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Update: Friday, June 19

Majority of Board of Education, out to lunch…  
This past Monday’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting was quite the experience. If you hung in for the full four hour meeting, we commend you. It was almost like being in a live version of the “Tale of Two Cities”. There is just so much to unpack, we’ll try to render it down.

There were close to 200 comments sent into the Board of Education’s Secretary to read aloud. It was hard to tell which comments were meant for “items listed on the agenda” and “items not listed on the agenda”. It appears the two were mixed together. How it was determined which comments were read was also unclear. We do know that comments from Senator Lena Gonzalez S.D. 33, Long Beach City Council-members Jeannine Pearce, Rex Richardson and School Board candidate (District 2) Erik Miller were not read.

At first, the Board was hesitant to allow an extension of time for public comment. Right now they limit public comment to 30 minutes for items “listed on the agenda” and 30 minutes for “items not listed on the agenda”. Dr. Juan Benitez requested more time for public speaking and after some pearl-clutching, his colleagues reluctantly agreed to extend the public comment by 30 minutes. Then a debate ensued over whether they should reduce the amount of time from 3 minutes to 2 minutes so more comments could be read. Let us frame this for you… People took the time to write and practice a public speech that would be within the limited time of 3 minutes. Then the District parsed their comments down to 2 minutes, leading to many disjointed and fragmented commentaries.

Please let us opine here for a minute... LBUSD is one of the FEW districts that start their meetings at 5:00 p.m. BOE meetings used to be on Tuesdays. They were moved to Wednesdays, allegedly, because they were conflicting with Long Beach City Council meetings that are also held on Tuesdays. A 5:00 start time does not allow parents, students and LBUSD staff members to engage their elected leaders. Most people are just getting off of work at 5:00 p.m. To limit public comment on any item to just 30 minutes is absurd, particularly during a pandemic. Elected leaders should be advocating for more time and access for their constituents. Again, Dr. Juan Benitez suggested to his colleagues that they should hear all of the comments, but we suppose that might cut into dinner or bed time for some BOE members.

The two hours of commentary could be mainly broken up into two groups, there’s always the outlier.
1) Concerns about institutional bias, inequity and racism in LBUSD. Speaker after speaker compelled the District to take a hard look at how it was or wasn’t addressing the many social issues that have led to weeks of protests. You might have heard about these protests.

“The lady protest too much, methinks” ~ William Shakespeare
Many of the Board of Education members including Executive Staff couldn’t help themselves. Apparently, the protests earlier in the day at the District officedidn’t have any effect either. Instead of simply agreeing that NOW is the time for reflection and listening, a childlike defensiveness was proffered. Strange, just the other week the City of Long Beach proposed and unanimously accepted a “Framework for Reconciliation in Long Beach”. The two key components of the city’s reconciliation are to “acknowledge the existence and longstanding impacts of systemic racism in our America and in Long Beach”, and “listen to community members’ accounts and experiences of inequity and harm caused by racial injustice”. We know the pandemic has turned everything upside down, but last time we checked, LBUSD was located in Long Beach, right? Dr. Juan Benitez suggested bringing a similar “framework” to LBUSD, but sadly he couldn’t get a second board member to agree and get the item on a future BOE agenda. Quick civics lesson. It takes two votes to move an item to be placed on a BOE agenda. It take a majority of BOE members (3) to approve it. Right now the Board is rubber stamping Executive Staff recommendations and proposals on a 4 to 1 ratio. Hopefully that will change this December, stay tuned.

2) The next batch of concerns had to do with the incoming superintendent’s compensation package. Most were aghast at the lofty pay raise and the message it sends to the community, let alone the employees of LBUSD. There were a few that supported the increase, including commentary from former board of education member John McGinnis. This was the same board member who (allegedly) was the driving party behind the attack on our health benefits back in 2011. Mr. McGinnis felt that Jill’s raise was too paltry. He felt that she should be paid $1 more than the highest paid soup in California = $500,001.00? By his reasoning we need to gut employee health benefits (allegedly), but when it comes to the compensation package of the next superintendent, money should be no reason for objection. And he wonders why TALB never endorsed him?

