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Live blog of Jan. 23 MDUSD board meeting

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at 7:54 pm in Education.

Here is a link to the agenda:

Board President Sherry Whitmarsh said the board will continue its closed session after the meeting to evaluate the general counsel.


Adopted except 9.15, 9.17, 9.19 and 9.28 (which were pulled): Passed 5-0

9.19 regarding sale of bonds.
Alicia Minyen, who is a member of the Bond Oversight Committee, said she hopes the district will oversee the risks and make report to the public regarding the yields and make sure the net present value savings is realized over time.

9.17: Willie Mims questioned the new grading system.

9.28 Willie Mims raised questions about contract with Alpha! Innovation through Education to provide supplemental tutorial services to eligible students at nine Title I schools.

9.15: MOU with Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and the Mt. Diablo CARES After School Program. Trustee Linda Mayo pulled this item to highlight the partnership, which Stephanie Roberts described.

Superintendent Lawrence said the bond sales are saving taxpayers money.
Trustees unanimously approved each of the above items.

7:45 p.m.: High school student reps are reporting on activities at their schools.


1.Joseph Partansky: Said citizens can pull items from the consent calendar. He also referenced the “Tax on California Oil and Natural Gas: Revenues to Education” initiative, which is being proposed for the November election.

2. Clayton Councilman David Shuey: Asked the board to create a subcommittee composed of city council members and the superintendent that would meet regularly.

3. Joe Medrano, vice mayor of Clayon: Said the council wants to start the healing process after the charter and asked General Counsel Greg Rolen to call the Clayton attorney regarding the Clayton gym billing.

Board President Sherry Whitmarsh said Rolen has called the attorney back.

4. Janet Fitzpatrick: Asked for CST hours to be restored, so the district can restore employees’ trust.

5. Debbie Roberts: Expressed concerns about transportation budget cuts on behalf of M&O bus drivers. Said Deb Cooksey said dist is looking at replacing door-to-door service with cluster pickup points. Asked the district to use reserves to serve the students.

6. Dawn Bennett: Parent who also works for the district asked the district to expand busing for general ed students.

7. Willie Mims: Asked board to appeal County Board approval of CVHS charter.

8. Alicia Minyen: Said district has illegally used bond premiums to pay for bond issuance costs and asked district to investigate and return $3.4 million to taxpayers.

13.1 Dist orgs

1. Annie Nolen: On behalf of CSEA, complained that the district is trampling on their contract.

2. Debbie Hickey: Asked district to restore cuts to CST union members.

14.0 Superintendent’s Report
Lisa Boje reported on School Improvement Grants.

15.1 Coordinator, SS 6-8: Board unanimously appointed Cheri Scripter

15.2 Coordinator, SS 9-12 for Olympic HS: Board unanimously appointed Cheri Scripter to this too.

15.3: Coord. SS 9-12: MDHS: Jarrod Bordi: Board unanimously approved.

15.4 Extended year summer program admins: Board unanimously approved several administrative appts, as outlined in agenda report.

15.5 Purchase of used buses
Board unanimously agreed to purchase six 42-passenger buses.
General Counsel Greg Rolen promised to bring a transportation plan to the board.

Linda Mayo moved to purchase wheelchair van according to agenda item 15.5.
Trustee Gary Eberhart moved to table the motion. The board approved this motion 4-1.

15.6 Audit
Alicia Minyen urged board to hire an internal auditor, as recommended by Christy White.
Approved unanimously.

15.7 Board accountability report
Alicia Minyen outlined how the district failed to realize savings on previous lease agreements and urged the board to approve an accountability progress report, so the district could update the public on meeting projected goals.
Cheryl Hansen moved approval of the accountability progress report.
There was no second.

15.8 English learner master plan
9:45 p.m.: Jeanie Duarte-Armas is presenting the plan.
Four people spoke in favor of the plan.
Several meetings will be held for input on the plan, including one from 9:30-11:30 a..m. Thursday and one from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1. The public is invited to both of these meetings.

Trustees praised the plan and the process.

15.9 Budget Update
10:14 p.m. CFO Bryan Richards is presenting the budget.
If the governor’s tax proposal doesn’t pass, the district would lose about $370 per student.
Gary Eberhart said $370 per student is roughly $12 million in MDUSD.
Richards said the Powerpoint is on the ESB website.

Board agreed to extend meeting to 12:30 a.m.

15.10 CVHS attendance area
Felicia Stuckey-Smith recommended creating a gray area and allowing parents to choose preferred schools, which would be assigned based on class seniority and available space. Trustees agreed to vote on this recommendation in February.

15.11 Strategic plan
Board will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. Comments can be submitted to principals and most recent draft is online.

15.12 Public input and informational meetings for board and supt
Cheryl Hansen urged the board and superintendent to hold three meetings in the next two months: in Bay Point, Concord and Walnut Creek. Trustee Gary Eberhart said he preferred to send a couple of board members and the superintendent to every school in the district over a period of two years. Trustees expect to vote on the idea next month.

15.13 MDHS update
Superintendent Lawrence reported on the process and several teachers spoke out against Principal Kate McClatchy’s leadership. Trustee Gary Eberhart said he wanted the board to be kept informed about the process.

15.14 Involuntary transfer to Olympic Continuation High School
Mike Langley cautioned the board to think about the consequences on the existing students at Olympic and Willie Mims agreed with him.

JAN. 25 UPDATE: Here is a link to audio of the meeting:

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