange Education Foundation=$2450. 00)

    $2283.13 8 Conferences 8 days (not including travel)
    Thomas Godley -Assistant Superintendent

    $109.00 May Revise Workshop-Rancho Cucamonga 5/19/04
    $249.88 Office of Public School Constriction- Sacramento 2/11/04
    $164.24 Budget Workshop-Long Beach 1/14/04
    $266.00 School Services Workshop-Ontario 12/10/03
    $55.00 Current Law for Educators 11/21/03
    $218.00 2003 School Finance Workshop-Ontario 7/15/03
    $180.00 2003 Budget Workshop -Ontario 1/15/03
    $180.00 Budget Basics Workshop –Ontario 1/10/03
    Average $285.39 per conference / $285.39 per day
    (13 parents donating $175.00 to the Orange Education Foundation =$2275. 00)

    $2116.50 6 Conferences 11 days (not including travel)
    Cheryl Cohen -Assistant Superintendent

    $397.50 SELPA Meeting-Sacramento 12/3/03
    $130.00 California Institute for School Improvement –Costa Mesa 11/3/03
    $150.00 Beyond the Basics 10/23/03
    $130.00 2003 Budget Workshop- Ontario 1/10/03
    $120.00 Dr. Richard DeFour- Speaker 12/12/02
    $989.00 CEC Conference 1/6/02
    Average $352.75 per conference / $192.40 per day
    (12 parents donating $175.00 to the Orange Education Foundation=$2100.00)

    $2080.95 3 Conferences – 7 Days
    Melissa Smith - Trustee

    $955.49 CSBA Annual Conference 12/10/03
    $144.48 Legislative Coalition – Sacramento 3/10/03
    $980.98 CSBA Annual Conference- San Francisco 12/5/02
    Average $693.95/ $297.27 per day
    (11 parents donating $175.00 to the Orange Education Foundation= $1925.00)

    $995.65 5 Conferences 8 Days (not including travel)
    Ed Kissee- Assistant Superintendent

    (2003-2004 only: Replaced W. Poutsma)
    $46.65 Leave of Absence Workshop-Cerritos 5/4/04
    $136.38 Navigating Certificated Layoffs 1/21/04
    $635.85 ACSA Symposium for Negotiators –San Diego 1/7/04
    $25.22 Current Law for Educators-Long Beach 11/21/04
    $151.55 Fiscal Aspects of Negotiations-Garden Grove 11/7/03
    Average $199.13 per conference / $124.45 per day
    (6 parents donating $175.00 to the Orange Education Foundation = $1050.00)

    No Conference Fees 2002-2004
    Bill Lewis - Trustee


    On July 14th 2005, the OUSD Trustees approved an open agenda item of conferences to spend the $20,000 budgeted. Who and how they spend it is not tracked or reviewed-except now, for the first time, by Orange Net News.

    This SPECIAL REPORT is a production of
    Orange Unified Schools Digest a news service of the Orange Communication System OCS

    Orange_NetNews@verizon.net
    “Independent, Local News and Viewpoints”

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

     

    Metro TALK


    A Friendly Fundraiser for the Orange Senior Center
    Local businesses, political leaders, and community leaders invite the community to join them for a Friendly Fundraiser for the Orange Senior Center on Wednesday March 22nd, 2006 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Pat and Oscars (763 S. Main Street) at the Town and Country Center in Orange. In addition to meeting local officials and food and beverages from Pat and Oscars, information will be presented on services and programs available from the Orange Senior Center. The Center is operated as a partnership between the Orange Elder Services Inc. and the City of Orange. The cost for all this information, great food and drink, and hobnobbing opportunities is only $25 per person, $40 per couple. Corporate Sponsorships are also welcome. For tickets or more information call OSC Executive Director Keith Regan at 714-538-9633 or email at: regan@orangeseniorcenter.org.

    For Information on the Orange Senior Center CLICK ON: http://www.orangeseniorcenter.org/

    For Information on Pat and Oscars CLICK ON:

    http://www.patandoscars.com/menu/index.html


    OC Blog Project- MEASURE M BLOG
    In the first of its kind locally, the influential OC Blog has branched off a new blog entirely dedicated to the campaign by the Orange County Transit Authority to renew the Orange County Measure M tax. The Measure M Blog contains enough information to keep any well informed citizens occupied between now and 2011, the year the current Measure M is set to expire.Check out the wealth of information on the new new Measure M Blog: CLICK ON: http://www.ocblog.net/measure_m/

    OUSD’s Godley Puzzles Board Watchers
    According to Orange Unified Superintendent Thomas Godley money to continue the OUSD Elementary Music Program “just came to us within the last two weeks”. While the greater Orange communities’ music supporters are thankful, some longtime OUSD watchers are questioning the appearance of funds when just two week’s prior, none were to be found. Orange Net News reported on the questionable claim that the Legislative Analyst’s Office was the bearer of good news of what some locals are calling the “immaculate music funding”. With most the OUSD Trustees voting to cancel the Elementary Music Program and back Godley’s “worst case scenario” budgeting worries just last month, the Legislative Analyst’s Office appears to offer no real comfort as it recommends the California Legislature not go along with most of Governor Schwarzenegger’s educational funding plans including those for art and music. Godley stated that the LAO’s analysis that more tax money will be available to the state than first predicted seems to make Godley think more money is coming to education. To make matters more complicated, you would expect Godley to have waited two months until May for the Legislative Analyst’s May Revise before he made any budget predictions (like he did last year, see the link below).

    Godley’s Concerns over Legislative Analyst’s May Revise in June 2005:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/downloads/dialog/0605.pdf

    /O/N/N/ Special Report on Godley’s Explanation on Music Funding
    :
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/03/special-report.html

    Friday, March 10, 2006

     

    SPECIAL REPORT


    OUSD FUNDS ELEMENTARY MUSIC-
    IS GODLEY’S EXPLANATION GOOD ENOUGH?


    We didn’t finally find the money. It wasn’t hiding.It just came to us within the last two weeks.”
    -Orange Unified Superintendent
    Thomas Godley
    3/09/06 OUSD Board Meeting


    At the February 23rd Orange Unified School Board meeting, OUSD Trustees Kim Nichols, Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith and Wes Poutsma voted to support OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley’s call to eliminate the OUSD Elementary Music program next year. Trustees Rick Ledesma and Steve Rocco voted against the recommendation (Trustee John Ortega was absent). Two weeks after that vote, Godley announced at the March 9th OUSD Board meeting, based on new information from the California State Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) that there was indeed money to fund the music program for next year.

    The Thursday announcement to a capacity crowd capped two weeks of growing media attention and community pressure on the controversial OUSD Superintendent’s proposal to eliminate the music program. The Music Matters Committee, an offshoot committee of the Orange Education Foundation, had hired music budget expert John Benham to assist the community to find the funds within the OUSD budget. Music Matters also passed out flyers donated by Yamaha Cares to rally music supporters to the cause. The Orange Communication System (OCS) carried the story all weekend over its electronic networks and on Thursday March 9th, local print media carried the story. In addition, earlier in the week the story had spread from the OCS Greater Orange eBlog to the widely influential conservative OC Blog.

    At the February 23rd meeting, Godley and the supporting Trustees asserted that the real decision on keeping the music program would be made as part of the budget process to take place later this year. Godley and the Trustees that originally voted to eliminate the program made it clear several times that the vote was forced by Education Code timelines beyond their control and the fact that the budget was only in the early stages of formulation. Godley and his supporters also made it clear that because Governor Schwarzenegger budget proposals were just proposals, OUSD had to wait for the final budget before a final decision on the music program could be made. However, two weeks later the story had changed. With a required state Interim Financial Report also on the March 9th Agenda showing a current “unappropriated amount” of over eight million dollars, Godley stated that “We didn’t finally find the money. It wasn’t hiding. It just came to us within the last two weeks.” The overflow crowd burst into applause.

    Godley explained that the district learned from the California State Legislative Analyst Office the previous week that the district will receive enough funds for the music program and to continue 9th grade class size reductions in math and English classes. On close examination however, the Godley Explanation does not seem compatible with the purpose and mission of the LAO or the concerns raised by Godley and the OUSD Trustees at the March 9th meeting.

