News


Board finds funds to save some positions, increase class sizes to 25

'Responsible risk' would delay payments, require $1.5 million to be paid on 2010-11

Despite the defeat of a parcel tax, the Pleasanton Unified School District is trying to find a way to keep reading specialists, counselors, library staff and small class sizes.

Deeming it a "responsible risk," the board decided Wednesday to put off $674,000 of post-employment payments for fiscal year 2009-10.

A new requirement would have the district show OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) in the budget. Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Luz Cazares described it as an "IOU put down in black and white."

Chris Grant, board president, motioned to use the $674,000 to bring back two reading specialists, four of 10 counselors that were previously reduced and three additional positions in the library and technical support, as well as providing $45,000 for the Barton Reading program.

The money would also go towards increasing the student-to-teacher ratio to 25:1, based on new flexibility provided by the state. The current 20:1 ratio is funded with $4 million from the state and $1.6 million from the district. Changing the ratio to 25:1 would mean the schools would contribute no money and the state would contribute less, but would make the program "self sustaining" for the district.

In delaying the payment, Cazares said the risk is that it doesn't look good to investors if the district would seek to issue debt. To make up for the delay, the district would have to pay $1.5 million in fiscal year 2010-11.

The unanimous decision was made in time for today's deadline for teachers and staff to receive final notices of layoff. The district issued a statement saying Wednesday night's action would rescind about 40 layoff notices.

Superintendent John Casey said, however, that if the state budget were to worsen in the coming weeks, the district could announce layoffs on Aug. 15. This option wouldn't be as desirable, he added.

In budget news, Cazares said that Alameda County had notified PUSD that cash from the state has been received. These dollars, from the state fiscal stabilization fund, were expected to reach the district's accounts today.

On May 29, however, the district received word that there would be an additional shortfall of $1.2 million for the district, which is on top of the estimated $6.8 million deficit for PUSD as a result of the second version of the May budget revision.

Also at Wednesday night's special meeting, the board also canceled the tentative meeting for Friday, June 5. Their next meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. June 9.

Measure G supporters offer donations

During the public comment section of Wednesday night's meeting, several Measure G supporters came forward with $1,000 checks made out to the school district. The donations, they said, was following through with what they committed to pay with their "yes" vote.

Others came forward wishing to raise money from school sites in order to preserve class-size reduction.

Grant requested a meeting be held with district leaders and directors from the two local educational foundations, so donors could work within current structures to raise funds for schools.

Anyone wishing to donate should contact PUSD at 426-4333 or visit their office as 4665 Bernal Ave.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm

I tried to put a comment and was not posted. Why?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Here is my comment again:

I think it is a good thing that the board found a way to keep class sizes relatively small (25:1) without having to spend money, and this will be self-sustaining.

4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders are already in classes bigger than that (some more than 30 students). Why is the board so committed to 9th grade class size reduction? From 4th grade on, students have gotten used to big classes, some with more than 30 students, why mess with this in 9th grade?

And as for the 1.5 million we will need in 2010-11: the board should not fund items it does not have money for.

I voted YES on G but the measure sadly failed. The board needs to understand this and not fund positions that it does not have money for, making this next year's problem. They call it responsible risk, I call it irresponsible.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sj
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm

It is a bad decision to go to a ratio of 25:1. Livermore schools, who score below Pleasanton, have a 22:1 ratio in K-3 grade. Say hello to a decrease in our scores and home value.


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Posted by Another Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Along with more borrowing from next year's budget, I was equally disturbed to hear many of the board members setting the stage for another wasteful tax proposition next year.

Note to PUSD and the board Ö Your well organized, well funded, and highly motivated group got less than 10,000 votes. That constitutes a community mandate in my book. The voters overwhelmingly said find another solution. A new tax will not be any more appealing next year. If you do not manage to renegotiate the union contracts this year you will be slashing again in the very near future.


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Posted by Share the Burden
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm

We need something from everyone. This is the communities burden. Yes, the PUSD needs to maintain a balanced budget and needs to prioritize. But let's not forget that the state failed them too.

1. All admin perks cut. No cell phones, car allowances, or bonuses.
2. Renegotiation of union contracts (freeze S&C).
3. New parcel tax on fall ballot describing exactly what the money will go toward.





 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Another resident has put it very well. We still haven't faced up to the issue. The State is going to make more cuts as it cannot finance its debts. Without renegotiating the contracts including pensions, medical benefits for both workers and retirees we will be in a huge hole. Instead of facing the deficits squarely we are praying that it disappears. Maybe there will be a miracle but I don't see it.

The same thing applies to the City of Pleasanton. We better realise that our standard of living has permanently declined. The U.S. and in particular California has to make drastic changes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ???
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm

@ sj: The demographics in Livermore is very different from those in P-town. Most children in P-town are raised by parents who are pretty well off and highly educated. It's highly unlikely our test scores would drop.

Livermore:

Web Link

Pleasanton:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Smell the coffee
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm

We were never told that part of the district shortfall was for "post employment benefits."

That means that measure G money left after paying 15mil in raises was going to pay retirement benefits!!!!!!!!!!!

None of the money was for our kids!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Confused
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm

How do they "put off" post employment benefits? Aren't they required to pay benefits to former employees per their contract with the Union??


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Posted by professional mom
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Jun 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I disagree with comment that parents are highly educated in this city. All I see is women driving around with their cell phones to their ears with disregard for anyone other than themselves. There is a get what I can and don't give back mentality in this town. Their kids are rude, and the apple does not fall far from the tree. For the first time ever, and my kids have been in schools here since kidergarten, my child has a great 6th grade teacher who is going to lose his job. It is more important to pay for their health club memberships and nail salons than a few hundred a year to help the teachers. I just don't get it.


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Posted by ???
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm

"We were never told that part of the district shortfall was for post employment benefits."

Aren't you glad some of us voted NO on G? As some on this forum had said many times before, the G funds can be used to free up other funds for pay raises and these "post employment benefits". What a crock of [you fill in the blank]....


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

SJ, if a teacher can't handle going from 22 students to 25 students in their classroom, then he or she shouldn't even be teaching to begin with. I will never completely understand peoples' reasoning behind something as such, since learning always extends beyond the classroom. 3 extra students isn't that bad, and as some other poster stated in another thread, we should be thankful for what we do currently do have compared to schools in other Bay Area cities. If a teacher can't effectively manage a class or 25 students or can't meet each students learning needs, then he or she needs to get out and go find a different job.

Instead of Pleasanton community members complaining about what may or may not happen, why not work with what have in the present and always think the best for the future? It's obviously going to be difficult at times, but one can't blame having 3 extra students in the classroom for scores declining or housing price drops. Having students earn top scores isn't the sole job of a teacher: turn off the televisions and video games and help with homework.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Let me see, new truths coming out and I have read on more than post that people want to try the tax proposal AGAIN...lotso luck hard heads. You held all the cards, stand alone election which guaranteed a low tunout that was favorable to your side, organization, money, fear, and emotion and you still couldn't pull it off. It won't be a stand alone election the next time, because you can't afford it and the oppostion will be well organized. All you will accomplish is angering more property owners, and more will vote no.
You want to tax citizens for the schools, then come up with a plan that spreads the burden to all, not just property owners. We already pay for the schools, and if that's not enough because you want "special programs", well then that becomes your burden to find creative funding, not the property owners.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by vh mom
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm

You are right, Professional Mom. This town has become Beverly Hills of the North. They think nothing of dropping $60 at the nail salon but won't pitch in $5 for a teacher gift. Or heaven forbid, cancel tennis or botox appointment and drive on a field trip! It didn't used to be like this in Pleasanton folks!


