• 83% of the 11th graders at Estancia High failed to meet the 2017 state standards for math.
  • District-wide, 50% of all the students failed to meet the 2017 state standard for math.
  • At Estancia High, the swimming pool was drained before there was a plan in place to construct a new aquatics center, wasting tens of thousands of gallons of precious water while we are in a drought and wrecking the school’s aquatics program. The community was told in October that the pool could not be filled but it was recently filled at a cost of over $100,000.
  • Massive poles at Estancia that were erected to prevent foul balls from damage poorly placed solar panels were removed after neighbors cried “Foul!” The community was told that they would be re-purposed within the district, but the poles were shipped to Costa Mesa High and recently sold.
  • A flawed math program was replaced last year only after teacher and parent complaints became too loud and too numerous to ignore.
  • Unsanitary and unsightly conditions at one CM campus were recently corrected only after a parent’s repeated complaints.
  • Rats on campuses
  • The so-called “Collegiate Calendar” was adopted even though the community – whose opinions were sought by the district – voted against it.
  • The new trustee area map was approved despite an appropriate presentation to the community.
  • Skyrocketing legal fees
  • A snail’s pace to complete the safety programs at schools

Despite these issues and so many more, the executives in the N-MUSD will be receiving more of your tax dollars this summer. The superintendent – the guy who is responsible for overseeing everything in the district – will get a 2.5% raise, which is in addition to the $34,450 bonus he received in December when the trustees labeled his performance “exceptional.”

It’s beyond absurd, beyond mind-boggling. It’s as though there is some mass hypnosis affecting the trustees causing them to hand out your tax dollars without holding anyone accountable for anything.

There is no point in complaining to them. They have been doing this for years and complaining will not make a difference. The only way to correct this behavior is to replace the trustees with people who understand that when executive raises are given while so many things need improvement, and without a list of firm, actionable expectations, the money is not a reward for past performance, it is a handout. Handouts are counterproductive. Handouts lower the performance bar and send the signal to employees that “good enough” is OK. In some cases, it tells them that “not so good” is good enough.

If you’re upset about this, don’t bother complaining to the trustees. Channel that energy this summer and fall into replacing the four school board members who are up for re-election:

Charlene Metoyer

Walt Davenport

Judy Franco

Karen Yelsey

Franco recently announced that she is not running but there are no doubt plans in place to offer a candidate with a like-minded approach.

Yelsey indicated when she ran in 2006 that 12 years is a sufficient term for a school board member but my guess is that she will run this year anyway.

No word yet on Davenport and Metoyer.

Steve Smith
Taxpayer, N-MUSD