    On Tuesday March 7th , Music Matters Committee activist Angel La Marca and a group of parents met by invitation with OUSD Trustees Kim Nichols and Melisa Smith at the Anaheim Hills church where Smith is a pastor. Smith, who at the February 23rd meeting had called for a “compromise” which no one would get everything they wanted regarding the music program, now was telling La Marca and the parents that something was being worked out. Smith did not elaborate. That meeting took place two days before the Thursday March 9th OUSD Board meeting, and a week after the week Godley stated he had received news from the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO). However, when you inspect the reports issued by the LAO, it is not clear to what Godley is referring.

    The LAO is a non-partisan fiscal and policy advisor to the California Legislature that functions similarly to the Congressional Budget Office for Congress. The LAO mission is to analyize proposed budget issues. It then issues recommendations and analytical reports for the California State Senate and Assembly on the proposals. On February 23rd it issued its report on the proposed budget of Governor Schwarzenegger. The reports cover all of Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposals. The reports concerning budget proposals for K-12 education analyze the proposals and make recommendations to the legislature based on the LOA analysis. In fact, in the February 23, 2006 LAO report titled Analysis of the Budget Bill (Major Analyses) Education K-12; New Categorical Programs, the LAO recommends “rejecting these seven proposals”. The seven programs include Schwarzenegger’s proposal for Art and Music funding. The LAO recommends the legislature reject the Arts and Music proposal and six others (Teacher Recruitment; Teacher Support; two Physical Education proposals; Digital Classroom; and Fresh Start nutritional program) because the seven proposals:

    “(1) do not address the major fiscal issues facing the state or school districts; (2) take a step backwards for categorical reform; (3) have basic policy flaws; and (4) contain virtually no planning, reporting, evaluation, or accountability components.” (see link below to report).

    The report continues to criticize the new programs as “not critical” with a focus on: “narrow issues while leaving major issues unaddressed”. The report further criticizes Schwarzenegger’s spending proposals as having “basic flaws” and used the proposed funding for the Arts and Music program as an example.

    In another LAO report issued on February 23, 2006 titled K-12 Education Issues In the 2006-07 Budget, the report states about Schwarzenegger’s proposals:

    “We estimate an additional $359 million is needed to fully fund school districts and community college baseline budgets”.

    The report explains the additional money is needed due to:

    “our [LOA] higher projected cost-of-living adjustment- 5.8% compared to the [Schwarzenegger] budget’s 5.2%”.

    This LOA report also asks an additional $39.4 million to fully fund “ongoing K-12 mandates in 2006-07”. The report makes alternative budget recommendations in three options to the Legislators (1) Use one-time funds to pay for past mandates; (2) Limit Discretionary Spending, address K-12 Fiscal condition (3) A Fiscal Solvency Block Grant. In addition, the report makes seven recommendations on addressing K-12 Mandates and recommends repealing Proposition 49 After School Programs, giving 8 lengthy reasons why (see link to report below).

    Nothing in the LOA reports on education can be construed as giving school districts a green light as to what the final budget will look like. The mission of the LAO is to analyze early proposals. These reports intended for the legislators should signal that the budget process ahead will be anything but predictable. Even if the reports supported the Schwarzenegger’s proposal wholeheartedly, it would not diminish the concerns expressed by the Trustees as explanations for their votes to eliminate the music program. Nor would the LAO reports quell any of the concerns Godley expressed about the budget process. If anything, the LAO report should probably be of concern to most school district superintendents, unless of course they were sitting on a healthy $ 8 million dollar surplus.

