Board Meeting Summary - 8/16/2023: Superintendent Raise, 8300 "Expired" Laptops, New Complaint Rules
Superintendent "Me Too" Raise & Contract Extension - Agenda Item 7.4
The Board approved a 5% raise and a 1-year contract extension for Superintendent Churchill, who will now be paid $278,447.43 + approximately $50,000 in benefits (per Transparent California), for a total compensation of $328,447.43. He is now under contract until June 30, 2026.
He is paid more than the Superintendents for Vista ($303,457) and San Marcos ($294,992), which have double the number of students as Carlsbad Unified.
Who decided to give Dr. Churchill a 5% raise? He did! This is called a "Me Too Raise." The Superintendent and his Cabinet negotiate each year with the teachers' union for their annual salary increase, and whatever raise the union gets, Churchill and his Cabinet get, too! Imagine if you were able to decide on your own raise!
What did Dr. Churchill do to earn this amazing raise in a time of large budget deficits and declining enrollment? No one knows! The Board does not publish or even discuss his evaluation or performance with the public. After how much hot water he's gotten CUSD into this year, with a CRT-based Ethnic Studies course, a widely-panned DEI Plan, an unecessary fight over flying the Pride Flag, and a threatened lawsuit for violating the First Amendment rights of his employee, you would think the Board might at least explain why they thought he did a great job. Want an answer? Email the Board: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology Plan Update - Agenda Item 7.1
CUSD has a "3 Year Educational Technology Plan" which was approved in 2021 amidst an obsession with increasing the use of technology and options for remote learning. Tonight a report was presented on the progress toward those goals, including things like "Students will use technology in all content areas, leading to increase engagement and achivement."
Is it a good idea to use technology for all content areas to increase achievement? In the survey, fewer English and Science teachers thought so. It certainly seems like the tide has turned on the thinking that computers and cell phones are always beneficial for children and learning, but no one thought to discuss that in the update.
What was discussed was how we have 20,229 devices for students, but 8,300 devices are "expired" and no longer being used, leaving 12,000 devices for 10,666 students. Are these "expired" devices completely unsuable? Normally an "expired" device means the company is no longer providing updates to the software, but it doesn't mean it's unusable.
Also, should we be spending millions on devices which "expire" after only a few years when they're otherwise perfectly usable? Is this good for the environment? You would think some of the environmentally conscious board members would be asking these questions, but they weren't. Do you think our Board should be asking better questions about the use of technology to improve learning? Email them: email@example.com.
Revision of Board Policies - Agenda Items 7.5 & 7.6
A variety of Board Policies had revisions which were proposed and approved, the majority dealing with updates to complaint procedures, but some dealing with student technology use and English learners.
The details of these are too extensive to cover here, but the Board should at least provide a basic summary of the revisions to help the public understand them better. Unfortunately, most board members don't even read these revisions themselves and just rubber stamp them on the recommendation of the Superintendent.
Why? These revisions aren't proposed by our Board but rather by the California School Boards Association (CSBA), which our Board pays for as part of our "membership fee" to CSBA. What this really means is that a Sacramento-based lobbying group is creating and changing almost every policy our Board uses, as opposed to our elected Board members deciding how our school district should be governed.
CSBA is a highly-politicized organization that works closely with the California Teachers' Association and the Association of California School Administrators to ensure that the education bureacracy continues to flourish by benefiting superintendents, teachers and board members as opposed to students. They mainly push out politically-correct revisions, like remvoing "he/she" pronouns or, as with this update, changing "homeless students" to "students experiencing homelessness," because somehow they think this is better?
In another example, a few years ago we noticed one proposal to remove the involvement of "parents" in the Student Health Policy. When we pointed this out to the Board, they quickly backtracked, claimed they didn't notice the revision, and blamed CSBA. It's very difficult to review all of these policy revisions and catch all of the problems, so if you'd like to help us review the board meeting agenda each month and look at these changes, please contact us!