School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

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By Susan Anderson

Instead of hiring “para educators” the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) has hired a for-profit corporation with a lengthy criminal record to work with Special Needs students. Maxim Healthcare Services was hired to staff “para educators,” but the kids with Special Needs are not sick- they simply need educators. The SBUSD is legally mandated by the State of California to hire para educators for students with a whole range of disabilities- some mild, some severe. The SBUSD has failed to do this, yet it seems to accomplish so much else.

Who are Maxim? They have ties to adult and juvenile detention centers, they had to pay $150,000,000 to the government and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement because of a criminal complaint of defrauding Medicare and Veterans Affairs office to the tune of $61,000,000. They co-operate with ICE.

The SBUSD didn’t even let the public know there was a corporation that co-operates with ICE on campus. Their Craigslist ad encourages Veterans with “service-connected disabilities” to work as para educators—- that’s not a good idea. Having wounded or traumatized Veterans work with kids who can be volatile and impulsive is a terrible idea and as a parent, I’d want an educator with a peaceful, well-rounded background. SpEd para educators work with some behaviors that will challenge anyone... again, how could a corporation think that it would be appropriate to hire that specific demographic? 

We don’t know who the Maxim employees are because they are brought in by Maxim. There is no vetting by the District as far as I know - I don’t believe THE District DIDN’T EVEN TOLD THE MAXIM EMPLOYEES THEY COULD APPLY TO WORK THERE AT ANY TIME!!! Apparently some Maxim employees thought they couldn’t apply to the District. It’s reckless to a criminal degree to do that to kids and adults . These are special needs kids who DEPEND on the SBUSD to hire staff to educate them. 

When I was working at the SBUSD a Maxim employee left a disabled kid downtown by themselves because they needed to Uber somewhere for an appointment. Why the district has been able to get away with this is beyond me. Another MAXIM employee was paid to break a strike in the Bay Area and then got right back into his temp job at the District.

If I were a student or a parent I wouldn’t feel comfortable sending my kids to school with Maxim in it. I can’t IMAGINE how the kids who’ve been affected by ICE will feel knowing that there are adults who work for a corporation that cooperates with ICE. That will make some kids not want to come to school; it will make others furious. The Maxim employees themselves will have unpleasant experiences.

I know kids, they have a FAR BETTER sense of justice than a lot of adults. I’ve been a teacher for well over a decade and the kids deserve better. The SBUSD has all summer left to do the right thing and hire para educators (that means they’ll have to start working hard). It can and HAS to be done. Spread the word, contact the school board and SBUSD. They have to hire para educators for our wonderful kids by law.


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28 Comments

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Flicka Jun 29, 2019 09:38 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

If an outfit was scamming Veterans Affairs and Medicare and had to pay an extremely high fine for doing so then maybe they aren't the best choice for the job. And, kids definitely deserve the very best.

Sbbeach805 Jun 29, 2019 12:35 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Let me be one to clear some things up in terms of the school district and paraeducators as I have been one. There are lots of many amazing paraeduactors that the school district employs that are not Maxim employees. They can work with special education K-12 students within a strictly special ed class or within a general education class. The school district this past school year began filling sub positions and vacancies with Maxim employees, possibly giving new positions only to Maxim employees (this I don’t know). The Maxim employees themselves may have no idea about ICE affiliation, other corruption etc and are just looking for jobs. It’s unfortunate their employer is corrupt and it’s disappointing SBUSD is handling business with them

a-1568868130 Jun 29, 2019 10:30 AM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

If ICE is allowed to do their job the class sizes would go to a reasonable number. Without the need to peg the speed of learning to kids who are English-second-language the American citizen students' learning could progress faster. If Special Needs kids are educated in their own classrooms, as they used to be, it removes their disruptive behavior from the learning environment. Not PC, just facts.

BullseyeB Jul 01, 2019 10:26 AM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

FACTotum, you are severely mistaken that 1/2 of our classrooms are filled with students from “other countries who are here without legal permission.” You have inflated this to make your baseless statements have more impact. Please get your FACTS straight before popping off and spewing unfounded nonsense.

PitMix Jul 01, 2019 09:09 AM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Quote me any article that says that ICE is deporting children. I have not seen any. They are deporting working age adults, so that any US children they have are thrown into the welfare systems and cost us a bundle there. We dumped a bunch of people back on the Central American countries that didn't have the resources to deal with them, and now the good citizens of those countries are desperate to escape to the US for a chance at a drowning death or just possible a decent life. Educating children is a good thing. That $120M drone they shot down in Iran could pay for how many kids? Unbelievable how misplaced our priorities are.

Factotum Jun 29, 2019 12:07 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Our state per-pupil spending would double to approximately $32,000 per student, and our class sizes would be cut in half if we were not educating so many citizens from other countries who are here without legal permission. But this could also mean many teachers would lose their current jobs if enrollments were cut in half, and teacher union dues would substantially also be cut in half. Do the math. And follow the money. Prop 98 still guarantees K-12 still gets the lion's share of all general state tax revenues, regardless of numbers of students served; teachers unions now decide who this money gets spent on. Right now it gets spent on an awful lot of foreign citizens in our schools; which badly short-changes all legal US students. Talk to Hannah-Beth Jackson, Monque Limon and Salud Carbajal about this open borders, school funding mismatch.

