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Archive for the ‘Orange Unified School District’ Category

OC GOP Endorsements So Far

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 1, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgThe Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee met on August 15 and August 31 to consider endorsements for local offices and ballot measures. Further endorsements will take place on September 19 (and possibly more after that).

OC Political live-blogged the August 15 meeting and the August 31 meeting, but by popular demand here is the list of endorsements so far:

  • City Councils and Mayors
    • Aliso Viejo City Council: Mike Munzing
    • Anaheim City Council, District 4: Lucille Kring
    • Anaheim City Council, District 5: Mark Lopez
    • Costa Mesa City Council: Allan Mansoor, Steve Mensinger, Lee Ramos
    • Dana Point City Council: Michelle Brough
    • Fountain Valley City Council: Steve Nagel
    • Fullerton City Council: Larry Bennett, Bruce Whitaker
    • Garden Grove Mayor: Steve Jones
    • Huntington Beach City Council: Patrick Brenden, Joe Carchio, Lyn Semeta
    • Irvine Mayor: Don Wagner
    • Irvine City Council: Anthony Kuo, Christina Shea
    • La Habra City Council: Tom Beamish, Dawn Holthouser, Tim Shaw
    • Laguna Hills City Council: Janine Heft
    • Laguna Niguel City Council: Laurie Davies, John Mark Jennings, Jerry Slusiewicz
    • Lake Forest City Council: Francisco Barajas, Dwight Robinson
    • Los Alamitos City Council: Dean Grose
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 5: Lee Lowrey
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 7: Will O’Neill
    • Orange City Council: Mark Murphy
    • Rancho Santa Margarita City Council: Tony Beall, Carol Gamble
    • San Clemente City Council: Dan Bane
    • Tustin City Council: Allan Bernstein, Austin Lumbard, Charles Puckett
    • Westminster City Council: Kimberly Ho
    • Yorba Linda City Council: Tara Campbell, Gene Hernandez, Craig Young
  • College Districts
    • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7: Ryan Bent
    • Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5: Steven Nguyen
  • School Districts
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 1: Wendy Shrove
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2: Jim Reardon
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3: Laura Ferguson
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5: Jake Vollebregt
    • Santa Ana Unified School District: Angie Cano
  • Water Districts
    • Orange County Water District, Division 6: Cathy Green
    • Mesa Water District, Division 2: James R. Fisler
    • Moulton Niguel Water District, Division 6: Duane Cave
    • Yorba Linda Water District: Ric Collett, Andy Hall
    • No on the Yorba Linda Water District Recall of Directors Bob Kiley and Gary Melton
  • Ballot Measures
    • No on Measure J – Anaheim Elementary School District $318 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure K – Brea-Olinda Unified School District $148 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure M – Capistrano Unified School District $889 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure N – Centralia Elementary School District $49 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure O – Fountain Valley School District $63 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure P – Garden Grove Unified School District $311 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure Q – Huntington Beach City School District $159.85 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure R – Ocean View School District $169 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure S – Orange Unified School District $288 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure T – Westminster School District $76 Million Facilities Bond
    • Yes on Measure U – Anaheim 2/3 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure Y ­ Costa Mesa initiative to amend Municipal Code to require voter approval of certain changes in land use, retroactive to July 17, 2015
    • No on Measure HH – Fountain Valley 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure JJ – La Palma 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure LL – Laguna Beach 2% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 12%)
    • Yes on Measure MM – Newport Beach 5/7 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure OO – San Clemente 3% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 13%)
    • No on Measure PP – Santa Ana 700% Pay Raise for City Council (from $125/mtg to $1000/mo for Council and $200/mtg to $1000/mo for Mayor)
    • Yes on Measure QQ – Stanton 1% Sales Tax Repeal (from 9% to 8%)
    • No on Measure SS – Westminster 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Stanton, Tustin, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Complete List of OC GOP Early Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 18, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgThe Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee met on Monday night to consider endorsements for local offices and ballot measures.

OC Political live-blogged the meeting, but with the back and forth motions to modify the list, many readers were confused by what the endorsements were, so by popular demand here are the list of early endorsements (most non-early endorsements will be considered on September 1):

  • Aliso Viejo City Council: Mike Munzing
  • Costa Mesa City Council: Allan Mansoor, Steve Mensinger, Lee Ramos
  • Fullerton City Council: Bruce Whitaker
  • Irvine City Council: Anthony Kuo, Christina Shea
  • Laguna Niguel City Council: Laurie Davies, John Mark Jennings, Jerry Slusiewicz
  • Lake Forest City Council: Dwight Robinson
  • Orange City Council: Mark Murphy
  • Rancho Santa Margarita City Council: Tony Beall, Carol Gamble
  • Tustin City Council: Allan Bernstein, Austin Lumbard, Charles Puckett
  • Westminster City Council: Kimberly Ho
  • Yorba Linda City Council: Tara Campbell, Gene Hernandez
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 1: Wendy Shrove
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2: Jim Reardon
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3: Laura Ferguson
  • Mesa Water District, Division 2: Jim Fisler
  • Moulton Niguel Water District, Division 6: Duane Cave
  • No on Measure K – Brea-Olinda Unified School District $148 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure M – Capistrano Unified School District $889 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure N – Centralia Elementary School District $49 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure O – Fountain Valley School District $63 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure S – Orange Unified School District $288 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure T – Westminster School District $76 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure HH – Fountain Valley 1% Sales Tax Increase
  • No on Measure JJ – La Palma 1% Sales Tax Increase
  • No on Measure SS – Westminster 1% Sales Tax Increase

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Irvine, La Palma, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Orange, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Republican Central Committee, Tustin, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Still Time to Run: 20 Races Where Incumbents Didn’t File for Re-Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 15, 2016

BeatTheClockUnder California law, the deadline for filing for most offices was this past Friday, August 12.  However, in races where there is an eligible incumbent who chose not to file for re-election, non-incumbents received an extra five days to file. Consequently, the deadline for non-incumbents to file has been extended until 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 17 for 20 races for college board, school board, and special districts. None of these require nomination signatures, so a prospective candidate could literally pull and file papers in the final minutes before 5:00 PM on August 17.

