Modesto City Schools – Board Of Education
Current Issues Pending:
Modesto City School district is now in the process of moving from at large elections to trustee district elections. There are 2 reasons for this decision. The first is California law and the voting rights act pushing for election districts that represent the diversity of the community. The second reason is voters approved moving to district based elections in June of 2016 by almost 70%. A 70% yes vote means that even if I disagreed with the decision my job is to represent the interests of the voters and a 70% yes vote means we go to district based elections with my full backing and support.
The Modesto City Schools website has a page dedicated to this subject with public meeting dates, maps, and demographics here.
The contact page on this site or my school board email are the ways to provide feedback to me on this issue. There may be no other vote that I make with a longer lasting effect than drawing voter district lines, and community input is needed and will be greatly appreciated.
March 6: Agenda item requested for a report on our current Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) & Career Technical Education Programs (CTE).
This agenda item was requested by Trustee Marks, and I also signed off on the request. This is important to me because Modesto City Schools has a wide variety of ROP and CTE programs at our high schools. Each high school has different programs and understanding what we have in place, where it is at, and what we may have missed is important not just to our students but the community. For those students that are pursuing a vocational or technical career path the question becomes are the programs in place geared towards the jobs that are available here locally or regionally.
April 10 discussion item revisiting the decision to use integrated / secondary math versus traditional math curriculum at our high schools.
I requested this item be placed on the agenda because it is very important to have this discussion as a board and a community. We have the ability as a board to choose the traditional math approach at the high school level just like many other districts across the state. The current mathematics curriculum in place was approved by previous board members and in every case it was done using the consent calendar. There has not been a public board discussion or debate on this issue and we recently approved spending to purchase classroom mathematics and science materials. If this discussion item does not turn into an action item to change direction before the classroom material is purchased, there will be no way that I can see to put the horse back in the barn. We will be locked into integrated & secondary common core math for the foreseeable future. My position is 100% in lockstep with Professor Milgram from Stanford and the material I use in public presentations belonged to Ze'ev Wurman from the Stanford Hoover Institute.
If you have a family member who has been in junior high or high school over the past 3 or 4 years, then you are well aware of the challenges this approach has. If you are a teacher, then you are more than well aware of the challenges. If you are a student, then no one knows better than you the issues here.
Please show up to this meeting and respectfully, logically, and passionately tell your story. The other option is to reach out to me via my school board email or the contact page here.
Date TBD: Special board workshop meeting to discuss the effects of long term pension liabilities due to CALPERS and CALSTRS on short term and long term budget decisions.
This agenda item was requested by Trustee Neumann, and I also signed off on the request. There may be no more important discussion when it comes budget decisions going forward than the effect of unfunded pension liabilities. This is not just a problem for our district but every school district and city in the state who has employees in either of these pension plans. CALPERS is not in as bad of shape as CALSTRS but they will both have huge effects on the decisions the board will have to make. The state is well aware of this problem and like most issues in Sacramento it is not being addressed to the public in a truthful or transparent way. It is also my belief that this problem is going to get worse not better going forward because of the public outcry to address failing infrastructure and water storage issues. There is not enough money in Sacramento to cover all of these issues, and they are already forecasting that our local budget will be cut by $8,000,000 this year alone.
Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)
There is no better way to view the Modesto City Schools LCAP than visually, and for those than want to dig deeper the link to the MCS LCAP page is here.