Here is a brief summary of the specific actions taken by the Board on 6/24.


Approved unanimously except for 3 items pulled

  • *CI C.14 Crespi Fire Reconstruction Construction Management Services Award of Contract

A firm (McCarthy) complained to the board about being cheated out of the contract, because the district didn’t follow normal bidding procedures. Instead SGI Construction Management was chosen off of a “prequalified list” to take the contract, because that was the right thing to do. Of course, the fact that SGI is a key contributer to Charles Ramsey’s “bundle” for political contributions and good works had nothing to do with anything.

Approved unanimously

  • *CI C.18 Approval of Board Member to Attend California Latino School Boards Association

Al Kirkman thought that Antonio looks at himself too much as a sole representative of the Hispanic community and that this wasn’t a good time to be spending $750 on things like this anyway. Ramsey said this was a great way to spend money and that they should actually spend $2,000.

Motion to spend $750 approved unanimously

  • *CI C.19 Resolution 98-0809 in Support of 55% Parcel Tax Threshold

Al Kirkman said school districts should get sufficient trust to pass with 2/3 threshold. Superintendent said this was a way of supporting a CA School Board Association campaign.

Approved unanimously

  • * F.1 Public Hearing and Adoption of the 2009-10 Budget

The budget for next year was presented. It consists of a narrative front-end to the endless SACS (Standardized Account Code Structure) printouts for specific accounts. Nowhere to be found is a single itemized list for the “Fiscal Recovery Plan.”

One key component is the school closures already approved. Many closures were suspended based on City Council promises to pay the district the district $300K/year for elementary schools and $800K/year for secondary schools. It was never made clear whether further Board action would be required upon non-payment of the blackmail, I mean subsidy. There was some discussion of this by the board. Superintendent Harter asserted that Board Direction had spoken to him before and said school closures would be automatic. Thurmond was the most concerned about this, but his attempts to do something about this went nowhere.

One thing to keep in mind is that once a State revised budget is adopted, the board will have 45 days to adopt a new budget.

Approved 4-1 (Thurmond against)

  • Presentation, Public Hearing and Adoption of West Contra Costa Unified School District’s…
    • * F.2 Initial Bargaining Proposal to Public Employees, Local One for 2009-2010
    • * F.3 Initial Bargaining Proposal to School Supervisors Association for 2009-2010
    • * F.4 Initial Bargaining Proposal to United Teachers of Richmond for 2009-2010
    • * F.5 Initial Bargaining Proposal to West Contra Costa Administrator’s Association for 2009-2010

I’m lumping all these together because they were all given a very cursory treatment. Negotiations are still on-going for all of them. This is to fulfill a legal requirement to announce which general issues are open for each bargaining unit.

Approved 5-0 for each of 4

  • * F.6 Exploration of Local Funding Options

“Local Funding Options” for schools usually means parcel tax. We just passed a 5-year parcel tax, but this doesn’t legally prevent going for a bigger or longer one to replace or supplement the current one. To move forward, the board would appoint an ad hoc subcommittee and request proposals for a consultant as discussed at a previous meeting. There was no estimate of the cost of a consultant.

Jim Rogers (Richmond City Council) was there to talk about Richmond’s own initiative, Save Our Schools, to fund keeping open schools in Richmond that would normally be closed for cost reasons. As you can imagine, this could cause a lot of confusion. Instead of just dropping the idea, he talked about running it in June ’10 leaving a regular new WCCUSD parcel tax to run on Nov. ’10.

It was moved to make Medrano and Kronenberg a parcel tax subcommittee and request proposals for consultants.

Approved 5-0

  • * F.7 Resolution No. 96-0809: Authorization to Eliminate Classified Positions and Layoff

These layoffs are tied to the expiration of a “21st Century” grant for afterschool services. The schools affected are: Highland, King, Lake, Nystrom, and Lincoln.

Approved 3-1 (Thurmond opposed, Kronenberg absent)

  • * F.8 Resolution No. 97-0809: Resolution to Decrease the Number of Certificated Employees Due to a Reduction in Particular Kinds of Services

The actual PKS list was switched from the one included in the packet although it doesn’t change much. I thought it would include more since we are supposed to be in a budget crisis. This would have been a chance to eliminate the $100K GATE staffing or go up more on the class sizes for K-3. Instead this is a modest 11.66 FTE list that involves master schedule shrinkage, moving counselors on to (QUEIA), and more estimated attrition.

Approved 4-1 (Thurmond no)

  • * F.9 District Data Warehouse System and Services

As part of a suit settlement, Microsoft makes available a lot of money to spend on IT-related projects in schools under the Microsoft Settlement Voucher Program. WCCUSD wants to spend this on a typical enterprise-level centralizing project to combine all the “data.” This will cost “$500,915.00 for software, hardware, installation, and one year’s software maintenance cost.” Note the words “one year’s.” There was, of course, no mention at the meeting of how much or what funding source for the next years. We’ll see what happens with the project itself.

Approved 5-0

  • * F.10 Consolidation of Adult Education Administration

The District is grabbing $1M from Adult Ed as part of the “Tier III Shuffle.” So, to help Adult Ed. cope with being robbed, the District would like to consolidate facilities by closing the Serra site and consolidating administration and other site overhead. Projected savings: $85K for Adult Ed. (Strangely enough closing a small elementary is supposed to save $300K.)

Moving classes out of Serra would be inconvenient for some people. This lead to a lot of discussion compared to other bigger ticket items. Eventually, it was decided to not decide.
Tabled by unanimous consent

Consent Items Voted on as a Bloc

*CI C.1 Contracted Services
*CI C.2 Grants/Awards/Agreements
*CI C.3 Acceptance of Donations
*CI C.4 Approval of Fund-Raising Activities
*CI C.5 Summary of Payroll and Vendor Warrant Reports
*CI C.6 Agreements for Nonpublic, Nonsectarian School/Agency Services
*CI C.7 Community Budget Advisory Member Ratification
*CI C.8 Certificated Personnel Changes
*CI C.9 Ratification and Approval of Engineering Services Contracts
*CI C.10 Ratification and Approval of Negotiated Change Orders
*CI C.11 Approval of Architect Selection and Award of Contract for Coronado Elementary
*CI C.12 Coronado Elementary Fence & Gates Replacement Emergency Repair Program Contract
*CI C.13 Coronado Elementary Interior Windows, Abatement, Trim Emergency Repair Program
*CI C.15 Verde Elementary Sitework Playground Renovations Project Award of Contract
*CI C.16 School Consolidation Moving Services Contract Awards
*CI C.17 Revised Board Policy BP 6164.6 – Identification and Education Under Section 504