Three of these contests actually have more seats than candidates.  In other words, there aren’t enough candidates for these races, so anyone who files will go unopposed, but at this point, if no one else files, these three districts will have vacancies:

There’s an additional five contests where the number of seats equal the number of candidates.  In other words, if no one else files, all of these candidates will be elected unopposed:

Looking at the list below, some of you may be wondering why Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 1 is not listed.  In that case, incumbent Jose Solorio (D) actually resigned from the seat, so there is no incumbent.  When there’s no incumbent at all, there’s no extension.

For those of you who are curious

Here’s the complete run-down on the 20 contests where filing has been extended to 5:00 PM on August 17 because at least one incumbent failed to file, giving non-incumbents an extra five days to file:

  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 2
    • Incumbent Leonard Lahtinen (D) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for Anaheim City Council.  Three candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Centralia School District Trustee Art Montez (D), who was on the Centralia Board from 1998-2010, when he was defeated for re-election, lost a 2012 bid to return to the Board, and then finally returned to the Centralia Board in the 2014 election, but he’s already looking for another office just two years later
      • College Educator Ed Lopez (?)
      • Businesswoman/Student Ann-Marie Stinson (D)
  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7
    • Incumbent Tony Ontiveros (R), the only Republican on the North Orange County Community College District Board, did not file for re-election.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Attorney Barry Wishart (D), who served on the North Orange County Community College District Board from 1985 until his resignation in December 2001, three years into his fourth term
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3
    • Incumbent John Alpay (R) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for South Orange County Community College District.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Public Information Officer Laura Ferguson (R), who is the PIO for the City of San Clemente
  • Irvine Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Paul Bokota (D), Lauren Brooks (R), and Michael Parham (R).  Bokota and Brooks filed for re-election, but Parham did not.  In addition to Bokota and Brooks, four other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Betty Carroll (NPP)
      • Army Captain/Parent Mark Newgent (?)
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Naz Hamid (D)
      • Attorney Geri Zollinger (D)
  • Laguna Beach Unified School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Landsiedel (R) and Jan Vickers (D).  Vickers filed for re-election, but Landsiedel did not.  In addition to Vickers, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Constitutional Lawyer/Author Howard Hills (R)
      • Community Volunteer Peggy Wolff (D)
  • Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
    • Incumbent Mark Wayland (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace him:
      • Child Care Supervisor Nicole Baitx-Kennedy (NPP), the only one who has filed papers so far
      • Realtor Jeremy Wayland (R), the retiring incumbent’s son
      • Danielle Jacobs (R), who is director of operations for Sheldon Development, LLC, run by Orange County Water District Director Steve Sheldon (R)
  • Saddleback Valley Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Ginny Fay Aitkens (D), Amanda Morrell (R), and Suzie Swartz (R).  Morrell and Swartz filed for re-election, but Aitkens did not.  In addition to Morrell and Swartz, five other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Educator Edward Wong (NPP)
      • Teacher Bill Yarrington (R)
      • Water Agency Manager Mark Tettemer (R), a former Lake Forest City Councilman who retired in 2012 after two terms to pursue a Master of Public Administration
      • School Maintenance Specialist David Johnson (?)
      • Businessman Theo Hunt (D)
  • Santa Ana Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Jose Hernandez (NPP), Cecilia Iglesias (R), and Rob Richardson (R).  Iglesias filed for re-election, but Hernandez and Richardson did not.  In addition to Iglesias, seven other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Recreation Program Coordinator Gloria Alvarado (D)
      • Attorney/Santa Ana Commissioner Bruce Bauer (D)
      • Teacher/Parent Rigo Rodriguez (?)
      • Supervising Social Worker Alfonso Alvarez (D)
      • Congressional Liaison/Parent Bea Mendoza (D), who works for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D)
      • Educator/Santa Ana Commissioner Mark McLoughlin (NPP), a former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee
      • Santa Ana Businesswoman/Economist Angie Cano (R)
  • Huntington Beach City School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Bridget Kaub (R) and Brian Rechsteiner (R). Kaub filed for re-election, but Rechsteiner did not.  In addition to Kaub, three other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Elementary Principal Ann Sullivan (AI)
      • Rob Fishel (NPP)
      • Elementary Teacher/Parent Karrie Burroughs (R)
  • Ocean View School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Gina Clayton-Tarvin (D) and Debbie Cotton (R). Clayton-Tarvin filed for re-election, but Cotton did not.  In addition to Clayton-Tarvin, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Social Worker Amalia Lam (D)
  • Westminster School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Jamison Power (D) and Amy Walsh (R). Power filed for re-election, but Walsh did not.  In addition to Power, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Attorney/Business Owner Karl Truong (?)
      • Educator/Entrepreneur Frances Nguyen (R), a former President of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce
  • Capistrano Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for these two seats!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: Ambrose Mastro (R) and Stephen Muller (R), the two Republicans on a board with one Democrat and two NPPs.  Neither Mastro nor Muller filed for re-election.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If fewer than two people file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint people to fill the vacancies.
  • Emerald Bay Service District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Hart (R) and John Marconi (R). Marconi filed for re-election, but Hart did not.  In addition to Marconi, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Real Estate Investor Phil De Carion (NPP)
  • Surfside Colony Community Services District
    • Incumbent Michael Farrell (NPP) did not file for re-election.  Two candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Retired Business Owner Rudy LaLonde (R)
      • Linda Garofalo (NPP), ex-wife of former Huntington Beach Mayor Dave Garofalo (R)
  • Three Arch Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for the third seat!  There are three incumbents up for re-election: Alan Anderson (R), Elizabeth Gapp (R) and Gary Rubel (R).  While Anderson and Rubel filed for re-election, Gapp did not.  Only Anderson and Rubel have pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a third person does not file for these three seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Olson (D) and Chay Peterson (NPP). Neither Olson nor Peterson filed for re-election.  Four candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • IT Consultant Steven Duff (D)
      • Retired Educator Tara Saraye (D)
      • Realtor/Artist/Parent Heidi Murphy-Grande (?)
      • Dion Sorrell (D)
  • Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District
    • No one has pulled papers for the second seat!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Cahoon (L) and Stephen Rowe (D).  While Rowe filed for re-election, Cahooon did not.  Only Rowe has pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a second person does not file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • South Coast Water District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Dick Dietmeier (NPP), Rick Erkeneff (R), and Wayne Rayfield (D).  Erkeneff and Rayfield filed for re-election, but Dietmeier did not.  In addition to Erkeneff and Rayfield, four other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Business Owner Bob Moore (R), a former South Coast Water District Director who lost a 2014 re-election bid after foolishly using a non-incumbent ballot designation
      • Retired Project Manager Bob Oakley (R)
      • Civil Engineer Douglas Erdman (NPP), who appears to be the son of South Coast Water District Director Dennis Erdman (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who lost a 2012 re-election bid seeks a return to his old seat after losing a 2014 bid to reclaim a seat on this board (or he might not seek a return since he has also pulled papers for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 7)
  • Yorba Linda Water District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Michael Beverage (R) and Ric Collett (R).  Collett filed for re-election, but Beverage did not.  In addition to Collett, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Retired Business Advisor Benjamin Franklin Parker (R)
    • Incumbent Susan Hinman (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace her so far:
      • Moulton-Niguel Water District Director Donald Froelich (R)
      • Business Owner/Consultant Evan Chaffee (R)
      • Registered Professional Engineer Raymond Miller (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who has also pulled papers for South Coast Water District

