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  • Monday, August 18, 2008


    No Bond for Orange Unified

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

    The extended deadline to place a school facilities bond on the November 2008 ballot for any school district working on bond ballot language was August 15th. The Orange Unified School District did not move to meet that or any bond ballot deadlines. OUSD had conducted polling for a bond measure and worked with community leaders in Villa Park on the possibility of including funding for the historic Villa Park Elementary buildings in a possible OUSD bond measure. Community sources report that the polling indicated not enough community support for a bond at this time. Other unconfirmed reports cite sources close to Board members that report some OUSD Trustees indicated they would not vote for a bond measure at this time.

    Smith vs Rocco at July24th OUSD Board Meeting
    At the last meeting on July 24th, 2008, OUSD Trustee and Board Vice Chair Melissa Smith presided over the meeting for an ill Board President Wes Poutsma. It wasn’t long before the usually controversial Rocco and a surprisingly sarcastic Smith were verbally going at it. The first exchange came early after a motion to approve the July 24th Agenda as Rocco questioned “14 missing pages” in the Agenda that he stated were about the polling done for the now cancelled November facilities bond. Waving the OUSD Agenda in the air, Rocco questioned the missing Agenda pages on the abandoned OUSD facilities bond and how it was “all done at the last minute”.

    Rocco: “I think we need an explanation why 14 pages are missing cuz I think we need to know what they were.”
    (Smith turns to Dr. Godley to answer Rocco.)

    Trustee Kim Nichols (smiling to Smith): “There is a motion and a second.”

    Smith (ignoring Rocco): “Thank you. Any other discussion?”

    Rocco: (angry) “That’s it? That’s the best your going to give the community?”

    Smith: (pausing, then smiling and shaking her head sarcastically): “Yea!..So?”

    Rocco: (exasperated) “That’s great Vice Prez, your really doing your job!”

    Smith (sarcastically laughing): “I am! Isn’t it great! Let’s call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye, opposed No.”

    Smith (acting sarcastically surprised): “Oh look! It carries! 5 yes, 1 No, 1 absent.”

    Rocco: (angrily interrupting) “What do you want? Your rubber stamps!”

    Smith (shaking in her seat and stating sarcastically) “Oh shutter!”

    After that exchange Smith moved on and reminded everyone that it was Dr. Godley’s last meeting as she thanked him for remaining in his position until the new superintendent, Dr. Renae Dreier took over in August. At that point, Rocco yelled out that Godley was the worst superintendent in Orange County then he added:

    Rocco: (yelling) “I have three words: rot in hell!”

    Smith: (shocked) “Mr. Rocco! Mr. Rocco! That is completely out of line! Excuse me one minute”

    (Smith is handed a gavel as she gets up from her seat, then she returns to her seat with the gavel).

    Rocco:Your not going to hit me with that thing are you?”

    Smith: “Oh no, I would never give you that satisfaction!”

    At the end of the evening as Rocco spoke during Board Member Comments about his Santa Ana City Council bid and his 1st Amendment lawsuit appeal, Dr. Godley interjected that Rocco was campaigning. Smith then interrupting Rocco pounding the gavel and yelled that she was using her prerogative to adjourn the meeting as Rocco continued shouting his points.

    Dr. Dreier’s First Official OUSD Board Meeting
    August 21st, 2008 will be Dr. Renae Dreier’s first Orange Unified meeting as OUSD Superintendent. In her last day at Greeley District 6 School District the standardized test scores for Colorado were released and showed improvement in most areas of the Greeley scores allowing Dreier to depart on a high note (see link below).

    Greeley Tribune on Dreier’s last day and scores CLICK ON: DREIER LEAVES

    State Standardized Testing results released
    California last week released the latest updates on its STAR standardized tests for the last school year. The state and most Orange County districts showed continued moderate growth in student test scores and a continued “achievement” gap between ethnic groups, as did Orange Unified. Despite the continued growth, the ever rising federal No Child Left Behind statute growth goals may prove beyond students, and therefore schools, ability to achieve and close the racial and economic “achievement” gap.

    Last month the OUSD Trustees approved a $10,000 workshop from Orange Department of Education consultant Dr. Parker to teach a program called Strategic Schooling Initiative at Handy Elementary school. The Orange County Department of Education that promotes the Strategic Schooling Initiative states the program will increase the schools API by 30-40 points. Unfortunately for the taxpayers of OUSD, that 30-40 points increase claim is not a money-back guarantee. This year before the $10,000 workshops, Handy had the following standardized test scores for each grade tested (No Child Left Behind requires students be “Proficient and above”):

    Language Arts
    Proficient and above: 2nd-39%; 3rd -27%; 4th- 41%; 5th-89%: 6th 28%
    Below Proficient: 2nd- 61%; 3rd- 73%; 4th-59%; 5th-11%; 6th -72%

    Proficient and above: 2nd-53%; 3rd -40%; 4th- 42%; 5th-41%: 6th 15%
    Below Proficient: 2nd- 47%; 3rd- 60%; 4th-58%; 5th-59%; 6th-85%

    Science (tested in 5th grade only)
    Proficient and above: 37%;
    Below Proficient: 63%;

    Orange Net News will follow the success or failure of the $10,000 consultant fees and the Handy scores.

    Information on Dr. Parker and the Orange County Department of Education Strategic Schooling Initiative 30-40 point score guarantee: CLICK ON:

    To view school and district California STAR Testing scores CLICK ON:
    STAR 2008

    INSIDE the OUSD August 21st Agenda

    Agenda Item 12 A (page 2) Student Calendar Adoption

    Resolution 10-08-09: Resolution to pay Wes Poutsma for missing the 7/24/08 meeting. The last time the Board tried to do this was for Trustee John Ortega who missed a meeting because of work (Ortega is a Orange County Deputy Sheriff.) The Board voted against paying Ortega. Poutsma reportedly will also miss the August 21st meeting because of a long planned vacation. The Board can vote to declare a Board seat open after consecutive absences from the elected trustee.

    Community Donations
    Serrano PFO- 5,869- EXCEL Program and P.E.; Community Recreation Program-$76,555- Coaches Stipends/Summer Sports; Running Springs PTA-$9,600 Smart Boards; Kroger Stores-$80 in supplies to Imperial E.S.

    For a complete list of the $92,000 in Community Donations see OUSD Agenda page 17.

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    $774,500 Total
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    6/19/08 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    6/05/08 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 40,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $150,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $200,000
    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:
    7/24/08 Dr. Parker 40 pt Consultant $ 10,000
    4/17/08 Dr. Kenneth Stichter Speaker Fee $ 6,500
    3/7/08 Dr. Kathleen Weigel Speaker Fee $ 8,000
    $ 24,500
    2008 TOTAL $774,500

    Former Superintendent Godley’s “golden handshake”
    bonus total (beginning 8/2008): $1210.00*

    * The Godley Retirement Bonus presented here is an estimate of the amount in “bonus retirement” accrued since the Superintendent’s retirement on 6/30/08 using a 6% lifetime formula. The actual retirement plan the former OUSD Superintendent opted to take is not public information and the figures presented are only as an estimate of the taxpayer costs after the OUSD trustees voted against an amendment to exclude Godley from the retirement program. The on-going estimated figure is presented as a reminder to the community of the high cost in educational tax dollars the OUSD Board vote to allow the former Superintendent to participate in the 6% retirement incentive cost the OUSD education community in tax dollars. Godley retired from OUSD on June 30, 2008 after he worked for the school district for a little over five years.

    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 August 21, 2008. For more information

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 7:00 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/

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