Part of the Bay Area News Group

MDUSD bracing for worst based on May revise, other districts may not be so hard hit at first

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, May 14th, 2012 at 5:18 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Gov. Jerry Brown released his revised 2012-13 budget today, revealing dire projections for K-12 education if voters reject his planned tax proposal in November.

Here’s our overview of the revised budget proposal:

Brown’s budget would allow districts to cut the school year by a combined total of 15 days in 2012-13 and 2013-14, to balance their budgets, if state trigger cuts are pulled.

The Mt. Diablo school district, which expects to look at budget reductions Monday, may consider 12 furlough days in 2012-13 if the taxes don’t pass. School board president Sherry Whitmarsh told me this would likely mean the district would shorten the school year by two weeks (10 days) and eliminate two teacher in-service days.

Since the board cut elementary music education, Whitmarsh said she has noticed a decline in music students at the secondary level. To keep from further eroding music and other important programs, Whitmarsh said she would prefer to have furlough days than other cuts, such as increasing minimum class size requirements.

Now, classes must have at least 20 students, she said. But that could increase to 32, which would eliminate some small programs (such as music classes or AP classes).

Superintendent Steven Lawrence sent me the following comments in an email, in response to the May revise:

“We are very concerned around the budget proposal for several reasons:

1. If the taxes pass, it makes it look like the state is adding a great deal of funding to education when in reality they are just paying back the deferrals. So, districts will only see a minimal increase in our funding per unit of ADA (Average Daily Attendance).

2. Our preliminary calculations show that if the governor’s tax initiative does not pass we will be reduced by $520 per ADA or over $16 million. A reduction this size would be devastating.”

The Contra Costa County Office of Education is advising districts to budget conservatively, with the worst-case scenario in mind, said spokeswoman Peggy Marshburn. This means planning for the November tax initiatives to fail.

“The budget news is worse than we have been anticipating, with the ballooning of the deficit,” she said. “But, every district is different. They all have different reserves. They all have different revenue streams and different priorities. A couple of districts have given raises. Others are looking at furloughs. Each district’s finanicial picture is very individual.”

Both the Mt. Diablo and John Swett districts have filed “qualified” budgets, meaning they may not be able to pay their bills in three years. Mt. Diablo is at impasse with its teachers’ union, which is seeking a one-time bonus that would repay employees for three furlough days taken last year.

Teachers in the union plan to protest past cuts before Monday’s board meeting.

Would you rather see MDUSD cut programs or impose furlough days?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

111 Responses to “MDUSD bracing for worst based on May revise, other districts may not be so hard hit at first”

  1. Doctor J Says:

    How can Lawrence speak with a straight face after he just wrangled himself and the BIG5 a contract extension with automatic increases and step raises ? MDUSD has become an employment agency rather than an eductional institution. How can Whitmarsh speak with a straight face after she just orchestrated that all Board Trustee are continued to be entitled to FULL FAMILY medical, dental and vision ?

  2. Seriously... Says:

    I agree with Dr. J., and as a result, the pity party is over. I predict that schools will not receive the funding needed. I see a future of furlough days, increased class sizes, layoffs, and school closures…but the Big5 will be secure.

  3. Flippin Tired Says:

    “Would you rather see MDUSD cut programs or impose furlough days?”

    Neither. I’d like to see those who have received raises in the past three years have them rescinded, and anyone who isn’t an actual employee have their medical benefits removed. Teachers got raises when they were given money towards the medical benefits they themselves voted away.

  4. Wait a Minute Says:

    I forsee a future without The Gary and Chevron Sherry after the November election and then the next board can start to repair the enormous problems that is their legacy and start to HONESTLY deal with the funding issues rather then reward themselves and their buddies!

  5. Tired Says:

    When and where did education become about anything OTHER than what is in the best interest of children?

    Just like the previous posters, I wonder HOW IN THE WORLD the BIG 5 (as others have referred to them) can accept raises while asking their employees to CUT their salaries by two weeks. This is ridiculous!!!!

  6. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    It’s de ja vu all over again.

  7. g Says:

    When MDUSD hits the wall, they will be required to maintain a reserve of 3% instead of the current 2% requirement. While bleeding funds they have amassed a reserve of what? About 14% isn’t it? I greatly approve saving more than minimum for the ever-looming rainy day, but not just so the managers can get their annual money transfusion.

  8. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: According to the district’s latest budget projections, it has about $19 million in reserve this year (in addition to its required reserve): (See unappropriated amount under F).
    That drops to a little more than $6 million in 2012-13, to more than negative $1 million in 2013-14 and to negative $21 million in 2014-15.
    This includes a one-time 3 percent bonus for all employees this year.

