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What hurts? Cuts hurt, say Hayward teacher/musicians

By Eric Kurhi
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 5:13 pm in Fairview, General, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Other unincorporated areas, Schools.

The Hayward Unified School District will hear recommendations for budget reductions at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers at City Hall, 777 B St., in Hayward. They will vote on the budget at the Feb. 11 meeting.

Meanwhile, a group of teachers released the following music video:

Here’s the explanation, from Andrew Kong Knight, Hayward High art instructor:

Elimination of the high school block system will give students the choice of only six classes per year instead of eight classes. Limiting the classes will eliminate many of the elective classes students enjoy, such as music and art. Many students attend Hayward high schools because of the strong art and music programs. Elimination of elementary instrumental music program will deny students the opportunity to experience music, which has been proven to help students learn in other subjects. The early development programs are essential to strong music programs in middle and high school.

“I produced the video to spread awareness about the Hayward Unified School District’s continued failure to make budget cuts on an administrative level. Every time they’re in a budget squeeze, they never consider cutting the questionable high-salary district positions. Instead, they hurt students and teachers by eliminating music and art classes.”

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  • Stephen Cassidy

    With parents and teachers, I am organizing a rally in my community in support of our public schools. We will call upon our state legislators to reject the Governor’s budget cuts.

    The rally will occur in San Leandro on Friday, February 6th, at 3:45 p.m., at Memorial Park, which is located at the corner of Bancroft and Callan across from Bancroft Middle School.

    I have invited State Senator Ellen Corbett and several local officials to speak. Jon Sherr, President of the San Leandro Teachers Association; Mike Katz, San Leandro School Board President; and Dr. Dennis Byas, Superintendent of San Lorenzo School District, have been confirmed as speakers.

    I hope we will have a strong turnout of parents, teachers, students and community members. For those of you on Facebook, please also join the group for the rally at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=46288068546

    Finally, there is speculation a budget deal may be announced this week. If that occurs, the rally will still go forward. Any agreement that balances the budget on the backs of our children should be rejected.

    Thank you for your interest and participation.

    Stephen Cassidy

  • Watchdog

    I sat in on the Budget Advisory Task Force meetings last fiscal year and have very little support for HEA for not taking any voluntary reductions after hearing the first comment from an HEA member that the district could save a lot of money by getting rid the “ME TOO CLAUSE” in the classified employees vs. certificated contracts.

    The reasons that this clause was brought into being negotiated into SEIU classified employee’s contract was because of classified employees getting ripped off years ago by a previous HUSD fiscal advisor and negotiating team that determined the school district could not afford what was offered on the bargining table before HEA had settled. Low and behold classified employees settled for a much lower raise and the teachers and members of HEA got a much more substantial raise.

    READ THE PROPSALS TO THE BOARD FOR WEDNESDAY, 01/28/2008 FOR BUDGET REDUCTION RECOMDATIONS AND HEA HAS NOT GIVEN UP SQUAT.

    GET UP AND ASK AT THE BOARD MEETING WHO IS GOING TO MAINTAIN OUR SITES, WATCH OUR KIDS CROSSING THE STREETS.

    VOLUNTEERS? What do they know about the maintenance or any site plans of our schools.

    Who covers the the liabilaty when the volunteer gets sued or hurt?

    That commit by an HEA member reflects a ” FORGET YOU AND HOORAY FOR ME, I GOT MINE.” – Attitude.

    I am abhored of thinking that people with a selfish attitude such as that can be proud to call themselves a teacher and educator.

    I see a bunch of sacred cows and caste system attitude among many ( but not all, as I do not caste stones at all, I will agree the are many excellant teachers among the few bad apples).

  • Watchdog

    For your information, many other public employee agencies have the same me -too clause in their contracts for the same reasons.

  • Fernando Hernandez

    Watchdog:

    I have a question about how this “me too clause” works:

    If HEA agreed to take a 5% cut (or whatever concession)…

    Would the “me too clause” also kick in, thus forcing the SEIU union to take the same cut? Or is it a one way street and the “me too” is only good for pay raises?

    It seems to me that you are blaming HEA for SEUI getting the short end of the stick years ago. It might be more productive to direct your frustration towards the HUSD’s approach to negotiating and the SEIU union, who after all, believed the administrators and settled.

    Should they not have know better?

    Believe me, I have been openly critical of HEA in the past, which has led to many “spirited” discussions with my wife, a HUSD teacher, but…

    If HEA held up on settling until latter, it was probably on account of them getting lied to in the past and getting the short en of the stick from the district as well.

    You can’t blame HEA for SEIU’s decision to believe the district and settle!

    Unfortunately, the way this district negotiates promotes and thrives on the discord and antagonism between the two unions caused by their “negotiating” and differential treatment of the parties involved.

    It seems to me like the two unions need to work TOGETHER so that the district does not get away with their shell games. If you worked together, I believe it would be harder for the district’s lawyers and bean counters to pull the wool over EVERYBODY’S eyes.