Posted in Anaheim, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Emerald Bay Service District, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

US Supreme Court Splits 4-4 in OC’s Friedrichs v. CTA

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 29, 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued a one-sentence ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.”

That single sentence ruling while not setting a precedent leaves in place a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that it does not violate the First Amendment to require public employees (in this case, public school teachers) to object to having their dues used for political purposes rather than requiring they consent to political uses of their dues.  In other words, the Ninth Circuit ruled an opt-out system was constitutional, and unions did not have to subscribe to an opt-in system to use public employee union dues for political purposes.

This the second such 4-4 ruling since the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia.  Scalia had been widely expected to support striking down the Ninth Circuit ruling.

Had Scalia lived and the petitioners prevailed 5-4, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association would have represented a sea change in American and California politics and governance.

The 4-4 ruling in what would have been a landmark decision demonstrates the incredible impact of Scalia’s death on the closely-divided court.  This will only further highlight the importance of the nominee to succeed Scalia on the Supreme Court, which in turn will draw the Supreme Court further into the presidential election.

Public employee unions’ enormous sums of money for political campaigns have been fueled by the dues they collect from their members.  For an individual employee to opt out of contributing their dues for political purposes, that employee must during a six-week period each year send a letter to the union stating they wish to opt out (there’s even a confusing box on the CTA’s regular dues form that implies employees can opt out entirely but is actually a box that accomplishes a far narrower task).

Had the Supreme Court simplified the opt-out system or switched opt-out to opt-in, there would have been a precipitous fall in the amount of union money in politics.  This would have made it much tougher for union allies to win elected office in Congress, the State Legislature, and local government.  Fewer elected officials would have been beholden to teachers unions.

Led by Orange County teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, ten California teachers and the Christian Educators Association International had filed suit against the California Teachers Association (state teachers union), the National Education Association (national teachers union), and ten local teachers unions, including four from Orange County:

  • Savanna District Teachers Association
  • Saddleback Valley Educators Association
  • Orange Unified Education Association
  • Santa Ana Educators Association

Also among the respondents were the Superintendents of the Savanna School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Orange Unified School District, and Santa Ana Unified School District.

For those wondering about the Supreme Court’s first 4-4 ruling, it was issued last week in Hawkins v. Community Bank, a case on whether spouses who guarantee commercial loans constitute “applicants” under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which would trigger protection from marital-status discrimination.

Posted in National, Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

68th Assembly District Candidate Forum This Tuesday, Feb. 2nd

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 31, 2016

As noted in my earlier post Mark Your Calendars! the California Republican Assembly is holding a Candidate Forum for the 68th Assembly District.

All four announced candidates have committed to participating.  They are ALEXIA DELIGIANNI-BRYDGES, Trustee with the Orange Unified School District, DEBORAH PAULY, former City Councilperson for the City of Villa Park, STEVEN S. CHOI, Mayor of the City of Irvine and HARRY SIDHU, former City Councilperson for the City of Anaheim.

The Forum will be held at the City of Orange, City Council Chambers located at 300 East Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866 starting at 7:00 p.m.  The Forum will be recorded and all are invited to attend.  This forum is being organized and presented as a community service by the California Republican Assembly.

The CRA will be conducting an endorsement convention that will include consideration of the 68th Assembly District in March.  The seat is currently held by Assemblyman Don Wagner who is not seeking re-election due to term limits.

For more information about this forum contact CRA Executive Vice President Craig Alexander at cpalexander@cox.net or CRA Vice President Dale Tyler at mailcoll@tylerent.com.

Posted in 68th Assembly District, Anaheim, Irvine, Lake Forest, Orange Unified School District, Tustin, Uncategorized, Villa Park | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Moorlach vs. Wagner and Other Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 18, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgWe are live from the OC GOP Central Committee meeting tonight where a number of endorsements for Federal, State, and County offices are being considered in the June Primary, as well as the Orange Unified School District special election in March.  The hottest contest of the evening is widely expected to be the dueling endorsement requests from Senator John Moorlach and his challenger for the 37th Senate District, Assemblyman Don Wagner.

Already endorsed in December were:

  • Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang for 29th Senate District
  • Assemblywoman Young Kim for Re-Election, 65th Assembly District
  • Supervisor Andrew Do for Re-Election, 1st Supervisorial District

Being considered tonight are:

  • Congressman Darrell Issa for Re-Election, 49th Congressional District
  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher for Re-Election, 48th Congressional District
  • Congresswoman Mimi Walters for Re-Election, 45th Congressional District
  • Senator John Moorlach  for Re-Election, 37th Senate District
  • Assemblyman Don Wagner for 37th Senate District
  • Assemblyman Bill Brough for Re-Election, 73rd Assembly District
  • Assemblyman Matthew Harper  for Re-Election, 74th Assembly District
  • Supervisor Todd Spitzer for Re-Election, 3rd Supervisorial District
  • Trustee Robert Hammond for Re-Election, Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 1
  • Trustee Ken Williams for Re-Election, Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 3
  • Gregory Salas, Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 1

