Tag Archives: Santa Ana Unified School District

Got Ethics, Anyone?

This just in from The Liberal OC… Chris Prevatt has had it with all the scandals, all the corruption, and all the sleaze that’s taken hold of just about every level of local government in Orange County:

In the case of Orange County, it is interesting how many instances of corruption or ethical lapses are prevalent in our government institutions. Whether it is Sheriff Mike Corona [link] and his “Coronies,” the Capistrano Unified [link] and Santa Ana Unified School District administrators, or senior managers in the Orange County Health Care Agency, it seems we cannot avoid the scandals and incompetence of these overly paid buffoons.

I received word the other day that the Health Care Agency was partially successful in their appeal of the $143,000 penalty they were issued for failing to properly manage a federal HIV/AIDS grant sub-contractor. The Orange County Register covered the story in a detailed investigative report “Misplaced Faith” released in March 2006.

It never ceases to amaze me how the powers that be here in OC are so willing to waste all of our taxpayer dollars on these dirty crooks… So what can be done about all of this? Follow me after the flip for more…

So what can be done about all of this? Chris offers some advice for the County on the Health Care Agency’s AIDS Scandal, of which he (unfortunately) has seen and experienced firsthand:

The Board of Supervisors needs to pay attention to the underlying problem that has been revealed. Specifically, County managers were willing to commit fraud, lie to federal grant managers, cover-up misconduct, and permit retaliation against the employee who spoke out about management misconduct in order to conceal the truth. More than eleven years after the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, the culture of Here no evil; See no evil; and Speak no evil, is alive and well in the halls of Orange County administration.

And what about Sheriff Carona and his never-ending slew of scandals? Why doesn’t this man have enough decency to resign? Why can’t the Board of Supervisors stand up and hold him accountable for once? Why aren’t more people outraged about this?

And what about the recent school district scandals? Why couldn’t the Capistrano Unified School District put the students, parents, teachers, and other faculty ahead of their own desire to waste taxpayer money on themselves? Why has Santa Ana Unified been allowed to get away with complete fraud for so long? Why have they been able to overcrowd our kids’ classrooms, and then claim to the state that they’re complying with state class size requirements? Why haven’t these folks been held accountable?

And why won’t the District Attorney do something about all of this? Oh wait, I almost forgot… He’s a part of it, too. Dammit, where are the ethics in the halls of government in this county? Does anyone have some?

Santa Ana School Fraud Scandal Hits Local TV

OK, so this isn’t the national evening news. It’s our local public affairs program, “Real Orange“, on our local PBS station, KOCE. But still, how amazing is it to see how one blog’s focus on the many problems with the Santa Ana Unified School District finally caught the attention of the mainstream media?

H/T to Orange Juice for all their great coverage of Santa Ana issues. We probably wouldn’t even know about how these administrators are hurting our kids and their educational opportunities if it weren’t for Thomas Gordon, Art Pedroza, Claudio Gallegos, and the entire O-J Team. Thanks to all of you for getting the MSM’s attention.

Is Santa Ana Unified Padding Classes to Pad Its Budget?

Hmmm… I nearly missed this in today’s LA Times:

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.

So what exactly is happening in Santa Ana? Is the school district lying about classes? Are they desperate for money… And if so, why? Follow me after the flip for more…

So what is the latest problem that the SAUSD is experiencing?

A substitute teacher at Washington Elementary was assigned to the nonexistent class. Several teachers at the school said she only spent a few hours over the past month in each classroom instructing students on her roster. Since then, school officials said, she has been assigned to cover full time for a teacher on medical leave and no longer visits the classes.

State officials said the district’s actions appeared illegal – even if substitute teachers were used for part of the day – and plan to launch an investigation.

“That would clearly be a blatant attempt to violate the intent of the law,” said Jack O’Connell, the state superintendent of public instruction who wrote the class-size reduction legislation in 1996 while a member of the state Senate. “We make it real clear to schools that they need to make sure they have 20 students to a class.”

I guess this shouldn’t come as such a great surprise to me. I mean, they did not want to divulge the names of who would replace School Board Member Sal Tinajero once he was elected to City Council. And oh yes, they have to be so secretive… ABOUT THEIR TOTAL INCOMPETENCY
Well, I guess this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to me.

But anyways, I digress. Here’s more from The LA Times story:

At Washington Elementary, eight teachers said in interviews that school administrators asked them to sign class rosters that show they had significantly fewer students than were assigned to their classrooms. Second-grade teachers Alma Olivares, Sahara Green, Donna Araujo, Christina Moreno and Rose Copes, third-grade teachers Eugenia Pedraza and Olga Escobar, and first-grade teacher Eva Zamarripa said students’ names were deleted from their rosters, but they have continued to teach these children, sign their report cards and meet with their parents.

“I’m teaching them,” said Olivares, who had four children removed from her roster. “They’re in my class. They’re my responsibility.”

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

“If I sign it, I’m agreeing to the lie,” Araujo said.

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.

“When [teachers] are asked to sign rosters that aren’t accurate, it makes them nervous, and justifiably so,” said David Barton, president of the Santa Ana Educators Assn.

Despite the teachers’ objections at Washington Elementary, four students were removed from Olivares’ roster, five from Araujo’s, one from Green’s, three from Moreno’s and two from Copes’.

So is what my school district has come to??!!

But of course, I also must wonder that if the school district really was fudging its class rosters for extra cash, then WHAT EXACTLY WAS THE DISTRICT SPENDING THE EXTRA CASH ON? If they still had to cut programs and close schools, then what exactly was all this extra money being spent on? And why should we trust what the district leadership has to say?