RHS Jun 29, 2019 10:22 AM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

This post does contain some emotionally loaded information which threatens the message. Take away the ICE bogeyman but concentrate on another private company that is undercutting fair wages and accountable public sector services. Why would the school district not do this work in house? The 'savings' of these operations (including especially private jails) always comes with abuse and error and bad results.

Factotum Jun 29, 2019 12:00 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Translation: "fair wages" are intended to mean only public employee union wages, There is no 'fair" arms-length, neutral bargaining done today when spending our tax dollars on any public employee contract., Public employee-union backed elected officials now bargain with the very same employee union groups, who funded their election campaigns. Only voters can stop this ongoing internal corruption that has resulted only in higher taxes and no accountability for outcomes. This is why the candidate "who raises the most money" is an extremely poor choice at the ballot box today. It is not an indication of popular support. Instead you are voting for the candidate who took the most money from the highest and most self-interested bidders. Seek out the most qualified independent candidate, one who has not taken special interest public employee union member money or support because that candidate knows up front this is fatal, inherent conflict of interests. Employee unions should be barred from the election process. And candidates who take their money should recuse themselves from any later bargaining with those employee groups.

mtndriver Jun 29, 2019 10:05 AM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

People seem to be overlooking the company’s big fine, record of defrauding Medicare and Veterans Affairs, if those claims are accurate —doesn’t inspire confidence that they’ll provide good service for money. Seems like what’s needed is to confirm that information. If true, SBUSD should think again. Also hiring practices, are people hired qualified? Again, research needed. I’m no fan of ICE, but what does “cooperate” mean in this situation? Reporting on kids’ immigration status? Not okay. But could mean a lot of things other than that.

Rinconer Jun 29, 2019 08:06 AM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

As a parent of a disabled child in SBUSD, I am utterly shocked and horrified by this article. SBUSD is shooting themselves in the foot on full auto. Hiring a criminal company with $150 million in previous fines? Leaving disabled kids on their own downtown? If anyone was paying attention at SBUSD, this should have ended this perhaps well meaning, but dysfunctional program, right then & there. Hiring disabled Vets without any training to be caretakers for kids with disabilities is an extremely dangerous idea, and on the heels of the M.A.D scandal, leads me to believe that fundamental and serious changes are needed within SBUSD to stop the madness. Nothing against Vets, but it takes a certain kind of extremely patient person, most of which are female, to do this work.

Shasta Guy Jun 29, 2019 08:04 AM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

The primary issue seems to be is if individuals are properly trained and screened to be working with students. If not, then there’s a problem. Throwing in the ICE association is like saying Enron, Halliburton, Bernie Madoff, Jim Jones, (insert your preferred bogey person here) is working with your child.

mattyboy Jun 28, 2019 08:11 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Is it? Couldn't really tell. Sounds like the unhinged OP is more concerned with the possibility of ICE being unobstructed to do their job. She doesn't want "criminals" working for the school, but she doesn't want law enforcement involved either. Got it.

Factotum Jun 28, 2019 12:55 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Per-pupil spending is diluted by half, due to the vast majority now being "english learners" in our California classrooms. Presently it is $16,000 tax dollars per student; it would be $32,000 per student at least if we did not have open borders and sanctuary cities filling our California K-12 classrooms.

a-1568868130 Jun 28, 2019 12:44 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

What is crimminal are the test scores and ranking of our local public schools. Kids making it all the way through high school without basic math, science, or language skills. No doubt the poor performance is due to ICE. What a pile.

Bird Jun 28, 2019 01:51 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Could be that the material taught now is "miles above" what you were taught at SMHS (Santa Monica? Santa Maria?) The question should be how do the present test scores compare with those of other California schools, same grades? That obviously depends on the school, Washington, for instance, is higher scoring than Harding. How do Santa Barbara schools compare with those of other small cities, anyone know?

Bird Jun 28, 2019 01:52 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Could be that the material taught now is "miles above" what you were taught at SMHS (Santa Monica? Santa Maria?) The question should be how do the present test scores compare with those of other California schools, same grades? That obviously depends on the school, Washington, for instance, is higher scoring than Harding. How do Santa Barbara schools compare with those of other small cities, anyone know?

ZeroHawk Jun 28, 2019 01:09 PM
School District to Re-Hire ICE Collaborating Corporation?

Do you have kids in the SBUSD? I have 2, and their math, science, language and reading at 7th grade is MILES above what we were being taught at 7th grade when I was in school. I'm 48. I don't understand how you are coming to this conclusion. I'm very active with their education and frankly, our schools in SBUSD are far better than they have ever been. Have you actually looked at the math, science and languages courses they are taking currently? Both of my daughters brought me math homework in 6th grade that is comparable to what I was taught at SMHS as a Junior....

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