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School administrators head to Sacramento today as deep budget cuts loom

Original post made on Jan 12, 2009

With the Pleasanton school district facing a possible $8.7 million shortfall, administrators and staff finance managers will join other California school districts today at a special Governor's Budget Workshop in Sacramento to learn more details of proposed cuts in state funding for education.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, January 11, 2009, 11:10 PM

Comments (22)

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Posted by Fred
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I was reading this list-and I don't see where Casey and some of the other administrators take a pay cut. Wow, I think the kids are going to have a setback in learning with the K-3 elimination of class size reduction. 20 K,first, and second graders is a manageable number, but this is a pivotal time for learning to read, and write. Teachers are really going to have a hard time making sure that everyone is getting the adequate attention. 3rd grade would be probably be Ok with 30 students, because at this point they are a bit more mature, and usually do not need as much help with things, as the younger students.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm

The $1.6 mil for K-3 CSR could have easily been paid by Signature's legal fees.


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Posted by Resident again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Why are they proposing the elimination of Language programs? If they instead do the "item for consideration" which is the salary increase rollback, that would allow Languages to be left intact:

Negotiable Items for Consideration

Salary Rollback – Each 1% would save $1 million

And why is Casey still not talking about his own inflated perks and salary? Why isn't he talking about the new lawsuit? Why do the cuts have to affect our kids first, admin last?


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Posted by Resident again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Release a list of ALL employees at the admin level (assistant superintendents, directors, assistants to the directors, etc) and their salary.... the community can then see just how unnecessary some program cuts are, if we just get rid of so much staff in the admin, most of it unneeded and highly paid.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 12, 2009 at 3:44 pm

PUSD is probably going to push for a parcel tax because it gives them a pot of discretionary spending. This problem started at the State level and can only be solved long term at the State level. School districts need flexible funding sources in order to weather economic downturns like we're now experiencing. A parcel tax is only a tiny band-aid on an open wound. This is the prime time for addressing the longer term issue of school funding reform. And it is only going to happen if enough people let our legislators know this. A true community of character would want to see educational equality for all of California's children, not just our own little neighborhood as a means of protecting property values.

From "Overview of the Governor's Budget" by the Legislative Analyst's Office
Web Link

"Make Cuts From Categorical Programs, Not Revenue Limits. We continue to recommend preserving districts' revenue limit funding (which is their most flexible source of funding) and instead making categorical reductions. Given some categorical programs are ineffective, poorly structured, and duplicative—and virtually all of them come with relatively elaborate state program and reporting requirements—we think this is an opportune time to pare back the state's categorical labyrinth. After eliminating certain categorical programs, we recommend the state pursue broad categorical reform by strategically consolidating remaining programs. Such current–year actions would provide districts with more certainty in building their own 2009–10 budgets (a process now underway) and establish ongoing savings."


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Posted by Resident again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2009 at 3:46 pm

From the list given, I support the following cuts. regardless of the budget. These cuts should be made for at least the next few years, until the economy improves:

Salary Rollback – Each 1% would save $1 million

Staff Development Days – Currently have 3 on the salary schedule.
(Each day encroaches on the general fund about $200,000. In addition, we have 2 paid "non student" days for teachers. These cost about $450,000 per day.)

Assistant Director Student Nutrition Services $90

Director of Architectural Planning $96

Coordinator of Data Processing $120

Coordinator of Categorical Programs $120

Coordinator of Vocational Education $120

Public Information Office Position $120

Director of Human Resources 1 FTE $120

Director of Assessment and Program Evaluation $120

Assistant Director of Special Education $100

Assistant Director M&O 2 FTE $240

Cell Phone Bill Backs and Reductions by Program Change $75

Substitute Pay Rate Reduction – 10% $80

Reduce Site Discretionary Allocation – 20% $151

Deferred Maintenance Match $600
APT $695

CSEA $195

Management $81;

Voluntary Staff Development Reform Program Eliminate $360

Suspend High School Collaboration Period
Seven period day at the high schools – 5.6 FTE $448

Defer Step and Column Increases $1.5 mil

Furlough Day $450/day

Elementary preparation period provided by a shortened student day.

Retirement Incentives?

Village Staff Reduction to Reflect Lower Enrollment

4/10 summer work week for district employees – Saving $?

