This document along with an email was sent to the Corbett School Board on March 29, 2012. You may read my original email message here. So far there has been no response from the school board. I will note this page if I receive any reply.
The Corbett School District Deputy Clerk sent out the board meeting minutes from the April board meeting on 5/14/2012. According to the information provided, there were two statements that I agree needed correction on my pdf.
There were also two statements that needed clarification. I have corrected those areas and noted them below with some additional facts and background. I have also updated the pdf and shared this page with my emailing list for this site and CSD updates.
Item #1 of 2
The vote to extend/expand the Charter was held in executive session
No it wasn’t. The vote was in public session.
- Official board meeting minutes state that there were two comprehensive executive sessions on expanding the Charter. However the actual vote ( an “action item” ) was added to the agenda ONE DAY before the board meeting. ( The two newest board members, Aho and Mickalson, at that time, felt since this was the first time this topic was in the public view, that it should have been allowed more time for discussion and public input. )
- The vote was 5-2 Select here to read this section of the official board minutes from 3/9/11. )
- Superintendent Trani met with board members individually prior to the board meeting. This was mentioned, in the official meeting minutes, by Director Mickalson where he states that he still had questions about his meeting with Mr. Trani the day before on this topic.
- This vote was not mentioned at the Q&A held by the Superintendent the same night, held immediately prior to the board meeting. Many people at the Q&A went home. They had no idea our board was voting on anything like this that night.
- This vote was directly tied to and meant to mend the $725,000 shortfall that was discovered in the budget soon after Superintendent Trani took over the chair from past Superintenent Bob Dunton. ( This shortfall was the reason for the “emergency meeting” that was called of the school board the previous September 2, 2010. That meeting was held at 4:00 PM, on the last day to file to place a levy on the ballot, and the paperwork was filed with the County at 4:35 PM. See the official documentation and more info here.
- Charlie O’Neil, long time board member and supporter of Bob Dunton, again mentions in the meeting minutes our NATIONAL RANKING under “the same administration as is running CCS…” as a reason to vote this expansion/extension through. ( Also mentioning “TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE” – which is again the same push we had when we STARTED the original Charter School. )
- Director Childs ( replaced by Director Purvine at the last election ) mentions, on the same official record, that the Community Forum held in January 2011 showed the community support for the Charter expanding, as another reason to vote yes. ( However there was no mention at all about the petition to keep CSD small, submitted to the school board meeting during that same month. Nor was that information calculated into the Superintendents handouts at that time showing the results from what the community had to say.)
The result of this vote…
- The Corbett Charter School Association was granted an expansion of seats ( allowing up to 510 out of district students ) and an extension of their original contract from 2012 to 2014 without review or public input.
- We “gave up” any additional seats we had to bring in kids under HB3681 into our own district [ Link to info on this here. ]
- We lost our grade school library and exceeded our legal occupancy of the grade school building by adding classrooms.
- While this agreement was supposed to include for allowing funds to return to our district from the Charter funding ( as we allow for a 100% “pass through” of ADMw dollars to the Charter ) – we will likely not see much of this money. ( Why not? Because the Charter school has chosen, instead, to spend it. ) Examples: Offering iPad incentive programs to their freshman ( there goes about $20,000 this year not coming back… ), four recent $5,000 scholarships to their seniors ( another $20,000 not coming back …) they are allowing for potentially an additional 10 extra days of curriculum development for the Charter teachers in this upcoming year’s budget ( there goes a lot more $$$ not coming back…. ) … AND don’t forget that Bob Dunton and Sheri Dunton ( Both listed as the highest compensated employees on the CCSA’s 990’s ) earned a combined income for 2010 of over $326,000 plus.
Item #2 of 2
Randy Trani’s book, “Falacies in Education” does not specifically promote leaving instruction out of schools for writing and math.
The book does, however, focus on the changes made to Corbett School District by Bob Dunton and Randy Trani, as stated in the original PDF. These changes, to be fair, have included leaving out instruction in areas traditionally taught to children in most other public schools. To find out more about Randy Trani’s book you can read a community member’s book review of it here.
On the topic of ….
“We will soon be three times the size we were in 2008”
This assertion was based on Randy Trani’s statement at a board meeting that his feeling is that Corbett School District could be run optimally at 1500 students, or more. (He actually stated that he would take as many kids as would make us money.) The fact is that the original population of in district students ( Corbett students only ) in 2008, would make the above statement correct. I have adjusted my statement to reflect the current numbers and to read:
” We will soon have more out of the area students than those that actually live in Corbett. The numbers seem to point to around 700 out of the area students, and their vehicles, on our rural roads every day after the Springdale School (CAPS) opens. “
On the topic of….
Bob and the Cascade Locks Charter School Association – All true.
- Bob Dunton was a consultant for the Cascade Locks Charter School.
- This was the same application denied twice by the HRSD.
- This was the same application the State of Oregon denied sponsoring.
- The State of Oregon agreed with HRSD that the curriculum did not meet core standards of instruction for all students.
- Bob claims he was brought in AFTER the fact and defends the merit of the application. ( But in truth: Bob actually was more closely involved with the efforts of Connie Kennedy Buttaccio on their Charter Application, as is mentioned several time in HRSD board minutes. )
- Superintendent Charlie Beck said ON RECORD that Bob Dunton and Connie Kennedy Buttaccio could not provide a complete scope and sequence tied to the state content standards in board minutes from HRSD. ( Meaning the students at Cascade Locks would not meet the minimum requirements of the state… For the core content courses. )
- Connie Kennedy Buttaccio referenced Bob, as her consultant with the Cascade Locks proposal and mentioned him as the best in the state. Connie also referenced Bob as her friend in board meeting minutes.
- In fact, parents in Cascade Locks NOT supportive of this Charter School called the attempt to open the Charter there the “BOB AND CONNIE SHOW” which would seem to support the idea that Bob Dunton was more closely involved in this push to open the Charter School in Cascade Locks ( and/or merge CSD with CL ) than he might be happy to admit.
- HRSD Board of Director, Liz Whitmore, stated in July 2011 at the Charter meeting about the application that: “ I think we just also need to remember that the proposal that Mr. Dunton and Charter Starters helped develop was also denied. “
- Bob also presented at Connie’s invitation back in 2008 on how to save money in her school where she was a Superintendent ( Nestucca ) by blending classrooms. ( 2 years before being invited to help with her Charter idea in Cascade Locks.)