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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.

Oct. 17, 2013

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?

Oct. 17, 2013

You might need union extremists against Ed.

Oct. 17, 2013

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!!

Oct. 17, 2013

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)

Oct. 17, 2013

Excellent overview. If I may, let me add this to your post. Even permanent teachers can be let go "IF" administrators follow specific guidelines laid out in teacher contracts that are first intended to assist, then remediate, then terminate lesser teachers. Unfortunately, administrator want to skip over the first two "messy" steps.

Feb. 10, 2014

By the way, it would be great to see Jaime Mercado back on the board.

June 28, 2014

I agree with all that Susan has done a great job on this story. Thank you Susan for continuing to shine the spotlight on this cesspool of corruption when other news outlets would only occasionally report on it. Now the real work begins for our community. Do we really want change here in the South Bay? If so, we need to step it up and start by finding good candidates for Trustee to support. Not ones in it for themselves. We have an uphill battle with this. Our community is so apathetic that it's frustrating. Recent history proves this! Bertha and Pearl re elected while under indictment. John McCann winning the primary! We've got work to do. By the way, rumor has it here in Eastlake that Jim Cartmill will run in November. Amazing if true! The man has no shame!! Come on South Bay, let's wake up!! Keep these slime balls out of office!!!

June 28, 2014

Great title and article, Susan. Thank you for your invaluable reporting through out this quest for justice. Thank you also to the other members of the media and the five community heroes that have worked so diligently for the past four years.

I absolutely agree that this next board election is crucial; we all need to commit to educating the voters of the South Bay so that we can elect members whose only agenda is our kids and the rebuilding of our district. We need a complete audit of the district's finances so that we know what debts we've been saddled with during this dark era of corruption, and we need knowledgeable board members to sift through the mire , clean out any remaining crooks and create a plan to hire new district leaders. Every student in this district has suffered because of the greed and arrogance of our leaders, whether they've been sentenced or still remain in positions of power. Our job is not over yet.

June 28, 2014

AMEN to kudos to Susan Luzzaro.

I continue to wonder if Judge Espana has ever articulated that these perps have stolen from the public they are supposed to be serving...she should be representing the community that pays the freight for the schools our children attend.

Judge Espana...wherefor art thou? Who are you for? Let someone know that the public has been damaged by these perps and their selfish acts. They have diminished the public trust that was placed in their hands.

June 27, 2014

While anniej, who normally has ALOT to say, she is choosing instead to lead the comments off with this heartfelt thought:

THANK YOU SUSAN LUZZARO FOR YOUR FAIR AND ACCURATE REPORTING. YOU ARE ONE OF THE UNSUNG HEROES!!!!!!!

Two, four, six, eight - who do we appreciate SUSAN, SUSAN, SUSAN!

June 27, 2014

It is impossible to tell if Susan Hartley's denials about the reasons for this change were sincere or not. If this were disciplinary, i.e. that they were firing him without actually firing him, we could have anticipated such a statement. But, we can't be sure that she didn't mean it. That sort of standard, mealy mouthed stuff is typical around school districts.

Walden, who complained about them continuing to pay Brand his $21K a month was partially right. But if they let him stay around, it would just compound the error, and he'd still be able to meddle in district business. Far better he be gone, physically and mentally, from the district forever.

Yes, there is much to be done. As I posted elsewhere, let us hope that law enforcement (meaning the DA) and FBI are investigating all these deals at this moment. (Don't count on it, though.) It could take years to unravel it all and make it right.

But, "Ding, dong, Brand is gone."

July 1, 2014

Jose Brosz is part of the problem. He was one of Dr. Gandara's biggest fans and has been sucking up to Ed since Brand's return. He is neither respected or liked by his peers. The fact that anyone would even consider him is problematic.

July 1, 2014

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