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April 18, 2021



"A Fish Rots from the Head Down."

How can the Board of Education sign new contracts with their Superintendents when there are serious issues of negligence and ethics.

Both the BSD and the SMUHSD leadership are engaged in serious ethical issues.

The article above and the statements and actions of Mount-Benites show that his actions regarding the budget may be suspect.

The SMUHSD's Superintendent Skelly, Deputy Superintendent Black, and Principal Duszynski each face the suspension of the credentials for unethical behavior.

How can an elected Board engage in binding contractual employment when there are serious ethical questions?

The SMUHSD officials have pushed their appeal to later in the summer as they are attempting to get the teacher to settle her legal claim and then mandate that she drop the CTC Educator complaints as part of the deal.

A public Board would not sign a contract with a construction firm, vendor, or legal firm that was under investigation or attempting to operate with suspended credentials.

Why would we do the same for the leadership of the organization.

The four education leaders described collectively make over $1 million in pay and benefits.

If these employees are not able to clear up and clean up the mess, then there should be no contracts and they can find work elsewhere.

The CTC Educator Misconduct Investigators and Committee have already found Skelly, Black and Duszynski as guilty.
There is no debate on that issue.

The teacher was bullied off the campus.

Maybe its time to lead by example and not by covering up negligence.



6/15/2021 3:30 PM

Special Meeting of the Board of Trustee

This meeting is being held pursuant to Executive Orders N-25-20 and N-29-20 issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Any or all Board members may attend the meeting by phone or teleconference.

Members of the public may also join the meeting electronically via Zoom.

Join the webinar.


Meeting ID: 883 3046 1490

Password: 370185

3:30 p.m.

Bruce Dickinson

Well folks, I found it highly amusing that the SF "Comical" as Joe likes to call it did such a cogent point-by-point repudiation of our unmasked Governor cum-foodie, Gavin Newsom. When you read this, from the mouths of the UCSF experts themselves, it really makes you question the qualifications of those people running our state and at least makes me immediately want to jettison this idiot ASAP. It's during a crisis that you really see real leadership vs fake leadership, and unfortunately, Mr. Gavin is looking more and more like a charlatan every day and is totally bought and paid for by special interests (more on this below).


Want to know the real reason for the nonsense? It's the California Teachers Association, yes one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party and Gavin Newsom's single largest donor. The CTA is now fighting the recall effort tooth-and-nail and trying to help out their chief enabler.

Of course, Private school students were in school since August...so exactly what public health disaster did public schools present that the private schools didn't? Is there a logical reason? If so what is it?

At a loss for an answer? Well, here's your answer: it's about money and influence. The CTA couldn't give a rat's &ss about the pandemic and public health. They just wanted to maximize the benefits for their members, no matter what the science said...these were all power politics maneuvers to extract the most out of school districts, while using public safety and children as the "human shields" for their agenda. Now that has largely failed, it's time to move on to the next thing: pay to deal with the difficulty of pivoting from distance to hybrid to in person learning (a pivot that didn't need to occur had everyone been in school in August 2020).

Now the very same teachers who were complaining the loudest about the being "forced" to work in unsafe conditions (despite the fact that there have been no school-based super spreader events GLOBALLY), are the VERY SAME ones complaining about not getting pay raises.

Well, fool me once, shame on you..fool me twice shame on me. You only get to cry wolf once and when you did it the first time, flying in the face of all medical, CDC, public health advice and in defiance of common sense, you proved to be 100% wrong. Going back to school was perfectly safe in Burlingame just as it was in every school around the globe, public or private. Now that you've squandered political credibility, the pay raise issue I think is falling on deaf ears. The sympathy level for teachers who didn't want to return to school, who taught private learning pods on the side, threatened to quit, tried to recruit parents to post on Nextdoor for them, came up with all sorts of nonsensical excuses to not return to work...is all pretty much summed up in two words: very low.