Outsource services of the Graphics and Warehouse Department




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Posted by Resident again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Teachers' union, you need to be flexible - this expense is simply NOT NEEDED and must go so other more valuable items can be kept:

+++++++++++++++++++++
Staff Development Days – Currently have 3 on the salary schedule.

(Each day encroaches on the general fund about $200,000. In addition, we have 2 paid "non student" days for teachers. These cost about $450,000 per day.)

++++++++++++++

I am surprised the district has kept these expenses all this time. Maybe they should have been saving for a rainy day instead. Staff development days and non-student days are a luxury we cannot afford right not.


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Posted by Resident again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm

I included something that should not have been there. I do not support the
Seven period day at the high schools – 5.6 FTE $448

Here is the list of what I think should be cut (from the list given):

From the list given, I support the following cuts. regardless of the budget. These cuts should be made for at least the next few years, until the economy improves:

Salary Rollback – Each 1% would save $1 million

Staff Development Days – Currently have 3 on the salary schedule.

(Each day encroaches on the general fund about $200,000. In addition, we have 2 paid "non student" days for teachers. These cost about $450,000 per day.)

Assistant Director Student Nutrition Services $90

Director of Architectural Planning $96

Coordinator of Data Processing $120

Coordinator of Categorical Programs $120

Coordinator of Vocational Education $120

Public Information Office Position $120

Director of Human Resources 1 FTE $120

Director of Assessment and Program Evaluation $120

Assistant Director of Special Education $100

Assistant Director M&O 2 FTE $240

Cell Phone Bill Backs and Reductions by Program Change $75

Substitute Pay Rate Reduction – 10% $80

Reduce Site Discretionary Allocation – 20% $151

Deferred Maintenance Match $600

APT $695

CSEA $195

Management $81;

Voluntary Staff Development Reform Program Eliminate $360

Suspend High School Collaboration Period

Defer Step and Column Increases $1.5 mil

Furlough Day $450/day

Elementary preparation period provided by a shortened student day.

Retirement Incentives?

Village Staff Reduction to Reflect Lower Enrollment

4/10 summer work week for district employees – Saving $?

Outsource services of the Graphics and Warehouse Department


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ceaser
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Resident

I nominate you to be the new budget director for PUSD.

Starting salary. $100k

It would be money well spent.


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Posted by Tax Revolt
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Sounds like worst case, PUSD needs to find $8.7M. That translates into an 8.7% across the board salary cut for all personnel (using the 1% salary reduction = $1M formula). Then all the programs, services, extracurricular activities, staff can remain in place. Then, add in a few administration staff cuts, and apply those savings to the teaching salaries and our teachers may end up with a 7% salary reduction.

There, done. And we wouldn't need to pay $100K to the new budget director 'Resident'.


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Posted by Tax Revolt
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Ok, time to do some research. This 'special Governor's Budget Workshop in Sacramento' is really a $175 per attendee workshop put on by a private company 'School Services of California' (www.sscal.com). There is a list of all the confirmed registrants available from that website which numbers 1970. Which means that this company just raked in $350,000 of the public's money. Not to mention the mileage reimbursement, hotels, meals expenses that will be charged to the school districts. Can we estimate that it could be close to $700,000 of the public tax money being spent to attend a private company's boondoggle workshop? Information that should be available from the state to begin with?


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Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 12, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Tax Revolt - so who is going to run all of those programs, services, and extra curricular activities after that 8.7 budget cut?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm

We don't need a parcel tax. The CTA is going to fix school funding like they did the first time with Prop 98:
Web Link
"CTA Files School Funding Initiative to Protect Students, Schools from Deeper Budget Cuts and Ensure Future Funding
1 Cent Sales Tax Increase Would Benefit K-12 Schools, Community Colleges"


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Posted by Resident again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2009 at 8:49 am

After talking to a friend who works for a school district in a different county, I understood a little why PE and Music teachers in Elementary seem somehow protected.

In my friend's district, the teachers (union demands) have what they call "prep periods" and these prep periods are taken during PE and Music. So to eliminate those two "programs" at the elementary school level, the union must agree.

I don't support making cuts at the school level before we cut everything possible at the admin level (but somehow some of those admin cuts got placed in the "negotiable items for consideration" instead of at the top of the cuts)

That being said, if cuts at the school level are needed.... Music in elementary school is not that required. My child tells me they just go there and sing, it is a fun time for them but no learning takes place.

