Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is Something Going On At PUSD That We Should Know About?

I'm not quite sure what is going on here, but that has never stopped me before. Our mission here at The Tattler is driven by a relentless need to know. And besides, when in doubt just ask questions. That's what Socrates did, and he became quite an important figure in his community. Though his career did take an abrupt and radical downturn there at the end.

So the last time we looked into the Pasadena Unified School District things weren't going so well. They'd come into a whole lot of dough thanks to the generosity of the voters in passing both Measure Y and Measure TT, but then later something didn't go quite right. Apparently somebody had been ripping the PUSD off for a sizable chunk of that money.

Way back in January of this year we posted an article called School Daze. In it we discussed how this school district had handed over $217,000 to a contractor, who then just pocketed the money and walked away. Didn't do much work, but kept the cash anyway. And as bad as that was, the situation got even worse. The PUSD had this all investigated by the Pasadena PD, plus they'd done a forensic audit as well. But then something very embarrassing happened. Here is how the Pasadena Weekly described this particularly unfortunate turn of events:

However, when (Pasadena) detectives submitted their evidence, prosecutors declined to file criminal charges because the school district's Measure Y record keeping was not adequate to secure a conviction.

So it appears that the PUSD forked money over to this grifter of a construction guy, but their financial record keeping was so lousy there wouldn't have been enough evidence to prove anything in Court. And the District Attorney refused to prosecute. Pretty sad state of affairs, and certainly something that would make you want to question the basic competence of those running the show.

Now it's been a year since that Pasadena Weekly article appeared, and the PUSD finds itself back in the financial hole. And despite the passage of both Measures Y and TT, it looks like they're going to have to go back to the taxpayers and ask for even more money. Again the Pasadena Weekly tells the story.

Cutting bone: District could be forced to lay off teachers and cut programs to close 'historic' $20 million budget gap - A colorful brochure recently mailed to residents of Altadena, Sierra Madre and Pasadena - the three communities that comprise the Pasadena Unified School District - paints a grim picture of the district's financial situation, one in which the Board of education may have to lay off teachers, close schools and cut math, science and arts programs in order to close a $20 million budget deficit in the $225 million budget for 2010.

(As an aside, should an organization that is both broke and begging be spending money on expensive glossy color brochures and mailing them to 10s of thousands of homes? Just asking.)

Not an usual circumstance in this economy of course, but given their past shaky record keeping and the consequences that had on the prosecution of that grifter of a construction guy, there could very well be some skepticism about raising even more money for these guys. After all, Measure Y alone was worth a cool $240 million big ones. A lot of money no matter what fund you put it in.

So nowadays the PUSD is on a bit of a charm offensive and hopes to get the voters to approve a parcel tax to help them close that $20 million financial gap. Which is why they were very upset when the following e-mail started making the rounds a week or so back.

In An Effort To Keep The Community Informed ... your attendance is needed at the PUSD board meeting on Tuesday, December 8th. There are many issues concerning the use and disbursement of Measure TT and the ability of the PUSD board to ensure that there is local and minority participation by contractors, trades people, and other local businesses. The community does not want to see a repeat of what happened with Measure Y in which many jobs were let to businesses outside Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre, and therefore not allowing our tax dollars to recirculate within our communities or allowing our local and minority contractors, trades people, and other local businesses to benefit from the work that is generated by this Measure.

You certainly would also hope that whoever is hired does the work they're paid to do, and if they don't that the PUSD would be able to prove that they wrote a check and get the money back.

So the group that sent out the above e-mail apparently created a document and passed it out at this meeting. And though I have not seen the document, it would appear that they had fleshed out some of the points made earlier, particularly on the school district's contractor hiring practices. Something that apparently sent PUSD President Tom Selinske through the schoolhouse roof. Which is certainly understandable given the delicate nature of selling a new parcel tax to the citizens during the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. Hardly the time you'd want any controversies.

