By Fresno State’s count, the university has 211 future teachers currently gaining field experience at Fresno Unified School District.
If the district’s teachers strike, however, the university will pull all student teachers out of the district and move their training back to Fresno State.
Brooke Ashjian, the ever-social media-present Fresno Unified school board president, called that plan of action “political” and pointed to a letter sent by Kremen School of Education Dean Paul Beare to students:
— Brooke Ashjian (@BrookeAshjian) November 16, 2017
The letter also included this passage:
The University cannot legally stop any student from serving as a substitute teacher during a strike if they are legally eligible to do so. However, serving as a substitute prior to the Fresno State planned “teach-in” is highly discouraged. Absence from the teach-in or absence from any course related activity will be unexcused and no activity done as a substitute may count toward any University requirement. As representatives of the University, the faculty, administration, or staff are not permitted to comment or take a public stance on political issues such as the potential strike.
Fresno State President Joseph Castro told GV Wire that Ashjian’s assertions were off the mark:
“Unfortunately, this letter was interpreted by some as indicating that the university was taking a position on the current labor discussions between the FUSD Administration and its teachers.
“I want to make it clear that Fresno State has no position on the labor discussions within FUSD. It would be inappropriate for the university to express a view on this matter. Most importantly, we value our strong relationship with FUSD board members, administrators, teachers and staff, and we look forward to continuing to work closely together in serving FUSD’s students and families.”
— Fresno Teachers! (@fresnota) November 17, 2017
Taxpayer’s Share of Fresno Trip to Spain
In late September, a Fresno delegation that included Mayor Lee Brand and councilmen Oliver Baines and Paul Caprioglio, traveled to Spain to learn more about the High-Speed Rail system there. The delegation also included Lee Ann Eager, president of the Economic Development Corp. and other community leaders. They all met with officials of Renfre, the government agency that runs HSR in Spain.
According to city documents, the taxpayer-funded portion of the trip was $82.56. That was the cost for two taxi rides for Baines (and a $.50 international transaction fee). Earlier media reports said that the elected leaders would pay their own way. Based on the city’s documents, that appears to be the case.
The goal was to develop a relationship in case the HSR authority selected the Spanish firm as the early operator of the project.
However, the rail board this week chose a German firm for the $30 million dollar contract.
FCC’s Goldsmith Fined
Even some of the most respected leaders in Fresno get caught up in failing to file campaign financial forms on time.
The Fair Political Practices Commission reported that Fresno City College President Carole Goldsmith owes them a $200 fine. It stems from Goldsmith not filing her 2016 Annual Statement of Economic Interests report while serving as a member of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley.
Goldsmith explained: “The state sent the paperwork to my former address. Therefore, I received it late. However, I immediately filed the paperwork and paid my fee.”
Bredefeld Hosts Art Display
With no Fresno city council meeting this week, Councilman Garry Bredefeld used his time host an art display on the first floor of City Hall, depicting images of 743 members of the military killed during the War on Terror.
“This memorial clearly and painfully demonstrates the ultimate sacrifice these service members have given to our nation,” Bredefeld said. ” Freedom is never free and these heroes from California fought against the evil forces that want to destroy our country and way of life. We are grateful and honor them and will never forget their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families.”
The “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit runs through Nov. 29.