Funny how the mantra is “Long Beach, the BEST urban School District in America”. If you repeat it enough times, it must be true. Yet, with that line of thinking, why would we need to look at how other Districts pay their superintendents? Aren’t we one of the 6 best school districts in the world already? Why change upper management salaries now?

Some questions you may want to consider asking the Board of Education:
1) Will you consider a Framework for Reconciliation in LBUSD?
2) Will you be more engaged with your constituents? We’ve heard scuttlebutt of additional meetings being added over the summer, but the current online Board of Education meetings list, shows the next meeting is July 20th. More than a month from now. After that, the next meeting scheduled is August 19th.
3) What happened to all the comments sent into to the Board of Education meeting that were not read? Will you make them publicly available?
4) Will you extend time for public comment?

Dr. Felton Williams
Board of Education President – email – fwilliams@lbschools.net

Dr. Juan Benitez
Board of Education Vice President – email – JBenitez1@lbschools.net

Megan Kerr
Board of Education Member – email – mmkerr@lbschools.net

Diana Craighead
Board of Education Member – email – dcraighead@lbschools.net

Jon Meyer
Board of Education Member – email – CJMeyer@lbschools.net

To send a comment in to be read by the Board of Education secretary, Leticia Rodriguez, at the next school board meeting. Type up a quick comment. Read it aloud and time yourself. Your comments must be under 3 minutes (and maybe under two minutes if they cut public comment time) – that’s all the time you’ll get – once Chris Steinhauser’s timer goes off, Leticia will stop reading it.

Typically there are two opportunities to address the Board of Education.

1) You can make public comment on items listed on the agenda.
2) You can make public comment on items that are not listed on the agenda = Framework for Reconciliation in Long Beach, Superintendent pay raise, promotions, etc.

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the public session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to  open.session.agenda.comment@lbschools.net

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the closed session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to closed.session.public.comment@lbschools.net


LCFF money from school sites swept by Central Office.
In the last round of economic tumult (think 2008-2012) Central Office pulled back funds that were given to the sites to be spent on students at the discretion of site leadership and staff. The euphemism then and now is being called “swept”. Any LCFF funds that your site was depending on using for student programs for 2020-21 are now being, shall we say, stolen, and brought back to Central Office for their own discretionary use. Maybe they need to come up with some more scratch for pay raises and promotions of upper management? We don’t know, that’s just the point. We don’t know.

 

 

 


U.S. Public Education in Crisis

1.      State-by-State Data on Budget Shortfalls & HEROES Act Funding
States all across the country are facing devastating budget cuts because of the pandemic and the resulting recession. NEA has just released comprehensive, state-by-state data showing the projected state budget shortfalls, the potential loss of education jobs, and the education relief funding approved by the US House of Representatives in the HEROES Act. Click here – https://neahq-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/tisrael_nea_org/ERy_1DN1yXVGsseJ_u9ZZBsB3abch1xdjxzFARY9aJumtA?e=SZwKfI – to see specifically what passage of the HEROES Act would mean for your state (also attached). These numbers can help you in engaging local leaders, members and field staff in mobilizing to demand action by the US Senate to avoid massive job losses in your schools.

2.      New “Click-to-Call” Link for Members to Demand Action from their US Senators
As the campaign to demand federal relief funding for our schools shifts to the US Senate, NEA has brought up a new link (www.nea.org/covidcall)where any member can simply input their contact info, get briefed on talking points and then be connected to their US Senators office to share their stories on what will happen if the Senate does not provide $175 billion in funding to avoid massive budget cuts to our schools. Please push this link out to your local leaders, members and staff and urge them to call their Senators!

3.      Latest State-by-State Report on Emails Sent to Members of Congress Demanding Action
For the latest state-by-state tallies on the number of letters members have sent to Congress demanding COVID19 emergency relief funding, click here: https://neahq-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/tisrael_nea_org/ET_zW-HT4g1KlHGEbPqfCEAB-2NavHFsiueKLCysYBu7Sw?e=EswIi5 .

Members can still sent emails to Congress by going to www.nea.org/covidaction.

4.     Health & Safety Guidance on Re-Opening Schools

All Hands on Deck: Initial Guidance Regarding Reopening Public Schools can be found at https://educatingthroughcrisis.org/meeting-students-and-families-needs/guidance-for-reopening-schools-covid/. This is a public resource and can be shared with parent groups, allies and district administrators.