  9. g Says:

    Why in the world would they bargain in a 3% bonus in a district sitting near the performance bottom of California schools? To justify top management’s boosted salaries? Because the district went up 2 whole points in performance? Because somebody wants to be reelected? Because they are afraid the people who have pulled the district down into PI might leave?

  10. g Says:

    Seriously, who on here got a bonus this year? Social Security gave their first COLA of 3% this year. They gave NO increase the past two (maybe 3) years. I know of a couple of large employers in this immediate area that, in order to stay afloat this past couple of years, cut their employees from 9 holidays to 6, and PTO from 12 days to 8, cut sick days from 12 to 6 and changed holdover days to “use it or lose it”.

    That is what companies do, and what good employees put up with to help their companies and save their jobs when times are tough.

    Right now, what could be more important than spending the money directly on educational materials for the kids?

  11. Doctor J Says:

    Remember DMA has a secret sweetheart “deal” that any raise to MDEA is an automatic raise to Diablo Managers Association — read that every administrator in the district across the board, over and above any COLA and step increases ! The Board needs to step up and cancel that secret deal — its time to sunshine this secret agreement.

  12. Anon Says:

    Kudos to the editorial board stating bond kickbacks should be illegal

    In 2010 the misinformation campaign won. But in 2012 the voters need the message loud and clear who took the credit and gets the blame -Chevron Sherry, Gary, and other politicos who endorsed Measure C – and vote them OUT!

  13. g Says:

    Anon: Thanks for bringing attention to the article. My only wish was that they would have gone into deeper dollar detail.

    They say: “Residents in those districts, who must pay off the bonds through higher property tax bills, must demand that school trustees explain why they allow this”.

    The problem here is those same underwriters contributed to those same board members elections! It’s a win-win for them and the shaft for the taxpayers!

  14. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I just received a call from a district resident who was very upset about the board’s decision to raise the property tax rate without voter approval. She said she can’t afford another $300-$400 a year and she wanted to know what she could do.

    Regarding bond underwriters, the district has continued to evade questions about the total amount it has paid to the bond underwriters.

    Here are the blog posts I did about Measure C contributions, which show the bond underwriters (and bond counsel) were big donors:

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s a white paper that looks at research on homework and concludes more emphasis should be placed on quality of assignments, rather than quantity:

  16. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#14 I would refer the taxpayer to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association and/or the Pacific Legal Foundation. I would attach the links, but your blog only allows me one link. :-)

  17. g Says:

    There is no record yet of any new issue of bonds per the 4/23 agreement to sell. Do you know of anyplace we can search to see if anything has gone to the County yet?

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t.

    On another note, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has completed a study in 13 cities (Los Angeles, Long Beach, Laramie, Newark, Jacksonville, Detroit, Denver, Dayton, Bismarck, Austin, Atlanta, Seattle and Pittsburgh) about the relationship between the business community and schools that found:
    “- School boards and superintendents play a larger-than-expected role in district education quality
    – External standards mitigate against the effects of money and political ambition at the school board level
    – Efforts to reduce class size often harm the districts they intend to help
    – Minor changes to the composition of a particular school board can have profound results
    – State government intervention often has a positive immediate impact, but a net long-term impact
    – Business organizations can fruitfully provide external accountability to districts”

    Do you think the business community is involved enough in MDUSD?

  19. g Says:

    Large companies, like Chevron and Tesoro are good at contributions/grants. Local Wells Fargo (MDUSD’s bond bank) branches have contributed in other districts, but I haven’t seen any in the Concord area. As far as local businesses, I’ve seen nothing. As for the city councils in the District, it seems they stand by a hands-off approach.

    Is any part of the $25.00/head DBA’s luncheon with Steven Lawrence being donated to the schools?

  20. Doctor J Says:

    @G#19 Many large corporations have limited their charitable giving to restricted “targeted” projects — they have found with non-profits and schools that if they just give “unrestricted” there is nothing to show for it, and then they hear about “raises” for the administrators. They want a report and pictures !

  21. Anon Says:

    TH#18-No. And in MDUSD cities outside Concord like Walnut Creek, it’s a one-way street selling solar to the Chamber of Commerce, instead of soliciting donations or “real world” internship opportunities for the school kids. Compare WCEF, the Walnut Creek School District education foundation, that has a web page listing business sponsors showing Wells Fargo at the $10,000+ level

    G#19-The invitation offered the chance to meet real live students at a hotel during the school day. Are students missing class for this?

  22. g Says:

    Anon, students are probably skipping some class time, but in this case it’s worthwhile, since learning how to participate in public speaking engagements is very important. Also, I’m sure those chosen are top performers anyway.

