Part of the Bay Area News Group

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.

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

  • Nonnie

    Has the board ever rejected a candidate? If they always approve the contracts it doesn’t really matter when they formally give approval.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I don’t believe the board has rejected a candidate, but it has had split votes, such as for Bill Morones’ appt. as secondary director. Also, one candidate withdrew after board approval, when reports of a DUI and his accidental posting of private student info online came to light.

    Please note that I am adding a meeting live post update to this blog post.

  • g

    Does anyone have a plausible explanation for the screwy way they are presenting usage of the “special $40million” that was set aside from Measure C for the high school wish lists.

    Tonight for example, Item 10.4 they get the vote for Mount’s project request with science labs as their #1 priority for use of that money.

    However, on just the previous Item, they agreed to let Lawrence approve science labs funding using Lease/Leaseback terms, (for who knows how many years of payments!) and they say they’ll use Prop 55 funds. —-

    So, the Measure C “high school wish list $40mil money”—it goes where?

    Pedersen’s planning/spending contortions reminds me of fishing; you look into that can of dirt, plunge your hand in and just pray that you come out with the biggest wiggliest worm.

    Big worm or little worm, you can’t count on what you might catch, but you can guarandamnty there is a lot of slimy wiggling going on, and the little slimers are all wrapped around the big slimers.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#2, I only recall NO votes on Morones and Sue Brothers. The vote for Dr. Nugent was 100% in the affirmative, but before the Board had arrived home, various bloggers quickly uncovered his unflattering mugshot and conviction for DUI out of state, and the issue of leakage of private student information during an academic study he was performing. As I recall Eberhart took it upon himself to “chat” with Dr. Nugent, and for whatever reason, Dr. Nugent withdrew his name after board approval. As far as I can determine he continues to be an administrator in the Elk Grove USD south of Sacramento. Coincidentally, that is the same district Bill Morones worked in at the time of his appointment to be an administrator in MDUSD.

  • frustrated

    Why isn’t live blog updating?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Sorry, sometimes I have trouble updating quickly because I’m also shooting video and taking notes. Will post synopsis later.

  • Doctor J

    Rolen needs to be put in his place — he promotes secrecy from the public. Both Lawrence and Eberhart said the staff report GIVEN TO THE BOARD, including the legal analysis, allowed the practice. SHOW US THE DOCUMENT !! Why is it that I don’t believe hardly anything Rolen says ? I guess it goes back to his character. Time for another book report.

  • Anon

    Just curious, who voted “no” on Morones and what was the stated reason?

  • g

    We’ve been there, done that! They like to refer us to the Ed Code to make everything SOUND fine, but then they assume that we either won’t read it, or won’t understand basic English!

    This particular regulation is grammar school simple!

    Note My ()”" and CAPS for emphasis:

    15146. (a) The bonds shall be issued and sold pursuant to Section 15140, “PAYABLE out of the INTEREST AND SINKING FUND” of the district.

    (f)(last line) …..”Any PREMIUM or accrued interest received from the sale of the bonds SHALL BE deposited in the INTEREST AND SINKING FUND of the district”.

    (notice–that’s a SHALL BE–not just a MAY BE!)

    (g) …..The governing board MAY cause to be deposited proceeds of sale of any series of the bonds in an amount not exceeding 2 percent of the principal amount of the bonds in a “COSTS OF ISSUANCE ACCOUNT”, which may be created in the county treasury or held by a fiscal agent appointed by the district for this purpose, “‘SEPARATE from the
    BUILDING FUND “AND” the INTEREST AND SINKING FUND….”

  • Doctor J

    @Anon#8 It was all reported in the blog of the June 4 Board meeting. Various blog posts beginning at #11 commented on it and lists his sorted history, one without a record of success. I think this link will take you there. http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2012/06/04/mdusd-board-to-appoint-administrator-approve-budget-consider-continued-use-of-radio-station-and-other-matters/#comments

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: Yes, the evidence showing that the practice is illegal is clear. So, it would behoove the district to produce its evidence that it is legal, despite the attorney general’s letter to the Poway district warning that it is against the law. Instead, the district appears to want the public to trust it based on secret documents, while saying publicly that everyone else is doing it and the attorney general hasn’t actually gone after a district for it yet.
    Last time, the way the bond counsel got around the laws you reference is that the district FIRST deposited the money into the sinking fund, then promptly transferred it out to pay for the cost of issuance. Obviously, that appears to be completely skirting the spirit of the law, based on a loophole. Perhaps the law should be rewritten to say that the money should be deposited in the sinking fund and cannot be transferred out to pay cost of issuance.

