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An updated look at MDUSD school closure costs and savings

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 8:08 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Theresa Harrington.

After the school board voted to close Holbrook and Glenbrook, I wrote a blog post questioning whether the district would really save $1.5 million.

Since then, the district has updated its projected cost savings, but questions remain about whether it will in fact reach its goal to save $1.5 million.

As reported last week by West Contra Costa school district reporter Shelly Meron, that school board unanimously voted on June 1 to keep Shannon Elementary open, reversing a 2009 decision, after realizing it would cost more to close the school and move the students than to keep the school open.

An analysis of the Mt. Diablo district’s costs versus savings shows that similarly, it could cost the district more to close Glenbrook than to keep it open — at least for the next two years.

According to the district’s revised estimates, it will save $510,000 a year by closing Holbrook and $741,396 by closing Glenbrook, for a total of $1,251,933. This still leaves nearly $250,000 more to reach the $1.5 million goal, which has not been demonstrated to the board.

However, the district’s estimates don’t include money lost from the Glenbrook School Improvement Grant and the after-school ASES grants, or the cost of hiring new staff and moving students and staff.

The district received a $1.7 million three-year School Improvement Grant for Glenbrook, at $584,002 per year. It will lose two years of the grant, or $1,168,000, plus $57,000 from this year’s grant that was supposed to pay for a four-week summer school intervention program. So, the total SIG money lost is $1,225,000.

According to Superintendent Steven Lawrence’s PowerPoint presentations, the district could lose $346,500 in ASES grant money for Glenbrook and $201,500 in ASES funds from Holbrook, for a total of $548,000. He later revised these numbers, saying the district might be able to retain $74,775 for Glenbrook and $16,672 for Holbrook. His Feb. 22 PowerPoint also included lower estimates for the grants, referring to a $189,000 “base grant” for Glenbrook and a $139,500 “base grant” for Holbrook.

Using the lower estimates, this means the district could possibly keep $91,000 out of $328,000 in grants, for a loss of $237,553.

In the same Feb. 22 PowerPoint, Lawrence estimated that 250 additional students at El Dorado would require the district to “expand the food lines at El Dorado.” No cost estimate for this was given.

Further, he estimated the district may need to hire one or two additional vice principals, at a cost of $102,000 each.

Finally, he estimated the district would need to spend $20,000 to $30,000 per site on moving costs.

So, here’s the breakdown with all costs considered:

GLENBROOK: save $741,396 per year (x2 = $1,482,792)
Subtract 584,002 per year (x2 = $1,168,004 + $57,000 = $1,225,004)
SUBTOTAL SAVINGS: $157,394; 2 years: $257,788
Subtract at least $102,000 for 1 vice principal ($204,000 for 2)
SUBTOTAL SAVINGS: $55,394; 2 years: $155,778
Subtract at least $115,000 for ASES loss (up to $346,500)
SUBTOTAL SAVINGS: ($59,606); 2 years: $40,778
Subtract at least $20,000 for moving costs (up to $30,000)
TOTAL SAVED PER YEAR: ($79,606); $20,778 (or less if higher estimates are used)

Based on this, it looks like the district could actually spend nearly $80,000 in 2010-12 to close Glenbrook and may save $20,778 at most in the second year.

HOLBROOK: save $510,537; 2 years: $1,021,074
Subract at least $122,828 for ASES (up to $201,500)
Subtract at least $20,000 for moving (up to $30,000)
TOTAL SAVINGS: $367,709; 2 years: $735,418

In combining the savings for the two schools, it appears that the district could save at most $288,103 in the first year by closing both schools and at most $756,196 after two years. This number would be reduced if two vice principals are hired and if the higher ASES loss estimates and moving costs estimates are used.

This means the district still appears to be more than $1.2 million shy of its goal of saving $1.5 million next year.

However, board president Gary Eberhart told me today that he is confident the district will realize the expected savings, based on the plan to relocate special education students on the Glenbrook campus. He also said the Glenbrook SIG paid for additional costs, which will go away.