  23. Flippin' Tired Says:

    “This includes a one-time 3 percent bonus for all employees this year.”

    That money was taken from CST and CSEA members, and now it’s being given to everyone? Does no one remember that secretaries and Special Ed assistants had their time cut and duties increased?

    Nice, teachers. You get a raise to cover your medical benefits AND 3%, all off the backs of those who make the least.

  24. Theresa Harrington Says:

    FT: Although the agreement is tentatively with MDEA, the district plans to give the bonus to all employees, including CST and CSEA and management.
    However, you’re right that the district built up its reserve in part by cutting the hours and benefits of special ed assistants. However, I believe the district is asserting that the one-time bonus would repay employees for the furlough days they took last year, which also contributed to the large reserves.

  25. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Higher ed reporter Matt Krupnick would like to talk to adults today who attended college without getting high school diplomas (including those who got GEDs).
    Anyone who would like to share their story is invited to call him at 510-208-6488.

  26. g Says:

    I would have no problem with reimbursing for furlough days, but let’s face it, they did get the days off work–. But salaried management at Dent? An extra $2K up to $6K. That half million+ alone would go a long way to offset projected ADA shortfalls if Brown’s tax fails.

  27. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Actually, since the district and MDEA agreed to furlough days so late in the year, some teachers did work because the furlough days were scheduled on days they already had planned to work.
    I know music teachers participated in a festival at YVHS, AP teachers participated in AP testing for their students at the Willow Center and I believe Bancroft Elementary may have pushed ahead with a planned theater production.
    This year, the district is trying to get MDEA to agree to tentative furlough dates so that teachers won’t schedule anything on them in case of furloughs.

  28. Doctor J Says:

    Didn’t MDEA meet with the mediator recently ? What happened ?

  29. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#25 Maybe Matt could interview Gary Eberhart and get a photo op of Gary holding his 2002 St. Mary’s College Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.

  30. Theresa Harrington Says:

    They were scheduled to meet last Friday, but I don’t know what happened.
    Yesterday, MDEA sent out an email encouraging teachers to join Local One and CST in protesting before next Monday’s board meeting. So, it doesn’t look like anything was resolved.

  31. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Dr. J. @ #29,

    Gary has a BS in Business Administration. Who knew? Hope it isn’t one of those Yahoo situations.

  32. Doctor J Says:

    @MD-BW#31 Gary Eberhart’s “Linked In” page he says “St. Mary’s College of California BS, Business Management 1998 – 2002” and his Facebook page he says “Saint Mary’s College of California lass of 1999 · Business Management and Organization Development · Moraga, California” and “Studied Business Management and Organization Development at Saint Mary’s College of California”. So I was just thinking a photo of him holding his diploma might clear up any confusion on the subject. Just saying.

  33. anon Says:

    TH#14, You might want to ask the caller how she did the math to determine she would have to pay an additional $300-$400. Why don’t you tell your readers what the value of the mansion would have to be to get to additional $300 – $400. Or would telling a factual story hurt the newspaper’s profit margins too much? It’s one thing to report the news and the facts and yet something completely different when you continually spread misinformation. I don’t see how that helps the community, especially given that the mission statement of BANG states in part that you will strive to be a strong community partner. I can see why ethics are not mentioned in that same mission statement.

    Speaking of ethics, how come Dr. J refuses to address the fact that he/she is a district employee blogging at the tax payers expense?

  34. g Says:

    Interesting that Eberhart made no such claim in his biography in his run for District 4 Supervisor in 2006, and when he ran for the board in 2008 it was a BA, not a BS. Someone should look for original material.

  35. g Says:

    Anon, you should check your math. At $100.00 per $100K, you only have to have a house assessed at $400K to get a $400 tax bill for Measure C. Silly.

    Who besides you believes Dr. J is a District employee. There is a lot of supposed “inside” information available for those who care to check.

  36. Doctor J Says:

    @G#34 The plot thickens. Any St. Mary’s grads out there with the Alumni book ?

    Oh, BTW, sounds like the legal dept is responding in #33 “states in part”. If it was the legal dept, that would be so ironic talking about “ethics”.

  37. Anon Says:

    Voters need to realize that instead of a $99 parcel tax that could be used to pay teachers, homeowners are paying HUNDREDS for a bond that cannot be used to pay teachers. This administration claims the solar profit goes to the general fund without disclosing the usurious deferred interest and other hidden costs for the solar panels.

    The Times deserves credit for its 2010 editorial opposing the bond. It’s a shame voters didn’t listen but not surprising since they were told it’s “for schools”-peeling paint and all. This year let’s campaign “for teachers”-defeat Gary and Sherry! Voters, homeowners, and parents unite to get the message OUT!