    Anon: Hansen voted against Morones, saying he had moved positions so many times in the last six years that she didn’t believe he could demonstrate a clear record of achievement. YVHS’s API just met its growth target of 7 points in the first year after he took over. SASS is supposed to be staffed with former school administrators who have a strong track record of turning schools around, so they can coach other principals to do the same.

    Dr. J: Rolen did not appear to know for sure if it was attorney-client privilege. That was his knee-jerk response. Underwriting reps were at the meeting to answer questions. It’s too bad no one asked any. If someone had asked a few questions about the secret legal rationale that they were relying on, then public might have been enlightened about why it’s okay to ignore the attorney general.
    These are the same legal advisers who apparently told Lawrence that saying after the fact that the bond purchase agreement and preliminary official statement were “presented to the meeting” on April 23 was the same thing as Lawrence secretly having one document and Jon Isom hurriedly handing the other document to Lawrence’s secretary after the meeting began, without any public disclosure that the documents were “available” for review. Once again, they are telling the public that they don’t need to reveal important documents, as long as Lawrence has them and the board has access to them. This flies in the face of transparent government.

  • g

    1) “Lawrence said staff had given the board a thorough analysis…”

    2) “Eberhart said the board received “extremely definitive assessments of the process we’re using.”

    3) Rolen-FLMAO said BOND spending assessments or study documents might be “privileged information”???

    4) How about, instead of searching for ways to slither around the laws, they all just step up and “Do the Right Thing” -for the students-for the schools-for the taxpayers.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Now that Alicia Minyen is no longer putting public pressure on them, they appear to believe no one cares.
    Later in the meeting, when Hansen suggested a new procedure for alerting the public when agenda attachments are changed after the agenda is published, Mayo asked what prompted this. Hansen explained the confusion that resulted when the bond resolution was changed at the last minute on April 23, without any public announcement, saying she was trying to correct a problem.
    Whitmarsh said, “Interestingly, I have not received a single email about that.”
    It appears that emails to the board president carry more weight with her than public comments at board meetings and Brown Act complaints to the DA.

  • g

    Theresa, was that discussion around the “Amendment to Board Bylaw 9322″ item?

    They put this up for “info and discussion” as if everything they listed in there weren’t already Brown Act/Sunshine Law requirements.

    Why not just change the Bylaws to read: “We ignore Brown Act Laws–unless someone sends a bended-knee plea to Madame Sherry.”

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, I videotaped that discussion and will post it to my YouTube account later today. The bond discussion should be available on my Qik account, but I haven’t yet double-checked to make sure it uploaded.
    Here are Hansens’s suggestions: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5613&mtgId=345
    Lawrence balked at #6, saying it might be too cumbersome, especially if a change to an attachment is minor.
    “The idea here is to solve a problem and to be proactive and move forward,” Hansen said. “Not to learn from past experience is dumb.”
    She said she was trying to inform the public and build trust.

  • g

    Lawrence would be correct on this being “cumbersome” if the change of wording did not, in any way, change the meaning or outcome.

    For example: “Staff recommends renting goats to eat the weeds around school grounds,”

    Change that to “Staff recommends renting goats to eat weeds around the fence-lines of schools”==probably not a big deal.

    But change it to a typical Lawrence/Pedersen wording of:

    “Staff, acknowledging the unsightliness of tall weeds on our school grounds and looking for a remedy for said weeds on said school grounds, especially and more precisely the weeds with burs that cling to socks (most notably seen around the fences in the back of the various football fields,) and having the funds available through Measure A, and Proposition 55, as well as finding goat rental and the transport of same to and from the fields to be a valid use of Measure C facility improvement funds, we do hereby recommend renting goats to eat.”

