What’s Going On at SAUSD?

Santa Ana Schools accused of phantom classes.
Officials made false rosters, misused substitutes to qualify for class-reduction funds, teachers say. State vows to investigate.


The LATimes had this interesting piece today about Santa Ana Unified School District falsifying records to show smaller class sizes in order to get more money.  What the heck do these people think they’re doing.  The administratoors have some splainin to do and then the Board may have some firing to do.  And if they don’t take action maybe it’s time for another recall, this time of the entire Board.

Santa Ana Unified School District administrators created false class rosters and misused substitute teachers to qualify for state funding earmarked for small classes for elementary students, according to eight teachers, school documents and state officials.

At Washington Elementary School, for instance, documents reveal that school officials created a second-grade roster showing students in a class that didn’t exist. The phantom classroom diluted the number of second-graders in existing classrooms — allowing the average class size to fall below 20.5 and giving the district an additional $1,024 per student per year.

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  8 comments for “What’s Going On at SAUSD?

  1. March 29, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Oh Chris,

    Those were simple mistakes made by upper level admin type folks with PHD’s and huge salaries.

    Just like the same mistakes made at Remington ES last year in which absences were turned into tardies.

    Or the grading mistakes made at Saddleback SH where f’s were mitakenly turned into c’s.

    or the mistake where voters keep voting for the same old lazy board members named noji and richardson.

  2. Richard Rios
    March 29, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    The educators must be using that “new math”. Per Jack O’Connell “We make it real clear to schools that they need to make sure they have 20 students to a class.”

    Duran and district administrators said the teachers’ concerns were caused by misunderstanding how the class-size reduction program works and that teachers should have approached them with their fears.

    So, I am a little confused with that request considering the following statements in the report:

    1) Since the new district policy was enacted about a month ago, several Washington teachers said they had refused to sign the new rosters.

    2) A teachers union official, who has heard concerns about the altered rosters from teachers at four schools, said he requested legal justification from the district two weeks ago and had yet to receive an answer.

    And as for this quote:

    “In business, you can raise prices or increase sales,” said Donald Trigg, associate superintendent of business services. “Our only source of revenue is students.”

    Mr. Trigg is obviously not a businessman. There are two ways to meet budgets – increase revenues or decrease costs. Of course, decreasing costs may require salary adjustments, benifit changes, or decreasing job perks.

    I have read reports where Private Schools operate at a similar revenue per student and have small classrooms, quality teaching, and very respectable exit scores. And they don’t have the tax or government advantage a public school has.

    Perhaps we should run the school like a business. Identify the constraints (classroom size for example), project legal revenue, and align costs – actually that would be a great model for government in general.

    BTW, there is nothing wrong with having a Ph.D or an Ed.D. It just depends if you usefully apply it after you achieve it. Doesn’t appear to be the case here.

    Richard Rios

  3. March 30, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Private schools can pick and choose their students, elminating those with learning or discipline challenges

    Can, being the word to watch.

    Green Dot, for example, takes over an existing school, with the existing funds, with the existing students, learning & discipline challenges included, and turns them into responsible, productive, educated members of our society.

    Green Dot demands nothing more than excellence.

    It’s time our schools do the same.

  4. R Vix*n
    March 31, 2007 at 4:44 am

    This district’s common practice is to NOT return phone calls.

    What kind of “business” model is that? If responsible parties were required to return phone calls or face being terminated, I think you would see a HUGE improvement in how this district is run. That one simple thing would lend an element of accountability that is currently missing.

  5. JesMe
    March 31, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    I would like to comment on the two separate issues being discussed (and one other).

    Even if private schools or magnet schools choose not to be choosy over students, they DO exercise certain rights that regular public schools cannot enforce, such as family involvement and certain consequences for not living up to set expectations (such as involvement, behavior, etc). By the very nature of this, they attract a different group of families. Just the simple fact that families have to apply sets them apart from many at public schools who choose to take a hands off approach to their children’s education. Yes, there are these sorts of families at public school, too, but its a mix, not a majority.

    As far as the SAUSD problem, they started it last school year and it has been brought to the superintendent’s teacher cabinet since back then. Both superintendents were aware of the problem. Principals also took the issue of over crowded classrooms to their administrators all year last year and this year and were constantly told that being over 20:1 was OK as long as it averaged out in the end. Now the district talks about putting children first, but all they care about is the bottom line. They leave the classes over until March, cheating kids that need the attention more than ever, then doctor the problem by putting a bandaid on a broken leg.

    Many teachers are now wishing they would have never taken the 4% pay cut 2 years ago to bail the district out of its $30 million deficit…. They never learned their lesson. Even with falling enrollment, how could they end up another $15 million short less than 2 years later? This will turn into double the deficit because now a district official tells us to deal with the numbers since our district has decided not to apply for the 20:1 funs… of course, they don’t want to go to jail, so let the kids keep suffering instead of taking drastic measures.

    In recent years the district is so poor they look to cheat the teachers first, then the kids.

  6. JesMe
    March 31, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    One more tidbit.
    The same district administrators that are blaming the principals, saying we need to just live with bigger numbers and forget about 20:1 funding this year are the ones that told our principals to create those rosters by a certain date, with or without a real teacher… or else….

    I smell a den of rats!

  7. disgusted
    April 1, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Those principals are on their own. They need to grow a spine and do what a lot of harassed teachers have done and start speaking out against WHO told them to do these illegal activities. Sure, it will be painful at first because the cowards at the top thrive on retaliation. But the only way to break up this kind of corrupt club is one brick at a time.

    This smells like a Byfield or Machado plot. We’ll see with time who told the principals to do it when the principals decide that they’re done doing illegal things for the club.

  8. Not soon enough!
    April 10, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    What’s going on, in SAUSD?

    Corrupt district personnel

    Incompetent district administrators

    School Police Chief, with multiple sexual suits against him

    Incompetent Risk Management Dept.

    Board Members who are afraid to do their jobs

    Board Members who tolerate incompetents

    Board Members who take the lies told to them

    Are is the majority of the school board so afraid to ask and delegate strict and prudent directives. Why do they tolerate any manager like (Jim Miyashiro) to continue his employment after the suits.

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