    Analysis of the Budget Bill (Major Analyses) Education K-12; New Categorical Programs
    http://www.lao.ca.gov/Pubdetails.aspx?id=1449
    and http://www.lao.ca.gov/analysis_2006/education/ed_05_anl06.html

    K-12 Education Issues In the 2006-07 Budget
    http://www.lao.ca.gov/handouts/Education/2006/Analysis_022306.pdf

    Link to all recent LOA publications:
    http://www.lao.ca.gov/

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

     

    Metro VIEWS

    Bob Sadler OUSD's newest
    $3333.33 a day Consultant

    OUSD: More is Less for OUSD
    MORE CONSULTANTS; LESS MUSIC

    An editorial from the Greater Orange Communities Organization

    At the February 23rd Orange Unified School Board meeting, the OUSD Trustees approved OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley’s continued march to save $400,000 by eliminating the Elementary Music Program in Orange Unified. This week, just two weeks later, at the March 9th Orange School Board meeting, the OUSD Trustees will vote to approve Agenda Item 12 C, the state required Interim Financial Report. That report shows after meeting all of its fiscal requirements, Orange Unified has a current surplus (“unappropriated amount”) of $8,770,065.

    That surplus exists now, before next year’s budget is approved in Sacramento, which by all accounts will have more money earmarked for education than has been available for years. While we understand that the district must prepare for the “worst case scenario” (as Dr. Godley has made clear throughout his career at Orange Unified), the $400,000 question appears to be why does the OUSD Administration continue on one hand to attack popular, research proven programs, while on the other hand waste local educational tax dollars on unproven and controversial boondoggles with no research to support them? Even more interesting is why do our Trustees continue to rubberstamp every spending scheme, classroom cut and attack on our local educational values (i.e. Santiago Charter and local music) the OUSD Administration demands?

    While eliminating class size reductions and music, the OUSD Administration has dumped millions into the consultant program Focus on Results. Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Cohen in a report to Trustees on Focus on Results was unable to provide any hard evidence that the program is doing anything. In fact she compared Focus on Results to “marriage counseling”. She also revealed that while the OUSD program has cut back its use of Focus on Results consultants by 40%, Cohen did not reduce her funding requests. Cohen also revealed that she had a personal consultant from the program. When faced with growing community opposition to the program, one top OUSD Administrator last year reportedly told principals at their weekly district meeting that Focus on Results would be eliminated “over my dead body”. What a different district OUSD could be (perhaps a Good to Great one) if only our top administrators felt that same “over my dead body” passion about the loss of student centered classroom programs like music instead of wasteful consulting programs.

    Two weeks after voting to continue planning to eliminate the Elementary Music Program, this week’s board agenda is again full of examples of wasted local educational dollars. Item 14 D calls for paying consultant Bob Sadler to provide three days of “professional development” for $10,000. The agenda item states that Sadler is “a Method Teaming Practitioner and Instructor”. Not heard of Method Teaming? If you have ever taken any college courses you may know it by another name: Multiple Intelligences. This basic educational theory was developed in a landmark study from the 1980’s by Harvard’s educational theorist Howard Gardner. It has been required learning for every teacher and administrator since. Method Teaming is just a new name for that 20 year old education theory, now reinvented and applied to the business world. Godley’s administration wants to spend $10,000 in educational tax funds to reapply this basic education theory, now reinvented as business team building, to the OUSD Administration in a three day workshop.

    OND LLC., are the developers of Method Teaming (MT). Their website states: “Every person has a natural, dominant, primary Intellect. These four Intellects make up the "language" of Method Teaming.”
    The website lists the four MT intellects as:

    “-PD stands for Project Director. PDs are the engineers of the business world. They think on the "how" dimension. PDs must finish what they start. The PD thrives in complexity, but not ambiguity. The PDs think inside the box and probably designed the box. The PD loves to deliver.
    “-The Strategist thinks on the "what" dimension. Strategists are outrageously creative and innovative. They are always thinking outside the box and, unlike the PD, they thrive in ambiguity because they will invent models to understand the ambiguity
    “-EQ stands for External Qualifier. The EQ thinks on the "where" dimension. The world-class EQ has a built-in radar for finding deals in the market. They are usually excellent at qualifying deals as well. When you first meet the EQ they give you the impression that they know a lot about a lot
    “-The Networker thinks on the "who" dimension. The Networker reads the following instantly: people, situations, group dynamics, situations and cultures. They radiate empathy.”


    The $10,000 Godley request for the Method Teaming “common language” is just the latest in recent wasteful spending outside the classroom. OUSD Administrators asked for millions to spend on Focus on Results consultants to give a small group from every school a “common language”. Recently, Godley added the “common language” of the popular business fad-surfing clique “From Good to Great” to the list of OUSD’s need for a “common language”. With every request comes a rubberstamp approval from Trustees. Were does it stop?