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Posted by LN
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Professional Mom,

Is that really all you see in Pleasanton? That's not what I see. Please acknowledge that you're generalizing in an attempt to make a point. Not all women are how you're portraying them in your post. My feeling is that many women are just like me, hardworking, homeowners, with kids in school. It's not a matter of not wanting to give more to our schools or supporting our children, it's a matter of feeling that we're already paying enough taxes and that we want out schools to tighten their belts during these tough economic times in the same manner we've had to tighten our belts in our households.
Don't generalize, it does nothing to support your case and makes you appear to be narrow minded.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LN
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Joe,

I agree with some of your comments. The school district is already supported by tax dollars and to add an additional burdon to homeowners is just adding to our already decreasing home values. The economy will recover, our household finances will recover, our school district's funding will recover, and our home values will recover.
Those who wish to contribute more than they are already contributing to support our schools can do so voluntarily. Those who choose to put their hard earned money to another use should not be subjected to further tax burdon.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another mom
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:35 pm

You are SO correct about the snobby "wealthy & Educated" moms being more concerned about their nails, botox etc. Not to mention the stress these snobs are under because their husbands, or more often EX HUSBANDS are loosing their jobs, and wont be funding all this vanity.

I have seen so many moms in giant SUV's, with the hair, nail, botox etc. dropping their middle school kids off downtown after school, so they can get in just a little more shopping or botox.

Meanwhile the little kids are scoring and smoking dope, seeking sex and they go home and watch t.v.

Having grown up in Los Altos Hills, where folks are MUCH wealthier than Pleasanton, I can say that truely wealthy folks tend not to be so hung up on the putside appearances and the whole snobbery.

Home values are going down, marrigaes are ending, jobs are ending and htese "ladies" will get a grip, one way or another!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LN
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Another mom, vh mom, and professional mom,

You're making some pretty nasty comments about women in Pleasanton. That's pretty disrespectful and a complete generalization.

If you're women living in Pleasanton, what does that say about you? Do you include yourselves in these nasty comments? Why is it that you're making demeaning comments about Pleasanton women, but not about Pleasanton men?

Very Snarky.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LN
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm

I'd love to stay and view the responses to my questions, but after working for 9 hours, I'm going to drag myself to go jog with my dog. Then I think I'll go home in my oversized SUV, fire my maid, tell the pool guy to take a hike, ask the gardners to take a pay cut, and take all the money I'm saving and get some botox. '
Oh wait, I don't have a giant SUV, I'm my own maid, my husband's the pool guy, and my son mows the lawn. Darn, I guess that means no botox for me. :)

have a nice evening everyone, even those of you who like to make nasty comments about other women in your community. You must be very pleasant people to be around.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SUV Driver
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 4, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Yes I have an SUV, no I don't have nail appointments or a maid. Another Mom, you are kidding me. Obviously you haven't been to Los Altos Hills lately. Lot's of competition on the Peninsula. They have drivers for their kids, they compete to see what private school their kids go to, they love their art collections, fake nails and Botox. I know, we have relatives that live there. I've met these women and Pleasanton moms can't even compete when it comes to pampering.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SUV Driver
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 4, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I forgot to say, I will be giving my $233 to the school of my choice. It won't be paying for raises or post retirement benefits. Hopefully everyone that voted will do the same.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Professional mom
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Jun 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm

You are missing the point. That is correct...just try collecting money for a gift or now, the $2 for pizza at the end of year party at the aquatic center. Only 3 kids out of over 30 contributed!! It is not about the pampering but what directly benefits them. I don't think they are wealthy snobs at all. They happened to be married to guys that did well and obviously not married for their intellect. It is all about what everyone can do for them. I wonder if they even voted!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Room mom
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jun 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Professional mom, I understand what you are saying. I had to collect for drinks for the Aquatic Center. I have 4 kids and have been doing this for years. We have changing demographics in our town. I find that the women you are referring to are happy to give money versus give time. We have a whole new demographic that doesn't give money or time. Just wait until you get to the high school level. It gets worse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 2ME4U
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Why put off to tomorrow what you can put off today? I.O.U.s don't really save money, especially if they (we) will have to pay interest. Will they?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by KGM
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 4, 2009 at 6:34 pm

How awful these comments are!
I need to speak up for all the highly dedicated moms and wonderful families I interact with every day! Many of these women are highly educated and are fortunate to be able to step out of the workforce for a time to raise young families (not without material sacrifice). Many others work outside of the home AND inside the home, and still contribute to class events, etc. The fathers are equally as dedicated (and there are wonderful stay-at-home dads, too!) to their kids, and show a level of involvement much higher that that expected of fathers when I was growing up. And I can tell you, we're all not running into each other at the salon!
Regardless of the current issues regarding school funding, Pleasanton is a very family-oriented community, and we can't tolerate such a false and ridiculous portrait of our community as a bunch of soulless parents who aren't invested in their families.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WFT
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 7:07 pm

So, on the issue of how wonderful the families are in Pleasanton... when my kids started middlde school the principal told us how horrible the kids were at the school and how they do not follow the discipline plan because, get this, there are too many to discipline and he did not want to upset the upper class parents. I agree with Professional Mom.. just look around and open your eyes everyone..she is spot on with her assessment. It is not about SUVs..it is about parents who have no clue how horrible their precious children treat others.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Birds
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 4, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Birds of a feather flock together?


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Could someone tell me why an state initiative can pass with a simple majority and a local one has to have two thirds? Can't we fix this craziness?

(that's a rhetorical question)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MH
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 4, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Teacher raises should be linked to performance like raises in most businesses are. There are so many underperforming teachers that perhaps would step it up with an incentive and some stellar ones that deserve everything. One of my kids had a block teacher for 6th grade who was the worst teacher we have encountered yet. She works part time and is supposedly a teacher others model their classrooms after. Well... she was gone way too much, couldn't keep track of assignments which were consistenly lost, and spent the time she was there telling parents on her school notes how wonderful and important (self-important) she was, Just mention her name to another teacher and they cringe! It must be great to have a job with benefits and fly under the radar. And hey WFT.... her kids are bullies!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JK
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jun 4, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I lost my respect for John Casey years ago with the Y Kids debacle. Their contract was up and a huge group of parents met with him to inform him of all the horrible things going on (kids disappearing from the site etc). They had bids from other companies that were great and a lot more reputable. After hours of pouring our hearts out and listening to horror story testimonials from parents... guess what? He renewed the Y Kids contract!!!! We promptly withdrew our kids from the day care there. He proved to me he does not care about our children.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LN
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 4, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Professional mom,
I don't think I missed your point at all. You've been very clear about your disdain for Pleasanton women, and you've insulted them even further by now adding that they probably didn't even vote.
Do you generalize like this in all areas of your life, it really weakens your argument, in fact I don't see that you've presented any valid argument at all; what I've seen is you attack other people because you don't feel they voted the way you think they should have voted.
Perhaps we should all appoint you as the representative of the community and we can all just stay home on election day. After all, you know best and your opinion is the only one that is valid. If someone doesn't agree with you, then you attack their character.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another working mom
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:02 pm

My high school child asked me why I voted No on Measure G and I said it was not because I don't support schools, it is because I don't support poor control of the district's budget. For those of you who voted Yes, I think it is great that you are writing personal checks. Bravo! Are you asking for a report as to where exactly your funds are going? I hope so. I would. Professional Mom...thank you for your discernment and assertiveness. Yes people, Pleasanton moms have a rep for being superficial, caddy, and materialistic, despite how many hours they spend "helping" on campus. I have spent numerous hours in the classroom as well and am discouraged by the numerous SUVs with "Yes on Measure G" painted on the rear windows. That doesn't get my vote. It reminded me to get my "No" vote in.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jasper
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:03 pm

The energy wasted in this chat room would be so much better spent in schools.

