Our mission is to provide taxpayers with oversight of CUSD; to ensure that the educational interests of students, and the financial interests of taxpayers are represented in all matters before the Board.
WHY THIS WORK IS SO IMPORTANT
The fact that every school district in the State is trying to pass a Prop 39 Bond is the result of "Common Messages" and "Direction" coming from the California Department of Education working in conjunction with public employee unions and for-profit corporations. For to long, our State Legislature has learned that a perpetually underfunded K-12 Public Education System allows the State to find never ending sources of new revenues. Revenues that Legislators then uses to create new programs and entitlements that are not constitutionally mandated.
This movement has escalated since 2010-11 with the passage of Common Core State Standards, and the 2012-13 passage of California's new education funding formula aka the "Local Control Funding Formula".
CUSD PER PUPIL FUNDING 2007 to 2021
California's new education funding law; "Local Control Funding Formula", limits per pupil funding to 2007-08 levels + inflation, not to be reached until 2021.
By 2021, CUSD will have had flat funding for 14 years straight at less than $7,693.20 + inflation per pupil.
CUSD is one of the most underfunded school districts in California; and the United States, receiving one half of what the Laguna Beach Unified School District receives (just ten miles up the road).
Average per pupil funding United States: $11,009
Average per pupil funding in California: $9,595
Average Per Pupil Funding Laguna Beach: $15,823
Average per pupil funding CUSD: < $7,693.20 + inflation
Source: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/ec/currentexpense.asp * Orange County is Code #30
THE STATE IS CHOOSING TO UNDERFUND CERTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICTS
State Revenues Are At Record Highs
In 2007-08 State General Fund revenues were $103 billion; today they are $122 billion, an increase of $19 billion.
In 2007-08 Total State revenues were $145 billion; today they are $171 billion, an increase of $26 billion.
The State has sufficient revenues to adequately fund every student in K-12 Public Education but is Choosing not to.
CALIFORNIA'S NEW EDUCATION FUNDING LAW "LOCAL CONTROL FUNDING FORMULA"
The "Base Grant" is universal for all students.
The "Supplemental Grant" provides additional funding to districts based on the percentage of students in the district that are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or are in Foster Care.
The "Concentration Grant" provides even more funding for districts that have large concentrations of students that are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or are in Foster Care.
The State set the Base Grant at $6,500 per student when it implemented the Local Control Funding Formula.
Districts with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, or are in Foster Care are funded solely by the Base Grant.
The State set the Base Grant $2,500 per pupil below what it knew it cost to provide a minimum education to any student in California in 2007-08.
A 2006 STATE STUDY DETERMINED THAT IN 2007-08 CALIFORNIA COULD NOT EDUCATE A STUDENT FOR LESS THAN $8,932.
In December 2006 the State of California commissioned a study to determine the actual cost to educate a student in California in 2007-08. According to the study, the minimum cost was $8,932 per pupil. The study also showed that CUSD; a suburban school district should be receiving between $10,726 and $12,077 per pupil to provide all students with a minimum education.
The Base Grant should be a minimum of $8,932.
Source: https://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Chambers.pdf at page 4.
Whether it is an unintended consequence, or by design, setting the Base Grant at $6,500 deprives every student who lives in a District with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, or are in Foster Care of the minimum funding needed to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to obtain a minimum education, as mandated by the State Constitution.
Depriving a student of their fundamental right to achieve equality of educational opportunity; simply because of where they happen to live, and irrespective of their individual wealth, race or ethnicity, constitutes invidious discrimination. All students are entitled to the Equal Protection of our Laws.
In California, education is a fundamental right that belongs to all — not some — of our students.
THE CONTINUED LACK OF ADEQUATE FUNDING HAS RESULTED IN $157 MILLION IN CUTS TO STAFF AND PROGRAMS SINCE 2007-08.
* A- G completion rates are 54%
* The percentage of students ready for college level Math Algebra II by the end of 11th grade is 3%.
*76% of students graduating from CUSD have no option after graduating High School except to attend a Community College or get a job. They are NOT qualified to enter a 4-year selective college or University.
The continued lack of adequate funding forces CUSD to rely on fundraising and donations to pay for core educational programs. Relying on fundraising and donations to pay for core educational programs has created wealth based inequities in the quality of education students receive within the District itself.
