Tuesday, November 6, 2012

David Cruz from AM 1150 interviews Bob Bruesch and Dr. Johnson

David Cruz interviewed both Garvey School Board Member Bob Bruesch and Garvey School District Superintendent Dr. Sandra Johnson. The David Cruz Show can be heard weekdays from 3-6 PM on KTLK AM 1150 in Los Angeles.

The interview with Bob Bruesch occurred on October 31, 2012. It can be heard by clicking the link below.

David Cruz interview with Bob Bruesch

The interview with Dr. Johnson took place on November 5, 2012. It can be heard by clicking the link below.

David Cruz interview with Dr. Johnson

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How much is the Superintendent's pay increase costing the District?

There has been much discussion as to how much the salary increase of Dr. Sandra Johnson, in conjunction with her decision to come out of retirement after over 10 years, is costing the District.

Our calculation places the added annual cost at $42,549.63!

 If anyone in the know can explain why this is inaccurate, please let us know.

Cost to the Garvey School District General Fund. 

New Salary $170,000
Previous Salary $148,516
Net Difference $21,484

Doctoral Stipend (She was not previously receiving this stipend.)

Payment to the State Teacher's Retirement System (STRS)
Since Dr Johnson decided to come out of retirement, the District must now pay 8.25% into the pension system on Dr. Johnson's behalf. No STRS payment was being made prior to the change in the contract. An equal payment was being made to an annuity instead. The School Board decided to continue the annuity despite the new payments to STRS. The annuity is considered creditable income and the District is paying 8.25% on it as well.

Dr. Johnson's total income for STRS includes $170,000 salary, $12,722.82 annuity, $5,100 Doctoral Stipend, $5,700 car allowance.

Total income - $193,522.82.

STRS Payment = $15,965.63 (8.25% of total income $193,522.82)

$21,484 (Salary increase) + $5,100 (Doctoral Stipend) + $15,965.63 (STRS Payment) = $42,549.63

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Channel 5 Coverage of School Board Meeting - October 4, 2012

Upset parents and community members attended the School Board Meeting on October 4, 2012. The event was covered by Channel 5 news.

Channel 11 Coverage of School Board Meeting - October 4, 2012

Upset parents and community members attended the School Board Meeting on October 4, 2012. The event was covered by Channel 11 news.

Los Angeles Local News, Weather, and Traffic

Monday, May 7, 2012

No Confidence

The membership of the Garvey Education Association voted "No Confidence" in Garvey School District Superintendent, Dr. Sandra Johnson last week.

Ninety-six percent of the teachers support the "No Confidence" Resolution.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Contentious School Board Meeting

Emotions ran a bit hot at the last School Board Meeting on the 19th. The meeting was held at Bitely School to accommodate the large crowd.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune ran an article about the meeting. It can be found at the following link.


There are some inaccuracies, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

200 at the last Board Meeting

Over 200 people attended the last School Board Meeting on  March 29th. Many were protesting Superintendent Johnson and the School Board's decision to remove Principal Collaso from Willard School.

Mrs. Collaso has worked closely with teachers and parents to help raise test scores and win a Title 1 AA Award in 2011.

The next meeting will be on April 19th at 6:30 PM.

The Truth About Garvey

A blogger simply named Garvey Teacher has been writing about the situation we all find ourselves in here at the Garvey School District. The blog is called "The Truth About Garvey." Two of the blog entries are especially pertinent here.

The first is entitled "Collaboration is Dead." It speaks about the Garvey School District Local Educational Agency Plan.

The second is entitled "The Budget Committee."

To read the entire blog, click here.

The Illusion of Collaboration

The Leadership Team

Before Dr. Johnson’s arrival, the teachers at Garvey School District schools decided who they would like to represent them on their school site leadership team. That all changed with the arrival of Superintendent Johnson.

o       Leadership teams were slipped in during the summer.
o       The Leadership Teams are now chosen by administration and are essentially an arm of administration. They do as they are told and at some schools, teams have been chastised for leaking information to other teachers.
o       Teachers have no say as to what topics are to be discussed because they are simply carrying out the agenda of administration.
o       The leadership teams are perfect examples of the appearance of teacher input, but the bottom line is administration gets what they want, one way or another. Administration knows what their end objectives are and if the work the leadership team doesn’t fit the objective, it is thrown out. If it does fit, the team is congratulated for their hard work.

Two examples from Garvey Intermediate. 

1. Garvey teachers spent a couple of Wednesdays working on master schedule ideas at the behest or the school’s leadership team via administration. In the end, these ideas were not used and the parameters were set by administration.

2. Early in the leadership team process, Garvey teachers considered having the leadership team lead Wednesday Collaboration Sessions. The principal said it would be inappropriate for the leadership team to run the collaboration meetings because she runs the leadership team and she would therefore have to lead the Wednesday meetings. The leadership team does not exist without her.

 As hard working as all the teachers serving on leadership teams are, their function is essentially "assistant to the principal." No collaboration here, just working administration's agenda, through chosen teachers.

Parents Go Unheard

Superintendent Johnson and the School Board disregard parental and community input at Board Meetings.

In the Spring of 2011, parents attended several Board Meetings and spoke in favor of continuing the successful Honors Program at Garvey Intermediate. 

Dr. Johnson stated the School board does not get involved in curricular issues. She stated the decision would be made by the site principal, but the principal did not make the decision.

The Honors Program was cut in half at the Superintendent's direction and the School Board's full knowledge and acquiescence. 

Acquiescence is not leadership.

Unjustified Layoffs

The District has a 14.5% reserve, totaling over $6.5 million, but they have cut over 30 teachers. 

These excessive cuts must be stopped.
Despite being in a terrible financial situation at the state level, the District has managed to increase its bottom line to a 14.5% reserve. They have also laid off over 30 teachers. Declining ADA and other factors do not justify this many RIF notices. Peoples lives should not be disrupted unnecessarily. Rescind the RIFs.


Superintendent Johnson and the School Board disregarded the safety of students and employees during the windstorms and a water main break.

o       During the wind storms, two of the Garvey District schools were without power. This also meant no heat. Superintendent Johnson decided to leave these schools open. She said it was “an adventure.” Teachers and students had to navigate dark hallways and bathrooms and rooms with windows that didn’t face the sun were very dark.

o       After the first day, GEA asked the superintendent to cancel classes the following day for safety reasons. It was dangerous getting to and from school without even considering a day at school in the dark. The Alhambra police department recommended that Alhambra schools close and they did. Rosemead also closed their schools, but Garvey remained open. Again, the district made its decision without regard for others. There was power at the District Office.

o       On another day, the water main broke at Rice School. The students were sent home, but teachers had to remain on duty even though there was no running water.