Were Inglewood USD Parents Bamboozled

IUSDA year ago this month, the current advisory board of the Inglewood Unified School District were preparing to authorize requesting an emergency bailout from the State of CA.  Were obliged with Governor Jerry Brown signing SB533 which pumped $55 million into the district.

Parents were unexpectedly shocked to find IUSD in conservatorship earlier than expected.  State Superintendent, and elected official, Tom Torlakson appointed Kent Taylor as our state administrator.  Torlakson praised Taylor for being from Inglewood and Taylor found him in a precarious position of having to sell Inglewood residents on supporting Measure GG.

Once Measure GG passed with solid numbers, Taylor struck an agreement with the unions and was ultimately forced to resign.  His job wasn’t to come to IUSD and make agreements with unions, he was to get the community to assess an additional $90 million of taxes on ourselves until CDE could figure out a way to get who they really wanted in the job, Dr. Don Brann.

Dr. Brann was a retiree and pension laws stated you couldn’t collect both a pension and a paycheck so while Governor Jerry Brown figured it out, Taylor was to do the dirty work of the state.  Laying off IUSD employees.

You see, Kent Taylor looked like us.  Went to the same schools as us.  Walked the same streets as us.  So we accepted him and went along with his direction.  While the teachers got what they wanted, the rest of Inglewood got fucked with no Vaseline.

Once Taylor was out, again they put someone in charge who looked like us, to continue the elimination of departments and personnel while CDE continued to figure out how to get their boy appointed.

The interim administrator states she saved the district close to $6 million annually by closing multiple departments and reclassifiying staff.  CDE continued to honor “some” contracts but is refusing to honor the agreement with the teachers.

Dr. Brann has been successful of enhancing the Wiseburn School DIstrict by having independent charters open.  Independent charters have their money delivered directly from the state and are responsible for their own budgets.  Dr. Brann serves on the board of trustees in the capacity of a volunteer receiving no pay or benefits (probably due to the previous pension laws) and was also retired for the last five years.

Does CDE expect Inglewood to believe there were no current superintendents, working in the job now, to perform the duties in IUSD?  Why would Governor Jerry Brown go out of his way to “look out” for his boy and gift him with an additional $180k annually with Brann still collecting $197k from his pension?

Independent charters are not required to follow guidelines of the district, therefore if Dr. Brann decides to allow DaVinci schools to penetrate Inglewood were will that leave the teachers not qualified to return?  Crenshaw High School will lose half of the teachers on staff due to their applications for rehiring being denied.

This is election time for Tom Torlakson.  He has been fundraising and needs the unions support in order to return to his seat.  However, Inglewood union members be alert and logical.  Remember what just happened to your fellow union members in Chicago.  Fourty-nine schools closed AFTER they reached an agreement as a possible retaliation to the teachers strike in the prior months.  The unions have big decisions to make next school year for that’s when their current MOU will expire, conveniently after Torlakson’s re-election.

CalPro may want to amend their weekly message of badgering Rod Wright and Steve Bradford with phone calls.  You can’t cry every time you don’t get your way and ask for a new administrator.  Dr. Brann is here to stay thanks to Governor Jerry Brown signing AB86.





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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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