After 6:00 p.m. on September 7, the Sweetwater Union High School District posted on the district website that there will be a special closed-session meeting on September 10 at 6:30 for the purpose of “public employee/discipline/dismissal/release/reclassification/reassignment/resignation or transfer.”
Rumor has circulated for weeks that interim superintendent Ed Brand will be seeking a contract to make his position permanent and augment his salary. (Brand’s title on the district website does not include the “interim” designation of his current position.) Meanwhile, Sweetwater teachers have agreed to 3 to 13 furlough days for the academic school year.
Brand currently receives $20,000 a month and five weeks of vacation, serving as an independent contractor.
Brand served as Sweetwater superintendent from 1995–2005. Prior to that, he served as superintendent of the San Marcos Unified School District from 2005-2006. According to the North County Times, he unexpectedly resigned and San Marcos bought out his contract for $348,000, or 18 months of salary.
Problems have followed Brand.
On August 7, the Proposition O Bond Oversight Committee gave Brand a vote of no confidence, specifically related to his record of communication and reporting to the committee.
A no-confidence petition is also being circulated on the internet by a concerned Sweetwater parent. The petition alleges “questionable decisions” regarding bus routes, open boundaries, iPad expenditures, and more. The petition boasts 277 signatures as of September 7.
According to the Sweetwater Education Association’s latest newsletter, “Usually, the Board is required to give at least 24 hours notice before conducting a special session, however, because of the corruption scandal in Bell, California, the law was amended to read that any changes regarding the employment and salary of a district executive can only be modified during a regular board meeting.”
Education association president Alex Anguiano contacted board president Pearl Quiñones and told her about the language of AB 1344.
The SEA newsletter continues: “Indeed, there was nothing shocking about the Board scheduling this highly controversial and illegal meeting at 6:30 on Monday night, the exact time when most around the county will be gearing up for one of the biggest NFL games of the season, the Raiders vs. the Chargers…. Their strategy seems like something out of a desperate coach’s fourth-quarter playbook: using a trick play in an attempt to outwit a formidable opponent.”