Wednesday, January 28, 2009

MDUSD's "McHenry visibly jolted"

Article in today's CCTimes about the meeting last night. The board last night voted to cut positions that clearly Superintendent McHenry did not agree with. McHenry was instructed to return to next meeting with a list of which 6 Directors and Asst Directors he would recommend to be cut and information about those positions. The board also voted 3-2 to eliminate his Asst to the Superintendent/Communications Specialist.

Theresa Harrington's article: Mt. Diablo school board cuts positions over superintendent's objections

"...McHenry was visibly jolted by the lack of support the votes displayed toward him.

"It's really difficult to stay motivated to do a job when it just doesn't seem like the board is going to support what you're going to do," he said. "I just think that what is happening here is wrong. I do think that it's somewhat vindictive and retaliatory and I'm going to see what action I can take to address it in whatever form is appropriate."

McHenry notes he will see what action he can take? I'm proud of our board who has delivered a message loud and clear that cuts need to be as far away from the students and school sites as possible. I think we all realize cuts at the schools are coming. But they should be the LAST resort. Its getting harder and harder to avoid cuts at the school sites, we all realize that, but the administrative segment of our district needs to run "lean and mean" first.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tonight's Meeting 1/27

The board went into tonight's meeting with an eye on cutting over 1 million dollars. Instead the cuts were far less. VP's were not cut tonight. Instead an exchange ensued about what more can be cut from the Dent Center (District Office). Sure to be some hard choices in the meetings ahead. They did ask the Superintendent to provide additional information on a possible 6 cuts in Directors and Asst Directors at Dent. In addition, they did cut tonight the Asst to the Superintendent/Communications Specialist position. This budget promises to bring more devastating cuts in the future. I do still believe though that we should cut as far away from the kids as we can. Granted every single position on their list impacts our kids, but when it comes to the day to day interaction, safety, communication, discipline, IEPs and more - we have to see administrative at the district office go before our VPs, before library, sports, music or anything else rumored to be cut. See more about the rumors at

Monday, January 26, 2009

Board Meeting Tuesday 1/27 - more on the chopping block

As usual you can read the agenda at the district website and you can see the impossible odds our board is up against in its requirement to trim millions from our budget.

Please go over and read at for more information on what parents are talking about most: Vice Principals, Sports, Music and more. Not all are on the "block" yet, but if you look at the list of possible reductions, they're going to be running out of places to trim soon and will have to look at some vital programs.

For now, I am humbly requesting our board to consider NOT cutting the VP positions - yet. I understand they may need eventually to be cut, I know they have an impossible job. But I also do see some other positions that can go first - even if only in gesture for now.

So I hope you will attend tomorrow, listen/watch at home or write letters to our reps in Sacramento to get us to a budget that will allow our education system to survive. I know our board members are agonizing over these decisions. I don't envy them these hard times.

We must pass a parcel tax. We need to rally together during this time to do what is right for the future of our district.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Next Round Budget Cuts at MDUSD Board Meeting tonight

MDUSD School Board Meeting Tonight 7:30pm.

Do you know what is on the cut list tonight?

You can read tonight's agenda at :

(its only 282 pages!)

The agenda (on page 6) lists all cuts due to be approved tonight, but remember they can vote for ANYTHING on the cut list, even if not on the agenda, and rumors are swirling that the remaining 2 elementary VP's will be cut (which leaves just Meadow Homes with a VP) and most VPs for Middle Schools.

11a is on the agenda, but they may vote for 11b and/or c instead.

11b will cut Highlands Elementary and Mt. Diablo Elementary VPs.
11c will cut Glenbrook, Oak Grove, Pine Hollow and Valley View VPs.

Mt. Diablo Elementary is an elementary school of over 850 children. Does it seem to make good safety sense to cut an administrator at a school of this size? What about your school if its on the list, how will you do with one less administrator on campus each day?