OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

More Bad Behaivor by the Majority of the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on July 1, 2012

It appears that for the Board majority at CUSD they have no tolerance for any opinion but their own. During the last Board meeting at which several vital budget items were being voted on (including the secretly negotiated contract with the teacher’s union) – Trustee John Alpay moved and was successful in ending debate right as Trustee Ellen Addonizio was about the make her comments on why the union contract and budget were bad for the students and the District.

I guess Trustees John Alpay and Gary Pitchard do not like Democracy in that they don’t wish for a duly elected Trustee to speak from the dias about issues before the Board. One shout out: Trustee Anna Bryson, who has been voting with the majority of late – broke ranks with them and voted against the bad contract and budget and she voted no on closing debate.

Below is an e-mail from Julie Collier of the Parents Advocate League. She has a link to a Patch article on the meeting. It includes an audio clip of Mr. Alpay’s undemocratic and insulting motion and Trustee Gary Pritchard’s “justification” of Mr. Alpay’s bad behavior. Mr. Pritchard even laughs at Trustee Addonizio while he is discussing Alpay’s motion. These two Trustees need to go back to private life!

Here is Ms. Collier’s e-mail and the link to the Patch article:

Dear PALs,

I have been to many public meetings over the last five years; however, I have NEVER witnessed such a dysfunctional and offensive public meeting as I did on June 27th at the CUSD school board meeting. This meeting was truly an insult to constituents as well as students in CUSD.

Every year I have watched CUSD make financial decisions to ease budget concerns at the risk of negatively impacting student learning. Class sizes are increased and furlough days are added with little to no regard for student success. Not to mention, LIFO (Last-In; First Out) laying off teachers because they are the newest to be hired (regardless of whether or not they have the proven ability to teach) continues to be the go to solution for CUSD. Last Wednesday was no exception.

The budget was passed 4-3 (Bryson, Addonizio, and Palazzo dissenting) with $51 million in cuts. The district administration negotiated a deal with CUEA that includes 5-15 furlough days and 1.2% salary decrease. By the way, teachers will get a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA = salary increase)

*3.2% increase for the 12-13 school year
*2.5% increase for the 13-14 school year
*2.7% increase for the 14-15 school year

District official, Jodee Brentlinger, proudly stated the negotiations with CUEA went from “. . . us vs. them and resolved into we.” Unfortunately for students in CUSD, the “we” only included CUEA and CUSD district officials that negotiated behind closed doors.

The most despicable part of the board meeting happened when the teachers’ contract and the budget of over $50 million in cuts were passed with little to no discussion. Trustees Alpay and Pritchard (both up for re-election this November) collectively and deliberately stopped any discussion twice by Trustee Addonizio a long-time student-focused school board member. Please read the article below from the MV Patch. It also includes the actual audio of the controversial shut down for discussion. You can even hear Trustee Pritchard laughing at Trustee Addonizio as he is trying to defend his actions.

Expert: CUSD Goofed in Snuffing Budget Debate  http://missionviejo.patch.com/articles/expert-cusd-trustees-did-not-follow-proper-procedure

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Trustees Addonizio, Palazzo, and Bryson for recognizing the need for discussion regarding the impact these severe budget cuts will have on students. Parents and constituents are actually entitled to hear comments from their elected officials, especially regarding cuts to student centered programs and instructional days. Trustees Pritchard and Alpay should have taken more time to consider students as opposed to what appears to be setting themselves up for a union sponsored re-election campaigning.

I cannot implore to parents enough that you must stay informed and active in your child’s education. Attending PTA meetings and volunteering in the classroom is truly wonderful, but it is still not enough. Vital decisions were made for your child and his/her education last Wednesday at the board meeting. These decisions will not only affect your student’s ability to learn next year and for years to come, but it will affect how your child will compete for college admission compared to other students across the nation.

Where were you Wednesday night? Your presence at the board meeting could have made a difference. Teachers have their union. Students have their parents. YOU are your child’s voice. It is time for YOU to stand up and use it.

Julie Collier
Parents Advocate League

8 Responses to “More Bad Behaivor by the Majority of the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees”

  1. Capo teacher said

    I am a teacher who voted in favor of this contract. There was NOTHING in the contract that indicated teachers would receive a COLA increase. In fact. we have not received a cost of living increase in a few years. Also, the contract is for ONE YEAR only, not three. Teachers agreed to furlough days, which cut our salaries. They also agreed to possible future cuts which are dependent upon the November election. I am sad that Ms. Collier feels our school district will not prepare our students for college. From what I can see, our students continue to receive an excellent education and the vast majority are college bound after graduation.