Honest – Direct – Input
Over the next 3 weeks your elected TALB officers will be calling members to have a conversation surrounding the reopening of schools. We will be channeling your feedback to the Bargaining Team to work on a new Memorandum of Understanding for the fall. If you would like to email your elected representative directly –
President – Dr. Christine Kelly – ckelly@talb.org
Vice-President – Peder Larsen – plarsen@talb.org
Treasurer – Susan Hubbs – shubbs@talb.org
Secretary – John Solomon – jsolomon@talb.org
CDC | Head Start Director – Melody Henry – mhenry@talb.org
Minority – At – Large Director – Erin Mendez – emendez@talb.org
Cabrillo Elementary Area Director – James Dowding – jdowding@talb.org

Area Schools: Birney E.S., Chavez E.S., Edison E.S., Lafayette E.S., Robinson K-8, TRC & Washington M.S.
Cabrillo Secondary Area Director – Bernice Banares – bbanares@talb.org
Area Schools: Cabrillo H.S., EPHS, Garfield E.S., Hudson K-8, Muir K-8, Reid H.S., Stephens M.S., & Webster E.S.
Jordan Elementary Area Director – Darlene Dunn – ddunn@talb.org

Area Schools: Addams E.S., Dooley E.S., Grant E.S. Hughes M.S., Lindsey M.S., Longfellow E.S., & Los Cerritos E.S.
Jordan Secondary Area Director – Susan Garcia – sgarcia@talb.org
Area Schools: CAMS H.S., Hamilton M.S., Jordan H.S., Powell K-8, & Starr-King E.S.
Lakewood Elementary Area Director – Florinda Palma-Ramos – framos@talb.org
Area Schools: Barton E.S., Cleveland E.S., Gompers K-8, Harte E.S., Holmes E.S., Lindbergh M.S., McKinley E.S., & Riley E.S.
Lakewood Secondary Area Director – Ingrid Fuelleman-Ramos – iframos@talb.org
Area Schools: Bancroft M.S., Henry E.S., Hoover M.S., Lakewood H.S., Library Services, MacArthur E.S., McBride E.S., Twain E.S. & Madison E.S.
Millikan Elementary Area Director – Lorita Greer-Brown – lgreer-brown@talb.org
Area Schools: Prisk E.S., Bixby E.S., Buffum Pre-K, Emerson E.S., Stanford M.S., Browning H.S.
Millikan Secondary Area Director – Yvonne Jensen – yjanssen@talb.org
Area Schools: Millikan H.S., Burcham E.S., Carver E.S., Cubberley K-8, Marshall M.S., Newcomb K-8
Poly Elementary Area Director – Marion Nguli – mnguli@talb.org
Area Schools: Alvarado E.S., Oropeza E.S., Lincoln E.S., Nelson M.S., Roosevelt E.S., Signal Hill E.S., Smith E.S., The Willows, & Whittier E.S.
Poly Secondary Area Director – Paloma Kato – pkato@talb.org
Area Schools: Poly H.S., Franklin M.S., Poly PAAL H.S., Renaissance H.S., & Stevenson E.S.
Wilson Elementary Area Director – Robin Creason – rcreason@talb.org
Area Schools: Avalon K-12, Bryant E.S., Burbank E.S., Fremont E.S., Jefferson M.S., Herrera E.S., Mann E.S., & Willard E.S.
Wilson Secondary Area Director – Glenda Culbertson – gculbertson@talb.org
Area Schools: Gant E.S., Sato H.S., Kettering E.S., Lowell E.S., Naples E.S., Rogers M.S., Tincher K-8, Wilson H.S. The District


TALB continues to be inundated, daily, with hundreds of emails from community groups, parents and students. The good news is our phone lines are opening up and you will get a quicker turnaround on inquiries by calling in 562-426-6433.

