In September 2012, Ed Brand received a two-year contract for $252,000 and $43,000 worth of benefits, including a healthcare plan.
  • In September 2012, Ed Brand received a two-year contract for $252,000 and $43,000 worth of benefits, including a healthcare plan.
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The Sweetwater Union High School District has been plagued with problems but has managed to stave off labor unrest — until now.

In an October 14 interview, Roberto Rodriguez, president of the Sweetwater Education Association, said, “Last year the district negotiated contract language in which the district would pay no less than 68 percent of the health-benefit package. Now — three weeks before open enrollment, at a time when teachers and classified employees will be selecting their health package, the district blindsided us with a new rate and lowered the district’s contribution.”

Rodriguez says that as a result of this action, some teachers — those with families — will experience a pay cut. “We find this especially ironic as Dr. Brand likes to refer to us as ‘the Sweetwater family.’

“Brand is using health benefits as a bargaining chip,” said Rodriguez. “He made it clear that the district has the money and could fund the benefits as offered, but he wants a three-year agreement [with all bargaining units] with no other concessions.”

One Sweetwater teacher responded to the district offer this way: “The message you intended to send us was received loud and clear: You do not care about our health. You do not care about our welfare. You do not care if our families are well (I can think of a few at Hilltop who are suffering), or what choices we have to make in order to ensure our own and our families' well-being. We are merely an expense to you, and one you intend to deal with harshly.”

Manny Rubio, director of grants and communications, gave the following response to an October 16 Reader query: “The Sweetwater District will be offering the 68% rate for the majority of district employees. The district and its employee groups are currently in the negotiations process. Any changes will be based on those ongoing negotiations.”

Rubio did not respond to the Reader’s follow-up query: “Which employees would constitute the minority?”

Salary and class size are also being negotiated. Sweetwater teachers have worked since 2008 without a pay increase, according to Rodriguez.

Additionally, during the past three years, teachers have worked under a memorandum of understanding with the district; this enabled the district to increase the class size ratio from 28 students per teacher to 31 students per teacher. Because these numbers are averages, class sizes are sometimes larger.

The association is organizing a “trick or treat” protest at the board meeting October 21.

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Comments

eastlaker Oct. 17, 2013 @ 10:57 a.m.

If I could, I would ask Mr. Brand why he thinks he and his wife deserve such a top-notch medical plan when he is systematically trying to make sure all the teachers and their families will pay more and get less coverage.

But we all know that Fast Eddy never answers questions from the public.

What can I say?

The term "low-life" would actually be a compliment when applied to him.

Meanwhile, of course, he is playing games with all the bond monies, making deals on the QT that don't seem to hold up to the light of day, and yet--no one steps in to stop him.

Do his friends at the County B of E and the State B of E feel that secure that when questions are being asked in a public forum, they themselves will be able to plead ignorance, or possibly "the 5th"?

Stop this miserable creep. Let him know that no one buys what he is selling, and his dishonesty is an insult to this community, the teachers, the students and the taxpayers.

Please let me be the first to declare Fast Eddy officially the worst superintendent I have ever heard of.

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jibaro Oct. 17, 2013 @ 11:48 a.m.

eastlaker..your statement "he is playing games with all bond monies " certainly infers that the members of the CBOC are not doing their job. Aside from your inferred low opinion of this Committee, I can assure you that ALL members would be most interested in specifics.

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eastlaker Oct. 17, 2013 @ 2:01 p.m.

If you have attended school board meetings you should be familiar with the way Brand works to deny information to the Bond Oversight Committee. To the extent that they are allowed access, I think they are doing a phenomenal job. Does that mean I think Ed Brand has stopped mucking about? Not by a long shot. And, as another person mentioned, there is no oversight for the Mello-Roos funds, more's the pity. Eddy has been very busy destroying this school district for a very long time.

2

keepingitreal Oct. 17, 2013 @ 11:09 a.m.

The rates have gone up nearly $100 the last three years. Whoever is or was superintendent is an irrelevant issue. This is on the SEA. What has SEA done the last 3 years about this? Speak up union extremists!

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margaretmead Oct. 17, 2013 @ 6:32 p.m.

Go back to your whining mr agency fee payer. You want info and you want people to fight for "your" rights but what have you done to do just that? SEA is not a random entity but an organization made up of members - dues paying members.

