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February 11, 2020


Barking Dog

Agree Joe, was always a no brainer to vote for a bond/measure for both entities.

I stopped voting for any SMUHSD bond measure about 10yrs ago after the proven misuse of bonds, the total unprofessionalism of the board members, the handling the joint field agreement with the city, KRN, the pool, Liz McManus... in fact when I reached the age that I could opt out of the parcel tax the SMUHSD has, I did.

I will probably vote in favor on the elementary school bond as their board seems to be pretty transparent, the parental volunteer involvement is fantastic and the schools/teachers were fantastic to my children.

NEW Prop 13 is an easy no. Isnt one of the main arguments for split roll on original Prop 13 that the schools aren't getting their fair share of funding? So once the split roll gets voted in an implemented then its double taxation. No thank you.

Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson agrees mostly. The elementary school bond measure seems like a no-brainer. The key differentiator for the BSD is the strong community support, which directly feeds into the maintaining premium real estate prices (yes, yours truly will vote in self-interest!).

The SMUHSD with the whole Mr. Nelson debacle and actions with that never ending HS swimming pool, completely robbed the Burlingame community of any trust. So guess what? Bad actions have consequences. You pull a fast one with our community, and guess what? Burlingame responses in the way that it hurts most: cut the funds. Might make them think twice of trying to push us around next time!

I still think BHS should secede from SMUHSD and join the BSD. We have a much more homogenous community with common goals and interests and significantly better governance, so BHS housed in BSD can only improve it! Now you can't just secede, but the groundwork should be laid to make it clear to the SMUHSD that we will do everything in our power to make the district accountable to its customers!

Barking Dog

Is it realistically feasible for BHS to secede from SMUHSD to BSD? I really like that thinking Bruce.


2007 -Superintendent Sam Johnson hides $73 million in debt from the $298 Measure M Bond measure for fear the bond "would not pass" He added a $3.5 deficit to the budget, causing mass layoffs in the early months of the semester.

2013- Welcome to the Samuel Johnson Jr. Performing Arts Center at Capuchino High School!

Bankrupt the school district, hide $73 million in debt and cause massive job loss. Get a Performing Arts Center in your name and honor?

This is the SMUHSD.

The SMUHSD is currently selling its 40 acre Crestmoor site in San Bruno. How much will that bring to the table in addition to the $385 million on Measure L. How much money is actually needed?


February 12, 2007
Sucking the Life out of the SMUHSD

$73 million in debt with little or no cash flow to make payments
Over $143 million of classroom funds will be used to repay this debt.
$73 million in debt was suppressed from the public during the $298 million Measure M bond campaign for fear that the bond would not pass.

$3.5 budget shortfall of the 2006-2007 school year
Financial reserves spent down to .25% (3% is standard)
Deficit spending for last 3 years
Teacher and staff lay-offs
District is under financial scrutiny from the County Office of Education

Formal complaint from the Public Employees Relation Board (PERB) for numerous unfair labor practices. These complaints may result in formal sanctions and penalties against the SMUHSD.

No contracts with either the CTA or CSEA employees.

95% of the members of the Teachers Association have affirmed a vote of No Confidence against Superintendent Sam Johnson and Asst Superintendent Ethel Konopka.

Library, support staff, and Special Education resources have been pillaged to pay for budget shortfalls.

How much is too much?
Is this a school district that is being run on the values of open communication, honesty, and ethics?



Bruce Dickinson

Yes, it is feasible for a school to secede from a district. Bruce Dickinson can ask my lawyers to look up the specific provisions within California, but I believe both the "old" and "new" districts of the school in question have to have a popular vote, and the secession measure would have to pass both districts.

This would make so much sense for Burlingame and would ensure complete local control of BHS and aligns the K-12 curriculum to a specific Burlingame clientele in a seamless transition through the grades. As others have pointed out, SMUHSD has been a pretty poor steward of funds and the games they played with the Mr. Nelson transfer, Principal "Dancing Di" Yim's incompetence, and the BHS pool brouhaha and endless delays that have costed nothing but money and years of wasted time and energy that could have been directed to much more productive endeavors. Burlingame has a higher standard, and so far the SMUHSD has failed to meet the needs of the Burlingame community.



The transfer was retaliation and an “inside hit job” by a small group of very immature teachers, Principal Yim, and a District Office leader who were specifically named in state and federal complaints.

The SMUHSD refuses to respond to Public Record requests for items such as legal expenses paid and number of cases, number of complaints filed regarding disability issues, etc. These are legitimate requests regarding how the public's money is being spent.

Talk about shooting the Messenger-

The Huston Astros are going to look like angles compared to what has transpired here.

The next SMUHSD Board election(s) may get very interesting in Burlingame.


KRN would you care to weigh in on the high school bond measure's validity?


As you think about your vote on the state-wide proposition, take note of this from Govern For California:

A recent NPR story about the US Education Department probing universities over foreign funding reported that one excuse some universities have given for taking foreign money is that "state funding for higher ed really hasn't fully rebounded since the Great Recession." That statement is both true and untrue in California.

General Fund tax revenues in California have more than rebounded, up 44 percent compared to the 2007-8 fiscal year before the Great Recession.
Likewise, dollars provided to CSU and UC have more than rebounded to levels provided the year before the Great Recession. But UC's share of the General Fund has fallen 16 percent and CSU's share is just three percent higher with the result that, together, their share of the General Fund is seven percent less than the year before the Great Recession. That's in part because much larger shares of the General Fund are being allocated to Medi-Cal and Retirement Costs, which grew 63 percent and 148 percent.
Together, Medi-Cal and Retirement Costs now consume nearly one-quarter of the General Fund, a 27 percent increase in share since 2007-8. Both Medi-Cal (which is an entitlement) and Retirement Costs (which have some level of contractual protection) are legally senior to discretionary programs like UC and CSU*. Absent reform -- which means obtaining greater value (health!) for Medi-Cal spending and cutting retirement liabilities -- spending on both will continue growing faster than revenues. That means less for discretionary programs like UC and CSU, which together now collect less than one-seventeenth of the General Fund.

