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  • Tuesday, May 25, 2010

     

    OUSD BUDGET REPORT TO USE SCHWARZENEGGER BUDGET

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

    OUSD BUDGET REPORT TO USE SCHWARZENEGGER BUDGET

    The Orange Unified School Board will hear a staff Budget Update (Agenda Item 13 B page 7) based on the latest figures provided in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May Revise Budget announcement for California’s $19 billion budget shortfall. In that announcement there were no significant modifications to the budget’s K-12 education funding from his earlier announced budget which actually included an increase to higher education. However, that budget includes eliminating the CalWORKs program, most state funded childcare and slashing funds for local mental health services and increasing co-pays in the Health Families program. Few in either political party believe that anything much in Schwarzenegger’s budget will actually survive the legislative process. Powerful interests outside of education have lined up against the budget and few believe that the proposed increases for higher education will stay or that K-12 will not take a bigger budget hit. The California Association of Counties has dubbed the governor's budget as "draconian" saying it "threatens to create a constant state of emergency in all 58 counties."

    Meanwhile state Democrats in the California Senate are countering Schwarzenegger's proposed budget cuts with a plan to raise taxes by nearly $5 billion. Democrats said they want to delay the start of corporate tax credits by two years. Their plan also would extend by two years temporary increases in the income tax and vehicle license fee that were approved last year. Democrats also propose raising the tax on alcohol but would allow a temporary 1 cent increase in the state sales tax to expire at the end of the year. Democrats in the California Assembly are proposing an oil drilling tax, delaying corporate tax credits and borrowing $10 billion from the Beverage California Redemption Value (CRV) Fund.

    What all this means to Orange Unified is that any budget using the Governor’s May Revise must later be changed when a budget is finalized. OUSD is however planning for the worst. It has reached a tentative agreement with the teacher’s union that among other cost saving items will cut five days off of next year’s school year. The May 27th Agenda will also include the support staff union California School Employees Association Initial Reopener Proposal for next year (Agenda Item 12 A page 4-5).

    Inside the May 27 Agenda

    •Agenda Item 4c 1 and 2- the hiring of three Principals: Orange H.S.; Cerro Villa M.S. and Yorba M.S.

    • Agenda Item 14 E- Resolution to issue Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes These 36 pages of financial and legal speak will allow OUSD to borrow money while keeping tax revenues in the bank to earn money, or so it says.

    Legal Services
    The May 27th Board Agenda also includes the following legal services:

    • $30,000 Dannis, Woliver & Kelley (Agenda page 13): for general counsel and construction issues
    • $55,000 Parker & Covert (Agenda page 15): for modernization/ surplus property
    • $300,000 Parker & Covert (Agenda page 15): “for negotiations, general counsel and other issues relates to education” period through June 30, 2011

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2010:
    $ 385,000


    2010 Attorney Fee Tally:
    5/27/10 Dannis, Woliver & Kelley $ 30,000
    5/27/10 Parker & Covert $ 55,000
    5/27/10 Parker & Covert (to 6/11) $300,000
    TOTAL $ 385,000

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2009: $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

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2008: $901,200.00

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

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2006: $849,717.00*

    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:

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total (beginning 8/2008):
    $23,920.00*


    * 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.

    NEXT BOARD MEETING: THURSDAY May 27, 2010 OUSD BOARD ROOM
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON: AGENDA

    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”

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

     

    Handy Elementary School Sign Wars

    Metro TALK ______________
    a community service of the Greater Orange Communities Organization

    OUSD Sign Wars, May the Force be with you
    The Jedi Parent Warriors of Orange Unified’s Handy Elementary, also known as the Handy School Association, are in a battle of good over evil because of their purchase of a new community electronic sign they purchased for the aging lower economic status school. Fighting a modern day local neighborhood Darth Vader, the parents of the school are now under financial attack by OUSD’s Administration headed by soon to be OUSD Deputy Administrator Michael Christiansen.

    The sad story begins with Handy Elementary School's old style “letter” sign being constantly vandalized and creating a logistic and financial burden to continually maintain and repair the aging vandal magnet. Handy’s parent group committed themselves to undertaking purchasing a new sign for the old and neglected school. Being in a lower economic income area, this was no easy feat and it took countless hours from parent organizers and over a year of fundraisers like candy sales and the like to scrape together the $17,000 to purchase a state of the art electronic LED energy efficient new sign. Happy ending? Not quite.