Real music learning is done through Band and Strings in elementary (and these two programs are on the list for cuts, but they shouldn't be). The kids actually learn how to play an instrument, whereas in "music" they just sing and waste time.

I would rather keep Strings and Band in elementary than Music (again, music teachers don't even teach our kids basic music notes, whereas in Strings and Band, they do).

As for PE in elementary, my child only gets PE once a week... so why is the program so costly? One hour a week of PE in an elementary school should not cost so much. 9 elementary schools would be 9 hours: a part-time PE teacher would be sufficient (one, not the many we have right now for elementary)

It seems like we as a community have two problems: one is that the administrators are of course, more concerned with their jobs, car stipends, raises, "cabinet", much in the way of unnecessary staff. The other is the teachers' union and their unreasonable demands. Did anyone pay attention during the car industry bailout? The unions simply refused to reasonable terms, and I hope that the teachers' union does not go that route.


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Posted by Zerobase
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2009 at 10:34 am

Why not start with a Zero base budget process - define what is truly essential, what is the lowest cost way of doing that and then fund that rather than cut or spend arbitrarily?

Anything that is not essential should be eliminated from the budget and if volunteers/donors are able to fund they can be considered.

If cuts are unavoidable to meet the essential items then start with cuts in admin, then classified and certificated. Across the board or specific salary/position cuts can be left to the union members to choose.





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Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 14, 2009 at 8:10 am

Zerobase - most of the people that moved to Pleasanton schools did not do so to have "just the minimum" education. If we wanted that, there were lots of other less expensive places to live.


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Posted by Tax Revolt
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 14, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Pleasanton Mom, please read my post again. The $8.7M that is needed to be cut from the budget can be obtained by reducing the salary of every PUSD employee by 8.7%. No programs, services, activities, or staff need to be cut. Everything stays the same, Class Size Reduction, counselors, special needs, PE, music, .... everything remains in place as is. Just reduce the salaries, and move on. Any teacher or staff who doesn't want to stay can leave, and the long line of qualified people who want to work for PUSD would be willing and eager to take their place.

This salary reduction is easy, fair, quick. No money needs to be spent to convince the public to vote for a parcel tax. Cut the salaries and move on. We will all save time and money.


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Posted by Long time taxpayer
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 16, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I have always supported teachers and schools - no matter what. However I find myself less inclined to do so today. In my opinion, the Teacher's Union is failing our children, educators and the state of California. They are too strong and have outlived their purpose. Common sense, passion, educational exellence and pride have been replaced by the union with job security - despite poor performance - and an "IT'S NOT IN MY CONTRACT" mentality. As a result, learning and school performance suffers. These economic times call for a total evaluation of what is going on in the Pleasanton schools.
Transparency should be forthcoming. Every employee should feel fortunate to have a GREAT job and look for ways to save and contribute to the overall success of the school. Pleasanton schools have benefited from the generosity and overindulgence of parents for the 20+ years I've lived here. When there wasn't enough money to run a program - they opened their wallets. However, our demographics have changed. The influx of different cultures and finances have reduced the "open wallet" syndrome. Some cultures believe that public schools are FREE and they take full advantage of everything that's offered. They do not contribute with dollars or volunteerism. This, in addition to budget cuts and higher expenses, is affecting the school district's overall performance. Dr. Casey - please

Scrap "collaboration" Wednesday - it is doing nothing for our schools. Use that time for classroom learning.

Reduce overhead at the district level. There are too many employees having too little accountability. You don't need all the overhead jobs that are currently in place.

Increase class size at the K-3 grade level as well as the 9th grade math & english classes. Even by 5 students.

Strive to offer the strongest educational curriculum possible but stop trying to be all things to all people. Let parents take back the responsibility of parenting their children.

Implement fees for extracurricular activities beyond what is now considered a donation. The same people always donate and the same people don't. Charge everyone. There are many benefits to the student that participates in extracurricular. Fees are appropriate during a budget crisis.

Take a hard look at Special Education at both the local and state level. The number of "extra perks" available to special ed students goes above and beyond what is reasonable. Things like one on one aides, computers, personalized transportation, individualized physical education, etc....etc....etc.....

Implement quality control in every job at every level. Reduce redundancy and implement time saving technology.

You have become comfortable sitting on our Pleasanton laurels. Shake things up a bit. Quit the "good old days" club and be an innovative leader.

