Town Square

Post a New Topic

District 'not successful' in filling communication post

Original post made on May 14, 2013

The Palo Alto school district so far has not been successful in its search for a new communication coordinator but the search will remain open until May 31, officials said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 9:17 AM

Comments (20)

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2013 at 10:36 am

This position is completely unnecessary and too costly. Communication falls under the job description of the superintendent.

Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 14, 2013 at 10:54 am

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.

Like this comment
Posted by Why, why, why
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

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.

Like this comment
Posted by Tony Putulin
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2013 at 11:14 am

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?

Like this comment
Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 14, 2013 at 11:17 am

You need to get your facts together [portion removed.]

I personally know someone who held that position for several years.

Like this comment
Posted by ,..did you see this
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

I notice there's been nothing on last week's Newsweek release of the best public high schools.

Paly 161

Gunn 583

Web Link

Poway is 317!! Looks like Skelly's old district is doing much better without him...

Like this comment
Posted by Interested observer
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

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.

Like this comment
Posted by ...did you see this
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

ooops - I messed up on the weblink to Newsweek top high school..

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

I recommend we cancel the search and the position - its a horrible waste of money

Like this comment
Posted by Ann Bilodeau
a resident of Community Center
on May 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

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.

Like this comment
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on May 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

[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.

Like this comment
Posted by Umm
a resident of Monroe Park
on May 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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.

Like this comment
Posted by Jordan mom
a resident of Community Center
on May 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm

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.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm

> 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.

Like this comment
Posted by Let a thousand flowers bloom
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm

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.

Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm

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?

Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Coaches at the two high schools receive annual CPR and First Aid training.

Like this comment
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

PAUSD Board of Trustees

Subject: “Public Relations Officer” Position

Elected Officials:

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/year—the 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 taxpayers—this $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

Like this comment
Posted by Tis All I Can Say
a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2013 at 8:59 am


Like this comment
Posted by Responsibility
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Make no mistake, this PR position is coming back after summer. Skelly is merely waiting for this OCR mess to blow over.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 16 comments | 4,520 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 1,022 views

This time we're not lying. HONEST! No, really!
By Douglas Moran | 5 comments | 608 views

Couples: When Wrong Admit It; When Right; Shut Up
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 505 views

One-on-one time
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 433 views