    Apparently one, yes we said ONE neighbor complained about the new sign. The sign, which is programmed to be on only on the weekdays during the day, was not wanted by this neighbor. Complaints about the sign from the neighbor about the color of the LED lights to the place it was located (in the same place as the old one) were made. Questions about how the sign was paid for were raised causing OUSD to issue a press release on April 15 praising the parent group for paying for the sign (see link below). End of story? Not quite.

    A May 1st letter appeared in the OC Register’s Ask Mr. Orange feature with reporter Eugene Fields joining the Evil Empire propaganda machine by publishing a letter from Fay F. Rodriquez of Orange titled “Who pays for the school signs electricity?”, “Fear not faithful reader…” Mr. Orange answered and quoted OUSD’s Office of Communication Larry Hausner as reporting the LED sign costs about $1.50 a day (see the link below). Yes that is right they went after the $1.50 a day for the electricity. Never mind that the school just won the U.S. Department of Energy’s coveted Energy Star award for saving electricity, never mind that the new sign is a STATE OF THE ART energy saver using the newest LED technology. They went after this economically challenged school for $ 1.50 a day spent to inform students and the community of school activities, student and staff celebrations and upgrading a constant vandalism problem. End of story right? Unfortunately and sadly no, it gets worst.

    Not willing to leave it alone there, Orange Unified Assistant Superintendent, and soon to be Deputy Superintendent Michael Christensen then multiplied the $1.50 x 365 days and sent the Handy parents association a bill for $547, Really. No kidding! A BILL FOR $547!!!! End of story? Not quite.

    You see the numbers guy got his numbers wrong. Because the sign is not on all day long, and the sign is not on during the weekends, holidays, summer etc. The Handy School Association has pointed this out to Mr. Christiansen. They have also asked to see the billing to the other OUSD schools for the electricity for their signs. As you probably have figured, there is more. You see, taking OUSD Superintendent Renae Dreier’s mantra “Knowledge is Power” and that information counts, a small group of parents, at a poor school worked really hard to improve the local communication and knowledge and took pride in what they did to improve the communication, knowledge and appearance of their neighborhood. Now one person, and the Evil Empire helpers have taken the joy of that accomplishment away. A sad message for a message sign and Handy’s students

    Handy School Association…may the Force be with You!

    OUSD Press Release CLICK ON: OUSD PRESS RELEASE

    OC Register Article CLICK ON: MR ORANGE

    Orange County Public Works Open House
    Having the Orange County Public Works yard in our own backyard has certain perks, like a short drive over to the Annual Open House that features a locally famous Collectors Car Show and free food.

    The annual event held in conjunction with National Public Works Week takes place Saturday May 22 from 10 am-2 pm, and features displays from the Public Works Department and the Orange and Fire Departments, the O.C. Sheriff‘s Department, games opportunity drawings and the popular Collectors Car Show. In addition free hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, snow cones and drinks will be available. Live entertainment will be provided by “The O.C. Band”. The Orange County Public Works yard is located at 2301 N. Glassell Street in Orange (between Taft and Lincoln Aves.).

    Villa Park Family Picnic –May 30
    Irvine Lake will be a virtual Villa Park on Sunday May 30 when it hosts the annual Villa Park Family Park. The annual blowout is hosted by the City of Villa Park Community Services Foundations and the Serrano Water District. A car show, entertainment, vendor booths and activities will fill the day. Activities will include free boat rides on Irvine Lake and favorites like tug-of-war, a scavenger hunt, and cup cake decorating contests. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day.

    The picnic is 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Active military and children five and younger get in free. Tickets can be purchased at Villa Park City Hall or at the picnic.

    For more information CLICK ON: VP PICNIC
    Metro TALK
    is a community service of the Greater Orange Communities Organization

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

     

    OUSD Administration and Teachers reach tenative agreement

    SPECIAL REPORT
    A news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    OUSD Administration and Teachers reach
    Tentative Contract Agreement


    In a matter of literally hours into negotiations, the Orange Unified School District has reportedly reached a tentative agreement with the districts teachers’ union, the Orange Unified Educators Association. The unprecedented record time of reaching the agreement
    is a testament to the continued united efforts of the educational community in Greater Orange and the leadership of OUSD Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier and the OUSD Board of Trustees during the current financial crisis.