And yesterday on the usually insipid Pasadena Now website the following notice from PUSD President Selinske appeared:

Letter to Community From PUSD Board President - Recently a document was distributed in the community that cast numerous inaccurate allegations regarding the Measure TT School Bond program which was approved by the voters in November 2008. The document was filled with incorrect and untrue statements. It is important for the community to understand the facts in regards to the Pasadena Unified School Districts (sic) facilities bond and clear up unsubstantiated rumors and inaccuracies.

The notice then went on to try and refute many of the things that were apparently said in the offending distributed document. I linked to Selinske's statement above if you wish to examine the entire document.

Now all of this would be highly entertaining except for one thing. That would be the fate of the students who attend these schools, and the teachers who work in them. Why is it the PUSD seems to be in a constant state of financial crisis and must go back to the taxpayers time and again and keep asking for more money? Two massive bond issues have been passed, and now we're expected to approve a parcel tax on top of that? Where does it end?

I personally voted for both Measure Y and Measure TT. But despite the hostage taking it will take a considerable change in my current thinking to get me to vote that way again.

75 comments:

  1. makes one wonder what a forenic audit of our city coffers would reveal..or were the record destroyed as the rumor has it..true???

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  2. I suspect that the group trying to get the PUSD board to do
    something about their contractor hiring practices knew this
    would be a advantageous time to exert a little pressure.

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  3. Besides the "poor pitiful me" glossy mailer PUSD also financed an expensive phone survey about one month before the mailer went out. I took the 20 minute survey. There are many cuts the district could make. First, eliminate specialists who teach special subjects like art, music, and PE to elem. children. All classroom teachers are credentialed to teach all subjects. Second, return all credentialed resource teachers to the classroom. These are usually the best and most experienced teachers in the district. Third, do away with pupil free days and planning periods for teachers and require them to be on campus and WORKING for 8 hrs a day. Fourth, give each school its own budget and let the facility/principal decide how to spend it. The PUSD should thank their lucky stars so many parents have opted out of the district for private schools. There is no way in hell the district could accommodate the private school students. (Either physically or academically)

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  4. NO MORE TAXES for anything or anyone.

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  5. 8:11 - great post. Thanks for that great insight.

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  6. Sounds like PUSD is run by the same type of
    bureaurcrats that run Sacramento.
    I voted NO on both those ballot measures, just on instinct. I will continue to do so, unless they drastically change.

    poster at 8:11:
    Why aren't you on the school board? I might just vote for you.

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  7. I am with you Pasta. We are being taxed to death. With so many out of work, seniors on fixed incomes, and families trying to make ends meet, how dare the PUSD ask for MORE money. They created their waste. Let them live with it.

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  8. PUSD is just more bad local government. It
    seems that the only time they reach out is when they need more money. And who was it
    worked so hard on Measure Y and TT? The
    same folks who opposed Measure V I believe.

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  9. Absolutely correct, Sierra Madre!

    I recall getting canned calls from John Buchanan telling me to vote on this.

    Draw your own conclusions.

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  10. Who is the City Council's representative to the PUSD?

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  11. Why that would be the leader of the Moscateer Club himself, Joe Fly. Though there is no guarantee that he actually shows up to any of the meetings.

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  12. I like Ex PUSD TEACHER's ideas. Let's get rid of the top administrators, return the teachers back to the classroom, and cut out all the half-days and teacher planning days.

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  13. Like a lot of government Pasadena Unified seems to be top heavy and bureaucratic. Rather than sacrificing programs for the kids, why not go after administration? That would seem to me to be the first place to start.

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  14. Did anyone notice that all of the suggested cuts suggested on the "woe is me flier" were cuts to teachers and schools? Not one cut to the bureauCRAPS.

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  15. I agree with Bad Karma.....but start with the School Board, itself.

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  16. I knew that Measure TT was a hustle after Don Watts questioned the snake oil administrator who came to a council meeting to sell it, so I did not vote for it.
    I'm with you on that solution Bad Karma. Just like our very own city, the administrative costs are simply too much.
    And without accurate audit histories, how are we ever going to know the truth?

