What will SAUSD Superintendent Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana do now?
The Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) has apparently lost their Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) funding, which will result in a huge excess of teachers – and no money to pay for them, according to a district insider who has asked to remain anonymous. To make matters worse, the district did not “RIF,” (Reduction in Force) or lay off teachers, meaning they are now stuck paying the teachers.
I am hearing that the district is in complete scramble mode – and they are coming up with some truly ridiculous schemes. They will say anything to avoid fessing up to screwing up royally. Rumor has it that they are going to change to a six period day based on the premise that everyone should have an elective. Most of the students have an elective already in the current seven period day and the rest of them don’t have one because the district forced the schools to put them in two periods of math despite the objections of some teachers.
Now the district is going to eliminate two periods of language arts despite the fact that there is no way for those teachers to teach the standards without two periods. This will force out half of the language arts teachers and most likely send them to the high schools, making room for excess elementary teachers to teach at the middle school level despite most likely not having the proper credentials.
This is going to blow up this week, particularly at the middle school level – but it is ultimately going to affect every level. This will also likely result in a massive number of RIF’s next year and a huge mess for this coming year. Apparently the district is proposing a six period day at the middle schools, which will change staffing and rearrange a lot of teachers.
Make no mistake about it – this is a total disaster.
So what is the QEIA? Here is what the QEIA website has to say:
SB1133 established the Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006 for the purpose of implementing the Prop 98 settlement agreement between CTA, et al. v. Schwarzenegger, et al. SB1133 will provide $3 billion over the next seven years to 488 low performing schools in California. These schools, ranked in the lowest two deciles by the state’s 2005 Academic Performance Index, have high percentages of low-income, minority and English learners.
QEIA schools will receive $500 for each K-3 pupil, $900 for each student in grades 4-8, and $1000 for each student in grades 9-12. For the 2007-2008 year, schools will receive two-thirds of this amount to assist them in planning and preparing for implementation in 2008-09. QEIA funds will assist schools in closing the achievement gap by reducing class size, improving teacher and principal training, and adding counselors to high schools.
The district sought QEIA waivers going back to last October. I guess that was an epic fail.
There is of course no word of any of this on the district’s website. They might have a new Superintendent, but some things never change. This district has always tried to keep parents in the dark. The SAUSD Trustees are also famously tight-lipped.
The last time this came up, in 2009, the O.C. Register predicted a loss of $11 million in state funding.
Three of the current SAUSD Trustees are up for reelection in November, including Roman Reyna, Jose Hernandez and Rob Richardson. Perhaps this time the teachers’ union (the Santa Ana Educators Association) and the district will allow candidate debates. That didn’t happen last time. The union, as usual, endorsed the incumbents in 2010. They didn’t even interview the challengers.
The SAUSD Trustees do not list their contact information on the SAUSD website, so here is how you can contact them:
- Rob Richardson – The president of the SAUSD board. He is the assistant to the Orange County CEO as well. rob.richardson@earth
link.net and rob.richardson@ocgov .com
- Roman A. Reyna – email@example.com. Also call him at (714) 865-9118 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jose Alfredo Hernandez – The SAUSD board’s vice president. JoseAlfredo@1JAHLaw.com. (714) 568-4529.
- John Palacio – email@example.com
- Audrey Noji – The clerk of the SAUSD board. You can call her at 909-274-4505 or click here to send her an email at her workplace.