The SIG helped pay for counselors, professional development and a librarian. These services for Glenbrook’s low-income population will also be lost.

Are you satisfied that the district will save $1.5 million, according to Lawrence’s estimates?

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63 Responses to “An updated look at MDUSD school closure costs and savings”

  1. g Says:

    Of importance to note is that West County voted to close, but had sense enough to allow time to plan it for a later date and really study and weigh the options.

    Lawrence and the Board voted to close two schools and finalize it in just 4 months, and every move they’ve made is based on a slip and a slide and a pie in the sky “estimate”.

    If they even had two clues between them, all six of them together wouldn’t know how to stack them up!

  2. g Says:

    Let’s look at a bit more than just what will be saved or what won’t be saved. Just the loss from SIG offsets the Board’s initial hopes and now they’re scrambling to dig up another dollar or two!

    Let’s discuss the $6 million or so of our Bond taxes that have been spent on maintenance and remodel work at Holbrook in just the past 5 years…$6 MILLION dollars wasted?

    When GarySherry were planning their consultant bid and talking up the closure plans with their NIMBY friends business partners and relatives that they put on the Committee, did they even consider looking at the amount of “wasted” money that should be balanced against possible savings?

    A very few dollars saved? Only, just, maybe.
    Many millions wasted? Yes, and that’s just one school!

    Have we been given an amount of what the costs will be at Sun Terrace and Wren to accommodate Holbrook’s 400? How about preschool? I’d like to see that breakdown. How about the four schools that will get Glenbrook kids?

  3. Anon Says:

    The Gary Sherry show is a disaster. We should recall them both.

    I encourage everyone to take a close look at who they put on the school closure committee. They wanted a particular result and they got it. It stinks to high heaven.

  4. Anon Says:

    Hansen got it right from the beginning when she said the district didn’t have a plan. She was only one who had any sense about it.

  5. g Says:

    The more I read Gary’s comment, the more upset I get. “He also said the Glenbrook SIG paid for additional costs, which will go away”.

    He is painfully clueless! Does he truly see SIG funds as nothing more than money for him to use to cover “additional costs”?

    Those were Grant benefits designed for helping struggling children, and he doesn’t want to cop to the fact that they threw that money away-right along with the kids that needed it, rather than admit they may have acted too rashly when they saw closing schools as their ONLY alternative.

    So now he talks about moving Special Ed to Glenbrook. What will that cost? Let’s subtract that cost from what he thinks will be saved. What does that do to the facilities where Special Ed was housed? More waste. More abandoned buildings? Or move someone else—where will the body shuffle end, and what will be the cost to education?

    This is most definitely not “where kids come first”! Kids are essential to this game only in so far as they keep the adults on their throne, and the bloated benefits rolling in.

    Chihuahuas are treated better by the animal control district. Maybe we should “shuffle” district heads!

  6. Anon Says:

    My son is one of the special ed private placement kids that they want to move to glenbrook. I say to Gary….Over My Dead body are you going to do that. I offered to pay for a program to teach my son and you all at the district turned your nose up at it. After 3 years of fighting my son is finally learning. I did not want my son in a private placement but what choice did you give me. What makes you so sure Gary that you will be able to implement a program (s) and place all those kids there, you could not do it before so I doubt you can do it now. Not to mention you will have to deal with Federal and state laws that you already can’t follow. This is the biggest load of garbage that I have heard. Lawrence is an idiot and The Gary and Sherry show must stop. I see law suits that will cost the district far more in the future. You are not saving any money closing those schools and you destroyed a community.

  7. Holbrook Dad Says:

    I am completely unsatisfied that the district will save the stated amount. I looked at all the numbers they provided months ago and came to the same conclusions you did. It’s plain as day that their numbers don’t add up. I’m sick of estimates let’s see some real factual data. We have repeatedly asked the board to provide us with the real world savings and have been given none. In fact we have been blatantly ignored time and time again. Which leads me to believe the board hasn’t a clue as to how much will be saved or they know what we have all seen and that is they will not come close to the implied savings. I’m inclined to believe it’s a little of both.

