Paso Robles teachers plan protest Tuesday

April 22, 2013

school busA “silent rally” is planned by the Paso Robles Public Educators (PRPE) and students’ parents Tuesday at the district’s board meeting to call attention to ongoing differences with board members and Superintendent Dr. Kathleen McNamera

“Instead of raising our voices in anger and frustration, we are going to protest in silence,” said history teacher Robert Skinner, treasurer of  PRPE.

Teachers in the district gave McNamara a vote of “no confidence” by a 97 percent margin earlier this year. She has initiated pay cuts and unpaid furloughs for employees for the coming budget year.

PRPE Executive Director Jim Lynett said McNamara’s current plan to cut salaries is tied to what he calls “McNamera’s projected deficit spending” in the 2014-2015 school year.

“This is in direct contradiction to Governor Brown’s budget predicting rising school funding through 2017,” Lynett said. “It’s like buying tire chains for a predicted snow storm two years from now, even though it hasn’t snowed in Paso Robles since 1986.”

Lynett said McNamara “has waged a campaign to bolster her public image.”

Next step in negotiations for officials of the district and PRPE is a process called “fact finding” on May 8 — which Lynett notes “ironically is California’s Day of the Teacher.”

The teachers’ union Tuesday activities start at 4:30 p.m., when parents, teachers, employees, and others will gather in the Paso Robles High School parking lot. They will then march along Niblick Road to the school district office for the “silent rally.” Then, petitions in support of what the union calls “a fair contract settlement” will be presented to board members.

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For JennyDrive or anyone else who still doubts that Dr. McNamara received a vote of no confidence from the Banning teachers, here is what has been posted on since Jan, 2008:

On her last day on the job, Banning (CA) Unified Superintendent Kathy McNamara lashed out at her critics, blasting them as “mean-spirited,” “vindictive,” and creating “a horrible climate in which to work” in a letter she read aloud at a November school board meeting. She is leaving her position to move to the Paso Robles (CA) school district, after receiving a vote of no confidence last fall from the board. McNamara had been widely criticized for her combative relationship with the teachers’ union and for her management style. “I think it is time for teachers to take stock in their leadership and decide if it’s time for a change—a change from negative, adversarial tactics that breed a climate of mistrust, ill will, and lack of personal integrity,” McNamara said at the meeting. She also sent copies of the letter to employees and newspapers.

If that paragraph is NOT true, then why has Dr. M allowed it to remain–unchallenged–on the world wide web for 5.5 years? Why didn’t Dr. M fight tooth-and-nail to get to remove it? For that matter, why did she rescind her demand that the PRHS journalists retract their assertion that “Dr. McNamara received her second vote of no confidence”? Lastly, why has she not challenged the 4/12 PR Press article in which the former president of the Banning Teachers Association asserts that he personally handed Dr. M a copy of their vote of no confidence at a 2007 board meeting?

How can a sensible person NOT conclude that

1). Dr. M did in fact receive a vote of no confidence back in 2007;

2). she lied to the public when she claimed on KPRL that she never received a vote of no confidence from the Banning teachers;

3). she lied to the high school reporters when she demanded that they print a retraction for their “error”?

How can a superintendent who has lied so publicly about her professional record remain in the highest (paid) position of authority over all the employees and all the children of the great city of Paso Robles? Maybe now you can understand why we teachers do not believe her assertion that it is absolutely necessary for us to take a 5.98% PERMANENT PAYCUT to increase the reserve beyond the required 3%. All the while, she continues to ask for and receive raises, continues to give 5-10% raises to administrators, not to mention getting brand new iPhones for herself and her fellow administrators. And she keeps telling us that our district’s financial situation is extremely “fragile.” Unbelievable.

The Tribune published in article on January 11, 2012, regarding salaries for teachers in Paso as well as other local school which is stated below as well as the article’s link.

In Jan. 2011 the average teacher salaries were :




San Luis Obispo–$69,471

Lucia Mar–$60,462

Read more here:

There are many problems with the Paso Robles School District and I think looking at all the issues there is enough blame to go around. The teacher’s and its union did not like McNamara from day one, McNamara has not been totally forthright with all the criticism presented and did not lead by example when she accepted the salary increase, explaining the $1 million error, then the School Board has played games in having it both ways and backing McNamara, approving the raise and not being honest and open with the teachers. The economy has had an impact in California on all our schools, everyone wants to be right and do the right thing but the impact all the illegals have had on our school system whether anyone wants to admit it or not is very costly but since teacher’s unions and the schools benefit no one will talk about this but the taxpayers who are picking up the tab. Paso has 13 schools and 6,837 students for an average student/teacher ratio of 21.1 to 1(Banning ratio 21 to1).

