Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Opinion/Letters to the Editor October 2022

october 6 issues:

New SDUHSD contract: If one peels back the skin, the picture is always more complicated

I feel that Marsha Sutton’s article commenting on the new San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) contract begs for some context. Full disclosure, I recently retired after the 2021-22 school year after 31 years teaching History at Oak Crest. A school year, by the way, where we teachers worked without a contract. In all my years, typically, a new contract would have been negotiated and approved during this past spring semester. Depending on the month, salaries and bonuses would be paid retroactively to the previous January. But because of the intransigence of Mr. Allman and Mrs. Muir, the new contract wasn’t approved until this new school year (2022-23) had already begun. So to say that $3,000 is going to teachers who no longer work in the district is shamefully disingenuous. It’s true but not really accurate because the new contract covers the Spring Semester of 2022 during which I was an employee of the district.

Ms. Sutton also bemoans these payments while the district is running a deficit. While this may be true, let’s also look back over the tenure of Mr. Allman and Mrs. Muir. I have a couple of questions. Over the last three years, how many lawsuits have been brought against this dysfunctional school board or initiated by the school board and at what cost? Because of all the legal issues facing the board, they had 1-2 attorneys on hand for every board meeting. At $500 an hour it adds up. On top of that, before Allman and Muir arrived the board averaged around 20 board meetings a year. Under the leadership of those two, there were around 80 meetings in two years. Maybe Mrs. Sutton could write about the astronomical legal bills paid by the district because of the shameful conduct of Mr. Allman and the school board in general.

Finally, by my count, this district paid salaries to two former superintendents who, you guessed it, no longer worked in the district. And how much money was paid to a Texas firm to search for a new superintendent only to choose Dr. Ward who was living in North County San Diego? By the way, this school board fired her within a year

Again, the facts presented by Mrs. Sutton only address one side of the story. The false narrative of greedy teachers and unions are always easy low hanging fruit. But if one peels back the skin, the picture is always more complicated.

Geoff Westermeyer,

Carlsbad

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