Poway Unified School District Homework Policy 4th - Essay for you

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Poway Unified School District Homework Policy 4th

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Working at Poway Unified School District: Employee Reviews

Poway Unified School District Employee Reviews in United States

Early Childhood Development Supervisor (Current Employee) – San Diego, CA – December 15, 2015

My day starts as early as 5:00am and ends at 6:00. I oversee 14 sites and 19 programs. I travel 50% of the day observing programs and Instructional Assistants.
I learned to be flexible, manage time, and a great listener.
The hardest part about my job is getting staff to realize how valuable they are to parents and children.
What I enjoy most about my job is traveling to different preschool sites.

Seeing different preschool programs.

Not enough hours in the day.

Job Work/Life Balance

Poway is wonderful. The parents were involved, the management supported and assisted if needed

Preschool Teacher and Site Supervisor (Former Employee) – Poway, CA – September 9, 2015

I came in early for prep and stayed until after lunch. The aids were the best and the upper management were very involved and open to ideas. Loved it here. Hardest part was opening the center since it was my first. The most enjoyable was teaching.

Very busy, wearing many hats

Behavioral Intervention Instructional Assistant (Former Employee) – San Diego, CA – June 12, 2015

Very busy and sometimes chaotic work environment. Job title wears many hats and job duties seem to change day-to-day. Supervision varies depending on the personality of the supervisor and the principal at the school you are working at. Confusing and conflicting job duties/requirements, and very little independence/trust in order to complete job duties.
Must wear comfortable shoes due to being on your feet entire day. Must have a lot of energy in order to work with children in large school environment. Must have patience and must have a positive attitude even when day is confusing, chaotic and not going so well. The children's happiness and smiles are what guide you and make you enjoy your job.

Working with children, helping their day go well

Substitute Teacher/Student Teacher (Former Employee) – San Diego, CA – April 14, 2015

I have worked in many classrooms as a sub for this community and felt as if they we able to make me feel welcome with each new experience. Great support from administration at most schools. I did my student teaching at Schaol Creek and had extended stays and temporary positions with the many of the middle and high schools.

I did not get a chance to be hired as a full time year round teacher. It is hard to break in.

Hard to get a FT postion

My experience at Black Mountain Middle School was a valuable learning experience

Substitute Teacher (Former Employee) – Poway, CA – September 15, 2013

I came into the Special Day Classroom as a substitute teacher. The students were out of control behaviorally and needed structure and behavior modification. The challenge was a valuable learning experience for me and served me in later teaching situations.
The staff and administrators were very helpful and supportive. Especially knowing the challenge these students presented. Controlling behaviors and meeting the individual educational needs of students was the hardest part of the job. The most enjoyable part was accomplishing my goals of managing the classroom and having success with meeting needs of the students.

valuable professional experience

Computer Resource Assistant II (Former Employee) – Poway Unified School District – September 9, 2013

This was first computer job in the school district. I was in charge of my own computer lab. I love it. I got be creative and I got to help teachers and students using computer as a learn tool. I mainly help teach with their lesson plans on how to relate their lesson plans to the computer lab. I also maintain the computers in the lab. Everyone more inspect the computers and make sure they are working. I found a problem either hardware or software I would fix it myself or report it to have the computer serviced. Only about this job I didn't like, it was not full time. Only allowed to work 20 hours a week.

creative, fun, great teachers

Other articles

Lindsey Stewart v

10News Investigations
http://www.10news.com/investigations/9405962/detail.html


Poway's Special Ed Program
Dumping Ground For Kids?

Parents Say Program Deserves
Failing Grade

POSTED: June 21, 2006
UPDATED: July 17, 2006


POWAY, Calif. -- Westview High School is a relatively
new and shinning star in the Poway Unified School
District, which is known for its high standards and
excellent record of educating kids.

"We've got fantastic kids here, wonderfully dedicated
teachers. It's a system that I think works," associate
superintendent Dr. Kevin Skelly said.

This year, the California Department of Education
rated Westview High School and 31 other schools in
the district as excellent.