There is no doubt that the schools are a failure (part of the argument for an immigration bill is to bring into this Country qualified workers that are school systems cannot produce regardless of the money spent).

The Charter Schools should be the wave of the future along with trade schools. Results show money and learning are much better spent in the Charter School system, at least until the unions started taking them over in LA.

In closing, I would like to say to the teachers: Rather McNamara stays or goes will not change financial difficulties. We are all living in hard times! Most of us have also taken less pay, less hours, less benefits, more taxes, increase in utilities, food, daily expenses, and for a lot of us we can’t even afford retirement plans anymore and a lot of us lost what we had or have been forced to use them to survive in keeping our homes and families in tact, others don’t even own homes, we are drive older cars, etc. I think everyone has a sincere appreciation for teachers, but walking in our shoes and watching you and the unions wanting more when there is no more to give is disheartening, frustrating, and creates angry.

Remember this: There is one pot of money. That pot’s purpose is for educating our children the best way possible. There is no more for the pot. Divide it well, because salaries and benefits already take 91% of the pot!

I still haven’t seen any answers from the teachers on where they think the cuts should be made?

Your reasons are clear on why you want McNamara out, but then what? I agree she should have never taken a pay raise while cutting programs and teachers salaries. But what is the long term resolve here?

SO you cast out Mcnamara, hire someone else who will have to deal with the same issues.

IF the board members are just “parroting Misguided policies” then what acceptable Policies with a $9mil deficit would be acceptable to the Union??

You can’t just scream, “Not MY paycheck” and Not have some kind of reasonable suggestions on where to make the cuts!

I hear a lot of complaining but no answers on how to “Live” with the $$ available.

Isn’t the California School System the highest budgeted nearly least effective school system in the US?

Shouldn’t we get better performance and achievement for our money?

Also, the teacher union is one of the bggest lobbiest groups in the state, handing out $$$$$$$$$ to those that will help them.

Dear grayotter, I’m not sure where you obtained your statistics regarding how much of California’s budget is dedicated to education, as compared with similar stats for other states, although I’m derned well sure that you spent many hours — if not days — researching that information! But as far as measures of effectiveness — however you might define that term in this context — have you, as well, compared state-by-state student populations? I mean to say that I hear tell — and sure enough that hearing and telling ain’t a form of reliable research, but still I hear it and I tell it again and again — it’s a whole lot easier for *those teachers*, say in Chestnut Hill, PA (home of gentrified escargot on a bed of organic basil) than it is for for *those teachers* who work in say, South Los Angeles (home of poverty on a bed of hopelessness) to obtain “better performance for our money” from their students. But you already knew that; so once again I find myself preaching to the choir; and once again I apologize for taking up your valuable time.

Question 1: Yes, of course it is.

Question 2: Of course, we should. But we will never get this from a government bureaucracy. They must be privatized in order to achieve this kind of goal. How many times has this question been asked by citizens? Zillions! But how seldom do people take the next step and stand up for privatization? Not very many.

What are you afraid of?

To the fair-minded people of Paso Robles:

Please help us put an end to this McNightmara!

Next fall, please use your vote to remove the board members who renewed her contract

and who continue to parrot her misguided policies: Katy Griffin, Jay Packer, and Field Gibson.

I agree with Ana on this one. Vote next fall. I’m sure Ana and her union backers will give you a ballot for your use since the next election is not next fall.

You keep looking for a scapegoat Ana, but the facts lay the blame at your feet, too.

Dear JennyDriver:

Your staunch support of Dr. McNamara (despite all the evidence of her incompetence and deceitfulness) has led me to wonder whether you are the same Jenny who serves as Dr. McNamara’s personal secretary. Hmm . . . what a coincidence. Or is it?

Sorry to disappoint you, Ana, but you’ll need to go back to junior detective school. I don’t know the name of Ms. Mcnamara’s secretary. And do you really think that I would use my real name, or any portion of it, among vindictive people such as yourself? But you might be interested in knowing that I know what an anadiplosis is.

I’ve said it before that I’m not staunchly supporting anyone. I’m trying to find out what the truth is. And the more I dig, the more I realize how deceitful and vicious you and the union in paso schools is. You should be ashamed.