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  17. PUSD is run by a self-perpetuating bureaucracy. Like Sacramento.

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  18. Another past PUSD teacherDecember 16, 2009 at 1:28 PM

    Ex PUSD teacher does not have all his/her facts straight and other teachers need to be listened to!! First of all RESOURCE TEACHERS are not the only teachers who are valuable!! Teachers with EXPERIENCE are valuable. Many principals are NOT valuable and are puppets to the top ADMIN. The RESOURCE TEACHERS who worked in my schools WORKED for the principal all day long when their job discription is to work for the teachers and the children as a RESOURCE. Cutting back all the arts is insane, and not ALL teachers are qualified to teach music and art. SOME can read a script and put on plays.....but lets face it. It takes a professional to teach our children to read music and to teach form/color, etc. YOU must know all of that unless you have never visited a musuem or attended a musical concert.

    This is why Pasadena is a huge mess. The District lets whatever happens happen without thinking of the consequence of the children. 12:09 you are correct: it is a self perpetuating bureaucracy!!Of course, if a parent complains loud enough they will eventually respond. Most parents work and are not aware of their rights. Those parents who are aware and are fed up with the horrible education either send their children to private school, home school or are constantly at the school site. Sadly, more and more parents trust the educational system to their child's future.
    Public education is dependent upon the parent, who has the most power. The parent is also the first teacher who teaches the child to read and write and supports the child and the school. The districts maintains this relationship by creating challenging and appropriate educational material for learning. This give and give is on-going when there is honesty and enthusiasm in education. Unfortunatley, there is little honesty left in PUSD and thus the enthusiasm is dead. The honesty begins from the top. Many teachers are worn out and over worked. If only for a day the people could step into the shoes of a teacher. It is unbelievable the social and emotional problems childen suffer in PUSD, although there are many wonderful successful students who do graduate from PUSD. Thank the parent, teacher and the marvelous student!!

    OH PS. Joe the Quitter. What is he doing representing EDUCATION? Pretty pathetic. The last person on earth to represent anything intellectual. No wonder so many children are depressed and failing.How does Joe get selected for so many responsible positions?

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  19. Joe volunteers. And if his COG/SCAG attendance record is any indication, he doesn't show up to the meetings. He's an acronym collector. He thinks they make him appear important.

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  20. I hear there's a parcel tax in the works via Ramon Miramontes and his group

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  21. Ramon "Building Real Men Through Mentorship" Miramontes?
    http://www.mpyd.org/ramonmiramontes.html

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  22. The public has turned into the enablers of laziness and entitlement, and the pols and pols staffs and educational administrators are like that no good cousin who borrows money from everyone in the family until he or she gambles, drinks and drugs it all away.

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  23. sort of faithful readerDecember 16, 2009 at 3:57 PM

    Tattler, I checked out Selinske's letter, and he's working with some precision to convince people of his position, that's for sure.
    However!
    Sierra Madre has taught me that you can't ever trust the rhetoric. So to really take a side in this matter, I would have to do a lot more research and run down the facts on each & every point.
    There's a lot of verbiage in these disputes, few facts, and a ton of self righteousness.

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  24. 1:28 Great and important plug for Music. I grew up in a small (Danville Ill. to be exact) town of less than 30,000. We had a frustrated, very professional and demanding music teacher named Pansy Legg. In that small high school she made everybody perform in her musical and theater presentations (complete with period costums and period study). In succession she trained and produced Donald o'Connor, Bobby Short, Dick Van Dyke, Gene Hackman, and Jerry Van Dyke. She was a towering teacher who devoted all her energy to music and students. We were so lucky!

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  25. People don't pay attention, and they get what they deserve. We need to change that.

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  26. One thing more. Our Danville High Band Director was William B Hall. He was the 1st clarinet player in John Phillip Sousa's marching band before becoming our Director. What a band our high school developed.

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  27. 3:58, that is a really such a nice post, thank you! We stifle the souls of our children when we neglect their musical upbringing.