    This whole process has been a huge charade to make the public think that they had any choice or say regarding school closures. We can rant and rave but we ultimately have no choice but to go along with their plan. The Board and Sup. know this very well. They put together the SCAC and had them spend months pouring over data to provide the best recommendations for the closures. And what did the board do? They completely ignored those recommendations and voted on a independent scenario provided by the Superintendent. No matter which scenario was voted on there were still too many questions left unanswered to move forward this quickly with the closures but hey that’s how the MDUSD rolls. I can’t believe what an utter debacle this whole situation has been. The motto is no longer… “Where Kids Come First” it should now be…”Plenty of Questions, But Don’t Look At Us For Answers”.

    I grew up in the MDUSD(K-12)and thought it was awesome that my kids would too but now I wish I had the opportunity to seek their education elsewhere. Unfortunately I’m stuck in this situation, but believe me if the opportunity ever presents itself we are outta here!

  8. Linda Says:

    Looks like Richmond lost their City sales tax vote. Maybe now Lawrence will move away from that rediculous idea and begin to do the hard work necessary to restore trust and confidence in this District and then maybe, just maybe, we too could pass a parcel tax.

  9. Linda Says:

    I know it is a lot of wishful thinking on my part.

  10. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have confirmed that the district is applying for $11.1 million in School Improvement Grant funding for Meadow Homes Elementary, Oak Grove MS and the district.
    However, Board President Gary Eberhart said he can’t guarantee the district won’t close a school that receives a SIG. He said it’s a shame the money is attached to the school, instead of following the students.

  11. g Says:

    Well, four months ago he was clueless that the $IG followed the school. At least after nearly 20 years on the job he has learned one thing!

  12. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Gary’s statement that, “It’s a shame the money is attached to the school, instead of following the students”, is a perfect demonstration of how little he understands the problems of the district.

  13. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Eberhart said he didn’t think the people who set up the grants took into consideration that some districts might have more capacity than they need and may want to close schools.
    However, the SIG specifically includes “School Closure” as one of the four required reforms.
    It’s my understanding that the money is attached to the campus because it is intended to spur schoolwide reform, which includes changing the culture, as well as intensive staff development to strengthen instruction, collaboration and leadership.
    However, Eberhart pointed out that an Oak Grove SIG could help the displaced Glenbrook students who will be transferring to that school.

  14. g Says:

    Theresa, did he say how he hopes to accomplish such “intensive staff development to strengthen instruction, collaboration and leadership” at a failing school? I believe one criteria for accomplishing that goal is to “replace” failed leadership–and perhaps all employees–not load them down with students from another failing school, and give that same leadership more money to continue the failure!

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: Sorry my last post was unclear about the fact that Eberhart didn’t make the comments about why a SIG is attached to a school. I’ve amended that post to clarify those were my comments.
    You are correct that the SIG requires a leadership change at a failed school. Because of this, Meadow Homes Principal Toby Montez and Oak Grove Principal Terry McCormick will both be leaving their schools, so the district will be eligible to apply for the SIGs.

  16. g Says:

    Theresa, did he indicate what his plans are for the entire list of “low performing schools” in the District? Does he plan any $IG money for them?

    Bel Air Elementary
    Cambridge Elementary
    Glenbrook Middle–check! Exterminated!
    Ygnacio Valley High
    Rio Vista Elementary
    Ygnacio Valley Elementary
    Riverview Middle
    Mt. Diablo High
    Sun Terrace Elementary—- big OOPS! –(getting half of Holbrook students-but Holbrook was not on the list of low performing schools!!!)
    Oak Grove Middle–new Prin.–check!
    Meadow Homes Elem..–new Prin.–check!
    Fair Oaks Elementary
    Shore Acres Elementary

    HOLBROOK ELEMENTARY stands out loudly in its absence from this list of failing schools!!! There is a Rat in the pantry!

