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MDUSD appears to misrepresent some information in letter to parents about special education transportation changes

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 at 6:31 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Although a June 20 letter to some Mt. Diablo district parents appears to attribute details about upcoming transportation changes to an outside agency, I have found that the district actually generated some of the information itself.

The letter includes drastic changes in special education busing procedures, including one that is being implemented “immediately,” one that will go into effect Aug. 26 and one set to begin Jan. 7.

According to the letter, the changes were based on a “Financial Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) study to assist with identifying more effective and efficient means to provide special education transportation.”

Yet, the district didn’t receive FCMAT’s draft transportation report until July 18 — nearly one month after the letter was written. The district had, however, received a June 5 letter from FCMAT outlining some of its preliminary findings and recommendations, which it had not publicly disclosed.

The June 20 letter to parents states: “The study revealed that we are significantly overidentifying transportation as a related service for special education students. For example, the district currently provides transportation to 26 percent of our students with an IEP (Individualized Education Programs); however, in most districts reviewed by FCMAT the average was approximately 10 percent. The FCMAT team found that the district has an inordinately high number of parents who receive reimbursement in lieu of transportation services. One similarly sized district has only two parents who are paid in lieu while we reimburse 144 parents. In response to the FCMAT findings and recommendations, the district is modifying special education transportation services as follows.”

First, the letter states that parents will only be reimbursed for transporting students if the district is unable to transport them.

Second, it states that special education students who attend their neighborhood schools will no longer receive transportation unless they have unique needs.

Third, it says some students will be picked up and dropped off at nearby schools, instead of at their homes, beginning Jan. 7. According to this “cluster model,” students would then be transported to and from schools that are farther away, the letter states.

But when I read FCMAT’s June 5 letter and July 18 draft report, I didn’t see any mention of the “similar sized district” referenced in the Mt. Diablo letter. So, I sent an email to Bill Gillaspie, chief administrative officer for FCMAT, pointing out that the information did not appear in its letter or draft report and asking which district it was using as a comparison, how many special education students it served and what percentage of them were transported to and from school.

“In response to your question, we did not give the district the ‘similarly’ sized district,” he wrote in an e-mail.

We don’t know what district they are referring to, so I can’t tell you how many students with IEPs there are or how many are being transported.

You are correct. We make no reference about this in the draft report.

The district must have that information that they are referring to in their letter to parents.”

I also noticed that the draft report attributed the “cluster” idea to an analysis the district received “from a third party expert in special education law, compliance with IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and best practices.”

“As a result,” the draft report states, “Mt. Diablo Unified is working towards clustering special education students at group stops where appropriate and training special education staff members in the IEP process and in determining whether transportation should be a related service. That same expert has developed a checklist that can be used in IEP meetings to help appropriately direct the provision of service.”

FCMAT then recommends that the district “cluster stops for students who can reasonably get to their local school or a nearby bus stop.” It adds: “These changes should be clearly communicated to parents well in advance.”

Just to double-check, I asked Gillaspie if the cluster idea came from FCMAT or from the district. Here is his emailed response:

“The ‘clustering’ is a MDUSD word that appears to have legal grounds to do so, according to the MSUSD legal counsel. You may clarify that with them, if necessary.

We continued to use it so there would be some consistency in how the district communicates the concept to their parents.

What MDUSD is hoping to do is create group bus stops most likely at the elementary school of residence in their neighborhood, or at a common, public location, like a park, rather than picking up each child at their doorstep.

We agree that having group bus stops for the less severe students who can safely get to those stops is a positive for the children and district.

This can be a cost reducing method of providing transportation, provides for the least restrictive environment and promotes student independence with parent support.

Any change of placement or services will involve an IEP meeting, which consists of a meeting between parent and district.”

I asked for a copy of the independent legal analysis on which the clustering idea was based. Gillaspie said it was FCMAT’s belief that it was a public document, since the district had provided it to FCMAT.

