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Yet Another “Recent Research Suggests” link (2015 quoting pre-2010 source) unearths Yet Another Chameleon Corp. and Its Also Recently Re-branded Partner, ALL Targeting the $20 Billion School Supplies, Facilities, Technology and “Learning Environments” Marketplace. Internationally, of Course. [Publ. June 10, 2017]

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Yet Another “Recent Research Suggests” link (2015 quoting pre-2010 source)~ unearths Yet Another Chameleon Corp. and its (Yet Another, Also Recently Re-branded) Partner, ALL Targeting the $20 Billion School Supplies, Facilities, Technology and “Learning Environments” Marketplace. Internationally, of Course. (with case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6Wy”),

together with another one called:  School Facilities Planning Roundtables (2008 in California) and the Internationally-conferencing Trade Association Re-Branding Runaround (case-sensitive short-link ending “-6Zr”), both to be published, I hope, today, June 10, 2017. They have been about a week in process as more organizations, publications, and interrelationships continued to surface.

The material on the above to two posts came out of a page so long I provided an orange-bordered (like this) roadmap to its alternating-background-colors sections — in fact, from a reference in road-map section which identified a previously unknown professional association of the “School Facilities Planning” persuasion.

I already copied and have published the top third of the long “Page “to a “Post” promoting it:

Here are links to first the top one-third (post), with its long title, then the whole thing (page) with its shorter title), each with a color scheme as found on its place on FamilyCourtMatters.org:

Promoting Page added May 27, 2017, on “The Whole Nine Yards”: Who’s Been REstructuring the PK-12 School Planning Infrastructure; the Capital Appreciation Bonds [raising funds for school facilities] Scam; CAFRs; Unbelievably Unethical, Internationally-Conferencing 501©3s; Where University Centers, each University’s Supporting Foundations (sometimes plural); and of course Many VFFs (Very Famous Foundations) Coordinate for Cradle-to-Career GLOBAL Control (of Education).”  Here’s the ==> case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6WW” to that extended title!

[That] PAGE title, with its case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6TM” is:

About My Blog Motto (formerly on Vital Info/Sticky Links post, moved here  May 26, 2017).

All four links will be repeated at the end of this blog, some in the middle, and in addition there are titles and links to other developing posts herein you’ll see, all related to same central theme, representing research already done and soon to be posted. And, as usual, there are plenty of captioned images and internal links to outside material to make and support my points in posting on this topic.

Ironically, the shorter post title includes the phrase “The Whole Nine Yards.” Since the phrase came up (came to mind as a label for the whole mess of information), let’s talk terminology:

“The Whole Nine Yards” is a common use phrase of colloquial origin.  It gets the point across.  Unfortunately many common-use phrases regarding government financing and operations — including of schools — including planning to expand or renovate the existing school infrastructure — and how money should be raised for this — and who controls distribution of it, and the school renovation/expansion infrastructure–  come with all kinds of tax and income level references and short- and long-term consequences. “It’s a whole different ballpark” and NOT understanding their points of origin can be disastrous to the average person tossing those terms around without realizing what they refer to and, from that realization, and what they and those shooting them off in “for-public-discussion” media, specifically wish to avoid referring to, which might be summarized as “The Whole Nine Yards” of a trade and commercial sector in motion towards certain destinations (that is, with payloads for certain few, though it’s a large sector, persons at the expense of most others.

“The Whole Nine Yards,” just means “everything,” per me (I used it!) and Wikipedia, has a simple basic meaning that works OK in the colloquial arena. It’s the point of reference and origins that have puzzled experts.

A Few More Inches of Post about That Phrase and where Casual, Common-use terms Trap wise-sounding Discussions into Closed-Circuit, Going-Nowhere Collective Behaviors.  

Let’s look at the difference between colloquial phrases which work, harmlessly, for their limited purposes, and common but casually tossed-around words referencing technical, ongoing vital relationships which, generation after generation, describe and define our relationships with this country, and the states, counties, special authority districts — and school districts, and who pays how much interest on which capital infrastructures they probably will be using, periodically but will never actually own or control.

One analogy is the common use but rare comprehension of words such as “budget,” “deficit,” (typically referring to a single government entity’s budget not its total assets),  or “pension” (typically “unfunded pension liabilities” though why they are considered “unfunded” when, for example, the pension fund held by the entity may be huge — and producing plenty of income every single year),  or even the word “General Fund” — when how many other governmental AND other kinds of funds managed by the reporting entity may also exist)  — although they are common phrases in news today, and opinions on them may affect how people vote.

If my point is just to indicate a post covers many facets of a topic, “the whole nine yards” is understood to be a casual term, a simple signpost, and not technical writing.

However, when terms with specific technical meanings referring to a specific context (the context of governmental financial statements) are casually slung around in media, and echoed in personal conversations confidently as if accurate, complete enough or used accurately in reference to one of the most important issues in any country — how much the people should be billed to support the infrastructure based on declarations of governmental existing resources v. people’s existing needs for services — we are talking balance of power from local to national. We are talking money, and we are talking accounting.  In accounting, “the whole nine yards” specific to any ONE reporting agency AND its relationship to the other entities it deals with, also matters.

If you read “transmittal letters” to any basic comprehensive annual financial statement, those independent auditors make it nice and clear what they are, and what they are NOT expressing an opinion on, and internally, who is responsible for which portions of statements they audited, i.e. , management.  

IF you read the financial statements also, they NEVER just show “budget” — but assets (gross and net), liabilities (gross and net), revenues and expenses (ditto), changes, activities — and in defining the reporting government entity, up front in the “Management Discussion and Analysis” (“MDA”) and again in the Notes to Financial Statements, what relationship the parts (component unit, blended component unit, discrete) exist, and whether the funds being reported are governmental enterprise (businesses run by the entity, i.e., proprietary, i.e., fees-for-services), or fiduciary (funds held for others, including other parts of government, I think).

There is a history to how this format came to be and when reporting rules are changed, who changes them — and those rules, like rules of court (I supposed) can make or break any entity, prompting restructuring, or raising of taxes, or eliminating debt through consolidating or reducing services — any of the many political arguments likely to be current, mainstream news any time of the year, and characterize Democrats want more spent, Republicans want less spent.

Here’s an example (May 30, 2017) which even (in the article it references) gives a FEW clues but no real signposts to on what kind of document the “whole nine yards” of (example:  the State in question) might be found.  It was far more interested in the Governor’s budget and (see image) those unfunded liabilities:

May 30, 2017 article by (conservative) Steven Greenhut on a Democrat Governor’s budget, and those unfunded pension liabilities

Or even the words “philanthropy” …. “philanthropist.”

Or, the word “school” which (like “church”) has even more usages — the more I look, the more complicated it gets connecting the legal definitions to practical ramifications through stakeholder conversations and governmental regulations (!).

For example, there seems a conflict of interest as to school funding (in California) between raising money through higher developer fees on regular housing and higher property taxes, again, on residences, to pay for school bonds, as relates to local governments, including school districts, seeking millions and billions (statewide) more for capital infrastructure expansion or renovation, through selling bonds.  And the many “organizations” who have congregated around such industries relating to school facilities, and what to do with them.

So the phrase “The Whole Nine Yards” is functional in the colloquial arena (no matter who understands where the phrase really came from), but certain other words in common usage are not in the “Arena  Colloquial” but regularly tossed out referring to an arena where the terms are so technical that an entire foundation and two boards (one for private, another for government accounting) were set up decades ago to ensure common understanding.  The next two images are from the GASB (Government Accounting Standards Board) website (Timeline) which name “FAF” (a foundation), the FASB (intended for private regulations and standards) and GASB (Government Standards).  What gets interesting is that entities I only became aware of in this century, that is, after separating from domestic violence and being hauled through the family courts, realizing “something” strange was and had been afoot, and tracking that “something” (with help from others before me who’d brought it up, but had little backing for publicizing this) included federal incentives to state courts for out-come based custody proceedings.

The concept of “out-come based” hearings when that “outcome” refers to how greatly can the hearings increase noncustodial (translation in application — fathers’) parenting time without getting caught DIRECTLY interfering with the justice process itself under state jurisdiction — should be, and is foreign to the concept of equal treatment under the law regarding many matters, including criminal matters. In other words, it’s a concept at conflict with the entire idea of “due process” and special-interest/conflict-of-interest undue influence-free judicial processes.

Among those organizations involved in OK-ing and promoting some of the above incentive-based custody courts based on social science theory about the proper relationship between mothers and fathers (i.e., promoting “responsible fatherhood initiatives at the state level) in 1994 was the National Governors’ Association. The NGA was also (in my recent posts — see “BEST Collaborative”) found hearing presentations by the 21st Century School Fund (in 2004), and I have also featured them (as well as others, of similar type) as having their (its — NGA is an “entity”) own private 501©3 “Center for Best Practices” with consolidated financial reports for both.

Relevance here — (keep reading, including the images) — according to the GASB timeline, those approving the GASB (which came after the FASB, below, both under the control, with delegated authority of ANOTHER PRIVATE FOUNDATION (“Financial Accounting Foundation” or “FAF”) included the NGA, the NCSL and other similar associations peopled or run (boards of directors) by public civil servants.  This was also taking place in the early 1970s….

