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  • Wednesday, May 21, 2008

     

    OUSD Academic Performance Index (API) Scores

    OUSD Academic Performance Index (API) Scores

    The State of California released the 2007 Academic Performance Index (API) Scores for California Schools. The now familiar index ranks and compares “like” schools based on demographics to allow comparisons.

    Orange Unified had two schools with the highest 10-10 ranking: Panorama Elementary and
    Serrano Elementary. Other OUSD schools with at least one 10 rank (Statewide Rank- the first number or Similar Schools Rank-the second number) were: California ES (5-10); Chapman Hills (10-5); Jordan (4-10); Nohl Canyon (10-5); West Orange ES (7-10); El Rancho (10-4); El Modena (8-10)

    OUSD schools with a nine in either included: Anaheim Hills (9-1); Canyon Rim (9-2); Crescent ES (9-3); Crescent Inter (9-1); Imperial (9-3); Linda Vista (9-8); McPherson (9-5); Running Springs (9-1) Villa Park ES (9-8); Cerro Villa MS (9-7); Santiago MS (7-9); Yorba MS (4-9); Canyon HS (9-5); Orange HS (5-9); Villa Park HS (9-5)

    OUSD schools with the lowest API scores were: Fairhaven ES (1-2); Handy ES (2-2); Sycamore (2-3); Taft (3-3).

    For the complete OUSD API list CLICK ON:
    OUSD 2007 API SCORES

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

     

    Kathy Moffat tries to amend OUSD retirement deal…

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

    "It doesn't make sense to me to include
    the superintendent"
    OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat

    Just before the Orange Unified School District School Board voted to approve the "Golden handshake" buyout of top-paid teachers, administrators and OUSD support staff, Trustee Kathy Moffat dropped the equivalent of a mega-ton bomb at the May 8th OUSD School Board meeting with an amendment to exclude from the sweetened retirement deal OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley who announced his retirement just weeks before the OUSD Administration first proposed the up to 6% retirement buyout for OUSD employees. Godley had come under widespread criticism for the timing of his retirement announcement (it came on the heels of big pay hikes) and shortly after his own retirement announcement the announcement for the buyout package. One OUSD watchdog group, the Greater Orange Community Organization, labeled and linked Godley's rapid pay hike- retirement announcement- buyout plan as in their view "akin to white collar insider trading". Godley in a local print media article defended his participation in the buyout plan because he too was an OUSD employee.

    A long time staunch vocal supporter of Godley, Moffat clearly made the point in explaining her position that she did not want her amendment to be "misinterpreted" and went on to describe Godley as "an excellent" person with accomplishments too numerous to list. Moffat then went on to eloquently present the case against Godley getting the estimated upwards of $15,000 a month additional retirement pay out. Moffat stated that the retirement buy out was not a plan tied into salary increases, rewards or performance incentives, but a plan to save the school district money by giving the district more "flexibility" by allowing the district hire replacements at a lower wage or not replace certain positions. Moffat pointed out that the position of superintendent must be filled and that traditionally newly hired superintendents starting salaries are at least the level of the last superintendent they are replacing. Moffat reasoned to that Godley's retirement situation did not fit the purpose of the "application" of the buyout program.

    No one appeared to be more shocked at the motion from Moffat as rival OUSD Board member and frequent Moffat critic Steve Rocco. An obviously shocked Rocco went into one of his trademark tirades against Moffat even as he agreed with her. In the end (on a roll call vote called for by Trustee Rick Ledesma), a somewhat confused Rocco joined Moffat and Trustee Rick Ledesma in voting for the Moffat Amendment (to deny Godley the buyout). Mofatt’s amendment failed by a 4-3 vote as Wes Poutsma, Kim Nichols, Melissa Smith and John Ortega on record voting against the Moffat Amendment to exclude the superintendent from the buyout.

    OUSD Trustee Kim Nichols explained that she voted against the Moffat Amendment because it was "dangerous" to vote to include some and exclude others based on the criteria that Moffat outlined. The OUSD Board then voted 6-1 to approve the buyout for all OUSD employees. The buyout is estimated to save the district $ 2 million dollars a year for the next five years.

    INSIDE the OUSD Agenda May 22nd
    The OUSD School Board will continue to fill positions of retiring administrators, at its regularly scheduled May 22, 2008 meeting. They will fill four elementary principal positions and announce the new principal of Richland Continuation High School.

    California Elementary School will be honored for it academic achievement as part of the federal Title 1 program designed to give schools with a high proportion of under-achieving students more federal dollars. California Elementary School is one of 239 Title 1 California schools honored by the state for outstanding gains in California's standardized testing program.

