Prop E is Bad for Coronado
Here’s proof that CUSD has failed its homework.
CUSD failed its due diligence and failed to disclose the negative impacts of Prop E bonds upon our Coronado community homeowners.
As a result, there are too many unanswered questions.
That’s another reason why we strongly recommend you vote NO on Prop E on June 3.
Below are three emails from Coronado community leader, homeowner & taxpayer Pete Fagan to CUSD superintendent Jeff Felix and to CORONADO TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. Coronado resident Pete Fagan is an attorney in private practice, a former military JAG attorney and father to CUSD graduates.
In the first email, you’ll see Pete’s direct questions to CUSD superintendent Jeff Felix. Pete’s questions are highly relevant to Prop E.
In the same first email, Jeff’s responses — in red — are dismissive and incomplete.
Jeff’s answers are also disappointing because they are merely political spin in favor of CUSD’s goal — which is another property tax hike on Coronado homeowners.
The second email is Pete’s follow up to Jeff’s response email because the superintendent’s “answers” were dismissive and disappointing. Pete asks for answers that Jeff failed to provide.
The third email is Pete’s final statement of CUSD’s failure to do its due diligence research BEFORE the CUSD board voted unanimously to place the Prop E tax hike on the ballot this June.
It’s shocking that CUSD is campaigning to raise OUR property taxes but they haven’t done THEIR research!
There are too many unanswered questions. Vote NO on Prop E.
(1) Email from Pete Fagan, Esq. to CUSD Superintendent Jeff Felix in black; Superintendent Felix’s responses in red
As we approach election day [June 3] and voting on the School bond issue, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. In order to make a better decision on how to vote, can you please answer the following questions:
1. How many school aged children who live in Coronado go to private schools such as Francis Parker, Bishops, OLP [Our Lady of Peace], etc.
This is not information that school districts gather nor are we required to prepare reports relating to these data.
2. How much money does CUSD contribute annually to maintain the pool?
This information is available to the public on our website at http://coronadousd.net/departments/brian-bent-memorial-aquatics-complex/ Beginning in 14-15 the District will no longer contribute special funds to the BBMAC for operations since that department will begin to make a profit in that fiscal year. It is estimated that the BBMAC saves the district over $150K each year in costs associated with water sports. We also estimate that the BBMAC brings to Coronado over $300K annually in tourism during the winter months.*
* [According to a 2011 Coronado Patch article on the school pool, or BBMAC, CUSD’s total losses were over $200,000 for the year because pool expenditures exceeded revenues by more than $200,000. Also, according to the BBMAC website, the school pool cost $8.5 million to construct. The debt service on the construction costs have’t been paid off because CUSD gave the city notice of CUSD’s intent to default on the 2005 Certificates of Participation Debt that CUSD issued without voter approval for the construction of the school pool. CUSD isn’t transparent with its information about its public finances and how it uses our public tax dollars. CUSD has been sued by an individual representing Coronado taxpayers. The goal of the lawsuit is to force CUSD to open its books so a forensic audit can be conducted on CUSD finances. According to articles on Coronado Patch, initial review of CUSD information show financial irregularities and mismanagement of public tax dollars.]
3. How much has the school district received from new construction funds in Coronado for each of the past 5 years?
This information is available to the public on our website at http://coronadousd.net/static/media/uploads/Coronado%20Unified%20School%20District/departments/business%20services/facilities/Facilities-Green_Sheet_12-13_Budget.pdf. On average we receive less than $200K each year from Fund 25 Developer Fees.
4. What is the annual salary for each of the following for each of the past 5 years, and what is the name of the person serving in each capacity?
Staff information is available on the CUSD website at http://coronadousd.net. Specific salary schedule information can be found at http://coronadousd.net/faculty-staff/payroll-salary-schedule/ .
b. Assistant Superintendent for Business Services (CBO)
c. Assistant Superintendent for Student Services (CSSO)
e. Director of Human Resources
f. Technology Coordinator
g. Director of Aquatics
h. Principals of each school
5. What benefits does each of these employees receive, to include bonuses if any for each of the past five years?
This information can be found on our website at http://coronadousd.net/faculty-staff/forms-resources/#benefits. Administrators who have a credential are given the same benefit package as credentialed teachers. Those benefits can be seen in the “Agreement Between the Association of Coronado Teachers and Coronado Unified School District” link on that same page. A few other administrators who are classified receive similar benefits as described in the link on that same page entitled “California School Employees Association: AFL-CIO Contract.”
6. What efforts have been made to lobby for more money from the state, state senators, and state representatives?
Both Dr. Butler and I have used various means to contact legislators, work with lobbying groups, work with specific lobbyists, and work with professional organizations. These groups and individuals include: California School Board Association, Association of California School Administrators, California School Finance Reform Coalition, School Innovations & Advocacy, Inc., Small School District Association, School Services of California, and the San Diego County Office of Education. I have also met several times with Marty Block and Scott Peters. Several school board members have also lobbied on behalf of the district.
We receive over $1.2 M each year in federal impact aid. Due to our lobbying efforts, we were able to avoid a significant decline in revenue as a result of sequestration.
8. How many property owners in Coronado have children currently attending schools within CUSD?
9. How many property owners are there in Coronado?
10. How many registered voters are there in Coronado?
11. How many of the registered voters in Coronado own property in Coronado?
12. How many of the registered voters in Coronado have children currently attending schools within CUSD?
Questions 8-12 are requests for information that we do not collect, nor are we required to keep. I believe you can find answers to these questions by referring to the San Diego Registrar of Voters and the San Diego Association of Governments (abbreviated SANDAG).
Please also confirm the following information that appears on the CUSD web site as being accurate:
A. 41% of students are military affiliated
B. 10% of students are Inter district transfers
C. Board voted in 2011 to give the Superintendent a “Supplemental Retirement Plan” in addition to his regular retirement plan
School year Amount of Superintendent’s “Supplemental Retirement Plan”:
**[Total superintendent’s “Supplemental Retirement Plan” is $70,000! We can’t trust the CUSD school board trustees. They could vote unanimously again to raise Jeff’s “Supplemental Retirement Plan” even higher in the future. This is the kind of waste of our property tax dollars that CUSD must cut out, instead of demanding that we raise OUR property taxes again with Prop E.]
I understand that the responses tend to have some “spin” that would tend to support your efforts in the bond initiative, but the questions you don’t have responses to have a real impact on the property owners of Coronado and I would think that before CUSD placed this on the ballot, you would have done more research to find out what the impact was, how many benefited, etc. In other words, it looks like CUSD didn’t do their homework on the demographics and impact before voting to place this on the ballot.
Although the specific salary schedules are on the web site, it doesn’t say which level each is paid. Please provide the information requested. Please treat this as a Public Records Act request if you cannot otherwise provide the data as requested.
Are you confirming the data at the end of my original email?
. . . Absolutely. My opinion is that if the [CUSD] board really cared about the impact they would have the answers to these questions. He tries to spin each of his answers, and ignores his retirement bonus that is outrageous in light of the [CUSD self-proclaimed] budget crisis.
How many residents send their kids to private schools on or off island should certainly be a concern for a superintendent touting how great our schools are – why then do some parents send their kids elsewhere and still have to pay the bond?
Any good campaign team would have the answers to these questions BEFORE they try to put it on the ballot.
As for salary, he refers me to a chart but doesn’t say where on the chart each person falls and who had increases and how much over each of the past 5 years.
You can feel free to pass these thoughts along as well.