  17. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The district already has SIGs for Bel Air, Rio Vista and Shore Acres. Last year, the board also approved School Improvement Plans for all of the other low-performing schools.
    I believe there is supposed to be some sort of report at the end of the year, informing the board of progress made.
    You’re right that Holbrook is not on the list of low-performing schools. But neither are Wren Avenue, Silverwood, Monte Gardens, Sequoia Elementary, Sequoia Middle School or Westwood Elementary — all of the other schools considered for closure.
    Academic performance was only one of eight criteria evaluated and it wasn’t given more weight than any of the others.
    However, the US DOE recommends closing or reforming poor-performing schools, which is why it offers the SIGs.

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Although Superintendent Lawrence included new boundaries for Meadow Homes Elementary in his estimated $1.5 million cost savings, Principal Toby Montez told me that will not happen by the fall.
    “I think there’s a long-term plan to do that,” he said. “It’s not going to happen this year, I know.”
    He said the school “overflows” more than 100 students a year to other sites.

  19. Anon Says:

    Speaking of Eberhart we were stunned last night as we watched the CVHS graduation to see that Eberhart, using his authority as “President of the MDUSD school board” to commandeer two rows of seats and reserve them for his family. He also had them blocked so that others of us, mere peons, had to get our seats on a first come, first serve basis. He further embarrassed himself, in this age of Weinergate, to give a pointless speech about his wandering Europe by train in his youth and somehow being in the same sleeping car as two Danish girls. His telling the story as if he were a high school sophomore with the sexual overtones and the accompanying innuendos that one would hear in the boys locker room was totally inappropriate for the occasion.Furthermore, he ignored the retiring principal, Gary Swanson, without one word of recognition. Eberhart said that his daughter didn’t want him to embarrass her. We don’t know what she thought but he certainly embarrassed himself.

  20. g Says:

    I understand. Wren was at the top of the list in several criteria. Although the other schools were “listed”, I think it was pretty clear from the get-go that Choice schools were safe, wealthier neighborhood schools were safe, and other than maybe Silverwood-(if a 3rd school was pegged) none were in any real danger, and because of the Autism students at Silverwood, even it was safe.

    Of course it would seem poor school performance, in light of SIG funds requirements, should have been more heavily weighed.

    Fortunately for them, the Shore Acres-Rio Vista schools, failing even with SIG funds at work, had three CAC representatives at voting time–Problem is, that representation was on the “Holbrook–Glenbrook” pattern. Of course, I wouldn’t want to speculate about how they voted, or how impartially they represented that school pattern.

  21. g Says:

    So, now Lawrence is groping in the dark at Meadow Homes boundaries to find phantom money to add to what closing Glenbrook and Holbrook alone was supposed to save? Can’t help but smile!

    And YES Anon–Eberhart’s sad tale got sighs and rolled eyes, but nothing else!

  22. anon Says:

    The personal attacks on this blog have become the majority of comments provided and serve no purpose. Personal attacks and purely negative comments show a complete lack of desire to improve the system or to work together to help. It really highlights a significant lack of intelligence. Very disturbing!!!

  23. g Says:

    -and coming in simply to whine about the tenor of the comments, and disparage both the intelligence and the opinion of others is an enormous contribution…and we thank you!

  24. Doctor J Says:

    $11 Million for two schools and the district !?! Lawrence must think he found the goose that laid the golden egg. Last year wasn’t it just $14 million for four schools and the district ? BTW, the Board never even authorized the filing for these new grants. Ibet the grant applications never mentioned the recent Grand Jury report. How much of the $11 million will be spent on current employees, new employees, consultants, and conferences ? Is SASS going to grow again ? Your tax dollars “at work”. :-)

  25. g Says:

    “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”

  26. Doctor J Says:

    It is pretty transparent that the $11 million SIG grant from the Feds will be included in the approved budget even though the grant has not been awarded. If the Feds audit last years SIG grants, MDUSD may be in for a big surprise.

