TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

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TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby blackturtle.us » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:24 pm

Only staff and board members were in attendance for the duration of the full board meeting following student of the month recognitions. Highlights as follows:

1) Board Member Comments - One board member explained that board members had participated in a board workshop lead by an expert on how boards should function to facilitate a healthy school atmosphere. She stated that she wished teachers had attended this workshop. [NOTE: This was ironic since teachers were specifically asked by administration not to attend this workshop.]

2) Superintendent Comments - Talked a little about board workshop. Mentioned that she is working on going through files and reports to become more familiar with what’s going on with the district. Stated that she has an open door policy and is happy to meet with all staff and community members. [NOTE: Suzette Davis just took over last month and will serve as interim superintendent until March 2020.]

3) Maintenance - Talked some about issues regarding earthquake recovery. In particular, mentioned that three new fire hydrants and a paved access for firetrucks are needed to make a state agency happy so that the district can move forward with plans to adjust facilities to meet the needs of students and staff. At any rate the plans the district would like to move forward on have a price tag of about two and a half million dollars, but the fire hydrants and paved access must be taken care of first and no price tag for that project was provided.

4) Community Park - Before the earthquake the district was talking about leasing land for a community park. That project was mentioned, but there was no indication of much happening on that one for awhile.

5) Time Capsule - A time capsule will be buried near the flag pole area of the football field.

6) HS Principal - An idea to open a continuation school was discussed. Currently the district has an independent study program, but is considering opening a continuation school. I won’t go into details here, but there are a number of advantages to having a continuation school, but lots of things to carefully consider before committing to opening one.

7) BLM Royalties - The BLM is attempting to deprive the local school district of a portion of the potash royalties paid by the plant and would like to keep the money for itself. This is a huge concern to the district since the district depends on these funds to provide services to students attending its schools.

8) BUDGET - A board member had questions about two expenditures: 1) $15K for photography equipment and 2) $15K for computers. Administrators and financial office workers provided explanations for these expenditures.

9) ACSA, CSBA, and CASBO Membership - ACSA stands for Association of California School Administrators, CSBA stands for California School Boards Association, and CASBO stands for California Association of School Business Officials. The board approved funds to pay for membership in all three associations. These associations primarily provide legal guidance to help schools deal with legal issues involved with running a school district.

10) Financial Report - The earthquakes will cost the district a lot of money and reimbursement for expenditures are uncertain. Although the district may receive up to a seventy-five percent reimbursement for expenditures, this is subject to an audit to determine what portion of the expenditures are deemed necessary and appropriate. An advisor from one agency is providing some guidance to help the district know what will be reimbursed and what won’t be reimbursed, BUT the final decision will be made by an agency which will look at the expenditures retrospectively and so there’s no guarantee that the guidance being provided to the district will be accurate or not. Additionally, funds received from the charter school (something in excess of $1M) have been set aside. Some or all of these funds may have to be paid back to the state. All said, the district will be deficit spending this school year to a tune of at least $4.8 million.

11) A number of other items were discussed and/or approved, but the above were the most interesting. The next scheduled REGULAR board meeting is set for January 09, 2020.
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby blackturtle.us » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:33 pm

The following is an email sent to all teachers and paraprofessionals.
Joseph Wolfe wrote:Hello Staff,

Recently, Mrs. Hesman has found another article on the BLM website that confirms an attempt by BLM to gain more control over the regulation of potash royalties. We are asking all employees to read the article on the BLM website (URL below). In addition, follow the other URL which will take you to a public post where you can comment in favor of or opposed to this possible rule change. If you share the opinion of opposition to this proposed regulation, we encourage you to post a comment. You could say something like ...”BLM should NOT take a share of the royalties. That way the plant could have a reduction in royalties by only having to give the state's share, helping both the plant and not hurting the school district”. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me or Mrs. Heseman. There is a time limit on making comments. I believe the time period for making comments ends next Tuesday the 17th. Please take the time and make a comment. I posted the full URL’s so there should not be any problems getting to those sites.

This URL is the article

https://www.blm.gov/press-release/inter ... us-compete


This URL http://www.regulations.gov will takes you to a search engine. You will paste the following in the search engine, RIN 1004-AE58. You should be able to see a “comment now” tab.


I did not add all district employees. If you have employees who work for you please share. Thank you all for the great work that you do. We really appreciate the sacrifices you make to impact Trona students.


Thank you

Joseph Wolfe
Principal
Trona High School

“The speed of your success is limited only by your dedication and what you're willing to sacrifice”
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby shadylady » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:12 pm

blackturtle.us wrote:[NOTE: Suzette Davis just took over last month and will serve as interim superintendent until March 2020.]

3) Maintenance - Talked some about issues regarding earthquake recovery. In particular, mentioned that three new fire hydrants and a paved access for firetrucks are needed to make a state agency happy so that the district can move forward with plans to adjust facilities to meet the needs of students and staff. At any rate the plans the district would like to move forward on have a price tag of about two and a half million dollars, but the fire hydrants and paved access must be taken care of first and no price tag for that project was provided.

