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MDUSD board to hold special meeting Tuesday morning to discuss superintendent search

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, May 24th, 2013 at 7:16 pm in Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board will hold a special meeting Tuesday morning to discuss its search for a new superintendent. However, the agenda for the meeting is not posted on the district’s website because the former superintendent’s secretary has left the district and the only other person who knows how to post the agenda online is on vacation, said Board President Cheryl Hansen.

Instead, the interim superintendent’s substitute secretary emailed the agenda to me so that I could inform the community about the meeting. Also, the agenda has been posted in the required locations according to the Brown Act, Hansen said.

Here is the agenda:

“MT. DIABLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
JAMES W. DENT EDUCATION CENTER
1936 Carlotta Drive
Concord, California
(925) 682-8000

TYPE: Special Board Meeting
DATE: 5/28/2013 TIME: 9:00 AM
LOCATION: School District Board Room – 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord

1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order. Info

2.0 Announcements
2.1 In closed session, the Board will consider the items listed on the closed session agenda. Info

3.0 Public Comment
3.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time.

4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session
4.1 Discussion of Search for Superintendent Discussion
Pursuant to Gov’t Code §54957
Identification of potential candidates

4.2 Student Issues

4.3 Public Employee Discipline / Dismissal / Release / Complaint

4.4 Anticipated Litigation

5.0 Reconvene Open Session
5.1 Reconvene Open Session Info

5.2 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info

6.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session

6.1 Discussion of Search for Superintendent Info

7.0 Public Comment
7.1 The public may address the Board regarding any item within the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District that is not on this agenda. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers, or the here minute limit may be shortened. If there are multiple speakers on any one subject, the public comment period may be moved to the end of the meeting. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

8.0 OPEN SESSION ITEMS
8.1 Discussion of Search for Superintendent Discussion
Meet with search firm advisors, Leadership Associates, to discuss:
1) Overview of Search Process
2) Finalize Timeline
3) Desired Qualities and Characteristics of a Superintendent
4) Identification of Groups and Individuals for Community/Staff input

9.0 Closed Session
9.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this Closed Session. Action

10.0 Adjournment
10.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Hansen told me that the board will first discuss the superintendent search with Leadership Associates in closed session for about 30 minutes, then meet in open session, then return to closed session to discuss the other closed session items. The agenda will be posted online Tuesday morning, she said.

Are you satisfied with the public notice the board is providing regarding this meeting?

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  • Doctor J

    Measure C raises its ugly head again this week — and it could cost the district a fortune. All because of the Taxpayers v. SDUSD case I linked in post #46. The Appeal justices unanimously decided that SDUSD’s Prop S [similar to our Meas C] did NOT specifically list a project in the ballot measure and therefore Bond funds were not authorized to use be used for the construction — it was built so presumably the district will have to pay millions back to the bond fund. I will be giving a link at the end to all of the legal papers of the Taxpayers case. Our Meas C did not have a list, by school, of specific projects BUT Prop S did. The Justices decided that in order to qualify for bond payment, a project must be specifically “tethered” to a “listed project expressly authorized elsewhere in Proposition S.” That becomes a real problem for MDUSD’s Meas C’s. Back on June 28, 2011 the Eberhart led Board set up a “High School Enhancement Program” funding it with about $6.5 million of Meas C money. Each school got to choose its own projects. Tues night is the public comment on the YVHS Environmental Impact report for its football stadium enhancements including lighting — so similar to the Taxpayers v. SDUSD case its eerie. No mention in Meas C of football stadium improvements or field lighting. Tomorrow night’s [Monday] Board meeting agenda is full of Meas C issues. Item 11.1 is the annual Meas C report — which ironically reports the High School Enhancement Program has been increased to $40 million but the powerpoint doesn’t list the projects. Items 13.10, 13.11, 13.12, 13.13 list various projects: install skylights [never mentioned in Meas C] & reroof Strandlewood; convert YVHS shop building into a sports weight room, sports medicine room, ceramics studio, outdoor kiln installation [none of these projects mentioned in Meas C]; science classroom improvements at MDHS & YVHS [science labs are generally, not specifically, mentioned in Meas C but not to construct them]. Since Meas C did not have any specific project list tied to any specific school, will that invalidate Meas C ? Will all projects not specifically mentioned in Meas C be found to be illegal ? How would the district afford to pay back Meas C. Take a look at the June 28, 2011 agenda, item 15.14 for a list of Board approved high school enhancement projects — many of the subjects are not even mentioned in Meas C; e.g. bleachers at Northgate HS; stadium improvements at CPHS; bleachers at baseball field for YVHS. As for the balance of the $34 million increase, not sure where that list is. Building a new school is clearly not in Meas C.
    Here is the link to the website for Taxpayers For Accountable School Bond Spending and their lawsuit against SDUSD. Read the lawsuit and all the papers, but DON’T MISS THIS: 09 Aug 2011 – City Attorney Memo on Vote to Render City’s Zoning Ordinances Inapplicable. I can’t ever remember this issue come up for YVHS stadium lights or for the solar panels. http://www.tfasbs.org/