It also gave the district's special education program
high grades.But some parents told 10News that
Poway's special education program is a wasteland
where kids are dumped. They said it deserves a failing
grade, according to 10News.

Parents and students said the district doesn't know
what to do about kids who are not mentally disabled,
but who cannot learn in a regular classroom setting.

Jason Stewart is one of those kids who said they've
been left in the dark to fend for themselves.

"They didn't teach me anything. They didn't help me
out," he said.

A senior at Westview, Stewart should be graduating
this week with his friends, but he won't be.

"I see my friends going to college, and I can't even
graduate from high school. It's horrible," he said.

"Poway is finding in his 12th year (of education) that
my son has severe vision processing deficits that they
were responsible for finding way back in the first
grade," Jason's mother, Lindsey Stewart, said.

Jason wants to learn, but his mind has trouble
grasping what he sees. Instead, his brain scrambles to
process every sound he hears, making it difficult to to
focus in the classroom.

"I'm smart enough to know I shouldn't be in the special
ed class," he said.

But over the past 11 years Stewart has been shuffled
around from regular classes to special education
classes. He said it's made him even more confused
and depressed.

"I felt rejected by the other kids, because they said,
'Oh, he's a special ed kid,'" Stewart said.

At Black Mountain Middle School Stewart became
suicidal.

"I would just give up sometimes and feel like this is
pointless," he said.

And while the state gave PUSD rave reviews for
special education, the district has been suing students
whose parents don't want their children in the special
education program.

Lindsey Stewart took the fight all the way to the ninth
circuit court of appeals.

"There's actually three major law firms that are fighting
me," she said.

PUSD is fighting her with a vengeance by racking up
more than $400,000 in legal bills in the Stewart
case.But the legal battles don't end with Stewart.

Evalyn Smith's children and dozens of other students
have been sued or threatened with lawsuits by the
district, according to 10News.

"It blows my mind how they could sue a student to
force them into a special education class," Smith said.

Smith said the district has to stop lumping all students
together in a "one-size-fits-all" special education
program.

A total of 25 kids with "learning differences" are
involved in lawsuits with the district, 10News reported.

According to Skelly, that's not a lot. "To have 25
unhappy parents out of 3,000 -- that we have not been
able to resolve with -- I think is very good," Skelly said.

Parents and students said more people are afraid to
come forward because the district has a record of
retaliation.

"In my opinion we are retaliated against," Smith said.

Retaliation like lawsuits, orders to gavel down parents
at school board meetings to quiet them, and security
personnel following parents on campus.

District officials won't talk about any of the cases, but
said the problem stems from a lack of funding, not a
lack of caring.

"The federal government and the state government do
not give us enough money to meet the needs of
specialized students," Skelly said.

Some parents said they are turning to alternative
private schools and getting better results.

Channel 10 story
(below)

Was Tom Jensen
fired for
investigating this
matter?

Why has Marti Emerald
refused for many years to
investigate wrongdoing in
schools?

3:07-cv-01060-WQH-POR
Poway Unified School
District v. Stewart
William Q. Hayes,
presiding
Louisa S Porter, referral
Date filed: 06/11/2007
Date terminated:
10/17/2007 Date of last
filing: 11/21/2007

U.S. District Court
Southern District of
California (San Diego)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE
#:
3:07-cv-01060-WQH-POR

Poway Unified School
District v. Stewart
Assigned to: Judge
William Q. Hayes
Referred to: Magistrate
Judge Louisa S Porter
Case in other court:
USCA, 07-56670
Superior Court of San
Diego, Central, GIC
863832
Cause: 28:1441 Petition
for Removal
Date Filed: 06/11/2007
Date Terminated:
10/17/2007
Jury Demand: Both
Nature of Suit: 446 Civil
Rights: Americans with
Disabilities - Other
Jurisdiction: Federal
Question