    Agenda Item 12 B (page 5) is titled ASSUMPTIONS TO INCLUDE IN THE 2008-2009 Budget include proposed possible cuts to OUSD programs and jobs when the final state budget is completed and the full extent of the state education budget is known. Agenda page 6 includes the full list of “assumptions”. They include: Special Education office reorganization; school office staff reductions; eliminate Library Media positions at the middle schools (leaving only the librarian and sharply curtailing library operations); $250,000 in general fund elimination to the Elementary Music Program; elimination of 3rd grade and 9th grade English class size reductions); small school site consolidation.



    INSIDE Community Donations
    Canyon HS ASB- $3,200 for sports Stipends; Olive PTC-$2124- Traveling Scientist; Villa Park HS Softball boosters $1600 -Stipends; El Modena ASB-$1225 Boys Soccer; Wells Fargo Bank $138 to Nohl Canyon-supplies.
    For a complete list of this month’s community donations see page 10 of the May 22nd 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 22, 2008.


    For more information CLICK ON: AGENDA MAY 22

    Saturday, May 17, 2008

     

    Nine candidates for O.C. Sheriff to be interviewed May 27th

    The interviews for Orange County Sheriff candidates will be held on May 27, 2008. The interviews will begin at 9:00 a.m. and are planned to run until 8:40 p.m. Each candidate will make a five minute introductory statement and face fifty-five minutes of questions from the Orange County Supervisors. Their will be a one hour period for public comments after the last interview ends.

    The following nine candidates were selected by the O.C.Board of Supervisors to be interviewed. They are listed in the order of their interviews:

    William Hunt – Retired Lieutenant, Orange County Sheriff’s Department

    Craig Hunter – Deputy Chief, Anaheim

    Sandra Hutchens – Retired Division Chief, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department

    Randy Adams - Police Chief, Glendale

    Jack Anderson – Acting Sheriff, Orange County Sheriff’s Department

    Beau Babka – Undersheriff, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department

    Ralph Martin – Commander, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

    Richard Beemer – Undersheriff, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

    Paul Walters
    – Police Chief, Santa Ana

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

     

    As thousands march to protest Educational Budget Cuts…Taxpayers of Los Angeles Unified learn what OUSD Taxpayers have long known: Consultants=Waste

    Metro Views _____________:GoCo:
    Giving Voice to the Greater Orange Communities
    Viewpoints from the Greater Orange Communities

    As thousands march to protest Educational Budget Cuts…Taxpayers of Los Angeles Unified learn what OUSD Taxpayers have long known:
    Consultants=Waste


    An Orange Net News Editorial


    The Los Angeles Daily News made a big splash this week with their investigative report on the multi-millions of educational dollars Los Angeles Unified has dumped into the educational “consultant” business. In the article titled Millions spent on LAUSD consultant deals, the taxpayers of LAUSD found out what the Greater Orange Community Organization has been reporting to local taxpayers of the Greater Orange Communities for years- the waste of millions of tax dollars- specifically tax dollars earmarked for education of our children- on the big-money edu-buisness consultants. This egregious practice is even more outrageous in light of the massive proposed cuts to education across the state. LA Unified is now being scrutinized for $175 million dollars in wasted educational tax funds on overpriced consultant contracts.

    The investigative report cites the following wasteful spending:

    • The Superintendent's Office has $4.7 million in outstanding consulting contracts, including a 14-month, $74,000 contract to provide monthly support for computer-related duties for the superintendent. The deal comes in addition to the LAUSD's own in-house Information Technology Division staff that provides services district wide.
    • The district also has an in-house communications department, as well as consultants, but also spent $30,000 on an 11-month contract for "media interview and presentation training to the superintendent, members of senior staff and cabinet," according to a review of the contracts.
    • Meanwhile, in addition to an internal ethics program, the district has spent $194,030 for a consultant to provide yearlong "intensive training for athletic coaches and intramural coordinators in ethical practices and decision-making."
    The report quotes LA Unified Senior Deputy Superintendent Ray Cortines who ordered a report on the district’s consultants as saying:

    "I'm not going to be foolish. We do need some consultants," he said. "But running out and getting consultants for something is a way of life in this district."

    Well Mr. Cortines, we in Orange Unified know that LA Unified is far from alone.

    Recently elected LAUSD School Trustee Tamar Glatzan states:

    “The dollar amount is staggering. I have no doubt there are tens of millions of dollars for contracts for things that are less important than the classroom, our kids and our teachers."