    The tentative agreement reportedly includes cutting five days off of the school year and extended austerity measures already agreed to in two years of budget sacrifices. It apparently does not include a proposed complicated pay freeze. The agreement, barring any more major economic upheaval, will apparently keep the district solvent through the current projected economic crisis.

    SPECIAL REPORT
    A news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

     

    OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

    eLECTION Watch 2010
    an Orange Net News report

    Former OUSD Trustee is back and...

    OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni running for
    State Superintendent of Public Instruction


    Serving only half of her term, OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni is running for the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Office. The “quite one” as she has become known, has said little and done less in her ½ term as OUSD Trustee. Deligianni rarely speaks at all during entire Board Meetings. In March at the conservative California Republican Assembly Convention in Buena Park, Deligianni received 28% of the endorsement votes after the 3rd round of balloting to Diane Lenning’s 71% of the endorsement votes.

    During her brief half-a-year as an OUSD Trustee she has said little and has introduced only one item- a reconsideration to cut OUSD Trustee stipends after it was initially defeated (it was originally proposed by other Board members and she voted against it). Unlike the others who first proposed the cut- Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith and Kim Nichols, Deligianni did not later donate money back money from her stipend as the others have. The only other issue Deligianni has taken a stand on was in support of the Silverado parents who tried to keep their small school of less than 75 students open in the wake of massive state budget cut backs. In her campaign for the OUSD Board she had promised to work for term limits for Trustees (see link below).

    Also, yes it is true...Former OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco is running for Orange County Public Administrator.....check out the story here: ROCCO


    Deligianni’s name will appear on the ballot with nine other candidates.
    For a complete list of candidates CLICK ON: STATE

    Dr. Alexia Deligianni FACE BOOK page: ALEXIA

    Deligianni's OUSD Campaign Website; PROMISES

    eLECTION Watch 2010
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    Orange_NetNews@yahoo.com
    “Independent Local Insight”
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    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE Community Update GREATER ORANGE NEWS SERVICE SPECIAL REPORT

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    OUSD's Fred Kelly Field part of May 19 statewide education protest

    OUSD’s Fred Kelly Field will host OC’s focus
    on Statewide Day of Action for Education


    The local epicenter for a Statewide Day of Action to protest statewide education cuts will take place Wednesday May 19, 2010 at OUSD’s Fred Kelly Field from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Everyone who is a supporter of local schools and opposed to the stalemate in Sacramento is encouraged to show up and participate.

    The Statewide Day of Action, with thirty-six events planned throughout the state, is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of education supporters statewide in an effort to send a message to California leaders in Sacramento to save public schools statewide. The events are being coordinated by a new umbrella group called California Advocates United to Save Education (C. A. U. S. E.) that is attempting to unite diverse public education advocates and groups into a coercive long term movement with the goals to fix California’s broken school funding process and return California from the bottom five states in school funding to the top 10 nationwide. The group has it’s work cut out for it with Governor Schwarzenegger having cut $17 billion in educational budget cuts at all levels of education in California over the last two years.

    C.A.U.S.E. has trained 1,000 education “advocates” statewide to use existing social networks to generate ongoing action aimed at lawmakers in Sacramento. The grass roots model trains advocates use business associates, relatives and friends to generate an educational support buzz aimed at lawmakers. Advocates are targeting local merchants, Scout leaders, civic leaders, youth sports team coaches as well as traditional educational advocates such as PTA members, teachers and public school employees.

    In addition to the Fred Kelly Field rally, actions are planned from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm on May 19, 2010 in: Apple Valley, Bakersfield, Calexico, Carlsbad, Cerritos, Chico, Eureka, Fresno, Glendale, Glendora, Lake Elsinore, Linda Vista, Livermore, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Merced, South Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Desert, Petaluma, Rio Linda, Riverside, San Diego, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Stockton, Turlock, Ukiah, Vallejo, Visalia, Whittier, Yuba City and Yucaipa (see link below for a complete list).