  • Doctor J

    Impressive interview with elementary principal appointed Supt of 132,000 student district — second largest in California. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/feb/27/elementary-school-principal-named-new-san-diego-un/

  • Doctor J

    CLOSED SESSION BREAKING NEWS: Dr. Bernard just asked the Board to add to the closed session agenda 3 items all dealing with “Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release” for two fiscal employees, 1 classified employee, and 1 certificated employee. The Board approved 4-0 Brian Lawrence is probably not participating in closed session. Dr. Bernard’s explanation was that there ended up, due to operator error of the Electronic School Board system two agendas — a private one for the Board that included these matters and the public agenda that did not and he apologized. They have a 3 1/2 hour closed session planned. That is a long time. I expect the opening to be posted within the next hour.

  • Doctor J

    District has posted a public notice for community input on qualities for a new supt for June 6 and 11 at rather inconvenient times, but also are allowing fax input, email input or telephone input. http://www.mdusd.org/NewsRoom/Pages/public-notice-superintendent-search.aspx

  • Alicia

    @51 Any citizen that pays Measure C taxes can seek an injuction against the district under Education Code 15284 to put a stop to any project that was not explicitly disclosed in the projects list.

  • Doctor J

    @Alicia#55 The Board didn’t seem too concerned about these major undisclosed projects [never even discussed prior to the election] like the Northgate Aquatic Center or the YVHS Stadium Lights or even the little projects. I think someone is actually going to have to file for the injunction to get their attention. Cheryl Hansen said in her trip to Northgate High last week they don’t even know where this aquatic center will be located. Yet on August 20, 2012, nearly a year ago, the Board approved a ‘not to exceed’ contract in the amount of $614,516.00 to Arch Pac Aquatics for the provision of comprehensive engineering and design services necessary for the satisfactory completion of this project. A month later on Sept 24, 2012 the Board approved $150,580.00 for doing the Environmental Studies. All Measure C money. I wonder if anyone will raise these issues, along with the Taxpayers v. SDUSD case recently decided that prohibits non specifically disclosed projects on 55% Bonds.

  • Anon too

    It would be nice if the board took a little more interest in making every local high school equal in their facilities. Some cannot even practice their sports on their own fields, yet some have it all and are getting more. How is that fair. I’ll probably hear the same answer, the schools chose how to spend their money. Yes, some put it into the classrooms, while some are putting it all into facilities, and one has a dwindling population but will have state of the art facilities. It seems to be a very inadequate process to place funding where it is really neede at each site.

  • Anon

    Anon #57-

    Get your facts straight, every high school got exactly the same funding. Stop your whining. Stop acting like a victim. And stop blaming Northgate.

  • Anon

    Just wondering Anon #57

    Every high school got $6.7 mil last year. Tell me, do you think one school should get $12mil while this school with dwindling enrollment gets nothing? Where do you draw this “fair” line you speak of?

