Sunday, May 11, 2014

In Case You Missed It: Letter Sent to Supporters

From the desk of Allen Lujan                        Feb. 2014

I ran for CUSD Trustee (area 1) against incumbent Sherri Reusche in 2012. I want to thank all of you who voted for me for CUSD school board trustee.

 I lost with a small percentage: 53% to 46%, so you can see that many people truly did want change.

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Over the last 19 months, in order to observe how the school board runs and behaves--and how the Trustees vote--I have attended 95% of the CUSD board meetings

Four of the trustees continue to vote in direct alignment with the CUSD administration; only trustee Gustafson votes independently, asking hard questions.

----------Recognizing Change---------
--A podium is now in place for the public to speak from
--An audio recording of the school board meetings is now posted on the CUSD website (and can be downloaded).
-- In January 2013, I went before the CUSD school board concerning an issue of integrity: even though Trustee Reusche stated in the 2012 Voters Guide that she was a credentialed teacher in the state of California, she does not, in fact, possess a California Teaching Credential. The truth of the issue was brought out by the Calaveras Enterprise: “CUSD board member feels harassed” (Nov. 22, 2013). Prior to the article, I received a cease and desist letter from trustee Reusche’s lawyer threatening to sue me if I continued to bring up the issue of the absence of her teaching credential.

-----------Facilities----------
Again, my concern is for the children, teachers, and support staff.

I want the children to be able to learn in a clean and safe environment. The first priority of CUSD school board should be to ensure that the school facilities are properly maintained.

--You are encouraged to tour your child’s campus.

--I continue to be highly concerned about the aged portable classrooms on CUSD campuses; some as old as 25 years (with original carpeting).

The cliff swallows that annually nest at JLE and TMS continue to be a major concern. A local pulmonary physician recently questioned some patients who have lung disorders, “Have you ever been around birds? Have you ever raised birds?” With this thought in mind, if your child is experiencing respiratory issues (asthma) it may be wise to have them checked by a physician who has experience or knowledge of the side effects of being exposed to birds (such as the cliff swallows that annually nest in the eaves at JLE and TMS).

-----------Finances-----------
I have stated that I am concerned about the district spending the remaining bond money on a Performing Arts Center when according to Superintendent Campbell, “The music program is a big ticket item that could be cut.” In that case why would CUSD need a performing arts center? If the district could afford it—and keep the programs alive at the same time--I would love to see a performing arts center. However, I am dedicated to the maintenance and safety of the CUSD facilities.

Another item that I have spoken out in support of is a Cafeteria for TMS. Currently the students must line up--outside--in all extremes of weather to purchase their breakfast or lunch. The district has been cited for 16 years for the current kitchen at TMS.
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To change the current climate and culture of CUSD, there first has to be a change of leadership.
Three out of five votes and the superintendent can be replaced. In 2014 there are three school board seats up for election: Area 2—Evan Garamendi (Mokelumne Hill); Area 4—Zerral McDaniel (San Andreas); Area 5—Karan Bowsher (West Point & Rail Road Flat).

After the election, the new school board may have a whole different view on CUSD and its leadership. As you may or may not know, the trustee boundaries for CUSD have been redrawn and I am now located in area 3; Greg Gustafson is the current Trustee from this area.

According to the Calaveras Enterprise, 67% of our property taxes go to support/fund the local school district. Property taxes may rise, but only slightly (Dec. 24, 2013).
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Again, I thank each and every one of you who supported me in the 2012 CUSD trustee race. I have diligently continued to keep my website Sacred School Grounds current and active with information pertaining to the CUSD educational community.

I continue to have supporting evidence for my statements and opinions. I still firmly believe that parents (and grandparents) are the best advocates for their children.

By experience, I have learned that there is no all-powerful agency that will protect and serve our children; Cal-OSHA protects school employees, not children.

Happy New Year and God Bless: I hope to see you at a future CUSD board meeting--Allen Lujan

Sacred School Grounds                       www.sacredschoolgrounds.com                          C-(209) 765-3613
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In a closing note: please feel free to pass on and share any (or all) information provided in this letter; please duplicate and distribute as needed. We thank you for all support and effort put forward in the education and protection of our CUSD school children.

Children are one third of our population, but all of our future.

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