CUSD has a union elected majority on the Board. Every Trustee, except for Trustee Reardon had their campaign funded almost entirely by CUEA's Hope Foundation with some additional funding from the CTA, at a cost of $60,000 per seat.
Trustee Reardon self-funded his campaign and won with 80% of the vote.
Every Trustee on the Board; with the exception of Trustee Reardon, supported and actively participated in the YES on Measure M campaign (CUSD's $889 million dollar School Facilities Bond).
The names highlighted below are:
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
Ex-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell now with Capital Advisors
Trustee Martha McNicholas
Trustee Gary Pritchard
Trustee Amy Hanacek
Trustee Gila Jones
CUEA President Sally White
Ex-CUEA President Vicki Sodaberg
Trustee Reardon actively supported and campaigned for NO on Measure M.
Voters in an election at large were able to defeat Measure M by 10%. That in itself is an astonishing defeat given the fact that there were 206 school measures on the November ballot, and 187 measures passed. Of those, 162 were Prop 39 Bonds. This represents over $50 billion in future Property taxes for California.
Source: California School Bonds Clearinghouse http://www.bigbadbonds.com/CALBONDS/
See also: CASH - Coalition for Adequate School Housing https://www.cashnet.org/resource-material/documents/November2016LocalBondResults_003.pdf
NO on Measure M was a resounding statement by voters in CUSD. However, voters in an election by area were unable to replace a single non-union supported Trustee. The teachers Union (CUEA's HOPE Pac and CTA donations spent approximately $60,000 per seat to re-elect Trustee Amy Hanacek and Trustee Pritchard, and to elect a new Trustee Patricia Holloway.
Patricia Holloway was a last minute candidate put up by the PTA/CTA to make sure that candidate Laura Ferguson would not run un-opposed. Laura Ferguson is a long time taxpayer advocate in the City of San Clemente, has attended and has actively participated in Board meetings advocating for students and taxpayers. Patricia Holloway has not attended or spoken at meetings, did not actively campaign for her seat.
As I watched the Board vote to elect Board officers it seemed odd that Trustee Reardon, who won by 80% of the Vote, and was Vice-President of the Board in 2016-17 was not elected to any office on the 2016-17 Board.
This is a Board that was elected with Union money. The Union wants to ensure, as it has since 2010, that this Board will continue to place the financial interests of employees above the educational interest of students and the financial interest of taxpayers. Without strong oversight by the public, students and taxpayers will not have a seat at the collective bargaining table.
This Board CHOSE to approve four consecutive years of across-the-board compensation increases totaling over $120 million dollars rather than spend the $10 million it would have cost to fix every leaky roof in CUSD and every failing HVAC system. For years this district has stated that there are no Williams Complaints and that schools were in "Good Condition". Only when CUSD wanted to pass an $889 million dollar school facilities bond did CUSD began to tell the truth about facilities that have not been maintained for 15 years so that maximum compensation for employees could be maintained.
December 21, 2016 Capo Talk
Local elected leaders cannot afford to ignore the actions of CUSD. They must be informed and be actively engaged in Board policy to ensure the financial stability of their Cities, and prevent municipal tax overburden. Only through continued vigilance will students get the educational opportunity guaranteed them by the State Constitution.