10) Financial Report - The earthquakes will cost the district a lot of money and reimbursement for expenditures are uncertain. Although the district may receive up to a seventy-five percent reimbursement for expenditures, this is subject to an audit to determine what portion of the expenditures are deemed necessary and appropriate. An advisor from one agency is providing some guidance to help the district know what will be reimbursed and what won’t be reimbursed, BUT the final decision will be made by an agency which will look at the expenditures retrospectively and so there’s no guarantee that the guidance being provided to the district will be accurate or not. Additionally, funds received from the charter school (something in excess of $1M) have been set aside. Some or all of these funds may have to be paid back to the state. All said, the district will be deficit spending this school year to a tune of at least $4.8 million.

THREE QUESTIONS:
1) Was it ever explained why the previous superintendent was fired or put on leave?
2) It sounds like the state is making it very difficult for the school to return to normal. Why so many requirements and red tape?
3) Has it been determined if anyone in the district was guilty of wrongdoing in connection to the charter school situation?
It sounds like the school is being hit by the BLM wanting money, the earthquake recovery ordeal, and the charter school scandal all at the same time. That's a lot for a small school to deal with!
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby panamint_patty » Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:12 pm

shadylady: What I heard is that the situation is a little more complicated than it would at first seem. There are various stories or theories floating around. One is that the superintendent was a scapegoat for problems caused by another employee who had made a series of blunders. The idea was that the supt should have caught the mistakes himself despite the fact that the other employee was the one who actually made the mistakes and most likely tried to hide them making it virtually impossible for the supt to detect the the mistake. I guess that's why they say it's lonely at the top.
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby tronagirl » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:37 am

panamint_patty: That sounds a lot like the story I heard. What I heard is that the school board is protecting a favorite employee who was the cause of the problem by blaming the supt. BTW, the employee in question does not work in the financial office and he's not an administrator is what I heard. I know the name of the person, but I'm not sure what his official job title is, but it's always best not to name names in cases like this. But the blunder cost the the school district at least a few hundred thousand bucks.
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby MojaveMike » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:52 am

A friend of mine knows the superintendent who was more or less fired. He told me a few interesting behind the scenes facts which more or less square up with what you all are saying. Generally I am told that the fired superintendent is a great guy who just trusted a fellow staff member a little too much and wound up getting stabbed in the back and as you say the guy who is the cause of the problem has strong school board backing and so they just believed his BS lies about the entire thing.
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby BoraxBill » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:43 am

There were problems with the school before the earthquake that were the result of general negligence as far as I could tell. But the real problems have been since the earthquake. Whereas the schools in Ridgecrest dealt with their issues quickly and decisively, Trona just sort of sat around with their fingers up their rears diddling around like a bunch of retarded sea monkeys. I've never seen so much incompetence. No wonder they fired the superintendent. At least it looks like someone is doing something, but it's obvious the superintendent wasn't the real problem if we're going to be perfectly honest about the little mess that passes for a school in Trona.
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby sandman » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:22 am

How dare the superintendent sit back and expect employees to do their jobs! HAHAHAHAHA! Obviously, he should have been monitoring things a bit more carefully, but also just as obviously he's not the only one who should be let go to move on to greener pastures as they say.
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby recluse » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:33 pm

BoraxBill wrote:There were problems with the school before the earthquake that were the result of general negligence as far as I could tell. But the real problems have been since the earthquake. Whereas the schools in Ridgecrest dealt with their issues quickly and decisively, Trona just sort of sat around with their fingers up their rears diddling around like a bunch of retarded sea monkeys. I've never seen so much incompetence. No wonder they fired the superintendent. At least it looks like someone is doing something, but it's obvious the superintendent wasn't the real problem if we're going to be perfectly honest about the little mess that passes for a school in Trona.

Finger pointing and playing the blame game generally doesn't get problems solved. Using insulting and negative language doesn't get things moving in the right direction either. The state of affairs which currently exists certainly is not a single person's fault and mismanagement continues to be a problem, but possibly with a little help from the state or the county the current situation can be sorted out and some sense of order can be gained. The school is not a complete mess according to friends who have kids enrolled there, but no one would disagree that there is room for improvement. Possibly even lots of room for improvement.
MojaveMike wrote:A friend of mine knows the superintendent who was more or less fired. He told me a few interesting behind the scenes facts which more or less square up with what you all are saying. Generally I am told that the fired superintendent is a great guy who just trusted a fellow staff member a little too much and wound up getting stabbed in the back and as you say the guy who is the cause of the problem has strong school board backing and so they just believed his BS lies about the entire thing.

Firing the superintendent if what you say is true was not the right move. It's the back-stabber that should have been let go. If the school board has favorites, then the school board is the root of the problem.
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Re: TJUSD Board Meeting - December 12, 2019

Postby panamint_patty » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:54 am

recluse: The school board is always the root of the problem in a small town. It's impossible for them not to have favorites. Between family members and lifelong friends it's pretty hard not to have a sense of loyalty to certain people. That's why scapegoating is so common in a small town. There's a need to blame someone in order to protect close friends and family members.
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