However, as a courtesy, Gillaspie said he called Greg Rolen, the district’s general counsel, on Monday to let him know that FCMAT intended to release the document to me and to see if Rolen had any objection. So far, Gillaspie has not heard back from Rolen.

I also asked Gillaspie to name the districts FCMAT reviewed, when it determined that “most school districts” transport about 10 percent of special education students.

“The figure that we use has no basis in any statistical report or data that is available from the state,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Over the years we observe that most districts that control their transportation placements seem to transport about 10 percent of the total special education population.

(The state wide average of serving children in special education is between 10 percent and 11 percent of the general education population).”

Yet, FCMAT’s report and the district’s letter to parents both appear to represent the transportation percentage as a fact that has been “reviewed” by FCMAT. To further clarify whether FCMAT compared districts, I followed up with a phone call.

Gillaspie said FCMAT had not actually analyzed its data to confirm its conclusion.

“What I told you is an honest opinion what we observe,” he said. “We’re looking at the number of kids that are being transported and the number of kids in special education in the district and we’re drawing a conclusion from that.”

Again, I asked him to name the districts to which he was referring. After hesitating for a few moments, he said the Poway Unified School District transports about 10 percent of its special education students.

“That would be my estimate,” he said. “I would say that you could look at Poway and probably draw that conclusion.”

However, he did not provide the data to back up this conclusion. Instead, he said I could look at the transportation reports on FCMAT’s website.

Gillaspie also said that he was not sure whether other districts “cluster” special education students or whether FCMAT had ever recommended that any other districts do that. He said he would try to find out and get back to me.

I also noticed that the district’s announcement in the parent letter that it will stop transporting students to their neighborhood schools (in most cases), is not specifically stated as one of FCMAT’s recommendations.

Instead, FCMAT recommends improving transportation forms and checklists, which would require parents and district staff to identify whether students attend their neighborhood schools. As previously noted, the recommended checklist in FCMAT’s report was provided by the district’s third-party legal expert.

So, the letter sent to parents includes:

- a change regarding reimbursements, which is partially based on information that FCMAT didn’t even have;

- the elimination of busing to neighborhood schools, which was not expressly recommended by FCMAT; and

- a recommendation regarding clustering, based on a legal analysis provided by the district to FCMAT, which has not been shared with the public.

Parents should be given the opportunity to question the true basis of these decisions, instead of being led to believe they are the direct result of FCMAT’s study.

Gillaspie said it is important for districts to involve those who are affected by changes in discussions before they are implemented.

“As we discussed, to implement program or transportation service changes, open dialogue, meetings, correspondence between the district and parents will be required to be ongoing, to assure transparency and a spirit of working together for the best welfare of each child,” he wrote in an e-mail. “I believe the district is committed to do this as a result of our studies.”

Do you believe the district is committed to open, transparent dialogue with parents in a spirit of working together for the best welfare of each child?

AUG. 2 UPDATE: FCMAT has denied my request for the third party analysis, reversing its previous opinion that it was a public document by now claiming that it is protected under the district’s attorney-client privilege.

Here is FCMAT’s response to my request for the analysis and emails between the district and FCMAT, which I received in an email today:

“Hello Theresa:

In regard to your request for document in connection with our nonpublic draft MDUSD Transportation Report, you asked in reference to page 22 who is the legal expert and requesting for a copy of that legal analysis. The special education legal opinion referred to in the nonpublic draft FCMAT report was provided to us by the district in our capacity as an agent for the district in studying and reporting on transportation issues. The district asserts its attorney/client privilege and we are not in a position to release that document under a public records request. If you intend to pursue this further, you need to deal directly with the district.

The same position applies to any attorney/client communication between the district’s attorneys and FCMAT with regard to the study and report. Accordingly, in providing you with copies of correspondence, including emails, we do not include any such communication as to which the district asserts an attorney/client privilege.

