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  • Monday, August 17, 2009


    OUSD Board to vote on own $15 pay cut

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

    While Smith and Moffat put their money where their mouth is…
    OUSD Board to vote on own $15 pay cut

    The Orange Unified School Board at their August 20, 2009 meeting will again take up a proposal to reduce their stipend after defeating a similar move in May. The latest proposal is for a $15 cut (2% reduction) to their pay. In May they defeated a proposal to take a $75 cut (10%) to their $750 per month stipend. The new proposed $15 cut is being put forth by Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni who voted against the originally proposed $75 cut in May.

    The May proposal failed in a tie 3-3 vote with the OUSD Trustees voting with their political allied blocks. Trustees Melissa Smith, Kim Nichols and Kathy Moffat voted for the 10% reduction. Voting against the reduction was Ledesma Coalition allies -Trustees Rick Ledesma, John Ortega, and Alexia Deligianni. Trustee Mark Wayland was absent from the meeting. Board President Rick Ledesma at the May vote had called the proposal “political hay” which Trustee Melissa Smith publicly took offense to. At the tense May exchange, Kim Nichols directed the Superintendent to supply her with the needed paper work to take the cut on her own. In June Trustee Kathy Moffat’s name appeared on the DONATION page as donating $75.00 (10% of her stipend) to OUSD. This month in addition to another $75.00 donation from Moffat, Trustee Melissa Smith is listed as donating $900 on the DONATION page of the August 20th Agenda (Agenda page 8) which is listed as “DONATION of STIPEND”. The two month donations from Moffat and Smith total $1,050. Deligianni’s proposed $15 stipend cut will amount to a $1,260 total annual savings for OUSD.

    OUSD Superintendent Dreier to take 2% pay cut
    Orange Unified Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier will amend her Employment Contract to take a 2% pay cut. Dreier had stated earlier in the year that she would volunteer to take part in a pay cut. Dreieris in the second year of her $750,000 ($250,000 per year) salary contract. The August 20, 2009 OUSD Agenda Item 12 B (page 3) will authorized the OUSD Board to enter the agreement with the Superintendent.

    Superintendents across the country have taken pay-cuts to off set huge budget deficits that have plagued school districts nation-wide. High profile voluntary superintendent pay-cuts in Broward Schools, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, Peninsula Schools in Tacoma, Washington have all made news. Also news worthy have been examples of school boards cutting superintendent’s pay like in Lodi Unified where the Lodi School Board cut $15,000 off Superintendent Dr. Nichols-Washer’s annual pay. In other places in lieu of classroom cuts taxpayers are demanding pay cuts for local superintendents like the successful taxpayer revolt in Utah’s Jordan School District that forced Superintendent Barry Newbold to “volunteer” to take a 10% pay cut. Close to home, Long Beach Unified Superintendent Dr. Chris Steinhauser volunteered in January to take a 10% pay cut ($23,000) for two years and donated the money to a special fund to assist district employees in financial need because of budget cuts to hours or employment. In addition, Steinhauser also has agreed to new language in his contract that applies any further pay cut percentages imposed on employees not covered by employee unions to his annual salary.

    2% Pay Reduction for Teachers, Substitutes and Administrators

    The Orange Unified School District and the teachers’ association, the Orange Unified Educators Association, reached a tentative pay deal to eliminate four teacher staff days, thus reducing teachers’ annual salaries by approximately 2 percent. The agreement (which needs approval) between the teachers and the district to cut all ready scheduled non-student staff development days means that the agreement will not affect student schedules. The recently passed state budget does make provisions for cutting back on student days. OUSD administrators (known as Leadership) will take a retroactive 2% pay-cut to July 1, 2009 under a vote by the Board on August 20th, 2009 Agenda Item 12 A (page 2). In that agenda, Consent Agenda Item 14 K (page 32) has the Board voting to cut OUSD Substitute teacher pay by 2% to a $119 per day.

    OUSD must still reach agreements with the classified support staff on cutting wages for the current budget.


    OUSD lost millions of dollars on Bond while Moffat looses credibility
    At the July 23rd OUSD Board Meeting, the OUSD Staff reported on the financial losses of the $93 million dollar 2008 OPED Bonds that were issued just as the current financial meltdown was becoming very evident. Staff reported that the OUSD Board hastily approved OPED Bonds had at their worst lost $20 million dollars and were still $10 million dollars in the hole from the original investment and would now cost the OUSD General Fund this year approximately $5 million dollars just to service the 2008 OPED Bonds plus another $8 million to cover the health insurance payments the now non-existing OPED Bond profits were suppose to pay. The total $13 million dollar loss will come out of the OUSD General Fund at a time when OUSD can least afford it as the district slashed programs, closed a school, tries to cut high school guidance counselors, and now asks employee groups to take wage cuts.