The TALB office is open for regular business. At this time we are only allowing members to enter the facility and are requiring face masks be worn. Before showing up, please call the office to make an appointment. 562-426-6433

Many lbschools.net email addresses are now being spammed from parent organizers, demanding schools reopen September 1, as if everything is just hunky-dory. We’ve spoken to LBUSD executive staff and hopefully the lbschools.net addresses can be adjusted to filter out these unsolicited emails. We’ve also encouraged the District to make a statement to ALL employees that the reopening of schools will be driven by the Health Department, not public pressure. Sure, COVID-19 does not appear to affect  healthy children, however many of our students have health conditions which puts them at greater risk. Let’s not forget about the adults who are going to be asked to be working on the front-line with exposure to COVID-19. How many lives are we willing to risk? And what about the parents and grandparents who may be exposed when their children return from school?

There are too many questions and risks to NOT take this global pandemic seriously.

TALB will be working throughout the summer to get you up-to-date information on this evolving crisis.

The plan is to have a weekly E-Update every Friday with a “roundup” of the weeks hot topics. Be safe. Be well.

UNITED WE STAND | DIVIDED WE FALL

Update: Friday, June 12, 2020

We know things have been very different this school year 2019-20. The sense of joy and accomplishment we usually feel after finishing out another school year, just doesn’t feel the same.

The trials and tribulations of being directed to gut your classroom of any indication that it is a place of learning. Our classrooms are normally adorned with symbols, ideograms and decorations (often at a teacher’s own expense) to encourage our students. Research consistently shows children are safest at school. There is always an adult making sure they are safe, fed and heard. We are all working hard to bring some sense of normalcy back into the classroom. It will happen, but the virtue of patience is surely testing us. 

Rest & Relaxation!

With varying states, counties and jurisdictions limiting travel and social gatherings, it is hard to say what will be available for the purposes of rejuvenation and a hard reboot. Let’s not forget about our high risk population and those of us with compromised immune systems, they don’t have a choice but to stay home. If your only time off is a “staycation” respite this summer, please do a deep dive. 

Anxiety will continue to be palpable.

Public health is still the key factor in whether we open “brick and mortar” schools on September 1st. If a “second wave” of infection overwhelms the health care system, it is unlikely LBUSD will reopen. It is also possible that schools will reopen, but it won’t look like any school you’ve worked at before. The parameters on how a school can operate during a global pandemic with no cure or vaccine on the horizon, is still shrouded in mystery. We would be hard pressed to give any definitive answers on what schools will look like. If that wasn’t bad enough, without a cure or a vaccine for COVID-19, a “second wave” of infection could happen at anytime, raising the prospect of ALL of us having to go back to online learning. We encourage everyone to assess their own physical and mental health. Engage your family and your physician. What would another year of what you just experienced for 3 months do to you?

There were many of you who took lemons and  made lemonade out of online learning opportunities.

We need to hear from all of you! Your experiences and suggestions on how to move forward in this brave new world. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Currently there is an “Advisory Panel” that is meeting with “stakeholders”. If the past indicates anything for the future, advisory panels are just that, advisory. We can’t stake too many hopes on an advisory committee while we figure out how we are going to “work” in this new environment. We need a new labor agreement that takes this public health crisis seriously. Yes, most of us would like to go back to our physical schools, but it must be SAFE for students and those providing student services. 


Honest – Direct – Input

Over the next 3 weeks your elected TALB officers will be calling members to have a conversation surrounding the reopening of schools. We will be channeling your feedback to the Bargaining Team to work on a new Memorandum of Understanding for the fall. If you would like to email your elected representative directly – 

