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Teachers Question Castro Valley Unified School District Spending Priorities

Teacher's Association shocked by what they consider unnecessary student cuts and layoffs

Submitted by: John T. Green, CVTA President

Castro Valley – February 23, 2012 – Despite millions of dollars in cash reserves, the Castro Valley Unified School District’s Board of Trustees will entertain a proposal to eliminate student programs and layoff dozens of teachers at the end of this school year.
“Castro Valley Unified has enough money to maintain all existing student programs and all staff for another year, even if more cuts come down from the State of California,” said John T. Green, president of the Castro Valley Teachers Association (CVTA).
“Our school district began with $17 million in savings this year, the 3rd highest amount of any school district in Alameda County,” said Green.
Teachers believe that all unrestricted general fund reserves should be tapped to maintain student programs before the school district begins any discussion of eliminating essential programs such as music, counseling and smaller class sizes.
Teachers question the spending priorities (and accounting philosophy) of a school district that has seen a projected spending increase of $3.75 million in just one year, despite no staff receiving raises since 2007. For instance, CVUSD projects a four-fold increase in travel & conference expenses this year at the same time the Board of Trustees will discuss eliminating student classes.
Dozens of teachers plan to attend tonight’s School Board meeting to voice opposition to unnecessary budget cuts. Teachers are hopeful that the school board will exercise real leadership and prioritize the quality of education in Castro Valley by maintaining all student programs and returning all staff next year to serve the students.
“Our community has come together time and again to support and value our students by providing a quality, well-rounded education to all children,” said Green. “Let’s not tear down excellent programs while millions sit in a savings account untapped.”
The School Board meeting is being held at a special location (Canyon Middle School cafeteria) and begins at 7pm.

Thomas Clarke March 02, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Graciela say it is not so. You mean that you have direct knowledge of the district's trustees and staff willingly violating the law? No that could never happen. Please do share. Where there is money there is theft and embezzlement. There are both of those in Castro Valley.
Graciela Tiscareno-Sato March 02, 2012 at 02:06 AM
As a parent advocate of a child w/dual sensory disabilities, I do indeed have direct knowledge and evidence that CVUSD is violating federal and state laws. Two days ago a ruling came from Sacramento (CA Dept of Ed) stating district is non-compliant with sections of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) 2004. Instead of us getting assurances that CVUSD staff at my daughter's school are complying w/ directives in this ruling that affect an IEP meeting planned for Monday, I've been told that a district administrator said just today "our attorneys are reviewing the ruling and current (illegal, my add) policies still stand." What the public needs to know as they stand on Redwood Road right now is that the Director of Special Services, and his bosses, are willing to spend freely on attorneys fees to battle parents raising children with special needs. Is that a community priority? Egos can only function doing evil in the shadows --so we parents are exposing what's happening. With full transparency & public knowledge, eventually, people in positions of power can be pressured by voices of the people who pay their salaries, to stop doing this evil. When it comes to confrontations w/parents of children w/disabilities attending CVUSD schools, several parents have given various members in leadership positions the chance to do the right thing-they've refused. Years of positive experiences here have evaporated w/the arrival of one man.It's time this community sees the truth.
Rachel Bradley-Gomez March 02, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Grace, I think the good reporters, specifically the one's interested in reporting truth for truth's sake, even when if it exposes shocking and unsavory goings on in our community, will be highly interested in getting the first crack at this meaty goodness you speak of. The press can be extremely poignant when power brokers use their position and our tax payer dollars to fear-monger for the sake of stamping out dissidents. I'm sure what will be exposed is a story as old as the stars themselves. It's a story about the large entities in our society who attempt to exist outside of the law by making a painful example of those who blow the whistle. This is textbook bullying and done so that others who might consider demanding their rights will be silenced, and remain marginalized.
Rachel Bradley-Gomez March 02, 2012 at 04:28 AM
So I guess the take away message from the last few weeks is that we have money to line the district's lawyer's pockets, and millions to install massive solar projects, but not enough in the coffers to pay teacher's salaries and special services as mandated by the law?
Denise_cv March 02, 2012 at 10:41 PM
As another parent advocate of a child with special needs in the CVUSD, I have to say, it is about time that more parents stand up to the ridiculous waste of money, time, and resources that are spent fighting what all of our children are legally and morally entitled to. If anyone would like to disagree, I would happily sit down with them and we can add up together how much every IEP meeting (sometimes every 4 weeks throughout the entire school year for 2-4 hours each meeting) costs the school district and that is just for my son. With all of the administrators, teachers (taken out of the classrooms to come speak at our IEP), specialists (OT, Behaviorists, Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, other district personnel, etc. and what it is costing the school district to pay for each IEP meeting in their salaries. We have many IEP meetings to discuss how the district is out of compliance or because they want to fight over an accommodation that would ultimately cost them a tenth of all of the district attendee's salaries, but they would rather fight over the accommodation than help my child. Sad, so sad.


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