For those property owners who claim they shouldn't have to pay for the extra $233 a month: think about a young family considering moving to Pleasanton. There's certainly been plenty of bad press about this town coming from measure g (especially considering san ramon, piedmont, and others were able to pass their parcel taxes). Take a look at this forum and the conversations in here - good stuff - this alone would be enough to scare me away. $233 is a bargain - you can bet property values will take some hit.

The fact is there was a huge shortfall in revenue and the school district needs to make it up somehow.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jay
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

A young family moving to Pleasanton could be concerned because the district is brow-beating people into paying a tax that will be used for raises.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:18 pm

It sure seems odd that many of the pro G people cannot understand that a lot of people in Pleasanton are hurting, out of work, or in fear of losing their jobs and thus do not want to vote for a tax to give the money they do not have to teachers as raises. Seems quite simple.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by For the record
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:46 pm

To professional mom who says "It is more important to pay for their health club memberships and nail salons than a few hundred a year to help the teachers. I just don't get it.

Just for the record I did vote "yes" on "G' although did feel there was fiscal irresponsibility re: PUSD spending. And I do belong to Club Sport. Although I don't visit nail salons, I would if I had the time.

But let me hep you "get it" about the choices people make with their money.

Its "their' money" Why is that so difficult for you to understand??? They get to choose to do with it what they want to do with it. That's the problem w/ any tax . The people who support a tax operate from the premise that its "their" money and they get to decide what to do with YOUR money. Who exactly gave you the authority "professional" mom to tell someone they can't spend their money @ a nail salon or health club??? For goodness sakes we are NOT SOCIALIZED county yet.

People like you are "professionally" brainwashed. Guess what? Those "rich" people do NOT have to get your permission before they make their next nail appointment. In fact if those memberships to the health clubs went away, even more jobs in Pleasanton would be lost.

Class warfare and class envy are NOT OK... and CANNOT be justified even when it is for the sake of our schools


 +   Like this comment
Posted by What?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:49 pm

What??? "Pleasanton moms have a rep?" Do moms from other cities really sit around and talk about "those Pleasanton moms..."

Good grief.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Please stop talking about measure G! The election is over. Anyway, it is Measure H now.


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Posted by yikes
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:54 pm

For the record Mom - geez! better sign up for the yoga class at Club Sport...that last post of yours is messing up your zen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by For the record
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 10:03 pm


Yikes: Now repeat after me: "Class warfare and class envy are NOT OK... and CANNOT be justified even when it is for the sake of our schools...Class warfare and class envy are NOT OK... and CANNOT be justified even when it is for the sake of our schools "

Tried the Yoga. It was good, but prefer Tai Chi...provides good balance!

Off to do my 11-7 shift!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LN
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 4, 2009 at 10:05 pm

To For the Record,

Thank you for explaining things more clearly to "professional mom." My husband and I belonged to Club Sport, but put our membership on hold about six months ago, in order to cut back our expenses. Until now, I hadn't thought much about it, but my guess is that there have been many families that have cancelled or suspended their memberships at Club Sport or other health facilities. I'm sure that many jobs have been lost throughout that industry as families re-prioritize their finances. Workig for a health club might not seem as noble as being teacher, but a job is a job. Who's coming to the rescue of health club workers who are losing their jobs because of the economy, who's coming to the aid of anyone losing their jobs in any industry because of the economy. I had to lay off one of my staff members about six weeks ago, and another member may be cut soon. Who's saving their jobs, or rallying support for a ballot measure to ensure that they don't have pay cuts. When I cut my staff, the remaining members get a larger work load. Maybe this doesn't compare to teachers who will have more children in their classrooms, but then again, maybe it does.
The fact is that private industry is suffering from the economy too. Child care workers, electricians, health club staff, computer salespersons, and software engineers are all suffering the loss of income and there's no one rallying support for a parcel tax increase to help them and their families out. These folks need their money and have a right to do with it what they choose. "For the record", you're right, rich people don't need anyone's permission to decide what to do with their money. Who knows, maybe "professional mom" is completely wrong, maybe all the rich Pleasanton moms in their giant SUVs voted in FAVOR of PropG, but how would she know? Our votes are secret, maybe it's professional moms own peers (self righteous know it alls) who voted agains Prop G.
I'd like to think that we can all vote our conscience and not be made to feel guilty that we don't share the opinion of another. If I choose to spend my money at MY OWN discretion, I should be able to do that, I earned it, no one gave it to me, and no one is going to rally a special election to ensure I get to keep my job or that it doesn't become too diffucult.


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Posted by What?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm

I'd like to point out that people voting for measure G didn't do so so teachers "didn't lose their jobs" or so their jobs didn't become "too difficult."
I know I can't pretend to know the motive behind every yes vote, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that most people felt things like CSR and other programs and services are important for our KIDS, and that was their motivation for voting yes. It was certainly mine.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 4, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Recall the following front page of PW:

Web Link

Propaganda about teachers losing jobs. Followed up with threats to cut favored programs like CSR, only for new money found on Wednesday be the school board to rescue many jobs.

Private sector jobs pay the majority of taxes that support government sector jobs. That includes teachers. No "goose laying golden eggs" as they say, then no teaching jobs. All private sector jobs are therefore of greater importance than teaching job. Without private sector jobs, there would be no teacher jobs. Therefore, there is no need to somehow justify how important your job is relative to a teacher's.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Apparently the union isn't very concerned about keeping CSR Ö unless you keep raising the pay structure.


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Posted by Beth
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 4, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Frank: "Therefore, there is no need to somehow justify how important your job is relative to a teacher's."

Totally agree. Well said, needed said and, I think, the first time I've seen it said on any of these blogs.

What is going on here locally is exactly what is going on nationally. Demonizing one group (private sector)to justify another.

For the record compliments your post nicely.


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Posted by commuter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 7:19 am

TO What? I work in Oakland and yes, I get commments about the people in Pleasanton so I always hate to tell people where I live. Never thought much about it before but I guess there is a rep.


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Posted by Helen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 7:22 am

I agree that it gets a lot worse than Pleasanton women, but watching the car behavior is disheartening. Yesterday I watched a mom, on her cell phone, sit in her car while her child dodged cars to cross in the middle of a crowded street. It's like a plan to get your kid killed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yep
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2009 at 7:53 am

You're right Helen, I see it EVERY day when I drop kids at Vintage Hills. It absolutely astounds me that some parents park OVER the crosswalk to let their little darlings out, while other kids dodge in and BETWEEN the giant SUV's IN the crosswalk to get to school. I hold my breath everyday for those little kids in the crosswalk. Most parents "get it" and wouldn't think of parking in the crosswalk, but sadly more and more do not, and feel it's their God-given right to drop their kids wherever it is most convenient for them. Pleasanton does have a rep, for the good things and the not-so-good things. It's still a great place to live. I hope the mess with the schools improves. I support our teachers, but our household has already lost one job and paycut on the other. We're ALL hurting right now .... let's look for solutions that benefit ALL of us as a community. Parents are not ATM's. And yes, I did vote Yes on G and yes I'll continue to volunteer my time to support the schools.


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Posted by KGM
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:12 am

Frank,
Without teachers, there wouldn't be any private sector jobs.

The school board didn't "find" money; they are borrowing money from a different spot in order to preserve CSR as best as possible, since the community did voice their concern about preserving that program.
The board didn't rescue "many" jobs. They rescued some. "Many" is the number of jobs tht are going to be lost, along with programs and services.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:17 am

Stacey is a registered user.

KGM wrote: "Without teachers, there wouldn't be any private sector jobs."

I know you're not trying to ignore reality, but thanks for the laugh this morning.


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Posted by KGM
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:22 am

Stacey,
I wouldn't have expected such a sarcastic and negative comment from you. I seem to remember in the past you were fairly even-tempered in your debate. Guess things have changed.
I'm sorry you don't seem to value the important work teachers do in educating our kids.
The vitriol on these boards is overwhelming.