I will be forwarding to you in the near future the copies of email correspondence between FCMAT and MDUSD, as you requested, from April 2012 to present, except for any attorney/client protected material.

It is the practice of FCMAT that we do not comment on draft reports, they are subject to review, edit and comment by the district, prior to finalization and publication.

The MDUSD draft FCMAT transportation report was not released publicly by FCMAT and is not a public record. Mistakenly made public, which should have not been, due to the need for district staff to review for accuracy of data, findings and recommendations. This report remains a draft, no final conclusions have been made, and presently continues to be under review by the district, with there is no required timeline for completion.

When a final report is published on our website, it will speak for itself and FCMAT will have no comment. Any questions about the released report should be directed to the district that commissioned it.

Thank you

Bill
William P. Gillaspie, Ed.D.”

AUG. 8 UPDATE: According to the CAC blog, Superintendent Steven Lawrence says the FCMAT reports will not be on the Aug. 13 agenda: http://bit.ly/MQeISj

AUG. 9 UPDATE: I have received the following email from FCMAT’s attorney, explaining why FCMAT is denying my Public Records Act request:

“Ms. Harrington:

I am the attorney for the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). I am responding on behalf of FCMAT to your continuing request for a copy of a memorandum sent to the Mount Diablo Unified School District by an attorney engaged by the District for a legal opinion. This memorandum was made available to FCMAT by the District in order that FCMAT could provide the management assistance which the District engaged FCMAT to perform. In our relationship with the District with regard to this engagement, we have been serving as an agent of the District.

The District maintains that the memorandum in question is a confidential communication protected by the attorney client privilege. After careful consideration, I have concluded that the District’s position is correct and, further, that only the District can waive the privilege and it has not waived it by making it available to FCMAT for the accomplishment of the purpose for which the attorney was consulted by the District. Accordingly, FCMAT will not produce this memorandum in response to your public records request. It is my understanding that, except for this memorandum and any communications between FCMAT and the District’s attorneys in the preparation of the transportation report FCMAT has been working on, you have already been provided by Bill Gillaspie of FCMAT all of the communications, including email, that you have asked for.

By separate email immediately following this one, I will be forwarding to you a letter addressed “To Whom It May Concern” at FCMAT, from the District’s General Counsel, Greg Rolen, dated August 1, 2012. This letter states the District’s legal basis for its position and it is in reliance on that position that FCMAT declines to produce the memorandum. If this is a matter that your publication intends to pursue further, you should consider the District to be the real party in interest and an indispensable party.

Frank J. Fekete
Legal Counsel
FCMAT”

Here is the letter Rolen sent to FCMAT: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=126421163

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  • Anon

    What you are all missing is the fact that Steve Lawrence and the Board don’t give one bit of care to the Brown Act. No one calls them out on it so they pay it no notice.

  • Theresa Harrington

    They pay notice to it when they want to thwart Hansen. Eberhart and Rolen have said the board couldn’t discuss her Points of Order regarding Whitmarsh’s failure to place committee assignments on the agenda — because that item wasn’t on the agenda. Hansen said that was the whole point. Eberhart made a big point of saying he refused to commit a misdemeanor by violating the Brown Act and discussing it.
    The board has also gone round and round on the community meetings it agreed to hold, because Rolen said the agendas might be too vague and could violate the Brown Act. When Hansen tried to make them more specific, trustees shot down her ideas for possible discussion items. So, the meetings that were supposed to have been held by the end of June still haven’t even been scheduled.
    And don’t forget the mysterious Brown Act complaint alleging that something about the superintendent’s job search was leaked from a closed session. The DA’s office jumped on that, but appears to be sluggish about checking into Alicia Minyen’s Brown Act and Misuse of Public Funds complaints.

  • Sue Berg

    Dr J, are you and the other district critics so jaded that you see nefarious overtones in everything MDUSD? These accusations that parents of children with special needs are trying to hide something because one agenda for one CAC leadership planning session in late summer did not get posted make me see red.