    The new Board member goes on to give us insight into what appears to be wrong in the system (something OUSD taxpayers are vary familiar with) a school board that is willing to rubber stamp the school administrations out-of control spending in the Consent Agenda.

    "At the first couple of board meetings, we were given all these contracts to rubber-stamp and they were executed 1 1/2 years ago,"

    That trustee after just 10 months has learned something that most of our current OUSD Trustees have yet to learn…rubber stamping has it’s costs. Davis Tokofsky, a former LAUSD Trustee put it simply:

    "(The district) can't go before the employees, parents and students after the governor's May revise (of the budget) and ask for dramatic cuts in the classroom and personnel, when the numbers of zeros in these contracts are beyond anything I've seen in 25 years"

    While Orange Unified Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley under recent questioning about consultants by OUSD’s fiscal conservative trustee Rick Ledesma tried to pull the latest excuse of “categorical funds”, the truth is that these are taxpayer provided educational funds, the category they are wasted in does not matter.

    The recent example of OUSD Assistant Superintendent Ed Kissee’s request for $6,500 in educational tax funds to pay an educational consultant for one speech was rubber-stamped by the OUSD Board. That $6,500 was speech given last week and was reportedly just 50 minutes long and reportedly was seen by many in attendance as “less than inspiring”. Yet OUSD tax-payers coughed up $6,500 for the speech as the OUSD Board cuts positions, raises lunch fees, transportation fees and prepares to shed class size reductions. Yes, $6,500 will not fix all the cuts, but the millions wasted over the last eight years by the past two OUSD Administrations on Focus on Results and the controversial Daggett Consultants sure would be helpful to have in the bank right about now for this current budget crisis.

    So as thousands of protesters march in Santa Ana on this day, lets revisit the words of the current OUSD Board President Wes Poutsma when he was voting to spend hundreds of thousands of educational tax funds on the contract of the now defunct and forgotten OUSD Focus on Results program on September 22, 2004:

    “We’re a $220 million dollar business; we’re going to spend the money somewhere.”


    TO see the Los Angles Daily News CLICK ON:
    LA DAILY NEWS

    Orange Net News Editorial

    Metro VIEWS
    is an open forum to express viewpoints on local Greater Orange issues.
    Views expressed in Metro VIEWS are not necessarily the views of the NETWORKS that ECAST or post them.
    GreaterOrangeCO@gmail.com

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

     

    BIG endorsements for Barrios OUSD Election Campaign

    eLECTION Watch 2008
    ________________________________________
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    BIG endorsements for Barrios OUSD Election Campaign
    Community activist Arianna Barrios opens her 2008 Orange Unified School Board campaign in OUSD’s newly reformed Trustee Area 6 with three big gun endorsements: Orange Mayor Carolyn Caveeche; Orange Mayor-Pro Tem Jon Dumitru; and Orange Councilperson Tita Smith. The three highly regarded Orange leaders are hosting the kick-off “Keep moving forward” campaign event at the Barrios home in Orange on Thursday, May 22nd at 5:30 p.m.

    OUSD Trustee Area 6 was OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco’s trustee area until his home was transferred in a “realignment” to OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma’s Trustee Area 7 after a failed Rocco Recall attempt. The so called “Nichols Realignment” (named for the OUSD Board President Kim Nichols who initiated the “realignment” and was a leader in the Rocco Recall attempt) created a new Trustee Area 6 with no incumbent in the upcoming November election. OUSD trustees must live in the Trustee Area they represent, but are elected district-wide.

    Barrios’ family was been dedicated to community service in the Greater Orange Communities. Her grandfather, Cruz G. Barrios was a founding member of the League of United Latin American Citizens and was instrumental in the legal fight to end school segregation in California. If Arianna Barrios is victorious she will be following in her father’s footsteps in Orange Unified. Her father, Russell Barrios, served two terms on the OUSD Board of Trustees.

    Barrios has worked as a communications advisor for school districts across California. After briefly moving to Texas with her husband Brian Lochrie, the couple returned to California where Arianna became Director of Communications for the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace. In 2002, Barrios led a network of grassroots players to take over the Central Orange County YWCA from the then Board of Directors after they decided to close the long time community organization Orange location. Barrios is also on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Orange and is the Communications Director for HomeAid’s Project Playhouse.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION
    To read the 2004 Orange County Register story on the Barrios/Lockrie household -Love, American style, conquers political rifts -CLICK ON:
    Love, American style


    The Barrios website: VOTE BARRIOS
    or email arrianna@votebarrios.com

    Monday, May 12, 2008

     