7:05 PM: Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

7:07 PM: OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker begins taking the roll

7:10 PM: Two new alternates are sworn in

7:14 PM: Current and former elected officials present introducing themselves are Bill Brough, Diane Harkey, Pat Bates, Matt Harper, David Shawver, Scott Peotter, John Moorlach, Robert Hammond, Tony Beall, Mike Munzing, Eric Woolery, Shari Freidenrich, Steven Choi, Mike Posey, Craig Young, Andrew Hamilton, Dwight Robinson, Peggy Huang, Hugh Nguyen, Shawn Nelson, Gene Hernandez, Brett Barbre, Tim Shaw, Deborah Pauly, Todd Spitzer, Mark McCurdy, Michael Gates, Andrew Do, Steve Nagel, Jim Cunneen, Cecilia Iglesias, Scott Voigts, Steve Tye, Erik Peterson, Ken Williams, Harry Sidhu, Jeff Lalloway, and Fred Whitaker.

7:20 PM: Chairman Whitaker presents Senator Pat Bates with the OC GOP’s Legislator of the Year award.

7:23 PM: Bates speaks about her husband, women in elected office, and bringing women into the Republican Party.

7:26 PM: County Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery gives the Taxpayer Watchdog Award to Bates.

7:27 PM: Chairman Whitaker gives one of the two Local Elected Officials of the Year awards to Santa Ana Unified School District Trustee Cecilia Iglesias.

7:30 PM: Assemblyman Don Wagner’s office presents an Assembly certificate to Iglesias.

7:31 PM: Iglesias thanks Thomas Gordon, Robert Hammond, and the Central Committee. She says Santa Ana is slowly but surely returning to its conservative values and hopes to elect more Santa Ana Republicans in 2016.

7:32 PM: Wagner returns to the room and re-presents the certificate.

7:33 PM: Chairman Whitaker presents the other Local Elected Official of the Year award to Lake Forest Councilman Dwight Robinson.

7:35 PM: Robinson speaks about his family. He speaks of freedom and liberty. He speaks of good governance and making his community a better place to live for his children. He points to Steven Choi and Irvine as an example. He points to the leadership of his Lake Forest colleague Scott Voigts. He points to Supervisor Shawn Nelson and speaks about the AQMD Board, job retention, and economic growth.

7:39 PM: Assemblyman Wagner presents an Assembly certificate to Robinson.

7:40 PM: Don Gilchrist and Kathy Tavoularis present “The Donald” (the OC GOP’s Legislative Staffer of the Year award) to Jennifer Beall, District Director for Assemblyman Bill Brough.

7:43 PM: Beall thanks Gilchrist and speaks of Brough’s efforts to elect more Republicans to local office. She thanks Sharon Campbell of Brough’s staff. She thanks Chairman Whitaker and speaks of getting volunteers into the field in targeted seats.

7:47 PM: OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang presents the Volunteer of the Month award to UCI College Republicans President Rob Petrosyan.

7:49 PM: Petrosyan speaks about the importance of Republican activism.

7:50 PM: Senator John Moorlach presents a Senate certificate to Petrosyan. Supervisor Todd Spitzer presents a County certificate to Petrosyan. Ben Rejniak of Congresswoman Mimi Walters’s office presents a Congressional certificate to Petrosyan.

7:53 PM: Huang inaudibly presents the Emily Sanford Volunteer of the Year Award to a member of the Republican Women Federated.

7:59 PM: Whitaker thanks all the award recipients and speaks of the 2016 presidential election. He speaks of the 2015 activities of the OC GOP, including the election of Andrew Do to the Board of Supervisors, fundraising successes, and the early endorsements of Do for re-election, Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang for the 29th Senate District, and Assemblyman Young Kim for re-election. He speaks of the importance of focusing on targeted seats, not intraparty fights in safe seats. He points to Tom Steyer fielding liberal Democrats in primary elections to challenge incumbent moderate Democrats statewide. He asks for respectful discourse and reminds those present that Republicans are on the same team, and the Democrats are the opponents. He states no incumbent Republicans being considered for endorsement tonight have done anything to merit removal from office. He urges endorsing the incumbents and focusing resources on the targeted seats.

He states SD-37 will be considered in a candidates’ forum since there are two applicants for one seat.

8:07 PM: Senator John Moorlach speaks of being a Central Committee member in 1993 and being encouraged to challenge Bob Citron for Treasurer by then-OC GOP Chairman Tom Fuentes and Assemblyman Mickey Conroy. He speaks of reducing the County’s unfunded pension liability while on the Board of Supervisors. He speaks of being Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

8:09 PM: Assemblyman Don Wagner states that SD-37 is in no danger of going to the Democrats. Wagner points to Moorlach’s vote on SB 141, in which Moorlach was one of only two Republicans to vote for it. Wagner says it allows governments to sell land acquired via eminent domain. Wagner points to Moorlach’s vote on SJR 13 where Moorlach joined with Democrats to vote for a resolution that took a position on a Supreme Court case on redistricting that was contrary to the Republican position. Wagner noted that he has repeatedly endorsed Republicans in tough races while Moorlach is often absent. Wagner spoke of Moorlach being the sole Senate Republican to not endorse Republican Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian’s bid to capture the seat held by retiring Congresswoman Lois Capps (D). Wagner contributed financial resources to help elect Janet Nguyen to the State Senate while Moorlach did not endorse her.

8:14 PM: Brett Barbre asks the candidates if they have taken union contributions.

8:15 PM: Wagner says he has not taken any for this Senate campaign but has taken public safety union money in the past that he has given to other Republican candidates.

8:16 PM: Moorlach says that he has taken none and has never benefited from union independent expenditures.

8:17 PM: Dennis White asks Moorlach to respond to the allegations raised by Wagner.

8:18 PM: Moorlach disputes Wagner’s allegation on SJR 13 and says he voted against it. He does not have a response for SB 141. [Editor’s Note: the vote record for SJR 13 shows Moorlach joined a unanimous 36-0 vote in favor of SJR 13 in the Senate while Wagner was one of 11 votes against SJR 13 when it passed the Assembly 57-11.]

8:19 PM: Wagner stands by his statements.

8:19 PM: Scott Voigts asks Wagner why he has been so generous with helping other Republicans.