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Posted by Ray
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:27 am

Geez, what a bunch of knuckleheads. I sense the collective intelligence of our community sinking with every key stroke. Maybe you'd like to request all "news" be delivered by crayon on the back of a juice box?


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Posted by Figures
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:39 am

What ddo you know...Threats about CSR and everything else under the sin being cut if measure G didn't pass and then vollia! Meausre G fails but they find more money so these programs don't have to be cut!!! Boy am I glad I voted no!


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:47 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

I sincerely believe that everyone here values the time and work of the teachers at all levels. My kids have had excellent teachers all the way through the system. They've also had some crummy teachers.

IF the layoffs were restricted to the crummy teachers, we wouldn't be lowering standards, we'd be raising them. But the union won't consider this.

IF the union would agree to either a freeze or small decline in teacher salaries, jobs would be saved. But the union won't consider this.

IF the administration/board would agree to a decline in salary and/or perks, some teaching jobs would be saved. But the board won't consider this.

It isn't about the layoffs or cuts, it's about WHERE the cuts are. And we (the parents) don't get to choose the cuts. I can think of a couple of tenured teachers at each of my kids' schools that should be on that list. I can think of a couple of protected programs at each of my kids' schools that should be on the list.

I sat and watched the board meeting, and it was clear that CSR was the #1 issue in the minds of the parents. So the board promptly saved the reading programs and math programs and at-risk programs that NOBODY talked about.


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Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:55 am

@ LN,

Sorry to disagree with you but the economics of the downtown business's would say something different. Within a two block radius of Main St. (downtown area only btw) the fat, wealthy & pampered have TWENTY TWO count them 22 different salons, day spas & treatment centers to get painted, clipped, sprayed, sucked, tucked & injected. While we've seen retail spots like Domas, Tree House, Accidentals, that antique store down the street, 3 Dog Bakery & countless restaurants go out of business these establishments seem to flourish.

Face it sweetheart, we're living right smack in the middle of of a Frappachino infused, Botox injected Yuppietown. We're not quite at the snooty level of Alamo-Danville yet but only time will tell.


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Posted by SUV Girl
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:09 am

We don't live in a communist country folks so it's OK for you to get painted, clipped, sprayed, sucked, tucked & injected if you that is your heart's desire. Who are you people to judge?

If I want to buy a gas-wasting and environmentally-polluting giant ugly SUV, that is MY RIGHT! If you have a problem with the air pollution generated, you can move. If you have a problem with me using too much oil, go ask your reps to drill, drill, drill. If you don't like how I drive or park, you can again move.

That is right! It's all about me me me. Bite me!


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Posted by Cindy
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

I voted against the measure for a few reasons. One being the parcel tax did not seem to have any equality to it. My house is worth 25% of a house in Ruby Hills, why should I pay the same amount?
Second, my husband and I are senior citizens. We don't have kids in school. We paid for college for our 2 children without help from anyone. Our daugther went Ivy League on our $$.

Never in any of the ads for the measure did they indicate that you could request a waiver for seniors or disabled. That one piece of critical information may have changed the vote. It did in other communities.

In this case, poor PR reaped a negative result. Too bad for all involved.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:12 am

Stacey is a registered user.

KGM,

Here's why your comment was funny to me. There always was a private sector, whether educated or not, before there were people making their living as teachers. Such a position in society is a societal luxury. Older societies usually relied upon elders as teachers. Or the priests served the role as teachers, but only to the ruling classes.

I know you were trying to say that without teachers there would be no advanced careers in the private sector, no general progress of modern society, but the way it came out sounded too simplistic so that was funny.


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Posted by a mom
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:29 am

I've thought it before, and now I'm acting on my thoughts. I'm done with reading anything in these forums. You people are plain rude and mean. What happened to "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"? Some people seem to come here looking for honest opinions or clarifications and so many people are just slinging "mud". You know, a point really does come across as more valid if there are not snide little remarks attached. Way too many little minded people here. I'm done.


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Posted by Just to solve it
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:29 am

Just to solve the question about how the women in P-town and other towns are characterized, read this...

Today Mattel Inc. announced the release of the Limited
> Edition Barbie Dolls, designed specifically for the Northern
> California market:
>
> Pleasanton Barbie:
> This one of a kind princess Barbie is only found at Stoneridge
> Mall. She comes with an assortment of Coach handbags, a Lexus or SUV, a lapdog, and a cookie cutter
> house. Options include a gold-plated frame for her
> advanced degree, a jogging stroller, a Club Sport membership card,
> and a workaholic Ken. Adorable children outfitted with college sweatshirt or
> soccer uniform sold separately.
>
> San Ramon Barbie:
> This trendy homemaker Barbie is available with the
> Lexus SUV or Ford Windstar minivan, gets lost
> easily, and doesn't have a full time occupation or secondary
> education. Traffic jamming cell phone sold
> separately. Optional matching "Juicy" gym outfit available.
>
> Richmond Barbie:
> This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9-mm
> handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a low-rider Chevrolet
> with oversized wheels and tinted windows and Meth
> Lab Ken.
>
> Pinole/Hercules Barbie:
> This Barbie is the wanna-be San Ramon Barbie, only
> she usually carries a knife with which to stab her
> fellow Barbies in the back. She's available with
> cell phone, SUV and a drink in her hand.
>
> El Sobrante Barbie:
> This Barbie is truly one of a kind. Comes with Biker
> Ken & his Harley and a replica of the Capri Club.
> She only hangs out with Ken because he has a bike
> and when he's not around she's looking for another
> man - who has a bike. Watch out! She usually doesn't
> care if he has a wife or girlfriend. Otherwise known
> as Scooter Tramp Barbie.
>
> Folsom Barbie:
> This yuppie Barbie comes with choice of a BMW sports
> car or a souped-up Hummer 2, Starbucks cup, credit
> card and shallow Ken.
>
> Sacramento Barbie:
> This Barbie comes with an exclusive set of luggage
> since she is always traveling to the Bay area or to
> Reno/Tahoe; very rarely stays at home. She comes
> with two basketball jerseys since she's an avid
> Kings/Monarchs fan. River Cats Ken available
> separately. State Worker version has a look of
> perpetual concern on her face over the disposition
> of her politically driven employment. Also comes
> with seasonal allergy kit.
>
> Yuba City Barbie:
> This white-trash model comes in Wrangler jeans two
> sizes too small, a NASCAR shirt, big hair, a six
> pack of Coors Light and a Hank, Jr. CD set. She can
> spit over 5 feet and she can kick Ken's butt when
> she's drunk. A pickup is available with stick-on
> Confederate flag bumper stickers.
>
> Tahoe Barbie:
> This collagen injected, rhinoplastic Barbie still
> has not learned that you can't wear a leopard print
> ski outfit without looking pass , even if you are
> actually skiing.
>
> Berkeley Barbie:
> This Barbie actually comes in two variations. One
> has long gray hair and archless feet, sandals with
> white socks, no makeup and a mutt. The other version
> has frizzy hair, a dingy white tank top, low cut
> jeans and scratch-n-sniff armpits.
>
> Crockett Barbie:
> This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie still has
> not learned that you can't wear high-heeled sandals
> from Payless with no pedicure and without breaking a
> heel and falling while you chase your beer-gutted,
> hollow gold-chain-wearing boyfriend. Her make-up is
> dark red lip liner with lips covered in a sparkly
> pink color or no fill-in at all. Her ensemble
> includes low-rise acid-washed jeans with assorted
> colored G-strings that stick out the back of her
> jeans, a white barely-there see-through shirt. Her
> long, layered hair is bleached/highlighted and BIG.
> Accessories include: CD-player equipped with Bon
> Jovi and rusty old Ford pick up.
>
> San Francisco Barbie:
> Immaculately turned out, couture dressed, cultured
> and well-coiffed. Well, actually, that's San
> Francisco Ken.
>
> Oakland Barbie:
> This Barbie has been in development for some time,
> however, just prior to each release date, Matel execs
> report she either comes up pregnant or gets shot.


