We need to make school system work

We need to make school system work

There are 133 comments on the Monterey County Herald story from Oct 7, 2010, titled We need to make school system work. In it, Monterey County Herald reports that:

There are several reasons people might want to vote against the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District's $110 million bond issue.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Monterey County Herald.

First Prev
of 7
Next Last
Mel

Pacific Grove, CA

#1 Oct 7, 2010
You are not going to make it work by pumping more money into it any more than you will cure a tumor by feeding it more blood.

Yet that is what Herald editors are advocating because that is what they want- suck 110 million dollars out of the veins of taxpayers to feed the bloated administrative tick that is occupying Pacific street.

Maybe the Herald just wants a 110 milllion dollar injection of cash into the local economy? Don't hold your breath- most of the contracts will go to out of town contractors.

And why don't you investigate why many of the contracts from the modernization effort were never properly "closed out" with the State Architect's office and the District had to cough up tens of thousands of dollars to a consultant firm to even make us eligible for any more state funds.

If you want to see a 110 million dollar comedy of errors-- driven by the arrogant incompetence of an over-compensated administrative staff= then vote for this bond.

If you think re-paving parking lots and widening doorjams will improve the education of your children then you will be in for a big surprise.

If you think the adults earning 105,000 to 185,000 a year for 222 days of work that are supposed to be managing our school facilities are capable stewards of our district's property, then go to a school site and look around.
The managerial capability in maintaining physical plant is 2 levels below my local Jack in the Box.

Instead of pumping this tax increase in the paper,the Herald should be investigating and reporting. Instead we get fluff and drivel.
MHS Parent

United States

#2 Oct 7, 2010
Mel wrote:
You are not going to make it work by pumping more money into it any more than you will cure a tumor by feeding it more blood.
Yet that is what Herald editors are advocating because that is what they want- suck 110 million dollars out of the veins of taxpayers to feed the bloated administrative tick that is occupying Pacific street.
Maybe the Herald just wants a 110 milllion dollar injection of cash into the local economy? Don't hold your breath- most of the contracts will go to out of town contractors.
And why don't you investigate why many of the contracts from the modernization effort were never properly "closed out" with the State Architect's office and the District had to cough up tens of thousands of dollars to a consultant firm to even make us eligible for any more state funds.
If you want to see a 110 million dollar comedy of errors-- driven by the arrogant incompetence of an over-compensated administrative staff= then vote for this bond.
If you think re-paving parking lots and widening doorjams will improve the education of your children then you will be in for a big surprise.
If you think the adults earning 105,000 to 185,000 a year for 222 days of work that are supposed to be managing our school facilities are capable stewards of our district's property, then go to a school site and look around.
The managerial capability in maintaining physical plant is 2 levels below my local Jack in the Box.
Instead of pumping this tax increase in the paper,the Herald should be investigating and reporting. Instead we get fluff and drivel.
VERY well put. I have already voted NO. Please do the same. Pethaps our next move should be recalling the school board, since they agreed to this exorbitant contract with the superintendent. Think about it the next time you have to pay for the school bus, make "donations", etc.
workerbee

Salinas, CA

#3 Oct 7, 2010
Mel wrote:
You are not going to make it work by pumping more money into it any more than you will cure a tumor by feeding it more blood.
Yet that is what Herald editors are advocating because that is what they want- suck 110 million dollars out of the veins of taxpayers to feed the bloated administrative tick that is occupying Pacific street.
Maybe the Herald just wants a 110 milllion dollar injection of cash into the local economy? Don't hold your breath- most of the contracts will go to out of town contractors.
And why don't you investigate why many of the contracts from the modernization effort were never properly "closed out" with the State Architect's office and the District had to cough up tens of thousands of dollars to a consultant firm to even make us eligible for any more state funds.
If you want to see a 110 million dollar comedy of errors-- driven by the arrogant incompetence of an over-compensated administrative staff= then vote for this bond.
If you think re-paving parking lots and widening doorjams will improve the education of your children then you will be in for a big surprise.
If you think the adults earning 105,000 to 185,000 a year for 222 days of work that are supposed to be managing our school facilities are capable stewards of our district's property, then go to a school site and look around.
The managerial capability in maintaining physical plant is 2 levels below my local Jack in the Box.
Instead of pumping this tax increase in the paper,the Herald should be investigating and reporting. Instead we get fluff and drivel.
Mel, You said it perfectly. If the Herald would check out why people are so against this administration it would find out there are very valid reasons. It is not sour grapes as some seem to claim. If the Herald just asked the employees of the District to ask how things are working, I sincerely believe they would change their minds about giving this administration 110 millions dollars. Secondly, at the City Council meeting, Dr Shepherd presented her power point presentation picturing a completely transformed School District. None of that can be done with 110 million dollars. She said the state may match the funds towards that 370 million project shown on her presentation. I didn't hear her say there was any guarantee the State would match the funds. Those are expensive drawings that have no relation to reality.
Dan Monterey