    OUSD to hold public hearing on potential surplus property

    COMMUNITY UPDATE
    A community service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Orange Unified School District has announced that it will hold a public hearing of the District Advisory Committee to receive public input on lands OUSD currently owns that could be declared surplus. The properties currently under review by the District Advisory Committee are:
    The Killefer Property - Lemon Street in Orange (3 acres)
    The Parkside Property- Yorba and Palmyra Streets in Orange (10 acres)
    The Peralta Property- Meats and Canal Streets in Orange (20 actres)
    The Walnut/Santiago Property- adjacent to Santiago Charter in Orange (9. 3 acres)

    The District Advisory Committee will make recommendations to the OUSD Board on the disposition of the potential surplus property. The public hearing for community input into the process will be held on Thursday May 15th, 2008 in the OUSD Board Room at the OUSD District Offices on Handy Street.

    Santiago Canyon Road Bridge Improvement
    Public input on the selection on the design of the Santiago Canyon Road Bridge aesthetic design will be given at a meeting on Wednesday, May 14 at the Silverado Community Center, at 7:00 pm.

    The Community Center is located at 27641 Silverado Canyon Rd., Silverado

    Friday, May 09, 2008

     

    Orange County Protest Rally targets Schwarzenegger’s 4.4 billion dollar education cuts

    Metro TALK ______________:GoCo:
    A community service of the Greater Orange Communities Organization

    Plaza of Flags to become Plaza of Budget Cuts Protest
    On Thursday, May 15th thousands of Orange County educational workers, parents and students are expected for a Protect Education Funding March and Rally to protest Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 4.4 billion dollar cuts to California state education budgets. The rally is scheduled for Thursday May 15th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Santa Ana Civic Center. Parking will be available at the Santa Ana Municipal Stadium (6th Street and Civic Center Drive) with the protest and rally at the Plaza of the Flags.

    Chick-Fil-A to feed OUSD Employees
    Owner Larry Worsham of the North Orange Chick-Fil-A has stepped up his supportive business partnership with Orange Unified School District by offering all Orange Unified employees a free breakfast, lunch or dinner on May 15th, 2008 from 6:30 am until 10:00 pm. Orange Unified employees simply display their OUSD Badge or bring in a pay stub to receive the free meal.

    Started 40 years ago by founder Truett Cathy, the national Chick-Fil-A chain still closes on Sundays as part of their recipe of success to give employees time off. From wraps to salads, to boneless chicken breasts and lemonade, Chick-fil-A provides southern comfort food including unique side dishes. The company is committed to local community connections. The North Orange store is located at 2577 North Tustin (across from the Village at Orange Mall) 714-685-1707 .For a map CLICK ON: Chick-fill-A


    Car Show to Kick off National Public Works Week
    Orange County will kick-off the National Public Works Week May 21-27 with the Orange County Public Works Division hosting an Open House and Collector Car and Motorcycle Show on May 17th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its Katella Yard Facility. The event will also feature equipment exhibits, educational displays, games, and food. Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell will join the celebration at noon to recognize National Public Works Week.

    The Orange County Public Works division provides expert work in flood control, road construction, county engineering, mapping and surveying to beach clean-ups, and property management. The division is the who-ya-gonna-call go-to people on the county level of government for heath, safety and quality of life.

    The Open House be held at the Katella Yard Facility at 1750 Douglass Road in Anaheim (between Angel’s Stadium and the Honda Center near Katella and the 57 Freeway) just a stones throw from the Greater Orange Communities. For additional information on the Open House, please call (714) 567-6300.

    The Power of One
    Most of us sit and watch helplessly frustrated as a seemingly daily parade of tragic events unfold across the globe. Others take some action motivated by the understanding that we all possess the Power of One. Orange High School student Paula Beckman understands that power as the president of the Orange High School Power of One Club.

    Beckman and her classmates are trying to raise $6,000 to build a library in Ethiopia. Between Monday May 26th and Sunday June 1st, the Orange Barnes and Noble store at 791 Main Street (across from the Main Place Mall) will be helping the Power of One faithful by donating proceeds from books purchased by those who present Power of One vouchers or mention the Power of One Ethiopia Library drive when they make a purchase. Your helping the Orange High School Power of One Club help students in Ethiopia actually empowers you, our students and the students in Ethiopia.
    To contact the OHS Power of One :pelaineb@yahoo.com or mryan@orangeusd.k12.ca.us
    For more information on the Ethiopia Library program CLICK ON: Ethiopia Library


    Metro TALK is a community service of the
    : Greater Orange Communities Organization:
    :GoCo:

    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

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