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School board to ponder restoring jobs, smaller classes

Will consider bringing back some permanently, one-time restorations for others

The Pleasanton school board will be looking at whether to permanently bring back some of the jobs it restored on a one-time basis last year and bringing back some other jobs at its meeting tonight.

Restoring the jobs that were brought back last year, including elementary and middle school vice principals, custodians library assistants and counselors, would cost nearly $2.9 million.

Bringing back those and some others, such as a technology trainer and more custodians, along with allocating some money toward maintenance, would cost a total of more than $4 million.

Also tonight, the board will get a fresh look at Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, which would likely bring in some new money to the district.

The board also will hear plans that could cut class sizes. Pleasanton Partnerships in Education has so far raised $156,000 through January, and Deputy Superintendent Luz Cazares is recommending the district continue with class sizes of 25-1 in first grade and lowering class sizes from 30-1 to 25-1 in second grade.

Cazares has also laid out a plan that could cut class sizes, depending on contributions to PPIE. If it raises another $65,000, that could cut class sizes in third grade from 30-1 to 28-1, and if it raises $175,000, that could cut third-grade class sizes to 27-1.

More than a dozen parents have been pushing since last year to make class size reductions a priority for the district.

The board is also set to approve, as part of its consent agenda, in which items are voted on as a whole without discussion, agreements with two developers.

The agreements are with Ponderosa Homes and SHAC Las Positas Apartments, a subsidiary of Summmerhill Homes. The firms would pay school mitigation fees, meant to offset the cost to the district for new students who would move in as new apartments are built.

The board meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the district offices, 4665 Bernal Ave.

Comments

Posted by Upcoming Kindergartener, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Why does every article on this topic only address class size reduction in first grade and up? My understanding is that Kindergarten in PUSD currently has a 30:1 Ratio (see comment #4 at Web Link). Why is no one addressing CSR at the kindergarten level? (Including PW writers, who keep forgetting to mention it...) Anyone who has young children will tell you that a 30:1 ratio in kindergarten is utter insanity. I can't imagine that a whole lot of early foundational learning is happening with a ratio like that.


Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm

What about paying the unfunded liability of retiree medical, or finally vote to remove this benefit that is not appropriately paid for? As a reminder ot the community, retiree medical is a fairly recent benefit. It started when Clem was hired as HR in the district and wanted to give all of his friends more of our tax money. It is time to fix this mistake.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm

local,

Are you saying that you are in favor of keep k-3 classes large? You're more worried about "unfunded liability of retiree medical"? And how would this money be used to pay that?

And please don't start the BS about now research supporting smaller class sizes. Research does support class sizes much smaller than 30 (like ideally 15-20 for k-3).


Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm

I am in the camp that if we are giving employees a benefit, we need to account and pay for it.

My first preference is to recognize the cost and how much this benefit is not necessary and takes away from programs like CSR and therefore it should be eliminated.

If the board is going to keep this benefit, it should be paid for and let the board justify why giving retirees free medical insurance is better for our kids than CSR.

With liabilities like this, the longer you put off paying for it, the more it cost.



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