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Posted by Old Timer
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:37 am

Where are the Union concessions?


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Posted by Another perspective
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:47 am

Some facts some people seem to be unaware of:

1. "Post employment benefits" are the equivalent of social security for teachers. Teachers do not receive social security, but rather from a separate retirement fund. The district is legally obligated to pay into this fund, just as your business is legally obligated to pay into social security. And just as the private sector sometimes postpones some bills to pay others that they feel are more pressing at the moment, the board chose to postpone the Post employment obligation (obviously just part of it) for another year. Anyone who is responsible for a budget has made these choices about when to pay bills.

2. Class size reduction has a different meaning at the 9th grade level. Teachers teach 5-6 classes, so the difference between 20 students and 33 is between 100-120 students and 165-200 students. Try grading essays for that many students. For students, it is the difference between having 8 writing assignments in the first 3 months of school (what my daughter had this year) and 2 writing assignments, because that is all the teacher can reasonably grade. Obviously, motivated students can still learn in the larger class, but the smaller classes permitted more writing assignments which can really help students improve. Even the best teachers have only so many hours in the day.


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Posted by Another professional mom
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:58 am

To SUV mom: Thank you for proving my theory...exactly. I work in Fremont and yes Pleasanton women have a rep and I too don't say where I live. I say I live in the East Bay...leave it at that. And no, we who disagree with your over indulgences will not move away...we just shake our head at you and wonder what you are going to do with your life that is of any significance to others outside your circle.


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Posted by new mem
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:06 am

Hi,

Once the economy improves and the school district finances improve, do you think the class size will go back to 20:1? Because this is the most visible aspect of the school when someone planning to buy a house. Already folks planning to move to the trivalley area are attracted by the newer homes in San Ramon. So if they see the large class size in pleasanton they will think twice about moving here.


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Posted by TJ
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:32 am

As realtor in Pleasanton - I just had a family on Thursday back out of an verbal agreement to make an offer on my listed Pleasanton home. They have two children ages 2 and 4 and they want a third. They are moving out here from the East Coast.

They are going to now make an offer on a home in San Ramon. They wanted the guarantee of 20-1. And a more financially stable district is what the other realtor told me.

We have had my homeowner's house on the market for 5 weeks. The homeowner wants to now drop his listed price by $25,000.

In this case my homeowner would of had a offer/sale price most likely for at least $25,000 higher than what he will get now.

For those of you who think a unstable financilly weaker school district in Pleasanton compared to our surrounding cities does not have a large impact on home values. Think again. We will all lose home value.

Even if you are against tax's - I would think you would also be against losing home value.

The measure G tax - was a tax - but it was a tax where all money collected would of stayed in Pleasanton - it would not of gone to Sacramento. It was not going to the Federal Gov't. It would of helped give Pleasanton some financially stability to its school district.

It would of been an investment in all Pleasanton homeowner's future home values.

This homeowner just lost $25,000.


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:40 am

Really.
After reading these blogs for the last couple of days, I am stunned. First by all the unnecessary bickering that doesn't even pertain to the real issue. The issue is not teacher's salaries or if the moms of Pleasanton are selfish and uncaring. Come on. Non of your postings are doing anyone any good and you should all be ashamed. If you can spend countless hour in front of your computers complaining about superficial issues, then you have time to come up with reasonable solutions. You all think you have the answer, but as of yet I have not seen a one. PUSD has ask for our help, yet all you want to do is complain. They want our ideas. And please remember just because you think yours is the right plan, we have 60,000 ofter people in the community that may not agree. It is going to take a village, as they say.

Our issues stems from the State and the troubled economics not PUSD's budgeting or management. And Measure G was clear. If you really read and researched it you would know that the funds collected would have been only used on the specific items it indicated. It was never intended to be used as general funds. And in the event that specified item would not be instituted or been fully funded and canceled the parcel tax would have been adjusted. And in all the facts it clearly stated that if you were a senior or disabled, you could file for and exemption.

Lets remember that we need to be advocating for the children, they are our future and I am sure we can all agree the we don't want them to have the same education that our leaders received.


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Posted by new mem
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 5, 2009 at 11:05 am

thanks TJ,

This is what I was afraid of. People who are not too worried about the schools and people who do not have kids in the schools should definitely worry about their property value. The property value in this region is directly linked to its quality of schools. Even though the scores will not be hit immeidiately, people looking to buy a home here will definitely look for the class size which might have an impact in the long term. Having said this, is there a possibility to revise the measure to a reduced tax amount to appease the folks who voted NO on measure G? I know the San Ramon parcel tax measure C where they wanted to increase it failed last yeae, but passed this year when it was revised to a lesser increase in tax.


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Posted by For the record
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 11:43 am

What ever happened to the idea that developing a sense of self is an essential part of every individual becoming a mature person??? I may be totally off base, but it appears to me that some here seem to have an "identity" conflict. I say that because some posts seem to "discuss" at length how their "adversaries" think and who they are. Underlying that perception seems to be $$$ or "things". They cite consistently club sport, SUV, how they voted, etc. They want to label some kind of collective identity about their enemies and then, because they elect "other" choices, cite a collective identity about themselves. This whole discussion then becomes a fight between "us" and "them" .

This makes for good conflict but reminds me of middle school. There were always kids there who were smarter, cuter, cooler, more athletic, had more money or clothes, less acne, and parents who drove nicer cars than mine. I guess I was just lucky enough to take those middle school life experiences and develop a generally good opinion about myself, recognizing at the same time my limits. My basic self worth as an individual is knowing I was not better or worse than others. So having said that, I live in Plesanton and in NO WAY am I embarrassed to say I do or that I go to Club Sport etc. My town does NOT define me or my family (nor where I exercise, what I drive etc ). For those who seem to think it does define the individual or the family, well, I guess you also choose to limit yourself by the same "collective" thinking you impose on others. I am not in middle school anymore and I doubt few posters here are either.


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Posted by Parent who wants to move to San Ramon
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I have to agree with TJ: people with school-age children are going to bypass Pleasanton now. This town is downright HOSTILE to families with school-age children.

Case in point: I met a couple with 2 young kids who were looking to move here, but wanted to wait until the outcome of Measure G to decide. Well, it looks like they're not moving to Pleasanton now. Instead they are looking in San Ramon.

San Ramon's population is approximately 60% families; Pleasanton's is roughly 40% families. What does that say about Pleasanton? That the majority of people here are childless or empty nesters. And I would add that the majority of NO ON G supporters are the latter. For all the talk about teacher salaries, administrator perks, etc., the fact is that THESE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE VOTED NO ON ANY BOND ISSUE, PERIOD. However, though, these people have no problem taking TAXPAYER money for Social Security and Medicare!!!

It's plain and simple: if there is no support for families here, families will leave.

By the way, for those of you who think that 25 kids in K-3 is OK, think again. A study by the US Dept of Education found that the OPTIMAL CLASS SIZE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN IS 15-20 CHILDREN PER CLASS.

Now Pleasanton's class size is worse than all of our neighboring cities. And eventually, home values and test scores will reflect that. It is not a matter of demographics. Yes, the people here are well educated, but if you put an upper-middle-class child in a low-performing school district, that child will get a poor education!

A person I know grew up in a lower-class, rough neighborhood in Pittsburg, and even though he was valedictorian of his class, he still had to take REMEDIAL classes when he got to college, because his school was so underfunded that they didn't have AP or advanced math, english, and science classes.


