Jim Mordecai 
Member since Oct 6, 2011


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Recent Comments

Re: “Parents, Teachers, and Students at Oakland Charter School Accuse Leadership of Mismanagement

This is about whether private management is corrupt as charters are publicly funded privately managed schools. The idea that private is better or less corrupt than public has not been the historic situation with the American Indian Schools. In fact the history of American Indian is associated with corruption.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 05/24/2017 at 12:04 PM

Re: “After Giving Oakland Schools Measure G1 Money, District Now Taking It Back — Leaving Principals With Yet Another Deficit

Wednesday night the Measure G1 Committee voted 3 to 1 to put back 50% of the Measure G1 money for the next School Year (2017-2018).

I agreed with the one "No" vote because the language of Measure G1 requires the allocation of the Measure G1 money, including the 35% portion after 1% is removed (about $2.7 million) to be allocated after the next school year ends.

But, I understand that after dropping the ball and withdrawing all the Measure G1 $2.7 million funding for next school year that at first was promised District Middle Schools, that providing half the funding for next year makes sense as providing full amount would also mean that there would be zero funding available in the second year.

Since the District has overspent its budget, it can't eat half of $2.7 million or $1.35 million next year.

But, it can, according to the CFO Hal, borrow 85% of the $1.35 million for next year and the same amount will be available the following year. In the third year the District Middle School would be getting the full amount of Measure G1 funding in Middle School grants.

I understand the rationale for borrowing but think that when the Measure G1 funding will be allocated at the "end" of the School Year prematurely allocating the funding by borrowing against the Measure G1 money is not what the Measure language allowed in my opinion.

Another thing about the Measure G1 money is placing it in schools site budgets prior to the Measure G1 Commission approving the grant money is a premature action that seems to have been forgotten in the rush to spend the money even before the tax revenues have been collected.

Also forgotten is that somewhere 15% of the $1.35 million or $202,500 will have to be found. Perhaps the $202,500 (15%) can be charged to the 1% in administrative overhead.

However, there will likely be a borrowing charge for both the 85% and the 15%. Since the County, I believe only lends up to 85% the District will have to eat the 15% or borrow from a different source than the County.

But, again, I think it is important not to short-change the Measure G1 money; taxpayers were told in the Measure G1 ballot language that with the exception of 1% overhead one-third entire amount of Measure G1 would go entirely to Middle School grants.

The method of allocation Measure G1 parcel tax money is complicated based on Middle School enrollment the previously school year grades 6,7, 8.

Yet, another added complication is that seven (7) County charters are demanding an equal share of the Measure G1 parcel tax money because the definition of who is entitled to measure G money in their interpretation of Measure G1 money the County authorized charters are within the "District" and thus entitled to a fair share of the funding for their enrolled Oakland students.

Here is how Measure G1 defines Middle School: "Middle School shall mean any district school or charter school within the District serving grades 6, 7, or 8, regardless of whether the school serves grades in addition to those grades."

The above language was written while the District Counsel Jacqueline Minor was still responsible for overseeing the legal aspect of the District's Measures. The above definition does not clearly stated that Middle School charters meant charters authorized by the Oakland School Board. This means for the next 12 years local property parcel tax money may be diverted from supporting not just District Middle Schools and Oakland School Board authorized charters but County authorized charters too. The seven County charters located in the District may take the District to court for the issue of whether Measure G1 language includes them in its definition of a Middle School. It has not been decided as to whether or not the District will fight the County charters in court and having more education dollars diverted away from education of children.

Because the 74 word summary of Measure G1, 12 year, $120 dollar parcel tax did not mention that Board charters, County charters or any type of charter schools would be getting parcel tax Measure G grant money, many of the over 80% of voters that passed Measure G1 voted thinking all the parcel tax was going for District school site personnel pay raises and Middle School grant money. The way the ballot Measure G1 was written kept the public in the dark as to the role the charters would play in getting parcel tax funding.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 05/22/2017 at 10:21 PM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

Its been a long time but change is coming. Change needed is to make sure charters have language that requires a charter to notify the District when they go out of business. I say business because a charter is like a free business license.

