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Calexico Unified School District and Sweetwater High School District have run on parallel paths for the last few years. Like Sweetwater, Calexico brought a superintendent out of retirement in 2011. Calexico Unified brought back Richard Fragale and Sweetwater brought back Dr. Ed Brand. Due to changes in the California State Teachers Retirement System, the amount of post-retirement compensation either of these superintendents can earn is severely limited.

According to the September 14 ivpressonline.com article, Calexico board members deliberated late into the night on September 13 and finally voted not to approve the $30,000 pay increase that Fragale was seeking.

Fragale has resigned effective September 18 and is quoted in the article as saying, "I will not work from now through June for $1,300 a month, and I don't think anyone out there would either."

The district has struggled financially and last year tottered on the brink of being placed on state receivership.

The Sweetwater board might be facing the same decision as the Calexico board in the near future. Rumor has persisted that the district will offer interim superintendent Brand a new contract. On September 10 a vociferous group of parents and community activists let the board know that they opposed offering Brand a longer or more lucrative contract.

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eastlaker Sept. 14, 2012 @ 3:37 p.m.

Yes, this shows that the community needs to be involved with decision-making--if you have an opinion, please let the trustees of Sweetwater--or any other school board, for that matter--know you are paying attention.

Good decisions are not made in a vacuum. Good decisions are made when people are informed and are aiming to do what is best for the group, not themselves and their cronies.

The spotlight is on Sweetwater's board of trustees. Ed Brand has made some very questionable decisions, has not demonstrated responsible leadership, is not building the district along sensible lines, so should not be named superintendent.

We hope that the board will listen to the public.

Calexico has learned to.


Visduh Sept. 14, 2012 @ 5:26 p.m.

This Fragale is so typical. I'll bet at various times in his career, and not just a few times recently, he proclaimed his dedication to the kids' education. If he were to work through June, and do a competent job, it would be the epitome of volunteerism. Yeah, work free for several months, doing what you claim to do so well. What could be better than that! And also help find a successor who would really step up to the plate for the kids!

That comment he made says it all, and reveals his real attitude toward schools. For guys like him they were a place to make a "career" in administration, get paid far more than the teachers in the trenches, and refuse to do anything beyond what their job description demanded. Good riddance to him and those like him. Enjoy your fat retirement checks, and please, please don't let the door whack your butt on the way out.


mko Sept. 14, 2012 @ 7:32 p.m.

Fragale's quote,"I will not work from now through June for $1,300 a month, and I don't think anyone out there would either" is the epitomy of arrogance. Ninety percent of the parents in his district would love to make that much. Both Fragale and Brand are just hired hands, and as such they are fungible.


erupting Sept. 14, 2012 @ 9:42 p.m.

Oh, yes they will. Brand resigned Aug.31 and nobody bothered to tell the public. This way hecan secure a larger contract with this board of untrustees(except Lopez) what a mess. The public has been duped again by a corrupt board.


desertwaverat Sept. 15, 2012 @ 2:28 p.m.

Lawfirm Garcia, Calderon, and Ruiz - formerly of Sweetwater, have had their bills gone unpaid by Calexico Unified for 6 months. When the public asks about these accumulating bills, no answer is given.

During these 6 months there was the layoff of 86 teachers and numerous hours of negotiations with the teachers' union.

The public doesn't know if Calexico Unified is "hiding" these bills, or if the firm is late in billing.

Transparency was Trustee Tony Valenzuela's buzz word when he ran for election - where is the transparency in this matter?

Why are they seemingly hiding these legal bills?

Will these lawyers pull a "Sweetwater" and bankroll their favored candidates in the upcoming November election?


eastlaker Sept. 15, 2012 @ 5:59 p.m.

With GCR you will most likely see whatever will benefit GCR.

It is unlikely they would work pro bono for Calexico. I hope that Calexico is able to get rid of them without incurring bills that would force bankruptcy.


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