    Immediately, after the staff report, OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat chose to take on the “information put out to the community via our local blogs” regarding a statement she had made in 2008 regarding her questioning the wisdom of the issuance of the $93 million dollar OPED Bonds. Moffat’s attempt to blur her recorded words and “set the record straight” from last year’s discussions to approve the OPED Bonds was the first comment by any Board member in response to the staff report about the loosing investments and the $13 million cost to the OUSD General Fund. Moffat took exception to the Orange Net News’ July 20th 2009 edition of ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE that reviewed the March 20th, 2008 Board Meeting trustee discussions that lead to the approval of two resolutions to approve the OPED Bond contracts. The July 20, 2009 ONN Report had a short statement summarizing Moffat’s comments she made in 2008 as she and other Board members struggled to understand the high-stakes financial game they were undertaking under a one day deadline to sell bonds at a negotiated rate. That ONN summary stated:

    “Moffat revealed that she had consulted three educational financial experts who all had advised her against the bond issuance at this time because of the continued economic upheavals.”

    That was a summary of Moffat’s March 2008 public comments when Moffat publicly stated she had spoken with three financial experts about the proposed OPED Bond and “to a person, they all said this is very complicated, very uncertain and they all said don’t do this”.

    That 2008 Moffat statement is in direct conflict with her July 23, 2009 meeting “set the record straight” Board Meeting statement about the Orange Net News report on her 2008 on-the-record comments. At that July 2009 meeting she publicly contradicted her earlier 2008 statement about what her financial advisors advised. At the July 2009 meeting Moffat said:

    “One of the people I consulted with urged caution, two of the people I consulted with said this sounded like a reasonable plan and a creative way to deal with a very difficult financial situation”.

    Orange Net News issued an editorial report with the full content of both of Moffat’s conflicting statements on what her advisors stated.

    OUSD FAILS TO APPROVE $30,000 to Miller, Brown, Dannis

    OUSD Board Trustee Rick Ledesma made his customary parliamentary move to separate the vote on the $30,000 payment to Santiago Revocation law firm Miller, Brown, Dannis at the July 23 meeting and for the first time the motion to approve failed for lack of a majority in a 3-2 vote. Ledesma was joined by Deligianni in voting No and Trustees Ortega and Wayland were absent. Moffat, Smith and Nichols voted to approve the payment. It takes a 4 vote majority to approve. The long time coming victory appeared to even catch Ledesma by surprise.

    OUSD Re-FLAGS Schools
    In an aside comment by OUSD Trustee Mark Wayland at the July 23 Board Meeting, he commented that some teachers had told him that they do not have American flags in their rooms. That comment resulted in a mandatory inventory and flag inspection from the district of every classroom with new flags being delivered all over OUSD.


    Information Item 13 B- Sale of Surplus property- The four identified surplus sites known as Killefer, Parkside, Peralta and Walnut already processed through the 7/11 Surplus Committee may have buyers

    Consent Item 14 P (page 38-39) - 23 programs are identified that will be receiving funds from OUSD’s $9.4 million share in California’s portion of Federal Stimulus monies called State Fiscal Stabilization Funds. The identified programs listed in the Agenda on pages 38-39 include G.A.T.E, Art and Music and “Counselors 7-12”. However, each OUSD high school that had 6 guidance counselors last year will be starting the school year with just 4 as the Drier Administration that fired counselors at the end of last year tries to make that shocking number permanent which balloons ratios of students to counselors in OUSD high schools to close to 600 to 1 and makes her administration on par with the number of counselors not seen since the Barbara Van Otterloo administration.

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget
    Total $1,041,000
    2009 Attorney Fee Tally:
    11/13/08 Parker & Covert (for 1/09 -6/09) $ 200,000
    3/12/09 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya (Sp. Ed) $ 50,000
    3/12/09 Parker & Covert (Special Ed) $ 98,000
    6/18/09 Parker & Covert (09-10) $ 400,000
    6/18/09 Parker & Covert (Special Ed) $ 200,000
    6/18/09 Parker & Covert (property) $ 55,000
    6/18/09 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya (property)$ 35,000
    Total $1,038,000

    2009 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    01/24/09 Leadership Associates Consultants $ 3,000
    2009 TOTAL $1,041,000

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total
    (beginning 8/2008): $14,520.00*
    * 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 calculated here at $1210 a month since 8/08. 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 2008: $901,200
    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:
    11/13/08 Subs for SDCDE (Reading First) $24,000
    11/13/08 SDCDE (Reading First) $30,000
    10/30/08 Dr. Willard Daggett (ICLE) $ 4,500
    10/16/08 Dr. Parker 40 pt Consultant $ 4,200
    9/25/08 Visual Ink for Sadler Consultant <$ 6,600> CANCELED in 2009
    9/25/08 Bob Sadler Consultant Fee $ 8,500
    9/25/08 Candace Simpson-Sadler Helper $ 5,500
    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
    Consultant Total $ 101, 200
    2008 TOTAL $ 901,200

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2007: $704,090.00**

    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 20, 2009 -OUSD BOARD ROOM

    CLOSED SESSION- 6:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 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/
    “Independent Local Insight”

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