Wagner states he wants to grow the ranks of Republican elected officials.

8:20 PM: Andy Whallon asks how they voted SB 443 on civil asset forfeiture reform.

8:22 PM: After much discussion, both declare they voted in favor of SB 443.  [Editor’s Note: the vote record for SB 443 shows Wagner voted against SB 443 when it was defeated 44-24 in the Assembly while Moorlach voted in favor of SB 443 joining a 38-1 vote to pass it in the Senate.]

8:23 PM: Wagner apologizes for putting the Central Committee in an awkward position but says the Central Committee is there to make difficult decisions to help grow the Republican Party.

8:24 PM: Moorlach states he has never run against a Republican incumbent. He points to his voting record and emphasizes his votes on fiscal issues.

8:25 PM: Scott Baugh motions and Brett Franklin seconds the endorsement of John Moorlach.

8:26 PM: Scott Voigts offers a substitute motion for neutrality in the 37th Senate District. Mary Young seconds the motion.

8:27 PM: Allan Bartlett attempts to table the motion of Don Wagner’s endorsement, but he is rejected because he proposes tabling a non-existent motion.

8:27 PM: Baugh moves to table Voigts’s substitute motion. This motion to table the substitute motion is approve by voice vote.

8:28 PM: Baugh, Assemblyman Matt Harper, and Supervisor Shawn Nelson wish to speak in favor of the motion to endorse Moorlach. Voigts and Young wish to speak against. Since there must be an equal number of speakers and no third speaker against the motion stepped forward, so Nelson will not speak.

8:30 PM: Baugh speaks of Moorlach’s great character, his votes against the totalitarianism of civil asset forfeiture, and how it is easy to cherry-pick individual votes out of thousands cast each year by legislators. Baugh says while Moorlach is not warm and cuddly, he is a principled conservative.

8:31 PM: Voigts stated he broke his back in 1994 falling off a freeway overpass, after which he became involved with the Christian Coalition. Vogts met his-now boss and me tor, Wagner, in 1995 and helped engineer the Republican takeover of the South Orange County Community College District Board with Tom Fuentes. He speaks of numerous precincts where Wagner has walked for other Republicans and numerous campaigns where Wagner donated money to help elect more Republicans. Voigts says both are great men, so the party should stay neutral on this race.

8:34 PM: TJ Fuentes asks speakers not to invoke the memory of his father during debate.

8:34 PM: Assemblyman Matt Harper praises Wagner’s voting record and leadership in the Assembly. However, Harper points out the voters clearly elected Moorlach less than a year ago. He says Moorlach has been a great conservative leader in the Senate. Harper notes he signed the first page of the recall declaration of intent against Doris Allen, so he has no problem opposing bad Republican incumbents. He says SD-37 is nowhere near the Doris Allen situation.

8:38 PM: Mary Young states that Wagner has repeatedly given money to Republican Women Federated and other Republican volunteer events while Moorlach has given none.

8:39 PM: Voting begins on the endorsement of John Moorlach for re-election to the 37th Senate District.

8:40 PM: There are 48 votes for Moorlach and 7 against.

MOORLACH ENDORSED FOR RE-ELECTION 48-7.

8:41 PM: Whitaker notes the party has not dual-endorsed in the past. Wagner offers to withdraw his application.

8:41 PM: With only one dissenting vote, the endorsements for all other people being considered for Federal and State office is passed.

8:41 PM: With only one abstaining vote, the endorsements for all other people being considered for County and school offices is passed.

8:51 PM: After various announcements, Chairman Whitaker adjourns the meeting.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 3rd Supervisorial District, 45th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 65th Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Orange County Board of Education, Orange Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Anaheim City Council Passes Both Schools Line Item in Budget and Resolution on Charter Schools and Parent Trigger Law

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 16, 2015

City_of_Anaheim_Seal_svgIn a lengthy meeting that began at 5:00 PM yesterday and dragged on to nearly 1:20 AM this morning, the Anaheim City Council voted 3-2 to approve the creation of a line-item in the City budget for facility joint-use purposes with schools in Anaheim and to pass a resolution in support of charter schools and the Parent Trigger Law.  Councilman James Vanderbilt was the only person who was in the majority for both votes.

Budget Line Item

After hours of public comment and lengthy debate by the City Council members, the Council approved the creation of a line item in the City budget for facility joint-use projects that provide community benefit (i.e. benefiting both school districts and the general public). No specific dollar amount will be determined until the FY 2016-17 budget process begins.

The vote was 3-2, with Mayor Tom Tait and Councilmen Jordan Brandman and James Vanderbilt in favor.  Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring and Councilwoman Kris Murray opposed.

In August, the Anaheim Union High School District had passed a resolution asking the City for direct financial support.  The item was agendized to create a budget line item for direct financial support, but was amended from the Council dais during the meeting to narrow it the item to only direct financial support for facility joint-use projects that provide community benefit.

Prior to the final vote, Murray had made a motion, which Kring seconded, that would have delayed the item by 45 days to poll the six other school districts in Anaheim (Anaheim City School District, Centralia School District, Magnolia School District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda School District, and Savanna School District) as to their desires on this item since only the Anaheim Union High School District had asked for this.

Resolution on Charter Schools and Parent Trigger Law

After nearly 45 minutes of debate, the resolution in support of charter schools and the Parent Trigger Law was approved by the Anaheim City Council on a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring, Councilwoman Kris Murray, and Councilman James Vanderbilt in favor.  Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman Jordan Brand were opposed.

At the start of the debate shortly before 12:30 AM, Tait expressed his opposition to the resolution’s declarations/implications about Anaheim having “low performing” and “worst performing” schools.

At one point in the debate, Tait pointed to U.S. News & World Report ranking all 9 Anaheim Union High School District high schools among the top schools in the country.

As Tait, Murray, and Kring battled on procedural motions, Vanderbilt sought in vain for amendments that would get the resolution to a 5-0 unanimous vote.

Shortly before 1:00 AM, Tait stated he would not vote for the resolution. Two minutes later, Brandman told Vanderbilt, “you will never get my vote” for the resolution in response to Vanderbilt’s efforts for unanimity.

