SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for December 2009

Ellyne Bell elected SCUSD Board President

Area 1 Representative Ellyne Bell was elected president at last night’s board meeting, succeeding Roy Grimes. Bell first ran for the board in 2004 and she won her current seat in 2006. Bell has often had to recuse herself from board discussion about the consent decree high school because she was a litigant in the original complaint.

This news of Bell’s ascension, combined with Jonathan Raymond’s “Take Risks for Kids” report leaves the Observer hopefully optimistic about SCUSD’s political future.


Written by scusdobserver

December 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Still $8 million and holding?

The SCUSD Board of Directors will elect officers at tomorrow night’s board meeting. Superintendent Raymond is scheduled to report on his 100 days findings and recommendations. Action items include bond money reallocation with regard to the $8 million set aside for the unresolved issue of the consent decree high school and also presumably for modernization of The Met, financial reports by acting CFO Patricia Hagemeyer, and approval for a memorandum of understanding for Race to the Top funds.

The board meeting will stream live beginning at 6:30 p.m.
For more documentation, visit this link, and scroll down to items under Public Hearing.

Written by scusdobserver

December 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Zero-based budgeting

At today’s SCUSD board budget committee meeting Item 4 includes a 20-minute presentation on the concept of zero-based budgeting.

Also known as “budgeting from scratch”, they’re doing it at San Diego Unified School District.

One of the many positives of this form of budgeting includes laying all expenditures on the table for review and cuts, there are no sacred cows and no opportunities for creative accounting.

One of the cons about implementing this type of budget (from beginning to end) is the copious amount of labor hours and subsequent paperwork required to manage it.

Does SCUSD have time to re-invent the budget wheel? If SCUSD board members do decide to adopt this concept, the question will ultimately be: can this produce enough savings to be a worthwhile step in the middle of coping with the ongoing budget crisis?

Written by scusdobserver

December 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Short for "status quo ante bellum"

Baby Barack Mayor Kevin Johnson sent out a mailer touting his strong mayor initiative this week, challenging Sacramentans to question business-as-usual politics.

Status quo is short for “status quo ante bellum” meaning “the state before the war.” And that’s what this local argument is turning in to…KJ uses Obama references whenever he can make a sophomoric connection that is meant to fire our synapses, because we (the unwashed electorate) are apparently not going to grasp the nuance that we are being played.

So the comparison of Kevin Johnson’s fight to change the city’s charter is equal to Obama’s fight to convince an entire world on how to execute a war?


The News and Review claims that the lawsuit filed yesterday by SAVE Sacramento is a gamble and plays right in to KJ’s plan:

So, all in all, it’s an interesting legal question. But it’s also an enormously risky question to ask. Because the general public don’t (sic) really care if it’s an interesting legal question, they’re just going to hear, “The special interests are trying to deny your right to a vote.”

How dumb do these KJ people think we are? Challenging the status quo does not easily translate into a plain and simple power grab.

The truth that most Sacramentans know in their collective hearts is that changing the city’s constitution (at this point in time) is very, very low on the list of priorities — KJ’s status quo ante bellum is a completely unnecessary state of affairs that drains us all of time, money and valuable human resources that could be put to much better use.


Marcos Breton: KJ is own worst enemy
Union leaders back lawsuit (Sacramento Press)

Written by scusdobserver

December 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm