FFFF supports causes that promote intelligent, responsible and accountable government in Fullerton and Orange County
Category: Fullerton School Board
The Fullerton School District is governed by an elected board of five trustees: Hilda Sugarman, Beverly Berryman, Ellen Ballard, Minard Duncan and Lynn Thornley.
This group currently provides cover for something called The Fullerton Collaborative and is known for forcing parents to by overpriced laptops to avoid having their kids sent to other schools by the educrats.
Anti Measure K activist Tony Bushala has lodged a formal request to OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer to investigate whether Fullerton Joint Union High School personnel illegally campaigned for the March 3rd bond effort.
According to State law, it is impermissible to expend public resources on behalf of an election. It’s a crime. Public agencies do it all the time, of course, and generally do it with impunity. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s flagrant. Yet rarely does anybody challenge the behavior. But Mr. Bushala has. Below is a facsimile of an e-mail he sent to Spitzer today.
FFFF has already noted the school district personnel intimately involved in the K scam, and the idea that no district resources were used in the campaign is laughable. The District has already been caught using graduation tickets to bribe kids into “volunteering” for the campaign. Likewise school fences were used for pro-K banners. It’s easily conceivable that the people listed in the campaign reports used District communication networks and even physical space to try to foist K on the taxpayers.
Well, good luck Tony in your endeavor. You’ve already helped save home owners hundreds of million on the K and J grabs.
By now you Friends are well aware of the flaming crash and burn known as Yes on K – the $300,000,000 Fullerton Joint Union High School bond grab that was hammered at the March 3rd polls. Yes, we know about the scam: the last minute approval, the deceit and flim-flam, the illegal use of public facilities and personnel to foist this bureaucratic-inspired, taxpayer funded joyride on the public.
Maybe the worst offense by the educrats and their pals who worked behind the curtain for Measure K was the way in which the legal campaign reporting requirements were mysteriously dodged – no records of the Yes on K campaign were to be found on either the Secretary of State’s website, or on the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ pages. How come? We’ll never know because those in charge of such things don’t care and know they are shielded by a system that tolerates it.
But that omission spurred a complaint by anti-K activist Tony Bushala, whose complaint produced, finally, an actual record by the Yes On K Committee. Now we finally get to know who funded this dumpster fire, who organized it, and who profited by it.
First, let’s examine the names of the contributors. You’ll notice that there aren’t very many. And please note that there are are no citizens listed. None. Just parasites of the educrational system: architects and engineers, all. People who have been cajoled, sweet talked, coaxed into giving money – lots of money – to the cause.
Something called Ghataode Barron Architects got stuck for an amazing 50 grand. Let’s remember that name, folks. Another happy contributor was pjhm, a lower case sucker looking to make bank on our dime. And there’s an architectural consultant from North Carolina? Really? Our overpaid administrators had to work overtime to find somebody across the country , Little Diversified,that was dumb enough to be shaken down for a lost cause. Obviously, the Newport Beach office didn’t inform corporate about how little $49,900 buys you in Fullerton these days. Finally, let us not overlook PBK, another architectural operation that has gotten greasy-fat off over priced school construction.
Fortunately the campaign filings also reveal some of the educrats who got themselves reimbursed out of petty cash for “phone bank supplies,” whatever that means. Here they are:
Hmm. Will Mynster. Now where have I seen that name before? Oh, right Principle of Troys HS and an architect himself – an architect of illegal use of public school resources and property for campaign purposes. Renee Gates is an Assistant principal in the district. So is Dan Sage. So is Caroline llewellyn. So is Jacqueline Barry. So is Marvin Atkins. So is Marcene Guerro. So is Steve Garcia. So is Belinda Mountjoy. So is Katie Wright. So is Jill Davis. Adam Baily has graduated to full-fledged principal. Todd Butcher is the guy in charge of construction for the district – a guy whose livelihood depends on a flow of cash from these massive bonds. What these six-figure educrats were reimbursed for remains a secret, although one supposes that manning the phone bank as the campaign took on salt water required lots of pizza and red wine. The real point here, of course, is that the whole operation was run by well-paid public employees with a personal interest in the outcome – and no private citizens, at all.