Then maybe folks will consider a parcel tax.

Thank You






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Posted by Observer
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 17, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Has anyone entertained the idea of cutting "prep periods". It used to be the only preparation a teacher had was before and after school. That was an expected part of the job. No job goes without taking work home. Teachers now arrive right before the morning bell and are off campus before the students are gone. They also get "collaboration" time, teacher workdays and daily prep periods along with parent conference days. Cut all of those and you might not have to touch class size. There is so much waste that has become an expected part of the job. Let's step back and take a hard look at how our educational system USED to function before these "perks" that have become contractual.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2009 at 9:51 pm

From a previous post:
"As for PE in elementary, my child only gets PE once a week... so why is the program so costly? One hour a week of PE in an elementary school should not cost so much. 9 elementary schools would be 9 hours: a part-time PE teacher would be sufficient (one, not the many we have right now for elementary)"

There is a state minimum of 200 minutes each ten days in the elementary grades (consider by the state to be grades 1-6). This is essentially two 50 minute periods a week. I can only speak for one school with which I am familiar in the district. I know 1st through 5th grade students at this school have a class with the PE Specialist twice a week, 45 minutes each (the remaining minutes are supposed to be covered by the classroom teacher). I am sure the other schools in Pleasanton meet the state minimum with a similar schedule.

Remember, the PE specialist does not see the entire school for one hour a week, requiring them to work only 9 hours a week to teach PE to all of the students at our 9 elementary schools. They see individual classes for 45 minutes, twice a week. Let's say there are 20 1st through 5th grade classes. You are looking at 1800 minutes a week that the PE specialist is instructing students. Our children are at school for 1950 minutes a week and that time includes the time they are eating lunch and are at recess. Increase the number of classrooms and you absolutely need an additional PE Specialist.

One can argue that the classroom teacher can teach PE to his or her students just as they teach math and language arts. This is true. Many districts have implemented PE, music, and science specialists to provide instruction in these subject areas while the teacher has prep time.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Take a peek at the PE standards for 2nd grade. I know the list is enormous. That is my point..."with the comment that a housewife should come volunteer her time" in mind. PE Specialists went to college for 5 years to earn their BA and credential, just as a general classroom teacher. Let's not belittle their jobs.

STANDARD 1
Students demonstrate the motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.

Movement Concepts
1.1 Move to open spaces within boundaries while traveling at increasing rates of speed.
Body Management
1.2 Transfer weight from feet to hands and from hands to feet, landing with control.
1.3 Demonstrate balance on the ground and on objects, using bases of support other than
both feet.
1.4 Create a routine that includes two types of body rolls (e.g., log roll, egg roll, shoulder roll, forward roll) and a stationary balance position after each roll.

Locomotor Movement
1.5 Jump for distance, landing on both feet and bending the hips, knees, and ankles to reduce the impact force.
1.6 Skip and leap, using proper form.

Manipulative Skills
1.7 Roll a ball for distance, using proper form.
1.8 Throw a ball for distance, using proper form.
1.9 Catch a gently thrown ball above the waist, reducing the impact force.
1.10 Catch a gently thrown ball below the waist, reducing the impact force.
1.11 Kick a slowly rolling ball.
1.12 Strike a balloon consistently in an upward or forward motion, using a short-handled
paddle.
1.13 Strike a ball with a bat from a tee or cone, using correct grip and side orientation.
1.14 Hand-dribble, with control, a ball for a sustained period.
1.15 Foot-dribble, with control, a ball along the ground.
1.16 Jump a rope turned repeatedly.

STANDARD 2
Students demonstrate knowledge of movement concepts, principles, and strategies that apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.

Rhythmic Skills
1.17 Demonstrate a smooth transition between even-beat locomotor skills and uneven-beat locomotor skills in response to music or an external beat.
1.18 Perform rhythmic sequences related to simple folk dance or ribbon routines.
1.19 Perform with a partner rhythmic sequences related to simple folk dance or ribbon routines.

Movement Concepts
2.1 Define open space.
2.2 Explain how to reduce the impact force of an oncoming object.

Body Management
2.3 Explain the importance of a wide rather than a narrow base of support in balance activities.
2.4 Explain why one hand or foot is often preferred when practicing movement skills.

Locomotor Movement
2.5 Compare and contrast locomotor movements conducted to even and uneven beats.