  • Michael Langley

    It appears that Sue Brothers brought Jose Espinosa with her from Clayton Valley. That would bump a VP out of YVHS and it seems Brady was chosen to fill in the NGHS position held by Jon Campopiano. Mr. Campopiano was considered one of the better administrators in his guidance of teachers and great communication skills. I don’t know where he has gone.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, “Campo,” as he is called, is widely respected at Northgate. As a former teacher who was well-liked by students, he appears to have the skills necessary to be an effective instructional coach. He was also a popular sports coach. He appears to embody the 3R’s – rigor, relevance and relationships.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Please note that I have added a June 26 update to this blog post with a synopsis of the rest of the meeting.

  • Theresa Harrington

    There was an interesting discussion about the Pawar Transportation contract, in which it was revealed that the FCMAT study questions the district’s practice of transporting special ed students from home to their home school: http://qik.com/video/52278007.
    It also suggests “clustering” students instead of picking them all up at their homes. This appears to imply that they would be picked up at some sort of bus stop. Apparently, a letter will be sent to parents informing them of this and the district hopes to implement the plan in the winter.
    Mayo and Hansen chastised staff for bringing them an invoice for services that had already been rendered. Mayo was especially concerned that the cost was about $250,000 for “a few students.”

  • Theresa Harrington

    The “Mayoral Council” discussion was also interesting: http://qik.com/video/52278716
    Hansen said she put this idea forward, based on requests from mayors.

  • Doctor J

    Theresa, do you have FCMAT study yet ? It will answer a lot of the public’s questions.

  • Doctor J

    Why wasn’t the Director of Transportation, Greg Rolen, answering the questions ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    No, I don’t think it’s been finalized, but Lawrence and those answering the Pawar questions referred to it, as did the CAC rep in her annual report.

    Regarding the transportation questions, Trustee Linda Mayo said the staff was there because she had so many questions. Apparently, they were the ones who were able to answer them.

  • District Parent

    I can’t get the video to play. Do I need an account?

  • Theresa Harrington

    No, it should work. Do you have adobe flash or shockwave?

  • Anon

    Linda and Sherry show why MDUSD has no public trust, no strategic plan and no parcel tax. It’s amazing how quickly they shot down an excellent idea from the mayors for community partnerships and coordination. There are many issues that the district should be discussing with all of the cities and unincorporated areas: how to pass a parcel or sales tax for the school district, crossing guards, police presence and safety at the schools, traffic to and from schools, reducing school buses, school closures, plans for Concord Naval Weapons Station development, after-school and summer programs, homeless and foster students, and the list goes on. The meetings could include the Bay Point MAC, County Supervisors, and any other entities. REALLY, WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM???

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yet, during the budget discussion, Whitmarsh was bemoaning the fact that the city of Concord plans to cut funding for crossing guards tonight. Eberhart said he wasn’t aware of that and pointed out that cities get Safe Routes to Schools funding. This is something they could discuss with city leaders, if they chose to.

    In the previous agenda item (which I believe I shot on my flip cam, so will post to my YouTube account), Mayo, Whitmarsh and Eberhart proposed the idea of voting down another board member’s agenda item suggestion, thereby not allowing it to move forward to an agenda at all.

    Also, although Whitmarsh previously said she intended to bring the strategic plan back to the June 25 meeting, it was not on the agenda.

  • g

    Isn’t it unfortunate that the majority school board feels that collaboration with the within its jurisdiction would be just too much work?

    Apparently the City of Concord is willing to take the first step (and do the extra work).

    Cithttp://www.ci.concord.ca.us/pdf/citygov/agendas/council/2012/0626/7A.pdfies

  • g

    Make that collaboration with the “cities” within its jurisdiction.

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: Your link doesn’t seem to work. What is it about?

    Other topics that come to mind for city-district discussions are the Farmers Market at Concord High, the Concord High sign that doesn’t comply with the city’s sign ordinance, and the YVHS stadium lights project, which is bypassing city approval processes. Interestingly, when De La Salle and Carondelet have construction projects, they have to be approved by the city and residents have an avenue for expressing their concerns. But in MDUSD, even though the stadium lights project has not yet been approved by the board for construction, the district has already authorized the superintendent to enter into contracts for it.
    And speaking of trust, the board made a point of saying the busing cuts to Delta View would be brought back June 25 for public comment. Instead, the cuts were built into the budget with no agenda report that specifically outlined them. So, the Delta View bus cuts appeared to be nearly hidden in the budget presentation because they were a foregone conclusion. Trustee Linda Mayo, however, did point out that they were included in the budget.