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Posted by another mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I have an SUV because at that time I could write the entire cost off to my business...remember the incentive if the car was over 2 tons? From the day I moved here all the stay at home moms looked down their noses at the working moms. There is a big difference between a job and a career and I have the latter. My kids are proud of me and I do not leave them standing in front of the school forever at pick up time and I am always there for them. I do not block the pick up lane nor do I participate in idle gossip. I keep to myself as I have never fit into this community and I doubt I ever will. The women are into their clicks and it is way worse than middle school. Judge yourselves as you may not like what you see.


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Posted by Nobody is forcing you to stay here
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Person who wants to move,

See those chains around your legs?

Neither do I.

Bye.


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Posted by Stu Gazzo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:23 pm

To "parent who wants to move to San Ramon", go ahead and move, I'm sure your house will sell now that the economy is making the move north again (slowly). Anyway, nice piece of fiction-"a couple with 2 young kids who were looking to move here, but wanted to wait for the outcome of Measure G to decide"- half the people in Pleasanton didn't know what Measure G was, you think your story is believable?


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Stu,

I met a couple with two young kids myself at a park. They had spent the day looking for homes here, San Ramon, and Danville. They were tracking the measure, but it wasn't a deal breaker for them. It is one of the factors that will go in to their decision. We don't know each other, so you have no way of knowing if I'm making this up or not, but it did happen. I'm not planning to move to San Ramon, but I am taking a closer look at some of the private schools in the area. It would be very tough to pay the tuition. Quarry Lane School, for instance, wants $13,195.00 per year for first through fifth grade. Who can pay that?


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Posted by haha
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm

"parent who wants to move to San Ramon" & "TJ": Looks like these scary tactics just don't end with you pro-G folks. Sad! Any other stories to tell? I find them extremely amusing.


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Posted by ss
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Look at the API scores for Lydiksen. Half of my kids teachers have retired (way too old and burned out) and the ones left really did not seem to enjoy teaching or for that matter even like children. I was not surprised at all when I saw those scores. The decline in scores is already happening, and it will only get worse.


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Posted by bad parents?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm

ss: this happens while the scores are improving in all other elementary schools. Hmm...


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Posted by hear say
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Our schools and our property values will remain strong regardless of what scary tactics the bitter pro-G folks want to lead you to believe. Smart kids from supportive families will continue to keep Pleasanton one of the top districts in the country:

Web Link


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Everyone who voted Yes on G, please send in TODAY your $233 checks for this year along with a pledge to contribute $233 for the next three years.
If every Yes voter did this, the district could re-hire many of the laid off employees.
There were many reasons why Measure G did't pass and Monday morning quaterbacking or putting the blame of those who voted no, or didn't vote at all will not change things.
But your check will.


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Posted by TJ
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm

To Stu Gazzo,

Anyone with kids moving to a new area - look at the school district 99% of the time as their number one priority. Especially with young kids.

Ask any other Real Estate agent in Pleasanton and they will tell you the same - even the ones who are hardcore - no tax people.

This couple had looked at homes throughout the Tri-Valley.

San Ramon school district now provides more financial stability and has 20-1 ratios in K-3 than Pleasanton. Pleasanton is now at 25-1 with financial stability uncertain going forward.

How is that a scare tactic. It's called reality. I hate tax's too. This in my opinion was not a tax. All money would have had a direct benefit to all of Pleasanton home owners regardless if you have a strong dislike for any type of tax - no matter what it is.

Also, the hate on this webiste is also a big red flag for prospective home buyers in Pleasanton. I definitely no longer tell them about the Pleasanton Weekly.

For my own piece of mind - I'm done with reading these blogs.

I obviously hope you hardcore No people are a minority going forward, because if Pleasanton doesn't straighten out the financial uncertainity of its school district after this year - all homeowners in Plesanton will be losing out on future home value.

AP scores will stay fine for quite some time in Ptown - that will take a while to begin to erode away - If your solely looking at AP scores first and foremost. There are a lot of smart kids in the system who have had the benfit of some great teachers in town. Scores will be fine for quite some time.

The plain sight things like - teacher layoffs, 25-1 k-3 ratios, the reading specialist cutbacks, the counselor cutbacks, kids playing school sports now costing an arm and leg and the town as a whole not coming together to support it's number one asset (it's school district)is what will cause home values to not hold there value as well going forward.

That is not a scare tactic - that is reality.



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Posted by J Leslie
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm

To summarize the economics: $233/yr. spread over 365 days/yr. equals...about 64 cents a day. Apparently a budget-buster for those voting no on Measure G.

Excellent schools, well-educated children, fairly compensated faculty & staff: all of that for 64 cents a day. Yet the secret, silent minority voted no.

OK all of you anonymous nay-sayers: time to put up or shut up. You are duty-bound to be at the next school board meeting with realistic, concrete suggestions better than those you rejected.

Now we'll see who REALLY supports education in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 5, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

TJ, I can't speak for the rest of the readers/posters here, but I didn't buy my house in Pleasanton for property value appreciation. I bought for the neighborhood, the schools, the downtown, the weather, the accessibility, the commute, and the affordability (1996-97).

If you think we're here for the short term house-flipping for fun and profit, then you're sadly mistaken (and fairly typical for an opportunistic real estate agent). Honestly, if people have kids in the schools, property value is wayyyy down the list since most want to keep the kids in the same schools with the same friends. Real estate agents are the only ones concerned about the month-to-month fluctuations in the market.

I intend to be here long after the kids have left home. Perhaps if the short-termers would follow your advice and buy/sell homes in other cities, we could settle back down to the pre-dot-com bust/boom times and just raise our kids the best way we know how. And you agents can leave us alone.


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

And J Leslie, don't tell anyone when to "put up or shut up". Your simple-minded ultimatum points out the arrogant attitude that got Measure G shot down. If you think throwing your $233 at the board will miraculously change the financial problems and fiscal screwups, then you're certainly free to do so. While you're at it, send a big check to the feds, and see if the ENTIRE economy improves.

You might learn a lesson that many of us apparently knew already.


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Posted by J Leslie
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Dear "Parent of Two" -

The "simple-minded ultimatum" is merely an observation of fact (although admittedly the tone reflects my frustration that a minority should hold the community hostage).

Those voting "no" rejected a genuine attempt to address the serious financial dilemma Pleasanton is in. I strongly disagree with Measure G's opponents but I acknowledge the legitimacy of the vote. Meanwhile the dilema is no better, and in fact looks to only get worse. So solutions are still needed...and it falls to those who rejected Measure G to now propose their alternatives.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm

"What??? "Pleasanton moms have a rep?" Do moms from other cities really sit around and talk about "those Pleasanton moms..."

Actually, yes.

Everybody is put into a group and has a reputation

Pro Measure G - stupid people who just love to give away their money and pay lots of taxes

Anti Measure G - stupid people who hate children

Pleasanton Teachers - lazing people who don't do anything and are over paid and have too much vacation and retaliate against children whose parents have an opnion.

Politicians - liars who will do anything to get re-elected and don't really care about the people

CalTrans workers - lazy people that take 10 people to fill a pot hole

Corporate Execs - highly oover paid people will do anything to get rich and do not care about the employees of the company

Alec Baldwin - well, he's not really a group

We love to group people and make degrading generalization because it makes us feel a little better because we feel we are superior.

Its called prejudice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:19 pm

"To summarize the economics: $233/yr. spread over 365 days/yr. equals...about 64 cents a day. Apparently a budget-buster for those voting no on Measure G."

I voted Yes on G, but this arguement is a really poor one. There is really only one main issue that I see

Is another tax going to solve the schools issues? This is the real question what it all boils down to. Obviously No people feel it won't and the Yes people feel it will (at least a little bit)

Yes, most people can afford it (some it may be more painful), but that is not the issue.