FAF revealing much about its financials — but NOT its EIN# or Form 990s. Good enough reason to go take a look! Website is AccountingFoundation.org (financial page)

AFTER writing this post (ALL of it, below), I went back and looked up the FAF Form 990s, after noticing that despite all they DO explain about themselves, including sources of their funding, laws that support the sources of their funding, annual report, budget and audited financial reports (and that’s a lot!) — they do NOT seem to link to their own filings with the IRS (i.e., Form 990s), or even cough up that EIN#.Look at the next table (and look through the organization, at how much their people are paid — for part-time work!) and, I can see why scrutinizing this might be a little embarrassing:

Total results: [3]. Search Again.

Financial Accounting Foundation CT 2015 990 41 $86,612,474.00 23-7211935
Financial Accounting Foundation CT 2014 990 42 $93,190,840.00 23-7211935
Financial Accounting Foundation CT 2013 990 39 $99,080,044.00 23-7211935

The foundation itself, which is in Norwalk, Connecticut (but perhaps as a Delaware Corporation, I’ll have to check) has delegated the rulemaking to its respective boards — one (FASB) aimed at rulemaking for the private sector, the other (GASB) aimed at rulemaking for the public sector.

This foundation was set up, originally, by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). The AICPA also in 1971 commissioned a seven-man study group to come up with and improve accounting principles.  One member was the chairman and partner of a law firm AND 1964-1969 head of the Securities Exchange Commission (i.e., the “SEC”) and as his name was Francis M. Wheat, the report was called “The Wheat Report.”

Journal of Accountancy on Mr. Wheat (1921-2000) and his role in setting up the FASB, and why it was thought the AICPA Accounting Principles Board couldn’t handle the sweeping business changes of the time.

Los Angeles Time obituary of Mr. Wheat (see related image, but read the rest please!). It shouldn’t be too surprising that he was Harvard Law School (with honors), military background and a partner in one of the larger Los Angeles law firms around — as well as, well, very pushy (on environmental, and children’s rights — “middle-of-the-road Democrat.”)

(from the L.A. Times Obituary, more insight into the person (with a study group of seven appointed by AICPA — see other image) who helped set up the FASB — and where he thought lawyers should fit into the running of the USA (and, who were some of his clients):

…Wheat, a corporate lawyer with a penchant for dinosaur-emblazoned ties, counted among his wealthy clients defense contractor Textron, Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner and several brokerage firms. But he loved to champion underdogs as well.

Describing himself for The Times as “a middle-of-the-road Democrat,” he worked for the ill-fated California handgun control initiative trounced by voters in 1982. And he became a major force in pro bono legal agencies.

Wheat was a founding director of the Center for Law in the Public Interest, which in 1987 created a fellowship in his name to train young lawyers in public interest litigation.

“I think in a general sense, lawyers should move into any vacuum that seems to be developing,” he told The Times then….

I see even a 1985 Los Angeles Times article on this attorney, and the company he keeps inbetween championing the underdogs, still admits — he’s part of the Wall Street Establishment:

Lawyer With a Cause Is a Study in Contrasts
February 05, 1987|GARRY ABRAMS | Times Staff Writer

It’s a partial portrait of Francis M. Wheat, a 66-year-old, conservatively suited securities attorney and partner in Los Angeles’ biggest law firm, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. (Among other things, Gibson, Dunn handles President Reagan’s private legal matters and lists Reagan’s former attorney general, William French Smith, among its partners.)

So Wheat, who once served on the Securities and Exchange Commission, is a member of the Establishment, the Wall Street/Washington Establishment, no less. ….

Wheat, who has kept to the background throughout much of his career, is getting a first-ever, high-profile tribute Wednesday from the Center for Law in the Public Interest, a 16-year-old enterprise whose causes have ranged from defense of homeless alcoholics to a lengthy anti-freeway battle. Wheat has been on the center’s board for 12 years and, by all accounts, has been one of its most active trustees.

The center will use the money raised from its dinner at the Music Center to establish a fellowship in Wheat’s name to train young lawyers in public interest litigation. New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, a possible Democratic presidential candidate, will be the chief speaker, making the evening potentially a national political event.

Wheat’s name has proved a powerful draw. Even before Cuomo was added to the schedule, dinner organizers say they sold more than half the tickets through a mailing of 900 invitations. The dinner is now almost sold out, with firms and individuals shelling out about $140,000 for 700 tickets at $200 apiece to an event honoring one lawyer among 20,000 in Los Angeles County

Alliance for Children’s Rights Tax Returns.  No comment, for now, but I looked back to FY2003 and made several mental notes — basically, not taking government funds.  Encouraging more and faster adoptions.  Over time, increasing investment in “other assets” (which are never defined, even in pages intended to give some definition to WHICH “other assets”).  Primary money private donations and an annual fundraising dinner.  Few if any program services, and it’s not a grant-making agency — funds go to salaried employees and “other expenses” every year.  They are not using subcontractors much.

Another detail on some of the returns raises the question about WHO is donating xx million dollars of facilities use which do not show up under revenues or expenses on the Form 990 (the section of IRS return is called “Reconciliation” (with audited financial statements).  Not accounting for donated use which was at the point I looked more than triple their “gross receipts” makes the public support look far higher than it actually was.  I looked up its founding documents, and they as uploaded to the California Charitable Registry, and they seem incomplete (mention original incorporator — one person — but no initial directors.  Francis M. Wheat’s name is nowhere to be found on those documents, although I don’t question he did found it.   There were enough “huh?”s to add it to a possible post list, and “for further followup.”

Through legal help, they attempt to speed children moving from foster care to adoption, and process of guardianship for children not living at home in the area.

Total results: 3Search Again.

Alliance for Childrens Rights CA 2016 990 39 $11,012,458.00 95-4358213
Alliance for Childrens Rights CA 2015 990 37 $11,201,423.00 95-4358213
Alliance for Childrens Rights CA 2014 990 32 $9,838,638.00 95-4358213


And Center for Law in the Public Interest (CLIPI) below, closed itself down in fall 2006/2007.. (successor? 501©3, “Community Partners” — see tax return that reads “0”). Calif. Charitable Registry, now it’s dissolved, has taken any and all “related documents” down from the details, so no track record remains, at least easily visible to the public, including its founding documents and all the IRS returns or RRFs it may have filed.  That’s ODD…)

Total results: 3Search Again.

Center for Law in Public Interest CA 2007 990EZ 19 $0.00 95-2684016
Center for Law in Public Interest CA 2006 990 24 $173,632.00 95-2684016
Center for Law in The Public Interest CA 2005 990 21 $476,077.00 95-2684016

(Moving on in the discussion):

So those terms showing up on the internet (some examples in this post — a nonprofit can certainly publish what looks like a newspaper, or on-line all-purpose current-events reporting), in newsprint and on TV, mainstream media and otherwise, have real, technical, specific meanings in what they refer to.  Without the larger context, their usage becomes meaningless and can facilitate believing ANY situation is what, in fact, it is not.

This much larger arena — one  where “common usage” and common understanding are just not good enough for casual, personal use by “the common man,” is one most of us unwittingly play in — against experts — and where we should reasonbly expect to score a few (pardon the reference) field goals or touchdowns from time to time on “Team Common Man, Squad (myself, my family, my neighborhood, my community, etc.)

For one, in this country, “the common man” (or woman) lives somewhere and is being taxed to support amazing layers of public infrastructure, or if not being so taxed because he or she is too poor, then hated as a “demographic sector” by some for perhaps receiving public assistance to eat, or stay off the street (etc.), while (alternately) being studied and utilized for social science R&D and behavioral modification progam perfection by other professional sectors.

As I referenced in my “About this blog” page section on “PRWORA” which sought to modify marriage and reproductive behavior among the poor, and divorce and non-marital childbearing among teens AND all ages women as anti-public-welfare and socially irresponsible.

These are not times to be using colloquial phrases as commonly understood, but times to actually understand and speak in terms of what’ meant in terms from its origins in a government entity function — like the schools.  Casual comprehension of terms with massive impact on a massive infrastructure and present and future taxes “just doesn’t cut it.”

In writing this post, I pushed myself, to better understand the whole and the parts of a massive infrastructure, adding awareness of the propositions passing school bonds, and the trade associations lobbying for such passage, and the exact relationship of several (NOT just one) state-level departments to “local school districts.”

Several of the terms in this post are new to me also, as are some of the organizations which emerged when I looked for more references to “Capital Appreciation Bonds,” (one type of school bonds).  That doesn’t mean I am clueless how to look them up!

All of this reading and defining/refining terms (vocabulary drill and practice!) eventually and gradually leads to better understanding of the economic AND political climate in which we live, regardless of current shocking news coverage on terrorist attacks in the UK, withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, or a steady succession of disturbing news (pro/con — pick your mainstream media) about the current U.S. President and Trump White House behaviors, including refusing to swear an oath of loyalty, or establishing improper communications with Russia (or vice versa).   In other words, we still have public school systems, a federal, I assume all states, State Department of Education, and I know in California, County Offices of Education.