1

keepingitreal Oct. 17, 2013 @ 7:48 p.m.

Relax.....

Perhaps we can agree on something. They should get rid of all the teachers on "special assignment" and use their salary to pay for the medical deductions. There's a solution.

3

principalcutler Oct. 18, 2013 @ 3:29 p.m.

Come on. What does dwast do 187 days a year? I know what they do 50 days a year. They go to their 3 schools 8-10 days a year and then 10 cia meetings.

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angrybirds Oct. 17, 2013 @ 11:15 a.m.

Hmmmm the saga continues. No money but Fast Eddy sure knows how to spend it quick. Union people if the number was agreed on check those budget numbers I bet you Fast Eddy spent it on something else.

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shirleyberan Oct. 17, 2013 @ 11:45 a.m.

Will your union support a strike and pay something while people stop allowing exploitation? This is highest disregard and disrespect for the most respectable profession. Who is supposed to be standing up with you?

4

joepublic Oct. 17, 2013 @ 11:56 a.m.

Didn't Brand walk off the job during his last contract negotiations and not return until he got the contract he wanted?  Of course he'd be the first to chastise the teachers if they followed his example.

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cvres Oct. 17, 2013 @ 12:19 p.m.

I love it when people call teachers with families who want adequate health benefits "union extremists." So much for that commentor's credibility.

On another point, wasn't more money supposed to go to schools because Proposition 30. How come this district is so much in the hole?

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keepingitreal Oct. 17, 2013 @ 12:56 p.m.

This isn't about teachers with families who want adequate health benefits. It's about the SEA doing NOTHING over the past 3 years when health benefits went up (+ nearly $300). Yet when they could go up $300 this year, they make noise. If the SEA would have done something about this over the last 3 years, instead of other things (like protecting some bad teachers and/or district office employees), I would be impressed.

3

anniej Oct. 17, 2013 @ 1:21 p.m.

keepingitreal - I personally witnessed the union pres of the past three years stand up for what is right. Yet, when he turned to walk back to his seat how many teachers were there supporting him - few, very few.

The issue of saving bad teachers jobs, I AGREE, that is change number one that needs to happen in order to gain full support of all.

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oneoftheteachers Oct. 17, 2013 @ 5:56 p.m.

Hey troll, you are not going to succeed in making SEA the scapegoat for this one. Are you the same one who used to call himself SEAmember?

1

margaretmead Oct. 17, 2013 @ 6:35 p.m.

The funny part about "keepingitreal"/"seamember"(even though he's an agency fee payer) is that he likes his own comments to make it look like others agree!

0

shirleyberan Oct. 17, 2013 @ 12:20 p.m.

Some one must file Fraud and Deceit charges for his known misdealing (more than Alliant and property deals but enough to start with) find the records for the rest of his Misappropriation of School Funds and private interests. Don't let him off the hook - you have Susan and some legal force somewhere.

3

shirleyberan Oct. 17, 2013 @ 12:23 p.m.

You might need union extremists against Ed.

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shirleyberan Oct. 17, 2013 @ 12:31 p.m.

Don't his own acts support hidden truth?!

3

bvagency Oct. 17, 2013 @ 1:07 p.m.

A few concerns with this. First of all class sizes: with Brands Open Boundaries determination, some schools on the eastside have ballooned in enrollment. Many classes have 50+ students in them. An increase in avg class size will make those classes worse. The formula used for teacher student ratio is ass backwards. They negotiate total students and divide it by 5 periods and that is the class size average. No matter that some classes are unbalanced - 50 in one class 25 in another. Classes are rarely balanced in size! My son has multiple classes with over 40 student, and this may go up!!

As far as mismanagement of money and where to look, pay attention to the Mello Roos Fund. There is no oversight committee to watch this fund. This fund used to be at $180 million, now its at about $78 million! About $50 million is on loan to the district - what happened to the other $50 million? Knowing how Diane Russo used to cook the books and hide money, its no wonder Ed Brand is living in a gated community in Escondido.

And the poor teachers continue to take cuts, the students get less, and the community gets fleeced!! All so Brand can live like a king in his compound!!

5

anniej Oct. 17, 2013 @ 1:16 p.m.