Manipulative Skills
2.6 Identify opportunities to use underhand and overhand movement (throw) patterns.
2.7 Identify different opportunities to use striking skills.
2.8 Compare the changes in force applied to a ball and the ball speed when rolling a ball for various distances.
2.9 Explain key elements of throwing for distance.
2.10 Identify the roles of body parts not directly involved in catching objects.
2.11 Identify when to begin the kicking motion when kicking a slowly rolling ball.
2.12 Identify the different points of contact when striking a balloon upward and striking a
balloon forward.
2.13 Explain the purpose of using a side orientation when striking a ball from a batting tee.
2.14 Differentiate the effects of varying arm and hand speeds when hand-dribbling a ball.

STANDARD 3
Students assess and maintain a level of physical fitness to improve health and performance.

Fitness Concepts
3.1 Participate in enjoyable and challenging physical activities for increasing periods of time.

Aerobic Capacity
3.2 Participate three to four times each week, for increasing periods of time, in moderate to vigorous physical activities that increase breathing and heart rate.

Muscular Strength/Endurance
3.3 Perform abdominal curl-ups, modified push-ups, oblique curl-ups, forward and side
lunges, squats, and triceps push-ups from a chair or bench to enhance endurance and
increase muscle efficiency.
3.4 Traverse the overhead ladder one bar at a time.

Flexibility
3.5 Demonstrate the proper form for stretching the hamstrings, quadriceps, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

Body Composition
3.6 Engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for increasing periods of time.

Assessment
3.7 Measure improvements in individual fitness levels.
Students demonstrate knowledge of physical fitness concepts, principles, and strategies to improve health and performance.

Standard 4
Students demonstrate knowledge of physical fitness concepts, principles, and strategies to improve health and performance.

Fitness Concepts
4.1 Explain the fuel requirements of the body during physical activity and inactivity.
4.2 Describe the role of moderate to vigorous physical activity in achieving or maintaining
good health.
4.3 Identify ways to increase time for physical activity outside of school.
4.4 Discuss how body temperature and blood volume are maintained during physical activity when an adequate amount of water is consumed.
4.5 Explain how the intensity and duration of exercise, as well as nutritional choices, affect fuel use during physical activity.

Aerobic Capacity
4.6 Compare and contrast the function of the heart during rest and during physical activity.
4.7 Describe the relationship between the heart and lungs during physical activity.
4.8 Compare and contrast changes in heart rate before, during, and after physical activity.
Muscular Strength/Endurance
4.9 Describe how muscle strength and muscle endurance enhance motor skill performance.
4.10 Identify muscles being strengthened during the performance of particular physical
activities.
4.11 Identify which activities or skills would be accomplished more efficiently with stronger muscles.
4.12 Explain the role that weight-bearing activities play in bone strength.

Flexibility
4.13 Identify the muscles being stretched during the performance of particular physical
activities.
4.14 Explain why it is safer to stretch a warm muscle rather than a cold muscle.

Body Composition
4.15 Describe the differences in density and weight between bones, muscles, organs, and fat.

Standard 5
Students demonstrate and utilize knowledge of psychological and sociological concepts, principles, and strategies that apply to the learning and performance of physical activity.

Self-Responsibility
5.1 Participate in a variety of group settings (e.g., partners, small groups, large groups)
without interfering with others.
5.2 Accept responsibility for one's own behavior in a group activity.

Social Interaction
5.3 Acknowledge one's opponent or partner before, during, and after an activity or game and give positive feedback on the opponent's or partner's performance.
5.4 Encourage others by using verbal and nonverbal communication.
5.5 Demonstrate respect for self, others, and equipment during physical activities.
5.6 Demonstrate how to solve a problem with another person during physical activity.

Group Dynamics
5.7 Participate positively in physical activities that rely on cooperation.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm

p.s. The" belittle" comment is in response the idea that just anyone off the street can come in and essentially teach kids to run around and play dodge ball because apparently PE is really not much of anything to teach. It is in NO WAY a comment about mothers who are fortunate enough to stay home with their kids. Anyone who manages to survive Saturday and Sunday of 24 hour parenting knows no college education could prepare you for the job of being a parent!!! :0) Neither job is an easy one and, as can be read from many posts, is often a thankless one. Let's remember all that our teachers DO for our kids!



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