  38. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: Dan Borenstein reported in his column that “The owner of an average single-family home in the district, assessed at $289,000, will face an increase from $173 a year to $275. Owners of costlier homes will confront larger increases”
    I did not ask the caller if her math was correct because I figured she knew what her property taxes were. As g points out, it’s possible she was figuring her total tax, not merely the increase.
    According to the district’s survey, a taxpayer with a home valued at $400,000 will pay $108 more a year now and a total of $132 more a year starting in 2015:
    I have published the link to this survey in the past and welcome a more thorough breakdown from the district, if it chooses to provide one (ie. amount of increase for a variety of values).
    However, the district did not reveal that the total tax would jump from $240 to $346 now and from $346 to $380 in 2015.

  39. g Says:

    Theresa, the district gives the assessor’s estimated “average” assessment. It should be pointed out that the average is pretty heavily weighted by homes that have been in continuous same ownership, and not reassessed “up” by more that 2%per in 25 to even 50 years. The house on one side of me is assessed at roughly $415,000.00, while across the street is an original 1953 owner at about $65,000.00. I’ve been in my house for many years, but have remodled and added on, so I actually do fit into the “average”.

  40. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Also, the district is estimating 2 percent annual growth in 2014-2015, then a 4 percent growth rate every year starting in 2016 through 2040, according to a spreadsheet provided to the Times.
    Yet, the last four years saw dramatically worse rates:
    2010: – 6.43 percent
    2011: – 2.57 percent
    2012: – 1.19 percent
    The district is estimating 0 percent growth in 2013.
    If these growth projections don’t pan out, taxpayers could pay more than the district’s current estimates.

  41. g Says:

    Maybe they are counting on all the old folks dying off (probably from tax shock) and their homes going up from resale.

  42. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: Regarding MDEA, Mike Langley told me today that they are still in mediation and that they do not report on what is going on while they are in mediation.
    We also discussed the school climate survey, which he said he received today. I told him that you were very interested in it. He said that if you are willing to identify yourself to him, he will give you your own copy.
    Langley also said that if anyone has any questions about MDEA, he invites them to call him and speak to him directly. (His number is 676-4664 x13.)
    On another topic, Langley said MDEA recently held an interview panel with four MDUSD board candidates: Ernie DeTrinidad of Clayton, Attila Gabor of Bay Point, Brian Lawrence of Walnut Creek and Debra Mason of Bay Point. The executive board will consider the panel’s recommendation tonight, he said.
    Both incumbents were also invited to participate, but did not respond, Langley said. He does not know whether they plan to seek re-election.

  43. Theresa Harrington Says:

    On the subject of Measure C, the district is holding a public meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the YVHS library to present the stadium lighting project and receive public comments.
    Although the district has posted information about the project online, there does not appear to be any mention of the public meeting:

  44. Another Parent Says:

    People can bitch and moan about certain managers getting raises, but the truth is that those raises are just a drop in the bucket. If the raises were recinded, it wouldn’t alter the District’s financial picture in any meaningful way. If I understand what Theresa is saying, it looks like almost every MDUSD employee is getting a bonus this year, so I don’t think all the rage over five managers is justified. If I were in charge, nobody would get a raise or a bonus if the District is submitting a “qualified” budget and projecting running through it’s reserves in the next few year.

    As to the original question, I’d rather see the school year shortened instead of program cut. Having 10 fewer days of an AP class or a music class is better than having no class at all.

    Theresa, won’t the Clayton Valley charter school face the same cuts from the state? Do they have to submit a revised budget plan that takes the reduced funding into account?

  45. Theresa Harrington Says:

    AP: Yes, Clayton Valley Charter High will likely have to revise its budget based on the May revise. However, it won’t have to submit a “third interim” budget report, since its budget was not qualified or negative. MDUSD has to prepare a third interim report.
    The May revise also includes some financial reforms for charters that may make it easier for charters to stay afloat.
    But, it remains to be seen if the Legislature will go along with the governor’s ideas.

  46. Seriously... Says:

    @#44 AP – “Drops in a bucket” accumulate and in the aggregate materialize in a meaningful amount of money. It is precisely this kind of mentality that perpetuates and adds to the current problem of waste…the tolerance of waste in schools is mind boggling! Every penny counts! We could have dumped the Big5 and replaced them with better employees at a lower salary. The savings could have paid for necessary teachers/aids.

  47. Seriously... Says:

    @40 – In my opinion, the growth rates projected were unrealistic in light of our fragile real estate market and global economy. Everyone should budget $60 per $100k of assessed valuation for 2010 Measure C.