Ed Brand needs money in a bad way.. It has long been said by John McCann, alleged union hater (until he needs their political contributions) that teachers salaries and benefits are the most costly district expense. Mr. McCann fails to realize the simple fact that SUHSD is an educational entity and that THE TEACHERS ARE DOING THE EDUCATING!!!!!!!!!!! Folks remember his words next time he runs for office, ANY office!

Easy for McCann and Brand to talk of tightening the straps on expenses, yet when McCann 'wanted' an attorney to file a restraining order against a well respected activist the SUHSD cash register drawer was opened to fund the request. When Ed Brand, without cause and with malicious intent hired a PI to investigate Cheers he too went the SUHSD cash register drawer and cha ching, cha ching spent our tax dollars. Cheers, yet another Brand wants to silence.

Property, they have money to look for property for a new district office yet no money to compensate those charged with educating the future leaders of the world. Fortunately Arlie Ricasa stood her ground and voted NO on spending tax dollars for more property. She remembers the mess Brand got us into on L Street.

What major expenditure is waiting in the wings to use the savings garnered off the backs of the teachers, one can only imagine.

GASB funds, the approximately 8 million that 'the gandara' BORROWED and stated in written form that he would pay back. GASB, the fund for retired teachers benefits. Well,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, the district under Brand did not honor that promise and the monies have never been paid back. Now good old Ed Brand will tell you 'legally' we don't have to - and he is right. HOWEVER!!!!!!!! Since this 'borrowing' is now affecting the cost one might be able to make the case - if you hadn't borrowed it it would still be there to be used. HMMMMM

And what of the rumor that other monies affecting this issue have been mishandled?

For the record, I too agree SEA needs to garner up the support of ALL unions - I thought that was why unions referred to themselves as 'brothers'. What the hell are you paying union dues for? What is California Union leadership waiting for??????????????

Sorry to end this on a sour note, however,,,,,,, I have no doubt that the teachers will be out in mass this Monday - but let me ask you WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL THE PAST MONDAYS????????? (Not directed to the few teachers, librarians, bus drivers and others who have chosen to attend)

6

erupting Oct. 17, 2013 @ 1:22 p.m.

How is it that Diane Russo was at the district office one week ago meeting with staff,she is not an employee. Wasn't she the negotiator last year? Something smells bad here. Could her mistake have made this all happen or am I just paranoid? Could Brand need the monies for his rumored new district office that staff is all excited over?. Well I guess we will see if the teachers have had enough. Brand knows they will give in and SEA needs some high powered attorneys to get involved. That is where dues are supposed to benefit the teaching staff.If the teachers roll over again they may as well give up. Sorry to be so pessimistic but the teachers track record speaks for itself.

4

bvagency Oct. 17, 2013 @ 2:56 p.m.

Keep an eye out for the Agenda for Mondays board meeting. Ed Brand may once again try to spend $30 million he does not have to buy the old NIFCU corporate office in Eastlake. If the board approves it this time, it will be on the backs of teachers, students and community members!

3

Susan Luzzaro Oct. 17, 2013 @ 3:44 p.m.

bvagency, I'd like to take up two of your points: class size and Mello Roos.

Class size is very important to student success. If a teacher has 5 classes (I'm not sure what the load is in Sweetwater) and some of those classes require different preparations and all of them require grading--how will the teacher be able to give the students the individualized attention they need? As a hypothetical, let's say 5 x 30 students--that's a lot of names to remember each day, let alone what the individual needs might be. Are there really classes with over 50 students?

Mello-Roos: When I was researching Mello-Roos for a previous article I noticed that some school districts had a trustee that represented the Mello-Roos district specifically. It would be a different ratio in Sweetwater and Chula Vista Elementary but the "no taxation without representation" flashed through my mind. I believe some Sweetwater parents have also suggested an oversight committee which seems like a good idea.

3

oneoftheteachers Oct. 17, 2013 @ 6 p.m.

SUHSD teachers can have up to 182 students assigned to their five classes.

2

TeacherLauren Oct. 17, 2013 @ 6:15 p.m.

Susan- I would be ecstatic to teach 5 classes of 30 students. I teach 5 classes of English: 3 of them are in the high 30s, and one of them is a class of 41 9th graders. Every time I give an assignment, I have to grade 182 papers.