  • K Rocchio

    Hopefully all of the people with concerns surrounding the proposed budget cuts will take the time to express their issues with the Board. They will be holding their Board Meeting tonight at 6:30 or you can email them directly. If you look at the HUSD website and review the budget reduction proposal dated 1/21/09 it appears that many of our programs have been spared for now. Elimination of crossing guards and nurses has now been moved to the optional column, along with the elementary music program. It appears that Class-Size-Reduction has been changed to eliminate only K and 3rd grade. The Block Schedule is still one of the things on the line. My point is that the Board is making some changes, make sure you take this opportunity to speak your opinion during this difficult time! It’s not to late and you just might be the one to make a difference! If you don’t speak up now, how can you complain later?

  • J. W. Kyle

    While Rome burned, Nero fiddled……….

    I’ve been asked to make an appearance to convince trustees to dance aroubd the block schedukle,,,,,,, yet none of the five has even acknowledged the fact thatMaster Plan for school reconstruction is severely endangered by the foreclosure problem, that repayment of the first of four bond issues is endangered by the incredible foreclosure/ unemployment problem whioh threatens the accuracy of the assessment roll upon which repay and subsequently, the passage of the next three bond issues is threatend by re-assessment to reduced values of a very high percentage of the tax roll upon which the bond issue is based.

    Thus there is a highly probable need to use the the ‘modular’ construction techniques employed with the new “Stonebrae” school and which technique is approved by the State of California.

    So what do we have ….????/

    groups of 100 hundred advisors drawn from the neighborhoods surrounding EACH OF THE SCHOOLS PROPOSED FOR RECONSTRUCTIOB!

    i’LL BE6T EVEN MONEY THAT THOSE 100 ADVISORS AT EACH OF THOSE SITES WILL CONTINUE TO PRESS FOR SOMETHING COMP-ARABLE TO THE NEW BURBANK SCHOOL… IF NOT SOMETHING BETTER and to hell with the balance of the schools in ythe HUSD District.

    Why the sour attiyude?? Hell I’ve been pressing the Trustees for weeks on the subject and not one of the darlings has replied……. Nothing changes in Hayward!!

  • Watchdog

    Fernando:

    I think you will find that SEIU has taken sacrifices in the past that HEA has not been included in a ” me to” categorization. I can recall SEIU members giving furlough days ( an actual voluntary layoff by SEIU members without pay)) during a Christmas Holiday recess which were normally scheduled work days for our local. Did I see a raise of hands for HEA to give up anything?

    How about the little extras given without work orders submitted, because ” while we’re here”?

  • Fernando Hernandez

    Watchdog:

    You did not answer my question regarding the “me too clause”.
    And then again…
    Who gave the SEUI the furloughs? HUSD, Not HEA!

    Are you implying that if the roles were reversed and HEA members were given furloughs and SEUI was by some miracle spared…

    We would have SEUI employees volunteering to take furloughs on their own in support of HEA members? I doubt it.

    That seems to be what you would expect of HEA members, so I assume that is what you would expect from SEUI members as well?

    And what about those little extras you refer to? If you want to be a stickler for paper work, you can always say no. If that is a problem I’m sure your union would back you up.

    Looking at the times of your entries I’m also curious if you are a SEUI employee or are you retired?,

    Are you on the clock as you spend time blogging? I certainly hope you are using your brakes, since as a tax payer I would find this objectionable. (or is this the way to compensate for those extras you write about?)

    Mr. Kyle:

    You make a very valid point regarding the use of modular buildings as a means of making the bond dollars go further. I attended Monte Vista HS in Alamo and large sections of the campus, if not the whole place, were modular buildings. I have no complaints about them.

    It seems to me that these committees making the call on how these money is spent should be formed of people from all over Hayward, not just those who will benefit from the bond money this time around!

    In any case, you can believe me that if they end up using up the money on some fancy construction, it will be not because these committees vote to do so, but because it will be will of the district administrators. They will have a couple of fancy schools to show off on their web site, and the rest of us can deal with the decrepit campuses we all know we have.

    A question for Mr.Kyle this time, so I thank you for the answer in advance,

    Being as it was that the bond specified the schools to be improved…

    Is there any lead way as to how it can actually be spent?

    Can the administration change course and revise the work to be done so that the entire population benefits and not just those in the hills, or are we stuck with the original text of the bond?

    Could the citizenry challenge this at this point, or will the vast majority of Hayward be left holding the proverbial short en of the stick?

    Fernando

  • J. W. Kyle

    Fernando…

    You are stuck with the wording of the bond measure which referred to the order of progression as outlined in the Master Plan.

    Horror o0f horrors… they totally ignored the Treeview SWchool which sits on the Hayward/Calaveras fault line and in addition is located at the point where the fault line crosses the hazardous slide conditions occurrin along the Chicoine Rd direction over to where the most recent slide conditions developed near Garin Rd.

