Thursday, January 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Neustadt stresses administrative experience, background as teacher

By
From page A1 | May 08, 2014 |

Neustadt SamW

Sam Neustadt. Courtesy photo

Ask Sam Neustadt why he should be the next Yolo County superintendent of schools, and he’ll tell you, “Basically, I’m running on my experience. I have 28 years of experience teaching and leading in the K-12 public schools, which is important.

“I was a teacher for seven years — I taught every elementary grade, from kindergarten through sixth grade. I went on to be a principal at three different schools in Half Moon Bay that were recognized as California Distinguished Schools.

“After that, I spent two years with the California Department of Education in Sacramento, right after Delaine Eastin was elected to her second term as California’s superintendent of public instruction. By the end of those two years, I had more background in policy, and as a practitioner.

“For the last 14 years, I’ve been the assistant county superintendent in Solano County, where I oversee the provision of special education services for a population base of about 50,000 kids, with between 5,000 and 6,000 kids in special education programs.”

Sam Neustadt

Occupation: Assistant superintendent of the Solano County Special Education Local Plan Area since 2000; administrator and visiting educator with the California Department of Education in Sacramento, 1998-2000; principal of several schools in San Francisco and San Mateo County, 1989-98; teacher at schools in San Francisco and San Mateo County, 1984-89.

Age: 57

Education: Master’s degree in education, Sacramento State, 1989; 70 semester units of doctoral level work, UC Davis, 1981-84; bachelor’s degree, UC Santa Barbara, 1979; K-12 California administrative credential, 1989-present; multiple subjects teaching credential, 1984

Family: Not married, daughter attends Davis High School; lives in Woodland

Noteworthy: Special Educator of the Year, Association of California School Administrators, 2012; member, Solano County Mental Health Advisory Board, 2005-11 (chair 2009-10); steering committee member, California Coalition for Adequate Funding for Special Education, 2000-present; member, Solano County Foster Youth Coalition, 2007-present; member, United Cerebral Palsy North Bay Organizational Development Committee, 1997-present

Neustadt said his 14 years as an administrator with the Solano County Office of Education, and his extensive background in special education, would put him in a good position to hit the ground running as the new Yolo County superintendent.

One of the primary duties of a County Office of Education is fiscal oversight of local school districts — state law mandates that each county office evaluate local school district budgets three years into the future. And starting this year, the county office also will evaluate the new Local Control Accountability Plan.

While supervising special education programs in the Solano County Office of Education, Neustadt witnessed the bankruptcy of the Vallejo school district, which was taken over by the state in 2004. Local control was finally given back to the Vallejo district in 2013.

“There was a flight from the Vallejo district, 500 to 700 students leaving per year for five years,” he said. “Morale was not good. It was a struggle for them to dig out.”

Neustadt is aware that school districts in Yolo County will face a changing budgetary picture under California’s new Local Control Funding Formula.

“The LCFF is not a known quantity, yet,” Neustadt said, because school districts are still building their first budget under the new funding system. “There will be wild swings in state funding” as compared to the old system, he predicted.

Since the LCFF provides added funding for students from low-income households and students who are English learners, “Davis is not going to lose money, but Davis is not going to be one of the big winners, whereas Woodland will see significant increases in funding in the next few years.”

Neustadt credited Davis voters for having helped preserve programs during the recent years of state budget cuts by approving local parcel tax measures.

“Davis has always amazed me. It’s a public school system that the public has not given up on,” he said. But he added, “You can’t count those parcel tax revenues until a parcel tax is passed, and (as one who would be in charge of oversight), I am fiscally conservative.”

Neustadt said that once the LCFF is fully funded by the state, California “will go from 49th to 47th (in state funding for education per pupil). But we will still be near the top of the list in terms of incarceration (on a percentage basis among the 50 states). There is something fundamentally wrong with that.”

He wants to look at the three small schools operated by the Yolo County Office of Education.

“The Einstein Education Center was designed for 150 students, but right now it has 40-some students,” he said. “I have visited the program, the classrooms are beautiful, a really nice environment. I know the current county superintendent is looking at the program to see if it is meeting its goals with the limited student body.

“I would also focus on the Midtown Academy early on (which serves a number of students who have been expelled from local school districts). I hear concerns that Midtown is where kids go to fail more, and if that’s the case, that’s not value added. We need to build an alternative program that’s relationship-based, that helps kids build resilience.”

This is Neustadt’s first run for elected office: “I am a career educator,” he said. “I still consider myself a teacher. Quality education starts with the teacher, the rest of us are here to support that. It’s righteous work.”

Neustadt has been endorsed by his old boss, former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin. He also is backed by two members of the Yolo County Board of Education, Nancy Lea of Woodland and Shelton Yip of Davis, and former County Board of Education trustee Joe Thomson, as well as former Deputy Superintendent Linda Legnitto of the Yolo County Office of Education.

He also has endorsements from former Davis school board trustee Marty West, current trustee Susan Lovenburg and recently appointed Davis school board trustee Alan Fernandes.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Holman continues to educate and inspire

    By Daniella Tutino | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    ‘Huck’ and ‘Tom’ float old Arboretum dock to removal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Work continues to modernize Davis Healthcare Center

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Biologists: Raising California dam would harm salmon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Teens arrested after midnight joyride

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Overweight video game avatars ‘play’ worse than fit ones

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Author joins radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Make your own SoulCollage on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Walk through Quail Ridge Reserve on Feb. 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Calling all chicken owners: Apply for coop crawl, share information

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Hopmans named associate vice provost for global affairs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Review motivation to refresh your healthy-habits plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Tips to protect skin this winter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    For health and healthy appearance, there’s just one quick fix

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Measles outbreak grows

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    NAMI-Yolo examines inpatient services at potluck

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Basement living, with attitude to match

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    50 years since Ash Hall

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Can climate change bring us together?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Paso Fino coming to a vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Aggies still looking for record hoops win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devil Hammond has a huge day at home

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Pent up? Join Davis’ latest athletic event

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Two in a row for Devil boys

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggie football players crack the books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Harper hoopsters off to hot start

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Treys send Toronto past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    It’s Girl Scout Cookie time!

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    College Corner: Have wanderlust? Go overseas for college

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: A8

     
    District learns from bomb threat incident

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A8

    Feenstra-Fisher wedding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Arts

    Show explores the evolution of dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    A rose by any other name — if there is one

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A11

     
    Acclaimed guitarist Adrian Legg to play at The Palms on Saturday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    James George Tingus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, January 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B6