    OUSD's Fred Kelly Field Statewide Day of Action link: FRED KELLY

    State wide May 19 Events link: C.A.U.S.E. STATE EVENTS

    California Advocates United to Save Education
    website: C.A.U.S.E.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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

    Santiago Charter Renewal and Extended Day Kindergarten on OUSD Board Meeting Agenda

    At the May 13, 2010 Orange Unified School Board Meeting, the OUSD Trustees will take action on the Santiago Charter Middle School’s Charter Renewal Petition (Agenda Item 12 A, page 4). Unlike the last charter renewal in 2005 that came on the heels of a major teacher sex scandal at the school (which then OUSD officials used for an excuse to try and revoke the charter of Orange County’s first charter school), the process for the Renewal Petition this year has been uneventful.

    Also on the May 13 OUSD Agenda is the Second Reading and vote on revising Board Policy 6112 (Agenda Item 12 B page 5). The revision will allow OUSD to offer full day kindergarten- also known as Extended Day Kindergarten. The policy revision is written to allow full day kindergarten to be offered as an option, while also continuing to offer the current traditional half day classes in OUSD. At the April 22, 2010 Board Meeting, OUSD Executive Director of Elementary Education Rachelle Morga gave a report that presented educational arguments for allowing the Extended Day Kindergarten. Before that meeting, the current OUSD pursuit of Extended Day Kindergarten had been purely based on financial reasons that Extended Day Kindergarten would create a positive financial flow to OUSD. In response to questions from the OUSD Trustees, Morga stated that the program could be phased in as a trial program and would most likely not be in place until the 2012-13 school year. That trial program would not give OUSD the full financial benefit that the district immediately needs that caused district officials to serious look to offering an Extended Day Kindergarten in OUSD.

    INSIDE the May 13 School Board Meeting
    Agenda Item 14 A is the Public Hearing on the Orange Unified Education Association’s (OUEA) current bargaining proposal. OUSD is going back to the negotiating table with its employee unions to continue to make budgetary cuts as Sacramento lawmakers continue to struggle to deal with the ongoing state budget crisis. Unlike other school districts in Orange County, OUSD has managed massive budget cuts during the crisis with the ongoing cooperation of its employee groups, and overall understanding of the community to the ongoing difficult sacrifices. Hundreds of jobs have been lost in two years of deep district budget cuts and two schools have been closed. In contrast to other parts of Orange County, under OUSD Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier, the painful budgetary process in OUSD has been a model process of open planning, community input and methodical inclusiveness that has spared Greater Orange the often intense fighting that for years had been a community staple and is now evident elsewhere in Orange County and up and down the state. Year three of the budget crisis in OUSD under Dreier starts from a positive note of cooperation, trust and community unity and sacrifice in dealing with the local problems that continue to be caused by stalemates and stagnation in Sacramento.

    Item 14 P is the new Employment Contracts for the Dreier Reorganization of the district administration. OUSD alumni and long time district and community stalwart Assistant Superintendent Ed Kissee will continue in his long time role as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources with an extension of his contract. Effective in July, Assistant Superintendent Michael Christiansen will become OUSD’s first Deputy Superintendent and newly hired Dr. Gunn Marie Hansen will become the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. OUSD Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier confirmed that the contracts do not include pay raises for the current employees and only confirm the employee’s current placement on the Leadership Pay Schedule. (For more information on the Dreier Reorganization CLICK ON: Reorganization)

    Agenda Item 9E (page 2-3)-Classified School Employees Week Proclamation May 17-21, 2010

    INSIDE OUSD Donations
    Canyon H.S. ASB - $2,000 Tennis Stipend; Barnes & Noble-$ 176.97; Sycamore E.S. supplies; Jordan PTA - $537 Jordan E.S. Ball Wall; Villa Park H.S. Pep Boosters $7,300 Cheer Stipends; West Orange School Association $1,700 Read 180 program; El Modena Girls Volleyball Boosters- $396 salary stipend; Orange H.S. Vocal Music Boosters- $ 4,000 for accompanist; Serrano PFO-$4,500 P.E. specialist .
    For a complete list of the $ 65,000 in community donations see pages 9-10 of the Agenda.

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2010: $ 0

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2009: $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

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2008: $901,200.00

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

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2006: $849,717.00*
    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

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total (beginning 8/2008):
    $23,920.00*

    * 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.



    NEXT BOARD MEETING: THURSDAY May 13, 2010 OUSD BOARD ROOM
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON MEETING

    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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