Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 1, 2014

Are you being served?

I wrote a follow up comment about the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society’s case against the City of Alameda, School District and Housing Authority yesterday, but wanted to make sure that everyone saw it.   So I did ask both the City of Alameda and School District for a copy of the complaint, but no one had it.  Weird right given that the agenda item was clearly there on the School District’s closed session agenda.

Turns out as of Tuesday night the case had been filed with the court, but not yet served to the parties.

But here it is on the (now crappy pay site) Domain Web:



March 25, 2014

Alphabet School: MFP, LCFF, PE

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

The Master Facilities Process for the Alameda Unified School District is slowly chugging along, at tonight’s School Board meeting there will be a presentation on where the architects are in the process after many public meetings at individual schools.  Personally it didn’t sound like these were all that well attended, but that’s not surprising given that it’s tough to get people out to these meetings.  The point of this agenda item is not to take any action, that will happen at an April meeting where the architects will present a draft process on how to proceed based on the three outlined priority plans.

If the School Board approves the process, then it will be taken to the Community meetings to get input.  It’s not clear if the architects along with MOF will have a list of projects in order of priority by the time the community meetings roll around, but given that the District is looking at placing a bond on November’s ballot I would imagine that everything is time sensitive at this point.



March 13, 2014

What’s the land deal-io

Filed under: Alameda, Business, City Council, Development, Public Resources — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

So I was watching Tuesday night’s School Board meeting and here’s what I was struck with.   One of the arguments that kept coming up, particularly from the neighbors from the Wedge neighborhood because they seem particularly unhappy, is that the School District is getting a raw deal.

It is strange when you consider the narrative that has been repeated during the whole GSA Neptune Point thing is that the GSA and the City and whoever should have bent over backward to accommodate the East Bay Recreational Parks District and essentially hand over the property at whatever price the EBRPD wanted to pay.   Accusations were lodged that the City of Alameda wasn’t working as a partner with the EBRPD and that it was the onus of government agencies to work with one another.


September 26, 2013

Transformers, more than meets the eye

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

And since were on a roll of questionable social media behavior, next up: School Board member Trish Spencer who decided that it would be a good idea to post about the contract package for the superintendent and other assorted personnel matters on her Facebook page.  I’m not going to post screen shots to the Facebook page, you can choose to trust that the information is on her Facebook page and that I didn’t play with the wording.  What the contract package did was (1) bring the Superintendent’s health benefits in line with other District employees and  (2) removes the performance pay benefit.   These are the two things that some people have said are the most troubling thing about the Superintendent’s contract waaayyy back when — and was to blame for the bad blood between the Superintendent and Teachers’ Union — and the addendum would remove those two items in exchange for a one year extension.   The way that Trish Spencer made it sound was as if these were bad things.   I mean, there is a SAVINGS to the school district to eliminate these two things but the way her commenters commented one would think that these things are costing the District money.    But the interesting characterization isn’t the troublesome part of what Trish Spencer posted.   No it’s the other stuff.

First off this portion:

Why does the majority of the Board (excluding myself here) feel compelled to extend her contract when it doesn’t expire until almost 2 years from now?

Given that the meeting had not happened at that point.  No one had voted on it, unless she is saying that she has already taken a poll of the others (brown action violation) to gauge how they would be voting, it was premature for her call the vote, which she did.   But everyone knew she was going to vote against it right?  Because the unusual thing would be for her to actually vote FOR an agenda item.  So color us all not shocked.  While I’m not thrilled with the timing, I mean the District really has the worst timing ever, the premise makes sense.  The Superintendent’s contract is due to expire right around the election (possible bond measure and school board election)  if the School Board gets two new members it would be good to have some sort of continuity in the form of the Superintendent or else, chaos.  Particularly with this School Board.


