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  • Tuesday, May 08, 2012

     

    OUSD Trustees vote-a-rama at April meeting

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

    Trustee vote-a-rama at April meeting
    At their April 19, 2012, the Orange Unified School District Board of Education became embroiled in a “vote-a-rama” over revisions to various OUSD Board Policies brought on by on-going updating to the document that governs the Board of Trustees. The on-the-outs board minority made up of Trustees Kathy Moffat and Diane Singer argued unsuccessfully to delay adoption of three proposed board policies through a precession of voice-call-votes that saw the duo lose to the aligned OUSD Board majority of Board President Timothy Surridge, Mark Wayland, Dr. Alexia Deligianni, Rick Ledesma and John Ortega.

    Moffat’s reasoning was that the first reading for the proposed changes were done at a little noticed Special Board Meeting held March 22, 2012 (CLICK HERE: SPECIAL) which had no members of the public present and was not video taped and shown on local cable like regular meetings. Moffat argued that she felt in the spirit of transparency that the Board should delay the 2nd reading of the policy changes one meeting since none were time sensitive, thus giving the public time to review them. That idea was voted down, so Moffat sought to have the policies that she felt strongly about divided from the other policies and voted on separately. Moffat and Singer were supported by Wayland and Surridge in dividing the policy vote, with Wayland quipping about his vote, “I’m curious!”.

    As it turned out, Moffat pulled items from Board Policy 9250 pertaining to: Board Meeting stipend compensation; rules related to increasing Board stipends; and policies on trustees receiving district health benefits. All the questioned policies have origins in various California government codes. Moffat reasoned that those origins in government code did not require OUSD Board Policies addressing them. About the stipend rules, Moffat argued it had never been needed in Board Policy and now was a bad time to add it considering the economic crisis. Moffat argued that a policy allowing a trustee to show up for any part of a meeting should to receive the stipend should be changed to some type of proportional formula, and she argued not including the state language on heath benefits. Moffat also stated that most school district trustees in California are not compensated.

    Surridge argued that trustees do more than just show up at meetings, and that the stipend is small compensation for the work they do. He additionally argued that the health benefits are there if any one needs them and that the cost to the district is small, plus without them the district may have trouble attracting people to run for office. John Ortega argued that OUSD is “the most transparent district in Orange County and California”, while Ledesma argued that not including them in district policies because the items are in the state codes when they do apply to the district, was itself “not transparent”.

    In the end, the Board voted repeatedly by roll call (at Moffat’s request) to approve all of the policy changes and not approve Moffat’s attempts to delay the adoptions.

    INSIDE the May 19 Agenda: El Rancho Charter Renewal
    The Thursday May 10, 2012 OUSD Board Agenda (page 8) includes the petition to renew the charter of El Rancho Charter School. The middle school is one of two OUSD charter middle schools. None of the past bruising fights OUSD has seen over charter renewals are expected to occur over the non-controversial Anaheim Hills school’s renewal.

    Other Items:
    Closed Session 4 C – The Board will review the performance of popular OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen.
    Announcement Item 9 E (Agenda page 3-4) – resolution declaring May 20-26 Classified School Employee Week (district support staff)

    INSIDE Former Superintendent Godley’s
    Retirement Bonus

    Running total (beginning 8/2008)
    $54,270.00*

    * 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 May 10, 2012
    Next OUSD Board Meeting Thursday April 19 2012 -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON: MAY AGENDA

    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”
    WATCH FOR Orange Net News newest investigative series:
    Orange Unified’s Grade Inflation Out of the Box or Out of Control?

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