2

anniej Oct. 17, 2013 @ 4:56 p.m.

Bvagency - that is a whole lot of missing/unaccounted for greenbacks you are referring to. Hopefully you are looking for legal representation, your Mello dollars, contrary to Brand's philosophy these taxes are not HIS to be used to allegedly keep the District afloat - they are there for the best interests of those paying Mello.

This issue and others are getting ready to get some major attention - too bad for board president Jim Cartmill and fiscal conservative pretender John McCann. There is no hiding from what is getting ready to come down.

So,,,,,,,, can you Mello folks take ownership of the alleged new office building Ed Brand, John McCann and Jim Cartmill are planning to buy with your Mello monies?

WARNING......... Last time Ed Brand and Jim Cartmill bought property that costs millions they turned it over to a third party, Plan Nine Partners - and, wooch the money, the land, and property was gone!

5

bvagency Oct. 17, 2013 @ 5:01 p.m.

Susan, first of all, once again thank you for your great reporting on issues in this district. You are the only one that has consistently reported on the egregious behavior of trustees, Superintendents and others in this district. Our community thanks you for the reporting.

As far as class sizes, i met with Maria Castilleja at the beginning of last school year when she was acting Supt. we reviewed the district master plan for class sizes at numerous schools. This is when the district was trying to make the case that open boundaries were not causing over crowding. It was appalling to see how unorganized district leadership was at the beginning of the school year. Based on district records, classes were totally unbalanced, and many schools had exceeded the districts own 85% capacity limit! Yet, with a straight face with the records in front of us, she tried to convince us schools were not overcrowded, schools had not exceeded their 85% capacity, and all was well!!

One of the things from that meeting that was hard to believe was the negotiation on student teacher ratio. Apparently, the teachers union agreed to 183 students per teacher, which with 5 classes (one is a prep period), meant an average of about 36 students per class. But because of open boundaries and capacity issues, the districts own plan showed 40, 50 even 55 students in some classes, with 15 or 20 in others. It led me to believe that the union leadership sold the teachers down the river on class size.

As far as Mello oversight, a few of us parents have met twice with CFO Al Alt. We've asked tough questions, asked for clarity on muddled and misleading reports, and will continue to ask, meet and request. Dr. Alt has been very good about hearing our concerns, and trying to address them. This will be a work in progress, and we would love more community involvement on this.

4

TeacherLauren Oct. 17, 2013 @ 5:58 p.m.

anniej-

While I admire your commitment to revealing the deep corruption in the Sweetwater District, please do not admonish me or my colleagues for not attending school board meetings. You asked where we were on all those Monday nights? We are at home grading papers, making lesson plans, getting master's degrees, taking care of our homes and families, and worrying about the welfare of other peoples' children. You are an intelligent woman--you already know this.

Sweetwater teachers are frustrated and discouraged. Brave community members rail against the district monthly and spend volunteer hours gathering data and composing well-developed arguments. Thank you for this work. But I am sure you can understand that Sweetwater is OUR EMPLOYER. Imagine for a moment how embarrassed we are. Imagine how much complete and total nonsense we have to put up with on a DAILY basis. This issue of breaking our contract and imposing NON-NEGOTIATED rate hikes is one straw of many. The problems in this district are making us figuratively and literally SICK. Everyday, in good faith, we arrive at schools across the South Bay because what we believe in most that we will NEVER give up on is the power of public education and the good lives that our students deserve. We might not have the energy to scream at the brick wall that is the current board (with one exception), but we do have the energy to do our best in our classrooms every single school day.

In short, we are "hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." I believe you will see us on Monday--and when you do, stand with us. We will fight, just as we did for Prop 30 so our schools would be properly funded. We will fight, just as we did for Local Control Funding so we could help decide where our money should be spent to help our communities. This is the money Brand wants to control--he is holding our benefits hostage until we give him, through negotiations, the right to control ALL OF THE MONEY. We will NOT. Nor will we allow him to bully us out of what is contractually ours.

We will fight. We always do.

7

suhsdteacher Oct. 17, 2013 @ 6:12 p.m.

Well said TeacherLauren. I second everything you said.