Plaintiff
Poway Unified
School District
represented by
Penelope R Glover
Atkinson Andelson
Loya Ruud and
Romo
11440 West Bernardo
Court Suite 174
San Diego, CA 92127
(858)485-9526
Fax: (858)485-9412
pglover@aalrr.com
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
V.
Defendant
Lindsey Stewart
represented by Lindsey
Stewart
c/o Dan Stewart
PO Box 97
Poway, CA 92074
(858) 254-6495
PRO SE

Poway Unified School
v. Stewart

Roger T. Benitez,
presiding

Cathy Ann Bencivengo,
referral

Date filed: 04/20/2006
Date terminated:
04/28/2006 Date of last
filing: 09/29/2006

U.S. District Court
Southern District of
California (San Diego)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #:
3:06-cv-00908-BEN-CAB

Poway Unified
School v.
Stewart
Assigned to: Judge Roger
T. Benitez
Referred to: Magistrate
Judge Cathy Ann
Bencivengo
Demand: $0
Cause: 28:1441 Petition
for Removal
Date Filed: 04/20/2006
Date Terminated:
04/28/2006
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Nature of Suit: 440 Civil
Rights: Other
Jurisdiction: Federal
Question
Plaintiff

Poway Unified
School District
represented by
Penelope R Glover
Atkinson Andelson
Loya Ruud and Romo
11440 West Bernardo
Court
Suite 174
San Diego, CA 92127
(858)485-9526
Fax: (858)485-9412
Email: pglover@aalrr.com
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE
NOTICED

Defendant
Lindsey E Stewart
represented by Lindsey E
Stewart
9825 Caminito Cuadro
San Diego, CA 92129
(858)538-6166
PRO SE

Lindsey Stewart
v.
Poway Unified School District

The following was posted on the now-defunct
Schwablearning.org parent message board:

Parent shall pay District $1302.00
within 30 days of the issuance of
this decision as a consequence
of her bad faith. This order is
enforceable in the same manner
as a money judgment.

On: 5/18/07 at 12:08 PM

This message has been viewed 1219 times
and has 20 replies

Parent shall pay District $1302.00
within 30 days of the issuance of
this decision as a consequence
of her bad faith. This order is
enforceable in the same manner
as a money judgment.
http://www.documents.dgs.ca. gov/oah/seho_de
cisions/
2005080077.pdf
[For more about bad OAH decisions, see
Office of Administrative Hearings. ]

In obvious retaliation for her lawsuit
against the Poway Unified School
District, Shinoff went to court to
make this parent pay $2 per page for
faxing a court document.

Then the court asked this
question: did Poway and the
court have the right to turn a
limited civil case into an
unlimited civil case by
asking for and issuing a
$25,000 warrant for arrest on
the basis of much smaller
debt?

The Appeals Court
allowed Poway to
continue its efforts to
get blood from a woman
with no resources.

The debtor's hearing judge
agreed to a $25,000 warrant
for the arrest of parent
Lindsey Stewart when she
failed to appear.

Poway school district sold the
winning brief on the Internet
at $25 a copy.
The "winning" brief is no
longer for sale.

On August 11, 2005, the California
Special Education Hearing Office
granted the District's motion for
sanctions against Stewart for her
failure to notify it and SEHO in a timely
manner of her withdrawal of her
request for a hearing. SEHO issued an
order granting the District $3,091.25 in
sanctions and costs.

from Best Best and Krieger site:

SANCTION
POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT v. LINDSEY STEWART, No. D048901 (107
LRP 31437 (Cal. Ct. App. 6/06/07)
The Poway Unified School District can enforce its 2005 sanctions order it obtained
against parent Lindsey Stewart in an administrative proceeding. Since 1999,
Stewart has filed at least 10 unsuccessful administrative actions on her son's
behalf against the District. On August 11, 2005, the California Special Education
Hearing Office granted in part the District's motion in one of the actions for
sanctions against Stewart for her failure to notify it and SEHO in a timely manner of
her withdrawal of her request for a hearing. On August 31, SEHO issued an order
granting the District $3,091.25 in sanctions and costs. Stewart refused to pay.
After two hearings in May and June 2006, the court entered a judgment granting
the District's petition and ordering Stewart to pay the District $3,091.25 by June
16, 2006. Stewart also failed to appear at a debtor's examination in October 2006.