Chualar, CA

#4 Oct 7, 2010
I won't be voting to give mpusd more money until Monterey breaks away from the district. Mantenance should have been an on-going process, throwing them more money won't stop the mis-management. The district's current priorities are to help the lowest common denominator many of which are not even citizens. Until I see the district change their priorities they will not get any of my change.
SamIam

Carlsbad, CA

#5 Oct 7, 2010
110mil is a drop in the bucket when you look at the MPUSD master plan. Where are they going to get the rest of the money to do all the wonderful things they want to do? Yep, another bond measure. And if not that, then how are they going to pick and choose where that 110mil is allocated? My gut tells me that the majority of that money will be spent on the schools that are not meeting expectations and the rest of the schools will have to scrounge for the crumbs.

I want my children to have a top notch education, but I no longer believe that Measure P will provide that education.
Dan Monterey

Chualar, CA

#6 Oct 7, 2010
workerbee wrote:
<quoted text>
Mel, You said it perfectly. If the Herald would check out why people are so against this administration it would find out there are very valid reasons. It is not sour grapes as some seem to claim. If the Herald just asked the employees of the District to ask how things are working, I sincerely believe they would change their minds about giving this administration 110 millions dollars. Secondly, at the City Council meeting, Dr Shepherd presented her power point presentation picturing a completely transformed School District. None of that can be done with 110 million dollars. She said the state may match the funds towards that 370 million project shown on her presentation. I didn't hear her say there was any guarantee the State would match the funds. Those are expensive drawings that have no relation to reality.
I wonder how much the paid for these drawings?
Jim

Marina, CA

#7 Oct 7, 2010
MPUSD schools need leadership not more cash to spread around
Jim

Marina, CA

#8 Oct 7, 2010
And speaking of cash, I read the ex mayor's plea to pass the bond.

Does the public understand that his son's job is to manage facilities and facility projects and that the state modernization funds are drying up?
In other words, there will be nothing much to manage unless this bond goes through.

Passing the bond guarantees Jr a job through his retirement in a few years. Mr. Mayor has a horse in this race. He should have pointed this out in his letter that his son would be managing the projects. Better yet-- shouldn't the Herald have put that disclaimer at the bottom of his letter?

Just asking.
Harder Hallwood

Salinas, CA

#9 Oct 7, 2010
What about the students? No regard for their future, eh?(Nice to see the bitter extremists are out in force this morning.)
Michelle Ivan

Monterey, CA

#10 Oct 7, 2010
Have you looked at Monterey High's tennis courts??? What's the excuse there? Outside the district office no less.... have you looked at the parking lot that buckled right away and was never fixed? The money may also go to technology but what'll happen when it doesn't work - is there anyone there to fix it, to pay for someone to fix it? How about that "plastic" field?? Has that been cleaned at all since it was installed? How about the money going the joke that is "Credit Recovery" - please someone look closely at this program. Ask the children who recover their credits whether they have actually learned anything along the way? NO to the measure until there is someone in office who knows what to do with the money... please.
Edutopia

United States

#11 Oct 7, 2010
I think we can all agree that MPUSD is in an enormous mess. We can also agree that all the facilities need major improvements. While I would support a penny sales tax that EVERYBODY then had to pay, I do not support a bond measure. Depending on how many years it will take to repay the loan, we will have spent a ratio of 3 to 1 or more for 110 million! How is spending upwards of 400 million over the next 20 to 30 years good for our children and community? I still have not seen any detailed accounting of the 60 million spent during the last decade that was for facilities and facilities alone. PLEASE give me an explanation!
We could generate more money in a shorter length of time by a small sales tax increase.
Why as a homeowner, do I have to foot the bill for everybody elses child? There are thousands of people who rent but only the homeowners have to pay the tax! In order to make it equitable and palateble, a sales tax increase of 1 cent surely is the only fair and sensible way to look for more funds. As for matching funds from the State, exactly how can they match money if there is none at the state level to give away? Just about every school district in the State of California this year is trying to raise money with a bond measure. Do you think they will ALL get matching funds too?!
The master facilities plan at every school site is surely illegal. How can you promise every school a piece of the pie? It is just propoganda to tell kids they will get these improvements at their schools! It takes MPUSD months to fix a leaky toilet! False promises and unrealistic expectations will just cause more resentment and dissapointment across the board.
We need a real leader in the school district to step forward and take control and unfortunately we do not have anybody presently representing the district who is strong, honest, compassionate and competent.
Edutopia