  • District Parent

    I got it to work, looks like I needed to update my adobe.

  • g

    OOPS, Sorry. It is (The Memorandum) on Item 7 on tonight’s City Council Agenda.http://www.ci.concord.ca.us/citygov/agendas/council/2012/06262012.asp

    Instead of creating a new committee, they decided to integrate it within the Neighborhood and Community Services Committee. Also, Mayor Leone advised that he has formed a “local” Mayor’s Commission of the 6 local Mayors to work on items of mutual interest, with our Schools being high on their priority list of concerns.

    They also agreed to “phase out” the crossing guards so that MDUSD has a year to come up with their own solution.

  • vindex

    any updates on agenda item 10.5?

  • Doctor J

    Theresa, as you point out in #31 the Delta View parents were promised by the Board to have an agenda item with more public input on the “proposed” bus cuts and once again were lied to by Lawrence and the Board — no wonder Principal Nancy Baum ended her career prematurely. On July 1 I hope she spills the beans to the public.

    There continues to be back room Board plans and deals going on that are concealed from the public — even Linda Mayo usually gets secret staff input that she doesn’t share with the public, and noticably last night she would only “share a little” instead of really getting to the heart of the problem of a bus plan that has so little thought that it is doomed to failure. What happened to that $2000 consultant that said every board member should have a bumper sticker that says: “The Board does it in public”.

  • Anon

    Hansen had reason to question the use of bond premium to pay cost of issuance. The California Association of Treasurers and Tax Collectors and Mark Saladino, LA County Treasurer, agree that bond premium should not be used for cost of issuance since it will cause school districts to receive amounts that exceed what was voter approved. Who do we believe? MDUSD or the California County Treasurers and Tax Collectors?

    http://www.cacttc.org/assets/documents/CACTTC%20Letter%20of%20Support%20for%20LA%20White%20Paper%20on%20School%20Bonds%208-12.pdf

  • anon

    So are you who are criticizing the district for using bond proceeds to pay for the cost of bond issuance advocating that instead the cost of issuance be paid out of the general fund? If that is what you want, what programs should be cut to pay for that? Its a simple question, I suspect that you all will refuse to answer it though.

  • g

    I’m happy to answer Anon@36. The Education Code (law) states that the Cost of Issuance should come from the proceeds of the Bonds themselves. Not from an inflated cost to the taxpayers derived from “Premium” built into the sale of the Bonds.

  • Seriously…

    @37…I really hope you are not a Board of Trustee. As G has said, cost of issuance should be paid from the bond, specifically, the money kept in the “Building Fund”, NOT the General Fund. The Building funds cover costs of projects disclosed to voters. We all want the most funds for our kids, but such funds should be raised lawfully. Taxpayer’s have been financially harmed. Hasn’t the district heard the phrase ” you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you”?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Dr. J: Yes, the “Transportation Changes” item at the June 4 meeting specifically stated: “If supported by the Board this item will be brought back as an action item at the June 25th Board meeting” http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5502&mtgId=344

    Yet, this was not done. The board never actually voted on these changes as an action item. Instead, they were lumped into the budget. This shows a complete lack of transparency, accountability and follow-through.

    Another issue of trust is looming with the YVHS neighbors, who were told there would be a special meeting July 18 for a board vote on the stadium lighting project. Yet, the board has already authorized the superintendent to enter into construction contracts for that project. Could this, too, move forward without an actual vote of the board approving the project?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: Please refer to the link that the previous anon provided, which includes a May 16, 2011 white paper from the LA County Treasurer that states he will not support the practice of using bond premium to pay cost of issuance, in light of the attorney general’s letter to the Poway district.
    The LA County treasurer writes: “The views expressed in this letter from the Attorney General provide clear guidance that Government Code Section. 23903 and Education Code Section 15146(f) do not allow for costs of issuance, including underwriter’s discount and bond issuance, to be paid from bond premium.”
    Lawrence and Eberhart claim to have an opinion they believe is more authoritative, yet Greg Rolen doesn’t want to allow the public to see it. If it’s such a slam-dunk, why isn’t the district showing it to the public?

