Sunday, June 1, 2008

Who benefits from CASBO's "calculated risks"?

The first time I saw Lora Duzyk (on left in above picture) she had just been promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Business Services at SDCOE. I thought to myself, "She couldn't possibly know about the criminal actions in the SDCOE business office. Don Shelton, her predecessor, must have known about wrongdoing by SDCOE Joint Powers Authority, but how could this round-faced, innocent-looking blond lady with the sweet smile be involed in such goings-on?

It turns out I was wrong.

Here's what Lora Duzyk herself wrote:

"At CASBO [California Association of School Business Officials] we take actions – or calculated risks – based on our version of thoughtful data: our strategic plan...

"We’re very near adoption of our new strategic plan: ... We’re the lead agency in implementing a partnership program for SB 352 CBO training: Classes have begun in a program that took five years of CASBO advocacy to bring to fruition..."

Very clever, Ms. Duzyk. CASBO trains all the school business officers, indoctrinating them into the system in which insurance companies make big profits by making sure that schools use lawyers that have been hand-picked to generate business--and soak the taxpayers--for the benefit of those in power, without regard to the needs of students.

Duzyk is clear about who CASBO benefits. Duzyk praises " members today, all of whom took calculated risks to move the association forward for their sake and for the sake of their colleagues throughout California.

How do Duzyk and her sidekick Diane Crosier benefit themselves and insurance companies? By making sure that school officers and top employees who violate the law are protected. That ensures that problems--and lawsuits--keep coming. The school officials and administrators love it--they've got great job security, no matter what they do. Chancellor Omero Suarez of Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District and Victoria Richart of MiraCosta College are perfect examples. But their lawyers, from Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz also represent the lion's share of K-12 school districts in San Diego County.

Duzyk writes, "Taking calculated risks based on thoughtful consideration of the data at hand is the hallmark of every great human achievement...Risking nothing means gaining nothing."

Duzyk and her friends have carefully calculated that it's worth the risk to break the law. And they are apparently correct.

About a month ago my few remaining illusions about sweet little Lora Duzyk were shattered when I saw a picture of her along with Don Shelton and the news that the two of them would be chosen in May 2008 as board members of Mission Federal Credit Union. I realize now that Duzyk had me completely fooled that first time I saw her. She knew the truth that night. She had simply calculated that she would be safe if she ignored it.

CASBO's motto is "Smart Business. Smart Schools."

Clearly, the "smart" in the motto isn't referring to students. The taxpayers might be paying the salaries of CASBO members, but they're not reaping the benefits.