And finally we come to the campaign consultant, who, along with some unnamed bond salesman shares the credit for this fiasco, although we should be thankful for their failure.. The name is Clifford Moss, who charged the District, er, um, the Committee over $30,000 in “fees,” not counting what they raked in as overhead on stuff like crummy mailers and yard signs. Clifford Moss. Hilariously Cliff’ got their ass handed them by a local guy, Tony Bushala, who didn’t cost anybody else anything. And it looks like Clifford Moss’s Laura Crotty, who somehow managed to spend fifty bucks on name tags, won’t be bragging about her 2018 100% campaign win rate anymore.
The Yes on K campaign blew over a hundred grand, outspent the opposition 10 to 1 and still lost in the “Education Community.” For those in the business that might suggest a rough road ahead – almost as bad as Fullerton’s notorious potholes. But the K Committee left almost 90 grand in the locker room, so don’t be surprised Dear Friends if they don’t try to slip this onto a future ballot at the end of some little-advertised board meeting.
I just took a quick tour of the required Form 460 campaign documents for the “committee” that is pushing for the $190,000,000 Fullerton Elementary School Bond measure on next Tuesday’s ballot. Sure enough, Schedule A, the contributor list for mid-January to mid-February was studded with district contractors, architects and other commercial hangers-on whose livelihood depends upon the goodwill of the administrators who no doubt illegally leaned on them to pony up. It was also turned in grossly incomplete and hopefully isn’t representative of the quality of homework turned in required by students in the district.
The list was also remarkable for the relatively few district employees willing to drop their proverbial dime to the cause a few dozen. Remember that the district has hundreds of employees who pull down $100,000 or more, annually. In some cases, a helluva lot more.
But what really caught my attention was Schedule G, a page of which I faithfully reproduce below:
Here we see an “independent agent” named Rob Coghlan dishing out $3500 for fundraising parties at a couple of downtown restaurants. How amusing. Well, hell, I like a good time as much as the next Irish-American, but really, $3500 to try to to raise money? Or maybe it was just to recognize previous camp follower donors. Who knows? But I do know that Robert Coghlan is an administrator in the school district. I sure hope he hasn’t been working during company time to lean on district contractors or employees for donations to his cause; or that maybe he really likes depositions.
Yes, Dear friends, it’s that time of the political season when we can count on the reappearance of our old pal, Barfman. Barfman has been making periodic visits to Fullerton ever since Roland’s Chi’s restaurant code violations finally caught up with him in 2010. Ever since then Barfman has returned to inform Fullerton taxpayers about particularly vomitous political campaigns. In this case it’s the horrendous and duplicitous Fullerton school bonds – Measures J and K that would cost the average homeowner $400 per year in new property taxes – even if the actual value of their houses goes down.
Kind Readers, every once in a while we receive an essay one of the Friends wishes to us to publish. In this instance Mr. George Jacobson has written a piece objecting to the proposed gigantic school bonds that the educrats at the FSD and FJUHS districts have smuggled onto the March ballot with virtually no public notice.
The vote on the second reading of the FSD Resolution that included language changes, was actually taken December 10th, a mere three days before the ballot opposition statement filing deadline and seven days after their Notice of Intent was filed. Well, let’s hear from Mr. Jacobson:
ZOMBIE SCHOOL BOND MEASURES TERRORIZE FULLERTON VOTERS
by George Jacobson
They are coming after us, with their ravenous appetites. Yes, the Fullerton Union High School District (FUHSD) has placed on the March 3rd Presidential Primary ballot a very large property tax bond measure that will require every homeowner and property owner in the district to pay $30 per $100,000 assessed valuation. So, for example, if you live in a house that has a $500,000 assessed valuation, you will pay an extra $150/year in taxes to the high school district. But wait, it gets worse. Not to be outdone, the Fullerton Elementary School District (FSD) is also placing on the March 3rd ballot their own very large property tax bond measure, which also will require every homeowner and property owner living within the elementary school district’s boundary to pay an additional $30 per $100,000 assessed valuation. What this means is that if both bond measures—Measure J and Measure K—pass, and if you live in a home that’s assessed at $500,000, you will pay an extra $300annually in property taxes. Both Measure J and Measure K are by far the most expensive local school bonds to ever appear on the ballot in Fullerton!
