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  • Sunday, May 04, 2008

     

    OUSD Supplemental Retirement Plan set for approval

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

    OUSD Supplemental Retirement Plan set for approval
    The Orange Unified School Board is set to approve the “golden handshake” buyout Supplemental Retirement Plan at their May 8th, 2008 Regular Board Meeting. Listed in the May 8th OUSD Agenda as Action Item 12 A the Agenda states:

    “the plan provides an enhanced retirement benefit for those employees who elect to participate in the SRP by retiring from District service. The basic benefit provided is a monthly cash payment for the employee’s lifetime only, and is derived from the employee’s FTE with contributions from the District totaling 80% of the final annual pay”.

    The plan provides a variety of options and time periods for the participants to take the payments, initial estimates placed the value of the buyout at around 6% of the employees retirement pay.

    The Agenda further states that the Supplemental Retirement Plan will save OUSD $2,260,000 annually after “full replacement of all participating teachers and the non-replacement of selected non-teaching position”. The OUSD Board is expected to approve the buyout plan at the May 7th meeting.

    The OUSD Administration had announced after the enrollment period closed that that participation in the Supplemental Retirement Plan “exceeded” expectations. Another “opt-in” period will take place from May 9th – May 16th for OUSD employees who may still wish to retire.

    The initial announcement of the Supplemental Retirement Plan caused a stir in the Greater Orange Communities when it was announced weeks after another pay raise to OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley and then his surprise retirement announcement. Godley stands to benefit from the Supplemental Retirement Plan after his short service to OUSD.

    While the economic impact of the plan on the district during the uncertain economic times makes the plan a no-brainer for the OUSD Board, the “brain drain” of seasoned teachers and administrators will be incalculable. In the May Agenda alone three principals are listed as retiring: Diane Osborn; Anne Schrader; Linda Salata.

    APRIL 17th OUSD School Board Meeting Recap
    The opening of the OUSD April 17th meeting featured and all girl Orange High School ROTC flag honor guard. Superintendent Thomas Godley also announced two OUSD schools received the California Distinguished Schools- Palmyra and Panorama Elementary Schools. Godley also announced that OUSD’s Standard and Poor’s rating went from an A to an A+.

    Orange H.S. graphic arts students gave a presentation on using design for their “Be the Change” campaign at Orange H.S. The “ad” campaign aims to make students aware of how much missing class hurts the school financially. For more information CLICK ON: OHS DESIGN.

    Trustee Melissa Smith announced that El Rancho M.S. would be attending the National Science Olympiad as the California State Title holders (11 out of 12 years). Trustee Kathy Moffat gave information on the new teen driving awareness campaign called Impact Teen Driving that hopes to minimize teen deaths in driving from dangerous activities from alcohol to texting. For more information on the program CLICK ON: TEEN DRIVERS.

    The OUSD Board also approved the issuance of the Bond to finance the Taxable Retirement Health Benefits liability with a 6-yes to 1-no (Trustee Steve Rocco) vote. Unlike the meetings that lead up to the vote on the issuance, very little discussion took place about the final vote.

    Trustee Rick Ledesma asked the OUSD Administration to explain the proposed increase in fees for next year in lunches (staff and students) and bus fees on the Consent Agenda. OUSD Assistant Superintendent Jon Archibald explained that gasoline price increases and new buses and technology (i.e. GPS and new alternative fuel buses) have resulted in increased costs to the district. Even with increased fees, transportation costs are still supported from the General Fund. Ledesma also asked Dr. Godley about the continued spending during difficult times on high priced speaker fees and consultant services. Godley responded that those funds are not from the General Fund, but from specific “categorical” funds. Godley’s response did not include an explanation that those special “categorical” funds are still funded by taxpayers through educational tax funds and that the OUSD Administration continues to make requests to pay the outlandish fees demanded by the educrats and educational consultants(and yes, the OUSD Board continues to rubber stamp those requests). Trustee Steve Rocco spoke out against the continued practice and the practice of OUSD Board members to use taxpayer monies to attend conferences like the recent educational consultant Daggett Conference in San Diego. Trustee Kim Nichols for the record reported that she paid her own hotel bill for the San Diego conference. None of the other OUSD Trustees commented on their expense accounts. The OUSD Trustees voted to approve the Consent Agenda items questioned by Ledesma with only Rocco voting against.

