August 28, 2017
Pajaro Valley USD Pushes Back Against Grand Jury Report on Transparency
August 22, 2017 | By Nicholas Ibarra |  
EXCERPT:   SANTA CRUZ.  The Pajaro Valley Unified School District pushed back against  a highly critical grand jury report  deriding the district's transparency with its use of Measure L funds in  a response released Friday
    The June report described the Citizen's Oversight Committee, tasked with overseeing the district's use of the $150 million bond funding, as "mostly ineffective." It placed blame on the district for providing the seven-member volunteer committee with what it called inadequate information and training.
    The district's board of trustees objected to those findings in the required response released by the grand jury on Friday, insisting oversight committee members receives clear and detailed information about bond expenditures.
    The only point on which the two parties agreed was the grand jury's finding that bond reporting could be greatly improved with the planned implementation of new accounting and business software. The district concurred, adding that the new software was fully implemented in April. ...
    The head of the Citizen's Oversight Committee also took issue with the report, calling it out of date and a "whitewash."
    "What the grand jury found was true two years ago," committee chairman Bill Beecher said, echoing similar comments in June. "What the grand jury did not report on were all of the changes that have been made since then." 
     Rocco Chappie, then foreman of the civil grand jury, had insisted that the report was based entirely on an investigation conducted over the previous year and that the report reflected the most up-to-date information. ...
Legislative Update: SB 341 - CBOC Member Terms
Governor Brown Vetoes Majority
July 18, 2017 | By Lee Barnathan |
EXCERPT:   A bill co-sponsored by State Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley) and Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) passed with a supermajority in both houses, only to be vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
     There is no indication that the houses will override the veto, despite having more than enough votes to do so.
     Senate Bill 341, which doubles the number of two-year terms that a member of a local school bond citizens' oversight committee may serve- from three to six consecutive - passed 34-0 in the Senate on Mar. 30 and 74-0 in the Assembly on June 29, only to be vetoed by Brown on July 17. ...
   In vetoing the bill, Brown wrote, "This bill is a statewide solution to a limited problem. Although a few school districts cite difficulty (in) recruiting members to serve on their bond oversight committee(s), this bill could create fewer opportunities for community involvement statewide. This is contrary to the goal of the bond oversight committee, which is to ensure that taxpayers have the opportunity to provide proper oversight of these funds." ...
Court Sides With District Employee Who Balked at Order to Purge Emails
July 25, 2017 | By Ashly McGlone 
EXCERPT:   A fired school district IT director who objected to orders to wipe out the email archive system was rightfully awarded over $1 million by a jury in 2015, an appellate court decided this month.    
    Elaine Allyn accused the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District of wrongful termination in 2012, and  a jury unanimously awarded her  $1.05 million for lost income and $148,000 in damages in 2015.
    "Obviously, I am happy with the outcome of the appellate court. I think that it vindicates me," said Allyn, who has spent the last couple years working for a private company. "I just really hope that the district lets this be the end and that they accept the outcome and we can move on with our lives. ... I am shocked it has been five and a half years. It's been a long road."...
    The loss is just one of several in recent years litigated by  prolific schools attorney  Dan Shinoff, whose San Diego firm has received preferential treatment by the schools JPA.   ...
    San Diegans for Open Government recently claimed San Diego Unified School District would run afoul of the law if it proceeded with similar  plans to quickly purge all district emails older than 6 months without a board vote or public discussion. San Diego Unified staff halted that plan, and will propose a one-year email retention to the school board Tuesday night, according to the  meeting agenda. San Diego Unified staff claim exorbitant email storage costs are motivating the change.
    Allyn said Fallbrook school leaders wanted to delete district emails in 2011 following news of investigations at the nearby Poway Unified School District involving its bonds, and a probe into contractor relationships at South County schools districts, including the  Sweetwater Union High School District.
    At trial, Allyn testified business chief Ray Proctor said at a summer 2011 cabinet meeting, "we needed to make sure our house was clean," according to the appellate court decision. ...
In This Issue
PVUSD Pushes Back On Grand Jury Report
Gov. Brown Vetoes SB 341 - CBOC Member Terms
Court Sides with Employee Who Balked at Order to Purge Emails
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ISSUE 114 - July 11, 2017
- State Puts Fiscal Oversight over Alum Rock Schools  
- State Superintendent Political Ties with Alum Rock Contractor

- Mello Roos Property Tax
Lacks Oversight
- The Untold Story Behind the Sweetwater Schools Scandal
- Alum Rock Bond Review
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- Field Turf & 1,000 lbs Glue
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- Alum Rock, Non-existent Construction?
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- Little Hoover Commission Report Flaws in Oversight
- Little Hoover Commission Report -  San Diego USD 
- San Dieguito UHSD Cancels Contracts -  Gov Brown Wants to Selling Bonds
- WCCUSD Tough Choices as Bond Money Runs Out
- Gov. Brown  Can $9 Billion Bond Can be Divvied Up Equitably
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To promote school district accountability by improving the training and resources available to California's Proposition 39 School Bond Oversight Committees and educating the state legislature, local school boards and the public about the oversight and reporting powers these Citizens' Bond Oversight Committees (CBOCs) have, and to advocate on a state level, where appropriate, on issues of common concern to all CBOCs.    

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