Of course its over (for now) - I'm guessing we'll see another one next year, but take time until then to really see how the district is doing. Don't form opinions off of just one issue - see if they will be good stewards of your money.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:23 pm

J Leslie said,
"So solutions are still needed...and it falls to those who rejected Measure G to now propose their alternatives."

Everyone can and should propose ideas/solutions. Numerous people already have, including those who were for and those who were against G. Your attitude is not helping to build bridges in the community.

Now it's up to the School Board Trustees to listen to those ideas and come up with some of their own.

Working together is what is needed now, not continuing to draw battle lines.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm

J Leslie,
I already sent my check to PUSD and hope you did too!


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Posted by Randy
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Seems pretty simple to most. If you have school age children or are going to have children who will attend the schools well then it should be divided up equally and paid for that way. If your children are out of school or you have no children you should pay nothing.


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Posted by DTS
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm

So one group of people should who benefitted from better times was just fortunate, and the next group is left with a fiscal mess and reduced services, even though we were paying for the schools when the older kids went through and before we even had kids.
And people with no children pay nothing toward education, but who then covers SS when it is their time to draw? And who was paying for their education when they were growing up?
The argument just isn't that simple.


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Posted by Randy
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 4:04 pm

DTS,

Well that is the way it is even in the taxing portion of the law. Look how many work and pay taxes and support those who don't. Why should people who choose not to have children or marry for that matter pay for others education? Well the answer is that it is not fair and as the pie shrinks people are going to be expected to fend for themselves more.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by DTS
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 5, 2009 at 4:15 pm

It's convenient for the pie to start shrinking after you've already had your fill.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michele
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I have to disagree with Randy. Living in a good area/community does take something (whether it be financially or physically) from all community members. This is what makes up a community. Community includes people with/without children, married/unmarried, etc. You pay for where you live. If you don't care about your neighbor and have the "we all need to fend for ourself" attitude, why not live in Oakland, Hayward or Richmond then? Maybe its because you want some peace of mind & not have to shell out extra money because you have busted windows, tires, house broken into, etc. I would rather pay a little extra for the education of our community children than not. I used to live in all 3 of the above cities, and I can tell you, I will gladly pay an extra tax to live here. And, by the way, I DO pay for quite a bit of my children's education via volunteering time (A LOT, and work full time - I'm not a stay home mom), donating to the classrooms, Science fund, class supplies, etc.

Those are my thoughts. :-)


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Why do you live in Pleasanton, Randy?

This is a family oriented place, which means: kids.

If I were single and/or without kids, I would probably live in San Francisco, not Pleasanton.

I voted Yes on G even though my kids would not have any benefit from the items the tax would have financed. I did not agree with most, but I still felt it important to support the schools and community.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 5, 2009 at 5:02 pm

"Why should people who choose not to have children or marry for that matter pay for others education?"


Because its for the betterment of society. There are thousands of books, studies and otherwise about the benefits of education to the development of a society and for a long time we have had mandatory education in this country as in most (if not all) other 1st world countries.

I have never used the fire department, so why should I have to pay (if you answer just in case, does that mean if I never use them, I should get a refund upon my death or leaving the city). There are roads in Pleasanton that I have never driven on, so why should my tax dollars go to maintain them? My money should only be used to maintain the roads I drive on.

And what if I pay higher taxes than my neighbor, does that mean I should get more privileges.




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Posted by odd
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 5, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I Guess Measure G really brought out the TRUE DIVIDE within this town. I liek what one post said (the Reator) who said " I sure wont be pointing out Pleasanton Weekly on-line to my prospective buyers"...

From what I am hearing from Realtor Associates, San Ramon is MORE desirable at this point and sales are being lost.

Pleasanton is getting a RAP for snobbery and vanity rapidly over the last couple of years.


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Posted by Joyce
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I just learned from my Frosh-Soph grandson in Sonoma, that instead of low30 classes, they'll have like 45 per,next year, and no computer classes, except for the one mandatory.


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Posted by D W
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Between all of the overpampered vitriol on both sides here and the continuing popularity of hate talk radio, no wonder it's become impossible to trust anyone in society, let alone a private sector marketplace. I'm a proud Pleasantonian, Eastbay native (Hayward via Oakland & Fremont), Californian, and American who longs for the days when people actually provided all needed details, found common ground, and understood how important it is to support health care & education in every shape or form at all times instead of dilly-dallying around with unnecessary materials and looking for inappropriate, hateful entertainment through fat-mouthed ditto pundits and foot-mouthed anarchists. I still believe we will learn from this mess and many others, and we'll see more insightful blogs and less insipid ones.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm

"From what I am hearing from Realtor Associates, San Ramon is MORE desirable at this point and sales are being lost."

That is just because of the huge price drop over there. When we looked at properties before deciding on Pleasanton, Windemere was going for over a million (modest, not luxury houses). Those houses now are very cheap, one just closed at 650K.

San Ramon is not as good as Pleasanton as far as schools go - I am not talking scores but everything else. I visited the schools, have friends who live there.

The main attraction in San Ramon: very cheap houses due to the large amounts of foreclosures. Just look at the number of short sales and bank owned properties in Windemere.

Realtors will say whatever to either make a point or get a sale.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Resident,
Realtors will say whatever to either make a point or get a sale, but TJ has not posted his full name, so I find it difficult to believe he's actually a realtor. Or maybe he is, but he doesn't want to alienate the 5,998 Pleasanton residents who voted no.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:07 pm

KGM, Stacey pretty much answered your point. I'm a teacher, an elder, but don't belong to your union. Elders came first, long before teacher's unions and the official declaration by the private sector to bequeath "teacher" upon you folks as a designation of what you chose to do in exchange for a livelihood. We empower you, we the private sector, and pay your salary, which is removed from our direct control through the collection of taxes.

It amazes me how limited in thought our US society is these days.


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Posted by KGM
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Frank,
I'm not a teacher.
Stacey said: "There always was a private sector, whether educated or not, before there were people making their living as teachers. Such a position in society is a societal luxury." The concept and implementation of a public school system dates back to @ 500 BC., and what may have once been a societal luxury has most certainly become a necessity for our modern society.
You wrote: "I'm a teacher, an elder, but don't belong to your union. Elders came first, long before teacher's unions and the official declaration by the private sector to bequeath "teacher" upon you folks as a designation of what you chose to do in exchange for a livelihood. We empower you, we the private sector, and pay your salary, which is removed from our direct control through the collection of taxes." The arrogance of your statement is mind boggling. Our society has created a public schooling system based on the value we place, as a country, on education. Teachers are educational professionals, just like any private sector professional, who complete advanced education to be able to be employed in their profession of choice. Teachers are ALSO taxpayers, along with other public sector employees and private sector employees.
It ALSO amazes me how limited in thought our US society is these days.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:04 pm

I think our biggest problem is there is no place for open honest debate. Obviously, this forum doesn't work. Technology, while opening up the world to each other has limited our connection to the community. Yes, we all go to concerts in the park, First Wednesday, etc - but where do we go to have discussions with people we may not know very well or may not agree with.

The coffee shops and diners have turned into internet hot spots where people can go an post on these boards instead of having a conversation. Main street is a place to eat and shop, not a place to be bothered.

Any issue in this town quickly turns into an us against them challenge (Stoneridge Drive ext, Las Positas interchange, housing growth, etc). People are unwilling, perhaps unable to actually communicate to make any progress. And in the end we declare a winner like its some sort of contest.

You do get 3 minutes at a city council meeting, but no opportunity for debate. Our politicians at every level don't seem to know how to have an actual discussion on an issue. People hear of an issue and immediately their minds are made up with no room for changing.