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    This is truly one of those “read it and weep” threads.
    #13 — Hansen suggests that the informational support materials that the board uses to make decisions be reflected in the agenda, and Whitmarsh seems unable to grasp the simple wisdom of that otherwise commonly accepted practice, commenting that, “Interestingly, I haven’t received a single email about that.” The only “interesting” thing there is that it evidently takes an avalanche of emails to convince her to adopt a simple process that almost ANY OTHER decision-making group would already be following. (What is it again that she gets paid to do for a living?!?!)
    #28 — Whitmarsh bemoaning lack of financial cooperation from Concord, when the board of which she is president slammed the door in the face of the last iniatiative from area cities to collaborate with MDUSD.
    #35 — Some Board members receiving inside info from staff that is apparently unavailable to other board members. (This has been going of for years, of course, but for the board members to have the gall and stupidity to be so blatant about it!).
    And then, of course, there is the continuing amateurish confusion (or outright deception — take your pick) that the board exhibits about the legal uses of cash from the issuance of bonds at a premium (the idea apparently being that if the proceeds “help the kids” then it’s ok to break the law).
    This board and district are broken, perhaps irreparably. There is no impetus internally for any kind of “turnaround”. And after seeing the disdain with which these clowns subject member Hansen, what other sane, competent individual would want to run for election and subject themselves to the antics of this group?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Mike Langley mentioned to me that Whitmarsh appeared to exhibit a double-standard when board members spoke after she called for a vote.
    She allowed Eberhart to speak, but chastised Hansen when she tried to do the same thing. Hansen also pointed this out.
    Shouldn’t the same rules apply to all board members?

  • Doctor J

    @#43 Sherry WHitmarsh should be called to her face what she really is: HYPOCRITE.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#40 You really should ask both Whitmarsh and Lawrence point blank when they are going to bring the “Transportation Changes” back on the agenda as an “action item” as promised.

  • Anon

    Michael Langley,
    Can you tell us why MDEA did not endorse Debra Mason? Conversely what were the compelling reasons for MDEA’s endorsement of Attila and Brian?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Dr. J: Now, it appears to be a done deal. Just like the bond sale.

    Anon: Mike Langley is no longer president of MDEA. He is now attending board meetings as a private citizen. The new MDEA president is Guy Moore. In case he doesn’t see your comment, I believe you can contact him at mdea@ourmdea.org.

    The MDEA Facebook site mentions the endorsement and includes links to the Facebook pages of the two candidates endorsed, but does not specify why those two men were chosen: http://www.facebook.com/pages/OurMdea/193211448697.

  • Doctor J

    Theresa, I still think you should hold their feet to their promises: “When are you going to keep your June 4 promises to Delta View parents to bring the transportation changes back as an “action item” ?”
    Its time to publish the whole FCMAT report — its done and has been shared with staff and the board.

  • Theresa Harrington

    If it has been shared with the board, then it should be available to the public. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll ask for it.

    There did not appear to be any Delta View parents at the meeting hoping to speak on the bus issue, so it could be a moot point. But, it certainly doesn’t appear to build public trust.

    Now, for some good news: MDUSD’s graduation rate jumped 9 percentage points from 2009-10 to 2010-11, while its dropout rate declined more than 7 points: http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/CohortRates/GradRates.aspx?Agg=D&Topic=Dropouts&TheYear=2010-11&cds=07617540000000&RC=District&SubGroup=Ethnic/Racial.
    Now, the district is beating the state averages. It is just slightly below the county grad rate and slightly above the countywide dropout rate, however.

  • g

    Theresa, did you happen to ask Eberhart to elaborate on the who, where, when; or provide a copy of the “extremely definitive assessments of the process we’re using.”

    Considering that “He said it’s an important issue and it’s important for the public to know that the district is operating appropriately”; perhaps he might consider giving “the public” a peek at the “important issue” assessment documents that led to his choice of vote.