2. Why was Dr. Pellicone placed on paid leave?I am saddened by the recent disclosures regarding irregularities relating to disbursements by the district office. I will do everything that I can to maximize the disclosure to the public. However, state law limits what I and the other Boardmembers can disclose to the public, absent the consent of any employees who may be involved. Accordingly, I am not able to discuss any of the specific factual issues.
The board has directed its attorney to prepare a full report, after for consultation with the relevant employees and the district auditor.
Until such report is finalized (which, hopefully, will occur in early August), I intend to focus on the following priorities:
1. Making sure that we will have safe facilities next year.
2. Making sure that the summer construction is successful.
3. Making sure that we are moving forward on obtaining state bond funds, on the plans for the Beverly Vista construction and on addressing the most urgent needs of the other three elementary schools.
4. Balancing our budget in a manner that will preserve, over the long run, as many of our most valuable programs as possible.
5. Evaluating our recent achievement test scores and obtaining satisfactory information from our staff as to how such scores can be improved next year.
6. Dealing with all of the other priorities listed on my website, as well as a number of day-to-day issues.
Once the board has received the final report from our attorney, I will call on all relevant individuals to make such report fully public and I will do what I can to intelligently represent the citizens of Beverly Hills. However, in the meantime, my focus will be on the other issues listed above.
I also want to emphasize that we are not now a "headless District." After the resignation of Sol Levine, we appointed an interim Superintendent who had no prior experience as a Superintendent and FAR less experience than Dr. Bertain as an Assistant Superintendent. Dr. Bertain knows what he is doing and will do a good job for so long as the District needs him in this capacity.