I have also heard several times recently that after highways, roads ,and bridges, the largest single area of public infrastructure investment in the US are the public school systems and facilities.  I’m writing about who’s called whom to this banquet, and how some of the food is provided, and how the pickings from this table assessed.

A few more inches (on this post) on “the whole nine yards” — what’s being measured?

Unlike in colloquial usage, when it comes to future tax burden and property taxes to fund school facilities planning, construction, renovation, development, and trade associations, lobbyists, and government departments, divisions, and offices involved in regulating them, those other terms we had better start understanding better.  Soon.

(Wikipedia) The whole nine yards or the full nine yards is a colloquial American phrase meaning “everything, the whole lot” or, when used as an adjective, “all the way”, as in, “The Army came out and gave us the whole nine yards on how they use space systems.”[1] Its origin is unknown and has been described by Yale University librarian Fred R. Shapiro as “the most prominent etymological riddle of our time”.[2]

Nine yards of what, or was it exactly nine? Even the experts don’t know. William Safire of NYT Op-Ed Page (died in 2009), says another NYT (2012) article on the phrase, wrote NINE columns on the phrase.  Here’s from one of them. Its reference to “Governor Jerry Brown” that starts it off (bottom half of column) refers to our current Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s father — this was in 1982!

The New York Times, On Language Oct. 3, 1982, Wm. Safire, (quote section several paragraphs under “The Awful Tooth” Kim Meade”)

Nine Yards to Hell.”

When B.T. Collins signed on as California Governor Jerry Brown’s chief of staff last year, he gave reporters an assessment of his new boss: ”Sometimes I’d like to strangle him; other times I’d follow him to hell and back. You sign on, you sign on for the whole nine yards.”

The whole nine yards is one of the great etymological mysteries of our time. I get queries on it all the time ….

Safire ends the column, after examples, from clothing — 9 yards on a bolt of cloth; cement-pouring — 9 cubic yards of cement in one cement truck; and sailing ships— all 3 masts of a three-masted sailing ship, each sail containing three yards of canvas, so ALL would be “the whole nine yards.”

Now we have three possibilities. The mystery is still unsolved, but a few clues are on the table. Lexicographic Irregulars are the only people who can help, since the experts are exhausted. We will persevere on this; we will not flag or fail; we will go the whole nine yards. …


I felt the reference might be helpful to explain a few more things, leading to this designation of those explanations:  The CAFRs (Collectively) ARE “The Whole Nine Yards,” But Who Sets the Rules that Those Govt Entities Producing the CAFRs Must Obey? (Basic History of the FAF, GASB, FASB, that even those referencing one of the above still typically ignore) [Started June 7, 2017] (shortlink ends “-6Z9”) (to be published after this post).  Some of my communication synapses were working well, so I typed it, saved it, then moved it.

Ironically, it’s my shorter post whose title includes the phrase “The Whole Nine Yards.” That may not really be ironic, and posts are not persons, so “whose” might not be the best word choice there,  but I believe I have covered what I mean by the phrase which came to mind as appropriate, if not taken too literally as “EVERYthing, without exception.”  If that were humanly possible to write, reading a post which contained “everything” on a topic might not be.  Moving on….

Here are links to first the top one-third (post), with its long title, then the whole thing (page) with its shorter title), each with a color scheme as found on its place on FamilyCourtMatters.org:

Promoting Page added May 27, 2017, on “The Whole Nine Yards”: Who’s Been REstructuring the PK-12 School Planning Infrastructure; the Capital Appreciation Bonds [raising funds for school facilities] Scam; CAFRs; Unbelievably Unethical, Internationally-Conferencing 501©3s; Where University Centers, each University’s Supporting Foundations (sometimes plural); and of course Many VFFs (Very Famous Foundations) Coordinate for Cradle-to-Career GLOBAL Control (of Education).”  Here’s the ==> case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6WW” to that extended title!

[That] PAGE title, with its case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6TM” is:

About My Blog Motto (formerly on Vital Info/Sticky Links post, moved here  May 26, 2017).

I left a few, not all, business logos and links on the originating page (and duplicate post) to illustrate some of the issues.

On both post and page above, I provided a link to further information under this post’s title on new-to-me material on at least two interlocking new-to-me trade associations.  The post you are now looking at has has more documentation of the context and (towards the bottom) and more drill-down on the tax returns for the first “new-to-me trade association” which Form 990s originally caught my attention through their errors and mis-categorizations — and the company they were keeping — and is called:

Yet Another “Recent Research Suggests” link (2015 quoting pre-2010 source) unearths Yet Another Chameleon Corp. and Its Also Recently Re-branded Partner, ALL Targeting the $20 Billion School Supplies, Facilities, Technology and “Learning Environments” Marketplace. Internationally, of Course. (shortlink ends “-6Wy”)

Why this post and how did it come to my attention?

I became aware of another, then yet another, nonprofit trade association focused on the public school industry from a single link from an 2015 from iNews.org (reporting focused on two SoCal Counties, San Diego and Imperial Counties), within an article on “Capital Appreciation Bonds” (“CABs”) in San Diego as a “Ticking Time Bond,”  which I’d been writing about as follow-up on Bill DeJong (“DeJong & Associates, Schools for the Children of the World”) who had been named as a member of a chosen work group involved in a report posted at UCBerkeley Center for Cities & Schools.  (See post Schools for Children of the World, Inc. — Great Theme, Now Here are the Forms 990)

DeJong (OH, CO) had merged with the Dolinka Group, LLC (CA, but office in CO too?) to become (both of them) “Cooperative Strategies, LLC” which is focused (exclusively, it looks like) on School Facilities Planning, Construction, Financing — and whose single manager Benjamin Dolinka was associated with negative press about the CABs, a local school district financing idea which got around property tax rate caps (because no interest would be paid for years), but still raise revenues for building or renovating school buildings and infrastructure — which is exactly what groups like the 21st Century School Fund (a nonprofit) and others are pushing for.
I may not have posted (noticed it later) that a representative from Dolinka Group was on a different “working group” at the same national initiative.

See this link for either image: UCB CC+S PK-12 Infrastructure Planning Work Group Overviews. This one shows DeJong +Schools for Children of the World; the other (from same Planning documt) Cooperative Strategies (DeJong-Richter merged into it around this time)/Dolinka Group (and, Chicago’s Blocks Together, and a member of a Calif. Prop 39 Citizens Oversight Board (keep reading on this June 9, 2017 post…)

After noticing that, I then went and looked up a related, obviously, nonprofit also on the same team, a community action group in Chicago — and their tax returns are borderline illiterate (as to filling out the forms), they are down recent Form 990s, and have changed the website name under previously filed form 990s.  I started a folder for screenprints on this one also (Blocks Together Chicago, see image with green banner and yellow annotations, bright red arrow, above left).

For more information on the Dolinka Group/Cooperative Strategies, see recent posts, including that long “Page.”  I’ve already posted images of corporate filings and from websites relating to both prior entities, and the surviving one, renamed “Cooperative Strategies, LLC.”

In writing this post and further exploring those school bond programs, oversight committees, etc. (coming up soon below), I found another trade association (it files Forms 990O and runs conferences, is based in the state capital, Sacramento) (existing in California since, it says, 1982 – i.e. shortly after the Prop. 39 (property taxes to raise funds for school districts) had been passed in 1978.  Coalition for Adequate School Housing, or “CASH,” as it’s called, has been called a developer’s lobby group.  There’s not enough room on this post to discuss fully, but here’s a logo and some more self-explanatory (I hope) images.  As it turns out, and similar– but not quite identical — mutual benefit association organizations run by the same firm.

Click Image to see their Membership page.

Incorporated 1982 in California (looking this up produces a Corporate Entity# for Charitable Registry Search — although it being a Form 990O filer turns out to be exempt from filing — at the state level, anyhow — in other words, it’s not a 501©3 public charity, but probably a 501©6 business or trade (“mutual benefit”) association):

Calif. SOS filing showing Cal Entity# for CASH , address, and that it’s a domestic nonprofit (and current)

Calif OAG Registry of Charities showing CASH doesn’t have to register at state level (it’s a mutual benefit org.) It has an EIN#, but not shown here. “EXEMPT” means from registration and reporting (state-level) under a certain act.  See below @ “**”

Form 990s search screenprint (links not active) of CASH Form 990O tax returns.


David Walrath consults (paid well) for CASH, notice it specializes in Public Educ Gov’t Relations/ Consulting/Association management. (Based in Sacramento).

Click to enlarge. See related article on “Profiteering” (link in post nearby)










Coalition for Adequate School Housing (“C.A.S.H.” and one of its publication is even the “CASH Register”!) is EIN#942856557.  Look at current then earlier returns by tweaking the year in the URL (earliest I found on this database was FY2004), you’ll notice:

1.  they don’t seem particularly obligated to complete the forms, most years,

2. Most money is being made through conferences and sometimes (ex: FY2006) granted out to pass a certain bill. FY2014 return didn’t bother to put in #s for page 2 at all, or admit that grants were paid, but later acknowledge $720K grants, same year, and

3. recently, MWH (screenprint below) was major and only listed subcontractor. Also, website is listed “N/A” often even when website expenses are noted.  Some revenues are membership dues, but they aren’t entered under “membership dues” on the IRS Form, Pt. VIII Line 1, but as “Program Service Expenses” on Pt. VIII, Line 2.  Why?  Because it’s a mutual-benefit nonprofit?

