SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘Diana Rodriguez’ Category

Time for the board to step up

By Lori A. Jablonksi

Sixty-seven teachers at C.K. McClatchy High School voted this week to overwhelmingly support the collective bargaining agreement between the district and Sacramento City Teachers Association.

I want to make sure I do my best to convey the general sense and mood as
McClatchy teachers gave their approval to donate to the District over $1,000
annually for the next two years to fund elementary class-size reduction and
to establish a retiree benefit trust.

Teachers voted with no guarantee that the counselors we so desperately
need at the middle and high school levels will return.  And they did
so without any word whether pink-slipped high school teachers would be
back in the classrooms next year.  One teacher called his vote a “leap of
faith” that the Board will finally “get it” and start paying attention to
the budget and actual spending, rather than just approve what the District
staff presents.

Another, a teacher with teens soon to start college, had tears in her
eyes as she voted (actually, quite a few did).  She told me that with her
husband furloughed and with the astonishing increases in the price of
tuition she had no idea what she was going to do about her kids’
college future.  This agreement, she said, would essentially wipe away
what little discretionary income her family had left each month. (She
noted too, as did several others, that at least with furloughs they could
spend the day off at home. A bit of gallows humor, perhaps, in a
terrible situation.)  Nevertheless, she told me she voted for it, as did
over 90% of the McClatchy staff.

Most concerning to me, however, was the overall sense of skepticism
expressed that Superintendent Raymond and the members of the Board of
Trustees truly appreciate that the teachers have agreed to make a
significant financial sacrifice in order to repudiate the “race to the
bottom” mentality others were so quick to embrace:  that furloughs (teaching
fewer days!) in any way, shape or form are consistent with “putting kids

Now that the agreement has been ratified, the District, thanks in large part
to its teachers, should be celebrated far and wide as a place where the
school year was kept intact, students and families were not turned away
through furloughs, and the true education mission was preserved.

It is now time to ask SCUSD board members to step up and match the
commitment shown by District teachers to keep cuts as far away from the kids
as possible.

Over the past year, I have joined others, including Board Member
Rodriguez, in advocating for a “line-by-line” budget review public work shop
in order to ensure that all dollars budgeted and spent are done so with
priority concerns–our kids’ classroom learning experience–in mind.

This is a plea to create such a process.

It will help re-assure teachers, parents and the community, at this
crucial time when so many are sacrificing so much, that the District Board
of Trustees are determined to leave no stone unturned to find ways to reduce
the cuts to teaching and support staff going forward.   We might even
discover a way to fully fund our middle and high school counselors and
restore some reality to the oft-stated principle that we believe in
nurturing a college-going culture in this district.


Highlights from first Facilities’ Use Community Meeting

One of our astute readers attended the first community meeting at A.M. Winn Elementary last night and writes in to give a summary of what transpired.

Interim Superintendent Susan Miller, and Deputy Superintendents Mary Shelton and Tom Barentson made an initial 20-minute presentation which included a handout outlining the study tools for school site utilization.

The three new board members (Diana Rodriguez, Donald Terry and Patrick Kennedy) attended and area 3 board member Donald Terry spoke from the audience. The Vice Mayor of Rancho Cordova, Ken Cooley, spoke and offered to explore partnership opportunities with the district.

Here is a brief list of some of the questions and comments from the audience (the unabridged version should be posted on the district web site by next week):

Information from Tom Barentson, mid year cuts = about $300 per student

College Glen Neighborhood Association made a concrete proposal to consolidate Thomas Jefferson and Bancroft into one elementary school located at Thomas Jefferson and turning Bancroft into a Jr. High school.

Other notes about audience questions:

Year around schools?

Choice schools vs. neighborhood schools?

E21 high schools and cost efficiency?

Sac Charter High open enrollment advertised in the Connection?

Grade consolidation 2/3 4/5 etc,

PTA and school fund raising to be a factor in decisions to consolidate/close

Before and After school programs, Transportation and space consideration

Future growth and use of Serna Center

Partner with Parks and Recreation

Safety after school for long walks

College Education/teacher students as adjunct for over-worked teachers

Use school for Parent Partners for Pre school (any info on this? sounds like a good program.)

Child Care opportunities at school

Special thanks to Mike Simpson

And the winners are…

The winners in the SCUSD School Board election are as follows:

Area 3
Donald Terry

Area 4
Gustavo Arroyo

Area 5
Diana Rodriguez

For complete election results visit this link.

Written by scusdobserver

November 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Sacramento City Teachers Association Endorses Candidates for School Board

From the website:

Area 3 – Donald Terry, trained teachers in SCUSD. He has also taught students in the District on topics ranging from balancing a checkbook to understanding different loan programs for purchasing a home.

Area 4 – Gustavo Arroyo, legislative aide for Sen. Alex Padilla. He has worked on education legislation, monitored and analyzed 100s of education bills considered by the Senate Education Committee.Area 5 – Diana Rodriguez, product of SCUSD schools and a parent in the district. She has worked as a teacher’s assistant and volunteered at her children’s schools.

Area 7 – Patrick Kennedy, labor attorney whose wife is a substitute teacher in SCUSD. Patrick is running unopposed and will not even be on the ballot.

All four candidates support preparing young people for college OR career by emphasizing the basics (math, reading, and writing) while adding skills for the future. Students these days need computer skills, teamwork, critical thinking, as well as vocational and technical training. The candidates will promote skills that will prepare them for life by teaching them responsibility, respect, and discipline.

Written by scusdobserver

October 1, 2008 at 6:10 pm

SCUSD Election 2008

Candidates and their biographies
(hyperlinked where available)…

Area 3 (edited 10/18/08)
David Chance
Vicki Simpson
Donald Terry

Area 4
Darlene Anderson
Gustavo Arroyo
Theresa Moung Hinh Saechao

Area 5
Leo Bennett-Cauchon
Toni Colley-Perry
Diana Rodriguez

Area 7
Patrick Kennedy