Just like zombies, these two school districts keep coming back for more and more of your money, not waiting for bonds that they already got passed to be paid off. As you may recall, in 2014 the high school district fooled enough people to get their $175 million Measure I bond measure passed (it just barely passed, receiving a 56% “yes” vote; anything less than 55% “yes” and the bond measure would have lost). You may also recall the mailers urging a “Yes” vote that voters received claimed that the $175 million would be spent on educating and training FUHSD students for “jobs for the 21st Century.”
Now, a 21st Century job is usually one that is thought to encompass the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. And, for one to be successful and employable for such occupations, one needs to possess a solid background and understanding of math. So, let’s look at how FUHSD math students have performed since the $175 million Measure I bond passed in 2014. At the end of each year 11th graders (juniors) in all the district’s schools are administered the state test—California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). In 2015 at Fullerton Union High School 63% of the juniors did NOT meet the CAASPP grade level standard for Math. One would think that by 2018 the $175 million of Measure I bond money should have produced significant improvement in these students’ math scores. But, in fact, the students did worse! In 2018 67% of FUHS students did NOT meet the CAASPP grade level standard in Math. Shockingly, this worsening trend was the same at all the other FUHSD schools. Buena Park High: 76% in 2015, then 79% in 2018 not meeting the grade level standard for Math. La Habra High: 58% in 2015, then 67% in 2018. Sonora High: 55% in 2015, then 58% in 2018. Sunny Hills High: 40% in 2015, then 45.5% in 2018.
How could such a horrible worsening of the math scores occur, given that FUHSD’s top priority in 2014 was supposedly to train and educate district students for jobs for the 21st Century? A clue can be found in looking at what the district really spent the $175 million on. It turns out that FUHSD actually spent most of the $175 million on the following: a new theater at La Habra High, new stadiums at La Habra HS, Buena Park HS, and Fullerton HS, new swimming pools at Sunny Hills HS and Troy HS, and a new gymnasium at Sonora High. An actor, football player, and swimmer is not a 21st Century job! As for FSD, its students’ test scores also make for grim reading. For example, in 2018 the median English/Language Arts score on the CAASPP test was 51% of FSD students NOT meeting the grade level standard, with 6 FSD schools reporting 60% or more of its students not meeting the CAASPP grade level standard for English/Language Arts.
The Measure I 2014 property tax bond costs homeowners $19 per $100,000 assessed valuation, and is not paid off until 2039. Already a person living in a home that’s assessed at $500,000 is paying $95 annually in property taxes to the high school district. And, this same homeowner is already paying annual property taxes on the elementary school district’s Measure CC bond, which passed in 2002 and isn’t paid off until 2027. Plus, this homeowner is already paying on not just one, but two bonds that the college district (North Orange County Community College District—NOCCCD) got passed. In 2002 NOCCCD’s $239 million Measure X bond passed, and in 2014 so did NOCCCD’s $574 million Measure J bond. These two NOCCCD bonds cost $120 annually for a homeowner living in a house assessed at $500,000. When one adds up all the taxes that one is currently paying to FUHSD, FSD, and NOCCCD, if the two new bond measures that will appear on the March 3rd ballot are passed, one living in a house assessed at $500,000 will pay just to these three education districts $590!
There was a time when school districts lived within their means. If they issued a bond, they would pay it off over the bond’s 25-year period, and only after the bond was paid off would the school board then consider asking the voters to approve a new bond proposal. Clearly, those days are over in Fullerton. If the high school and elementary school districts fool enough voters to get their latest huge property tax increase bonds approved this March 3rd, what is to stop them and the college district from coming back again in 4 or 5 years with yet another bond measure? Remember, zombies keep coming back for more.
Uh oh. Another sexcapade courtesy of the Fullerton Joint Unified High School District.
A few weeks ago we learned of the fun hijinks of FPD Pervy Peeping Policeman Jose Paez deployed on FJUHSD campuses as a “resource officer” which, if you think about it, if a pretty funny title for this creep.