Sorry BSD teachers, I think your platform and credibility has been severely weakened, to put it mildly. Bruce Dickinson is happy that the BSD was one of the first public districts to mandate a full return to school and since then my granddaughter has been so much happier...just like all the rest of the children in her shoes. And she and the other kids have all been perfectly safe!


If you feel comfortable sharing a little more Mr. Dickerson.. If you "could" have voted in the last Presidential Election, would you have voted for Trump?
Mr. Dickenson, are you Anti-Labor?
i.e. Unions, Family/Medical Benefits, Vacation/Sick leave Benefits, childcare?

What about HC Placards on Sport Cars.

Bruce Dickinson

Holly-baby, I'm an old-school registered Democrat and I voted for Biden. However I feel the Democratic party in general has swung too far left, especially in California. Traditionally, I have supported many of the causes espoused by the Democratic party (social safety nets, benefits, unions), but that is changing to the point where neither party is doing a great job of reflecting the Dickinson World View. Some unions like the CTA and Prison Guards wield so much influence (said $$$) in California that decisions by our government are being rendered that no longer make any sense and only serve to placate highly specialized interest groups who are willing to pay up.

As you know from my numerous tomes of wisdom, Bruce Dickinson is a pragmatist and I'm not really allowing any ideological framework trump pragmatic identification of problems or solutions.

I call 'em like I see 'em. Always have, always will. For the kids at home, that is the key to being in the upper echelons of success!

Always approach problems and life in general with an eye of finding and learning the truth. It will lead to better decisions and better outcomes!


I've had all that stuff: family medical, vacation and sick time, and more like 401k matching, tuition assistance, commuting subsidy, etc for years. Years I say. Never been in a union even for a minute. Another nice landing wrong airport?


I can’t argue with BD on most of the issues.

The state level CTA power is only second to the Prison Guards (not many know that fact).

The local unions have no influence over the state CTA and most every teacher had no choice but to join the union. They are so young they would not even know it was a choice to not join.

The locals are left to negotiate contracts and pay dues. When push comes to shove regarding an individual teacher, the member usually loses, and CTA isn’t going to fight.

Here is what successful local school districts HAVE figured out. Make it local. The Board finds a Superintendent who loves the community and will run the show for the people. The Board and the Superintendent recruit, train, and retain the BEST teachers possible, pay them, medical, etc so they don’t leave. These people stay for years. These people do music, drama, coach, etc. The teachers get attached to the community and the community to the teachers. It's a win-win.

So where did we go wrong?

We hired 30-year old’s with no experience to become administrators and paid Superintendent’s almost $300,000 for a few years rather than a decade.

Burlingame would never hire a Superintendent from West Sacramento (WTF?). If BSD was serious, it should buy a nice house in Burlingame and the Superintendent and family live at reduced rent as part of the contract.). (the Palo Alto school district's next superintendent will receive a starting salary of $300,000 and pay a monthly rent of $1,800 to live in a district-owned property in Palo Alto- As the PA Superintendent, Kevin Skelly received a $1 million interest free loan to buy a home- they now offer $1.5 million.)

Burlingame High School is a shadow of its past. BHS teachers are not connected to BHS students or families, but they love the “perks” of Burlingame. Do any of the BHS teachers or administration care about the upcoming 100 year anniversary?

Bruce Dickinson is not wrong about his current observations of the landscape. Its time to forget about the rest of the state and take care of the home-town crowd.

The real return to school after COVID will come in the fall and those teachers are going to have a significant responsibility to care for the variety of needs of the kids.

Superintendent Mount-Benites is not ready for Burlingame as he has his sights set on a much bigger stage. Let him go now and land someone more local who knows the town, the people and the schools, or at least comes from a similar area.

Pay the teachers or not, this situation does not look like an arrangement that will be in the best interest of Burlingame for the years to come.

BSD is approaching insolvency and the SMUHSD's leaders are having their credentials suspended.

Any other wealthy town in America having THESE problems with their schools.

Bruce is a very successful music producer.

Bruce, would you do when the band just couldn't find its sound or produce another hit record.