    I brought attention to the idea that Treeview school be abandoned before the REAllY BIG ONE HITS which is predicted to occur within 30 years at 7.o or higher on the scale…… if one youngster is hurt by HUSD neglect of that issue….. we will have cast the NAME Hayward into the pit of regional scorn which it deserves.

    The problem really sticks in your face when you realize that Schaffer Park school, now scheduled for demolition and reconstruction is located in the service area where the residence of our recent departed HUSD Trustee President lives. Then too, Schafer Park was treated to a new paint job abd landscape refreshh just after his appointment to the Board prseidency in year 2007.

    If it truly cost $138,000 to repaint Longwood then my guess is that Schafer Park cost at least $100,000 which is thrown away after about three years use. Real smart thinking?

    Do you have an understanding of the situation now??

  • J. W. Kyle

    Having missed he opportunity to view the LIVE proceedings of the HUSD meet of Jan 28th, I tuned in last evening…… the meeting was very very long and by the time the matter of school construction detail surfaced, it was obvious that the larege early attendence had dwindled down to limited count of staff.

    Obviously Trustees are not willing to consider the affect of a rapidly reducing real property rax asssessment roll. The strong possibility that the declining tax roll will affect the MasterPlan at the 2012 vote is far removed from their minds. No attempt to discuss the modular construction thoughts that I’ve expressed here or in the several e-mail messages directed to them persionally.

    That’s it… I’m through wasting my time….. into my 79th year and in declining health, I’ve better things to do …… however, when the ‘BIG ONE’ HITS TREEVIEW SCHOOL,(WHICH HAS DOUBLE HAZARD of creeping east-west slope as well as position above Hayward/Calaveras fault lihe) BEWARE MY VISTS WHETHER THEY BE FROM ONE SIDE OF THE GRAVE OR THE OTHER ….i’LL HAUNT HALLWAYS AND SOME MINDS FOR FAILURE TO CONSIDER THREAT TO KIDS AT THAT LOCATION……… so, as they say in the editorial room… that’s 30

  • Conrad

    Hang in there, John! Some of us read what you say and take it quite seriously. There is much that this group of Trustees needs to contend with and not avoid.

    …and they need to take the insights, gems, and creative ideas where they can find them from the community…

  • justwatching

    Just to let you know, I didn’t support the first bond measure and I will not be supporting the other either. What HUSD needs is a parcel tax to infuse income into the district to attract top paid Trades People that will be responsible for future maintenance on our facilities whether new or old

  • J. W. Kyle

    Justwatching:

    Please define ‘support’. Did you vote against or did you just fail to vote?

    If you ‘just failed to vote’, you have the malaise known as indifference. If you voted against, I did not hear your voice at public comments during the Bond consideration hearings. The latter idea is also called ‘indifference’ that is the maiaise which is the curse of the School Disrict.

    The neauty of the “masterplan” is that four vote opportunities will occur…. three more to go !

    The beauty of the bond issue is that it takes four votes to accomplish the ‘masterplan’ while the idea of a parcel tax is that there is probably no sunset or date of discontinuamce)….. and sooner or later the school teahers will want that money will be diverted to salaries.

    I voted but opposed the Bond issue for the good and solid reason that the ‘planners’ failed to recognize the problem at Treeview School. Thst school faces the double haqzard of being in the position of very close proximity to the Hayward Cal;averas Fault line where tna earthquake is now predicted within 30 years at a 7+ reading on the scale of earthquake readings. Then too it is also subject to damage by the ‘down slip’ comdition of the slope along a ;ine through the school site which genrally overlays Chicoine Street and other northerly areas where slides have been occurring.

    Ai8n’t it a grand thing that Treeview school is not on the list for reconstruction or modernization. It is just being ignored in any reading of the MasterPlan.

    The whiz kida at HUSD remain silent on the matter…….. good luck kids!

  • J. W. Kyle

    Suggestun to ANG Blog Editor # ?

    HOW ABOUT AN UPDATE?

    SUCH AS THE UPCOMING CITY OF HAYWARD NEED FOR UTILITY TAX ?

    WE NEED IT! THE LOSS OF SALES TAX REVENUE FROM DEFUNCT AUTO ROW ALONG MISSION BLVD HAS CRIPPLED THE CITY
    (THANKS TO Defeat of 238 Bypass by HAPA CATS & prof. s.l.)

    THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE LOSS OF THE UPCOMING VOTE? Much damage to the conditions necessary for safety concerns and the name of Hayward which has suffered enough from the dismal performance of HUSD. OUGHT WE INSIST ON RENAMING husd TO: MT. EDEN UNIFRIED SCHOOL DISTRICT?

    IF HUSD EXCLUDES HAYWARD’S FAIRWAY PARK AREA BUT INCLUDES FAIRVIEW DISTRICT OF ALAMEDA COUNTY…. WHY CALL IT HAYWARD UNIFRIED SCHOOL DISTRICT?