Gasp Heard as Finance Expert Declines CUSD Offer

Although he initially accepted the deal, John Pappalardo changed his mind Wednesday.

Superintendent Joseph Farley announced to the Board of Trustees on Wednesday that the finance expert the wished to whisk away from Pasadena Unified has declined CUSD's offer.

The news prompted an audible gasp in the trustees' chambers.

John Pappalardo currently serves as the chief financial officer for Pasadena Unified, and several publications in that area announced earlier this month his decision to leave his post and .

Capo itself issued a press release announcing the hire on March 15.

Farley told trustees salary was the primary concern.

Pappalardo had agreed to the district's initial offer, and even OK'd a requested revision, Farley said.

"But this afternoon, he had second thoughts," Farley said.

The school district is facing a severe financial crisis heading into the 2012-13 school year, .

Capo lost its deputy superintendent of business services when  left the district in January to take a similar post with Fullerton Joint Union High School District.

Two employees, Robyn Phillips and Tim Holcomb, are carrying out the duties of the top financial executive on an interim basis while the district searches for a permanent replacement for Lebs.

shelly April 01, 2012 at 03:11 AM
OC Mom, "Shelly may be a parent, but I think she has a side job as a paid blogger or PR person for CUEA or CTA. No one could possibly be brainwashed in favor of the rights and entitlements of teachers at the expense of their own child's education." Nefarious plot? I am not a paid blogger. I am a mom, OC Mom. So do you believe teachers should not have rights, benefits and a good salary? I feel that teachers help my kids. They educate my children. I think their job is important to our society. I don't want McTeachers or the flavor school of the day. I like my schools and like my choices. YOu are able to have a chose of different schools in CUSD because it has school of choice. CUSD has voted for some charter schools. That is great because I am all for choice. But many of us love our schools and our teachers. So do not force charter schools on us if we are happy with our schools. I think teachers should be able to afford to live where they teach and be a part of the community.
OC Mom April 01, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Shelly, I think almost $200K for a CFO trying to manage our School District so that it remains solvent is worthy. I don't feel that $93K for a 1st Grade teacher with 30 students is a wise investment. Teachers are valuable and shape our kids attitudes about learning. They teach skills that will be built upon each year. I get that and value that, but Mr. Pappalardo was going to have to do some very stressful and indepth work to figure out what could be cut and how we can make the most out of every dollar CUSD gets in order to keep it up and running. I do believe that your kids had good experiences and good teachers. Like I said before there are differences between schools, teachers and even students. Some kids need more structure, extra help or time spent trying to spark their interest in different subjects. I don't think that any one school can meet the news of all kids. My children needed some extra help and they did not receive it in regular CUSD schools. They weren't far enough behind and aren't LD.The Great Heart Academies I posted the link to are something I'm very interested in. I really like Classical education and curriculum. It definitely isn't teaching to the test. It is more of a Liberal Arts type of education and showing how History, Science, Art, Music and Greek Mythology often intertwine. I noticed while in Long Beach that Wilson High a regular LBUSD school is now a Classical High School. Remember the inspirational movie Freedom Writers? That was the School.
OC Mom April 01, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Jolly, I was trying to bring a little levity with humor. I don't want bragging rights about OPA or any school. I don't want to be competing in some kind of oneupsmanship, but I do want my children to receive the best public education possible, because like Shelly my family can't afford private. We also pay taxes and have for many years before having children. I value education and I have one shot in these 18 years I get with each of my children to properly prepare them for adulthood and to become contributing members of society. The complacency I mentioned was in some tenured teachers, perhaps a minority who don't give their jobs their all. That happens in all jobs, but in the private sector an employee can be fired for poor or lackluster performance and it also isn't going to affect a growing child who has lost out on important instruction. Again, I'm not saying this is the majority of teachers. Heck, teachers have a lot on their plates with students getting Speech Therapy, being ELL or LD and being in the same class as all of the other kids. It is difficult to be all things to all of them. I value that, but you have to have had difficult children over the years who also disrupted your classroom and other students learning. There are a lot of factors. I know from her posts that if Shelly's children struggled with any of those issues or were behind in class she would have been searching for another option for her children too.
Pam Sunderman April 01, 2012 at 05:15 AM
You can't judge a school...or even a teacher...by a movie someone made about it. Jaimie Escalante, the inspirational teacher in "Stand and Deliver" was never able to duplicate the success he had at that school. It wasn't from lack of trying and it wasn't because he wasn't a good teacher. There is also more to the story of "Freedom Writers." You want the best for your children but so does everyone else. I can't speak for your experience but I can speak for the many schools, teachers, and students I have known. What you find so appealing about other schools can happen in any school...with the right amount of support. Not every parent wants the same thing. I have mentioned the parable of the old man, the boy and the donkey. When the old man road the donkey he was criticized for letting the poor little boy walk. When he let the boy ride then the boy was criticized for letting the poor old man walk. So they both got on the donkey and were criticized for abusing the poor donkey. When they both walked they were criticized for their stupidity in not taking advantage of that perfectly good ride. I hope that you continue to be pleased with OPA and that your children flourish. But it is not necessary to put down other schools.