2008
The California Court of Appeal to Poway
School
District and its lawyers:
"Yes, you can have a parent
arrested for sending faxes."

A case of parent
abuse and retaliation
by Poway Unified
School District and
attorneys Daniel
Shinoff and Justin
Shinnefield

.SEHO Fait,
Director of McGeorge
School retaliated and
sanctioned parent in
the amount of
$3,091.25 for April
27,2005 Hearing
Dated that Parent
had a medical
certificate issued for
a medical emergency.
Nine subpoened
district employees
were scheduled for
hearing dated March
10th, 2005 and April
14,2005 but failed to
appear.

Transcripts of AALRR
motion on the March
10th,2005 Hearing
Date,before
Defendant Fait, to
deem Lindsey
Stewart a vexatious
litigant, and that in
order to go to
hearing, has to post a
security bond.

Records, and
transcripts, are
lodged in PUSD v.
Lindsey Stewart 07
CV1060, before
Judge Hayes.

Read the full story, of
PUSD and Superior Court
Judge issuing a $25,000
Bail, for the arrest of
parent. at a Due
Process Hearing Location,
at the PUSD.

It just so happens, that
Geren graduated from
McGeorge School of Law,
and Fait, and Geren
attacked parent. in
retaliation, and used the
Due Process to promote
defamation of character
. for the parent that
aggressively
advocates. against
attorney's in the IEP
process, that involves
conspiracy, tampering
with witnesses.

Please read how
AALRR and Emily
Shieh, worked
together concealing
records from parent
before Due Process
Hearings, in a memo,

concealing
records of
physical attack
against minor
son.

This document is found at
07 CV0971 Opposition in
Response to AALRR
Motion to Dismiss.

Read the financial
records, and memo
of five ways
attorney's
concealed records
during due
process.

Sent On: 10/05/07 at
09:10 PM

Asearchers posted a
4th Appellate Case
No. not known to the
community. What was
not stated is that
prior to PUSD seeking
attorney's fees in
SN05-00258, SEHO
Fait, and PUSD were
being sued in Federal
by Lindsey
Stewart.
.

[Maura Larkins' note:
Good point. The
matter stinks of
retaliation from top to
bottom.

[Maura Larkins NOTE:
I know from personal
experience that
Poway USD's lawyer
Daniel Shinoff
brazenly refuses to
produce documents,
even when it's clearly
established that he
has them. One of the
excuse in my case
was, "The paralegal
couldn't find them."

San Diego public
school boards should
be ashamed of the
dishonest and
wasteful channeling
of tax funds to
lawyers that goes by
the misnomer of "due
process."

From Schwab
Learning Message
Board


Subject: POWAY
UNIFIED SCHOOL
DISTRICT v.
LINDSEY
STEWART,

Tyler Chase Harper V

Tyler Chase Harper V. Poway Unified School District

Intro to Paralegal Studies
Case Brief

Tyler Chase Harper v. Poway Unified School District
445 F.3d 1166
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
April 20, 2006, as amended May 31, 2006

Facts:
Tyler Chase Harper, a high school sophomore, was sent to the principal’s office for violating the dress code. He was wearing a T-shirt which contained statements that disparaged the homosexual community. Chase filed suit in federal court claiming that the school violated his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion, as well as rights protected by the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses under the federal Constitution and the California Civil Code. Chase asked the court for a preliminary injunction and the school asked to dismiss the case. Both were denied. The Court dismissed all of Chase’s claims except the First Amendment claims because of the school‘s qualified immunity. Chase appealed the preliminary injunction decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Issue:

Whether forbidding a student in a public high school to wear a derogatory T-shirt violates his or her First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion. Holding: No
Reasoning:

In this case, Chase’s t-shirt impinges on homosexual classmates right to a education without being psychological or emotionally harassed by other students. As a result, Chase would not receive a preliminary injunction for freedom of speech because it is highly unlikely that that claim will have merit in district court. Lastly, Chase’s claim that the school violated his right to free exercise of religion and his rights protected by the establishment clause is without merit. The school did not violate his right to free exercise of religion because there is no evidence in the ruling to suggest the school burdened his ability to exercise his religion. The establishment clause doesn’t apply because the banning of the t-shirt was not religiously motivated.

Please sign up to read full document.

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Poway Unified School District departures raise question

What’s going on at Poway Unified schools?

In September, we suggested that the highly regarded Poway Unified School District had an arrogance problem and cautioned that community support for the district — dubbed “extraordinary” by Superintendent John Collins — might not last if school officials gave the public reasons to mistrust them like dismissing — and not discussing publicly — seemingly valid criticism of an education technology program.

It appears we misread what wouldn’t last. The school officials themselves aren’t sticking around.

Amid ongoing speculation that Collins may leave before his contract ends in 2017 came last week’s news that three top Poway Unified School District administrators will retire this summer. The revelation followed a school board meeting in which trustees raised questions about extra vacation and severance benefits in proposed one-year contracts for two associate superintendents.

Recently, the Union-Tribune reported that requests for documents under the California Public Records Act have increased so much that the district may hire someone to process the paperwork. The requests — which grew from a dozen between March 2014 and May 2015 to 37 between June 2015 and January — range from funding issues to administrative emails.

Is the district hiring a person to release information or restrict it? Even if we’re inclined to give officials the benefit of the doubt, that’s hard to say, but this isn’t: The public has a right to know what’s going on with the departures and the district.

Next editorial. Just how low can the PUC go?

Poway Unified to Pay Nearly 10 Times What it Borrowed: Report

Poway Unified to Pay Nearly 10 Times What it Borrowed: Report

New school, new library, new technology – just a few examples of the renovations and repairs made to Poway Unified School District’s 24 aging schools starting in 2001 under Proposition U.

To finish the job, Poway taxpayers passed Proposition C in 2008. Last year, as part of that bond, the district borrowed $105 million.

Poway Unified School District Faces Bond Financing

NBC 7 reporter Rory Devine discusses the implications of a North County school district having to pay back nearly $1 billion. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012)

It won’t begin paying it back until 20 years from now.

With interest, that $105 million loan will end up costing taxpayers almost $1 billion over 40 years, according to our media partner, Voice of San Diego.

So how did this happen? To convince taxpayers to pass the other bond measure, the district promised voters their property tax rate would not go up again.

With no new tax rate increase, the district had to do some creative financing. Instead of paying down debt every year for 20 or 30 years, as one would with a home mortgage, last year, the district cut a deal for a loan to be paid in the future.

The district won’t make any payments – not even interest-only payments – for 20 years, at which time the district will start making payments for the next twenty years. But, during the life of the 40 year loan, interest compounds, and the debt continues to increase.

The school superintendent John Collins and Board member Todd Gutschow say taxpayers need to look at the big picture. The two bonds together - Prop U and Prop C - allowed the district to complete $543 million worth of projects for a little more than $1 billion in interest.

“That one offering in isolation doesn’t look good,” Gutschow said. “But in the context of the whole program and the total value the taxpayers, we think it’s a good deal.”

He says the taxpayer will pay about three times the total value of the projects.

Voice of San Diego reporter Will Carless, however, points out that some of the $543 million value came through state grants; the district actually financed $377 million of that $543 million. The cost of borrowing that amount is still very high, he says.

Superintendent John Collins says without the bonds, there would have been no state funding; in addition, he says financing just the principal was not a bad deal.

He says the district avoided the inflation by building sooner rather than later, not to mention the fact that children are already benefiting from the construction and other additions to the district’s schools.

“If we made [our kids] wait twenty years until the tax rate would have supported that, where would they be now?” he asked.

On the other hand, County Treasurer and tax collector Dan McAllister wonders where those kids will be later when payment is due.

“It’s not just this generation, or the next generation, but probably two generations down the road,” McAllister said of the economic impact of the bond.