A few other points to consider. --Will Ed start taking out the higher rate insurance costs in Dec.? And then when negotiated "reimburse" us? All the while earning interest on our money! (this year we had no furlough days so he has got to make money somehow--iPads are expensive) --The district sent out rates in September and then suddenly changed them by an additional $256.23 per family per month. What's to say even more breaches like this will not occur during negotiation process?

Liars lie. Cheaters cheat. If it walks like an Ed, and talks like an Ed, it's a cheater and a liar.

4

anniej Oct. 17, 2013 @ 6:46 p.m.

TeacherLauren - if you took my comments as an admonishment you are wrong. It was a simple question, hoping to get the attention of all - united we stand divided we fall.

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of my comment allow me to state for the record.

I KNOW THE WORKING CONDITIONS YOU ALL ENDURE, I KNOW HOW LITTLE RESPECT YOU RECEIVE FROM THE SUPER AND MAJORITY OF THE BOARD. I KNOW HOW VALUABLE YOU ARE TO EACH AND EVERY STUDENT IN OUR DISTRICT I KNOW WHEN YOU RECEIVED YOUR LAST RAISES I KNOW THAT YOU ALL PAY OUT OF POCKET FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR CREDENTIALLING.

AND,,,,,, I KNOW WHEN YOU NEEDED OUR SUPPORT WE WERE THERE THEN AND WE WILL BE THERE AGAIN however,

In the past 4+ years as I and others have stood for quality education AND teachers, each and every month. I have seen large turnouts by teachers only when it affected salaries and/or benefits. The board meetings are one night a month. TeacherLauren, we too have lives, we too have responsibilities - yet we show up because we believe the students and you teachers deserve it.

In the past 4 + years when the community, teachers, and other employees have turned out in mass we were as a UNIFIED group able to accomplish much. i.e. the San Ysidro meeting - 'the gandara' was relieved of his position. The Hilltop meeting - we are not paying for the defenses of the board members.

I would ask where were the teachers when the boundaries were opened? I would ask where were the teachers when an Eastlake parents boss was called in an attempt to shut her up? Where were the teachers when bus transportation was cut? Where were the teachers when Ed Brand walked out? Surely these examples and so many more were important issues, and yet only the few same teachers, librarians and bus driver were there.

If you know me then you know I am opinionated, I have earned the right to be that way. Am I always right? Far from it. But know that I know IF teachers and other employees would consistently take a stand for board and superintendent leadership you all, no WE ALL just might not be in the situation we are in.

Having said all of that, please know I respect your opinion, but stand by mine. We will, as they say, have to agree to disagree.

6

margaretmead Oct. 17, 2013 @ 6:52 p.m.

The current beef with SUHSD is far beyond the obscene move by the district regarding benefits. It is about the district continuing to violate our agreements and bargain in bad faith. We took that increase in class sizes as a way to save the jobs of our colleagues and help prevent even more furlough days which would have kept students at home. That agreement was set to end in June but now Brand has said he plans to ignore that part of our contract language as well.

We knew that during our tough budget times, tough decisions had to be made. However, as we can see with Brand's contract and the massive number of ipads floating around our district, we are starting to recover from those tough budget times. Now is the time to acknowledge the sacrifices that everyone - students in particular-made during those tough times.

Restore class sizes to "reasonable" levels instead of fighting to eliminate all forms of class caps. 31:1 ratio counts all adults on campus with a teaching credential - not just those in the classroom. That means teachers on special assignment (ie doing admin work) or teachers in special education classrooms with much lower ratios (rightly so) increase the number of students in regular classes. Do not freeze salaries for three years when we haven't had so much as a cost-of-living raise since 2008 while increasing what we pay for benefits, essentially giving us a pay cut - in addition to the pay cut from furlough days last year.

All we want is respect and acknowledgement for how hard we work and all we have done for our students during these incredibly trying times. Working in this district has been a nightmare for many many years but we still believe that our kids deserve an outstanding education and so we stay and we fight. We know Dr. Brand doesn't care, but the community has the power to make the board care. Look at what happened when you showed up to the meeting for Dr. Gandara. Imagine if we had done that sooner! It's time for Brand to go back to his tennis playing retirement days.

5

eastlaker Oct. 17, 2013 @ 7:09 p.m.

I'd pay good money to see Fast Eddy on the tennis court. That's got to be worth it for the comedic value alone--that, and well, I won't go there.