The Charitable Designation “Exempt” at the state level, as defined on the State OAG website explaining terms to be found in search results:

California Charitable Registry (under the Office of Attorney General, OAG) Search Tips & Definitions Page

***Exempt – Active – Status assigned to religious and mutual benefit corporations,as both are exempt from registration and reporting requirements under the Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act. “Active” reflects the organization’s status with the Secretary of State.

So the “Act” involved requiring registration reporting is, as it says, for supervision of two categories — trustees and fundraisers for charitable purposes.  For mutual benefit purpose — not their concern.

Quick Comments on CalWatchdog.com as a nonprofit, on-line news source (see “Developer lobby … $9 billion” article above) (background-color, light-beige):–

According to its latest tax return and website “Donate” page, “CalWatchdog” is a dba of “Small Business Administration Committee Foundation,“which I naturally looked up.It first incorporated in 2003 by James V. Lacy who, to put it mildly, is conservative (click image to enlarge).

James V. Lacy | FlashReport (1st and only incorporator of CalWatchdog.com in 2003 owns Landslide Communications, Inc w his wife, represents nonprofits, of the Republican persuasion

It’s also odd in having been formed, operational one year, and 0 activities for about a decade, then suddenly sprang into having assets and revenue only again in 2014/2015, filing Form 990-N postcards (revenues under $25K, or after a certain year, $50K) ever since. However Small Business Administration Committee (different EIN#, 412112224) has been operational and funded ever since.

I looked at this situation for about an hour (?), made and saved some screenprints into a future folder.

Unlike many organizations and on-lines, CalWatchdog.com at least had the courtesy to post an EIN# (57-1190056), making my job looking it up easier — because references to CalWatchdog as a dba would’ve been harder to track down.

For now, here are three images:  one shows another article dated a week later, Oct. 15, 2015, [image with two photos], on the School Bonds; another [skyblue bordered table], the two side-by-side nonprofits listed at California OAG; the third another colorful website (Landslide Communications) showing a style of communications the original incorporator of what’s now dba CalWatchdog.com is accustomed to (including political mailings).

Orig. incorporator James V. Lacy of CalWatchdog.com (= a dba of Small Business Admin Committee Foundation), co-owns Landslide Communications with his wife.

two articles Oct 2015 in CalWatchdog.com

Cal. OAG’s Charitable Registry Search results. The “Foundation” entity shown here has an odd filing (economic) history, and may have picked up the dba CalWatchdog.com about 2015; earlier returns don’t show it. The other one has been showing revenues and assets throughout.

Over the years and while blogging various matters, I’ve seen so many similar; it really has a certain, recognizable flavor, when the purpose is influencing public opinion on specific political matters, i.e., media tactics.Click any image to enlarge if needed.


Background of MW&H person David Walrath (next image) shows government finance w/ education emphasis before consulting for school facilities, county school, etc. associations — from Sacramento office, and a BA in economics, 2yrs US Army, MPA (Texas) by mid-1970s.  Prepared for and led a work life focused primarily on government financing, or lobbying for more of it, on behalf of multiple associations. I picked up on this name in an article on school bonds / developer’s lobby, which is how I found out about CASH and friends; otherwise, I wouldn’t have known.


There’s much more on the entity “C.A.S.H.” and a few related (or donee) entities, with almost identical addresses, involved.  C.A.S.H. – Incorporated 1982.  CSFC – says formed 1993 (but record not found under that name).  CFSC (Californians for School Facilities) – 1999.  Sometimes entities are formed to push for “Yes on ____” (initiative for more school funding)” under same basic leadership, or showing up as donees from CASH.  CFSC is tiny.


There is a 1993-formed http://www.cacsfc.org/about.html seeks to promote state funding for county-operated districts, and is currently run by the same registered agent running CASH and CFSF (another one formed in 1999, shown right below this one…).

(DNK why domain name doesn’t match logo, which otherwise would seem to be “CSFC”)

(Shows J street address in Sac’to, CA)

“About Us”

The County School Facilities Consortium (CSFC) was formed in 1993 to promote and support state funding for county-operated school facilities. CSFC is a diverse group representing small and large counties located throughout California.

CSFC advocates for legislation and state regulations that will support all aspects of county office public school facility construction. CSFC regularly interacts with state agencies such as the California Department of Education (CDE), the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) and the State Allocation Board (SAB).

Our membership consists of both County Offices of Education (COE) and Associate Members who support COEs. Membership provides an opportunity to coordinate with other COEs and make valuable contacts with people in the school facilities arena.

Yes, and their fees get interesting also — again public funds no doubt support the hefty membership fees to lobby for more state money for County school facilities:

click image to enlarge

Associate (profit or nonprofit org.) membership fees — $595.









This Consortium, so far I haven’t found an EIN#, or a corporate registration.  It’s still ℅ Murdoch Walrath & Holmes...  It might be easiest just to email or call and ask them — I’m presuming it might also be “Exempt” as a mutual-benefit organization — EXCEPT it’s representing County Offices of Education. (“COE”).

See next image from their “information brochure.”  In fact, it’s amazing how much written material by “CACSFC.org” is out there, including testimony on legislation and more, without acknowledgement of what type of entity it is as respects requirements for registration with the IRS (federal, if it has employees — which it might not), or state, as it is apparently doing some major membership business in the state involving commercial transactions with government entities, or directors of the same.  At $3,300/year for highest category of membership fee, and (per this description) 14 years of operation X how many members at each level — that’s a lot of money.  So where is its footprint?  Is the organization name on the: letterhead, website, testimony, brochure, membership application forms, etc. — the legal business entity name (assuming one exists) — or is what we’re seeing there some dba?

In other words, what’s the explanation for no financial footprint readily found, when other organizations run by the same subcontractor out of the same office ARE found, and easily?

CSFC Info Sheet (fillable) Oct. 2015 (Image 1 of 2) Click Image for link to whole page (the two images are only part)

CSFC Info Sheet (fillable) Oct. 2015 (Image 2of 2 showing contact info = MWH @1303 J St #520 in Sacrament0) Click Image for link to whole page (the two images are only part)


MOVING ON — but not to a different street address in Sacramento — I found a 1999-formed nonprofit, this one with David Walrath as Registered agent.  This group’s returns (several of them) say they are supported by CASH.  I cannot find return for the year 2006 in which CASH says it gave them $125K.  Most years show just modest membership fees for the group.  Baranoff isn’t always on the board of directors, but was recently.

CFSF CalifCharity- Exempt-Active (shows EIN#).

CFSF most of CA SOS filing detail — showing Constantine Baranoff (2of 3 officer positions, note address, Joshua Jorn) and David Walrath (R.A.) with street address matching Murdoch Walrath & Holmes in Sacramento (this is a small, 990O-filer entity supported by membership dues and periodic? grants from C.A.S.H.

Early (2007) CSFS EIN# 311711862 return statemt that C.A.S.H. pays its “Org. expenses” — also membership dues and what for.


2003 Amendment (at CA SOS) shows its earlier name was “Cal-Fed Infrastructure Coalition” before it became “Californians for School Facilities, Inc.” (“CFSF”).

Looking up its board, I searched “Constantine Baranoff” and one reference gives his current background (stating the two similar entities whose board he’s one) and another one, around the year 2001, surrounding involvement in bilking the school district, actually the school district doing a “fees for friends” sweetheart deal for a “mega school” in Elk Grove (where the students hadn’t yet moved in).  See this article:

Profiteering 101: School site purchase gives controversial windfall to two wealthy developers (11/1/2001 in Sacramento News and Review, © 2017 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.

Like rich and powerful people in any town, developer Angelo Tsakopoulos makes headlines in the local papers with his charitable giving. His name is prominently displayed at the downtown public library and in the Crocker Art Museum. And he received quite a bit of praise for his offer to donate a significant chunk of land for a private university in Placer County, even if some local skeptical residents see it as a development ploy.

Despite the developer’s carefully cultivated reputation of generosity, Tsakopoulos and his partners are all business when it comes to selling land to the Elk Grove School District.

Citizens in Elk Grove are suing Tsakopoulos, his partner Frank Stathos and the Elk Grove Unified School District over what they claim is a multimillion-dollar giveaway of public school funds to powerful developers.

Late last year, partners Stathos and Tsakopoulos parlayed the district’s desperate need for new schools into a quick $3 million profit. At issue is a piece of property that the two men bought and then sold to the district at twice what they paid for it, only a few months later.

Then what happened?  The school district (then represented by Mr. Baranoff) waited — while two other men purchased the property known to be on sale.  Then one of them contacted him, and the school district purchased it for $3M more, must a few months later and with no improvements!

The school district announced in February 2000 that it was seeking to purchase a piece of property in the southeast Elk Grove area vicinity for a new “mega-school” site that would include both a high school and a middle school campus.

At that time, Constantine Baranoff, assistant superintendent of facilities and planning, contacted several area realtors and property owners, including Frank Stathos, who had sold property to the district before.

