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CUSD Approves Teachers Contract But Not Without Fireworks

At the last minute, Trustee Jim Reardon wants to find more money in the budget to add three more school days to the year. Others call it irresponsible.

Trustee Jim Reardon's suggestion to cut more from the budget to add more school days sparks a heated discussion at the Capistrano Unified School District. Photo courtesy Jim Reardon
Trustee Jim Reardon's suggestion to cut more from the budget to add more school days sparks a heated discussion at the Capistrano Unified School District. Photo courtesy Jim Reardon

The Capistrano Unified school board OK'd a new teachers contract but not without fireworks and accusations of political opportunism.

The agreement calls for a 177-day school year (two more days than last year but less than a normal school year of 180 days), a slight decrease in class size, a 1.2 percent raise for teachers, the elimination of open house night and three days of training in the national testing standards known as Common Core.

Trustee Jim Reardon made a motion that district staff take a few more weeks to find the $2.8 million he estimated it would cost to restore a full school year.

“We are still not fully restored to 180 days. That’s the normal school year that people in our community have come to expect,” he said. “The board has the ability and power to get it done this year.”

That had fellow trustees questioning his motives.

“I can’t help but feel that this is motivated for less than altruistic reasons,” said board President John Alpay. Later, Alpay called it “political gamesmanship,” criticizing Reardon for coming up with a plan that thwarts months of negotiations “in the 11th hour.”

Reardon said he was taking aim at money outside of the teachers’ contract. District officials recently learned many of the funds which previously had rigid restrictions were suddenly freed up to be spent in any number of ways. The district should investigate their best use now, not in a year, he said.

Trustee Lynn Hatton said with only weeks before having to submit a final budget into the county Department of Education, there wouldn’t be enough time to do the kind of analysis needed. She said such programs as music and International Baccalaureate could be jeopardized from such hasty slicing and dicing.

“We will have to raid something. We have cut so much money from our staff. The only thing to cut after that is programs,” Hatton said.

Reardon responded that in a $360-million budget, staff should be able to find the $2.8 million needed somewhere.

But others said such an effort in a short period of time was unwise.

“To throw this down anybody’s throat just this fast is irresponsible,” said Trustee Amy Hanacek.

The board voted 4-3 to approve the teacher contract, with trustees Reardon, Ellen Addonizio and Anna Bryson opposed. 