  2. Jennifer Beall said

    capo Teacher, a simple mis-understanding, what you will get next july 2013 is a step in column raise that is built into the contract. I see the freeze on this is only until Jan. 2013. As for the ‘cut’ you took- why take furlough days and not salary…….oh I can answer that, Furlough day cuts do not change your pension and a cut in salary would, so thanks for stealing our children out of 3 weeks of school while you pad your pension

    • Jennifer Beall said

      correction…..so thanks for stealing 3 weeks of school from our children while you pad your pension

      • Sam said

        If you really think teachers and support staff want this, you are crazy. You have consistently attacked ….yes, attacked… this district. You try so hard to present teachers as greedy and overpaid. What is wrong with having health insurance?? Why are you not staying in private school if you hate this district so much? You have choices when it comes to your child’s education. Guess what? Most teachers do not have choices anymore. They are stuck in the district they are at, if they are still fortunate to have a job. They don’t want to teach less. Many support staff positions have been cut as well. Most people are great at their jobs in this district, but of course, not all. Some good teachers are gone, while some not so good ones stay because of seniority. It’s easy to shout and bit** about this, but come up with a better way that actually works. It is easy to complain about teachers salaries when hubby is a lawyer …… A career known for being overpaid. It’s hard to take you seriously given your history…. Taking money from the district(the judgement), your close relationship with the register reporter(always a Beall quote in the paper.. Who Cares!), and your belligerent approach. Your good points are lost because you are so overbearing. Want to talk stealing? Many years ago I was at a function you attended. You were planning a trip to Europe, I believe, with your brother. He was filing bankruptcy, so you were “maxing out” his credit card before he filed. That is stealing, straight up. And you had no shame doing this. This was a Beall quote I have never forgotten.

        • Jennifer beall said

          Your reply is very emotional and I will ignore most of it because it is untrue and gossip. As for the union contracts if the members didn’t like it they could have voted no and ask leaderdship to make adjustments, such as a larger co- pay for Med. INS. , I also think we could have limited 1/2 days to make up some instructional time, or get ride of late start, all of those easy solutions would have benifited the student . As for me being critical of CUSD yes I am for good reason, we all should be demanding better for our children. As for my own children it is none of your concern and your reference to my children is none of your concern

          • Sam said

            Agreed, your children should not have been brought up. But there was no gossip or untrue statements. The Register reporter himself has said he goes to you for opposing views of the district…fact. your husband is a lawyer…fact. You made the statement directly to many people about maxing out the credit card to go on the trip before bankruptcy was filed….fact. You think your being critical of CUSD is for good reason, and I don’t. I think ( my opinion-I can have one too) your valid points get so lost because you can’t stop…. to mention health insurance? Like teachers and district employees shouldn’t have it, because other professions don’t have it? I understand your motivations( I think… The best for our children). However, your approach is so confrontational that it is a bandwagon that many do not want to jump on. The Parent’s Advocate League is not representing me. I stumbled onto this website. Not coming back. Hope your endeavors in this leave you happy and fulfilled.

            • Jennifer beall said

              As you hide behind a fake name dragging my unnamed brother into a blog about a district contract making accusations and calling them facts….sorry you are the one with no credibility. I did not say the teachers should not have health care I suggested them paying a larger co-pay to off set cost, I believe it would of been better for the students to have a larger co-pay then15 furlough days. I also think you are wrong to bring up my children as well as my family as you hide behind your fake name spreading gossip, you are not the first poster to gossip and attack me and you will not be the last…..enjoy your summer.

  3. Greg Diamond said

    This is a strange story. The author is getting this exercised over a simple parliamentary motion to call the question? Was Trustee Addonizio prepared to say something, at this late point, that hadn’t been said by her or someone in her camp before now? If she knew (as she should have known) that such a motion required a 2/3 vote, then she should have objected, as Alpay says in the linked story — but she didn’t. This story of supposed “bad behavior” seems like an excuse to unnecessarily turn a disagreement about substantive policy into one about procedure and ethics. It certainly doesn’t give one a lot of confidence in the Parents Advocate League.

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