August 30, 2013

Abandon hope all ye who enter here

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Yesterday afternoon I tweeted this:

That’s right, Alameda Unified School District’s Chief Financial Officer (Chief Business Officer?  whatevs…) is now the latest senior staff member to jump ship off the S.S. AUSD.   While I know that some folks were hoping to take out Superintendent Kirsten Vital via a heavily pro-AEA slate last election, the causalities in the conflict between the District and AEA have instead decimated the senior staff ranks of the District office.


August 29, 2013

Speak for yourself

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

I’ve been slowly catching up with the School Board meetings, mainly because sometimes they are so damn hard to find and sometimes because I’m lazy and it’s exhausting to listen to sometimes. I did want to address one overarching theme though that I’ve been thinking about a bit. I think the last School Board meeting, not last Tuesday’s but the one before that, where it really crystalized for me.

So, presently, Board Member Trish Spencer has been sort of the de facto voice of Alameda Education Associates (AEA aka Teachers’ Union) on the Board.  For almost every issue, almost, she tends to vote against whatever the issue is and say that AEA should be consulted on the issue, irrespective of what the issue is.  For example, there was the agenda item about the School Facilities Bond and after talking and talking about it Trish Spencer essentially said that she couldn’t make a decision on the School Bond without first consulting with AEA.


June 11, 2013

Enroll call

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, School — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Tonight the City Council agenda is kinda meh, it’s the budget again because something was wonky with the construction project list. The interesting stuff is all going on at the School Board.   But first, one thing that is notable is that the City finally decided to make the complete spreadsheet of the budget available for those that were interested in the nitty gritty numbers to crunch.   It was kind of silly for staff to initially withhold the document.   I’m glad someone came to their senses at the City and decided that there is absolutely no reason to not allow people to see the actual numbers.

The full budget-y goodness can be found here.  But back to the School Board.

First up there’s a whole agenda item about the Wood Middle School and its program improvement status and enrollment. I guess there is a need for this agenda item because there have been suggestions that District Staff have been calling families to urge them to go to the Junior Jets program at Encinal. Staff contends that they have been calling families who indicated that they were both attending Wood AND multiple other schools, so they were simply trying to figure out where those students were actually going to.    Which is what the School District should do.   However, the one valid beef that Wood supporters do have is the fact that the District moved ACLC to the Wood campus, citing the additional space there, but have been informing inter District students (that means kids not from Alameda) that Wood is now impacted with resident students (that means kids from Alameda) and they have the option of enrolling in the Junior Jets program or going to Bay Farm for 7th grade only.   But that number of students is probably pretty small, plus folks generally aren’t too sympathetic about students from outside Alameda attending Alameda schools.


June 6, 2013

SpEd off

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

So remember this post I wrote on the difference between last year’s budget and this year’s budget for AUSD and it appeared that there were cuts to the school site budgets.  Turns out the reason why it appeared that there were cuts is because from last year to this year District staff removed Special Ed service dollars from their budget.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 6.32.04 PM


June 3, 2013

Negative percent

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Last Tuesday’s School Board meeting there was an agenda item with recommended budgets by school site, the short summary is that most schools sites have cuts.

I put into a spreadsheet the numbers from last year’s budget and compared it to this year’s budget.  The stuff in the light pink is for 2013 and the blue compares this year’s numbers to last years:


May 21, 2013

Brick by brick

Tonight the School Board will meet to talk about, what else, the Historic Alameda High School under the “Shared Interests/Principles Meeting” headline.   Whatever that’s supposed to mean, I imagine that people will say the same thing that they’ve said at all the other meetings.

But I’m going to draw your attention across the Bay to San Mateo County where the passage of a two huge school construction bonds have amassed a staggering amount of money to renovate and modernize a ton of schools in that area.  From the San Mateo County Times:

The San Mateo Union High School District and San Mateo-Foster City elementary district are engaged in a building and renovation frenzy fueled by voter-approved bonds.

The money is coming from Measure M, a $298 million bond measure passed by voters in 2006.


Older Posts »

Blog at