CUSDWatch Presentation To The City Of San Clemente
Taxpayers Need Local Oversight of the
Capistrano Unified School District
Local Oversight Is The Only Way To Protect
The Educational Interests Of Students, And
The Financial Interests Of Taxpayers
Presentation to the City of San Clemente
A Continual Lack of Adequate Per Pupil Funding From the State Is Placing a
Growing Tax Burden on Local Municipalities – Other Bond Measures are already in
City Mayors learned about Measure M in July 2016
(4 months prior to the election) from constituents; not
in ad hoc meetings with CUSD. Most local municipalities
and elected officials do not closely follow their local
school board. They do not have the resources to pay
staff to attend meetings and report on school board
actions. Most importantly, CITIES, COUNTIES AND
LOCAL BUSINESSES LEARNED THAT THEY CANNOT
AFFORD TO ALLOW LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO
OPERATE WITHOUT STRICT OVERSIGHT IF THEY WANT
TO ENSURE A QUALITY EDUCATION FOR STUDENTS,
AND PROTECT TAXPAYERS FROM MUNICIPAL TAX
UNDERSTANDING CALIFORNIA'S NEW EDUCATION FUNDING
LAW "LOCAL CONTROL FUNDING FORMULA"
The "Base Grant" is universal for all students.
The "Supplemental Grant" provides additional funding to districts based on the percentage of students in the
district that are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or are in Foster Care.
The "Concentration Grant" provides even more funding for districts that have large concentrations of students
that are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or are in Foster Care.
The State set the Base Grant at $6,500 per student when it implemented the Local Control Funding Formula.
Districts with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch,
or are in Foster Care are funded solely by the Base Grant.
LCFF Limits Per Pupil Funding to 2007-
08 levels + Inflation
• California's new education funding law; "Local Control Funding Formula", limits per pupil funding to 2007-
08 levels + inflation, not to be reached until 2021.
• By 2021, CUSD will have had flat funding for 14 years straight at less than $7,693.20 + inflation per pupil.
• CUSD is one of the most underfunded school districts in California; and the United States, receiving one
half of what the Laguna Beach Unified School District receives (just ten miles up the road).
Average per pupil funding United States: $11,009
Average per pupil funding in California: $9,595
Average Per Pupil Funding Laguna Beach: $15,823
Average per pupil funding CUSD: < $7,693.20 + inflation
THE STATE IS CHOOSING TO UNDERFUND
CERTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICTS
State Revenues Are At Record Highs
In 2007-08 State General Fund revenues were $103 billion; today they are $122 billion, an
increase of $19 billion.
In 2007-08 Total State revenues were $145 billion; today they are $171 billion, an increase of $26
The State has sufficient revenues to adequately fund every student in K-12 Public
Education but is Choosing not to.
The State Set the Base Funding Grant To Low
In December 2006 the State of California commissioned a study to determine the actual cost to educate a student in California in
2007-08. According to the study, the minimum cost was $8,932 per pupil. The study also showed that CUSD; a suburban school
district should be receiving between $10,726 and $12,077 per pupil to provide all students with a minimum education.
The State Set the Base Grant at $6,500 per pupil knowing that the minimum cost to educate any student in California was $8,932
Whether it is an unintended consequence, or by design, setting the Base Grant at $6,500
deprives EVERY STUDENT who lives in a District with a low percentage of students who are
English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, or are in Foster Care of the
minimum funding needed to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to obtain a
minimum education, as mandated by the State Constitution and Equal Protection Clause of the
United States Constitution.
Some examples of local revenue streams:
• Fundraising for Art, Music, Science – those schools that cannot fundraise go
without Art, Music, or Science that aligns with minimum State Content
Standards and Curriculum Frameworks, and it taught by a properly
credentialed teacher. Relying on fundraising and donations to fund core
educational programs creates wealth based inequities within CUSD.
• ASB funded positions $200,000 - $300,000 per month at $10 per hour. How
is the increase in minimum wage going to effect funding these positions?
• Parking fees - CUSD generates over $500,000 per year in revenue.
• No on Measure M CUSD’s $889 million dollar School Facilities Bond could
have cost every property owner up to $600 per year for 25 – 35 years
CUSD lacks transparency and has already demonstrated that it was willing to hide an $889
million dollar bond from local agencies. CUSD has chosen to give employees 4 consecutive year
of across the board compensation increases totaling over $120 million, while refusing to spend
$10 million to fix every leaky roof and HVAC system in the District.
CUSD cannot be trusted to take care of students, or be a good steward of taxpayer
Despite record high revenues, the State of California's 5-year Infrastructure Plan does
not allocate a single penny to K-12 Public Education. $51 billion of the $55 billion dollar
plan is allocated to Transportation aka "High Speed Rail". Because the State is CHOOSING
not to allocate funding for K-12 facilities, every school District in the State will be forced
to take on massive local debt to fund school facilities. That has already begun to happen
with the passage of 162 new Prop 39 Bonds in November 2016.