    Tell me how much do you think each high school should get? Start with $40,000,000.

    Concord
    Clayton
    College Park
    YV
    Northgate
    Mt. Diablo

    Who should get the most?

    Do you know where this money comes from? It comes from EVERY school community.

    I no longer understand the definition of fair. When I was a kid, fair was splitting something equally.

  • Still Waiting

    Its the management, unenlightened one.
    Getting rid of rank and file while the managers who were supposed to stop whatever was happening are safe. Unreal how teflon they are and how they stick together. Keeping the same core group and blaming the little guy. Well, I will leave it to the forces that be to figure out that it must be a top-down change. I, myself, would like to deal with anyone other than Julie Braun Martin who has a palpable dislike of the certificated staff, probably all staff. This is a paycheck only for her but she is not fulfilling those requirements, either. When, oh when, can I sing the Rogers & Hammerstein Sound of Music song:
    So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night I hate to go and leave this pretty sight So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu Adieu, adieu

  • 2busymom

    Fair has many definitions, it all depends on the situation. Fair can also mean everyone getting what they need, and that is not always equal portions.
    Just a different perspective.

    I am personally happy that the board went with Tech plan B. Each school will not get the same amount of money, but will get enough to put them all on an equal playing field.

    Our students are not getting an equal education. Schools with low income, and/or low test scores get more funding. Schools with higher socio-economic attendees get more in donations. Schools in the middle of the road get screwed. That is the unfortunate reality.

  • Anon

    2busymom
    Be careful what you wish for. Start distributing bond funds based on an unequal distribution and it may be the last bond or parcel tax measure ever passed in this district.

  • anontwo

    What is the status of the approval of the separation agreements of Superintendent Lawrence and Counsel Rolen? Approval isn’t reflected in the board action summary.

  • Anon too

    And maybe it should be the last until the District can manage and account for all of their spending.

    Every student in the District should have equal opportunity at every school. Example I will use is track. Why should some schools have a track that meets NCS standards and others not. All should have the same opportunities. Once all are offered the same opportunities, then you can begin to offer additional opportunities for all students.

  • Anon too

    Not blaming Northgate for anything, didn’t reference them. So why are you so offended? All schools should give students the same opportunities. The District is responsible to make sure their facilities provide those opportunities. MDUSD has failed here for the last 20 years. Schools in lower economic areas have better facilities than many here, and they don’t have huge parent clubs to fund improvements. It’s time to step up and get it right.

    My high school, not in this area, built in the 1940′s has and still has better facilities than the newer schools in MDUSD. Why build more schools when MDUSD can’t even maintain what we have in MDUSD? Why is Measure C money going towards maintenance? Where is the maintenance budget going? The high schools deserve more than the $6.7 million they received. They have been underfunded for years which the CVCHS process identified.

    Why don’t you want all students to have the opportunities that Northgate students have? Is it too much to ask, or do you enjoy keeping other students down and disadvantaged?

  • Anon

    Anon Too,

    Don’t play these holier than thou games. You didn’t say Northgate but your dwindling enrollment comment certainly implied that.

    The Northgate feeder pattern has been singled out in conversations regarding equity for as long as I can remember. Your last sentence says it all, what a sad world you must see through your eyes.

    I would want every student, in every school, in every city, in this country to have everything they need to have a 1st rate high school experience. In fact why stop there, I would want it worldwide. So don’t blame and envy those who try to make things better, go really do something about it.

