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MDUSD board to discuss budget, school safety, bullying and other issues tonight

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, June 25th, 2012 at 7:01 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board meeting tonight is likely to last much longer than the last meeting, which was over in about half-an-hour.

Here are highlights from the first part of the agenda (which is normally not discussed):

CLOSED SESSION:

Item 4.5: Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint related to six certificated employees (info only): http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5579&mtgId=345

CONSENT CALENDAR:

Item 9.3 Certificated personnel actions: Includes some teachers having workloads reduced, along with temporary teachers being rehired, including two at Oak Grove MS: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/04af1852-a7df-4eca-9eb9-71da746f1a3e.pdf

Item 9.12 North Coast reps for MDUSD schools does not include CVCHS (since it will be a charter) and lists Steven Brady as the Northgate vp rep:
http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/a7f12994-b270-4012-98f3-eeb84f2ba481.pdf

Brady was appointed as a vp of YVHS, where he worked this year: http://yvhs-mdusd-ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1309422182233

It looks like he may be another superintendent “reassignment,” but it’s unclear who he’s replacing: http://northgatehighschool.net/Staff/Administration/tabid/119/Default.aspx

Item 9.31 authorizes the superintendent to enter into contracts over the summer without board approval: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5544&mtgId=345
Interestingly, one attachment has been clearly updated since the agenda was posted, with the original attachment still available for comparison. It looks like the district may be implementing a new policy to make revisions transparent! 🙂

Item 9.33 Disposal of library books from closed schools: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5561&mtgId=345

9.36 New board policy and administrative regulation prohibiting use of cell phones: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5568&mtgId=345
(The BOC may be interested in this, since it was specifically discussing at its meeting, wondering if such a policy existed.)

9.38 Measure C high school projects lists for MDHS and alternative schools: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5594&mtgId=345

9.39 Cost of issuance for Measure C bonds: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/com/print_item.aspx?itemId=5608

Do you think the board should authorize the superintendent to approve contracts without its approval over the summer?

8:40 pm UPDATE: LIVE BLOG OF MEETING:

I arrived a bit late, during discussion of items pulled from consent calendar for discussion. They were:

10.1 (item #16): Food and nutrition

10.2 (item #30): Approval of contract with Lincoln Pools

10.3 (item #31): Authorization to award summer contracts
(I arrived during this discussion): passed 5-0

10.4 (item #38): Measure C High School Project Plan: MDHS and alt. ed.
Passed 5-0.

10.5 (item 39): Confirming costs of sale respecting issuance of MDUSD GO bonds, 2010 election, 2012 Series E
Hansen asked about use of bond premium to pay costs of issuance.
Superintendent Lawrence said staff had given the board a thorough analysis of the Poway letter (sent by Attorney General’s office to Poway Dist.) He said it’s a common practice.
Hansen said she pulled this from consent because there continues to be that question.
Eberhart said the board received “extremely definitive assessments of the process we’re using.” He said it’s an important issue and it’s important for the public to know that the district is operating appropriately.
Passed 4-1; Hansen against.

After the meeting, I asked Greg Rolen for a copy of the letter referenced by Lawrence and Eberhart. He said he wasn’t sure he needed to give it to me because it could be attorney-client privilege. I pointed out to him that the district is assuring the public that it’s perfectly fine to use bond premium to pay issuance costs, without actually telling the public the basis for that decision. Furthermore, the board specifically relied on this legal analysis in making its decision to approve the expenditure. I’ll be speaking to our company attorney about this. When the bond counsel spoke to the BOC, she said she and other attorneys didn’t know what the Poway letter meant. If they now have a better understanding of it, the public deserves to know what it is.

10.6 (item #41): Joint use lease agreement between MDUSD and Anova Center for Ed:
Hansen questioned the plan and pointed out that the revenues were minimal.
Lawrence said the district would receive about $84,000-$94,000 in rent, plus would reap solar benefits and Pawar Transportation savings.
Rolen said Anova pays 95-cents a square foot now and the district got them up to $1.50.
Lawrence said Anova approached the district. He said Measure C staff will be on the Holbrook site for 5-6 years, but after that, the district could see if anyone wants to rent the whole site. He also said the district is holding onto the property for when Concord develops the Naval Weapons Station property.
Eberhart said the deal is better for district students and makes better use of the facilities.
“To say that there has been no planning is void of reality,” he said, “so I would encourage people to look at the planning that has been done.”
Hansen asked: “Where is that plan?”
Passed 5-0.

JUNE 26 UPDATE: Here is the link to video of the bond cost of issuance discussion: http://qik.com/video/52274799

Here is my story about the meeting: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20942427/mt-diablo-school-board-approves-2012-13-budget

Since I didn’t finish the live blog, here is a synopsis of the rest of the meeting (please note that video clips are posted at http://qik.com/tharrington and will be posted later at http://www.youtube.com/tunedtotheresa):

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Three people spoke about a composting program at Sequoia Elementary in Pleasant Hill, which they would like to serve as a model for other schools. One said Pleasant Hill Middle School’s Earth Club is “disenfranchised” because the school has resisted composting and sustainability efforts there. It spends more money on waste disposal than any other Pleasant Hill school. Superintendent Steven Lawrence promised to bring this back as an agenda item.

No district communications.

CAC Annual Report: Dorothy Weissenberger delivered the annual report, including references to disproportionality and the FCMAT reports. She said the CAC is very concerned about cuts to special ed and reminded the board of its legal obligation to provide a free and appropriate education. She said the group would hold a planning meeting in August.

Superintendent’s Report: Lawrence invited Jeff Adams of UMDAF to speak. Adams presented the district with a check for $250,000 as a contribution toward athletics.

Lawrence also praised SASS for offering several courses to teachers and said more will be offered in August.

Board unanimously appointed Lisa Caswell as program specialist, categorical programs, to work at Oak Grove MS.

Board unanimously apppointed Ann Tirrell as program specialist, ed tech.

Board unanimously agreed to reinstate database admin. position.

Board unanimously adopted 2012-13 budget, but Mayo said she regretted the reductions to Delta View bus service.

Board unanimously adopted resolution regarding maintenance of fiscal solvency.

Board voted 4-1 to approve school site safety plans. Eberhart opposed, saying there didn’t seem to be any consistency from school to school.

Board unanimously approved items 15.8 through 15.11.

Board voted 3-2 to approve 21012-13 nonpublic school and agency master contract. Mayo and Hansen voted against. Mayo was concerned about abandoning collaborative in contract language. She also mentioned school class size discrepancy.

Board unanimously approved items 15.13 through 15.20.

Board voted 3-2 to authorize superintendent to enter into new administrator contracts over summer without board approval. Eberhart and Hansen voted against, saying they didn’t want to relinquish the board’s authority to approve appointments.

The remaining items were presented for information only. There were no board reports, due to lack of time.

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