The State takes tax money that should be spent on education and uses “excess revenue
to start new programs and entitlements that are not constitutionally mandated.
Finding Solutions Starts with Knowledge
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
I created CUSDWatch (a paid subscription service) to provide local municipalities with a fast effective way to digest a 500
– 1000 page Board Agenda so that Cities could force CUSD to be more transparent in order to ensure that the educational
interest of students and the financial interest taxpayers will be represented in all matters before the Board.
The CUSDWatch subscription service will provide elected officials and other interested parties with the following:
• I will read the Board agenda when it is posted 72 hours prior to a meeting and provide an overview of the
upcoming meeting. I will flag items of interest to particular Cities or groups so that they may comment on the item
BEFORE the Board votes and post the preview on CUSDWatch.
• I will continue to attend board meetings; pull appropriate items, and speak on the record as an individual.
• After each Board meeting, when the board audio is posted, I will summarize the vote on each agenda item,
and mark the corresponding board audio so that items of particular interest can easily be found and listened to. The
review of each meeting will be posted on CUSDWatch.
• I will continue to publish articles online, and in the local Patch. I will send articles to the local press so that
the Public will be able to gain greater awareness of CUSD Board policies and actions.
• A sample of the December 14, 2016 CUSD Board meeting review is available for preview online at
CUSDWatch at the following link: http://cusdwatch.com/index.php/december-14-2016
The first Board Meeting is January 25, 2017. Subscription services will begin with the January 25, 2017 board meeting.
The subscription cost is $250.00 per meeting. There are about 20 regular board meetings, and 4 optional dates for special
meetings. One subscription will cover an entire City Council, City Manager and City attorney at an annual cost of
I am requesting that that this Item be put on the City of San Clemente’s next Agenda for Board Approval.
On Wednesday January 18, 2017
CUSD is having a special board
workshop at 6:00pm.
1. Conflict of Interest Training
2. Asset Management planning.
The following are Items from the November 2016 – December 2016 Board Agendas
that are of specific interest to the City of San Clemente:
• CUSD is not affording Talega residents the same priority in choosing schools as
Ladera Ranch, despite the fact the the law entitles both Mello Roos areas to have a
seat at two different schools. They are not notifying parents in Talega of their
• The “Re- Imaging of San Clemente’s Lobo Elementary School misleads the public. It is
a “branding/marketing scheme” and makes no real changes to curriculum.
• Fund 25 spending by Trustee Area – did san Clemente get its fair share of funds?
• Matriculation Pathway for the Mandarin Immersion program is unfair to San
Clemente Families who have multiple children at different schools and will force
many to stop attending MIP.
• CUSD Staff (without Board approval) has been eliminating funding for high achieving
students and has systematically dismantled the GATE program. Kristen Vital’s
statement on the record verifies this.
WARNING TO ALL TALEGA RESIDENTS THAT WANT TO ATTEND SAN JUAN HILLS HIGH
Talega CFD Study Area 1500 can enroll in San Juan Hills or San Clemente.
The following is a Statement from Laura Ferguson Talega Residents for Fair Taxation:
Talega students have the legal right to attend either San Clemente High School or San Juan Hills High School. They
cannot be denied a seat at either school.
Per CA Govt. Code Sect. 53312.7 taxpayers who funded facilities with Mello-Roos cannot be turned away. CUSD
changed the boundary a decade or so ago for Talega from SJHHS to SCHS. Due to the large amounts ($20M at each
high school) of Talega special taxes (Mello Roos) that CUSD spent on SJHHS and SCHS --this includes $10M in
surplus Talega special taxes (the amount over collected that was never "refunded" back to the taxpayers (despite
CUSD declaring years ago that Talega taxpayers had already met their funding obligations for facilities per the
Mitigation and Formation Agreements) being used now for the new two-story, 24 classroom buildings being built
each at SJHHS and SCHS, Talega students have choice. A couple years ago when members of our Talega Residents
for Fair Taxation citizens advoacy group met with Supe Vital, she shared how she believed once the road opened
that about half of Talega kids would want probably choose SJHHS and the other half SCHS. Both great schools to
choose from; however, if you choose SJHHS you have to go through School of Choice and there is no way around
it at this time. My comment pertains to the $20M Talega Mello Roos spent on SJHHS for construction as well as
another $20M Talega Mello Roos spent on SCHS.
CUSD does not want Talega kids going to SJHHS, it’s been obvious for years. RMV was not required to build a high
school. Those kids will attend SJHHS and Tessoro without paying any special taxes to mitigate their impact on
CUSD schools. Ladera kids received correspondence from the district for their kids to have choice to attend
SJHHS or Tessoro. Talega was not afforded the same courtesy.