Its ironic that in the ever more "connected" world, we have become so disconnected. We've tried so hard to become connected with everyone, that we've forgotten how to be with a few. We live by emails, Facebook comments and anonymous posts on a message board. We only have discussions with people we feel comfortable with. We make excuses about being afraid of retaliation to speak our minds. If one person in this country is afraid to say what they want, the freedom of speech is dead. But its each of our responsibility to stand up and speak and its time when we are afraid to speak that are the most important.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm

KGM - I was going to comment on franks post, but I was much too confused about the apparent Kingdom that frank is ruling - don't think I want to visit.

Teaching has been around much longer than any human. Animals have been teaching their young to hunt and find food. Humans have been doing the same since our first presence. There are many different types of teachers in this world and none of them need to be bequeathed by frank.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm

That your mind is boggled is your limitation. My arrogance stems from not only an education that substantially exceeds that of teachers at the K-12 level, but contribution during 38 years in the private sector post-PH.D. in a hard science, numerous (33) patents, and a track record where my contributions produced numerous jobs where none previously existed. All private sector, taxpaying jobs that fund teacher salaries so that they teach our children. No unions to protect me, no step and column increases, no big retirement plans, and nobody was forced to pay taxes to fund my compensation, nothing but private enterprise investment. Government employees just think they are high and mighty. "Such a position in society is a societal luxury." They have forgotten that.

I don't care if you are a not a teacher. You are their proxy for purposes of this discussion. Thank you for that.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

To Me Too,

Me too.


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Posted by KGM
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Frank,
Your self-aggrandizing attitude is your limitation. The accomplishments that you have listed to support your arrogance do nothing to further your arguments regarding the teaching profession.
"Government employees just think they are high and mighty." The same is clearly true of you. Your comments are so extreme that I almost think they're made in jest.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by KGM
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Me Too,
Several good points. It is very easy to become too focused on what is written on these boards, or to rely to heavily on communicating electronically, when it is so very important to get out into the real world and engage in open, honest debate.
Have a good weekend!


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Posted by Voted No on G
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 6:45 am

I noticed that the teachers haven't offered to forgo their step & column raises in order to save the jobs of those teachers who will be getting pinkslips. They only care as long as it doesn't cut into their own salaries and benefits. And, I've yet to read where the School District plans to cut back on perks like cell phones, car allowances, subsidized child care, etc. They'd much rather lay off teachers and increase class sizes. God forbid they should personally be affected.

I voted No because I'm tired of the School District wasting my hard-earned money. IOUs... really?! And you wonder why we voted No. If the School District had gone through the budget with a fine tooth comb and removed all of the waste and ridiculous perks, not earmarked the majority of the money for raises, and explicitly stated where each dollar would have been spent with a guarantee that it wouldn't be spent elsewhere, then I would have voted Yes.

For those of you who are wondering why we didn't organize a 'Vote No' campaign - read the intolerant, rude posts above. We didn't want to be demonized as "child haters" or accused of being the "Housewives of Alameda County" simply because we don't approve of the fiscal waste happening in our schools, or the inappropriate way the money gathered from the parcel tax would have been spent.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 9:43 am

Good one. Like the Housewives of Alameda County, except on the show, The Housewives of the OC actually have productive jobs and contribute.


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Posted by Carl
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:10 am

KGM - I agree that you and frank have the same attitude, except, frank pays the government worker's salary. Without the franks of the world, there would be no government workers.

Voted-No-on-G - I watched the 6/3 school board meeting to understand the details behind the actions being taken. How ironic is it that the savings of going from 20:1 to 25:1 is $1.6M? Isn't that the same amount as the automatic salary increases next year? If the unions had offered to freeze salaries for one year (or the Board forced them to), wouldn't 20:1 CSR be saved? Clearly, the unions/PUSD do not care about the kids.

This simple solution is quietly/stubbornly ignored by the PUSD Board and the all the YesOnG'rs. Who among the PUSD board members has the guts to agendize/discuss this in public? Apparently, none.

To all the PUSD Board members who care to listen. Your actions since the election are causing more people to question your competency. Sure, some people are offering you $1000 checks, but these are small band-aids to your budget traumas. Your refusal to address the deep structual issues of the district will make it harder for you to place another parcel tax on the ballot. The 'unorganized' (by the way, you don't know how organized it really was, you just couldn't see it.) opposition is growing stronger with every day that you don't move on the structural reform that is required for you to truly solve the situation.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:19 am

Voted No on G and Carl, thanks to both of you for the outstanding posts. I agree with both of you 100%.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pam
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:36 am

"Good one. Like the Housewives of Alameda County, except on the show, The Housewives of the OC actually have productive jobs and contribute."

My gracious, how is this a 'productive' comment to make? I'm truly ashamed of this town and of the behavior I've seen here. :( THIS, and not the failure of measure G, is what will drive away young families.


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Posted by Scott Walsh
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm

San Ramon is not just desirable for their schools. They do not have he "hard to do" business issues that Pleasanton has. Nothing is easy to do in this town. And we elect those folks who set policy to do this. Pleasanton has a reputation of not working with others. What Pico built has slid backwards. That was due to a council change and city administrative changes. Vibrancy in Pleasanton has waned.

Someone our property values will fall due to school state scores and other things. Hello what says stats always tell the story. The person who said Pleasanton has parents more affluent has not looked Livermore lately. There are the same "type" well heeled people in Livermore living in some pretty damn nice houses, just not the cast of "Community of Characters" we have. We more value spending money on high priced, spoiled, law-breaking athletes than watching out for our school investments. It is all about the Benz, the Denali, the Lexus. Kids see all this and hopefully they will refute what they have seen.

It has been another eye-opener to read these comments. Shame on us. We should quit crying and start demanding and finding resolve to fix this mess. Let's quit relying on others. No one to blame but OURSELVES.

Now start attacking you "Community of Characters"!


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Posted by Epiphany
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 1:54 pm

If you are looking for an intelligent discussion of PUSD funding, don't read these blogs.

If you are looking for an accurate representation of the Pleasanton community, don't read these blogs.

This type of forum does not bring out the best in most people. I KNOW we are a better community than these blogs reflect.

If you want to continue on the blogs (I've decided to stop - I'm tired of simple comments generating so many retaliatory attacks), please consider taking a moment before clicking the "submit" button to reflect on the tone and message of your post, and whether or not it actually contributes to the discussion. If someone has made a negative comment about one of your posts, let it go. It doesn't mean anything. Don't continue the battle. It is not worth it.

We are better than this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by confused
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Has anyone asked about summer school? Why are they offering drama and art enrichment when we are having to lay off teachers and cut programs????


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Summer school
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Summer school is up for consideration to be cut. This will be discussed/decided? at the next board meeting. They have to still provide the high school credit courses, but the enrichment portion could be cut after Monday.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 6, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Aren't enrichment classes self supporting through fees?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SK
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2009 at 5:56 am

Pay it Forward.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alee
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jun 7, 2009 at 10:55 pm

I drive on EVERY field trip and work at the school AT LEAST 3 hours per week. Never have had a manicure or botox. I voted No on G because I think it would have let the district keep on operating the way they grew accustomed to. I have to say, I really don't think a difference of 6 students per class is going to make a difference. In my experience, the teachers have a lot of down time for email, chatting, etc. Maybe now those who were lucky enough to stay will find the value of time management. The parents are what makes are school great. Not that all of the teachers are bad, but it's the parent involvement that really keeps things in check. That will not change.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LK
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2009 at 6:17 am

That's right Alee. My daughter's 5th grade had parents graders for everything and asked the parents that work to take home some of her work at night so they could be involved in the classroom. I guess the job ends when school gets out for them, but they expect the working folks to do teacher's work at night so the teachers can relax with their families!


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