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  28. The PUSD is either incompetent or larcenous, or some mixture of both.

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  29. When I spend money, I keep track of the amount and the reason. How is the following even possible: "their financial record keeping was so lousy there wouldn't have been enough evidence to prove anything in Court."

    Is that our problem here in Sierra Madre as well, that we cannot get anywhere with an independent audit because of such bad record keeping? It must be a sloppiness that comes along with spending other people's money.

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  30. 4:28!

    You're right, same as the crooks and bums in Sacramento!

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  31. Also Anon - I think the reasoning goes like this:

    1) Hopefully nobody will notice.

    2) There's always more where that came from.

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  32. TO OUR TOWN: what a lovely comment! Isn't is ironic that here in Southern California, HOLLYWOOD, the world of creative artists that children are growing up with so little exposure to the arts. How many towering teachers/future artists are being stifeled because our society does not fund the arts. There are many studies which back up the arts as improving children's reading and math proficency. But, no one listens.

    Our money goes to the wrong place and when the STATE wants to build highways we need to scream loudly and say BUILD the future in our children and extend the school day to ensure all children read, compute, know history, geography, sing, dance, draw and we fill schools and not JAILS!

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  33. What a bunch of crap this article is, Eric Maundry!

    You are regurgitating (false) changes made by unscrupulous sources (like Rene Amy, who has made a cool million off of PUSD from his bogus lawsuits over the years).

    Oh yeah, you might have gotten your "information" from the Pasadena Weekly or the Star News, but they source Rene Amy also and have been known (more than once, many times more than once) to print outright lies about PUSD in their papers.

    Just what we need, more reprinting of false information about PUSD. (Not!!)

    How convienient that this piece comes out on the eve of the upcoming parcel tax that our schools need so badly, the word "desparate" is not meaningful enough, nor does it convey, the nightmare our schools face.

    Need I remind you that hundreds of kids and their educations are at stake here. Yes, Sierra Madre kids too.

    I love your blog, but this is deeply disappointing to me.

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  34. I will find out the truth to the allegations Eric Maundry has made and report them here. Clearly, the truth needs to be told here.

    But what I want to know is why Eric Maundry didn't look up the truth, but turned to the tainted pages of the Pasadena Weekly which almost everyone in town knows is not exactly accurate when it comes to PUSD - for years!!

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  35. Actually one of the sources in the article I posted last January was the PUSD's own site. What you saw here today was only a small portion of what was originally cited. Go to the link and check it out.

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  36. Garbage In
    Garbage Out
    More lies about PUSD to keep the private schools in business.

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  37. Dont' worry, Eric Maundry, I am going to get the inaccuracies in your aricle cleared up. But I am going to make sure of my information before I get back to you, unlike the crap you have published here.

    Maybe its just me, but children and their educations are a whole lot more important than media spin, that to begin with, isn't even accurate.

    We have seen way too much of this in our city, for way too long. I am deeply disappointed to see the Tattler continuing this ugly tradition.

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  38. Again Virginia, the PUSD's own site discusses their inability to convince the District Attorney to prosecute a contractor that made off with over $200,000 in Measure Y money. If you really cared about kids and their education, you'd be offended by such sad incompetence.

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  39. Why thank you, Eric Maundry, for this link. You seem to have overlooked part of its content. Here PUSD is honestly admitting to a problem with a corrupt contractor, pressing for a police investigation and specifically clarifying what they have done to address it:

    "We urge the District Attorney to re-open its investigation of the Measure Y fraud" says Superintendent Edwin Diaz.

    He also asked for (and instigated) an "internal analysis of the problem" and "hired a forensic auditor to examine the records".

    Sounds like PUSD is doing exactly what it should do here. Diaz goes much further than this. He "institutes solid, effective procedures to oversee construction project spending".

    Exactly what you (and the community) would want him to do, so why don't you mention this?

    "We will not tolerate practices that cheat our students" says Diaz here on this link you have provided.

