Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Time to Reflect ... And to Count

And when counting, don't forget to ...
Remember, also, to count your education as a blessing as well: the ability to read, write, spell, and count are blessings indeed. Remember the sacrifices of your dedicated teachers along the way!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A "Fair and Equitable" Solution? ($1.9 mil on the backs of CUSD bargaining units)

 It is a well known fact that the employee unions of Calaveras Unified (CUEA & CSEA) strongly "distrust" the leadership & management of CUSD.

If the truth be told, it is highly unlikely that the bargaining units will be able to carry the required $1.9 mil on their backs; the reason is clear: the CUSD unions (or bargaining units) simply do not TRUST the district leadership (which includes the Superintendent, the School Board, and the new CCOE-appointed Fiscal Adviser, Terri Ryland). The CUSD administration has clearly shown where its loyalties lie:

1. The 2 Admin raise increases ($16K each or 22% wage increase) 
2. Teachers bargained a benefit package (and it was ratified by the board--May 2014)
3. CSEA bargained a fair and equitable benefit package--May 2014 (however, after it was RATIFIED it was never put in place)

The required faith and trust for a "Fair and Equitable" solution (on the backs of the bargaining units) isn't currently there. The Superintendent and the Trustees have created (in their previous dealings and negotiations with the unions) an unstable and fragile relationship; TRUST will be difficult to regain or even to establish.

A Work in Progress
 "All for one, and one for all," (the slogan of The Three Musketeers), can NOT be applied as the bargaining campaign slogan at this time; only wishful thinking. The distrust between the parties has been festering for quite some time--stirred on by poor leadership decisions and misaligned fiscal priorities.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Calaveras Unified: Closing or Consolidating 2 to 3 Schools ... While (at the Same Time) Building a Performing Arts Center?

Sept. 2, 2014 CUSD School Board Agenda

PHASE II CUTS (estimated savings) need $875,000

Consolidation of Up-Country Schools $346,000 vs. $520,000 
(All to MHE vs. RRF to WPE and MHE to SAE/VSE PE and MHE to SAE/VSE)

Closure of Toyon Middle School $683,000

Elimination of Media Specialists (4.54 fte) $166,000

Reduction/Reconfiguration --Transportation $100,000-$245,000

Reduction of 3 certificated fte---Grades 7-12 $198,000

Closure of Gold Strike High School $$$TBD
**reduction of 1 principal, 2-3 certificated, classified staff and operating costs


Sept. 16, 2014--CUSD School Board Agenda (Business item e.)

Adoption of Resolution 2014/15-05:

Approval of Lease-Leaseback Contract for Carter-Kelly for the Construction of the Performing Arts Building.
It is recommended the Board approve Resolution 2014/15-05 awarding the Lease-Leaseback Contract to Carter-Kelly for the construction of the Performing Arts building.

Site Lease,
Facilities Lease,
Construction Provisions
Motion___ Second___ Vote___

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans: Defenders of America (& the Open Pursuit of Education)

As an educator (and Veteran) I take time today to think, honor, and pray for those soldiers and military personnel (past, present, and future) who have given of themselves in order to protect and preserve the American freedoms and values (which, as citizens, we often take for granted … most notably the freedom of education).

Thank you, Veterans (wherever you may be) for your daily sacrifices; help us (as American citizens) to remember your dedication and sacrifices and to not take lightly those freedoms which you have courageously given your life to defend. You are greatly appreciated. –Allen L.

"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs."
 --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Profile: Navy Corpsman 1979-1983

For the past 10 years I have been a special education teacher for medically fragile students. Many of the skills (and knowledge) that I use in my classroom on a daily basis, I first learned when I went through Hospital Corpsman school while in the Navy.

Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego, Ca. 1982
"A Hospital Corpsman (HM) is an enlisted medical specialist for the United States Navy who serves with Navy and United States Marine Corps units. They are the only enlisted corps in the United States Navy."

The history and background of the Navy Corpsman is further detailed at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy_Hospital_Corpsman

My roots as a Navy Corpsman 
began on the USS Proteus