Yesterday, news outlets reported on the playful doings of Ms. Kristin Lynn Boyle, a school psychologist at La Habra High. She is accused of rape in a classroom.
What is it with this sort of thing? Makes you wonder why the grossly overpaid educrats can’t run their operation just a little better. Did anybody bother giving the psychologist a psych test of her own? And how many of these minor transgressions will be successfully whitewashed and written off as bad luck for the organization?
For those of you paying attention to the story of Perv Cop Paez, I’ll direct your attention to some correspondence with the Fullerton Joint Union High School Board of Trustees from back in December 2018 when rumors of this story first came to light.
This is an email a friend of ours sent to each member of the school board:
I just heard a rumor that a school officer working with Fullerton police, officer Paez, had naked photos of at least one student on his phone. If the student is underage I understand a name not being released but how many victims are there and do I need to be worried about my children?
Should parents be concerned about their child being victimized?
Is this true and if so is the school district covering this up?
I would hope that you learned something about honesty after Lindgren molested students at Nicholas. Please let me know if these allegations have merit and that Fullerton isn’t in the habit of covering up sexual predators.
Only one member even bothered to respond and that was the following paltry message:
Thank you for the information, I will bring this up with our Superintendent tonight.
So there you have it folks. A Fullerton Police Officer, in his capacity of School Resource Officer, was allowed to roam campus unchecked, film up the skirts of teachers and students, delete his own Body Camera videos with no oversight and allegedly store child pornography on his (department issued?) phone and you the public get to know nothing.
The Fullerton High School Board of Trustees won’t even bother to respond to you if you’re concerned about such things as predatory officers abusing their power to peep on your daughters.
To this day the school board has remained mum, the police chief put out a press release extolling his own virtues and you can bet our useless council will pat the department on the back for the bare minimum that was accomplished here.
How many students were victims of Fullerton PD while on campus? How many have a #PaezMeToo story to tell? Are your kids safe from predators while on campus? You don’t have a right to know according to the Fullerton Joint Union High School Board and Fullerton Police Department.
One of the regular go to jokes on the old Get Smart show was when Don Adams, after being caught redhanded in a baldfaced lie, would follow up with “Would you believe…” while trying to walk back the lie to something the listener might accept.
Well, it turns out that this is exactly how school bond measures get drafted and, ultimately, passed.
The Fullerton School District has recently commissioned a Baseline Bond feasibility survey from True North Research (available here) and they have been calling residents to feel out their receptiveness to a $198 milion bond measure that, by their own admission, will increase property taxes by at least another $93 per year. What is interesting about the survey is not that the School District wants more money and isn’t shy about raising taxes to do it (they wouldn’t be a government agency otherwise) but that it is designed to determine what promises need to be made to get it. Hence the reason why the question about removing “dangerous asbestos” was included, even though A) asbestos is generally more dangerous when it is removed and B) the City of Fullerton supposedly removed the asbestos from their classrooms thirty five years ago according to this article in the LA Times archive.
The results of the Baseline Survey will be presented to the Fullerton School Board at their next meeting on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. The bond measure, if when it is ultimately approved by the School Board to go on the ballot will likely be drafted based on which spending priorities polled best, and for an amount that does not exceed the comfort level the polled residents expressed.
Of course the problem arises when the promises needed to pass a bond measure conflict with the what the school district wants to actually use the money in question for. And if the Fullerton School District is anything like the North Orange County Community College District or most other school districts, the solution is simple – spend it on what you wanted to anyway, and to hell with your promises.
I take no joy in calling out the Fullerton School District here. Unlike the City’s roads (which are a pothole strewn laughingstock), our schools are among the best in Orange County and a key reason many of us chose to live here (myself included). But well run or not, our schools suffer the same problems endemic to government – excess allocation to pay and benefits at the expense of infrastructure, administrative bloat and employee protections that make it too costly to fire bad employees – and until these problems are addressed bond measures designed to paper over the financial shortfalls will be a steady fixture at the ballot box. Along with a steady stream of promises nobody intends to fulfill.