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Original post made
on May 14, 2013
This position is completely unnecessary and too costly. Communication falls under the job description of the superintendent.
The PAUSD has never had a 'mouthpiece" and doesn't need one now. Communication is the responsibility of the superintendent. This position will also require a secretary, an office, a separate phone line, computers, expense account, travel expenses to conferences, and
additional 'overhead'. The School Board should quash this right now and cancel this position.. If this superintendent can't handle communication, he should be terminated. In fact, that's a good idea anyway. Old timers are just shaking their gray heads over the dysfunction in the PAUSD. Enough!! I've seen some really pathetic superintendents over the years, but this situation is just sad.
Why does the city plead poverty when cutting services, and then try to dole out money for a professional mouthpiece for Kevin Skelly? It is part of Mr Skelly's job to speak for himself, let him do it at no additional charge.
Please don't reopen the position. The $150K would be well spent in more important and pressing ways. For example, Paly could you use additional funding to support the College and Career Center Program. Right now, the administrative support staff for the two full time counselors are being strictly run by parent volunteers. Gunn can also use additional financial support in whatever forms and ways they are needed (e.g. guidance program enhancement). And how about hiring a Bullying Czar to address the bullying issue?
You need to get your facts together [portion removed.]
I personally know someone who held that position for several years.
I notice there's been nothing on last week's Newsweek release of the best public high schools.
Poway is 317!! Looks like Skelly's old district is doing much better without him...
PAUSD did have an ineffective communication specialist for a while. In this case, the difficulty with finding someone to fill this position is that the superintendent wants a public relations spokesperson to cover up his and the district's errors. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to be the lackey who does this, even for $150K. It's time, Kevin, to bow out if you cannot figure out how to communicate your personal commitment as well as programatic changes that will protect all kids, including the disabled and the underserved. Perhaps the district and the board can justify spending the money on such a position based on the supposition that there will be fewer lawsuits as a result! The population served by PAUSD can read through any attempt at a cover up of ineptitude.
ooops - I messed up on the weblink to Newsweek top high school..
I recommend we cancel the search and the position - its a horrible waste of money
In response to "why, why, why," I think it's useful to remember that the City of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto School District are two separate legal entities with separate budgets. It may still be a fair comment that that the School District can't afford this position, but the School District is not "the city," even if we often think of our schools as emblematic of the city.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Fire him and the Special Ed staff and get County recommended staff and the OCR problems will just quietly go away.
No " $150k+ mouthpiece " needed.
$150k would be better spent on QUALIFIED Special Education staff. Firing Skelly would help, too.
The original story about this (Web Link) reported that Skelly earlier told the school board that they had several very highly qualified candidates. You should also report that fact. Did they not pan out? Did anybody ask Skelly that? Do they have any candidates in the pipeline?
In short, are they actually trying to fill this position, or have they figured out that this is a really bad idea and are just saving face? At this point, the biggest PR mess the PR flack is going to be faced with is their own hiring.
I would like to see this money sent to our schools for use by teachers. Let's remember the main purpose for a school district. I get that our school board members feel attacked but this isn't the way to deal with that. Talk to people directly! That always works best.
> I would like to see this money sent to our schools for
> use by teachers.
This sentiment is one of the main reasons that the school district is in as much trouble as it is. Teachers generally only want the money spent on salaries and benefits. The do not teach better, or more, because of bloated salaries.
The money would be better spent managing the District with more modern management techniques, rather than a very wealthy dysfunctional family.
Hey Bob that would also be good as would Tony's suggestions or Ken's for counseling. Healthier lunches would be another use of the money. Those women trying to promote that we're practically on their knees crying and pleading, they got bupkis. What about using it for AED training. We have dozens of AEDs sitting in a closet somewhere not in the schools -- no money for CPR training just for the flak to explain why we didn't have an AED when we needed one. How about sexual harassment training at PAly to combat rape culture. More humanities courses at the advanced level. New math curriculum to replace EDM. Foreign language for all. Extra large box of xerox paper. All would be better than PR.
Does anyone remember what all those school district leadership (PTAC, Skelly, school board) people were saying if we didn't pass prop 30 ?
Now that prop 30 has passed, they are adding frivolous positions like the PR Hack, passing out raises, hiring consultants to mislead the public....
What a waste. Does anyone remember the need for more high school conselor resources? or the help some of the disadvantaged students need to improve their educational opportunities?
Coaches at the two high schools receive annual CPR and First Aid training.
PAUSD Board of Trustees
Subject: "Public Relations Officer" Position
I can not express my disappointment at your decision to fund a "Public Relations Officer" recently. Given the very high salary, and the pension benefits associated with this job (~72% at 30 years), the cost of hiring such a person vs the benefits to the parents, and taxpayers, is extremely questionable.
My sense is that an Auditor would be much better for the long-term health of the District, than someone who will clearly be little more than a "spin doctor". Given that the cost-to-employ this person will easily be over $200,000/yearthe PAUSD will expend over $1M over the next five years alone on this position. Can anyone on the Board fully explain how much value to the District, and the taxpayersthis $1M will bring?
Has the Superintendent actually produced a job description, and an ad-hoc work plan for this position, so that you have any idea what this person will do?
Please take the time to think this through. This use of funds makes little sense to me, and I suspect, most of the people in the PAUSD
Make no mistake, this PR position is coming back after summer. Skelly is merely waiting for this OCR mess to blow over.
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