    Is that not enough for you? no problem, there is more here:

    "The investigation resulted in the reorganization of the facilities division, and the application of rigorous standards, management and record-keeping practices".

    Somehow this information never made it into your article either.

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  40. You also mention (though admit to not reading) a controversial (and anonymous) email message that widely circulated disinformation about Measure TT.

    Board president Tom Selinske wrote a thoughtful retraction to the "numerous inaccurate allegations" in this email. Now, normally, inaccurate allegations would be something you would be interested in, but not this time. You admit to reading this retraction, but you wash over it (even in the absence of reading the email it was written in response to) AND you kick Selinske anyway (scornfully calling his detailed letter "highly entertaining").

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  41. Speaking of inaccuracies, you bemoan PUSD being "in a constant state of financial crisis and must go back to the taxpayers time and again and keep asking for more money" without clarifying that Measure TT was specifically a facilities bond, to improve the facilities only.

    And you, Eric Maundry, who have written exhaustively and knowingly on the budget crises in California, do not mention in your article the $25 million dollars PUSD is losing due to State budget cuts.

    Again, if this were any other journalist in town, I would not be surprised by the hostile tone and over-looking of facts found in this article. But you are the best investigative journalist in town, which makes it that much worse.

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  42. Virginia, you are spinning so fast here it is a wonder you can stand up at all. While it is nice that the PUSD reformed their oversight on these matters, it was sadly after the fact. And let's face it, with the Measure TT elction looming, it was an attempt to spin away something that was very embarrassing to the PUSD. And I did not call Selinske's letter "high ly entertaining." What I said is that the entire matter would be just that if the consequences weren't so unfortunate to the most vulnerable players here, school kids. If you are going to complain about inaccuracy in others you need to make sure you are accurate yourself. The fund question was alluded to in paragraph 9. But what is the most galling thing here is your accusing me of not including information you came by from reading cites provided by me in this article. That just defies logic, Virginia.

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  43. How many of those of you posting here have taken a tour of a PUSD school, or gone in and read to children in a classroom, attended a PUSD musical performance, or paid attention to any of the stories about dramatically rising test scores and the new programs available at schools like Burbank and San Rafael?

    This is one of the least top heavy (in terms of administration costs)school Districts in the region. The plain fact is that public education in this state is given lip service while the children suffer. The schools are underfunded, period.

    Measures Y and TT are restricted funds for building maintenance, maintenance that has been delayed in some cases for decades because the state has denied proper funding to our schools. The tattler really can't relate Bond Measure funding to District academic performance. It is as though you got money to use just on your home and your neighbor still busts on you because you didn't spend the money on getting your car fixed. (And yes, you WISH you had money for both, but you don't.)

    How many of you have school aged children?

    Would you be so quick to say "good riddance" if these were your kids in those schools? Well, guess what? They ARE your kids! And if you don't think so and you don't want to help them learn, you will pay the consequences, because these are the adults who will be taking care of you in your old age.

    I say invest in our children now, because it is the best investment we can make.

    Is PUSD a well oiled machine, without any problems or inefficiencies? Of course not. So, go in and help, because being a part of the solution and helping our children (although it does take more work than talking about it)is both eye opening and rewarding. And you just might see that PUSD is doing a much better job than you have been led to believe.

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  44. Damn, the fund canard is getting some real traction, Mark. Perhaps if you had actually read the article rather than just Virginia's post? The reason why my kids attend private school rather than a PUSD school are things such as a lack of phys ed, art or music. School size is another consideration. And academic standards are a consideration as well. When first considering our children's education we did tour Sierra Madre Elementary and sat down with the principal to discuss just these issues. When we pointed these things out, he basically shrugged.

    As someone who attended public schools, it was quite an eye opening experience.

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  45. ohhhh, the truth comes out. A private school parent?

    wow. So, Eric Maundry, you need to defend your choise (and ability to pay) to send you kids to private school by bashing the public system?

    (for something that happened years ago and has been very well dealt with?)

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  46. and interesting that you mention Arts and Music as a reason that you went private.