“We’re not saying this is going to end up an Armageddon situation, but potentially the risks are much greater with this kind of financing than what would be a more traditional way,” he added.

“If you had raised taxes in the beginning in order to have money coming in to be able to borrow in a normal way,” Carless said, “it could have ended up being much cheaper at the end of the day because you wouldn’t have had to have this crazy exotic financing.”

Here’s What Poway Unified Needs to Do to Move Forward - Times of San Diego

Times of San Diego Here’s What Poway Unified Needs to Do to Move Forward

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By Kimberley Beatty | Republished from Voice of San Diego

As a member of the Poway Unified School Board for almost four years, I have received many inquiries about the board’s decision to terminate Superintendent John Collins and initiate legal action to recover funds he improperly took. This was the culmination of two separate audits over the last several months.

While I am glad that these bad acts have come to light, improper actions have gone unquestioned for far too long by school board trustees who are charged with financial oversight. The responsibility for these bad acts lies squarely at the feet of school board members who failed to do their job.

Over a year ago, I wrote an op-ed about the board’s authority over the school district and its role overseeing the budget. I called out self-dealing, conflicts of interest, backroom deals and other improprieties by the superintendent and others. I received harsh criticism and remained unsupported by a board majority all too willing to remain in the comfortable position of supporting the status quo.

From the day I was sworn in, it was clear to me that proper business practices were absent. At that first meeting, our board was approving a multimillion-dollar bond issuance and no one could give me a straight answer about what it was going to cost. We were also given a presentation by the bond underwriter, whose interests lie with bond investors, not taxpayers, and with whom we are supposed to have an arms-length business relationship. But our facilities planning director often referred to them and the other financial consultants as “my finance team,” as if they were part of district staff.

Later that week, I was called into Collins’ office and told that I was being hostile with staff at the board meeting and made them feel as though I didn’t trust them.

Every attempt to require accountability was met with obstruction, derision and reprisals. This included my questioning of a $56 million construction contract that was buried in the board agenda with a group of routine items for approval. The contract was upped by $1.5 million just six weeks after approval, even though it had a guaranteed maximum rate. For three months, Collins ignored my request for an opinion on the legality of diverting millions of Mello Roos special property tax dollars for use in non-Mello Roos areas. When a reporter inquired. the district’s lawyer suddenly produced a legal opinion that was backdated three months.

My attempts to implement best business practices and competitive processes by doing away with no-bid contracts were stymied. After gaining board consensus to stop decades-long sole-source contracting for our bond underwriter and financial adviser, the district produced a request for qualifications that was so narrowly tailored that only one other private vendor qualified in each case.

Out of all of California, the only other financial adviser that happened to qualify was located eight miles down the road from our current financial adviser, Dolinka Group, whom we have used for two decades. I called out this rigged process, to no avail. I also expressed ongoing concerns about the many hats Dolinka Group wore and obvious conflicts of interest in overseeing every aspect of Community Facilities Districts Special Tax administration, and acting as both special tax consultant and financial Adviser for every bond transaction. In 2014, I was opposed to extending Dolinka Group’s contract as financial adviser and administrator of the community facilities districts because of continued conflicts of interest and lack of oversight. I wanted to start bringing some of this work in-house. Of course, staff stated that wasn’t feasible – and the rest of the board agreed. Recently, Voice of San Diego reported that in less than three years into its new five-year contract, Dolinka Group has charged over twice the contract limit .

In 2014, I was the lone vote against renewing the superintendent’s contract. Above all else, I insisted on integrity of the process. But that was not to be. The board had to get a new lawyer when its original attorney violated attorney-client privilege by sending my questions and concerns about the contract directly to the superintendent. Attorney Dan Shinoff, the district’s general counsel, was then assigned to represent the board in contract negotiations. It should have been clear to the rest of the board that even though he was supposed to be working in the interest of the school district, Shinoff was helping the superintendent. In fact, he inappropriately sent the board’s draft contract to the superintendent, and two weeks later Collins forwarded the contract to the board with changes. The resulting contract was very favorable to Collins. with a higher termination threshold and other benefits. My protests led to the removal of some, but not all of the changes. The “me too” clause – in which Collins was granted the same raises as management and teachers – remained.