THE CONTINUAL LACK OF ADEQUATE FUNDING IS PLACING A GROWING TAX BURDEN ON LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES
Despite record high revenues, the State of California's 5-year Infrastructure Plan does not allocate a single penny to K-12 Public Education. $51 billion of the $55 billion dollar plan is allocated to Transportation aka "High Speed Rail". Because the State is CHOOSING not to allocate funding for K-12 facilities, every school District in the State will be forced to take on massive local debt to fund school facilities. That has already begun to happen with the passage of 162 new Prop 39 Bonds this November.
Source: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2016-Infrastructure-Plan.pdf page 3
THE POLITICS OF EDUCATION
Pay to Play - Common Core Implementation - "Big Education"/Professional Development - Student Data Mining
Compelled support for Public Employee Unions (aka mandatory union dues) has created a Monster with enough money to buy any Politician; and get any piece of legislation passed that it needs to, to promote a continual increase in employee compensation for its members.
There is no one sitting at the collective bargaining table that represents the interest of students and taxpayers.
In California, the relationship between Politicians and Public Employee Unions has grown past "mutually beneficial" to abusive to taxpayers; and oppressive to students who are mandated to attend schools that no longer provide a safe environment for them, and whose #1 priority is adult jobs, not the education of students.
EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION vs EDUCATING STUDENTS
When there is a lack of sufficient funding for a district, what is in the best interest of educating students is at odds with what is in the financial interest of employees. When public employee unions can buy school board elections, there is no one at the District's collective bargaining table representing the educational interest of students, or the financial interest of taxpayers.
CUSD has had a Union elected Board since 2010. The November 2016 election proved to be no different. Despite being able to reject Measure M, voters were unable to replace a single Trustee on the CUSD Board. These Trustees were elected with Union/PTA support at a cost of $60,000 per seat funded mostly by the local teachers union HOPE PAC, and some additional funding from the State CTA.
CUSD has used class size increases, cuts to staff and programs, furlough days and deferred maintenance funds to maintain maximum compensation through the great recession.
Despite $157 million dollars in cuts to it's budget since 2007-08 (32%), CUSD employees have avoided cuts to their salary schedules; and have actually received four consecutive years of compensation (salary, pension and benefit) increases totaling over $120 million dollars, while choosing to allow students and staff to attend schools with leaky roofs and failing HVAC systems. The District could have fixed every roof and HVAC system for $10 million dollars according to Measure M documents. Total compensation packages for 2015-17 is actually about 8%. In addition to the 4% salary schedule increases, employees were give one time off-schedule payments and health & welfare benefit increases totaling an additional 4%.
CUSD Teacher's Salaries
Employee compensation is 89% of CUSD's total budget.
In addition to increased compensation, the State is forcing Districts to pay the increased cost of CalSTRS and CalPERS contributions.
By 2021, contributions to CalSTRS and CalPERS will be 10% of CUSD's total budget, leaving 1% of the budget for everything else unless CUSD gets additional per pupil funding from the State.
STATE POLITICIANS IN COLLUSION WITH PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS HAVE FOLLOWED A ROAD TO RECOVERY PLAN THAT HAS PROVEN TO BE DEVASTATING TO STUDENTS AND TAXPAYERS
"Temporary help" was in the form of one-time grant money. Rather than raising the Base Funding Grant. One time Grant money that was mandated to be spent on Professional Development and Technology. The one time grant money is used by CUSD for conferences and professional development. Checks for the conferences and professional development are then paid to ACSA Education Foundation and the CDE Foundation. ACSA Foundation has political PACS that then advocate for measures like the Passage of Prop 51 -The $9 billion dollar State School Facilities Bond and Prop 55 - the extension of Prop 30 taxes on the wealthy.
COST OF COMMON CORE IMPLEMENTATION
Estimate: Common Core Implementation to Cost California $9.2 billion, and the Nation $80 Billion.
Source: Pioneer Institute and American Principles Project White Paper: National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards: http://www.accountabilityworks.org/photos/Cmmn_Cr_Cst_Stdy.Fin.2.22.12.pdf
CUSD has had flat funding of less than $7,632 + inflation for 14 years straight. Where is the funding for one-time Common Core implementation costs and recurring technology spending going to come from? Many Districts are using their Prop 39 Bond funds to implement Common Core. Orange County dodged a bullet by rejecting CUSD's Measure M, it's $889 million dollar school facilities bond. What now?