President – Dr. Christine Kelly – ckelly@talb.org
Vice-President – Peder Larsen – plarsen@talb.org
Treasurer – Susan Hubbs – shubbs@talb.org
Secretary – John Solomon – jsolomon@talb.org
CDC | Head Start Director – Melody Henry – mhenry@talb.org
Minority – At – Large Director – Erin Mendez – emendez@talb.org
Cabrillo Elementary Area Director – James Dowding – jdowding@talb.org
Area Schools: Birney E.S., Chavez E.S., Edison E.S., Lafayette E.S., Robinson K-8, TRC & Washington M.S.
Cabrillo Secondary Area Director – Bernice Banares – bbanares@talb.org
Area Schools: Cabrillo H.S., EPHS, Garfield E.S., Hudson K-8, Muir K-8, Reid H.S., Stephens M.S., & Webster E.S.
Jordan Elementary Area Director – Darlene Dunn – ddunn@talb.org
Area Schools: Addams E.S., Dooley E.S., Grant E.S. Hughes M.S., Lindsey M.S., Longfellow E.S., & Los Cerritos E.S.
Jordan Secondary Area Director – Susan Garcia – sgarcia@talb.org
Area Schools: CAMS H.S., Hamilton M.S., Jordan H.S., Powell K-8, & Starr-King E.S.
Lakewood Elementary Area Director – Florinda Palma-Ramos – framos@talb.org
Area Schools: Barton E.S., Cleveland E.S., Gompers K-8, Harte E.S., Holmes E.S., Lindbergh M.S., McKinley E.S., & Riley E.S.
Lakewood Secondary Area Director – Ingrid Fuelleman-Ramos – iframos@talb.org
Area Schools: Bancroft M.S., Henry E.S., Hoover M.S., Lakewood H.S., Library Services, MacArthur E.S., McBride E.S., Twain E.S. & Madison E.S.
Millikan Elementary Area Director – Lorita Greer-Brown – lgreer-brown@talb.org
Area Schools: Prisk E.S., Bixby E.S., Buffum Pre-K, Emerson E.S., Stanford M.S., Browning H.S.
Millikan Secondary Area Director – Yvonne Jensen – yjanssen@talb.org
Area Schools: Millikan H.S., Burcham E.S., Carver E.S., Cubberley K-8, Marshall M.S., Newcomb K-8
Poly Elementary Area Director – Marion Nguli – mnguli@talb.org
Area Schools: Alvarado E.S., Oropeza E.S., Lincoln E.S., Nelson M.S., Roosevelt E.S., Signal Hill E.S., Smith E.S., The Willows, & Whittier E.S.
Poly Secondary Area Director – Paloma Kato – pkato@talb.org
Area Schools: Poly H.S., Franklin M.S., Poly PAAL H.S., Renaissance H.S., & Stevenson E.S.
Wilson Elementary Area Director – Robin Creason – rcreason@talb.org
Area Schools: Avalon K-12, Bryant E.S., Burbank E.S., Fremont E.S., Jefferson M.S., Herrera E.S., Mann E.S., & Willard E.S.
Wilson Secondary Area Director – Glenda Culbertson – gculbertson@talb.org
Area Schools: Gant E.S., Sato H.S., Kettering E.S., Lowell E.S., Naples E.S., Rogers M.S., Tincher K-8, Wilson H.S. The District


LBUSD Survey on teaching druthers… The District will be sending out a survey asking for input on what your plans are for 2020-21. The District is attempting to determine how comfortable you are returning to a “brick & mortar” school. Whether you may have health related issues that may preclude you from returning to a “brick & mortar” school. Please check your lbschools.net email address for this important survey. The survey may also have been texted to your cell phone.


CA State Budget – Education cuts?  Right now a budget is being built in Sacramento, for the 2020-21 fiscal year, starting July 1st. This budget is relying heavily on assistance from the Federal Government and must be passed by June 15th. The Federal government has not even approached the HEROES act, which would provide one time funding for public education. Congress doesn’t plan on helping in time – if at all. 


Board of Education Meeting on Monday, June 15th @ 5:00 p.m. 

The Board of Education will discuss and adopt a budget for the 2020-21 school year. However, this budget, like the State budget is predicated on fishy numbers. It is highly probable that the State & LBUSD budget will have to be adjusted in August after the final receipts for last tax year 2019 have been tabulated. Currently, the District is stating it is needing to cut approximately $72 million ($72,000,000.00) for the next school year 2020-21. 
The CBFO for LBUSD, Yumi Takahashi, will present a budget on Monday. The Board of Education Agenda, Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding for the District is projected to be $663.3 million, a decrease of $71.8 million from 2019-20. The budget also assumes a 0% cost of living adjustment for the two succeeding years. LCFF funding is projected to be $646.1 million for 2021-22 and $633.2 million for 2022-23. Revenue projections include an approximate 2% reduction (1,400 students) of enrollment annually. These estimates may change if enrollment differs materially when school reopens in the fall.