In order to gain Vanderbilt’s support and get the resolution to 3-2, Murray agreed to support Vanderbilt’s amendment to remove four paragraphs.

For more from OC Political on the original resolution, click here.  The resolution, as passed with the Vanderbilt amendments, reads:

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM SUPPORTING ANAHEIM’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND OFFERING TO WORK IN CONTINUED PARTNERSHIP WITH ALL CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ENSURE STUDENTS IN THE CITY HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO A QUALITY EDUCATION, INCLUDING SUPPORT FOR PROGRAMS, POLICIES, AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES PROVIDED IN STATE LAW TO EMPOWER PARENTS AND STUDENTS TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP (AKA THE “ANAHEIM PARENT AND STUDENT EMPOWERMENT ACT”)

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim has a long-standing, supportive partnership with its school districts providing millions annually in supplemental educational resources; and

WHEREAS, the city’s financial support includes funding public safety officers and crossing guards at public school campuses, after school enrichment programs, joint-use agreements for city parks and libraries, and community services that provide a direct enhancement to the education of the City’s children; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim’s greater business community contributes millions annually to support the City’s public schools, including a recently completed Youth Assessment Survey funded by the Disneyland Resort, and the new grant initiative Accelerate Change Together (ACT), managed by the Orange County Community Foundation with financial support provided by the Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball, and Anaheim Ducks, to address gaps in service for underserved Anaheim youth; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim agrees all residents, parents and children, deserve equal access to a quality education; and

WHEREAS, many school districts across the City are achieving and exceeding state standards, with many of their schools recognized as California Distinguished Schools, and

WHEREAS, several school districts in the City of Anaheim are unfortunately listed as having among the worst performing schools in the County of Orange, including the Anaheim Union High School District, which reports that half of their schools are failing to meet state standards despite having among the highest levels of per pupil funding per the state Department of Finance; and

WHEREAS, parents at chronically low performing schools in Anaheim have sought to exercise their legal rights under California’s Parent Empowerment Law to improve access for their children to a better education and have faced staunch political and legal opposition by elected and administration officials governing these schools at taxpayer expense; and

WHEREAS, charter schools provide a personalized approach to education including smaller classrooms, innovative teaching methods, and parent involvement, such as the acclaimed El Rancho Middle School with Orange Unified School District and the independent GOALS Academy, which opened its doors on August 17, 2015 with the full support of the Anaheim City School District administration and trustees; and

WHEREAS, Charter Schools have been used effectively in the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide an alternative for economically disadvantaged students who have been attending chronically underperforming public schools; and

WHEREAS, the AUHSD has unanimously adopted a resolution asking the City of Anaheim to establish an undefined, unrestricted line item in the City budget to supplement funding for all public schools within the City, above and beyond the millions in public and private financial support provided by the City today and without any advance communication or collaboration by the AUHSD trustees or administration with the City; and

WHEREAS, AUHSD covers five cities in its jurisdiction, Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma, Stanton and its resolution was directed only in Anaheim and provides no taxpayer safeguards that if adopted by the City, the additional funding would be used to support schools and students in Anaheim, rather than the other four cities of the AUHSD service area; and

WHEREAS, the line item in the City budget requested by AUHSD would have no restrictions, taxpayer oversight or accountability and has the potential to divert vital city funding for Anaheim police, fire, parks, libraries, roads and closing the gap on the City’s escalating pension liabilities; and

WHEREAS, the City’s schools have received record levels of increased state funding over the past two fiscal years and the state Legislative Analyst Office has stated that the next fiscal year will be at or above existing levels, in addition to a $249 million bond approved by voters for AUHSD in 2014 and a $169.3 million bond approved by voters for ACSD in 2010; and

WHEREAS, ACSD had just approved an expenditure of $670,000 in funding that will go to legal fees rather than its public schools to appeal the Superior Court ruling in favor of Palm Lane parents exercising their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment Law; and

WHEREAS, a high percentage of Anaheim’s economically disadvantaged students continue to attend chronically low performing schools and there is insufficient evidence that unrestricted funding by the City would be used to improve upon the status quo and bring about substantive reforms, as evidenced by the increased levels of local and state funding in recent years that has yet to substantively close the achievement gap at schools reported as underperforming in the City; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim and its public school districts should work together to adopt programs, policies, and reforms that are directed at closing the achievement gap at existing schools currently underperforming by state standards to ensure all students in the City have equal access to a quality education; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Anaheim:

  1. The City of Anaheim will continue to provide significant financial resources based on existing budgetary practices to continue the City’s historic support of its public schools and will continue to partner with its school districts on joint-use facilities and programs to enhance educational opportunities for families, parents and children in the City; and
  2. The City of Anaheim urges the seven school districts that serve Anaheim students to adopt policies and programs to provide greater levels of high quality educational choice, including charter schools, and to adopt strategic plans and reforms to close the achievement gap for chronically low performing schools in Anaheim before seeking additional city funding; and
  3. The City of Anaheim urges all seven school districts to actively inform parents of their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment law and its Parent Trigger provisions, and to support and not in any way legally hinder or cease existing legal efforts to challenge parents exercising their legal rights as authorized by state law.

 

Posted in Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Centralia School District, Magnolia School District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Anaheim City Council to Weigh in on Charter Schools and Parent Trigger Law

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 14, 2015

City_of_Anaheim_Seal_svgOn Tuesday, the Anaheim City Council will vote on a resolution supporting students’ “equal access to a quality education,” specifically pointing to charter schools and the rights of families to use the Parent Trigger Law (also known as the “Parent Empowerment Law”).

The resolution reaffirms the City’s “existing budgetary practices…in support of its public schools,” including “joint-use facilities and programs…” (The City currently provides indirect financial support to the tune of $5.7 million each year through facilities/joint use, programming, and public safety.  Additionally, the City has provided indirect financial support for capital improvements/infrastructure worth $19.9 million over the last five years.)

The resolution also urges the seven school districts serving Anaheim to provide more charter schools and “adopt strategic plans and reforms to close the achievement gap for chronically low performing schools in Anaheim before seeking additional city funding.”

These two portions are clearly in response to the request by the Anaheim Union High School District for direct City funding of that district, which was agendized for the Council meeting by Mayor Tom Tait.

