School Board Meeting - Feb 17, 2009

I attended the school board meeting to discuss recommendations by the Budget Advisory Committee. It was a well attended meeting... Just p...

I attended the school board meeting to discuss recommendations by the Budget Advisory Committee.

It was a well attended meeting...

menifee school board
Just prior to the meeting getting underway, I spoke with board member Randall Freeman. He said that despite the budget problems we're having here in Menifee Union, the situation is actually a lot better than in neighboring districts, and gave credit to Assistant Superintendent Gil Compton for keeping Menifee in better financial health. I asked Freeman how things are doing in the school district he teaches in (Val Verde), and he said they've cut several teaching positions, and he's not certain he'll have a job.

The meeting was cut short after Superintendent Callaway read her letter to the Board that state legislators were close to passing a budget, and that we should wait to see what this budget entails before making any decisions.

The board heard some public comments, and then adjourned only 30 minutes into the meeting. They'll reconvene in a public meeting on Tuesday, February 24th at 6:00p.m. as Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary to entertain recommendations.


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  1. The board did not make an decisions at the meeting. Due to legislation being on the verge of a final vote they decided to hold out. However, the board did listen to anyone who was willing to speak. Each speaker was given 3 minutes (this is standard).

    The MTA spoke asking the board to hold off and cutting class size reduction and laying off teachers for at least a year.

    Four other people spoke with a general message to we need to stay united as a community as well as pointing out ramifications of cutting class size reduction.

    The board also agreed that the Budget Advisory Committee would present next week.

    The board will meet at the District office at 4:30 on Tuesday, February 24th.

    The board will also hold another open forum the same day, Tuesday, February 24th at 6:00p.m. as Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary.

    I would encourage everyone to attend the meeting at Callie Kirkpatrick... let your voice be heard!

  2. I wish everyone would stop with all of the rumors about the class size reduction... Everyone wants to talk about it but has not gotten the real hard facts on this topic. The district and BAC is not even talking about eleminating CSR completly, the only thing mentioned is that they might go to 23:1 or 25:1... So many parents and teachers are under the wrong impression... I really wish everyone really understood what is taking place.... The teachers want the district to hold off on cuts till next year which would only hurt more people in the future including the KIDS..... Supposedly the kids are first in this but that is just an excuse for employees not to loose their jobs or get a cut in pay.... The teachers and their union really arent thinking about the kids they are only thinking about themselves....3 additional kids in the class really wouldnt make a huge difference if it is good teacher... Isnt that all we have in Menifee??? GOOD TEACHERS right???? Well then why are they worried... Oh wait the ones that are upset about the increase in the class size are the teachers that suck and really arent good teachers anyways...

  3. I have taught high school for 10 years and I would love to have less than 30 kids in any of my classes. If you are a good teacher you can teach any kid in any environment.

  4. Here is a question..

    A couple of years ago Menifee USD began plans to buy Paloma Valley HS from Perris Union School District. The cost was somewhere near 95 million dollars. My question is has Menifee USD started collecting that money from their reserves and general fund to make this happen and if so, couldn't they use some of that money to help pay the deficit?

    also has the district thought at all about delaying the opening of the new Middle School?

  5. It DOES matter how many kids are in the classroom. It may not make any difference to a teacher who lectures most of the time, but to manage cooperative learning (more engaging and active learning), you need smaller classes or you get chaos.

    I think that if you are a "good teacher" you realize the impact that class size has on your effectiveness. It's not an excuse, it's a reality. After about 25 kids, you lose the personal attention and anything other than sitting in rows copying down notes from the teacher's lecture is chaos!

    If the budget is such a problem, why not cut at the top? Administration needs to bear the burden too.

  6. For those of you who don't know a pay cut was proposed... this cut included ALL employees (including those in the DO), but it is the union who will not talk about a pay cut (or I'm sorry at this time is being directed from CTA to stay away from these kinds of negotiations).

    There are teachers who know larger class size affect the learning of our students, there are also teachers who would rather take a pay cut then have students lose the learning environments they have know. Their are also teacher who care about more then themselves and in addition to wanting to save class size reduction want to save their fellow teachers from collecting unemployment- if their is any left after the state makes their lay offs.

    Remember we need to be coming together and looking out for everyone involved... the children and our coworkers.

  7. I think that the idea of a pay cut across the board would be a good start. At least that would save teachers' jobs, keep smaller classes, and not sacrifice important support staff positions.

    The union needs to loosen their grip on the education system. I get that they are there to protect the teacher's interests, not necessarily the kids, but come on...

    The education system has become a monopoly where the public is prisoner to the union's whim. I pay my taxes to give my child an education. I cannot afford private school. I am stuck with what I can do myself and what the public school system can offer. And I'm not the only parent in that position. We are all in this together and we need to work together to make the best of what we have available.

    Let the district make the best decisions that they can with regard to ALL interests. Either that or find a new way to educate kids. There are lots of options out there...maybe introducing a little competition in the mix would get the district to stand up for what's best for kids.

  8. My understanding is that the union would be open to a pay cut after our district superintendent steps forward and offers a cut in her pay...

  9. "I have taught high school for 10 years and I would love to have less than 30 kids in any of my classes. If you are a good teacher you can teach any kid in any environment."

    How long do you have the same 30 students in your class? 2 hours max if you are on a block schedule? What if you had those same 30 for the whole day? What if, your 30 students didn't know how to read and write?

    Our young students require a huge amount of one-on-one, small group time to help them become grade level readers and writers. A class size of 20 helps make that a reality. Any "good teacher" knows that.



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