Entries by Kelly McGee

When is a political campaign neither political nor a campaign?

California law prohibits government officials from using taxpayer dollars “for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure.” But on February 13, in the meeting room of the Santa Ana Unified School District, school officials revealed a political campaign that began with shaping public opinion and will end in November with a district-wide vote on a bond measure that will cost residents hundreds of millions of dollars.

School officials want you thinking how to spend millions, but not how they’ll get it

Under the guise of measuring public opinion, Santa Ana school officials are trying to shape it – and they’re using taxpayer dollars to pay for it. In April and May, Santa Ana Unified School District officials papered the city with mail that looks like a poll. The direct-mail campaign included questions about how residents would […]

The perilous state of Santa Ana schools

School officials in California’s sixth-largest school district are working overtime to promote a massive $1.2 billion bond tentatively scheduled for a districtwide vote in November. Yet behind their chatter about improving Santa Ana Unified facilities is a stark fact: Student enrollment there has been falling steadily for over 15 years. And declining enrollment means declining […]

Before they called their schools ‘deteriorating,’ Santa Ana officials called them ‘exemplary’

Call it a tale of two school districts: The Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) is sending out conflicting messages regarding the status of its schools: their facilities are amazingly good — unless they’re amazingly bad. According to the School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs) posted on the SAUSD website, all of the district’s high schools […]

A Time for Choosing: The End of Forced Union Representation

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in favor of Mark Janus, making it unconstitutional for union leaders to compel public employees to pay “fair share fees”. In anticipation of this decision, union-backed lawmakers in Sacramento have been pushing bills to limit the freedom of government employees to choose whether they can be represented by unions. Think of these […]