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Recently the Voice of San Diego published an article by Mario Koran titled “Class Sizes in San Diego Schools Are Not Down” (link)

In  the article Mr. Koran did an excellent job of exposing the fact that although Board Trustee Kevin Beiser claimed that class sizes were down, they actually were not…and the SDEA who politically supported Beiser were aware of it prior to the election and did not dispute it publicly (as far as we could determine) despite the fact that lowering class sizes is a cornerstone of their Fight For 5 contract negotiation campaign.

Some SDUSD Stakeholders I respect with the VOSD id’s of @scrippsdad, @EducatedMom and @KathyS posted through their “comments” some very detailed and accurate SDUSD Budget facts and information that everyone should read.

I posted the following response to the article and thought you all might be interested in reading it:

I really appreciate all the explanations of the budget and financials provided by @scrippsdad, @EducatedMom and @KathyS.

The clarifications that each of you provided clearly indicate the “Race to the Top” is really “Race to the Top…Of the Pay Scale”…aided and abetted by the State and Federal Government and the “owning” of the Superintendent and School Board in contract negotiations by the highly effective SDEA.

 One of the SDEA documents I read included the following:

  • SDUSD is receiving $105+ million in new Prop. 30 money across this year and next year. Yesterday the District proposed spending only $12 million of that $105 million on SDEA’s Fight for 5! priorities
  • What is the District spending the rest of their tens of millions of dollars on? For starters, some pretty big central office raises. Here are a just a few examples of salary increases from 2013 to 2015:
    • Chief Student Services Officer: 26% ($151,799 to $192,172)
    • Controller: 27% ($102,926 to $130,454)
    • Chief Human Resources Officer: 15% ($175,726 to $201,782)
    • Area Superintendents: 19% (average $139,848 to $166,007)
    • Superintendent: 7% ($245,192 to $261,667)
    • General Counsel: 9% ($213,317 to $232,943) Note that despite the hefty salary, the District has contracted a separate, private attorney to bargain our contract.
  • SDEA’s team continues to push our FF5! at the table, including a 6.5% raise and the lower class sizes our students deserve right now. The rest of us need to be in the fight too if we are going to force the District’s bargaining team to put money into the classroom, not their own pockets

I don’t fault the SDEA for strongly representing their members…that is their job and they must try and do it well…although I think that equating Teacher raises with “putting money into the classroom” is a stretch especially if you have to have layoffs that reduce the number of teachers to do it.

I don’t fault the Teachers for wanting more money…all of us in our professions want to be paid more for what we do.

I also can see the SDEA logic to get their share at the trough since, based on the central office raises they provided, the SDUSD leadership is fully benefitting financially from the Prop 30 money.

In addition, all the Board Members and the Superintendent owe their positions to the SDEA election support.  And in turn, any wonder that the SDEA still politically supported Beiser even though he was misrepresenting the class size cornerstone of their FF5.

As a parent and community member I want and support the best education possible for ALL our SDUSD students…and I am only getting paid for it by how good of a job these paid SDUSD employees do. 

But no one really wants our opinion when it comes to how we can get there or have any real authority on the decisions…not the Board and especially the inept Superintendent.

We are just blamed for not adhering correctly to the Home-School Compact, for being too poor to provide a good home life, or being a single parent that works two jobs and can’t sit with their child through homework, or not speaking English at home or any other myriad of reasons for why the SDUSD isn’t able to do their job…we are a convenient excuse for why students don’t achieve and why no one from the top to the bottom of the SDUSD are fully responsible for it.

I think that Teachers, Parents, Principals, Staff and Community Members have the closest bond as to what is best and how far we are willing to go selflessly for our students.  The Teachers ARE NOT the SDEA hierarchy…they are the ones who guide our children each and every day in the best way they know how.

I think the use of the term “students” or “kids” or “classrooms” to the hierarchy of the District Central Office and the SDEA are just negotiation buzz words that have nothing to do with what Students and Families and Teachers and Principals and Staff really need…the words are just a way for the District/Union management hierarchy to just make more money for themselves, justify their existence and pay off political favors.

The Union hierarchy does not want evaluations with any consequences, the District hierarchy does not want transparency or real collaboration with SDUSD Stakeholders and, in the end, the students, who both parties claim to “represent”, are the ones who suffer.

Our Board of Education and Superintendent are supposed to be our representatives at the bargaining table…how sickening that they are all bought and sold by the political favors they owe to being elected or appointed to their position by the SDEA.  Shame on them.  They should do their job at least as well as the SDEA…but they don’t have the will so there is no way.

Given the high level of ineptness, dysfunction and cronyism leading the SDUSD, why would any citizen vote for more taxes to go to support more raises for these charlatans?