But seriously, I have tremendous respect for all of the teachers who have been standing up every day in the classroom, teaching students subject matter, but also giving students the opportunity to see dedication and integrity face-to-face. Our students need that, because without it, there will be some who will get discouraged and fall by the wayside.

We can't let Ed Brand win in any of this. A win for Fast Eddy is a loss for the betterment of humanity. Do you think I overstate the case? I don't.

5

Ensenadamaria Oct. 17, 2013 @ 6:55 p.m.

Annie.

I agree with you. Many have sat back and opined and few have attended and spoken out for what is right.

3

suhsdteacher Oct. 17, 2013 @ 7:15 p.m.

anniej and ensenadamaria--I understand what you are saying about teachers attending meetings. I have been one of the few in attendance (until past 2am even) and spoken my concerns (as has TeacherLauren). However, how about cutting educators some slack. You both know that agendas come out (or are supposed to) 24 hours in advance and many of the issues you mentioned were not common knowledge for teachers. So, suddenly finding a babysitter or changing an appointment or god forbid--just being exhausted from the teaching day can trump attending a board meeting. Also, it isn't teacher presence at these meetings that matter--the board just smirks and blows us off. Even when we speak out about issues such as bus cuts, boundaries, etc. Brand and Co. do what they want. Parent, community, and media voices are what moves the board. EVERYONE is entitled to their opinion, regardless of attendance.

1

eastlaker Oct. 17, 2013 @ 7:28 p.m.

I'd just like to chime in and say that they aren't doing quite as much smirking these days.

There might even be a thin layer of respect.

The board and Brand do, however, need to be called on EVERY SINGLE THING they do which is even questionable, not to mention all they do and have done that is simply wrong.

I have been to some meetings and spoken at some. I can't attend all the meetings, and sometimes I do not speak. But the more bodies that fill the room, the better it is for the community. Stare back if you are stared at.

For some reason, this board and Brand and Brand's loyal henchpersons have the misapprehension that they are smarter than those of us in the community. They think they can continue fooling us with all their shell games, deals for friends, intimidation tactics and highhandedness.

They are most assuredly wrong. They are deluded, thinking they are smart when in fact their thinking is massively occluded.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, as we know. Deliberate actions that demonstrate soullessness have clearly no excuse. We must let them know they have no excuse.

4

anothereastlaker Oct. 17, 2013 @ 7:48 p.m.

As a teacher, a parent and a Mello Roos payer, I have never felt more disrespect than at a SUHSD board meeting. But I will be there on Monday!

7

bvagency Oct. 17, 2013 @ 7:52 p.m.

We as parents of students, community members, employees, business owners, etc, have the same challenges as teachers as far as being involved and engaged in district issues, and attending board meetings! If we care about our district, lets look forward to what we can do to change this horrific situation, and stay away from the blame game. We have board meetings coming up, lets attend in numbers and be loud and clear with our messages! We have elections coming up, lets be loud and clear about our support for new Trustees!

We need to change the situation in this district! We have the opportunity to make it happen. Lets not repeat the mistake of re electing Trustees under indictment - that just plays into the belief that we are backwards and ignorant in the South Bay!!

5

joepublic Oct. 17, 2013 @ 8:47 p.m.

bvagency: You're absolutely right, the blame game plays right into the district's hands. Teachers and all district employees will have to stay united and work in solidarity with the community if we are to move forward and affect change.

2

WTFEd Oct. 18, 2013 @ 6:02 a.m.

OMG. If the Happy Boss's Day was not bad enough the other day on the top of his shut door. I wanted to throw up. $20 million more for Ipads that was announced at the Management meeting!! The District is out of control. Private investigators on citizens. Fire alarms that don't work. Leaving Board meetings to chase after $2.50 signs. Grand Canyon University (remember that?). Alliant University fiasco. Preying on lower income students for loans on a college education that don't need when it is virtually free over at Southwestern? A Superintendent that does not have the support of two of five Trustees?

Oh did I fail to mention four Board members under indictment? How about what really counts 42,000 students short changed by this fiasco. There are no do overs in a High School Education.

5

oldchulares Oct. 18, 2013 @ 9:05 a.m.

WTFEd "How about what really counts 42,000 students short changed by this fiasco"? True words

4

anniej Oct. 18, 2013 @ 9:34 a.m.

bvagency - keep an eye on those Mello taxes, 20 million more on IPADS? Where are they getting the money? New District office? Where are they getting the money?

