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Sweetwater district spent big for Arne Duncan visit

None of this is a surprise. This is Brand and Bleisch doing their normal every day routine. How many schools needed to be busted for the misuse of ASB funds before principals figure out that they won't get away with it? Oh wait, they will because Brand is willing to "make it a reality"! It must be nice to work in a world where you can have whatever you want with no regard to rules/laws/ethics. As far as the charter goes, the staff need a 51% vote. Bleisch has been preparing for this since the day he arrived at CPM. Count the number of staff members who have been administratively transferred by Bleisch; those numbers haven't been seen in the district in decades. He had staff members administratively transferred TO him this year. Who even knew that was possible? He is stacking his staff and his votes very carefully. Those who weren't forced out were desperately seeking relief. Also interesting to note how many females were forced/pushed/manipulated to other sites and all replaced by males. Bleisch is beyond aggressive towards females and has been known to trap them in his office during his rampages. This will blow up somewhere down the road. The question is, will it be soon enough. My guess is that his plan is to be an administrator of a charter school by next year and therefore untouchable by the new board members that will replace those sitting in jail. It's worth noting that he was on the founding board/committee/group (whatever it was called) that submitted the petition for the first Mitchell charter school.
— December 4, 2013 5:30 p.m.

Teachers for Sweetwater district face insurance cost hike

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.
— October 17, 2013 6:52 p.m.

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