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  • Friday, March 14, 2008



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


    Orange Unified Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jon Archibald announced at the March 6th Orange Unified School Board Meeting that OUSD will be holding two Community Information Nights to explain to the Greater Orange Community how California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed 2008-09 State Budget will affect the Orange Unified School District. The same presentation will be presented on two separate evenings; Monday March 24th, 2008 and Wednesday March 26, 2008. The meetings will be from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Board Rooms at the OUSD District Office.

    At the March 6th meeting, the OUSD Board listened to Archibald present the district’s Second Interim Financial Report, which Archibald referenced as his “short” report stating that the Community Information Nights would be more in depth. Archibald reported on the many steps that OUSD has already taken and plans to take to lessen the impact of drastically reduced state funding to education. Unlike many other Orange County school districts, OUSD did not send out Reduction in Forces lay-off notices (RIF notices) which state law mandates be sent by March 15th. Instead if needed, OUSD has contingency plans to use attrition and it’s large temporary teaching staff to balance any possible staffing issues necessitated by any possible drastic state budget cuts to education.

    It was about OUSD’s large temporary work force (200 plus teachers) that OUSD Superintendent Godley and OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat took a swipe at a recent Orange County Register story on school lay-offs that reported OUSD would fire all 200 temporary teachers. In reality, those teachers work on a year-to-year contract arrangement and after each school year are technically released until they are rehired with an offer of another one year contract. As far as administrators go, OUSD Administrators continued to pat themselves on the back for Orange County’s lowest district office administration costs, but did report at the meeting that because of the number of small neighborhood schools OUSD operates (10 schools with 430 students or less) the district has a larger than average school site administration costs.

    Archibald included “worst case scenario” reports on possible future cuts the OUSD Board could look at if Schwarzenegger wins his budget cuts. Future state budget cuts could necessitate OUSD cuts that could include closing and/ or combining elementary schools. Archibald reported 10 OUSD elementary schools have fewer than 430 students and 5 of those schools have 300 students or less (with 700 students being a minimum number for efficiency). School closures would require a year to prepare and would require OUSD Board approval. Archibald outlined other possible future measures requiring Board approval such as: fee increases of bus and lunch costs; elimination of some Class Size Reduction (possibly 3rd grade and 9th grade English); elimination of the extra OUSD money it adds to the categorically funded Elementary Music Program (but not elimination of the program); and closing of OUSD’s smallest school, Silverado Elementary. In addition, Archibald reviewed other strains on the OUSD budget including the price of oil increasing district food and fuel costs and the service demand caused by the recent and growing phenomena of large numbers of autistic children entering public education. Trustee Melissa Smith wanted to be sure that the public understands the Board was not making any cuts to programs by approving the Second Interim Financial Report, but that Archibald was reporting on possible worst case cuts that sometime in the future could be looked at if all or some of the Governor’s budget proposals are approved for next year’s state budget.

    Later in the evening, the OUSD Board approved Consent Agenda Item 14 K giving OUSD Certified Staff an additional .25% pay hike to make their pervious raise on par with the two raises given the OUSD administrators and the raise teachers received at the end of last year and the beginning of 2008.

    Five parents of students from Canyon High School spoke during Public Comments at the March 6th Board Meeting to support Canyon H.S. Track and Field Coach Pat Bendzick and bemoan the legal snafu that has embroiled the award winning school over who has the right to make the decision of who is running in what track and field race. Sources have the new school administration of Dr. Bowden reportedly blowing the public relations spin with the close-nit Anaheim Hills Community with his trademark holier-than-thou approach that has included what parents see as a less than supportive backing for the popular Canyon H.S. track and field coach. The concerned parents wanted the OUSD Board to be aware of the impact that one unnamed student’s family with alleged legal threats is having on the whole Canyon Track and Field program and a good deal of the student body. Canyon H.S. students have taken matters into their own hands by petitioning the administration and putting up signs on campus in support of Coach Bendzick (those signs were torn down by the Canyon administration). OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma asked the OUSD Administration to update the Board on the situation and keep them informed on any new developments.

    The OUSD School Board held a Special Board Meeting on March 13th to interview “professional search firms” to assist with the process for hiring a new superintendent. The OUSD Board started the same process when former Dr. French retired, but then (reportedly on the advice of French) aborted the process in a controversial move to hire then OUSD Assistant Superintendent Godley without interviewing others for the top position. Trustee Kathy Moffat participated in the meeting by teleconference from San Jose, California.

    INSIDE the OUSD AGENDA for March 20th, 2008
    Agenda ITEM 12 A: Issuing Bonds for OUSD Taxable Retirement Health Benefits
    Agenda Item 12 C: Resolution Opposing Governor’s Proposed 2008-09 Budget

    Community Donations
    File folders, photocopy paper to Chapman Hills ES from Heritage Christian Fellowship; Dell Computer, Toshiba Projector, and monitor to Imperial ES from Mrs. Sandra Cotter.

    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

    Former Superintendent Godley’s total “golden handshake” bonus (beginning 8/2008): $00.00

    WATCH 2008:
    $308,000 Total

    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    2/07/08 Parker & Covert $100,000
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (for 1/08 to 6/08) $200,000
    2008 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    3/7/08 Dr. Kathleen Weigel Speaker Fee $ 8,000
    $ 8,000
    2008 TOTAL $308,000

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2007: $704,090.00
    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
    9/27/07 Dr.Daggett Speaker Fee $ 35,000
    11/15/07 OCDE High Priority Consultants $115,000
    Total $166,590

    2007 Attorney Fee Tally:
    1/18/07 Parker & Covert (1/07 to 6/07) $175,000
    (6/07-12/07) $200,000
    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 $537,500

    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 March 20, 2008.
    For more information

    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
    Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/

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