  • Doctor J

    Posts57-66: I think all of you are missing the point of the problem with some of the Measure C projects. In order to pass a school bond with only 55% of the vote instead of 66 2/3%, certain specific requirements must be met under the California Constitution, as amended by Prop 39 years ago. One of those requirements to qualify for the reduced 55% vote is: “This paragraph shall apply only if the proposition approved by the voters and resulting in the bonded indebtedness includes all of the following accountability requirements:
    . . . .
    “(B) A list of the specific school facilities projects to be funded and certification that the school district board . . . has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in developing that list.”
    Measure C was REQUIRED to list the specific projects in the text of the ballot measure to qualify for the 55% reduced vote of Prop 39. I have not found one person who can find a specific project to build a new aquatic center for Northgate High nor stadium field lights for YVHS. And there are other projects too, but these two examples are easy.
    All board trustees and district employees swear an oath to uphold the California Constitution and Prop 39 became part of the Constitution. The district is not authorized to hand out $42 million of Measure C projects to the high schools and say they can use it for whatever project they want — the “list of the specific school facilities projects” must be published in the voter pamphlet to meet the Constitutional requirements. I invite you to read the Court of Appeal decision TAXPAYERS FOR ACCOUNTABLE SCHOOL BOND SPENDING v. SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT and the link is http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/D060999.PDF
    Then please go read the full text of Measure C and tell me where a Northgate Aquatics Center and YVHS stadium field lights are identified as “specific projects” in the ballot.

  • Doctor J

    The full text of Measure C 2010 can be found under “Local Measures” pp. 8-19. http://www.cocovote.us/content.aspx?id=109
    Again, please tell me where a Northgate Aquatics Center and YVHS stadium field lights are identified as “specific projects” in the ballot pamphlet.

  • Anon too

    Unfortunately, you stop at your local school has it, so that is all that matters.

    Sad.

  • Doctor J

    @69 I am all for parity in facilities of all schools in MDUSD — but Meas C was not designed to do that and did not meet the Constitutional requirements of identifying specific projects that now want to be built. If you were told that, tell us who said that to you, and lets hold them accountable.

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    Just because Northgate parents are willing to step up and open their pocketbooks for Northgate doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get their fair share of the Measure C money.

  • Doctor J

    There were 68 candidates for the San Leandro Unified School District Supt job. Pay $215,000. 8800 students. 900 employees.

  • Fog a Spoon

    #48 Vindex. You mention personnel staff taking time, asking in-depth questions, and doing their best for both their employer and the candidate. We don’t have those people on the “asking” side here. We have a staff openly hostile to empoyees, breaking any rule they please, bestowing favors with taxpayer dollars, and retaliating at will. These are not the people who care and feel they owe their employer to do their jobs. It is all personal feelings first. You cannot “make” them do the right thing and though they have forfeited their right to work at the district, the board will show them leniency and “respect” by letting them work out their contracts. This is a bad example to all staff and shows disrespect to the taxpayers and the district. If they were honest, they would have done the right thing. One thing I don’t think anyone will stand for is a bag of excuses if we can ever get a prosecutor to take this seriously or get CCC D.A. office to recuse itself. I was in disbelief when yet more money was given to a “chief accountant” whose credentials are a secret when her expanded duties came from Brian Richards supposedly abandoning his office and moving across the hall! Why aren’t you taking those funds from Richards salary? What new things are being done? These are the people you are comparing to a personnel department who has behavior parameters and went into personnel as a choice, not trying to reinvent themselves.

  • Anon

    Anon too,

    What makes you so sure of that?

  • Sue Berg

    It is great to see a schedule of meetings seeking input from staff, parents, students, and community members regarding the superintendent search and other timely information are posted on the MDUSD webpage: http://www.mdusd.org.

  • Anon

    The best option, especially for us getting off work, is to send in an email. I found that I could expand on my thoughts rather than being under time restraint with other people around.
    Good idea.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Sue, Yes, it’s also nice to see the Spanish translation right there with the announcement, such as this one welcoming the interim superintendent: http://www.mdusd.org/NewsRoom/Pages/sup-john-bernard.aspx.

    However, many other district communications, including the Board Action Summaries, are not translated: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/action/2013/06-03-13.pdf

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s a very cool student-produced video about MDUSD’s Linked Learning programs: http://vimeo.com/67037910

  • Theresa Harrington

    Since I’m returning from vacation, I have just posted a new blog entry about the Tuesday community input meeting related to the superintendent search, as well as a link to the online survey: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2013/06/08/mdusd-continues-to-seek-community-input-tuesday-during-search-for-new-superintendent/