    The CAC has been a visible, conscientious, communicative group since its inception more than 12 years ago. It has met publicly on the first Monday evening of every month since then. (Have any of you critics attended even one?) Its webpage is more current than the district’s. Its members hold district staff accountable through visits to classrooms and district offices and conversations with Board members.

    The CAC is comprised of parents who, before and since the Special Education Consent Decree of 2000, have challenged the district to be more open with its plans for children with special needs and to provide more opportunities and access to them–often with many in the district community (and on the Board of Ed) complaining about the money spent on those programs and services.

    I know parents who have been/are on CAC. They are strong-willed and also collaborative. They can be outspoken, but their goal is inclusion–of special ed and regular ed students, staff, and families in classrooms and school activities. Far from being secretive, they love talking about what’s happening, and not happening, for students in MDUSD who have special needs. They certainly do reach out to others.

    I share your concern about violations of the Brown Act. The standards for transparency that Eberhart, Strange, and Whitmarsh set for Supt. McHenry’s administration seem to have been abandoned quickly once the three became the district’s leaders in 2009. I object to your widening the brush you use to criticize the district leadership to paint CAC parents as duplicitous. If anything, they’ll tell you more than you thought you needed to know.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Sue, I agree with your characterization of the CAC. Lorrie Davis appears to believe that the summer planning meeting did not need to be noticed or open to the public. But, there is no indication that anything duplicitous was going on. I will follow up with her to try to get a better idea of why she thought that meeting was not subject to the Brown Act.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is an interesting study about how “overconfidence” can help people climb social or company ladders: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249066.php
    Is there any hint of this in MDUSD?

  • Doctor J

    @SueBerg, you are mostly right, but the CAC has become a little complacent to the whims of the MDUSD administration — clearly the CAC is subject to the Brown Act. Yesterdays “meeting is off” then “meeting is on” BUT “its not public” wasn’t Lorrie Davis’s doing — its the doing of the MDUSD administration who is charged with making sure the CAC follows the Brown Act. However, Lorrie should have stood up and said — ITS A PUBLIC MEETING AND SUBJECT TO THE BROWN ACT ! She didn’t, but she can disclose the meeting now and make sure it doesn’t happen again. The whole fiasco with the FCMAT reports is a sure sign that Lawrence & Company are playing fast and loose with the Brown Act because NO ONE is going to enforce it. That’s wrong and a violation of their Constitutional oaths they took.

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    Sue, I agree you are correct about the rank and file of the CAC, but lets be honest…..for some reason the “leadership” of the CAC chooses to make their bed with the Board. As such they are just as culpable as the board in my opinion.

  • Doctor J

    Right now it appears Lawrence is headed to “cram down” his transportation changes by having Board meetings on the next two consequtive Mondays before school starts on the 29th and change Board policies. He had to change the Board meeting from the 13th to the 20th because he didn’t have the votes. He needs two board meetings to change “Board Policy”. Remember Lawrence’s idea about making First Graders walk 5 miles to school ? He’s going to cram it down BEFORE school starts and before there is a change in the Board composition beginning in early December. More importantly before parents can get organized at the beginning of the school year, and with just 7 days between Board meetings. And he wants it changed while he can still keep the FCMAT report secret. Tomorrow night we will get a glimpse of the Board agenda.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Lawrence wrote in his email to me that he planned to present the FCMAT report Aug. 13, so it’s unclear why he would now break that promise.

    I will post the special education review preliminary findings and recommendations shortly.

    Also, I have heard that the KVHS radio station may also be discussed on Monday.