Since the beginning, I found Shinoff’s actions highly troubling. My first encounter with him was February 2013 when the capital appreciation bond report was released. That evening, 30 minutes of a closed-session board meeting was spent with Shinoff and Collins spearheading an effort to stymie my desire to gain clarity on this issue. It was nothing short of a bullying session. The community has yet to be given honest answers as to what happened. In my opinion, that 24-page, $130,000 report was garbage .

Over a year ago, I proposed a new deputy business administrator position. This “strong deputy” would report directly to the board, in order to preserve lines of integrity and ensure unfiltered information. The need for this position was in recognition of a lack of proper business protocols. After less than two months on the job, I found out that our planning director, who was in charge of $2.5 billion in serviceable bond debt, had no oversight and no accountability. She did not report to our chief business officer and her office was several miles from the district office. She apparently reported directly to Collins, who had previously been the chief business officer himself. A chief business officer in a neighboring school district told me at the time, “when there is no oversight and no accountability, I have to suspect fraud.” It took months to get our board to even acknowledge this lack of oversight.

In addition to significant long-term bond debt and approximately $45 million collected each year in Mello Roos special property taxes, we have a $376 million operating budget. Yet we have no employee with an MBA or professional business experience, aside from on-the-job training. This should come as a shock, yet our board is aware of this.

In a continued effort to bring greater oversight to our frequent multimillion-dollar bond issuances, early last year I enlisted the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office to review a series of bond refinancings totaling $164 million. The county’s chief deputy treasurer formerly worked as a bond underwriter for a decade and had offered to provide their staff as a “value-added resource.” When I stated at our board meeting that I had arranged to meet with their office, our financial adviser immediately scheduled a meeting without notifying or including me. He also apparently never told the county he would be bringing our district’s planning director, whose behavior at that meeting was later described in a letter as “combative and confrontational.” I am told that was a softened description. As anticipated, their office concluded that costs of issuance were high.

In addition to moving forward with hiring a qualified business administrator, we must re-do the request for qualifications for bond financial advisers and underwriters and finally stop using the same vendors who gave this community a toxic capital appreciation bond. Once and for all, we owe our community a proper investigation into the billion-dollar bond.

After repeated attempts by Board Member Charles Sellers and myself to discontinue using the Shinoff law firm, it is time for my fellow board members to join in this action. If a $2 million settlement action against him, a data breach fiasco, self-serving legal memos, skyrocketing legal bills and restraining order attempts hidden from the board weren’t enough, what is?

While it is good that our board came together unanimously to take action, accountability is many years overdue. The root cause of systemic corruption in a public agency is an elected board unwilling to carry out its fiduciary charge of oversight.

While board members need to do a better job of carrying out their fiduciary duty, so too do other state agencies. When I was the sole voice calling for accountability, I should have been able to turn to outside agencies to report improper, corrupt or illegal actions. Yet a California School Board Association consultant told me to simply “trust” our lawyer. I told her our lawyer was part of the problem. I reached out to local and state officials, mostly to no avail. Some limited interventions were taken, such as preventing the superintendent from commandeering settlement negotiations. The state has abdicated its responsibility of oversight of local governmental bodies. While everyone supports “local control,” enforcing the law shouldn’t have to be dependent on a board majority’s will. When bad acts are left unchecked, they become accepted business practices.

Moving forward, if we can implement organizational efficiencies and significantly curtail the overuse of private consultants by hiring qualified personnel, I believe we can save close to 10 percent of our operating budget. That would mean about $30 million for smaller class sizes, arts, music, PE, libraries, robotics, sports, band, orchestra and everything else that amounts to a quality education. If we can show greater financial acumen and responsibility with property tax money dedicated to capital projects, then we can start rebuilding the community’s trust.

Kimberley Beatty is a member of the Poway Unified School Board. This commentary originally appeared in Voice of San Diego .

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