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School District Superintendent, Board Member at Hercules Forum Thursday Night

The public is welcome to attend, listen and ask questions at Hercules Middle School.

The newly-chartered Hercules Democratic Club is sponsoring an open forum for all those interested to meet and speak with West Contra Costa Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Bruce Harter and school board member Madeleine Kronenberg on Thursday night.

Bring your questions and concerns. This is the first event sponsored by the club. The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in the cafeteria at the Hercules Middle School, 1900 Refugio Valley Rd.

What would you like to ask Superintendent Harter or school board member Madeline Kronenberg?

Ira Sharenow September 08, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I am having trouble understanding why a regional school district with sharply declining enrollment that needs to close schools and that is already spending over $1,000,000,000 on construction projects needs another $350,000,000 for more construction. This does not show fiscal responsibility. I think the thing to do is vote against these regional taxes. Wait and see how the state tax measures do and who gets elected to the regional board of education and then perhaps support a tax in 2013 or 2014. I cannot comment on the competency of any staff for the West Contra Costa Regional School District, but I think its problems are too complex and insoluble. The district needs to be broken up into local pieces.
Valerie Snider September 08, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Ira, the schools that will be rebuilt with the new bond money are schools that the district previously voted to close. Those schools were selected by a very large committee in connection with a school closure plan. The district said it was necessary to close schools due to declining enrollment and budget deficits. Board members Ramsey and Kronenberg have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the construction industry and unions. They believe that the WCCUSD exists to funnel taxpayers' money to their benefactors. Every bond measure is presented as a "safety" issue, but every district school could have been made safe after the first two, three, four, or five bond measures. District teachers ask parents for Kleenex and copy paper (which teachers have to buy with their own money unless parents help out). The ECHS band teacher recruits parents to help clean the band room (because the district can't afford to clean it). The students play on instruments purchased in the 1960s. WCCUSD is like a family that buys a McMansion but can’t afford food, utilities, or upkeep on their property.
Ira Sharenow September 08, 2012 at 09:56 PM
In Albany the teachers organized at least as far back as 2002 (10 years ago) and now the Albany board and superintendent to a large extent look to the teachers’ union lobbyists to tell them what to do. At least that is how I see it. In many places in California the teachers unions are strong. From what people are saying in the WCC regional school district, the teachers’ union is extremely weak. Why doesn’t the teachers’ union run candidates for the board? A BA+60 WCC teacher earns $7,000 less than an Albany teacher and that does not even include the various bonuses that Albany teachers have been getting. For teachers with families, Albany teachers get $6,000 more in health insurance benefits. Why are WCC teachers so silent? Are all school board candidates in favor of both taxes and opposed to splitting up the district? A few knowledgeable people have been posting thoughtful and informative comments on EC Patch, but unless people with real organizational skills volunteer their time not much will happen. http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/App_Resx/EdDataClassic/fsTwoPanel.aspx?#!bottom=/_layouts/EdDataClassic/fiscal/TeacherSalary.asp?reportNumber=4096&level=06&fyr=1011&county=01&district=61127#teachersalaryschedule-annualsalary
Giorgio C. September 09, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Teachers' union? They do not always represent the needs to the parent. I shared a Patch commenter's concern with our Superintendent that not all teachers are using web technology to help parents stay on top of their children's work and progress. The Superintendent stated this item is a bargaining item for conditions-terms of employment. In the private sector, your boss says "Time for you to learn to use Microsoft Excel or hit the highway." You can't reply "I'm part of the older generation, so am exempt from learning this technology." My 80 year old father has been learning PowerPoint for his job. I see a need for unions, but the role should be limited to compensation, benefits, retirement, etc. The union should not be standing in the way of progress.
Giorgio C. October 29, 2012 at 04:51 AM
I'm voting for Todd Groves and Randy Enos for WCCUSD school board. No incumbents! Medrano is the status quo and is not paying attention to Hercules. Studdiford has a wife who is employed by the district and he accepts large sums of money from the developers, so he does not represent the average citizen-parent. Todd Groves is very smart and thinks outside the box and is beholden to no one. And Randy Enos understands the machinations of the district entity.

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