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  • Tuesday, July 17, 2007


    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Independent insight into OUSD

    What did OUSD Superintendent Godley decided you should not hear?
    For the second time in less than a year, Orange Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley ordered the censorship of an Orange Unified School District Trustee Meeting before it was broadcast to the community. Godley ordered two parts of the June 21st, 2007 Orange Unified School District Trustee Meeting public regular session to be cut from the public showing of the meeting over the OUSD cable station. As of the publication deadline of this report, Dr. Godley and OUSD Board President Kim Nichols did not answer emails requesting a statement from them about the censorship of the broadcast to the Greater Orange Community.

    For the complete story and transcripts of what was censored CLICK ON: SPECIAL REPORT

    and for Metro VIEWS perspectives CLICK ON: GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP

    Moffat Supports Parental Notification takes on OUSD Attorney
    Arriving almost at the end of the June 21st OUSD Board Meeting due to a delayed airplane flight, Trustee Kathy Moffat quickly caught up on the meeting using her end of the meeting comments to stress among other items her unwavering support of Parental Notification when students are questioned by police at school. Earlier during the Moffat absence community education activist Christina Bayles spoke before the board during adoption of new Board Policies about students (5000 series). Bayles spoke about the policy of notification of parents when a police interrogation of a student at school happens. Addressing the concern, Dr. Godley stated that it was district policy to notify parents after an interview takes place. However, while addressing the legal requirements, it was not clear whether that requirement was always followed as evidence from the concerns and accounts from the community. In addition, later when Moffat addresses the issue and community concerns it was unclear whether she and others wanted a new policy that required parents be notified before a law enforcement interview.

    When Moffat brought the issue up when she arrived later, the OUSD Administration turned to OUSD Legal Counsel Spencer Covert. When Covert stated that OUSD had the only possible option under the “current state of the law”, Moffat showed a rare indignity (reserved previously only for controversial Trustee Steve Rocco). Responding to Covert’s assertion, Moffat tersely stated:

    “Madame President, I have never done this before and I hesitate to do this now, but I most respectfully disagree with Mr. Covert. And I and am certainly not a lawyer, but I have read several lawyers work….”

    Moffat went on to outline that police officers at a school have full access to a child even taking children out of class for non-emergency interrogations that have nothing to do with school. Moffat was particularly focused on elementary age children. Moffat relayed examples of police interrogations at schools she had been told about by parents who had contacted her. Moffat further stated:

    “Parent involvement is extremely important and that is what we should be striving for in every situation we can.”

    Trustee Wes Poutsma, a former principal, stated that many times the police interrogation is about the parents. Moffat stated that special circumstances and exceptions to protect the child should be included. In the end, Nichols suggested Moffat pass the information she had on to Godley who would decide if further conversations with OUSD legal counsel was needed and whether to return the item to the OUSD Board.

    In the censored telecast of the June 21st meeting to the community, this was the last item shown. Censored from the video to the community was Trustee Steve Rocco’s response to Moffat that followed her comments. The transcripts of what Rocco said that was censored can be accessed in the Orange Net News SPECIAL REPORT .

    Godley on OUSD Benefits Fund 71
    Also in the June 21st Board meeting, in response to a question by Board President Kim Nichols, Superintendent Thomas Godley addressed an email going around the Greater Orange Communities about a letter dated July 24 2003 from the Eppler Company to OUSD. Godley reported that the “misinformation in the community” that the $12.1 million mentioned in the letter was the figure of OUSD’s unfunded health care liability. Godley stated that the July 2003 letter was referring to Fund 71 that “does not pay for retiree health benefits” (a.k.a unfunded liability). Godley stated that the $12 million Fund 71 is a separate “buyout fund” set up to buy back OUSD’s once offered lifetime benefits from any OUSD employees that still have them.

    Today Godley stated the Fund 71 Buyout Fund today has over $14 million in it. Godley stated that in 2006 a revised Eppler Company study the unfunded health care liability was placed at over $61 million. Today he said revised health care unfunded liability figures have ballooned to $150 million. He stated that figure reflects current rising health care and projected future costs from the once offered lifetime health benefits predicted until the year 2070.

    INSIDE the OUSD Agenda for July 19th Agenda
    The next Orange Unified School Board meeting will be Thursday July 19th, 2007.
    • The Closed Session agenda includes a Performance Review of OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley.
    • In Agenda Item 13 A the 2006/07 Fourth Quarter status report for the OUSD Three-Year Strategic Plan.
    • Consent Agenda – Contract Services (Page 102): $60,000 more to OUSD law firm Parker and Covert: “This additional amount is needed to pay for fees incurred in the 2006/2007 school year”.

    The July 10th, 2007 issue of the Foothills Sentry is reporting that OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco’s $750 pay per meeting will be garnished to help pay off a $37,000 legal expense award. OUSD was awarded the legal costs after Rocco’s lawsuit against OUSD pertaining to the Resolution of Censure was thrown out of court. The Foothills Sentry reports that 25% of Rocco’s pay will be withheld to satisfy the debt. In addition, the story reports that Rocco was offered to settle his debt for a payment of $18,500. Rocco is currently appealing the decision on the original case.

    The Foothills Sentry also reports that the assault on Rocco occurred on 17th Street in Santa Ana (Rocco lives in the OUSD portion of Santa Ana). Quoting a Santa Ana Police spokesman the paper reports that at least one of the suspects is a juvenile and the investigating officer did not indicated that the assault was politically motivated. To view The Foothills Sentry CLICK ON: Foothills Sentry .

    Community Donations
    For a complete list of Community Donations for the current agenda, see Agenda Page 13. $2,960 North Orange Rotary- Richland HS picnic tables; $2900 Cerro Villa PFSO- Cerro Villa MS Carpet and Tile; $8,200 Anaheim Hills PTA- Anaheim Hills ES- Smart Boards; $132.48 Wells Fargo Foundation- Nohl Canyon ES-supplies; $418.49;Target Corporation- Linda Vista ES supplies; $1000 Villa Park Women’s League- Villa Park ES supplies.

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

    $ 354,090.00 Total

    2007 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    4/30/07 Debra Ford Speaker Fee $ 4,090
    4/30/07 Danny Brassell Speaker Fee $ 3,500
    3/8/07 Dr. Daggett Speaker Fee $ 9,000
    Total $ 16,590

    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
    5/10/07 Miller, Brown and Dannis $ 50,000
    7/19/07 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    Total $337,500

    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 July 19th, 2007. For more information
    CLICK ON: OUSD Agenda
    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM. 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 INSIDE
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    “Independent Local Insight”
    Ecast on the
    A 21st Century Communications System

    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

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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