In layman’s terms, the District is spitballing what their revenue will be for the next 3 years. They don’t know how many kids will return September 1st but their guessing it will be about 1,400 less students. The District is also not so subtly suggesting there will be NO raises for anyone for the next 3 years. 

Could that possibly be why there has been so much outrage over a 20% raise for one employee? Does that clear up why there are concerns about filling vacant positions when we don’t know what our budget will really be or just how many students will show up?

Stay tuned. Please join us on Monday, June 15th @ 5:00 p.m. on LBUSD YouTube channel to see the discussion on the budget and the Board of Education’s action. CLICK HERE


We received quite a bit of feedback from our last E-Update “$100,000.00 RAISE for Jill Baker”
The comments were all over the map.

TO BE CLEAR
This is not an attack on Jill Baker.
This is not a gender equity issue. 

Even the mayor of Long Beach, Robert Garcia, “liked” our post – Of course last time we checked, he’s making about $150,000.00 a year as the mayor and serves roughly 500,000 people. 

School Board Members had some interesting responses:

A Board of Education Member was a bit peeved that we posted their “personal email address”. I guess they glossed over the part where we stated employees were being conscripted to use their “personal cell phones, personal computers, and their homes” during this crisis. This is the type of attitude we’ve heard from some managers, “at least you are getting paid”. At this point the lines have been blurred on what is “personal” working for LBUSD. However, point taken, we will post their lbschools.net email addresses moving forward. Of course, will they check that account or will staff filter it for them?

Another interesting Board of Education Member comment was about cuts that were recently made. Somehow eliminating other people’s jobs justifies exorbitant pay raises and filling vacant upper management positions? 

Then management came to Jill’s rescue by distorting the issue-


This is an economic crisis issue.

Employees will receive no raises for 2019-20. The Federal Reserve – Revising its forecasts for the first time since December, the Fed predicted the economy will contract by 6.5% in 2020, marking its worst performance since the end of World War II, and unemployment will end the year at 9.3%.

We are heading into the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. It is hard to imagine a quick economic recovery, which could mean employees may have to not only forgo raises for 2019-20, but also 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23. That is IF there is a “V shaped” recovery. Why should one employee receive a 20% raise when the rest of us will have to do with what we are making for years to come? And will the District turn around and ask for pay cuts = furlough days? Will our Health Benefits come under attack to subsidize management positions and salaries?

Last Tuesday, June 2nd, Assistant Superintendent Tiffany Brown was promoted to Jill Baker’s old job = Deputy Superintendent. This was made with no State Budget and no District budget. We like Tiffany. In fact, we think our Executive Director would look good in one of her fancy wigs. Our concerns surround the need for a Deputy Superintendent. We are projected to lose another 10,000-15,000 students in the next 5-7 years, during the worse economic contraction in over a century. Was the Deputy Superintendent position open for interviews? What will Tiffany’s compensation package be? The same as Jill’s current employment contract? Who gets to decide what’s an appropriate compensation package?

Interesting how this has become an equity issue. Speaking of equity, why are the two top slots in LBUSD filled by Caucasians? LBUSD has about a 12% Caucasian student population. There are people of color on the executive staff. Were they not considered? Could they not apply? Who is making these decisions? 

AGAIN, to be clear. This is NOT AN ATTACK on people. It is questioning policy. How can we be spending money when we don’t know how many students we’ll be serving let alone how much money we will get from the State?

Please continue to inform and engage the Board of Education on their behavior. Please let them know about what their priorities should be for the 2020-21 school year. 

Dr. Felton Williams – Board of Education President – email – fwilliams@lbschools.net

Dr. Juan Benitez= Board of Education Vice President – email – JBenitez1@lbschools.net

Megan Kerr – Board of Education Member – email – mmkerr@lbschools.net

Diana Craighead – Board of Education Member – email – dcraighead@lbschools.net

Jon Meyer – Board of Education Member – email – CJMeyer@lbschools.net

To send a comment in to be read by the Board of Education secretary, Leticia Rodriguez, at the next school board meeting, Monday, June 15th @ 5:00 p.m. Type up a quick comment. Read it aloud and time yourself. Your comments must be under 3 minutes – that’s all the time you’ll get – once Chris Steinhauser’s timer goes off, Leticia will stop reading it. 