  • anonadad

    @257 MSUSD Board Watcher: i agree. the CAC is a strong and an influential group that needs to stand its ground regarding services for special ed students; if their leader is so ignorant and vulnerable enough to accept what this supt/board members suggest, then they should not be surprised or upset that the services provided for their children in 2012/2013 will be substantially compromised….with the exception of Rolen’s children and his girlfriend’s child.
    In addition, I’m interested in seeing the 2012 AYP results for Students With Disabilities; these results will me objective and give members of the CAC a more realistic view on how MDUSD is meeting the needs of students with disabilities rather than the subjective sugar-coated verbiage of this supt and the school board.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#259 Why would Lawrence break his promise to you ? “Let me count the ways.” [My sincerest apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning] Perhaps simply put you and your blog exposed basic factual and logical flaws in the the FCMAT report and MDUSD written interpretation that seriously undermines the credibility of MDUSD, its leadership, and FCMAT, plus exposed undocumented information provided by the district which was falsely attributed to FCMAT and for which the district refuses to disclose its sources, if any there are.

  • Anon

    We are still hearing credible rumors that Steven Lawrence is searching for a justification to keep the FCMAT report underwraps indefinetely. Which again seems absurd in that he himself released what is essentially the final draft.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I didn’t really interpret it as a promise to me, per se. I interpreted it as a promise to the public — specifically to MDUSD special education parents.
    It would be surprising if district officials decided to withhold the report just because they aren’t happy with my blog.
    The public deserves the information.

    Anon: Are you talking about the transportation report or the special education review — or both. Although he inadvertently sent me the draft transportation report, the special education review has been kept under wraps.

    As I previously mentioned, Bill Gillaspie told me districts are not allowed to edit or rewrite FCMAT’s reports. They are only allowed to correct factual errors. Perhaps Lawrence wanted to make changes that FCMAT will not allow. It would be especially interesting to see if FCMAT insists on leaving the reference to the third party analysis in the report, since Rolen claims that the district specifially asked for that not to be mentioned. So far, however, he has provided no written proof that such a request was ever made.

  • Doctor J

    BTW Theresa, I guess Carolyn Patton didn’t keep her promise to get back to you either, did she ? And what is the Times doing to enforce the ten day rule on the PRA requests that MDUSD once again has failed to comply with ? Hmmm….beagles or pit bulls ?

  • Doctor J

    @262 I suspect FCMAT went back and “corrected” some of the false impressions, giving MDUSD credit for the unsubstantiated facts, which when you compare the first draft [received by TH] with the final draft will show a different story. Lawrence essentially got caught manipulating, or attempting to do so, FCMAT. FCMAT’s Board of Directors should be alarmed at its leadership.

  • g

    I would almost guarantee that every single person at Dent is under strict orders from Rolen to keep quiet about anything and everything, or else they will be looking for a new job!

  • Theresa Harrington

    The only outstanding PRA was dated Aug. 9, so I’m still awaiting a response from Rolen showing written proof that the district asked FCMAT not to reveal the third party analysis in its report or to release it to the public — before the district gave it to FCMAT.
    It appears that Rolen is trying to retroactively claim attorney-client privilege — without having mentioned it upfront to FCMAT.

    And yes, Patton never called me back after she read the questions in my email. Perhaps she wants to defer to Browne or Rolen. If that’s the case, however, it would be nice if she would let me know that.

    g: Rolen does not supervise everyone at Dent, so he cannot threaten to fire all of them.

  • Sue Berg

    So the answer to my initial question in post #253 seems to be “yes.” Four of the five immediate responses to my comment include criticism, one a personal attack, on the CAC chair. And this over the posting of one meeting agenda. The topic of this string is the district leadership’s handling and reporting of the FCMAT study. Why any of you feel justified in casting aspersions at a parent volunteer is beyond me.

  • Doctor J

    And no response from Julie B-M about the legal justification to hire outside of the Board directive ? Lets also remember there are unapproved minutes for the last five Board meetings: May 29, June 4, 18 and 25 and July 16.