Meanwhile, there was a piece of land large enough for the new school at the corner of Bond and Bradshaw Roads that had been on the market for several years. That property was owned by a man named Don Bishop, who was represented by realtor Steve Crosbie. Baranoff said he never contacted either Bishop or Crosbie.

But Stathos did contact Bishop and the men entered into a purchase agreement in late February. According to Stathos, they agreed on $4.2 million for 107 acres, slightly less than the $4.8 million Bishop had been asking earlier.

Stathos then contacted the school district and let Baranoff know he had property that would fit the bill, according to Baranoff. The district would ultimately purchase the land six months later from Stathos and Tsakopoulos for $6.7 million—a profit of nearly $3 million, although nothing was done to improve the property.

(Simple search results) — Constantine C. Baranoff got J.D. fairly recently (2000 UCDavis, 3 yrs after a B.S. in 1997 at USF).  Descriptions of what he does — make a note of the formation of various infrastructure districts (etc.) and “Mello-Roos” (JPAs?) Community facilities, etc.  He’s a lawyer.Constantine C. Baranoff | Kronick (BS 1997, JD 2000) on TWO School facilities Entities (CASH and Californians for School Facilities formed 1999) printed Jun6 2017

MOVING past that whole Sacramento concentration of Mutual-Benefit associations going after school facilities funds, and run (mostly, seems like) a single firm at this point, Murdoch, Walrath & Holmes…  But I also note that I can’t find a Form 990O, or OAG (Charitable) registration, or SOS (business) for the County School Facilities Consortium — despite its hefty membership fees. I’m thinking at this point the name may be an acronym.  Might call or contact them tomorrow and just ask…

Here’s another resource on CABs which leads to (guess what — yet more information…):

Reporter Behind Michigan_s 1994 Prohibition of Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABs) Watches and Writes (KevinDayton May 14, 2012 post @Laborsolutions’com) (The links on this pdf are active.  I’m posting some images from that links; it shows that Citizen Bond Oversight Committees (CBOC) as well as a League of the same (CalBoc.com, a minuscule 501©3? incorporated only in 2008) exist.  An investigative journalist Joel Thurtell from Michigan (and the Detroit Free Press) had written articles on CABs which caught the attention of someone on CBOC, who then had him come and speak in California — but apparently, “closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.”

Images from a link on that PDF.  Again, this section is telling about the “CAB” situation, not yet specifically today’s post’s title subject matter — those name-changing professional associations plumbing the $20Billion School Industries, Equipment and Supplies sector (as well as producing trade-conferences for it — internationally).

The School Facilities State and Local Bond programs are larger than the $20B (per one estimate, in 2013) industry, according to several of these reporting sources.  The amounts are HUGE, and they may seem bottomless, as the taxpayers can be conscripted (through property taxes, at least in California) to fund the bonds when they come due — with interest.

These images will show, I hope, that the scope of school bond facilities raised, at least in this state, is huge.  A change in law in 2000 lowered the voting percentage required for passage of LOCAL government bonds (i.e., raising money), including school district bonds.

This is called “Prop 39″ for short, and here’s a link showing it was passed in 1978, but Section 1 (limiting ad valorem tax on property to 1% of assessed value — but FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT BONDS — lowering the percentage of voter approval required).

I discovered (just now) that there are Citizen Bond Oversight Committees  (CBOCs) required in association with lowering that bond voting percentage to 5%.  Someone one of those councils saw Joel Thurtell’s articles on-line, apparently, and he ended up speaking at one of the California meetings. (What parallel or similar things, committees, is  going on in your state, if it’s not California or Michigan?)

What’s more, there is also (but only since 2006, articles of incorporation 2008, financing minimal — per tax returns) an association of CBOCs accessible through “CalBOC.com”

Notice the date here is May, 2013; this seems to be a “PR” app on website.

Access this through the Kevin Dayton pdf and links to the image will become active. The date here is May 4, 2013.

By clicking on some of the links (for example, from red-topped banner image, “Bill Lockyer to Speak” (referring to 2013, not currently), I learned that the referendum that lowered the percentage of local votes to pass new bonds to 55% (which enabled more CABs to be passed) also included state-mandated requirement for a Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for each (for example, School District).

Speaker Carolyn D’Elia at the CalBOC Presentation is Exec. Director of Little Hoover Commission — here’s a one-pager  on the topic “press release”)

Rept. 236 by Little Hoover Commission, called Commission Issues Urgent Call to Strengthen Oversight of Billions of Dollars in State and Local Bonds publicizes a 2017 update to a 2009 report:

Borrowed Money: Opportunities for Stronger Bond Oversight provides an update to a June 2009 Commission report, Bond Spending: Expanding and Enhancing Oversight. The 2017 update acknowledges progress to better account for statewide bond spending but found inconsistencies across state programs. The report applauds one state website that shows how and where bond proceeds from the 2014 water bond are being spent, but noted that information on the high-speed rail bond is difficult, if not impossible to find. The report cites shortcomings in accountability for a 2006 school construction bond and agrees with Governor Brown’s call for improved oversight of the 2016 school facility bond in his January 2017 budget proposal. …

California voters have been equally supportive of local bonds, with approximately $28 billion in local bond measures enacted in 2016 alone, nearly all under the reduced voter threshold allowed by a ballot measure enacted in 2000. State law requires schools districts using the reduced voter threshold to create Citizens Bond Oversight Committees to keep a watchful eye on spending. With 210 local school bond measures enacted last year, some 1,400 Californians will join thousands more already serving on these committees. In its report, the Commission found that these committee[s], while well intentioned, often do not live up to the promise of improved oversight. The report lays out specific changes to bolster their effectiveness, including improved training and greater clarity on their authority.

The Little Hoover Commission is a bipartisan and independent state agency charged with recommending ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state programs. The Commission’s recommendations are submitted to the Governor and the Legislature for their consideration and action. For a copy of the report or documents from the Commission’s September 2016 public hearing, visit the Commission’s website: www.lhc.ca.gov.



The organization posting the research (21st Century School Fund) wasn’t new to me, but its reference to sponsorship by the Charitable Fund of “yet another” nonprofit, “CEFPI,” was.

That 2015 cite at least showed the author’s awareness of the organization 21st Century School Fund and the “recent research” suggesting that the school buildings may actually make an academic difference (somehow, parents aren’t supposed to be aware of this yet, or the average citizen?). Of course I looked up CEFPI’s tax returns (discovering the namechange), and ran across references to both versions of it in two more entities which had changed their names.  I also began discovering where CEFPI now “Association for Learning Environments” is dealing with other influential organizations also involved with School Facilities Planning (Transformations) over time.

The former CEFPI  was doing professional trainings for the AIA (American Institute of Architects) — which judging by its tax returns (below — we’ll get there…) seemed to be also its major source of revenues.  For example, here’s a form for an April 2017 training to take place in Chicago (click image to enlarge if needed), under its new name, “Association for Learning Environments.”

On the originating post (within my “roadmap” section), I wrote and posted an image:

CABs were outlawed in Michigan, restricted in California, but are still in place, and are INTRICATELY, DEEPLY, connected to the public school reform networks I’ve been blogging recently simply because it came up in the context.

That example:Recent Research Suggestslink underTicking Time Bomb





This continuing theme (“Research on the Impact of School Facilites on Students and Teachers”) is published on both local roundtables and, involving typically the same personnel or affiliations, and/or professional journals, such as I found in the Journal of Education Administration, itself published by a British-based “Emerald Group.”


As I continued looking more closely at the UCBerkeley Center for Cities & Schools (and its respective named collaborators, whether in Colorado, Ohio, or D.C., to name a few key places), I also looked at the executive director (Deborah McKoy)’s writings — some of them jointly published with others involved in the university center.  I found one being published by a British publisher started around 1967, The Emerald Group.

On the website where it appeared and based on the extract, I could see that there’s much more than meets the eye on this “Impact of School Facilities on Students and Teachers” as a source of friction between powers in place, and those that wish to transform places, and education (Two images from Emerald Group, then two identifying from the article I found published in its above-mentioned Journal).

Click to enlarge. Message from the (“OBE”) Emerald Group Chairman describes its origins

Emerald Group Timeline Details, receiving the OBE from QEII in 2011

cf UCBCC+S, Bldg Schools Rethinking Quality? —LosAngeles by Deborah McKoy (emeraldinsight)

Click to enlarge. Jan 2009 published “Building Schools, rethinking quality: Early Lessons from Los Angeles,” as “generously coached by” (21stC School Fund executive, M. Filardo & “Babatunde Ogunwole” with thanks to Gary Mehlua and his staff (who turns by the end of the same year had resigned from his position at) L.A. School Planning Division. Three other authors hail from UCBCC+S

After reading the article’s abstract, which (like many) includes a p.1 footnote as to the many authors, I went ahead and subscribed to a two-week free trial and downloaded (not for free!) the 14-page article, and found it to be, even in the statement of the problem, more rhetoric than reason.  They seemed to be complaining about the “old, entrenched” school systems and teacher practices hindering their forward-thing school reformers (and architects), and ended up recommending they develop better strategies for overcoming that resistance.  In an academic journal, to me, the language was laughable.  But (and the point being), such journals aren’t intended for commoners, but the “practitioners” and professionals in the field.