The dispute about the salary is a distraction from what is really going on in our schools. We should look forward, remember and fix the past, draw upon our strengths, and build a stronger future.

(it sounds like new leadership is needed at multiple levels, but that is up for discussion.)


The BSD Budget Approval Meeting was June 15th and only lasted 10 minutes and almost all of the time was spent on other smaller items. It makes me think of my Gardener who shows up every two weeks for 10 minutes of Blow and Go.

The Board seems like a buddy club where they just agree with everything the Superintendent says and recommends. How does this represent the school district families and tax payers.

I find it interesting that there was not email / invitation with the zoom link like other meetings, especially as this was critical as the main agenda item was to approve the budget for next year during a time of financial troubles.

The board members either look asleep at the wheel, or don't seem to have the energy and smarts to fulfill their roles. He Board just rushes through the agenda and doesn't seem to have any interest in the actually topics, but it comes across more like a process that needs to be gone through as quick as possible.

This recording is of Burlingame School District's Special Governing Board Meeting on June 15, 2021. This meeting was primarily to approve the district's Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the 2021-2022 Budget.



An elected position on a school board is great resume and LinkedIn content. The job (and the free healthcare at the high school level) requires members to know and understand what the administration is doing.

Unless the Board member is using the seat to get somewhere else: political appointment, mayor, superintendent in another district.

These folks are hesitant to pull the trigger (when needed) as an adverse but necessary action may spoil their personal aspirations.

Superintendents care about two things: Salary and Retirement. Remember, these folks are under the teacher pension system, and they get a WHOPPING payout based on their salary.

A Superintendent, earning $285,000 a year retires at 65 with 35 years in education (including teaching) will be paid $20,000 PER MONTH in retirement. The individual most likely also has a separate 401(k) which has been well funded.

GOOD school leaders are worth every penny. Everyone else is just lining their pockets with the public’s money.

The public SHOULD get what it pays for and if the performance is not at the required level, then remove the leader and get a new one.

The pay levels at “premier” school district are similar, there is no reason to keep an inferior product employed when there are much better leaders available.

Board members and Superintendents should not be friends. They should not have lunch, play golf, or engage in “professional” presentations at conferences.

Superintendents are employees of the public and should be held to the highest levels of standards and ethics (in everything!)

SMUHSD Superintendent Kevin Skelly stated, “I only need to keep five people happy, the members of the Board, that is it.”

The SMUHSD Board is asleep at the wheel. Superintendents Skelly and Black are past their use by date.

Skelly helped destroy BHS and now he is doing the same at Mills. Black has been an Assistant Superintendent for 13 years with no offers for a Superintendent’s position. He is the one responsible for the failures in “diversity hiring” and the racial/equity issues that have exploded on the school site. In response the Board approved the expenditures to hire a consulting firms (2) to perform diversity hiring and anti-racist professional development.

Why not just hire an Associate Superintendent that can perform those tasks?

School Boards are intended to direct a Superintendent, not be a doormat.

BSD’s Mount-Benites already trashed the West Contra Costa district, and if he is left in place, he may do the same in Burlingame.

The BHS Parents Group wanted Principal Di Yim removed at the end of her first year. The SMUHSD leadership mandated that she stay. She destroyed well over 80 years of the history and traditions of the school.

Imagine if the Board had pulled the trigger and ordered the Superintendent to remove Yim by not renewing her contract, as they knew they should have? Instead, the BHS Parents (who already paid $10,000 to redecorate Yim’s office) funded Professional Communications and Leadership Training for Yim to stave off what they knew was coming from “the principal who carried the parasol at lunch while wearing white gloves so that she could sample the student’s lunches. (Not like that was an indication that things were going wrong?).

It was Deputy Superintendent Black that kept Yim at BHS.

Superintendents don’t have any ‘skin in the game.” They can walk away and into retirement while the school are collapsing behind them, and nothing happens to THEM.

As Bruce Dickinson states above, fool me once, shame on you..fool me twice shame on me.

Burlingame, you have already been fooled once- this one (at both levels) is on us.

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