Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Even more notes from last night! Hooray?

No time for a proper blog entry from me today; I will however, aggregate a portion of notes I shared with Joseph Mailander today, not in their entirety:


-- Today the Board will not be voting on the budget, but rather on "Staffing Levels" which will be part of 2009-2010 budgetary considerations

-- Title 1 schools will be able to buy back positions lost to RIF's because they have more money than God.

-- In middle school, all counselors will be umbrella'd under one position; no "specialty" counselors

-- As for the magical stimulus money coming our way, the LAUSD plan is to spend 1/2 now, 1/2 next year, to which UTLA rep Gregg Solkovitz calls bullshit on. "The stimulus money is stimulus money for a reason -- to help us now. That money needs to all be spent now, not half now, half later."

-- TITLE 1: My notes here aren't clear, and I can't recall if she said this is the budget now, or if it will increase to this amount, and or if so, if this amount is doubled, but either way, the number is staggering: $900 per Title 1 student. Title 2 monies will help bump up the $$ for per student spending in grades 4, 5 & 6 to the astronomical amount of .... wait for it.... wait for it.... $195 per non title 1 student.

What. The. Hell.

I have to say the parents when leaving the meeting last night, were all still shaking their heads and just outraged about the amounts of money title 1 schools get vs. non title 1. They are furious that there is just no parity at all. According to Tamar, that's just the way it is. She is has asked for a legal opinion to see if what she's been told is true: Anything you give to a Non Title 1 school; you must also give to a Title 1 school. She represents mostly Non Title 1 schools, and is herself a parent of a student in a non title 1 school.

-- She spoke of going to Beaudry once a week and seeing so many people there and not knowing what any of them did, and that while Beaudry did lay off 1,000, supposedly that constitutes only 22% of their work force, while at the local district level, they've been forced to lay off 50% of local district staff.

-- Administrators with seniority who have been sent packing from Beaudry will be heading BACK IN TO THE CLASSROOMS!! Blech. The cubicle workers, burnouts, problem teachers, jurassic era teachers will be sent back into the classroom to teach our youngin's.

This will produce a new phenomenon within LAUSD with a cute lil' ol' name: BUMPING.

So while Kelly wasn't clear on the verbage (she said the district could "steal" our teachers), she was right on concept. Bumping is the new buzz word in LAUSD! You heard it here first.

Say for example an administrator, low on the Admin Totem Pole has lost his/her position, they'll still have a job teaching in a classroom because they have teaching seniority -- they'll just go to another school and bump a teacher off the roster by virtue of his/her teaching seniority. It will be a veritable "Musical Chairs" game placing these old administrators/teachers into classrooms, Tamar said "musical chairs".

-- What can parents do, Tamar was asked. Oh, this is rich... she told them that there would be a special election coming up and asked for a show of hands asking how many parents knew this: maybe 10 raised their hands, and she said that was the most hands she's seen raised and that she was impressed. With 10 people she's impressed? So she says ...... unless bond measures 1A-1F pass we'll be another $500 MILLION IN DEBT OH NOES OH MY GAwD!

Ha ha. Right. Let's all run out and vote for more parcel taxes!! ha ha ha ha ha!!! Oh that Tamar! I didn't know she did stand-up, too! So versatile, that Tamar!!

-- Our UTLA rep, Mary Ann Farber asked about retirement incentives. Supposedly, none of that is etched in stone. And no one is putting in papers yet until it is. Tamar said they should know by May 29. Mrs. Farber responds: Uhh... we're supposed to have our papers in by April 24. Ha ha -- LAUSD can't do the math. Tamar says the district has no way of knowing how many teachers will really take the early retirement (bait). They are waiting to find out if it will be cost effective. Say for example, only 30 people put in for early retirement, it will not pay to have them retire early after all. Tamar says she's heard lots of teachers say they might do it, but as yet, no one is turning in their retirement forms.

-- Gregg Solkovitz (UTLA) got up and spoke from his seat in the audience. He spoke about calling Monica Garcia and mentioned her political aspirations and that while UTLA and LAUSD may not always be on the same side he was sure that there was enough money from the stimulus funds to take care of this year and next.

-- New Beckford Kindergarten teacher Chelsea Gutierrez asked when she, as an RIF'd teacher, will find out if and when she has a job so that she might be able to sleep at night again; Tamar's answer: sometime in August. Poor baby. She's young and energetic and sweet and lovely and a dream Kinder teacher.

-- Mary Ann Farber asks if lay offs will be determined on ethnicity as has been rumored. Tamar answers no.

Last note: Ha! Someone in the audience asked Tamar why the meeting wasn't advertised more, why it wasn't on Tamar's web page; the meeting wasn't very well atttended.

She answers: "I was invited here; it wasn't my job to promote this meeting. I do believe schools sent out flyers."


Well, we tried. Thanks to the teachers, parents and staff in attendance.

I imagine you'll be reading more about today's LAUSD Board Meeting over at street-hassle. Joseph was going to go check it out.

PS. We have two new contributors to the Beckford Parents blog! Kelly Moore and Shelly Clark have signed-on! Remember, the door here is always open...


Patty Glueck said...

Last year while on the Vintage PTA board (yes, a dreaded Title I school), our UTLA reps explained how the bumping worked. And it was possible that my daughter's wonderful fifth grade teacher with one-and-a-half years LAUSD experience could be bumped. So she was spending her summer, preggers, worrying if she had a job in September, losing it to some administrative person who may have forgotten how to teach. Fort. this didn't happen, but it looks like it's going to happen to many young, eager teachers. Sad.

My husband, who works for the city (yes, I'm the one who posted last month), is concerned about one of his best workers who could lose his job when the city lays off personnel. The deadwood will stick around because anyone who grabs early retirement will only get 60 per cent of their salary and there's no jobs out there.

Unknown said...

Hi Beckford Parents,

I'm an active mom from next door in Granada Hills at another small non-Title I school with a great PTO. We already raise everything we can to provide for all the things that LAUSD refuses to provide, yet schools nearby get as discretionary categorical funds.

I'm trying to stay on top of this situation. Truth be told I didn't attend the Dearborn meeting on Monday because I've already attended about as many of these as I can stomach starting with the one back in February at Grant High. Between that and the last few Council of Council meetings where it goes from bad to bleak, I just can't drink the KoolAid anymore.

Every time we hear how much we're getting ($195 for grades 4 *and* 5), and how grateful we should be, I just want to puke. Our little school wouldn't have enough for 1/2 a teacher. Not exactly the "buying back" of anything. And no one is talking about what we're going to be responsible to purchase since that money is coming from the Professional Development budget.

I can accept the class size increase begrudgingly, but we're likely to lose our phenomenal principal to bumping. People at the Crystal Palace at Beaudry who have been out of the classroom for years will have to be "repurposed" and brought up to speed. I really don't want my kid taught by someone who decided to get away from the classroom years ago, nor do I want to have to get a principal up to speed when we're at our most fragile point.

We have good ol' Duffy now talking about striking. These contracts are the reason we're in this position, so he has no one to blame but himself.

We have people representing the interests of the teachers, the clerical staff, and everyone except us--the families who are the consumers of this product.

I feel like we're at the same point our parents were at in the 70s when the bussing issue came to light. I don't know if the answer is charter (since it appears LAUSD can screw with that too) or homeschooling, but I want to start this dialog.

Because of the delay, and how long this game of "dance of the lemons" will go on, we might have no idea until the kids show up the first day in September, and we're supposed to hope for the best? NO way.

School districts like Simi and Conejo can do it without Title I for most of their schools, so maybe it's time to start looking outside our borders for how to solve our own problems.