Here’s a heavily annotated (by me) page 1 from the article.  I’m not showing more because of copyrights.

Page 1 (only) of Building Schools article showing abstract & (@ bottom) acknowledgmts to three foundations, and one nonprofit (plus obviously the CC&S and the L.A. Schools involved, so far). Annotated comments on authors based on last page describing them + UCB CC+S web page describing Affiliated Faculty).

One of the terms to understand in general, apparently, is “School Facilities Planning Division” as part of a State Department of Education.  The State Department of Education, being itself a primary part of government — under the Executive Branch — can help financing Local School Districts, but does not help or directly control all of them.  However, its various codes regulate site acquisition and conditions (naturally, for protection of the students!), and has to be taken into account whether or not the “LEA” takes on state funding.

For clarification on who’s who — particularly once I start bringing up not just a university center, but also a 2008 DOE (California) Roundtable involving several of the groups I’ve been reporting on, and a few new participants uncovered by following up on the “CEFPI” reference — I’m posting the organizational chart from a recent California “CAFR.” We are, after all, talking about major public facilities and funds for them, acknowledged to be – taken nationally (and, they’re taking it internationally too) — a major industry. AND about “public/private partnerships” (or collaborations, or whatever they might be called at any point) who are going after how to utilize this money, and get more of it, funds for which the public is to be stuck, primarily and eventually with the long-term and short-term debt.

I looked up California’s latest (YE June 30, 2016) CAFR for where the School Facilities Planning Division might sit; see its organizational chart near the front.   For example, I was reminded that Executive Power is vested in the Governor, but other members of the Executive Branch (at the top level, it’s not many) includes …. the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(click to enlarge if needed; Calif CAFR Org. Chart, with some names filled in from the previous page (FYE June 30, 2016 CAFR)

Below, I’ll be quoting the 2008 California Superintendent of Public Education (Jack O’Connell) below as taking credit for having “led the charge,” while a state senator, for passage of a voter referendum which lowered the percentage needed (from ⅔ to 55%) for passage of local school funding bonds — which directly helped bring in the CABs.

The CABS, again, relate to fund-raising for school facilities infrastructure expansion and renovation.  My Page (About Blog Motto) and its promoting post (“…The Whole Nine Yards,”) talk more about this.  Already, felony (criminal) charges have been surfacing in connection with this topic.

To read the CDE roundtable reports, or some of other UCB CC+S uploaded reports on their national initiatives for PK-12 Infrastructure — or the “State of our Schools” — you’d never know it, or journal articles (image nearby for ‘Building Schools” article)  either.  MAYBE it’s time for a refresher course, self-administered, in how that system works and where its various audited financial reports, if they exist, are.

So you can see the importance of understanding the part-to-whole organization of various state (and local) government entities, and the role of the state Department of Education. A CAFR is a great place to look.  I think some of this information is not commonly understood.

Is your state (if not Calif) similar, or different in this?

What I’m looking for in part is the funding  and planning of school facilities — who presides over it?

Profile of the State of California (p. 13 of CAFR).

The State of California was admitted to the Union on September 9, 1850. The State’s population, as of 2016, is estimated to be more than 39 million residents. The State’s government is divided into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Executive power is vested in the Governor. Other members of the Executive branch include the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Controller, Insurance Commissioner, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. All officers of the Executive branch are elected to a four-year term. The Legislative branch of government is the State’s law-making authority and is made up of two houses: the Senate and the Assembly. The Judicial branch is charged with interpreting the laws of the State. It provides settlement of disputes between parties in controversy, determines the guilt or innocence of those accused of violating laws, and protects the rights of Californians.*

(*As to “protects the rights,” some of us may wish to debate, or wish to see a qualified, conditional statement…after years of living here…)

California’s government includes control agencies that help to regulate internal governmental operations. The State Controller’s Office, the State’s independent fiscal watchdog, ensures that the State’s budget is spent properly, offers fiscal guidance to local governments, reports on the State’s financial position, and uncovers fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. The Department of Finance, part of the Executive branch of government, establishes fiscal policies to carry out the State’s programs and serves as the Governor’s chief fiscal policy advisor. The California State Auditor promotes the efficient and effective management of public funds through independent evaluations of state and local governments.

The State of California provides a wide range of services to its citizens, including social, health, and human services; kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) and higher education; and business and transportation, consumer services, general government, and correctional programs. The State also is financially accountable for legally separate entities (component units) … (cont’d on following pages of the CAFR…)

The 21st Century School Fund, a recent ‘phenomenon,’ several years into its existence agreed to set up a National Council on School Facilities (and be its registered agent, at a shared street address); that was formed only in 2013.  This membership entity of school facilities planners was intended to “go with the flow” already established elsewhere, apparently, by seeking more demand based on budget shortfalls for renovating the schools.

Understanding NCSF as simply a newer example of a longstanding TYPE of nonprofit association involving civil servants with major influence over, well, public resources, (like NGA, NCSC, or NCSL, and others) seems key, as does understanding the 21stCentury School Fund (see prior posts) as having gotten $1M of Ford Foundation early on in its IRS-filing history; apparently in 2002.  Now, inspiring this post, I found the 21stCSchool fund citing research by another much older trade association, “CEFPI,” but — one thing at a time here!!


SECTION: TWO reports and lots of images from the OCTOBER 15-16, 2008  ROUNDTABLE HOSTED (and probably convened too) by the California Dept. of Education and “Facilitated” by the UC Berkeley Center for Cities & Schools.

One of the reasons for this section is to pull in architectural and design agency participation in the mix; CEFPI become A4LE.org has had longstanding connections with both, and the roundtable was closed out (Day 1) by a dinner/reception hosted by a global design and consultancy firm DEGW, also.

Convened the year BEFORE this Jan. 2009 publication, but not long before, I found an October 2008 roundtable by the title Re-Visioning School Facility Planning and Design for the 21st Century (California again, sorry if I over-emphasize examples from my home state…) where many of the same terms will be showing up — Learning Environments, Planning Divisions, and this particular one, heavily influenced (led) by the UCBerkeley Center (“UCB CC+S”).

Notice who’s hosting it:

Oct. 15-16, 2008 “Revisioning” Round-table Discussion as posted on UCB Center for Cities & Schools (45pp, not “report,” which was 68pp). Notice CDE, the California Dept. of Education, statement of purpose includes (tan background image) a “focus on closing the achievement gap.” Notice that its “School Planning Division” mission reads “safe, educationally appropriate facilities and transportation services.” This refers to the same two-day roundtable, but it’s styled Roundtable Discussion, not “report.” Notice (more annotated, white-background image), it’s invitation-only. (Next two images; both images also have the originating url on them).

Purposes of 2008 Roundtable (“Discussion” posted at CC+S)


Core purpose of CDE and Mission of its School Facilities Planning Division (from Oct. 2008 Roundtable Discussion posted at UCB CC+S)

This report (labeled “Discussion” and posted at UCB CC+S) contains sections from relevant codes (pp. 9-23), and shows who moderated which parts of the discussion.

For general (actually, specific) interest, here’s page 7 from the UCB CC+S-posted Roundtable  Discussion summarizing the relationship of State Entities to the “LEAs and county offices of education.”  Terms are not clearly defined (especially “LEAs”), or interchangeable. It seems the reference means “County school districts” but not all school districts cover an entire country, or possibly only one county.  For example, California has 58 counties (one of them is huge — San Bernardino).  With over 1,000 school districts and county offices of education (they are not the same!) that’s obviously not a 1:1 ratio.

Therefore “School District” and “County Offices of Education” and “Local Education Agency” (LEAs) are not interchangeable terms.  The phrase “school districts and county offices of education” (COEs) I believe comes up because some public schools are under control of those school districts, and others under direct control not of the districts, but of the “County Offices of Education” (COEs), which then leads to the awareness of a nonprofit associations organized (for this state) representing the “COEs.”  Which I get to, below.


School Construction/Modernization Design Standards in California

California has more than 1,000 school districts and county offices of education. Each local educational agency (LEA) has wide discretion in developing school designs that meet the needs of its educational program and community.

It’s not clear exactly who this uploaded document was intended for.  But, if it’s the general public, then basic good writing (which public schools are supposed to teach!) wouldn’t introduce one subject called “school districts and county offices of education” as the topic of the page, and in the very next sentence, switch the noun to “local educational agency (LEA)” without saying whether the LEA could be either a school district or COE, i.e., what exactly is an LEA, especially when it’s the “LEA” that exercises discretion in developing school designs.

That page then goes on to discuss school construction/modernization projects which use state funds (with no reference to which percentage or how many do so, and whether they are LEAs, districts, or COEs….).  But, (below) you can quickly see that for the state-funded one, two departments are involved:  Department of Education, directed by one public official (State Superintendent of Public Instruction), and the Department of General Services (architect and another office which administers the state bond funds and serves as staff for a “State Allocation Board.”

