I like that name. I like the way it rolls off the tongue when it is spoken. Most important, it is a fitting tribute to the longest-serving trustee in district history.

Just after the last post, I received a comment supporting Judy Franco’s contributions and her legacy. It read:

Another thing that Judy Franco did was truly superlative! It’s in regard to Scholastic Sailing. The East Coast is replete with School teams in both public & private schools. They dominated. Judy, with the help of [name], campaigned the District to include Sailing as a school sport. It took a lot of work & time, but she accomplished it. It set the pattern for all West Coast schools to follow.

Just look at the N-M sailing programs. They dominate Nationwide, and the top Collegiate schools are eager to grant them scholarships (and places). Bravo Judy! We all thank you for this remarkable achievement.”

Judy Franco makes me think of better times in the district. Not perfect times, just better. Yes, there were problems, say, 20 years ago when Franco about halfway through her time as a trustee, but there seemed to be a firmer grip on things. Today, it seems like Bear St. is leaping from one blunder to the next.

Franco deserves an elementary school as soon as possible, while she can appreciate the honor, just as she appreciated the patio recently named for her.

Hello, legal fees!

At last Thursday’s secret special meeting, the board voted unanimously to support resolution 11-11-18m, which outlines the case for the rejection of the most recent charter school petition. Before the vote, there were no trustee comments or questions, despite the importance of this issue.

Michelle Anderson, the regional manager of the California Charter Schools Assoc., (CCSA) spoke at the meeting and made it clear that a decision in favor of the resolution would prompt an appeal to the Orange County Dept. of Education (OCDE).

That appeal will fail. It’s in the vault. Sealed. When the OCDE rejects the appeal, my guess is that the folks at the CCSA will keep pushing and ultimately this will be a legal matter. Well, it already is a legal matter, but after the OCDE rejection, it will be a significant legal matter.

The N-MUSD still doesn’t understand what they are dealing with. There is a lot of money behind the CCSA: Political spending in 2015 and 2016 was about $18 million and they are funded by a lot of people with very deep pockets.

What that means for the rest of us is that this may be a good time to be a lawyer for the N-MUSD.

Steve Smith

P.S. to the trustees: The next time you’re all set to rubber-stamp an important resolution like this, make up some questions or comments before you vote. Anything. That will promote the appearance of open-mindedness instead of the perception you all had your minds made up before you sat down.