    Last year, the Godley Administration spent months refusing to come up with $7,500 to continue broadcasting Board meetings to the community. Finally, after a community outcry, Dr. Godley found the money to continue the broadcasts. This year, Godley now asks for $10,000 for a three day consultant for a “common language” business management theory that is basically a rehashed 20 year old well known educational theory. It far past the time for the OUSD Trustees to question the wasteful educational tax dollar spending on the Godley common language of “consultants, litigation, and administrative waste” and return to the Community “common language” of basic education they were elected to protect- “reading, writing, arithmetic and the arts”.

    For More Information
    To view information on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory CLICK ON:
    http://www.ed.psu.edu/insys/ESD/gardner/MItheory.html

    To view the $10,000 educational tax dollar Method Teaming CLICK ON:
    http://www.ondonline.com/mt.html

    To see how MT participants find their $10,000 ‘intellect” CLICK ON:
    http://www.ondonline.com/mtinstruments.html

    To view Bob Sadler’s website on Method Teaming CLICK ON:
    http://sadlerconsulting.net/main.php?Page=22

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

     

    Orange Unified Schools Digest

    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Trustee Tempers Flare on Music and Legislation

    Elementary Music Vote
    Citing California Education Code requirements of legal timelines involved in notification of staff about ending programs and the fact that the state budget process was far from complete, the Orange Unified Trustees voted to continue the process of ending the Elementary Music Program at their February 23rd meeting. Some OUSD Trustees and OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley tried to reassure the large crowd of community members present at the meeting that the vote was needed to comply with legal timelines and that the real decision about the elementary music program would be addressed during the budget process later this year.

    Many of the speakers from the large crowd of music supporters who addressed the Board alluded to the recently developed OUSD “Core Values” and asked the Board to make good on them. Others also alluded to the fact they are voters (or in the case of students, soon to be voters) and this was a serious issue to them.

    Board President Kimberly Nichols in her statement before voting addressed many of the issues brought up by the speakers including the statements about voting. Nichols responded that threats about elections would not make her change a vote she considered good for the entire district. Kathy Moffat responded to calls for cuts outside the classroom by stating that the Board has made more cuts in administration than any other area in the district. Moffat did not address the fact that even with cuts, OUSD ranks fourth highest in administrative costs out of all the Orange County unified school districts.

    Controversial Trustee Steve Rocco received a huge round of applause from the pro-music crowd with his statement to the crowd about wasteful district spending and assurances that the music program would be restored. His statement prompted a frustrated Trustee Melissa Smith to accuse him of grandstanding. Smith continued to say a compromise must be reached where no side gets everything they want. Trustee Wes Poutsma too attacked Rocco.

    Trustee Rick Ledesma called for a roll call vote. The vote to notify staff that the elementary music program was ending was approved: 4 Yes (Nichols, Moffat, Smith, Poutsma); 2 No (Ledesma, Rocco); and 1 absent (John Ortega). Ending the Elementary Music Program will save the OUSD $400,000.

    At the March 9th OUSD Board Meeting, district staff will present an Elementary Music Report.

    Legislative Coalition Platform
    Later, the Legislative Coalition committee gave its presentation on its 2006 platform. Trustee Rocco continued his harsh statements about the Legislative Coalition and one of its platforms to require school board trustee candidates to collect nominating signatures. In one of his trademark rants, Rocco stated that he has collected candidate signatures for other elective runs.

    While Rocco had his typical problems with the Legislative Coalition, it was Trustee Rick Ledesma’s concerns with specific Legislation Coalition proposals that again led to the usual trustee decorum breaking down. Ledesma, while not against specific proposals presented, questioned whether some were outside the scope of what Ledesma characterized as the Legislative Coalition’s mandate of proposing legislation that directly benefits children in the classroom. Ledesma’s concerns were then addressed by Kathy Moffat. While Moffat’s typical “let’s set the record straight” rants are usually reserved for Trustee Steve Rocco, Ledesma immediately interrupted Moffat when it was clear her rant was directed at him. Ledesma objected to what he saw as Moffat’s “patronizing” remarks. Board President Kim Nichols (who had been struggling all night to keep control of the meeting from her corner on the dais sitting next to Godley) lost control as an angry Ledesma refused to back down from his position or yield back to Moffat. Eventually Moffat apologized for any of her thoughts being taken as offending stating that was not her intent.

    At the end of the evening, a clearly frustrated Nichols in her ending statement took an uncharacteristic pot-shot at the now absent Rocco as she reminded “the members still present” to remember that they were a “team”.

    OUSD’s Second Interim Financial Report: Balance $8,770,065 Over Reserves
    On the March 9th Board Agenda, Agenda Item 12 C (page 11) Second Interim Financial Report shows OUSD’s 3% state required reserve for “economic uncertainties” at $6,817,896. Beyond the reserves, OUSD has an “unappropriated amount” fund balance of $8,770,065 (see agenda page 13).

    Villa Park Elementary School Restoration Corporation Second Amendment

    With a recent grant application (with notification of grant acceptance this July) and an agreement on milestone dates of progress; an amendment to the lease agreement between OUSD and the VPESRC has been worked out (see Agenda page 29).

    $3333.33 a Day Consultant-Agenda Item 14 D
    The OUSD Administration is asking for $10,000 to pay business consultant Bob Sadler for “three days of professional development-strategic planning-to the district”. Agenda Item 14 D (page 39) lists Sadler as “a Method Teaming Practitioner”. Internet search engines were not able to match any known Method Teaming Practitioner except on the Sadler Consulting website (CLICK ON http://sadlerconsulting.net/main.php?Page=22 ). The website also explains that “Method Teaming workshops last between 1 and 2 days and are followed up with MT Coaching”. The current Trustees have made it a point to be the policy makers and goal setters while following the practice of the district administration running the day to day functions of the district. Other school districts utilizing strategic planning have strategic goal setting as a joint venture between teachers, parents, school administrators and board members as a joint workshop. In the $10,000 consultant proposal it is unclear who would participate in the “strategic planning” workshop or get the follow-up coaching.
    For more information on Sadler Consulting CLICK ON:
    http://sadlerconsulting.net/main.php?Page=11

    Highlights of the NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING March 9, 2006
    State of the School Report: Villa Park H.S.. by Student Representative: Jon Poter
    Item 12 A/B- Raising fees on new construction
    Item 12 C – Second Interim Financial report
    Item 12D- Wavier of High School Exam for qualifying students with disabilities
    Item 12E- Villa Park Elementary School Restoration Lease
    Item 13 A- OUSD Administration Elementary Music Report

    CONSENT AGENDA- All items pass without comment unless a Trustee “pulls” for discussion
    14 D Agenda ( page 39) $10,000 Consultant- Bob Sadler- Strategic Planning 3 Days
    Out of State Travel (page 55) 2 more to Florida conference $3,644.

    COMMUNITY DONATIONS: (see page 38 for a complete list) Villa Park PFSO-WhiteBoards-$320.00; Wells Fargo-Nohl Canyon-$1500 in instructional supplies; Handy School Association-$495

    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: $ 222,317.00:
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally:
    3/09/06 Bob Sadler 3 Day Workshop $ 10,000

    2006 Attorney Fee Tally:
    1/19/06 Parker & Covert: $200,000

    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel:
    2/9/06 Roney and 5 principals to Florida $ 10,623
    2/23/06 Rooney 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: MARCH 9, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 6:30 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_030906.pdf
    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

     

    Metro TALK


    OC Sheriffs Ticket IPOD Users
    on OCTA BUS


    Not exactly the best way to get riders onto your bus (or vote for your new Measure M Renewal). Metroblogging Orange County has a post on your law enforcement tax dollars at work with the Orange County Sheriff deputies ticketing OCTA bus riders for listening to their iPODS on the bus!


    For the FULL STORY CLICK ON:
    http://oc.metblogs.com/archives/2006/02/ibus_therfore_i.phtml

    Original POST CLICK ON (adult language here):

    http://oc.metblogs.com/archives/2006/02/ticketed_for_we.phtml

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