    INSIDE the OUSD Agenda May 8th
    Value for the Greater Orange Communities educational tax dollar isn’t always evident in the OUSD Board Agenda. Last month’s waste of $6,500 to an educational consultant for one speech and the $8,000 to a controversial Daggett Consultant for two days of workshops for $8,000 are outrageous examples of wasteful local spending. The May 8th OUSD Agenda provides a unique contrast of how servicing schools with “categorical” funds can be much more educational and taxpayer friendly than paying outlandish “consultant” fees with ever-diminishing educational tax funds. The May 8th OUSD Agenda has on page 33 a $250 expense for the world renown Santa Ana Discovery Science Center to provide an assembly to the students and staff of Chapman Hills Elementary school on the property of bubbles. Compare this with Assistant Superintendent Ed Kissee’s requested last month for $6,500 for one speech by Dr. Kenneth Stichter. That $6,500 could have provided the Discovery Science Center assembly to 26 of OUSD’s schools reaching thousands of OUSD students with the magical science of bubbles. On the same page of the Agenda is a contract for Richard Bloom of Lifescape Professional Group for $2,500. The contract is for six workshops for parents of English Learners at Portola Middle School with topics that include: “the Active Parent, Courage and Esteem, and Teen Behavior and Problem Solving”. Compare that well spent $2,500 of educational tax funds to the $8000 in “categorical monies” tax funds paid educational to consultant Dr. Kathleen Weigel who spoke to two OUSD school staffs for $4,000 each about her much ballyhooed Florida high school with admittedly declining standardized state test scores. A total of eighteen workshops for hundreds of OUSD parents at three struggling OUSD schools could have been accomplished for the same wasted $8,000 in educational tax dollars for a self-congratulatory out-of-state and out-of-touch educational consultant. Perhaps the new OUSD Superintendent will be able to use these examples to educate the remaining OUSD Administrators and a too often “rubber stamp” OUSD School Board that “categorical monies” are part of the ever shrinking Educational Tax Dollars supplied to the OUSD by taxpayers not as “categorical monies” but as “education tax dollars” that should be earmarked for local community education, not for enriching fly-by-night overpriced Educational Consultants.

    Also on the May 7th Agenda:

    CLOSED SESSION: Appointment of five new Elementary Principals and a new Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services
    Action Item 12 B- the OUSD Legislative Coalition 2008 Platform: the five point platform includes Prop 98 support and state monetary support for Special Ed mandates (See Agenda page 5 for the complete list).
    Declaring May 14th as California Day of the Teacher (page 8)
    Declaring May19-23 Classified School Employee Week and Approving Pink Slips to 10 Classified Employees- While declaring a week to celebrate these employees (page 6), the same Agenda (page 32) eliminates 10 Classified employee positions and authorizes the Superintendent to send layoff notices.
    Consent Item-Page 32- Superior Office Services while Special Education teacher meetings have been cancelled by OUSD Administrators for “lack of funds” and as the Leg Co prepares to go to Sacramento to ask for full funding of state Special Education funding, OUSD Administrators are asking for $12,000 in educational funds to “ purchase and install modular components to facilitate renovation of the secondary Special Education office at the District Office site”

    INSIDE Community Donations
    Turbine Automotive Inc. $20,350 to El Modena H.S. for a Football Portable; Canyon Band Boosters $ 6,140 for a staff stipend; Edison International $318 to La Veta for supplies; Pacific Life $3,000 to Running Springs for Computer and Smart Boards.
    For a complete list of this month’s community donations see page 13 of the May 8thh agenda.

    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

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2008:
    $314,500 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
    $300,000
    2008 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    3/7/08 Dr. Kathleen Weigel Speaker Fee $ 8,000
    4/17/08 Dr. Kenneth Stichter Speaker Fee $ 6,500
    $ 14,500
    2008 TOTAL $314,500

    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, May 7, 2008. For more information
    CLICK ON: MAY 7th

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

    Orange_NetNews@yahoo.com
    “Independent Local Insight”

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