  48. g Says:

    Another Parent: When I ‘bitch’ about the bonuses for managers I am not just speaking about the big 5. Managers by definition fall into Dent and the schools. In my opinion, the people who may have “earned” a bonus based on job performance would fit into the average family van.

  49. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is more information about the YVHS stadium lighting meeting tomorrow night:

  50. Flippin Tired Says:

    to Theresa Harrington @24:

    I understand that the bonus goes to all employees. I’m saying that the money is there because CST and CSEA had hours/days cut, and duties added on, and less time to do it all. Classified employees had between 22 and 26 days PER YEAR cut away from their income.

    Teachers did not have time cut; in fact, they got a raise already, in money given to them so they’d stop whining about having no medical benefits – BENEFITS THEY THEMSELVES VOTED AWAY. Oh, no, they had three furlough days? Boo damn hoo.

    Everyone gave some; some of us gave much more. We deserve our time restored before anyone gets a single dime in “bonus.”

  51. Doctor J Says:

    The drums are a beating across MDUSD with news leaking out . . . the annual Lawrence musical chair shuffle will start Monday night, everyone will be wearing their painted smiles, with kleenex tucked in their pockets. Sue Brothers . . .yup, I called this one a year ago, Director of Secondary in SASS. Lawrence was totally blown away by Mike Langley’s sharing of the MDEA school climates — and Steven’s typical tantrum. Remember that Lawrence “poo-pooed” Trustee Denler’s suggestion a year ago that there was more discontent than in just CVHS. I am hearing that the three worst climate schools are Sun Terrace [no surprise here], Shore Acres, and Foothill MS. One of these principals was pretty beat up emotionally over it — and its not Sun Terrace. So Lawrence now demands that SASS develop its own “climate control” survey since obviously SASS had no idea that there was staff dissatisfaction at any of these schools — uh, duh, where are your SASS coaches that are supposed to be working directly with staff ? Rose Lock as part of the BIG5 just got her contract extension so she took that punch on the chin. And yes, its about that time, that SASS does its Razzle Dazzle “we are doing a great job, pat ourselves on the back” presentation at the Board meeting either this month or next — no real facts, just fluff. So soon we will see Sue Brothers spying on SASS from the inside with Lawrence on speed dial. I wonder if even Gary is having second thoughts.

  52. Doctor J Says:

    Teachers laid off, but MDUSD yesterday posts new teaching jobs available ! SASS Principal coach posted yesterday — I thought this job was posted a few weeks ago ? No applicants ? SIG Grant teachers for Meadow Homes and Oak Grove. Board Math Teaching Specialist. School Bus Driver Training/Dispatcher — I thought Lawrence said he was cancelling Transportation. And lots more !

  53. Mdusd Employee Says:

    Little birds chirping at Dent Center this AM – principal at one soon to be converted charter high school going to another high school and principal of that high school coming to Dent Center. The former shall be moved to Dent when a certain member from former superintendent’s cabinet is let go in June 2013. Possibly explains why contract extension wasn’t proposed when others were.Unidentified board member said to have put notch on his handle over this coup.

  54. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No principal job listings, when jobs are sorted by “certificated management”:

  55. Doctor J Says:

    Principal “pools” were posted a month ago. @MDEmployee, makes sense because Lawrence had to have a contract extension to make that scenario “work”. And as far as I know there is only one “his” on the Board so he continues to orchestrates coups. Funny how this all coincides with a “evaluation” two nights ago — and they didn’t discuss this stuff ? Oh, that would have been a Brown Act violation. Why should they worry, they had another Bay Point Community meeting last night without Brown Act notice. Seems to be a pattern of secrecy.

  56. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It’s very surprising that the district did not post a public meeting notice regarding the Bay Point Master Plan meeting last night on its website or send a notification about the meeting to the CC Times.
    Although the district has posted its PowerPoint online, it does not reveal what Superintendent Steven Lawrence shared regarding his “thoughts”:

  57. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#56 Perhaps the CCTimes should file a Brown Act complaint with the CC District Attorney’s office.

  58. Theresa Harrington Says:

    If the district only notified parents, that notification excluded everyone else in the Bay Point community who may be interested in the plan.
    At the first community meeting, many people complained that the broader community didn’t know about the meeting, which was why they asked for a second meeting.
    The consultants promised to do a better job of publicizing the second meeting.

  59. g Says:

    To see what is going on in Bay Point I recommend reading their meeting minutes. The last posted was for their Mar 1 meeting but it is very informative. See Item 1 and Item 6-e.

    Of course you could contact Debra Mason, as she is currently the School Laison.

    Couldn’t help but notice John Parker mentioning that Mt Diablo High has such poor participation they were going to disband the PTSA in April.

    Theresa, do you know if that happened?