  • Doctor J

    @SueBerg#269 My response, 256, did not attack Lorrie Davis directly. However, she is responsible in her own right even as a parent volunteer for knowing and following the CAC By-laws, the Brown Act, and should be receiving good advice from staff, which I don’t believe is happening. You have the issue wrong — its about holding an illegal meeting, not public and without proper notice, according to the Brown Act, even after she was advised that it was a violation. The information about the off then on meeting was coming from MDUSD staff — Mildred Browne’s office — who of all people should be giving good and proper staff advice, and knows the Brown Act inside and out. Volunteers who serve on these advisory committees are supposed to be taking the FPPC ethics training — but why and how would they know that if MDUSD staff isn’t telling them that ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Still no response from Julie Braun-Martin clarifying why she believes the board gave Superintendent Lawrence authority to hire administrators not specified on the June 25 agenda, which specifically stated that he was only authorized to hire people to fill the “above stated positions.”

    Regarding Sue’s comment, it has been my observation that the CAC leadership strives to keep an open dialogue with board members to educate them about the needs of children in special education. They have researched special education issues themselves, have vocally opposed cuts and are not always aligned with trustees.

  • Doctor J

    No Sue, I don’t agree that “are . . the . . . district critics so jaded that you see nefarious overtones in everything MDUSD?” However, unfortunately the main administrative players, as you admit, “The standards for transparency that Eberhart, Strange, and Whitmarsh set for Supt. McHenry’s administration seem to have been abandoned quickly once the three became the district’s leaders in 2009″ and unfortunately I would include several other bad actors in there too, including Steve Lawrence and Greg Rolen and some others to various extents. Honesty and transparency don’t seem to be words often associated with MDUSD administration. However, you are right that for the most part, the CAC and the Federal Consent Decree, have kept the MDUSD administration from serious abuses of the Special Education needs of students and families — yet, on the other hand, some in power have abused it.

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    Sue, even you the great district apologist must concede that something isn’t right with the way the CAC meeting was held/noticed. When will YOU stand up for what is right?

  • Anon

    Can Lawrence keep the FCMAT report secret? If it was presented at a public meeting and paid for from tax payer money and said that all special Ed parents would be involved isn’t it now a public document? I may be wrong here but it seems that there could be no way they could keep this from the public.

  • Anon

    Anon #274,

    And yet he is successfully keeping it private at least to date. Makes me wonder what is in there that needs to be hidden.

  • anonadad

    @TH #267: Rolen does supervise employees at the Dent, although it’s not official. But he does intimidate employees at the Dent and if they don’t follow his “recommendations”, he goes to Lawrence and Lawrence comes up with some kind of reason to see that they’re fired.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: It would seem logical that the report would need to be made public. Gillaspie told me that some districts don’t present them to their boards, but FCMAT still posts them on its website. The public can of course demand to see the reports, especially since the transportation changes are ostensibly based on the transportation report and special ed changes are going to ostensibly be based on the special ed review.

  • g

    Or, just like the MGT of America analysis, Lawrence could simply say; “We have decided not to rely on either of these reports, and will make decisions based on our own needs, observations, and the law as we see it.”

    Of course they’ll be using what they’ve learned from both, but they won’t have to admit it.

  • Doctor J

    Lawrence and Rolen have become more emboldened over time as they are not “forced” to produce the documents they choose to keep secret. They just say no, and despite some rhetoric, no one takes any action to force the production. This will continue until they are taught the lesson by the courts and “required” to produce and then stung with paying the requestors attorney fees. Lawrence and Rolen need to be challenged by some legal dogs that are more than just bark. So far the Times chihuahua’s have not frightened Lawrence or Rolen.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anonadad: Do you know of employees who were fired because they went against Rolen’s recommendations? Wouldn’t the union protect them? Wouldn’t that be grounds for unlawful termination? Lawrence does not answer to Rolen, he answers to the board.

    g: Yes. The district does not have to implement any of FCMAT’s recommendations. But, it should publicly release the reports.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is an interesting article about a judge sanctioning a special ed law firm for lying after it submitted misleading statements to the court: http://parentadvocates.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=5375#null

    Note: This is not the same firm used by MDUSD. However, this case clearly raises questions about the ethics of providing misleading statements. Just as districts and their lawyers should not mislead courts, they also should not mislead the public.
    The case also points out that this firm billed a school district $500,000 for a case that could have been settled for $8,000 years earlier. Could this be happening in MDUSD?