"BIG EDUCATION"/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/EdTECH SPENDING/STUDENT DATA MINING
The State of California in collusion with public employee unions and EdTech companies are engaging in what is the equivalent to "Racketeering". Under "Local Control", education funding was suppose to come to districts with no mandates. Categorical programs were eliminated allowing each district decide how best to spend its money. However, the State started to use one-time grant moneys and mandate that these funds must be spent on "professional development" and on "technology". The money for professional development and technology training is paid to the ACSA Education Foundation and CDE Foundation. ACSA Education Foundation has political pacts than then fund the political agenda of the public employee unions, and EdTech companies using taxpayer dollars.
The chart below illustrates the flow of money from the State to Districts to Foundations with Political Pacs.
It was a $10,000 payment from CUSD to ACSA Education Foundation for Professional Development that started an investigation into Conflict of interest charges filed against Trustee Lynn Hatton-Hodson, which is an on-going case.
The Orange County District Attorney is also looking into this.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Trustee Hatton-Hodson is the owner of a company InnovateEd which partners with ACSA and Progress Advisors in LCAPca. InnovateEd is also partners with ACSA, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, Motion Leadership and the Flippen Group in Systems Leadership Collaborative. CUSD enters into contracts with every company that partners with InnovateEd.
InnovateEd has grown from a company of less than $1 million to over $2.4 million since Trustee Hatton-Hodson filed her last Form 700. Unfortunately for students and taxpayers, CUSD is paying the attorney fees for Trustee Hatton-Hodson.
CDE FOUNDATION: Californians Dedicated to Education
Responsible for Common Core - STEM - Healthy Kids and the California Labor Management Initiative.
Troubling is the California Labor Management Initiative- Interest Based Bargaining where there is essentially a Union of Unions for each State which will then "collaborate" with the equivalent in every other State until there is a single national Union with everyone except the taxpayer engaging in "Interest Based Bargaining."
CCEE FOUNDATION: California Collaborative for Education Excellence
The Legislature created the CCEE to provide “advice and assistance” to county offices of education, school districts, and charter schools in achieving their LCAP goals.
Troubling- CUSD is re-writing all Board Policies related to Charter Schools.
There is no one attending meetings that is speaking on behalf of Charter Schools regarding these policies.
At the October 12, 2016 BOT Meeting Trustee McNicholas asked who CCEE was because under the new policy CCEE was given the right to revoke Charters without a right to appeal the revocation- a power the CCEE was never granted by the Legislature. For greater detail see: http://disclosurecusd.blogspot.com/search?q=Charter+School
ACSA: Association of California School Administrators and the ACSA Education Foundation
At the Heart of everything- connecting the Federal Agenda to the State Agenda.
The Federal Agenda was to implement National Education Standards and to use the public education system to collect data on every student from TK - College, essentially ending the right to privacy for all. By executive action, President O'Bama amended FERPA to allow for-profit companies to have access to a students personally identifiable data without parental consent.
For more information FERPA Loophole: http://disclosurecusd.blogspot.com/2016/05/up-date-to-post-dated-may-1st-obamas.html
For more information Student Data mining: http://peopleforstudentrights.com/index.php/complaint/count-18-cusd-pilot-for-national-common-core-implementation
STUDENT DATA MINING
CUSD has done several troubling things regarding student privacy:
CUSD has made the decision to make CCP a graduation requirement so that EVERY child must complete this course.
CUSD has made the decision to embed Naviance Family into CCP and in other core educational courses so that CUSD students can be subjected to personality testing an data mining.
Naviance was a college tool that was used to help students track their college applications and ensure they did not miss deadlines. Unique to Capistrano is that Naviance is now going to be embeded into CUSD school curriculum from kindergarten to college- and every student is required to be subjected to personality testing without an ability to OPT-OUT. Naviance Family will also be able to track want is entered into a home computer.
CUSD unilaterally enrolled every 9th, 10th and 11th in the PSAT. Normally students OPT IN to take the PSAT and pay the fee directly to College Board. The contract for PSAT/NMSQT Early Participation Contract is a partnership between College Board and Kahn Academy which provides financial incentives for districts who get 100% participation from a grade. CUSD did so without the consent of parents, and in violation of the Terms of Service Agreement with both College Board and Kahn Academy which requires every parent to OPT IN. CUSD did so without regard to student privacy rights and parental control over minors.