  60. P. Parent Says:

    Dr.J you called it, Sue and Steve back together again! OMG if it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. Valle Verde Elementary is looking for a new principal. Rose and Julie were on site Monday with the same song and side show they gave 2 years ago to replace the last principal. Foothill MS is just about to bust at the seems. Climate over there is very, very hot! Northgate blew out two of the solar panels last week, relief the Pomp and Circus Invitation only group missed that. They are all in a lather over transfer students dragging down academics. The bloom is falling off the rose with the principal not over what you’d think. It finally came to a head over CV Charter comments he made & firing of the basketball coaches! I kid not :)

  61. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: I don’t know if MDHS PTSA was disbanded, but I heard one mom who showed up was told not to discuss the vote of No Confidence.

  62. Doctor J Says:

    Steue, as they used to say in Roseville Distrit my source says ! Lawrence would start a sentence and Brothers would interrupt and finish the sentence — so they say ! Hence Steven and Sue combined: Steue. I knew something was up on the basketball coaches, with all of the teams needing new coaches. CoachGATE it is ! BTW how do you “blow out” a solar panel ? And April Bush seems to be playing musical schools: College Park, Glenbrook, and now Foothill. “Very, very hot climate” matches the MDEA bottom three designation.

  63. Theresa Harrington Says:

    MDEA is encouraging teachers to wear their blue armadillo t-shirts tomorrow to mark the two-month anniversary of their impasse declaration.

  64. g Says:

    Is there a new Athletic Director for MDUSD? North Coast Sections lists that there is an opening for an Athletic Director for MDHS, but then does not provide info. Hmmm?

  65. Doctor J Says:

    YVHS also has all 3 Boy’s Basketball Coach jobs open.

  66. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Hold on, let’s not pass this by. Why in the world would the basketball coaches be simultaneously fired?

  67. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I’ll ask our sports reporters if they’ve heard anything.

  68. Anon Says:

    P.P.60-I beg to differ. I know Foothill and Northgate parents, the kind who attend PTA meetings, and they are okay with the current principals. The laaaast principals at those two schools fed a bad climate. The Foothill principal was moved to SASS . . .

  69. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#68 Are you saying that Linda doesn’t meet Lawrence’s description of “former successful princiapls who can coach principals” ? So what about Linda doesn’t meet this Job Description and Qualifications ?

  70. Anon Says:

    IDK about SASS or MDEA but parent grapevine says the Foothill climate pulled a 180 improvement . . .

  71. sun Terrace Says:

    #51, So with Sun Terrace being one of three worst climate schools & parents complaining, what do you think will happen with Gretchen Jacobs?

    #68, To make sure I understand, Foothill MS previously had a bad climate and the principal that was there at that time is now a SASS? If that is the case and there are other SASS that were once principals with bad climates, it’s no wonder Gretchen Jacobs’ SASS hadn’t sounded the alarm on her. Sounds as though the district has people in these coaching positions that need coaching themselves.

  72. Realia Says:

    @TH#61 Just who runs the agenda for MDHS’s PTSA? The no-confidence vote (and the previous one McClatchy got at Olympic) is a legitimate agenda item as it, and the reasons for it, impact the school community at all levels. McClatchy may be able to try and control her department heads, coerce new teachers into accepting whatever five-year plan she’s focused on the the moment, and harass the veteran teachers who can see through her utter incompetence and the contempt she holds for faculty and students alike, but the PTSA should be beyond her control. This latest example of muzzling proves why it should be so.

    With two no-confidence votes under her belt, McClatchy is a shoo-in for a Dent Center promotion – perhaps a SASS position? Then McClatchy’s replacement at Olympic (handpicked by M. Browne with no interview process, etc.), who is even less competent than McClatchy (with a long track record of an inability to keep a job for long), could be promoted to take her place at MDHS. The one thing those two “administrators” have in common? The ability to blindly obey and implement any and all directives given to them, and the ability to destroy what’s left of campus morale. Browne and Lawrence must be so proud of themselves. MDUSD: where cronyism comes first and kids come last.

  73. Doctor J Says:

    @ST#71 GJ is a problem that was not anticipated by Lawrence or Lock. The Elem Principal pool of candidates is way small. Additionally that they just had to repost the SASS Principal Coach position due to inadequate candidates applying, will probably mean they have to recruit from one of the current principals, which will leave another vacancy. I am very worried that Rose will probably follow her historical instinct to “save” the administrator at the expense of the children and either leave GJ there for another year, or worse yet transfer her to another school for a “second” chance, or in this case is it a “seventh chance” ?