  27. anon Says:

    Thanks to Theresa for removing the racist nazi hitler video. That video was offensive to many people.

  28. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon, those who are the subject of a parody are usually offended. Saturday Night Live has done many parodies — and this one was no different. No one in the parody is idealizing Hitler or the Nazi beliefs.

  29. MtDiabloJester Says:

    I’m the person that authored the video. It is a PARODY made for three of my friends. Of course now over 220 other people have viewed it. You would be surprised at the feedback many teachers and administrators in the district that think it is absolutely hilarious.

    I am sorry that Theresa and the editorial board are being pressured into taking it down, but at the end of the day they have to sell newspapers. They are making a bet that it is better not to have it up than to stand up to tyranny from the BOE. I don’t blame them even though I would have gone the other way.

    With that said the video will remain up on youtube (search MDUSD Parody). Interestingly, it has gotten more views in the last two hours since Theresa took it down than it had in any two hour period previously. I guess it is true that even negative publicity is good publicity.

    I am planning on making more parody videos going forward. A certain board member gave some golden material at a recent graduation speech.

    Anyway, I don’t blame Theresa or the CCTimes, they have to do what they have to do. But it’s yet another example of the far reaching tyranny of the BOE.

  30. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Last year’s SIG award was for $14.8 million:
    $2.8 million for the district;
    $4.3 million for Bel Air Elementary;
    $1.3 million for Rio Vista Elementary;
    $4.6 million for Shore Acres Elementary and
    $1.8 million for Glenbrook MS.
    This year’s SIG application is for $11.2 million:
    $1.5 million for the district;
    $4.5 million for Oak Grove MS; and
    $5.1 million for Meadow Homes Elementary.
    It is surprising the district didn’t ask for board authorization to seek the grants before submitting the application, as it did last year.
    However, Rose Lock told me she anticipates this year’s application will be posted with the June 14 board meeting agenda.
    Last year, the final application was never publicly released.

  31. g Says:

    The video is obviously about tyranny, featuring one of the world’s most infamous tyrants. No mention of race, or religion, or Nazi political dogma; nothing blond and blue eyed about it. Simply near-genius editing, and hilarious parody!

    If you had featured the Pope giving a benediction, someone would have cried foul!

    Keep up the good work!

  32. g Says:

    Theresa, did Bel Air, Rio Vista and Shore Acres all get new principals in keeping with SIG requirements?

  33. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, have you received the quarterly spending reports on how the money is being spent ? So what are they spending $1.5 million in the “district” on for these two schools ? Any out of town “conferences” listed ?

  34. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: Bel Air’s principal retired and was replaced with Nancy Klinkner (former principal at Highlands Elementary in Concord); Rio Vista’s principal Susan Valdez had been at the school less than two years; and the district replaced Shore Acres’ former Principal Kari Rees with Liz Block.
    Dr. J: I don’t know what the district intends to spend its $1.5 million on. Last year’s $2.8 million grant was for two teachers on “special assignment,” an administrator of school support, increasing ELD teachers at all four schools, summer training for four schools, data analysis training for four schools, substitute costs for administrators at four schools, roving substitute at four schools, a secretary, benefits, ELD materials, Curriculum Associates assessments and teacher guides, consultant contracts and “indirect costs.”
    It’s interesting that the district gets to keep the entire grant, even though it is only supporting three schools for the remaining two years.

  35. Doctor J Says:

    Excellent point that since the grant specified four schools to be supported and now there are only three, why the grant to the district isn’t being reduced. Perhaps a federal audit will “charge back” the money for the fourth school and the personnel to be hired for the fourth school which no longer exists. Uncle Sam, are you listening ?

  36. Theresa Harrington Says:

    According to my calculations, the district will be saving $45,280 a year, or $90,560 over the next two years, by not providing services to Glenbrook MS that were specifically identified in the SIG application as being split between four schools.