Typically there are two opportunities to address the Board of Education.

1) You can make public comment on items listed on the agenda.
2) You can make public comment on items that are not listed on the agenda = pay raises, promotions, etc.

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the public session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to  open.session.agenda.comment@lbschools.net

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the closed session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to closed.session.public.comment@lbschools.net


Some thoughts on equity from our TALB Bargaining Chair
Corrin Hickey, Lakewood H.S. Teacher – email – CHickey@lbschools.net 

WHAT IS $100,000.00 TO LBUSD?
We are in a fiscal crisis.  The district will be deficit spending this year and for the foreseeable future.  This means LBUSD will be spending more money than the funding received.  There are no proposed raises for any employment groups.  The state of California, our source of funding, went from a $6 billion surplus in January to a $54 billion shortfall in May.  Every penny spent in our schools will be scrutinized for several years to come.
In light of this, what is $100,000.00?

  • Over 50,000 free breakfasts or 37,000 lunches when over 50% of our students need free/reduced meals.
  • Over 400 Chromebooks when thousands were needed for distribution during campus closures.
  • At least 1,400 textbooks when our social studies textbooks are 15-18 years old. 
  • 1,000 employee $100.00 Office Depot gift cards to spend on student supplies. 

This is not about gender equity -this is prioritizing one employee’s ego over the needs of LBUSD students and staff.
Isn’t the $50,000 raise that comes with the promotion enough?


Moving on…

TALB has been inundated, daily, with hundreds of emails from community groups, parents and students. The good news is our phone lines are opening up and you might get a quicker turnaround on inquiries by calling in 562-426-6433.

The TALB office is reopening on Monday, June 15th for regular business. At this time we are only allowing members to enter the facility and are requiring face masks be worn. Before showing up, please call the office to make an appointment. 562-426-6433

Many lbschools.net email addresses are now being spammed from parent organizers, demanding schools reopen September 1, as if everything is just hunky-dory. We’ve spoken to LBUSD executive staff and hopefully the lbschools.net addresses can be adjusted to filter out these unsolicited emails. We’ve also encouraged the District to make a statement to ALL employees that the reopening of schools will be driven by the Health Department, not public pressure. Sure, COVID-19 does not appear to affect healthy children, however many of our students have health conditions which puts them at greater risk. Let’s not forget about the adults who are going to be asked to be working on the front-line with exposure to COVID-19. How many lives are we willing to risk? And what about the parents and grandparents who may be exposed when their children return from school?

There are too many questions and risks to NOT take this global pandemic seriously.

TALB will be working throughout the summer to get you up-to-date information on this evolving crisis. 

The plan is to have a weekly E-Update every Friday with a “roundup” of the weeks hot topics. Be safe. Be well.

UNITED WE STAND | DIVIDED WE FALL

 

Board of Education Madness


$100,000.00 raise for new superintendent Jill Baker over her current salary!


20% increase in compensation from previous superintendent’s salary!


New deputy superintendent and administrative promotions!


Words cannot truly express our collective outrage.
How can the Board of Education be so obtuse?


LBUSD rank and file employees have had their cell phones, personal computers, and their homes conscripted to continue providing online learning opportunities for students. What has the Board of Education offered for working 10-12 hour days? NOTHING!

How many jobs = student programs will be slashed to provide these outrageous raises and promotions?

The Board of Education represents the institutional inequity in this country. “All means All”? Just a talking point! The push back, somehow this is a gender equity issue. What was wrong with accepting the current male superintendent’s (with over 18 years of experience) compensation package? 

Why would Jill miss the opportunity to show some graciousness? Thank you for entrusting me with the Long Beach Unified School District, given the current global pandemic, economic uncertainty and social unrest I will gladly accept my predecessor’s compensation package. When better economic times present themselves, I will take a raise along with all the employees that make this District work. That was too much to ask for?

And if we lose 10-15 thousand students due to unemployment and social unrest, leaving families no choice but to move out of the district, is the Board of Education going to look at what is “equitable” to a superintendent and adjust compensation? Of course not. $348,000.00 will be Jill’s base salary and any raises WE get, we’re pretty sure will be tacked on.