shelly August 23, 2013 at 03:11 PM
funding.
shelly August 23, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Dawn, Who is responsible to fund education? And when less dollars come to our schools who is responsible. The less amount than before has been the reality before any contracts and budgets are decided on. Who is ultimately responsible for funding?
Mission Viejo Mom August 23, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Dawn, I totally agree with you about not engaging with some of the posters on this thread. Some assume that everyone is south Orange County is rich and has unlimited resources to give unlimited amounts of money to the schools. Obviously, the ACLU thinks that as well.
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Mission Viejo Mom August 23, 2013 at 05:52 PM Dawn, I totally agree with you about not engaging with some of the posters on this thread. Some assume that everyone is south Orange County is rich and has unlimited resources to give unlimited amounts of money to the schools. Obviously, the ACLU thinks that as well. __________________________________________________________________ I totally agree with this. The ACLU is wrong to think what others think they think. They should instead think that only the teachers in south Orange County are rich, have unlimited resources and should give unlimited amounts of money from their unlimited salaries back to the schools. Because children. And living within means+bankruptcy/(Alpay+Pritchard) - Reardon*ESL + cosine(180-pupil free days). Also, too, education.
Mission Viejo Mom August 23, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Don't you live in Saddleback district, Shri? Of course, it's pretty boring over there.....not as many budget issues and school board problems....lol. Their district office is very plain as well.
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Dawn, as usual, you left out the contributions towards classroom expenses by teachers. Things like books, furniture, rugs, curtains, CD's, software, and even technology (computers, printers, etc.). Not to mention many supplies for classroom hands-on learning (science experiments, art projects, maps, etc.). It varies by teacher and the grades they teach and every teacher doesn't supply them all but they don't begrudge these things and they don't mind supplying them but you might give them credit.
shelly August 23, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Mission Viejo Mom, And you and Dawn seem to believe that teachers are rich and are able to keep cutting their salary to accommodate your children and all the children. Go ahead and don't engage by not addressing people but in reality engage by commenting. We all know who you are addressing. What responsibility do the taxpayers and parents have in what has been the continuous cut in the amount of money that CUSD receives? Whose responsibility is it to fund education at the level that it was before so that programs are intact, class sizes smaller, etc.? Just be honest and say what you think. Who is ultimately responsible for funding.
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Mission Viejo Mom August 23, 2013 at 06:16 PM Don't you live in Saddleback district, Shri? ____________________________________________________ Don't I wish! That way my kid would not have to go past eleventy gazillion high schools on the way to get an education.
shelly August 23, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Dawn, Why do we employee teachers?
shelly August 23, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Dawn, Why do we employ teachers?
Mission Viejo Mom August 23, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Hmmm...I have my yoga class to go to soon, Then I need to get my Mercedes back from the shop. Need to stop by the bank and grab some cash to pay the nanny....I may have a few bucks left to get some school supplies to throw at the poor teacher on the first day of school. I know the teachers do it all. And we parents do so little......
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 06:42 PM
See that's the problem MVM, you see it as a contest and I see it as working together.
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Can you bring us back some nachos, please? I ran out of popcorn, and this is well on its way to the coveted 500 comment plateau.
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 06:48 PM
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 06:42 PM See that's the problem MVM, you see it as a contest and I see it as working together. _____________________________________________________ I see that as being delusional. It's more like snake, mongoose. Republicans, Democrats. Republicans, RINOs. Gladstone, Disraeli. Lincoln, Douglas. _____________________________________________________ Hootie....Blowfish? _____________________________________________________ Seriously, factchecker, shelly, it is time to blog and present a complete, coherent, alternative viewpoint. Contact me at firstnamelastname@ hotmail.com, if you dare. Or care.
Mission Viejo Mom August 23, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Do you want peppers on your nachos, Shri? And how about a large soda?
Dawn Urbanek August 23, 2013 at 06:56 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-beverly-hills-sports-camp-20130813,0,3402232.story?track=rss
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Please. A can of pepper spray might be handy as this gets heated. (Goggles for me, though)
Mission Viejo Mom August 23, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Actually, I should have asked if you wanted koolaid to drink. There are posters here who are heavy drinkers of it.
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Allow me to retort, Dawn: http://youtu.be/H03HMab-UI4
Dawn Urbanek August 23, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Mission Viejo Mom stated: "Dawn, I totally agree with you about not engaging with some of the posters on this thread. Some assume that everyone is south Orange County is rich and has unlimited resources to give unlimited amounts of money to the schools. Obviously, the ACLU thinks that as well." ----------------------------------------------------------------------- To the ACLU's Credit - they are trying to put pressure on Districts to realize that the District's Budget is where ALL educational expenses must be paid from. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ No teacher should be buying book, supplies, pencils, pens- I am suprised the Union hasn't filed complaints about that on behalf of their members. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The ACLU is also suing on all this fundraising and fees ------------------------------------------------------------------------ They actually understand that the downfall of public education is the day that Public Education is no longer "free"- because then it is no longer "equal". -----------------------------------------------------------------------
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Another example of your mindset MVM. You are right and everyone who offers another viewpoint is not only wrong but delusional and unable to think for themselves.
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Shri, the viewpoint countering Dawn and her ilk is available in every classroom in CUSD. No need to blog the obvious.
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Mission Viejo Mom August 23, 2013 at 07:00 PM Actually, I should have asked if you wanted koolaid to drink. There are posters here who are heavy drinkers of it. _____________________________________________________ Why not, I'll have the same flavor you're having. Sounds dee-lish!
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 07:08 PM
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 07:04 PM Shri, the viewpoint countering Dawn and her ilk is available in every classroom in CUSD. No need to blog the obvious. ________________________________________________________ My bad. 500 comment threads are probably more effective. MVM, make my koolaid a REALLY LARGE ONE!
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Really Shri, I just comment here to keep my vocabulary sharp and debate skills honed. Very few people are aboard the "Those Greedy Teachers" train anymore.
Shripathi Kamath August 23, 2013 at 07:29 PM
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 07:19 PM Really Shri, I just comment here to keep my vocabulary sharp and debate skills honed. Very few people are aboard the "Those Greedy Teachers" train anymore. ______________________________________________________ Of course! Oh heck, I should have intuited that by just looking at the homogeneously isotropic constitution of the Capo USD trustee board; it'd have been so obvious. ______________________________________________________ (Wait, "homogeneously" and "isotropic"? Hey, I am not here for the vocabulary therapy, so what do I care.)
shelly August 23, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Dawn, Why do we employ teachers? What is the most essential classroom expense?
shelly August 23, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Mission Viejo Mom, Parents and taxpayers fund education. The amount that we have funded CUSD has gone down. I realize that you may feel that it is the teachers and employees responsibility to make up for the reduced funds. Teachers and employees have taken the biggest cuts since the economy tanked. Parents and community members have pitched in. I feel that we should all help. I believe that we should do what you can. If you do not want to buy your child school supplies then do not. It is not mandatory but a choice. Help or not? You choose.
shelly August 23, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Dawn, You don't like my questions? You never answer them. Why? I have asked you several times who is responsible for funding? And I have asked you why do we employ and pay teachers? Do you not consider a teacher, a principal a needed expense for our kids? Why do we compensate them? No answer? Oh, now I remember. You are not responding to me anymore. You never really did. And your camps did not offer scholarships at least that is what you told me before because I asked you that specifically at the Las Palmas lunch tables because I was concerned about the cost because many people at our school could not afford your camps.
fact checker August 23, 2013 at 08:34 PM
See Shri, you challenged me with those big words and I still can't figure out exactly what you meant. It seems my work here is not done.

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