San Clemente families with no notice from CUSD will not have a choice in schools UNLESS they apply through
School of Choice – as last priority if the Board Policy Changes on January 25, 2017.
San Clemente families appear to have 2 choices:
1. Apply via school of choice window. Get in the school. They cannot be denied. Talega generates
only 600 kids and by law can attend either high school in which their mello roos was used to fund the school
facilities. Plus they also pay the ad valorem tax every homeowner pays, so pay twice as much.
2. If they miss the window (which it appears many will because CUSD is not properly informing
parents, nor are many parents aware of the law), sue the district to gain access
Learn more: http://cusdwatch.com/index.php/restricted/agenda-item-31-first-reading-board-policy-
School Board Agenda Items That Should be of Concern to the City of Dana
Watch Lobo’s Presentation to the Board at the December 14, 2016 meeting Agenda Item 30
Future Steam Workshop – Engineering Book Camp Cheer – Create Art (parent paid/run art)
On May 11, 2016 the Board was asked to revise district policy regarding renaming under
enrolled schools to potentially add the word “academy”. However, trustees determined that
a new policy was unnecessary due to the board’s current ability to rename schools.
The presentation is Agenda Item #37 Exhibit 37 on page 401
Board Audio at 114:19 http://cusd.capousd.org/cusdweb/audio2015-
Trustee discussions regarding changing the names of schools to “Academy” is it just a
Note: Lobo Elementary School does not receive District funded Art taught by a credentialed teacher as
required by law. See my presentation to the Board Jan 2015
Fundraising for Visual And Performing Arts
By law, every school district in the State of California is mandated to offer and fund a visual and
performing arts curriculum for every student in grades K-12. In grades 1 - 6, the law requires a district to
offer two visual and performing arts classes at each elementary school site. The Capistrano Unified
School District is no longer funding a K-3 Primary Music Program for all students in grades 1-6. The
Capistrano Unified School District is no longer funding an art program for every student in grades 1-6. The
District has cut art and music programs, and is relying on fundraising and donations to pay for art and
music. Those schools that are unable to fundraise have no art and/or music. This creates inequities in the
quality of education a student receives within the District and is a violation of many governing laws:
Lawsuit and supporting documentation for City Attorney Review is in Count 16 above.
The District is relying on fundraising and donations to pay for art grades K-5. Those schools that cannot
raise sufficient funds offer no music and/or art. Depriving any student of a visual and performing arts
curriculum is a violation of their fundamental right to a quality education.
There is nothing new about this parent run program – there is nothing STEAM or
innovative at Lobo. San Clemente kids deserve District funded art and music.
Parents are now fundraising
for Music Teacher Salary
Increases. Many schools
cannot continue to increase
fundraising to keep pace with
compensation increases and
have had to cut parent
AND SPENDING TO
THE TAX WILL
RECEIVE A BENEFIT.
The Mandarin Immersion
program started in San
Clemente. The Board just voted
on a Matriculation pathway that
will effectively make it
impossible for San Clemente
families with multiple children
unable to attend.
In 2013 the State of California
implemented the Local Control
Funding Law. Under "Local Control"
the California Department of
Education has eliminated most
categorical programs, and is
allowing individual school districts
to decide how to spend their
education dollars. see:
District Staff; without Board of
Trustee approval; has, since 2012-
13 let CUSD's GATE program die.
Concerned parents are now
appealing to the Board to provide
funding and special programming
for CUSD's high achieving students.
Superintendent Vitals Statement:
KRISTIN VITAL’s statement about the lack of programming for high
Board Audio at 190.24 (3 hours 10 minutes and 24 seconds)
"I think that one of the outcomes of tonight is because this was something that was happening at the Staff
level without the Board, having a conversation with the Board, and getting your values is really important. And
so, I think what I have heard is that the majority of you very much want to see a GATE like program with some
level of humm - separation... I don't know another word. Some way of meeting the needs of kids in that way
and that we need to build some programming and potentially bring that conversation back along with some
evidence and research about what this means or doesn't mean for all kids. Frankly this helps us to be able
start this conversation because before what was happening is that in isolation, not now, a year or two ago
making some plans without the Board. So I do think this is important and we are happy as a staff to be able to
given that value to build something and bring that back. Does that make sense?"
THE ELIMINATION OF GATE
In California, education is a fundamental right that
belongs to all — not some — of our students.
Depriving a student of their fundamental right to achieve equality of
educational opportunity; simply because of where they happen to live,
and irrespective of their individual wealth, race or ethnicity,
constitutes invidious discrimination.
All students are entitled to the Equal Protection of our Laws.
The continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a notable decline in
the academic performance of students across all demographics. Our children
are no longer receiving the minimum education that the State is mandated to
provide. Local municipalities can not raise enough local taxes to meet the
needs of students.
Cities MUST help taxpayers advocate for our fair share of Education Funding.