Pleasanton Weekly

News - January 1, 2010

School district seeks new revenue sources

Parents group seeking to inform peers on education funding

By Emily West

The Pleasanton Unified School District is hoping to start the year with out-of-the-box thinking as they solicit ideas from the community at a special board meeting Tuesday at the Amador Valley High School's library.

Around 7 p.m., staff will provide an update to the state budget, which would give a clearer picture of the 2009-10 budget and beyond. Past reports have estimated a state deficit of $20 billion, which would likely mean more cuts for Pleasanton schools in the current and upcoming year.

Board and community members alike have suggested that creative ideas for finding alternative revenue sources would take away the dependence on state funding as well as maintain services for quality education. Last school year, the community identified class-size reduction (in grades K-3 and ninth grade math and English), counselors, reading specialists and music programs.

Last year, the board cut nearly $17 million to maintain a balanced budget. Possible program-saving solutions included a $233-per parcel tax, which voters didn't approve by the necessary two-thirds majority in June. A follow-up summer fundraising effort garnered around $460,000 and saved some of the prioritized programs for the current school year only.

Depending on the success of Tuesday's meeting, the board had said they would consider making these town hall forums a regular monthly or even bi-monthly feature.

Also on Tuesday's agenda, following the start of the board meeting at 6:30 p.m., is the action to possibly approve California's Race to the Top participating local educational agency memorandum of understanding. The school is located at 1155 Santa Rita Road.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

I think a pacel tax is still a great idea. It failed before, mostly, because of the time of the vote. It should have been done during the national election. More people vote during those times.

Posted by Frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 6, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Always the solution proposed is to soak more money from taxpayers, all of which goes to line the pockets of the union members who have already negotiated into a contract their step and column increases. Then, look also at the public pension deals they benefit from..... It's all politics and a soak the taxpayer mentality.... Why can't these professionals (teachers) take the same income but deliver more or at least the same work effort educating out kids? Actually, I don't care to hear the answer because in the end they will inevitably follow the private sector professional, who already has experienced this reality. The money is just NOT THERE!

Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2010 at 10:17 pm

To Frank,

Did you attend the meeting last night? There will be another coming soon. You can bring up all your concerns there.

"who have already negotiated into a contract their step and column increases"

Everything is currently under negotiation, including step and column increases, and this was clearly stated. Why would you say this?

There was also plenty of talk about the kind of cuts and sacrifices that are on the table for consideration. There were a lot of good suggestions, including asking for more donations from parents, and doing more fund raising.

I didn't see the meeting going in a " soak more money from taxpayers" direction at all. There will be another meeting coming up soon and they are welcoming people to bring up their concerns. You may want to attend.

Posted by Big Poppa, a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Let's make every road in Pleasanton a toll road that way everyone can be soaked with more "fees" everyday. Bunch a suckers....

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 10, 2010 at 6:47 pm

A common response I've gotten over the years..."come to the meeting" ... when the writer chooses to ignore the basic points I have made. The title of this article is "School district seeks new revenue sources", not government employees "open up discussions to yield on step and column increases to help balance the budget".

reader, you go and attend. I've been there, done that, and already know from living here in Pleasanton 31 years that the government employee unions will use every political means available to protect and increase their income.

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Here's another source of revenue for you -- Amador Boosters. They had money to fund a new stadium sound system. What about looking to them as a revenue steam to fund teachers and textbooks instead?

Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Why don't we just have Reader and the few other pro parcel tax members go door to door with a collection plate and ask them to report out on their progress in a couple of weeks? I bet that will be an eye opener for anyone who thinks it is a good idea to put on the ballot.

Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2010 at 10:36 pm

"Why don't we just have Reader and the few other pro parcel tax members go door to door"

I have gone door to door in both the last PPIE fund raiser and at others. I found the response to be good. I also like the idea of doing a fund raiser before pursuing a parcel tax. More people than not also volunteered that they hope another parcel tax would be put on a ballot (these were mainly parents). A survey, like Kathleen was talking about on another blog would be a good way to find out the level of support for a parcel tax.

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