  • Anon

    What about the case of the little girl purposefully dropped off in a wrong location? Remember Rolen wanted to fight that one, how much would that have cost us?

  • Theresa Harrington

    [NOTE: This comment has been amended to correct information]

    Anon: The little girl was not “purposefully dropped off in a wrong location.” She was accidentally dropped off in a wrong location. However, the bus driver did not confirm that it was the correct location. Rolen said a law firm he hired agreed to cap costs at $1,000. It also would have cost staff time to fight a $1,000 judgment. After the controversy became public knowledge, the district decided to pay the $1,000 instead of going through with the appeal.

  • Anon

    Why on God’s green earth would a law firm agree to take a $1000 case for free?

    That makes absolutely no sense to me.

  • g

    I think we heard $1,000 then $1800 on that case.

    According to court documents the claim was for the full $7,500.00 allowed in small claims.

    The district was handling that case itself from 9/21/11. They lost in a judgement filed 12/5, although the record does not say how much was awarded–may have been full amount–maybe not! The district appealed and brought in Crosby and Rowell–one of the district’s many contracted firms. Then, the district “abandoned” its appeal on 1/20.

    Maybe more to follow this afternoon….

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is my blog post about that: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2012/01/04/should-mt-diablo-school-district-appeal-1085-small-claims-judgment/

    It turns out C&R agreed to cap their fees at $1,000 – not take the case for free.

  • Doctor J

    If you have been upset with what has happened in the last few weeks, wait until you see the Board Agenda that will be posted this evening. It might even inspire an “Occupy Dent Center” !

  • Theresa Harrington

    I wonder if it will include the six items Trustee Cheryl Hansen submitted to be included.

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    Could this be the shocking news we have all been waiting for?????

  • Doctor J

    @TH#288, You had a greater chance of winning last night’s lottery without buying a ticket !

  • Doctor J

    Who will MDEA endorse in the election ? Since one of their endorsements dropped out and did not become an official candidate, will MDEA start from scratch or just endorse one more ? And why didn’t Barbara and Ernie file candidate statements ? Has anyone checked Sherry’s filings to make sure they were “kosher” ?

  • Anon

    I imagine much hand wringing in Dent right now.

    What items do we include on the agenda what don’t we include? What attachments do we attach?

    The Powerpoint program must be working overtime.

  • Doctor J

    Now that Eberhart isn’t running for re-election and Mike Langely is retired, I sure wish that Mike Langley would share with us the “calls” he got for information on Supt Lawrence for jobs outside the district and his assessment he shared to these districts.

  • Theresa Harrington
  • Anon

    Has anyone been able to find any nuggets in there yet?

  • Theresa Harrington

    The board is voting on four certificated public employee dismissals or complaints.

  • g

    and… assigning a Danielle Douglas to fill Alicia Menyan’s seat on Measure C.

    Would that be Danielle Douglas, Asst. DA under Mark Peterson? I could not find that name on published Taxpayer Association lists. Perhaps she’s a “new member”?

  • g

    and…as recommended on “one of those transportation studies” the board MUST change the board policy on transportation to read “only if the school is 5 miles away from the student’s home school.” It used to read from 1.5 for elementary and go up from there. Now it’s just plain 5 miles for everyone moving due to “impacted schools.”

    Kids that may have already walked a mile or more to their home school, may now have to walk that–plus “up to” 5 more miles????

  • g

    and…they’ve (for the first time that I know of) listed “possible” future agenda items. That is where they are burying Hansen’s requests—sort of like a Time Capsule.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, but all six of her requested agenda items were items that have already appeared at least once on a previous agenda, but have not been resolved.