OC Mom April 01, 2012 at 08:04 AM
Jolly, I enjoyed the parable. I agree there will always be critics regardless of what the schools do. CUSD's biggest problem right now is financial. That needs to be solved so that they can continue educating kids. I don't think I'm putting down CUSD. I think I left a log of room in my post for you to see that there are a lot of factors including the kids in the classroom that affect the learning of other kids because of distractions. I mentioned Freedom Writers and Wilson High because it is in a gang area and within the last few years a student was even shot. I enjoyed that movie as well as October Sky. Again, I like to hear about success stories and people who overcome difficult circumstances. CUSD has a more affluent population of students than LBUSD so I don't know if all of the credit for good grades and high test scores can be attributed soley to teachers. Even at OPA I'm supplementing reading classical literature and other things that I think are important to my children's understanding of the world. We were reading Aesop's fables and Greek Mythology before bed tonight. The demands of the classroom and meeting every students needs take away from challenging the advanced student or always catching up the student who's behind. I've had teachers tell me before that they teach to the middle. Many lower middle class and poor families are ignorant as to how to guide their children and help them excel. I know because I was raised by HS dropouts.
randy April 01, 2012 at 04:29 PM
This is the reason I mentioned. Solution at CUSD finanically is sorely needed as everyone knows that no one wants to work if there is no guarantee or safety net for the huge problem. I made someone who called my solution, "Soviet Union" way. I know it is not practical way in America, but the rate of success, better morale, respect of profession albeit bashing from outside. Admin without teaching credential get highest teachers salary matrix, admin with teaching credential (supervisory/teacher of teacher) shall get highest school principals' salary per said agreements.
Pam Sunderman April 01, 2012 at 06:49 PM
While I am not a fan of comparing schools...since you are linking to excellent schools by your standard of measurement...here is a good one. http://www.ocregister.com/news/schools-346875-school-state.html
shelly April 01, 2012 at 06:51 PM
OC Mom, Part of the middle school curriculum is Greek Mythology. All of my older children read Greek Mythology and participated in rewriting a Greek Myth into a play and making costumes. They did this in small groups and performed these for the parents and students. My sons learned ancient history in Spanish at a public middle school. In 9th grade the students read Greek Mythology and the Odessey. In elementary school my children had to read fables, lores and tall tales then write some of their own. In 7th grade they hold a Renaissance fair. I think that a teacher who teaches 30 kinders, 1st, 2cd, etc. is worth every penny. Just how much do you believe they should be paid since you believe they are overpaid? These kinders, 1st, 2cd, etc. will never get these years back. They only get one chance at it so we need good teachers. One of my sons' has struggled academically, had anger issues and he was bullied and made fun of because he has a speech issue. The administrators and teachers and us, his parents, all came together to help him with his struggles. The administrators also stepped in and helped the kids who bullied him. They had peer groups with a counselor to address the issues of bullying. This was 4 years ago. I am very thankful the caring administrators and teachers at my children's elementary. My son was not an exception. They address each individual student's issues. They care. Good teachers are worth paying.
shelly April 01, 2012 at 07:05 PM
OC Mom, I was raised by HS dropouts and educated in public schools and was not encouraged academically at home. I was encouraged by a public high school coach/teacher who told me to knock off the bad behavior and start working to my potential. I listened and I managed to go to and graduate from college and I paid for it myself. Teachers make a difference all the time. Way back then and now. Ask around. My son who is graduating this year will tell you about many of his teachers who made an impact on him. He has great choices because of these teachers not in spite of them. CUSD has a wonderful program called AVID. This helps hundreds of students go to college. The teachers who run these programs are inspiring, caring and hardworking. There impact will be felt for years from the students they helped get into college and have successful lives. They make a difference and are worth their salaries and benefits. In high school the 9th graders read Greek Mythology and The Odyssey.
Pam Sunderman April 01, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Shelly, Thank you for sharing your own personal experiences in CUSD. I know there are millions more. At times we are all at fault for not reporting our good experiences. We get so much more passionate when things don't go as we planned. When they do or when they exceed our expectations we often feel great about it but don't speak up about it. I also appreciate very much your respectful demeanor and your determination to correct misperceptions. Since we agree on many issues some may think we are a tag team. But we both post independently of each other...and of any other entity.