  74. Doctor J Says:

    Compare CDE’s School Climate Report Cards for 58 districts. Here is Mount’s:

  75. Theresa Harrington Says:

    There is also a school parents’ survey:

  76. Theresa Harrington Says:

    MDEA plans to forward its climate survey to the board and superintendent soon and is giving teachers the option of removing individual comments about sites, according to a note to MDEA members.

  77. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I just spoke to some YVHS neighbors who said they were very disappointed in the stadium lighting meeting last night. They said the district didn’t send letters to everyone in the neighborhood and that district representatives did not seem to be interested in addressing their concerns. Instead, they said it appeared the meeting was merely held to satisfy a requirement for the mitigated negative declaration. They said the board expects to approve the plans June 25.

  78. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#77 Sounds like the warm up for another night of protests, this time by YVHS neighbors — read that “taxpayers” and voters ! What should we call this one, “LightGATE” or “NeighborGATE” ?

  79. Theresa Harrington Says:

    They said they were told the project will be funded through Prop. 55, not Measure C.
    If that’s true, one person reportedly asked, then why are we supposed to submit comments to Mitchell Stark, who works for Measure C? Apparently they were told that Stark also handles Prop. 55 projects.

  80. Wait a Minute Says:

    WOW DrJ@ 4,

    These School Climate numbers are shockingly low at 13% with similar demographic schools at over twice as better off.

    A stunning indictment of Kate McClathy’s and Dent and the Board’s utter incompetence at providing a Safe and Secure School for our children to be successful in.

  81. School Teacher Says:

    @TH #77

    Is the description of the district’s interest in the concerns a big surprise? This was just a “check the box” type of meeting similar to them asking for input for school principals, or asking for input on what is not working at a particular site and then just doing whatever they want. Very pathetic.

  82. anon Says:

    Unless McClatchy is the current president of the MDHS PTSA, she has no control over the agenda. If she is not a paid member of the MDHS PTSA, she has absolutely no say in it at all.

  83. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Anon #82,

    Trust me McClatchy’s power stretches much further than you imagine. How do you think she is still where she is? Just try to put it on the agenda and you will see what I mean. It will be subtle but it will be removed and won’t see the light of day.

  84. anon Says:

    @MDUSD Board Watcher,
    If McClatchy attempts to deny discussion of a properly agendized item, the PTSA of MDHS needs to seek counsel from Mt. Diablo Council of PTA’s, the 32nd District of PTA’s, the California State PTA and even National PTA, as she has no authority to do so. The MDHS PTSA also has the option of meeting off campus, the Concord Library could be an option.

  85. Fly on the Wall Says:

    McClatchy’s attempts to control are backfiring.

  86. Anon Says:

    The scuttlebutt in the halls today is that McClatchy is livid at these posts.

  87. Realia Says:

    McClatchy should be livid with herself and her unprofessional behavior, but that would require self-awareness. It’s astonishing what she’s gotten away with at both of the schools she’s run – into the ground. But she’s good at following orders and at harassing employees – a model administrator in MDUSD.

    Hopefully MDHS parents will get wind of how she’s trying to control the school’s PTSA, and why, and they will demand answers from the district as to why McClatchy deserves to keep her job. Perhaps the PTSA could hold a no-confidence vote on McClatchy. Unfortunately, those votes only seem to confirm to the district bigwigs that McClatchy is their kind of gal.

  88. Anon Staff Says:

    More news on the MDHS front… The school has lost its federal funding for the after-school program. I am unsure who is responsible for maintaining this grant but I doubt there will be as forgiving an appeals process (if there will be any) as there was with QEIA.

    2 major grants lost in less than a year. Ouch!

  89. School Teacher Says:

    I see the mention of the agreement being reached with CVCHS about the facilities. I see no mention of a dollar amount in the agreement. Do you know how much the district will be getting from this? Wouldn’t this money reduce the financial impact the district is claiming?

  90. g Says:

    School Teacher: You are correct. The Contract mentions Attachments A and B, but they did not publish them. Those attachments would show the dollar amounts.

  91. Doctor J Says:

    Get ready for Monday night’s new comedy: SASS reading powerpoint slides they are still working on, praising themselves while breaking their arms patting themselves on the back, and ignoring all the problems with horrific school climates. Meanwhile, the children suffer.

  92. g Says:

    Better late than never; the minutes to be approved have now all been posted, and it is great to see that they are far more comprehensive than in past months. At last, comments and concerns are better. I, for one, thank the secretary for the extra effort!

  93. Doctor J Says:

    SASS should be sharing “data” with the Board and public — they have all 3 Benchmarks before the just completed Star testing, which is supposed to be the predictor, and can compare school by school, grade level by grade level. Showing the data would provide some justification for the “death by testing” mentality that seems to have strangled SASS — not showing the data provides zero justification for the huge amount of time and resources put into 3 Benchmarks of testing. Is the public getting what they pay for ? Or is the only thing we are permitted to see are the new SASS Ipads and cutsom cases ?