  37. Doctor J Says:

    Ha Ha. They could have save more by reversing the Gang of Five raises ! What a joke ! And then when you add in the alleged SASS savings of $50,000 that did NOT happen — you have to wonder if these people can really look themselves in the eyes every morning and not feel guilty. Its just a huckster shell game.

  38. Anon Says:

    You all seem to know a lot and have something to add. Are any of you emailing the board or superintendent or are you just blathering on blogs?

  39. g Says:

    Theresa, thank you for providing a blathering spot! 😉 Anon would really like to try to match up comments here to correspondence elsewhere, and is having a difficult time of it!

  40. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon #38 Don’t kid yourself, they read the blogs.

  41. Anon Says:

    Do you really believe that those of us who “blather on blogs” wouldn’t “blather” in emails to the BOE as well? Comments like yours often accuse us “blatherers” of not volunteering, not communicating with the Board, and not having facts… comments like that are wrong on all three accounts. It takes a lot more work to stay on top of these issues than to sit back and drink the cool-aid.

  42. Dan Says:


    I have emailed the board on many issues, many times (here are the basic responses I get by board member):

    Gary – he does a one line response telling me to file a public records request (how is that for transparency?)

    Sherry – she continually tries to get me to meet her to discuss the issues rather than email (I know she is trying to figure out who I am, I never take the bait)

    Linda – basically tries to answer my questions but refuses to acknowledge that there are problems in the district and/or is unwilling to ask the superintendent any tough questions.

    Cheryl – she has only answered one time and it was short and to the point.

    Lynn – no response of any kind. Seriously only crickets. I wonder if she even checks email.

  43. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Eberhart has announced he will discontinue his MDUSD blog effective Monday and will no longer webcast board meetings:

  44. g Says:


    Sunshine, alluded but scarce.
    Rarely could it glow.
    Smoke and mirrors, steaming pile.

  45. Wait a minute Says:

    Hopefully next he will “discontinue” his “leadership” and leave the board to those capable of solving the problems he created.

  46. Another MDUSD Mom Says:

    Gary sunset his blog months ago when he arbitrarily refused to allow comments from those who took the time to sign in and respond to his posts. I am speaking of comments that were not rude but contrary to his opinion.

    It is amazing how Gary and Paul defended the freedom to comment and the number of people (including parents) who were hurt by their commitment to open discourse. In 2008 I asked them to remove a series of especially hurtful comments directed at a friend of mine (and at least one referred to her children), the response was that as long as she was not in physical danger the comments would stay and that she chose to put herself in that position. How quickly things change when the shoe is on the other foot.

  47. Doctor J Says:

    So much for Gary’s promise of transparency. Its like the recent uprisings in the Middle East where the government cut off the internet and cell phones — maybe we will see another parody soon. Sure is interesting it comes on the heels of the CVHS charter submission to the district with 80% of the teachers voting for charter. Wonder why he doesn’t use some Measure C money to buy ceiling cameras and a professional sound system for the broadcast ? What better use of public tax money than to keep the taxpayers fully informed. Now that Gov. Brown has collected the cell phones from state employees, I wonder why the district is still paying cell phone subsidies to staff ?

  48. KellyVB Says:

    Anon #22-The comments on here aren’t “personal attacks”. They are well educated responses to what the MDUSD Board is doing publicly to the school district and in regards to the fact that the Board has blatantly made decisions that have no logic or reason behind them in light of the concept that the District Board is suppose to do what is best for its community and support the betterment of education to its students. If you aren’t angered by the Board’s recent decisions and actions there is only one of two answers available: either A.)you aren’t paying attention or B.)you are somehow personally connected to a member of the Board and feel the need to defend them.

    Anon #38-I have made many comments on Theresa’s blogs here. None of them anonymously. And I can guarantee you EVERY staff member and most parents at Holbrook know my name and face. And so does the Board.
    I have attended meetings, made statements and posed questions during public comment, emailed the Board, emailed the CCCOE Superintendent, emailed Tom Torlakson, filed a complaint to the OCR, mailed hard copy letters to all of the above, organized a petition signing, and much more.
    So yes, some of us blathering bloggers are also taking action.
    In fact… the school year might be over, but as far as I’m concerned the fight is still on. And I’m still fighting.