Barking Dog

Who is running vs Friedman and Land in Nov? Anyone?

Boggles my mind how Dwyer and Hanley keep getting elected in.


How do people keep getting elected? Nobody runs against them!

As for schools "changing districts," there was a process a number of years ago whereby Portola Elementary was annexed by San Bruno from Laguna Salada. It took some 20 years, though.

As for the high school bond measure, aren't we still paying off the previous bond? Aren't they asking for a lot of the same things they asked for before?

Barking Dog

Yeah, good point HMB, easy to get elected running uncontested.

Are Friedman and Land running uncontested in Nov?


As a private citizen, an observation can be made that the Board can only be as good as the information to which it has access. Boards often form a comfortable relationship with the Administration rather than a Leadership Role. In Palo Alto, the Board adopted an adverse role as they were not seeing the outcomes they desired. The Palo Alto Board went as far as to hire a law firm to investigate its own Administration (resulting in employment reprimands to administrators)

If information is kept from the Board or the information the Board receives in skewed or incomplete, then the Board cannot give proper direction to the Administration.

During the Mills High School AP Investigation, court records show that the district office leaders admitted fault and offered the College Board evidence that would exonerate most of the students. If the Board had knowledge of the information below, wouldn't they order the district administrator to produce the information?

The Federal Judge admonished the SMUHSD in her ruling for its improper behavior.

"Director of Curriculum and Standardized Assessment for the School District, participated in a telephone conference call. Id. ¶ 35. During the call, Ms. Clark admitted that there were testing irregularities at MHS, but asked whether the score cancellations could be limited to only the particular students impacted by the violations of test protocols. Id. The College Board expressed a willingness to consider her proposal if she could provide information regarding the seating arrangements that were more detailed than those previously provided by..... Although Director of Curriculum and Standardized Assessment stated that she had additional seating charts that she could provide, none were presented to the College Board."

The legal opinion of the case is listed below.


Palo Alto hires a Law Firm

KRN-Mills AP-Scores

The SMUHSD hired a private investigator, Chris Reynolds to investigate the "testing irregularities" at MiIlls High School. A public record request for this document was rejected multiple times as the administration does not want the information out in the public.

The College Board stated that they "had NO interest in investigating the incident at Mills High School. The only reason the opened an investigation is because the SMUHSD continued to stall the investigation and failed to provide the requested information."

If the "adults" were responsible for the cancellation of the student AP scores, why didn't the Board take this position and take responsibility for the incident?

Third party investigations are subject to public record requests.



I was waiting until the 4:30 pm report from the county to update this post, but today's download looks the same as last night's, so we will have to wait til 4:30 tomorrow.

The news reports indicate the "new Prop 13" is failing, Measure L for the high schools is less than a percentage point below the threshold and Measure O has about a 2 point cushion for passage.

JC-SMHSD Board-Time to Remove

SMUHSD Board- "you reap what you sow..."

"As others have pointed out, SMUHSD has been a pretty poor steward of funds and the games they played with the Mr. Nelson transfer, Principal "Dancing Di" Yim's incompetence, and the BHS pool brouhaha and endless delays that have costed nothing but money and years of wasted time and energy that could have been directed to much more productive endeavors." BV Poster

The SMUHSD Board (including its Burlingame Members) have screwed over the taxpayers of Burlingame Time and Time again and the present marginal loss is because the taxpayers of Burlingame are DONE with the lies. The next SMUHSD election will be to replace the initial members of the SMUHSD Board and two years later... the others. You failed to protect BHS as well as its values and traditions.

The current Board not only allowed the destruction of BHS, but also advanced the culprits in order to keep their fully paid health benefits. The Bond loss and its expenses are on your shoulders. BTW.. Thank you for the Samuel Johnson Jr. Auditorium at Capuchino High School where you "honored" the person who wasted millions of dollars of public funds. The public has caught up with the game......


You have to refresh the top page of the Election results (https://www.smcacre.org/march-3-2020-election-results-0) before you click through to the results page. Here is today's update:

The "new" Prop 13 is winning in the County, but plenty of news reports indicate it's going down statewide. It appears to have a 12 point deficit which is too much to overcome. There's a move to disallow any more propositions from using "13" citing confusion.

Measure L - SMUSHD has 34% reporting and is .35% short at the moment. That's about a 4100 vote difference to this will be close.

Measure ) - BSD Bonds has a 2.67% cushion which in my experience is enough to say it will pass. Only 36% of ballots have been counted, but that feels like enough of a cushion to me.


Measure O financed by: https://public.netfile.com/pub2/(X(1)S(a3yuy5bwk4vqptyppfjnanrm))/AllFilingsByMeasure.aspx?id=184367161


Maggie MacIsaac is retiring, the DJ reports:

A new era for the Burlingame Elementary School District is beginning, as officials tapped a new superintendent to replace Maggie MacIsaac, who is retiring after nine years atop the district.

The district Board of Trustees unanimously agreed Tuesday, June 9, to hire Christopher Mount-Benites, who is slated to start as superintendent Wednesday, July 1. He will serve as successor to MacIsaac, who announced in March her intent to retire at the end of the school year.


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