Where is the money coming from?

On the March board agenda was a fee from Wagner and Pelayes, the attorneys that the new board members hired, for attending a conference in Sacramento. The fee amounted to $2,000. When Mr. Minton asked who authorized such an expense and refused to approve it, Mr. Pelayes responded that he was asked to attend with Robert Kirk because the conference in Sacramento was delivering erroneous information about the Brown Act.


Before leaving the podium that night, Mr. Pelayes' final statement was that "we" disagreed with the interpretation of the law. My question is who is "we?" Did he bill the district for time spent on researching California law on the Brown Act? Why was he doing it in the first place? Why was it necessary to travel to Sacramento, when a letter or an email might have done the job? Just what part of the law did he disagree with? Was Robert Kirk worried about new board members breaking that law?

After the questioning by Mr. Minton, Mr. Pelayes stated that he would not bill the district for the time spend in Sacramento and his travel expenses. Good. But just how many other unnecessary expenses have there been with regards to the law firm? Have they become the board members' private law resource? The media is filled with news of budget cuts and teacher layoffs. How many unnecessary expenses have occured because of the new board? The new "choice" school comes to mind. Millions of dollars are being spent to turn it into a K-6 school. Yet, sixth graders from other schools will still be bussed there because there is no room at their current home schools. In addition, it takes a great deal of money to set up a school that is planning on teaching piano and a second language.

Where is that money coming from, and at what expense to the other schools in the district? Hardy Black stated that they closed down the sixth grade schools because they didn't serve the whole district. The choice school they're planning can only serve the neighborhood it's in and those people who can provide transportation for their children to get there. Doesn't sound very fair to me, nor should it for parents whose children will be in larger class sizes just so we can have a choice school.