  49. anon Says:

    Dr. J,

    Gary is one of the most open board members. I often disagree with him, but my criticism of him would never be that he is not open and transparent. Your continual accusations and innuendo is funny at times, but rarely accurate. If Gary had placed an item on the board agenda to spend measure c money on a camera and broadcast system, you would have criticized that. It must get tiring to only be able to play Monday morning quarter back and never get the opportunity to play in the actual game. You seem jealous.

  50. Holbrook Dad Says:

    The June 14 agenda is available here:

    The appointment of a new VP at Valley View is listed.

    Meeting Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 7:30 PM
    Category: Business/Action Items
    Type: Action
    Subject: 16.1 Appointment of Vice Principal, Middle School
    File Attachment:
    Summary: We anticipate that the enrollment at Valley View Middle School will be well over 850 students next year. Therefore, they have the enrollment to justify an additional assistant principal. The increase enrollment is due to the closure of Glenbrook. Therefore, the estimated savings of $1.25 million will be revised to $1.14 million.
    Funding: General Fund
    Fiscal Impact: Fiscal Impact $110,000 general fund
    Recommendation: Recommend approval of vice principal position at Valley View Middle School.

    That $1.5m in savings sure is shrinking. I find it very curious that a position at El Dorado is not listed as well, since their enrollment will increase for the same reason. I’d be willing to bet the June 28 agenda will have a similar item for El Dorado, which will undoubtedly promote further shrinkage.

  51. Doctor J Says:

    Anon #47. We will have to disagree about the transparency. Perhaps you have forgot about his hide and seek about the Measure C public survey relied upon by the board; Buttercupgate; his refusal to identify ALL of his contacts and gratuities with Chevron; his continuing refusal to identify to the public the names of the persons to be nominated for district/site positions when the agendas are released, and I could go on and on. I don’t call that transparency. Just look at the agenda for next Tuesday — the Board was told today or earlier who the people are who are nominated, and yet the public is kept in the dark until the moment of the announcement — remember Gary’s hand picked new Principal for his children’s elementary school — Patrick Nugent ? Hence Nugentgate. Gary never denied knowing that Nugent had a DUI when he voted for him and had to spend all weekend getting Nugent to “withdraw” his name after it was approved by the board. While I was strongly opposed to Measure C and instead supported the parcel tax, nevertheless, it passed. I don’t see much difference from spending Measure C money on science labs and on broadcast journalism labs. We will spend many times the amount of money we could create a broadcast journalism lab with, by instead spending it on the Measure C “administrators” that were banned by the measure itself. That seems a little incongruent.

  52. Kelly VB Says:

    Anon #22-The comments on here are not “personal attacks”. They are comments being made by people who have educated themselves on the situation. Notice they have facts in them? If you don’t understand the underlying anger, there is only one of two options available; A.)you aren’t paying attention to the reality of what the Board is doing and how it will long term effect the entire District or B.)you are somehow personally connected to a Board member and are attempting to defend them.
    In fact the first direct personal attack was your comment “It really highlights a significant lack of intelligence.”

    Anon #38-I comment on Theresa’s blogs, and I can guarantee you that every staff member at Holbrook, most of the parents at Holbrook, and the MDUSD Board know both my name and my face.
    I have attended Board meetings, asked questions, expressed concerns, emailed the Superintendent, emailed the Superintendent of the CCCOE, emailed Tom Torlakson, contacted the OCR, written and mailed hard copy letters, been on the news, been in the paper, and organized a petition signing.
    So yes, some of us are doing something more than just “blathering” on the blog.

