Were we duped with Measure A? The board doesn't seem to get the connection. They asked for parcel tax increase of about $435 per parcel because the district was in dire straights. Risk of increasing class sizes, dire cuts to district staff, cut programs...
And maybe that was all true, so we gave them the money, its being used TOWARD those items, but NOT fully covering all those items. In fact district staff is still understaffed, never restored.
But somehow, miraculously they found a way to divert a good chunk of Marilyn Cook, Becky Cohn Vargas, Norm Masuda, Lapkoff and Gobel, AAAG committe time, Irv Rollins, for the last six months, plus several other teachers who went traveling around the country (even to China), checking out immersion programs this summer, not to mention all the BOARD time spent discussing Mandarin Immersion.
Mandarin Immersion wasn't even on the list when they told us they needed Measure A money - now they got ours and are spending it all TOWARD the measure A list. Measure A items are NOT fully restored yet, but the district somehow magically seems to have plenty of wiggle room in THEIR resource resevoir to go off on optional, non-priority items.
(Yes, PACE paid them $65K. And thats supposed to make it all ok to divert our SCARCE top resources to such a low priority project??? Like we can hire temps to replace our Assistant Superintendent's time, our Curriculum Director's time, and our top language Supervisor's time? Then maybe we should hire temps and drop these positions all together...)
Mandy in particular wants to defend the measure A spending so far, claiming that because they're spending all the measure A booty on measure A listed items they're in compliance. Sure, well goody goody goody. There are still items which were held up as critical reasons for measure A, left unrestored, which have myseriously switched priority with MI.
Mandy and the other board members need to understand this REAL QUICK that this is THE trust and RESPECT issue that is going to take this district down. The voters and tax payers of this district are NEVER going to believe another word they say if in the context of incredibibly tight space at elementary level, bordering precariously on need to open a 13th elementary, need for more middle school space, need for more high school space, they somehow magically find a way to shove aside neighborhood schools and community STATED priorities and find a cozy little spot for MI. They'll have an impossible time finding campaigners, and voters, willing to sign up for more bond funding, more parcel tax, etc. coming off the sting of this slap in the face.
They'll be lucky if most people even continue to donate to PIE knowing that private funding routes straight from donor to District Staff get money more directly to the programs donor's want to favor.
They've already gone TOO FAR sideways on this issue. They need to recover their senses (maybe some smelling salts or something) and snap out of it. The only good news here is that the biggest puppet supporters of MI (Camille and Dana) are going to be at the helm to take full responsibility of the huge mess they're about to create. That will be my only pleasure in watching it unfold.