Finally, the resolution “urges all seven school districts to actively inform parents of their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment law and its Parent Trigger provisions, and to support and not in any way legally hinder or cease existing legal efforts to challenge parents exercising their legal rights as authorized by state law.”  This portion is obviously in response to the Anaheim City School District’s actions after parents at Palm Lane Elementary School utilized the Parent Trigger Law and prevailed in court.  (Among other things, the school district is appealing the court ruling.)

For those wondering, there are seven school districts that serve the City of Anaheim:

  • Anaheim Union High School District, 22,531 students, 14 schools
  • Anaheim City School District, 19,164 students, 25 schools
  • Orange Unified School District, 7,383 students, 10 schools
  • Magnolia School District, 5,679 students, 8 schools
  • Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, 3,719 students, 1 school
  • Savanna School District, 1,941 students, 2 schools
  • Centralia School District, 1,245 students, 2 schools

The resolution was agendized at the request of Councilwoman Kris Murray in response to the Tait item to provide direct City funding to the Anaheim Union High School District.

Click here for the staff report on this item.  Below is the full text of the resolution:

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM SUPPORTING ANAHEIM’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND OFFERING TO WORK IN CONTINUED PARTNERSHIP WITH ALL CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ENSURE STUDENTS IN THE CITY HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO A QUALITY EDUCATION, INCLUDING SUPPORT FOR PROGRAMS, POLICIES, AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES PROVIDED IN STATE LAW TO EMPOWER PARENTS AND STUDENTS TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP (AKA THE “ANAHEIM PARENT AND STUDENT EMPOWERMENT ACT”)

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim has a long-standing, supportive partnership with its school districts providing millions annually in supplemental educational resources; and

WHEREAS, the city’s financial support includes funding public safety officers and crossing guards at public school campuses, after school enrichment programs, joint-use agreements for city parks and libraries, and community services that provide a direct enhancement to the education of the City’s children; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim’s greater business community contributes millions annually to support the City’s public schools, including a recently completed Youth Assessment Survey funded by the Disneyland Resort, and the new grant initiative Accelerate Change Together (ACT), managed by the Orange County Community Foundation with financial support provided by the Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball, and Anaheim Ducks, to address gaps in service for underserved Anaheim youth; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim agrees all residents, parents and children, deserve equal access to a quality education; and

WHEREAS, many school districts across the City are achieving and exceeding state standards, with many of their schools recognized as California Distinguished Schools, and

WHEREAS, several school districts in the City of Anaheim are unfortunately listed as having among the worst performing schools in the County of Orange, including the Anaheim Union High School District, which reports that half of their schools are failing to meet state standards despite having among the highest levels of per pupil funding per the state Department of Finance; and

WHEREAS, parents at chronically low performing schools in Anaheim have sought to exercise their legal rights under California’s Parent Empowerment Law to improve access for their children to a better education and have faced staunch political and legal opposition by elected and administration officials governing these schools at taxpayer expense; and

WHEREAS, charter schools provide a personalized approach to education including smaller classrooms, innovative teaching methods, and parent involvement, such as the acclaimed El Rancho Middle School with Orange Unified School District and the independent GOALS Academy, which opened its doors on August 17, 2015 with the full support of the Anaheim City School District administration and trustees; and

WHEREAS, Charter Schools have been used effectively in the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide an alternative for economically disadvantaged students who have been attending chronically underperforming public schools; and

WHEREAS, the AUHSD has unanimously adopted a resolution asking the City of Anaheim to establish an undefined, unrestricted line item in the City budget to supplement funding for all public schools within the City, above and beyond the millions in public and private financial support provided by the City today and without any advance communication or collaboration by the AUHSD trustees or administration with the City; and

WHEREAS, AUHSD covers five cities in its jurisdiction, Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma, Stanton and its resolution was directed only in Anaheim and provides no taxpayer safeguards that if adopted by the City, the additional funding would be used to support schools and students in Anaheim, rather than the other four cities of the AUHSD service area; and

WHEREAS, the line item in the City budget requested by AUHSD would have no restrictions, taxpayer oversight or accountability and has the potential to divert vital city funding for Anaheim police, fire, parks, libraries, roads and closing the gap on the City’s escalating pension liabilities; and

WHEREAS, the City’s schools have received record levels of increased state funding over the past two fiscal years and the state Legislative Analyst Office has stated that the next fiscal year will be at or above existing levels, in addition to a $249 million bond approved by voters for AUHSD in 2014 and a $169.3 million bond approved by voters for ACSD in 2010; and

WHEREAS, ACSD had just approved an expenditure of $670,000 in funding that will go to legal fees rather than its public schools to appeal the Superior Court ruling in favor of Palm Lane parents exercising their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment Law; and

WHEREAS, a high percentage of Anaheim’s economically disadvantaged students continue to attend chronically low performing schools and there is insufficient evidence that unrestricted funding by the City would be used to improve upon the status quo and bring about substantive reforms, as evidenced by the increased levels of local and state funding in recent years that has yet to substantively close the achievement gap at schools reported as underperforming in the City; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim and its public school districts should work together to adopt programs, policies, and reforms that are directed at closing the achievement gap at existing schools currently underperforming by state standards to ensure all students in the City have equal access to a quality education; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Anaheim:

  1. The City of Anaheim will continue to provide significant financial resources based on existing budgetary practices to continue the City’s historic support of its public schools and will continue to partner with its school districts on joint-use facilities and programs to enhance educational opportunities for families, parents and children in the City; and
  2. The City of Anaheim urges the seven school districts that serve Anaheim students to adopt policies and programs to provide greater levels of high quality educational choice, including charter schools, and to adopt strategic plans and reforms to close the achievement gap for chronically low performing schools in Anaheim before seeking additional city funding; and
  3. The City of Anaheim urges all seven school districts to actively inform parents of their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment law and its Parent Trigger provisions, and to support and not in any way legally hinder or cease existing legal efforts to challenge parents exercising their legal rights as authorized by state law.