    (the most vulnerable classes with the budget cuts)

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  47. and yes you did call Tom Selinske's letter "highly entertaining"

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  48. I don't see why any parent should sacrifice their kids to a bad school system. And the word is spelled "choice." It's part of that freedom thing.

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  49. and Eric, I was only pointing out (as you would if you were on another topic) crucial points in the PUSD website post that you missed and did not mention in your article.

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  50. So when you complained about my not mentioning these things in the article, you misspoke?

    I hate to say this, but your posting here is becoming similar to all those "trolls" you have complained about on your site. I don't want to have to moderate the site today, but I will if needs be,

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  51. how cowardly. I am not a troll, Eric Maundry, I am what you call "dissenting opinion". If thats not acceptable on the Tattler.... wow.

    and no, I did not misspeak when I said you neglected crucial information in your article from the PUSD website.

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  52. "I don't see why any parent should sacrifice their kid to a bad school system"

    ummm, where did the "bad school system" part of your article come in? thats over-generalizing from you initial premise of dredging up the Measure Y affair.

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  53. Of course it is acceptable. But repetitive and inaccurate hectoring is not. Consider that a warning.

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  54. I am neither being repetitive nor am I hectoring, that is unfair criticism (and defensive)

    I wonder how all your readers feel right now who send their kids to these "bad" public schools

    (by the way, Sierra Madre's schools are excellent)

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  55. Eric, are you telling me that you had a chance to get into Sierra Madre? That's now one of the best schools in the whole San Gabriel Valley. If I had a five year old right now, I'd jump at the chance to get my child into that school! By the time your child would be in middle school, you will have a new MS campus, and you have one of the best Principals around at the lead right now.

    I can't answer for Virginia or for anyone else, but I've been told that my PUSD son is getting a better education in the arts than most of his private school friends- and these comments are coming to me from the private school parents! So if you think you are better off without PUSD, that's your choice. My guess is that your friends in private school are starting to give PUSD a second look, and that is making your private school a little nervous. And if you say that's not the case, well, wait and see...

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  56. If Sierra Madre Elementary has no art department, well, OK. I get the point. I guess for some people it's just about saying things.

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  57. Mark, please elaborate on the new MS campus?

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  58. Part of the TT money is going for a rebuild of Sierra Madre Middle School. Plans should be on the PUSD website.

    And to anonymous...I didn't say my son went to Sierra Madre Elementary. There are PUSD schools that have classroom teachers who are dedicated to the arts, and some schools have partnerships with arts organizations. And there are ways to get arts into the public schools who might not have what you want just yet. Correct me if I am wrong, but in private school, you have to pay for arts AND you sometimes have to volunteer. If you did the same thing at a PUSD school with regard to art (that is, volunteer and donate to the school's arts program), you could and many times would have the same result.

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  59. Ah hah. You're a slippery fellow, Mark. Are you in government or politics by any chance?

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  60. Hey, you are the "anonymous" one!

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  61. Yes. And your name reveals a lot as well. "Mark," as in sucker perhaps?

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  62. Ahh, well, this is a useful conversation about public education, isn't it?

    Is this supposed to be about a few people agreeing that other people are bad, or is anyone here interested in actually helping children other than their own?

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  63. And sanctimoniousness helps?

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  64. Does everyone who doesn't agree with you have to be demonized, or are we just going to live in the sandbox for awhile?

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  65. Mark, you're projecting. Just get back to the subject at hand, will ya?

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  66. Let's start with the post. If I have this right, someone who visited a PUSD school once several years ago starts a blog about an independent contractor who stole money from the school district about four years ago, before anyone who works in the PUSD administration leadership now had anything to do with it.

    And the blogger links that situation with something today that may jeopardize PUSD's access to funding for my son's education.
    Is setting the record straight against this sanctimonious? What would you do if someone used this logic against your children?

    To top it off, the particular school he references is probably in the top ten percent of all schools in the valley in terms of performance, including schools in places like La Canada and San Marino. The headline and the thread seem only to support this somewhat dated argument, as out of touch with today's PUSD as it might be.

    Because, Jenny, I have to agree that at some point sanctimoniousness does not necessarily help the situation, I will leave this point as it is. What I will say is that there are so many good things going on at PUSD that we are well past the days when one can knock public education around here with impunity. PUSD kids are having major successes, schools are improving in spite of budgeting issues, and the community support for PUSD is getting stronger every month.

    Are some great things happening in PUSD happening because of PUSD? Yes. Are some of these things happening in SPITE of PUSD? Yes! And the same could be said for any other school, public or private.

    The bottom line is that public school children are our children, not "their" children. I don't have children in Sierra Madre Elementary school, but they are mine just the same. Taking interest in the public education system is of vital interest to everyone, whether you are in the system or not.

    Right now, California is near last in the nation in funding per pupil for public education, and that's a disgusting fact that needs a major turnaround, both in Sacramento and in Washington. It occurs to me that we should be working together to bring more funding to public education.

    I would like to believe that, ultimately, the Tattler has the best of intentions, and it is good to see a healthy conversation about different views about ways to help our public schools and the children they serve.

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  67. A bit about Measure TT...

    This money cannot be used for teachers or administrators, only for facilities improvements and updates. There is an oversight committee that watchdogs this, and, especially because there was that unscrupulous contractor who ran off with funds during Measure Y, everyone on the oversight committee is extra vigilant about watching that TT money. And the District people seem very happy that they are. Sid Tyler heads the TT watchdog committee, and he's about as upstanding a person as you will find.

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  68. It's nice that they have it all figured out now, but the horse is out of the barn. The PUSD got ripped off for hundreds of thousands in Measure Y dollars, and couldn't even get the DA to prosecute. The schools mostly suck, and the people who run them are little more than entitled bureaucrats. To throw money at these guys in hopes that somehow we'll get lucky and they'll do the right thing is ludicrous. Sorry, but the best thing that can be done for these schools is to tear down and then rebuild the entire mess. Everything else is just magical thinking.

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  69. Mark, nobody is obliged to fund your son's education. Be a man and stand up for your kid. Quit expecting the world to carry your burdens for you. Do you really think your kid will grow up to respect such a whiner as yourself? Will he really buy your explanation that the reason he got such a lousy education is because taxpayers were greedy? Or can it be you just don't give a damn and are opting out.

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  70. Wow, so much for open minds! Guys, enjoy your conversation with yourselves, because it seems as though you are severely out of touch with this issue-or it might be that you have a vested interest in seeing public education fail to put such a negative spin on things. Could this be the case?

    This closed point of view comes across very clearly to anyone reading this blog, and I am sure that it is making a great impression on your children.

    For those of you who do want to actually think about what is going on, believe that the public schools here are on a very good track, and, if properly funded, will perform even better. The teachers are good and they work hard. The parents are involved and they contribute. The administration now is lean and more responsive than ever. Be part of the solution and help your local public school. The investment in our children is well worth the effort.

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  71. Thanks for the bromides, Mark. Do you actually ever say anything specific, or are you on some sort of rolling 24/7 cliche' mode?

    You know, we have a City councilman here who talks just like you. He's kind of a windbag. Most of what he says has all the sparkle and wit of a real estate brochure.

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  72. Had a fun day blogging, you crazy neanderthals, but the real world is calling, and there's work to be done on behalf of our schools. Since I can see that you won't be doing any, got to move on and find people who will be helping.

    You know, two cans and a string will be just as effective as the blogging, since you are really only speaking to one another, because the public at large gets that there's nothing to see- or learn, from what you've said here today.

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  73. There is a lot of work that needs to be done on behalf of our schools. Unfortunately the wrong people are doing it. No art, no music, no PE. And now PUSD is cutting out libraries as well? What's next, rolling in TVs and having the kids watch Sponge Bob all day?

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  74. Thanks for all the guilt trips today, Mark. Very enlightening look into the minion mindset.

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