Day 99 Thursday, March 25, 2010: "Money" - Saving the Mont
 
Day 99 Thursday, March 25, 2010: “Money”

Today is Thursday, March 25, 2010, a big day if you’re into significant numbers: Day 99 of my time left at the Mont. Now it feels like a real countdown since we hit double-digits.

There was a lot of significance today, not that I was asking for it: the administration had their propaganda up—pink sheets of paper in numerous places, extolling “301 Certificated applications, 214 Classified,” or some such. The numbers grow by leaps and bounds, like college students describing their… parts. And we all know that when you hear someone talking about size or numbers… Well, you know…

Interesting that these seem to be the only numbers LAUSD, D7 or our administration seem to be interested in discussing. Remember when all this started? In early December, there was supposed to be an independent audit of
FremontHigh School, actually Stage One. Stage Two was supposed to roll out in mid-February. However, the person working with the budget went away in November… moving on to bigger and better things? (I remembered seeing this person around that date at 5:30 a.m.
, which was pretty unusual) Did the desktop computer that was carried out of an office move on, as well?

Then December 9th came—in the middle of the week the independent audit was supposed to be going on. We were told that “
Fremont
” misspent the vast amounts of money that comes to the school. Superintendent Cortines, late of Scholastic Books, which sells a load of materials to LAUSD (but there is no conflict of interest) said that that he did not know how it was misspent, but the implication was we did it.. And what with the frenzy over the “reconstitution” under NCLB (which LAUSD is not following legally)—or is that “restructuring”?—the entire matter of the audit disappeared off the radar faster than me after a bad date.

HAS ANYBODY HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THE INDEPENDENT AUDIT? EITHER THE DECEMBER PART OR THE FEBRUARY PART?

Interesting timing, that, eh? Discover a crisis and be immune from answering any uncomfortable questions.

I guess if you create a crisis, people forget about questions like “What happened to hundreds of thousands of dollars?” Reminds me of a scene in “All the President’s Men.” No one answers the question when it is asked; instead I hear crickets, see a tumbleweed blowing through, hear a coyote in the distance. And I quote Ben Braddock, the publisher of the Washington Post, played by Jason Robards, “When is somebody going to go on the record in the goddamn story?”

SO WHERE IS THE MONEY? HOW MUCH IS UNACCOUNTED FOR?

So the numbers game continues. Their side says they’ve met with parents. We find out the numbers are pretty small. Our side, prevented from a parent/community, held one and we got real numbers—I’m honest enough to admit I don’t have them in front of me and was taught not to lie by my parents.

We say our number who have signed the pledge not to reapply (but some were classified and some who signed crossed the line); their side sounds like Carl Sagan in “Cosmos”: “Billions and billions have applied…”

But no one talks about the money.

HOW MUCH MONEY WENT MISSING?

Instead, we have Superintendent Cortines, late of Scholastic Books—who resigned but said he didn’t do anything wrong, but was resigning anyway—complaining about “Charlies” driving golf carts at school and that they wouldn’t do that anymore. Too expensive?

But no one talks about the audit.

So where did that money go, the money the Fremont faculty was accused of “mis-spending” along with our other thoughtcrimes and not meeting the needs of our students?

A penny for your thoughts, eh?


 

 
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    Chuck Olynyk is a Social Studies teacher who saw the effects of reconstitution upon John C. Fremont High in Los Angeles. These are reposting of his original blogs from the Save Fremont website.

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