Most school construction and modernization projects utilize state funds and therefore require approval from the following three key state agencies:

  • The California Department of Education (CDE) operates under the direction of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, who is a statewide elected constitutional officer. {{As of YE2016, it’s Tom Torlaksen; see organization chart of California, above}}The School Facility Planning Division reviews and approves school sites and plans for student safety and educational appropriateness based on standards contained in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (Title 5). The CDE is charged with the development of the standards by Education Code Section 17251.
  • The Division of the State Architect (DSA) is headed by the governor- appointed State Architect. The DSA is located in the Department of General Services. The DSA reviews seismic, fire and life safety, and accessibility of projects. DSA approval is required for all school projects regardless of funding status, with the exception of some charter schools.
  • The Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) is also located in the Department of General Services and is charged with the administration of state bond funds. The OPSC serves as staff to the State Allocation Board, the ten-member body that allocates funds to eligible new construction and modernization projects.

Interesting how three “agencies” instead of two departments (and one official + one office under the second department) were used, above.  And, no links to any of the departments, or the State Allocation Board provided internally to this “Discussion.”

LEAs have wide latitude in the design of their schools but must ensure that the design is consistent with Title 5 standards. The CDE originally established these standards recognizing the need for exibility and local responsibility. Drawn from years of practice, common sense, and ideas from a variety of education and facility experts, the standards have evolved from what has worked historically and could be reasonably advocated or mandated as the minimum for ensuring student safety and educational appropriateness. The Title 5 standards were first adopted by the State Board of Education in 1993 and were last amended in 2000.{{i.e., not really that long ago compared to how long public schools have been around..}} The Title 5 standards may be grouped into three main categories:

  • Process – such as local hearings, environmental proceedings, and LEA board actions
  • Quantifiable standards – such as site acreage and minimum classroom square footage
  • Performance standards – such as acoustical and lighting issues, parking, and circulation

The next page obliquely (or maybe not so much) addresses wide variety among school facilities (NOTE:  Purpose of CDE itself is stated with a focus on closing the achievement gap, see above screenprint, tan background), and at the bottom, says that CDE is revising Title 5 standards and (probably) that’s why it has invited certain participants to this roundtable, which it declares will “reflect the 21st century of students.”  This is the whole next page. [Sometimes the character pattern “fi” (as in the middle of “officer” or start of “fiscal”) may not come through, I’ll try to catch all occurrences where they were skipped.  All emphases added by me, not in original.]

Some school components contained in Title 5 (e.g., gym, multipurpose room) are not mandated. Title 5 is structured to allow an LEA to vary from any standard if the LEA demonstrates to the CDE that student safety and educational appropriateness are not compromised.

As a result, schools look different throughout the state, and this wide variation has given rise to the state policy discussions on both fiscal realities and equity issues. From the fiscal perspective, what should a school that receives state construction funds look like? The equity perspective questions why some communities have large schools with amenities such as swimming pools and lighted stadia, while other communities’ schools consist of rows of portables with students eating at uncovered picnic tables.

Title 5 must also be viewed with an understanding of the state’s capital funding model. The School Facility Program has been described as a “one-size- fits-all” model, yet in an environment in which budgetary realities often supersede educational needs, how does a flexible Title 5 coexist with a rigid funding model?

It is in this setting that the CDE is conducting a review of the Title 5 standards to determine how they can be amended to aid LEAs in developing 21st century learning environments.

The California Department of Education looks forward to your participation in the Re-Visioning School Facility Planning and Design for the 21st Century Roundtable. Your ideas and contributions that you will bring to this conversation on the design and development of facilities will reflect the 21st century needs of students in California.

I went to the California CDE and started looking at their database of School Districts (including those which had been closed or merged) and noticed which types them seem to fall into.  I am not impressed with the CDE home webpage — you have to  know what you are looking for, and it reads more like advertising than organized information designed to help the public better understand this department.  …Here are some screenprints of a list of School Districts (Active) by “TYPE” showing some types you might not have thought of, but which still exists.  One of them shows “SBE” (State Board of Education) controlled schools (incl. California School for the Blind; there’s also one for the Deaf..) — these are all located somewhere, but obviously the state board of education cannot be considered an “LEA,” although it certainly would be constructing schools and maintaining them, or paying someone else to, looks like…

1 of 5 (image order here has NO significance).





For more, read the document; link provided above.

For this October 15-16, 2008 Roundtable, per this “Discussion” uploaded describing it, afterwards, there was a dinner and reception in Sacramento involving someone from “DEGW,” which adds a whole, international, exciting, and large element to the mix.

From Oct 2008 Roundtable Discussion (posted at UCB CC+S). Thu eve Reception/Dinner with DEGW

No explanation of who was DEGW showed on this Oct. 2008 roundtable, so I looked it up.

From “Spatial Agency.net” (database), shows its years of existence and that a London Office sprang from a NY Planning firm.  Reverse “Across-the-Pond” of ideas I guess (Image with bright yellow banner across the top.  Says it existed 1971-2009.

According to http://www.spatialagency.net/database/degw, DEGW existed only 1971-2009. Image is not whole page. See nearby images/links (my +/-Jun3 2017 post “Yet another…”)

OfficeSnapshots.com/designers/DEGW“Established in 1973 by Duffy, Eley, Giffone and Worthington, DEGW is an international consulting firm specialized in integrated workplace planning. It has been present in Italy with DEGW Italia since 1985. Thanks to an approach based on the research and the observation of organizational behaviours and on how these are influenced by the physical environment, DEGW, for over thirty years, has been able to help companies improving their performance by adjusting the workplace to the corporate strategies and the people’s needs

LOCATION: Italy and abroad
LEARN MORE: http://www.degw.it/en/     (<==WOW.  See project “EY” for example: (“LOCATION: Milano END OF WORKS: 2016
SERVICES:Concept Refurbishment Building Design, Interior Design & Space Planning, Art Direction”).

I’m quoting the entire description of “EY” because it also gives a sense of the type of individuals focusing now on educational (School) facilities planning with a view to influencing people’s behavior, including group behavior. EY’s HQ was the project, but the quote also describes who they were, and the use of a third, branding party also. This is based in Milan, Italy. I added horizontal lines to ensure paragraph breaks:

http://www.degw.it/en/ey/  Workplace of the future

The new headquarters of EY, located right in the heart of old Milan city centre, has opened its doors as a totally green, renovated organism featuring revolutionised spaces, cutting-edge technology and an innovative vision of work. The project, by DEGW, Lombardini22 brand, has done so by redeveloping an entire block, “welding together” totally different structures built at different periods in time that seemed to be unsuitable for either the latest work methods or an innovative company like EY. The real challenge the project faced was to incorporate all the most highly developed modern-day work processes within the constraints imposed by history, turning every restriction into a fresh opportunity to enhance the space itself.

The new headquarters of EY takes up an almost 19.000 mq complex of buildings, whose spaces have been completely optimised and whose layout has been rationalised, so that it is now fully operational.

Spread over ten stories in height (with a large panoramic deck offering 360° views across the city of Milan), the spaces hold offices for 2.500 people, 1.200 desks and over 170 meeting rooms designed along the lines of a smoothly flowing, non-hierarchical “activity-based” work model.As the key concept of a so-called “smart office”, the “activity-based” model envisages specific work settings and professional facilities to meet every imaginable requirement that can be used on a flexible, non-hierarchical, based on working activity, which is more efficient for you, your colleagues and your clients. DEGW has managed to achieve this by drawing on all the experience and expertise it has gained in the field of modern-day workplaces and found an ideal partner in EY and its vision of the future (the “workplace of the future” is a key aspect of EY’s Vision 2020 project).

EY’s new headquarters is, consequently, the result of a successful joint-venture between two important international enterprises constantly striving to attain innovative results in all kinds of contexts through their organisation/design culture: DEGW – the Lombardini22 Group brand at the very cutting-edge in strategic consultancy into work methods and interaction between physical space and corporate performance – and EY – a world leader in professional assurance, tax, advisory and transactions services – have joined forces to provide the first office complex in an historical setting, where smart work is now a reality.

I looked up “Lombardini22 Group and found this re: DEGW at http://www.degw.it/en/degw/

DEGW is the brand of Lombardini22 group specialized in integrated design of work environments.
DEGW was founded in 1973 by Duffy, Eley, Giffone and Worthington and since 1985 it has been in Italy with DEGW Italia. {{which probably explans the “30DEGW” branding on several websites}} Thanks to an approach based on research and examination of organizational behaviours and how they are affected by the physical environment, DEGW for more than thirty years has been able to help companies and improve their performance by adapting the workspace to the corporate strategies and people’s requirements.

And that’s basically all it says — except at bottom right (and in Italian — but with luckily an English translation button once you click) an indication that the insert I linked to below was put in the “Harvard Business Review Italia.” Here’s how it looks in Italian — but on clicking on the “English” it’s clear a different text shows up, so I showed image of the Italian version text.

from Lombardini22 Group Ltd re: DEGW, a “Harvard Business Review” links to this (very top of page, labeled “30DEGW,” not captured in the screenprint)


The new EY headquarters currently sets one of the benchmark in Italy for all future designs aimed at attracting and holding onto the most talented people, who are most open to the latest developments in modern-day work. DEGW supported the client throughout all the different stages in the project: from an analysis of EY’s international guidelines reinterpreted in relation to local and emerging organisational needs and how they can be accommodated in new workspaces to the management of space planning, interior design and furnishing policy, not to mention art direction and work supervision.