  53. 4Students Says:

    MDUSD should improve the meeting broadcast system, and should arrange TV air time. City council meetings and student events are broadcast on Channels 28 & 29. MDUSD wants to create better trust in the community and TV broadcasts would be a start. Paul and Gary have shown it can be done easily, so what’s the hold up?

  54. Wary of Gary Says:

    @ MtDiabloJester: If you haven’t already, try to catch Eberhart’s speech at Olympic’s recent graduation (the same one he gives every year). It goes something like this: “I went to Ygnacio Valley HS, dropped out, got my GED, went on to DVC, and look at me now!” Great message for graduates who have overcome so many obstacles and still had the strength and tenacity to graduate from high school instead of taking an easy way out. Eberhart took the easy way out and is still using the district to further his own interests, financially and politically.

  55. Theresa Harrington Says:

    In an e-mail, Supt. Lawrence says he isn’t counting the money lost from the SIG and the ASES funding in his estimates because it is restricted funding.
    He says his goal was to save $1.5 million from the general fund, which will be accomplished from closing the schools, “repurposing” Glenbrook and redrawing boundary lines.
    “The SIG and ASES funds are part of the restricted funds and do not help us balance our budget,” he wrote.
    That restricted funding would, however, help provide services to students and jobs to employees. And it is still money lost from the overall budget.

  56. g Says:

    Ah, what he said was “supposed to mean” the General Fund only, hmmm. Restricted money isn’t “real” money, hmmm.

    So, who was at Holbrook Elementary taking pictures? Property Appraisers?

  57. anon Says:

    Wary of Gary,

    What in the world does that have to do anything? What has your comment added to the conversation?

  58. Doctor J Says:

    Let’s look at the IEP Board Math from the reduction of the Sp Ed Assistants. How many total IEP’s are there currently in MDUSD? Who is going to review each of these IEP’s to see if the SEA reduction will impact the IEP? How many hours will each review take ? Once those IEP’s that are impacted are identified, who is going to schedule the new IEP ? I believe each IEP requires an administrator, the teacher, a physchologist, the parents and child and maybe more. I am guessing each IEP will take more than one hour. If not acceptable to any party, an appeal can be taken. Are these all to be completed prior to the first day of school ? What is the estimated budget cost of all these reviews and adjustments ? Since teachers don’t come back except for about two days prior to the school start, I am just not sure how all of this is going to occur. Perhaps Gary, Sherry and Linda who voted for this change, could indeed enlighten the masses with the FACTS and FIGURES. Or were they just shooting from hip not considering all the issues and didn’t have the facts ?

  59. g Says:

    From the hip, and straight down through the foot! Again.

  60. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: Mildred Browne said IEP meetings would not be required because the assistants being cut assist “resource specialist students” and are in “collaborative RTI (Response to Intervention).”
    She referred to the assistants as “resource specialist positions” and said they work primarily in the general education program.
    “So, that’s where the challenge would come, to support general ed,” she said.
    Now that these assistants have been cut, it’s unlikely that the district will be able to effectively implement RTI (which is what the YVHS feeder pattern administrators are traveling to Oregon to learn about).
    A Pine Hollow special education assistant said that school was out of compliance last year. She said she had told administrators this, but nothing was done.
    Some assistants acknowledged they work with general education students who are struggling. Without their help, they predicted some wouldn’t be able to graduate (which could increase the district’s dropout rate).

  61. Doctor J Says:

    I don’t know how Mildred can make such a blanket statement about IEP’s since they are all tailor made and may include SEA for more than 3 hours. Hence, each one must be reviewed. That could be a long summer for Mildred.
    What sanctions are there for Pine Hollow for being out of compliance last year ? What administrators ignored the statement of non compliance ?
    Why continue with the Oregon trip if RTI is impossible ?

  62. Anon Says:


    What are they talking about the non public school? I have been told that it would be all non public programs at one place and I have also been told that it would only be one of the non public sites that would take over the closed school. Do you or anyone else have any info on this? When are they planning on this?

  63. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The details were in the agenda for Tuesday’s board meeting:

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