Posted in Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Centralia School District, Magnolia School District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Education Revolution in Orange County: Part III of III – OC Teachers Lawsuit Against Unions Reaches Supreme Court

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 6, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Justices

This is the third in my series on the education revolution brewing in Orange County.  The first piece was on the growth of charter schools in Orange County to catch up to the number of charter schools in the rest of California.  The second piece was on the use of the Parent Trigger Law at Palm Lane Elementary School.  Today, in the final piece, we turn to an Orange County case that has reached the United States Supreme Court seeking to overturn the “agency shop” rules for California school districts and to overturn the opt-out procedure for the “nonchargeable” portion of union dues.

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is the most sweeping part of the education revolution in Orange County.  The plurality of the teachers, unions, and school districts in the case are from Orange County.

The growth of charter schools in Orange County is just OC playing catch up to its neighboring counties.  The Palm Lane Elementary School case is Orange County being one of the early adopters in the efforts around the Parent Trigger Law.  Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is Orange County seeking to pave the way for the nation.

If the petitioners (Rebecca Friedrichs, et al.) prevail in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, collective bargaining in this country changes forever and the influence of public employee unions in elections, particularly California elections, will wane significantly.

Public employee unions’ enormous sums of money for political campaigns are fueled by the dues they collect from their members.  For an individual employee to opt out of contributing their dues for political purposes, that employee must during a six-week period each year send a letter to the union stating they wish to opt out (there’s even a confusing box on the CTA’s regular dues form that implies employees can opt out entirely but is actually a box that accomplishes a far narrower task).

If the Supreme Court simplifies the opt-out system or switches opt-out to opt-in, you will see a precipitous fall in the amount of union money in politics.  With this fall in union money, it will be much tougher for union allies to win elected office in Congress, the State Legislature, and local government.  Fewer elected officials will be beholden to teachers unions.

If the petitioners prevail, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association will represent a sea change in American and California politics and governance.

What does “agency shop” mean?  What are “nonchargeable” portions of union dues?

(The petitioners describe describe “agency shop” rules as: “The State of California empowers school districts to require public-school teachers, as a condition of employment, to either join the union representing teachers in their district or pay the equivalent of dues to that union.”)

(California Government Code Section 3546(a) describes “agency shop” rules as: “the employee shall, as a condition of continued employment, be required either to join the recognized employee organization or pay the fair share service fee,” and the “nonchargeable” portion of union dues are the part of the “fee that is not devoted to the cost of negotiations, contract administration, and other activities of the employee organization that are germane to its function as the exclusive bargaining representative.”)

Who are the petitioners and the respondents?

Led by Orange County teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, ten California teachers and the Christian Educators Association International filed suit against the California Teachers Association (state teachers union), the National Education Association (national teachers union), and ten local teachers unions, including four from Orange County:

  • Savanna District Teachers Association
  • Saddleback Valley Educators Association
  • Orange Unified Education Association
  • Santa Ana Educators Association

Also among the respondents are the Superintendents of the Savanna School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Orange Unified School District, and Santa Ana Unified School District.

Posted in Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Education Revolution in Orange County: Part I of III

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 23, 2015

An education revolution has been brewing in Orange County.  We’re seeing massive change in Orange County thanks to charter schools, the Parent Trigger Law, and litigation against compulsory union dues by the California Teachers Association.  I’m going to do a three-part series on this.

Charter schools are a recognition that one-size-fits-all does not work for all students.  There needs to be competition because some students need a different kind of school, just like there are many different types of colleges and universities.

Despite Orange County’s conservatism, the education community has long known Orange County as an anti-charter school county.  It’s not the voters who were anti-charter school.  It was the school board members.

The 2007-2008 Grand Jury even issued a report where they recommended, “The chartering authorities should follow the intent of the legislature by encouraging the establishment of charter schools by granting more charter school petitions provided they meet the State requirements.”

At the time of the Grand Jury report, there were 11 charter schools in Orange County.  Over the next six years, just three new charters were approved.  Keep in mind there are 29 chartering authorities in Orange County: the Orange County Board of Education and the 28 local school districts.

Here’s what the state of charter schools looked like in May 2014.  This shows Orange County’s four neighboring counties, plus tiny Humboldt County.

County Number of Charter
Schools in 2014
Population
Orange 14 3,010,232
Humboldt 15 134,623
Riverside 26 2,189,641
San Bernardino 37 2,035,210
San Diego 120 3,095,313
Los Angeles 341 9,818,605

Then in June 2014, with assistance from the California Charter Schools Association, South County voters tossed the County Board of Education’s most virulent anti-charter school member, 32-year incumbent Liz Parker, who to the surprise of many, was a registered Republican.  By a 57%-43% margin, the voters sent in Linda Lindholm to replace Parker.

Things have changed significantly for charter schools in Orange County since Lindholm replaced Parker.  We have overtaken Humboldt County.  Local school districts got the message and approved two more charter schools in the latter half of 2014.  In the first half of 2015, the Orange County Board of Education approved another two charter schools.  Orange County has grown its charter schools to 19, still a bit behind Riverside and far behind San Bernardino, and way, way behind San Diego and Los Angeles Counties (even when adjusting for population).

 

As I noted in a post a month ago:

Trustee Ken Williams, elected in 1996, has a voting record generally supportive of charter schools.  Trustee Robert Hammond, elected in 2012, has a voting record consistently supportive of charter schools.  Between 2012-2014, Williams and Hammond often found themselves on the losing ends of 3-2 votes on charter school applications.  Lindholm’s victory in unseating Liz Parker shifted the Board to a pro-charter school majority.  To their credits, Trustees Jack Bedell and David Boyd, along with the Orange County Department of Education staff, recognized the sea change delivered by the voters.  Staff reports for both Vista Heritage and CCPA have recommended approval of the charter schools.  Bedell and Boyd joined a unanimous vote in favor of Vista Heritage’s application and are expected to join a unanimous vote for CCPA.

The Orange Unified School District provisionally approved a charter school in May by a 5-2 vote.  Unfortunately, due to absences, the OUSD Board’s vote on final approval was 3-2, one vote short of the necessary four votes.  That charter school, Unity Middle College High School, has appealed to the County Board of Education with a vote expected in August.  Considering OUSD’s rejection wasn’t a real rejection, and was more of a fluke, we should expect Orange County’s 20th charter school before the close of summer.

Next in the series: the Parent Trigger Law and Orange County’s 21st charter school…

Posted in Anaheim City School District, California, National, Orange County, Orange County Board of Education, Orange Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »