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  • Monday, February 19, 2007



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

    Villa Park Elementary School Restoration Corporation: DEFAULT



    The Orange Unified School District Administration under OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley continued their push for drug testing in OUSD, this time for OUSD students. At the February 8th OUSD Board of Trustees Meeting, the OUSD Trustees voted to accept the first reading of the revised Board Policy 5000 series that deals with students. OUSD Board members had many concerns including the revised Board Policy 5131.6.1 dealing with a new student drug testing proposal. In voting to approve the reading, the Board and OUSD Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services and High Schools Dr. Ken Jones agreed that the Trustees would send their concerns and input to Jones for incorporation into a revised document at a future Board meeting.

    Trustee John Ortega asked Jones specifically about the proposed student drug testing policy and if the administration had preliminary “parent support”. Jones told Ortega that the policy would be reviewed through a “different process” and that the OUSD Administration would be “talking to a couple of different groups to see where they are prior to making a finial decision” on what the OUSD Administration’s recommendation would be. Ortega jokingly replied to Jones’ response, “Sounds like a true politician”. Jones replied “Thank you I appreciate the compliment”.

    Drug testing appears to be a priority of OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley’s administration. Last year in negotiations with the Orange Unified Education Association, the OUSD Administration pushed hard to add a drug testing provision for teachers in the labor contract between the teachers and the district. Reportedly, the insistence by the district to give principals at each school the authority to suspend teachers and order drug testing was an unacceptable grant of power to the principals (who often have personality conflicts with teachers) the teacher’s association would not accept.


    OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley took the unusual step of publicly announcing an OUSD legal victory during the Superintendent’s Announcement portion of the February 8th Board Agenda. Godley announced that he was in court February 2nd when Orange County Superior Court Judge Clay Smith threw out OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco’s suit over the Rocco Censure and read from the decision. Later in the meeting, Rocco announced that an appeal of Judge Smith’s decision would be filed. For more information CLICK ON:

    More from the February 8th Meeting

    OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma continued his perfect record of voting against hiring the law firm of Miller, Dannis and Brown by voting against the agenda’s $7500 for the firm that wrote the infamous Santiago Charter Revocation Report.

    Ledesma in addition agreed to sponsor Rocco’s attempt to add an information item to a future OUSD Agenda. Ledesma, who in the past has also been denied adding items to the agenda by the current majority, caused Board members to shake their heads in shock as he said he would support Rocco’s attempt to add an information item in response to OUSD Board President Kim Nichols inquiry of the trustees for support of Rocco. Ledesma has made it clear in the past while he does not agree with Rocco, he feels as an elected official Rocco has the right to be heard as long as he sits on the Board (there have been community calls for a recall of Rocco).

    Also, OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat reminded the community of Orange H.S. 8th Grade parent night on Wednesday February 28th. Moffat also read a newspaper article about Newport- Mesa Unified’s progress in modernizing their ageing schools with money from two voter approved Bonds. Rocco responded by criticizing the Board majority for pursuing a new third OUSD Bond which he said he read on the “blogs”. OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith then criticized the “blogs” for reporting that the OUSD Board had approved another bond effort, which she stated was in fact not true.

    The “blog” issue appears to stem from an Orange Communication Service (OCS) special news series OU$D BOND Watch 2008. The series January 5th debut appeared on the OCS news blog, the Greater Orange News Service. The story states that the OUSD Board approved the OUSD Administration’s three-year strategic plan that includes a blueprint for a Bond Campaign. Smith was correct in the fact that each step in the OUSD Administration’s Bond Blueprint would have to be approved by a vote of the OUSD Board; however the story only reported on the OUSD Administration’s Bond Blueprint Timeline. To see the OU$D BOND Watch 2008 story about the OUSD Board approved strategic plan CLICK ON:

    Villa Park Elementary School Restoration Corporation: DEFAULT
    The February 20th Orange Unified Agenda includes a report (Agenda Item 13 B page 12) that states OUSD sent a Notice of Default to the Villa Park Elementary School Restoration Corporation “indicating the District has neither received the Final Plans nor received any communication from VPESRC as to when or whether Final Plans will be delivered to the district” .

    The report includes five benchmarks which were not met from the April 20th Board approved amendment to the original Lease Agreement between OUSD and the VPESRC. The Lease Agreement between OUSD and the VPESRC has a provision that the lease between the two will be terminated 10 days after the Notice of Default is sent. For more information on VPESRC CLICK ON:

    Highlights of February 22nd Orange Unified School Board Meeting
    Please see the link to the complete Agenda below.
    • Agenda Item 12 B 2nd Reading of Legislative Coalition 2007 Platform
    • Agenda Item 13A Video Update on modernization at Prospect Elementary
    • Consent Item 14J (page 40) $45,000 to Parker Covert Law Firm (see below)

    FOCUS on the KING and QUEEN of HEARTS

    Anticipation of Yorba Middle School’s annual crowning of the Valentine’s Day Dance King and Queen of Hearts grew to a fever pitch because the teacher in charge of the event was gone all Valentine Day at the monthly controversial Focus on Results meeting at the OUSD District Office. Not to worry, the veteran teacher and Focus on Results participant for over 3 years told the 10 nervous King and Queen candidates and the hundreds of students at the after school Valentine Dance that she had counted the King and Queen ballots at her Focus on Results meeting that day. Clearly a victory for the King and Queen, but another blow to the OUSD taxpayers who foot the bill for the consultant program one OUSD administrator described as a “marriage encounter training”.

    Computer, monitor and mouse to Fletcher E.S. from Wal-Mart/Orange.
    See Agenda Page 15.


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

    2007 Consultant Fee Tally: none
    2007 Attorney Fee Tally:

    1/18/07 Parker & Covert (1/07 to 6/07) $175,000
    2/08/07 Miller, Brown, and Dannis $ 7, 500
    2/22/07 Parker & Covert $ 45,000
    Total $227,500

    2007 Administrative Conference/Travel: hidden since 6/8/06*

    *JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to APPROVE Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2006: $ 849,717.00*
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally: Total $176,400
    2006 Attorney Fee Tally: Total Approved $655,000
    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel: Total $ 18,317 *
    * JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to
    APPROVE OUSD Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2005: $ 978,300.00:
    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 February 22, 2007. For more information

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM on 2/22/07 Regular Session: 7:30 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015
    Orange Unified Schools Digest is an independent news service of
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

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    Greater Orange News Service is a community service of the Orange Communication System /OCS/, the communications arm of the Greater Orange Community Orgainization