  94. Fly on the Wall Says:

    From school board meeting 2/27/12
    Derek Wang, Jim Rowe, Sandra Davis, Cherie Adcock, Raul Reyes, Kellie Morales, Sharon Marks, Ruben Quinoñes, David Rosenbaum, Pam Dean & Bray McCollum, Keith Coppage, Heather Fontanilla, Bryan Shaw, Jules Cook, Karen Arcangelo, Barbara Breashears, and Shey Reed spoke in support of the administration at Mt. Diablo High School.

    Mrs. McClatchy has friends.

  95. Doctor J Says:

    I don’t remember the Feb 27, 2012 Minutes with such detail — in fact if I recall Trustee Hansen objected to the brevity of the minutes at the next meeting in March, and voted against the adoption of the minutes. Has someone gone back and “changed” the approved minutes after the fact ? Actually when you look at the entire minutes, there is much more detail than I recall during that time period. Perhaps the heat is affecting my memory.

  96. Doctor J Says:

    Benjamin Franklin — quite a person.

  97. g Says:

    Dr. J: The heat is not affecting your memory.

    The CYA came into effect with 2/27 minutes where we see a brief explanation of public comments, when several people “spoke in support of the administration of Mt Diablo High School”.

    And to think, it was just on Feb 6 that Eberhart said they would have to vote on a change of policy in order to increase minutes. Gee, I don’t remember them voting to increase the minutes.

    I’m glad they did, finally. I hope they continue, and get even better. This couple of years of total disregard of the public’s concerns and their continued denigration of Cheryl’s attempts to have the public’s concerns brought to light has been abysmal.

  98. Doctor J Says:

    G, I also appreciate the new effort for detail in the minutes, but frankly am appalled by the inaccuracy. Someone needs to proof read the minutes before posting. Just SOME of the examples from April 23 proposed minutes: “Vice President Whitmarsh led the pledge . . .” Meeting extension motion was to 1:30am, not 12:30am. Motions and votes are all mixed up in 16.7. “Amended Motion #1” either should be listed first as the original motion or listed after the original motion was made but before the vote. Amended Motion #2 — was this an amendment or a new motion ? It passed, but then the other series of motions identified as “amended” #3 and #4 were actually made before the vote on #2, not after. It all becomes very important to understand how the meeting unfolded and the importance of accurate and detailed minutes. These are just some examples.

  99. Doctor J Says:

    Rose Lock just blew through her Elem Principal pool in a week and needs more Elem Principals — just posted the second “pool” application deadline for June 4. Tonight the Agenda says “up to 4 Elementary Principals”. Looks like more openings next month.

  100. g Says:

    I wonder if there’s any chance Sara Dieli might be lured back to ‘fix’ Sun Terrace the way she fixed Holbrook? She was a great loss in the school closure fiasco.

  101. Doctor J Says:

    Sources are now telling me that the Elem Princ pool solicited in April was so small due to poor recruiting they could not fill all four Elem Principalships — and had to recruit an internal transfer outside of Elementary. That doesn’t bode well for additional Elem Principalships that just were added yesterday and the recruitment will only last until June 4. Who will it attrack ? Fired principals from other districts ? Uh, been there, done that, and it doesn’t work out so well.

  102. Wait a Minute Says:

    Maybe Nugent will apply again!

  103. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Yet Eberhart fiddles as the MDUSD burns.


  104. Dr J - A Bush Says:

    Dr. J – wasn’t the vice principal at College Park “Amy” Bush (not April Bush)?

  105. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Although Lawrence estimated the trigger would cause cuts of $520 per ADA or over $16 million, School Services of California estimates the trigger would prompt cuts of about $441 per ADA.
    With MDUSD’s 2012-13 ADA projected at 32,380.34, that would mean a cut of about $14.2 million next year.

  106. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is a CA Budget Project report that explains school funding and explores the weighted student formula:

  107. Doctor J Says:

    Any word on CrossingGuardGATE ? Is Lawrence negotiating in good faith with the City of Concord to share expenses ?

  108. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Perhaps information about this will be shared at the June 4th board meeting.

  109. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s some good news for MDUSD: PHMS student Nick Lambert (Speller 24 in the Scripps National Spelling Bee) spelled altazimuth correctly in Round Three of the Bee about an hour ago.
    You can follow the action on Twitter at:!/Scrippsbee

  110. g Says:

    Great going Nick! I couldn’t have even used it in a sentence without looking it up first!

  111. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s Nick’s bio:

Leave a Reply