Within this general framework, the physical branding project for the new offices was handled by FUD Brand Making Factory, which manages the Lombardini22 Group’s communication and brand identity operations.

Underneath another beautiful photo of “a project with a view” the page (scroll down) explains that DEGW is now one of three brands under which Lombardini22 operates.  Across the top banner, notice “Contract Italiano” which (“About Us” link and ICE Agenzia) shows it’s a “Made in Italy” project sponsored by Italian Trade Agency (i.e., government) with a view to consolidating the concept globally.  And, it’s based (HQ) in Rome:

The Italian Trade Agency is the Italian government agency entrusted with the promotion of trade, business opportunities and industrial co-operation between Italian and foreign companies. It supports the internationalisation of Italian firms and their consolidation in foreign markets.

ICE can provide information and assistance to those foreign companies that wish to develop business with their Italian counterpart.

ICE also carries out an intense training activity for Italian and foreign managers operating on international markets, fostering the promotion of made in Italy products.

Located in Rome, the Head Office operates in connection with a wide network of offices in Italy and abroad.

Two more screenprints, stille from this “ContractItaliano.it” website (but different links on it; that is, Lombardini22 has a page on the government’s trade promotion agency site):

Click image for better view, or this link for whole page (there’s text below the photo; and links at top of page to descriptions of ContractItalano)

Click image for better view, or this link for whole page (but remember to scroll down below photo for this text)


My footnote to this DEGW topic (for more info, see this post):
Footnote “DEGW” to Oct. 2008 “Re-Visioning School Facilities Planning” Roundtable (convened by CDE, facilitated by UCB CC+S, By Invitation Only) with case-sensitive short-link ending “-6Y1”

Started June 4, 2017. Link active now, accurate once I publish. I’ll publish it right after this one.

photos are © DEGW. See nearby link on Microsoft House (Milan) (http://www.degw.it/en/)

RE: DEGW (source url is on the image) From Bloomberg.com (which gets it from another source) after describing DEGW, LLC, ends stating it filed for liquidation in 2010.





















SO, REMEMBER THESE RELATED LINKS (includes one to this post):

Yet Another “Recent Research Suggests” link (2015 quoting pre-2010 source)~ unearths Yet Another Chameleon Corp. and its (Yet Another, Also Recently Re-branded) Partner, ALL Targeting the $20 Billion School Supplies, Facilities, Technology and “Learning Environments” Marketplace. Internationally, of Course. (with case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6Wy”),

Read together with another one, please, called:  School Facilities Planning Roundtables (2008 in California) and the Internationally-conferencing Trade Association Re-Branding Runaround (case-sensitive short-link ending “-6Zr”), both to be published, I hope, June 10, 2017.

Also, the material on these two posts came out of a page….I already copied and have published the top third of the long “Page “to a “Post” promoting it:

Here are links to first the top one-third (post), with its long title, then the whole thing (page) with its shorter title), each with a color scheme as found on its place on FamilyCourtMatters.org:

Promoting Page added May 27, 2017, on “The Whole Nine Yards”: Who’s Been REstructuring the PK-12 School Planning Infrastructure; the Capital Appreciation Bonds [raising funds for school facilities] Scam; CAFRs; Unbelievably Unethical, Internationally-Conferencing 501©3s; Where University Centers, each University’s Supporting Foundations (sometimes plural); and of course Many VFFs (Very Famous Foundations) Coordinate for Cradle-to-Career GLOBAL Control (of Education).”  Here’s the ==> case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6WW” to that extended title!

[That] PAGE title, with its case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6TM” is:

About My Blog Motto (formerly on Vital Info/Sticky Links post, moved here  May 26, 2017).

Also, when I can get to these, other posts promised in this page, and now in draft are:

Footnote “DEGW” to Oct. 2008 “Re-Visioning School Facilities Planning” Roundtable (convened by CDE, facilitated by UCB CC+S, By Invitation Only) with case-sensitive short-link ending “-6Y1” started June 4, 2017. Link active now, accurate once I publish. I’ll publish it right after this one.

Remember, I am not charging anything for all of this, but a Donate button remains available on the sidebar.  Donations are NOT tax-deductible because I am not a nonprofit organization! Contributions of any size (on-going or one-time) are meaningful and appreciated. I am approaching 700 posts and will probably pass it this summer, while continuing to work on depth, documentation, communication (and formatting).  I am not working out of a university where interns might be interested (nor am I a professor).



I just remembered that $10,000,000 was donated (By the Broad Foundation? DNR exactly) for the development of a website called “Schoolmatters.com,” in 2005.  Go to page 3 on the next link:

TheBroadFndtn (successor EIN#954686318) 5pp listing 40’99M School Transfrm Grants~but After its Statemt17 (re BdCtr for URBAN SUPTS 1M grant and its SUCCESSOR=BdCtr for MGMT of SCHOOL SYSTEMS.

Although that pdf file (6pp) doesn’t say “SchoolMatters.com” in its header, that is what contains the list of grants showing the $10M one.  Its first page looks like this, which I included because the grant pages themselves didn’t all contain proper header/footer identification.  So, scroll down AFTER you see this image talking about one grant, only — a list of many grants follows:

Page 3 herein (pdf, not this image) will show the $10M grant to Council of Chief State School Officders (from TheBroadFoundation, Year 2005) for the development specifically of “SchoolMatters.com.”….

$10M to CSSO.org entity shown for ‘SchoolMatters.com” (more links on image, Click to enlarge) See this uploaded pdf for to connect grantee, year, and the other grants that year. My filename title, TheBroadFndtn (successor EIN#954686318) 5pp listing 40’99M School Transfrm Grants~but After its Statemt17 (re BdCtr for URBAN SUPTS 1M grant and its SUCCESSOR=BdCtr for MGMT of SCHOOL SYSTMs) See10M to CouncilStateSchoolChiefs for SchoolMatters’com.pdf


This annotated return shows a $500,000 grant from Broad for purpose “National Education Data Partnership” which specifically references Schoolmatters.com” and annotations reference the $10M grant. I’ve provided that screenprint and pdf, too.

SchoolMatters.com (home page) Image 1 of 3 viewed 5-1-2017

SchoolMatters.com (home page) Image 2 of 3

SchoolMatters.com (home page) Image 3 of 3


Go look  up “SchoolMatters.com” 12 years later (also see the three images I posted below), and it’s clear that’s not a $10M project.

The $10M was reported (on a Form 990PF) as donated to The Council of State School Chief Officers.

I’ll follow up separately (or, why don’t YOU?), but when $10M is donated by an entity already having expressed interest in training urban school superintendents, or for the management of urban school systems, as Broad obviously has (“Broadcenter.org”) then when $10M is claimed to have gone to a project which is MIA — if it ever was completed — then we must ask more questions, and learn WHAT conditions facilitated $10M here, $6M there (remember, I also identified money not yet found as donated from one Annenberg-sponsored source to another (see Challenging the Annenberg Challenge Circuitry post, near the top, colorful image).


The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public


Use the WayBack Machine (internet archive) to see if it ever existed as an active domain name, or redirects to a more functional one.  Remember that in blogging the “three nonprofits in Ohio” and the Ohio IPV Collaborative I continued to follow the money trail and for the latter, discovered that the website “Adoptionlawsite.com” was not functional, and apparently never had been, and showed how many reputable sources quoted it as legitimate (still).  I also posted an article showing that a member of the U.S. House of Representatives had obtained $230,000 from HHS for this project, which was endorsed or managed by another NON-entity posing as an entity, “NCALP” (National Center for Adoption Law Project [or similar title]  at Capital University; Capital University in Columbus, Ohio).

Just like “Annenberg Center for School Reform at Brown University” — which has apparently a facilities (I showed the street sign) and a corporate form, but is not posting its financials.

There is far too much of this going on, and it will take more than one person to “call” those engaged on changing the course of government from the sidelines without documenting WHO PAID (and no money gone missing into fake projects, fake or untrackable “Centers” and so forth).

While attempting to demand some accountability, or economic footprints that don’t lead to dead ends, or end in a fizzle of frayed distributions to suspiciously many sources, you might take some heat for opposing such a noble cause as transforming schools, helping vulnerable children, making life more equitable for low-income families, and so forth.  In response (other than ignoring this and continuing to post, asking, what’s fair, equitable or helpful” about cheating across the board, or lying to the public), I’d ask — SUPPOSE there was a criminal element, would it hide under operations labeled “criminal”? or under causes too great to even question — on “sacred social ground.”

CCSSO.org (above, the $10M grantee) bears more discussion, and “I’m on it.” It’s just ONE MORE of a certain type of entity I hadn’t looked up yet, but heard about a number of times.

Thanks for readers who made it all the way through this post and are starting to understand how important understanding IS, in these categories, and starting to become aware of the role this type of organization plays, and how many similar ones there are.

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

June 10, 2017 at 6:53 pm

One Response

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  1. daveyone1

    June 11, 2017 at 3:43 pm

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