Parent Cecilia Mendez spoke. Read it here.
Jenny Kuan, Mendez’s daughter, also spoke. She read this.
Bob Rossi: “I came to this meeting to offer kudos to Mr. Toliver. I came here to make comments on employee unrest I see in this district. I was really dismayed when I came to this meeting at 5 of 7 and not a seat left.” He said it was very hot. He said he and others were “treated like animals, like monkeys.” And closed session continued on to 7:30. “Have your dinner earlier or schedule the meetings later. Your catered dinners, I’m paying for. You work for me. Mr. Morales, you’re shining me on.” Morales: “No I think you’re very rude.” Rossi: “I named Cesar Chavez High School. I worked for this district for 25 years. Please, hold this meeting in a large capacity. Think about the people here.”
Maria Lopez (on Valenzuela): This item was pulled. The district has been considering merging it with Hong Kingston. “Leave Valenzuela alone. (When I put my son in Valenzuela) he is doing better. I know you guys are trying to save money. But it’s going to be hard for the teachers to pay attention to our kids so they can learn.”
Julie Giese, Nightingale teacher: She commended the board members who pulled Valenzuela off the agenda. She said items like Valenzuela and Action Learning Systems should not be on the consent agenda but they should be action items.
Amelia Gomez: She read a letter from her daughter who is in college. Her daughter attended Valenzuela and her daughter does not want it merged with Hong Kingston.
Marilyn Brown (with Deloris Foster by her side): She spoke of a food service worker. She said the new calendar will harm workers like that. She said, “I can’t defer any more money.” “She is a single mother with no spousal support. You’re going to put these people in harm’s way.” “We’re supposed to be here for the students.”
Gary Steven Chin: He spoke a teacher at Franklin who has been laid off from his small-learning community. “As an older teacher, I feel obligated to speak up for teachers who can help the students.” He said the teacher is Richard Glass. He said the teacher’s computer skills and knowledge benefit the students. “It would be a great loss to have him recruited by a charter school like many of our teachers have.”
Driver Rita Sivils gave the board a copy of this.
Russell Gray on the calendar: He said the new calendar is bad for students. He also said there is an economic problem with the calendar change. “It’s not a double-dipping issue. It’s something we’ve earned. Basically you’ve postponed our retirements. … It’s kind of sad we leave this for the new superintendent.”
Another teacher spoke of how the calendar change affects her and her husband. She said they currently have $750 a month deferred. With the change it will be $1,500 a month. She asked if the calendar was changed for SECA’s benefit, which has started later than the other schools in the district.
Earl Roider Jr.: He is a seventh-year teacher. “I love what I do. Teaching is the greatest job in the world.” But, of the payroll issue, “No matter how you massage, the bottom line is we are losing a month of employment in our careers. I can’t afford it. This is going to present a hardship for myself and many others.” He said he will have to take a part-time job to make up the difference. “I would ask you to do the responsible thing.”
Tracey Sittig, teacher: She said she has appealed many times to the board to slow down decision-making to avoid unintended consequences. “Putting aside several hundred more dollars a month so we can get the money back next July is a hardship.”
Ellen Old, STA president: “Thank you for paying us in July 2012 even though you plan on us not starting in August. But we get paid in 11 months. The 11th month is May. If we defer, we get a paycheck in June. The board has caused to happen is to require most of its employees to stretch an 11-month payroll over 13 months. You have disrupted the calendar. The effect is we don’t get a paycheck until August (2013). Eleven months pay to cover 13 months living. I want the district to pay starting in July 2013 regardless of when the 2013-14 calendar starts.”