Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Mess that is SDUSD

The actions of the San Diego Unified School District board are irrational. Consider the following.
  • The board proposed a plan to shutter schools, including high performing magnet schools to save money for a reported savings of $5 million.
  • In the same article, it stated that the board is considering selling or developing real estate to save money.
  • Two credit rating agencies have recently downgraded the district's bond rating.
So the district is in deep trouble, right?
  • ". . .the district continues to hire back teachers whose layoff notices were rescinded some four months ago."
  • ". . .instrumental music lessons offered at every elementary school also seem to belie the troubles that have been touted."

  • Now the district is talking about a new bond measure, but admitting that some of the money would be used to pay operating expenses. [Isn't that a violation of law or at least generally accepted accounting practice?]

    The new bond money would ostensibly go for construction, upgrades and equipment, including new technology for students.

    But officials openly discussed the potential of using the bond to free up general fund money for teacher salaries and classroom programs.

What gives with these guys. Melanie Nickel lambastes the board in a letter to the editor.

How much staff time was spent preparing this poorly thought-out, unrealistic list of proposed closures? (Example: The proposal suggested moving a K-8 magnet program to a middle-school campus that has no facilities for elementary students.)

Whose idea was it to put the selection process in the hands of a group of downtown bureaucrats, working in secret without any input from parents or working educators?

I guess this is what we get when we get a board whose election is dominated by the teachers' union. I don't recall a single board member being elected without union endorsement, because no one pays attention to those elections. If we are ever going to fix the school district, the voters are going to have to vote exactly the opposite of the union recommendation. Otherwise we will continue to pour money down the rathole of the public education system in this city.

[Full disclosure, both of my sons have graduated high school, from private schools here in the city of San Diego. We made financial sacrifice to save them from the cesspool of incompetence we witnessed in this school district.]

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