United States

#12 Oct 7, 2010
Dan Monterey wrote:
<quoted text>
I wonder how much the paid for these drawings?
I believe the total cost from inception to defeat will have cost the District around 350,00 to 400,000 dollars. It was used for Architect "dream plans" consulting firms, PR campaign and other incidental monies. That money could have paid for quite a few improvements and been used in the classroom for teachers and students too!
Koban

Salinas, CA

#13 Oct 7, 2010
Even long time employees are jumping ship. The retirement list from last year compared to previous years was staggering.

This endorsement just proves my point, that I have never seen the Herald a oppose a local tax increase or local Bond. Can someone even point to a single instance in the last 10 years? I mean for them it's yes on pretty much everything. This is why many readers just simply do not trust their endorsements.
Debbie

Santa Ana, CA

#14 Oct 7, 2010
"But what about the children?"

You'll be hearing that alot in the next four weeks.

Vote NO on Measure P.

Send Dr. Shepherd home.

Regain local control.
Colton Parent

Monterey, CA

#15 Oct 7, 2010
This is a difficult subject.

The Herald was incorrect in stating that Seaside and Marina have sacraficed for Monterey. Monterey contributes many more dollars in Property tax than the dollars spent on educating its students. Residents of Monterey are frustrated because Pacific Grove, a city of roughly the same income level and demographics, has a much better school system. They pay the same taxes and are close in proximity, but see their money supporting the other cities. If Pacific Grove and Carmel helped subsidize the system, the burden on Monterey alone would be less.

The other challenge with this proposal is the magnitude and scale of the projects. Does more installing electrical outlets necessarily mean remodeling the entire school with an olympic sized pool? Is proposing a project of this scale prudent during this tough economic times.

Many families are leaving our school because of lack of commitment to basic resources such as music, etc. The concern is that the district has now threatened to abandon the Monte Regio and downtown areas and close down Monte Vista and Colton to elementary students.

I want to support education, but do not know if this proposal is the correct remedy.
Ali

Salinas, CA

#16 Oct 7, 2010
Jim from Carmel has made some good points and I will offer my observations as well, at the risk of sounding mean-spirited.

Dr. Shepherd interviewed and got the job partly on the strength of her resume in regards to getting a bond passed in her former district. Monterey, you will recall, was still smarting in the winter of 2006 from the failed 2002 bond campaign.

Shepherd, as I have pointed out before, fancies herself an expert on how to pass a bond. After surveying the lay of the land, she realizes that the son of the former mayor is sitting in the principal's chair at Monterey High. And not just any former mayor, but one with a 20 year run of one success after another with an entrenched and politically active base of support.

Shepherd makes the cunning move of taking Albert Jr out of Monterey High and "creating" a new position to be called Assistant Superintendent for Facilities or some such title. The job was to supervise the execution of the various State modernization projects the District was in the middle of implementing somewhat clumsily to say the least(see Herald archives).

His experience for such a position, according to Herald news articles, was that he "had been a high school shop teacher" in the past.

The purpose of putting him there was to give him some experience in contracts and facilities management so he could be trotted out as the native son of the trusted mayor who would manage the bond money and make sure it was spent wisely.

On cue, Albert Sr. defends the bond as a guest writer in the Herald, and we can only imagine what has been done, said, and promised to the various power bases in the Monterey community to push this thing through. The Herald, ever the lapdog, is right there at his side.

It's a pretty safe bet that if the bond is passed, Shepherd will go before the Board and put out that managing 110 million of projects is a bit more difficult than managing 60 million of modernization funds and--- the position that Albert Jr is holding needs to be elevated to Associate Superintendent with a corresponding pay raise to the 148,000-165,000 range.

If the bond fails, Shepherd has surely told Albert Jr, the existence of such a frivolous position would surely be in doubt with the modernization pipeline dried up. You see, the stakes are pretty high.