Another thing that bothers me about this article is that Board members take positions on charter school Boards and don't see a conflict of interest between public and private. "...OUSD board President James Harris joined the CCTS board. The Board is entitled to place their representatives on non-profit school boards but the Board needs a rule barring Board members from joining privately managed charter school governing boards.

And, that those charters the District votes on from now on should contain a provision stopping a charter from borrowing against future revenue without the Board as the authorizing authority authorizing such a loan.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 01/24/2017 at 9:21 PM

Re: “Oakland's Ron Dellums on President Trump: 'Step Forward'

I believe in the wisdom of Ron Dellums words in calling on the Left to work with Democratic leadership in defense of the meaning of America and what Lincoln called the "natural better angels of our nature."

He knows the history of Oakland and when those from the Black Community formed a coalition politics to fight job and housing segregation of the day and won extraordinary victories with that coalition politics.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 11/17/2016 at 11:57 PM

Re: “How a Handful of Pro-Charter Billionaires Flooded Oakland's School Board Elections With Cash

Lorraine: The Oakland City Clerk webpage has the filing of GO Public Schools and other Super PACs that spent funding in support of the
School Board candidates mentioned in the article.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 11/16/2016 at 10:26 PM

Re: “Vote With Us! The East Bay Express' Endorsements for Election Day 2016

Jody the charter school Appeaser London is the progressive choice of the East Bay Times? Time for a change in the East Bay Oakland School Board District 1 when Wednesday night Jody London is arguing that buried in Measure J pasted by the voters to specifically rehabilitate the following specific sites Washington Elementary (name changed to Sankofa), Roosevelt, McClymonds, Glenview (being rebuilt with student temporary relocated to Santa Fe Elementary), Skyline, Webster CDC replacement, Whittier, Sobrante Park, Madison and Madison "sports complex", the Broad has the right to take funding from these schools, many over 70 years old to fund the renovation of 2nd Avenue buildings Administrative Building and Dewey High School.

Members of the Measure J oversight appeared and said that the Measure J money could not be used for funding 2nd Avenue projects.

I had another Board member beside Jody the charter Appeaser provide the following language that gives the Board the power to change the site specific buildings that Measure J money can be spent on:

o redeveloping administrative sites and inactive school sites,

o reconfiguring inactive school sites for alternative uses such as teacher housing, alternative academics, and training,

o reconfiguration of sites or parts of sites to house administrative functions, and

o optimizing active school sites to host community partners.

This language is not in the extended text or the summary statement of the purpose of Measure J.

I am still looking to find reference Jody made to Measure J language that allows the Board to switch site-specific priority list for Measure J that Jody the charter Appeaser mentioned at Wednesday night's Special Board meeting regarding plans for Second Avenue facilities.

Jody the charter Appeaser shouldn't be trying to divert money that the public authorized to be spent on listed projects to funding 2nd Avenue project.

Second Avenue is an important project to address but not at the expense of promises made to the voters and property owners that pay the bill.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 11/04/2016 at 2:47 PM

Re: “Vote With Us! The East Bay Express' Endorsements for Election Day 2016

Jody London at last night's meeting regarding Board's plans for new administration building and upgrading Dewey High School facility--both located at 1025 Second Avenue-- referenced language in Measure J giving the District the right to spend Measure J money for rehabilitating the water damaged District Administrative building.

I am not sure, but I think she was referring to the part of the language below that gives the Board the right to make changes in the Measure J listing of projects the public voted on.

Board Member London's assertion that the Board could make change in the listing ignores that the changes have a context having to do with possible adjustments that have be made because the funding is insufficient to fund all of the projects listed.

Its a robbing Peter to pay Paul situation not diverting large portions of Measure J to pay for reconstructing damaged 2nd Avenue Administration building and upgrading Dewey. and negatively impacting the projects the public was promised would be funded.

Finally, the Board's changes would have to be supported by the Measure J civilian oversight committee and the Measure J Civilian Oversight Committee opposes the use of Measure J funding for 2nd Avenue upgrade.

Measure J extended text:
"Completion of some projects may be subject to further government approvals by State officials and boards, to local environmental review, and to input from the public. For these reasons, inclusion of a project on the Bond Project List is not a guarantee that the project will be funded or completed. The Board of Education may make changes to the Bond Project List in the future consistent with the projects specified in the proposition."

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 11/03/2016 at 8:04 AM

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