I see that 3% reserve dwindling down, down, down - 'how low can we go'? - this is not the game Limbo - this is our students educational future we are spending down to nothing.

5

angrybirds Oct. 18, 2013 @ 11:10 a.m.

Chapter Two: The tale continues as the person who anointed himself King of the Land of SUHSD has his village crumble and fall. Will his Merry Men now understand that everything that has been said is true and the "King" has got to go? The evil King Brand has done irreparable damage to the village. He wants to rob more money from the peasants and feed his pet projects.

Who will come in on a white horse and save the children and educators from the wrongdoings of King Brand and his Merry Men. Will his Merry Men wake up and smell the deceit and decide to stand up to the self anointed King? Or will they be shackled and chained like the rest of the people who have stood up to him. Will they also be investigated by the private investigators? Will they be thrown to the wolves and banished from the kingdom? Hmmmm I wonder.

Maybe they will be sent to the unsuccessful land of Alliant University to think of the error of their ways. Will Mr. Hassey be there dressed in red with horns to receive them? Or will the village see the light and overthrow the kingdom of Brand?

4

erupting Oct. 18, 2013 @ 3:20 p.m.

Gosh, I heard 8 million then another 8 million,then another 6 million. This along with a new dist office. Is this nut Brand trying to force another bond, he will need more than the last just to make his dreams come true on our backs.

6

anniej Oct. 18, 2013 @ 3:55 p.m.

30 million for a new district office 22 million for more IPADS

Folks that is 52 million - yet

The educators are now being expected to help pay for these expenses via no raises and increased benefit expenses. How in the world can these board members sit there and face the very persons they depend on to prepare, educationally our children for their future career lives, knowing they are via their votes pillaging each and everyone of them?

7

Susan Luzzaro Oct. 18, 2013 @ 5 p.m.

TeacherLauren: Thank you for bringing more information to the comment section about class size. I'm guessing during the recession/depression this MOU was agreed upon. However, I understand the MOU will lapse at the end of this year and parents and the community need more information on this question. I suspect there are many studies that link class size to student success, but I'd better start investigating the question.

5

oneoftheteachers Oct. 19, 2013 @ 8:06 a.m.

Most of those class studies compare the difference of class size of 20 students in a class versus 30. We are talking about 40+ in a class in Sweetwater. I know of no studies that examine class size that is close to 50. Imagine 40+ middle schoolers in a class on their iPads;how would a teacher even begin to supervise usage.

3

Susan Luzzaro Oct. 18, 2013 @ 5:03 p.m.

By the way, my apologies to the classified employees who may be affected by this health benefit shift. I tried to connect with one president, but wasn't able to by posting time. I will try again in the future.

5

miagd Oct. 18, 2013 @ 9:52 p.m.

Yes, the classified employees stand to lose the most in this. They are vital and yet they are paid little and respected even less. They fight tirelessly for respect in the way of pay and benefits. The district's proposal is a shocking blow to them. Thank you, Susan. Hope to see you Monday evening at the SUHSD Board Meeting. You are very much appreciated.

5

gobigal Oct. 18, 2013 @ 6:58 p.m.

Does any other superintendent in the state need $165,000 for a Private Investigator?

6

erupting Oct. 19, 2013 @ 7:26 a.m.

Thank you Susan for being the voice of the South Bay,regards to your colleague Don for his informative article on Alliant.

4

bvagency Oct. 19, 2013 @ 7:33 p.m.

A parent put it wonderfully when he heard the district wants to buy a new district office in Eastlake at the same time Ed Brand is shaking down the teachers on their health benefits. "Buildings over Beings".

That is Ed Brand for you. A flashy new building is more important than the health benefits for teachers and their families!!

Here is that flashy new building in Eastlake Ed wants to buy. About 1/2 block away from Jim Cartmills h.joffices for Lets Talk Health. A coincidence? Well you conspiracy theorists might think not!!

None

3

anniej Oct. 19, 2013 @ 8:24 p.m.

bvagency - could you post this on the new SUHSD story, lets let the students parents and taxpayers see what Jim Cartmill really values - it sure as heck isn't tax dollars being spent in the classroom for students.

3

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