As Jim points out, there just is something a little disturbing about Senior rallying the troops for a poorly thought out bond issue that so clearly affects Junior's job security and salary. That is not an accusation. When you list the facts it just doesn't look right. And appearance is reality.

I am also disturbed that Shepherd apparently is arrogant enough to believe that the voters of Monterey will allow themselves to be manipulated by such a transparently amateurish scheme.

The bond issue-- for Shepherd-- is all about Shepherd. I hope everyone understands that. Measure P is a referendum on Marilyn Shepherd. Vote NO.
Jason

Pacific Grove, CA

#17 Oct 7, 2010
Ali-it's all just politics and you have been around long enough to know that.

I feel a Nancy Dalton moment coming up, how bout you Ali and Edutopia?
Realist 2

Monterey, CA

#18 Oct 7, 2010
I vote No on Ali and everyone else that makes this about adults.

If it passes is this a referendum on bad natured people that would rather complain than find solutions?
Determined

Pacific Grove, CA

#19 Oct 7, 2010
This is not about people being bad natured but about the truth being brought to light. The district has limped along for long enough and if the emperor is not wearing any clothes, people should really say something! There are solutions out there. We just need the right people in the postion to do something. Bonds are great and have worked wonders but ONLY if used wisely. The "solutions", thus far, to try and improve education and facilities are falling short. I have had children in Monterey High and Colton and Monte Vista. Monterey High used to shine, it had spirit, it had stellar teachers and while the facilities were somewhat dull, the school was still so strong... and why is that...? Well, there were adults who cared: Dan Albert, the principal, whose "local boy" spirit elevated everyone - he was at all the games and knew students names, he respected the students and the teachers and trusted them, the fantastic MAOS teachers like Steve Clark, Wayne Cruzan, Michael Hare to name a few... but... as the years have gone by, the school has became deflated, principals were brought in only to mysteriously leave in the middle of the school year. Suddenly, teachers are being micro-managed and not trusted and along come the clip-board carrying gang of administrators and consultants to take "snapshots" of the classroom causing mistrust among the teachers who have begun to change their relationships with the students - they can no longer "risk" doing any type of bonding with students for fear that just as they open their mouths to have those ever important human interactions these people could walk in. Visit Monterey High, ask the teachers, ask the students... are they happy with what has happened in the last year in the name of "improvement"? This is a demoralized school district and it will take much more than this particular bond to fix it. This is about so much more than money, it is about the need to have heroes step in - heroes who have courage, who have trust and who have a deep determination to understand what a child needs in order to learn and become a productive citizen of our society and then ACT on that knowledge! No politics, no resume building, no ego... WHAT is in the best interest of OUR children? Believe it or not, the school district has been successful!!! Go back to when that was and find what was going right! I would like to challenge the people on this chat board to start listing solutions. REAL solutions...
Mom2

Chualar, CA

#21 Oct 7, 2010
Realist 2. This is not about the adults. I have children attending Colton and have seen some of the best teachers we have transferred to lower performing schools. I have seen a fantastic music teacher moved to again a lower performing schools so that they would have a music program that very few MPUSD schools are lucky to have. I have spoken to some of the rank and file in the schools and they are discouraged and have little faith in our school leaders. This is about what is best for the children of our community and this bond will not do what they are playing it up to be.

If you take a look at the master plan, you will see that estimated total construction cost for all schools in the 3 learning communities is probably close to 500mil, which does not include soft costs and inflation. If you look at what has been estimated as to the amount of this proposed bond issue will be used to fund majority of the construction, it works out to over 300million dollars not 110mil. Where will the rest of the money come from. The amount allocated for Seaside schools alone is over 145mil. Gee, it doesn't take a math whiz to figure out that the figures aren't adding up.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 7
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Seaside Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Hartnell Janitors Must Clean Up Behavior by Rev... Jun 23 Reverend Patryse ... 1
(WORKING LINK HERE) BITCH DONALD: Go, Bitch, Go... Jun 23 Reverend Patryse ... 1
where can I find heroin in monterey? (Oct '14) Jun 21 dig 55
News Messianic Jews say they are persecuted in Israel (Jun '08) Jun 13 Joel 72,030
News Ask the Auto Doctor (Mar '06) May '16 doug Gifford 1,542
Looking to buy... May '16 Audrina 1
News HBO's 'Big Little Lies' starring Nicole Kidman ... Apr '16 Julie Jane 1
More from around the web

Personal Finance

Seaside Mortgages