Capo Parent April 06, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I am glad that JG and Shelly enjoy their lovefest with CUSD. Now back to the real world, CUSD has to cut $33 to $51 million, and the best it can do is adopt a golden parachute program proposed by the teachers union? This is the program that CUSD experts initially debunked The teachers union objected and said it would "show" CUSD that the program will save money. We're still waiting for the teachers union and/or CUSD to actually show that this program will really save CUSD money, especially since CUSD has to pay $2.4 million every year for the next 5 years to fund the program. Of course, this begs the question, if CUSD has to cut $33 to $51 million, where did it come up with the $2.4 million in seed money for the program? Also, shouldn't $2.4 million, if paid, be added to CUSD's enormous and growing deficit, making the deficit now $35.4 million to $53.4 million? Can we ask the state to takeover CUSD now and spare us the agony of falling into defacto bankruptcy thanks to the incompetent administration and inept board majority? What if we ask nice and say, "pretty please."
Capo Parent April 06, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Huh? Not sure what you're trying to convey, but keep posting!
randy April 06, 2012 at 11:01 PM
CP - you said what I generally said previous posts on several blogs under CUSD issues. You can find them when you can. My opinion is Capo is running the show as we know, or at least, they are doing a good illusion work in front of parents, kids and valuable teachers and staff. It is nothing wrong if state takeover and to redo salary matrix as they do with prisons, etc. You can research how the state has setting up their salary, job classification, etc. structure, which is completely different from the school districts. Once took over, the supt has to be removed and the BOA will advise the state how CUSD needs to run. I think think this is a good way to minimize additional issues.
shelly April 07, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Parents and taxpayers could step up to the plate for their children and their community.
bbq April 08, 2012 at 01:18 AM
I would bet my last tax dollar that Jollygirl and Shelly would both somehow benefit personally from us paying higher taxes. Hmmmmm.... but it sure sounds good to hide behind the lamenting of the poor chiiiiiilllddddrennnn!!!! Shelly, I lost count the number of times you've said, "we need teachers," blah, blah, blah. We get it! Jollygirl, you've made references to people standing up and using their real names - is your real name "Jollygirl?" I think we should all agree that we disagree. You won't change my mind, I won't change yours. Happy Easter, All :)
shelly April 08, 2012 at 02:11 AM
bbq, Yep, I am going to personally benefit from us, me included, paying higher taxes. I have 4 kids in school and they will benefit. The kids who live in my community will benefit. The kids who live in my state will benefit. When the children who live in our community benefit then we all benefit since these are our future leaders and citizens. I don't agree with you bbq. And you are right. You will not change my mind and I will not change yours. I do not believe many people's minds are changed on these comment boards. I believe many of us use it as a way to vent. I also understand that it is easy to allude to things about others when they do not agree with us instead of being respectful. I do not really know what you were alluding to when you stated that I would benefit personally but I kind of believe that you intended it to be an insult but maybe not. I really am a parent with a different opinion than you. I try to teach my children not to be disrespectful when speaking or debating with others. My real name is Shelly. Happy Easter.
bbq April 08, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Shelly, my comment was not meant as an insult to you. What I meant (and I'm sure you know), is that I wonder whether you will personally benefit financially. I have no idea whether you are a teacher or part of the union, but from your posts it sure seems like you have some ulterior motive besides the children.
shelly April 08, 2012 at 04:14 AM
bbq, Then why not ask in the first place? I am not a member of the teachers' union and no one in my family is a member of the teachers union. I do not work for the teachers' union. I would not benefit financially but actually have to pay more. Increasing taxes would have an adverse effect on my family's finances. But I believe that somethings are worth sacrificing for. The people who are advocating for the teachers to fix the budget shortfalls are actually the ones who will benefit financially over the teachers. They are advocating for themselves and not for the children of our community. I am a mom who is willing to pay more for the children of our community. Our taxes are not covering education. We get less funding per student than many other districts. The OC supervisors would like to take tax dollars out of the funds that were intended for education. But the only solution that people can offer is that the teachers fix it because these people feel that they are not personally responsible for helping with this budget crisis. The teachers took a cut last time and they will take another one. They pay taxes too and raising taxes will effect them too. What I have said all along is that I feel we should all pitch in and help. I feel education is important and worth it. I am proud of where I live and the schools of my community. I feel very fortunate to live here. I feel as a member of the community I should help.
Pam Sunderman April 08, 2012 at 04:18 AM