We have no idea how many students will show up on September 1st. We have no idea what the State budget will end up being, but by all means lets hand out extravagant raises and promotions.

Shame on you Dr. Felton Williams for voting Yes on Jill’s raise and administrator promotions!
Board of Education President – email – friendsoffeltonwilliams@gmail.com 

Shame on you Megan Kerr for voting Yes on Jill’s raise and administrator promotions!
Board of Education Member – email – megmckerr@gmail.com 

Shame on you Diana Craighead for voting Yes on Jill’s raise and administrator promotions!
Board of Education Member – email – craigheadd@aol.com 

Shame on you Jon Meyer for voting Yes on Jill’s raise and administrator promotions!
Board of Education Member – email – meyerjs25@icloud.com 

Thank you Dr. Juan Benitez for being the ONE adult in the room and NOT agreeing to this preposterous salary increase and administrator promotions during a global pandemic, an economy in dire straits and social unrest.
Please send your appreciation and support to Dr. Juan Benitez –  email benitez.lbschools@gmail.com 


The next Board of Education meeting is Monday, June 15th @ 5:00 p.m.
WE NEED YOU!

We encourage our members AND community members to send in their concerns regarding the Board of Education’s actions. The agenda will be posted on Thursday or Friday of next week here: 

https://www.lbschools.net/Departments/Board_of_Education/agenda-minutes.cfm

To send a comment in to be read by the Board of Education secretary, Leticia Rodriguez, at the next school board meeting. Type up a quick comment. Read it aloud and time yourself. Your comments must be under 3 minutes – that’s all the time you’ll get – once Chris Steinhauser’s timer goes off, Leticia will stop reading it. 

Typically there are two opportunities to address the Board of Education.

1) You can make public comment on items listed on the agenda.
2) You can make public comment on items that are not listed on the agenda = pay raises, promotions, etc.

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the public session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to  open.session.agenda.comment@lbschools.net

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the closed session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to closed.session.public.comment@lbschools.net

WE must use our voices and speak up. If we remain silent, we are complicit.

Update: Tuesday, June 2 – Board of Education Meeting Tonight!

 

Tonight at 5:00 p.m. the Board of Education will meet. Please look at the Agenda.

When we checked the online version of the BOE agenda on Friday, Dr. Jill Baker’s lavish raise appeared to be an action item. We suppose the social unrest might have given some pause on handing out a generous raise to one employee. Timing and optics just might be of concern. Today, her “employment contract” no longer appears on the agenda. Ultimately, the Board will have to vote on Jill’s compensation package, maybe this is just kicking the can down the road and she still expects to be paid $348,000.00 a year plus additional benefits; car allowance, expense accounts, etc. We’ll keep you posted. Please contact your Board of Education Members and give them your thoughts on this matter.

Dr. Felton Williams – Board of Education President – email – friendsoffeltonwilliams@gmail.com
Dr. Juan Benitez – Board of Education Vice President – email – benitez.lbschools@gmail.com
Megan Kerr – Board of Education Member – email – megmckerr@gmail.com
Diana Craighead – Board of Education Member – email – craigheadd@aol.com
Jon Meyer – Board of Education Member – email – meyerjs25@icloud.com 

New Deputy Superintendents?
It is hard to believe, but there will be more administrative assignments tonight. The current Deputy Superintendent positions will be vacated by Ruth Ashley’s retirement and Dr. Jill Baker’s promotion. What moral compass will be used to promote another administrator in a time of financial crisis is unknown at this time. We do know that it is hard to imagine justification for Deputy Superintendents in a District losing 2,000-2,400 students a year. We are not the LBUSD back in 2005 with almost 100,000 students. Why do we need all of these layers of administration? 

We know this is hard. We know this painful. The civil unrest and economic crisis is breaking our hearts. However, there are people in power who sometimes think “never let a good crisis go to waste”. We need to be watching. We need to stay vigilant for our students and our very profession.

Please watch what the District is doing. The meeting is tonight at 5:00 p.m. The link is here    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCLuZlIIyFg

OR  LBUSD YouTube Channel –  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZNx43GNGg5VUPWF3L7l8ZQ?view_as=subscriber

May, 2020 Update Archive

April, 2020 Update Archive

March, 2020 Update Archive