I am not in the least ashamed to be paid for working. As you may know, if you are referring to all teachers, they are working for less these days just like many other people. Why is it so difficult to acknowledge that? And why would you think it is shameful for someone to benefit financially from their profession. We all pay each other's salaries, one way or another. Calling a paycheck an ulterior motive is ridiculous. It's not like teachers are paid under the table. And we all benefit from the taxes we pay. I prefer, as do many, to post anonymously on the Patch boards. However I have also posted using my real name. I have spoken at board meetings in the past. I have spoken to board members in the past. I have spoken to parents and with colleagues. I try to speak respectfully. I try to do that when I post anonymously. I do not make personal accusations against other posters. I do call them on misstatements. And I do correct false information.
bbq April 08, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Jollygirl, Nobody said you should be ashamed of working for a paycheck, but you are so adamant that we all need to pay higher taxes rather than look for other solutions; the quick fix that will never be enough. I asked before - why doesn't the teachers UNION fight for the dollars from Sacramento and the OC supervisors??? Aren't they being paid to look out for the teachers' best interest?
shelly April 08, 2012 at 05:19 AM
bbq, Do you believe that Jollygirl posts only because of how it will effect her financially? The CUSD teachers are employeed by CUSD. It is CUSD's and its taxpayer's responsibility to fight for the dollars to pay its employees.
bbq April 08, 2012 at 05:37 AM
I have no idea whether Jollygirl posts only because of how it will effect her financially. I don't have a clue as to who she is (nor do I care). However, if she is a CUSD teacher or a union rep then she would definitely have the motivation to be so insistent that we pay higher taxes. I think a lot of people hide behind causes that use "the children" to further an agenda (not saying that that is the case with you or Jollygirl, but I am cynical like that).
GreenInOC April 08, 2012 at 05:51 AM
I am not a teacher, I do not work for the teacher's union, I do not have children in the district, I am not a member of the district, I do not work for the district. I am however a member of this community and I believe that we all benefit from children who are well educated. I am tired of hearing about how children are precious, incredible beings and then insisting that they be taught by teachers who are not a valued part of the process in underfunded schools. There is a massive disconnect there in my opinion. While I would not benefit financially by higher taxes (quite the opposite!), I would benefit greatly by being part of a society with well education children, teachers being paid well and schools being funded properly.
bbq April 08, 2012 at 06:06 AM
I don't think that teachers are being undervalued at all. Our teachers make an excellent salary and have great benefits and only have to work about 39 weeks per year; and there are a lot of very good teachers in our school district. I do have kids in the schools here but we, like the majority of people out there, have been hit hard in this economy. I feel that my taxes are stretched to the limit already. There needs to be something besides just raising taxes again and again to solve the problem.
shelly April 08, 2012 at 03:14 PM
bbq, Our taxes are not covering the bills. School budgets have been cut every year since the economy tanked. We either value education or we don't as a community. Valuing education means funding it at the amount it needs to be funded. No one is saying teachers do not make a fair salary. They do and they should. Some people are saying that teachers salaries need to be cut and benefits slashed. Teachers salaries have been cut and will be cut again. Where is our responsibility to fund education at the amount it should be? CUSD schools are good and our teachers are good.
shelly April 08, 2012 at 06:17 PM
bbq, You as a tax payer have the motivation to be insistent that we do not pay higher taxes even if it will benefit the children of our community. And why can't you believe that Jollygirl posts to support teachers and education. Please read her comments. Jollygirl often posts about education issues even when it has nothing to do with budgets. Please read others comments. There are several who are insistent that the teachers and schools of CUSD are not very good and that teachers should carry the burden of fixing the budget. We should all be helping.
bbq April 08, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Shelly, I'm just saying, again, there needs to be some other way other than raising taxes. Like I asked before, why can't the teachers union work for the teachers by getting the money that's currently being withheld? Isn't that why the teachers are paying the union, to represent the teachers??? Why isn't anyone talking about why the teachers aren't going after that money? The OC Supervisors have 75 million of the school's money (the state is suing them). If the money is not being allocated properly as well, that needs to be corrected.
shelly April 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM
bbq, It is the job of the employer to get the money to pay the employees. CUSD employees teachers. The money is being withheld from CUSD. Why isn't it the job of the district and the state to get the money?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) April 09, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I think there may be some misunderstanding here. Capo is still spending the withheld money (from the county). It's counting on the state making them whole, and so it is doing short-term financing that crosses fiscal years. It also still spends deferred money, also using bridge financing. Getting the money faster would save the district interest but doesn't open tons of new funding for new programs and/or teachers.
bbq April 09, 2012 at 08:00 PM
It is the job of the district and the state, but if they are not doing the job, perhaps the union, which is very powerful, can help. I guess it doesn't matter, since Penny clarified that the money is still being spent. So.... it's back to "there is no more money."


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