Town Square

Post a New Topic

Letter: Support our future leaders, pass Measure G

Original post made on May 8, 2009

Dear Editor,

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 8, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (22)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

Thank you Larry.

Did you see this letter, in the Tri-Valley Herald a while back?

Parcel tax measure

MY FAMILY and I made a strategic move to Pleasanton three years ago. Our primary reason for moving to Pleasanton was the quality of public schools offered.

We knew that Pleasanton schools offered our daughter a strong education: committed teachers, strong curricular programs, as well as a plethora of extracurricular activities.

We are deeply saddened that the state budget cuts require over $9 million in reductions over the next 18 months to the Pleasanton school district budget. The loss of class size reduction in kindergarten through third grade is a travesty. The small classroom environment gives our children a better opportunity to learn and our teachers are truly able to see each child's needs and meet them.

As a school library volunteer, I am also very worried about cuts to the library. Many children spend their recess in the library, checking out books and using the computers. For many, the library is their playground.

The potential loss of school counselors, reading specialists, math support programs, music, computer courses and janitors is also a tragedy. These resources are a huge benefit for our children at every age and are invaluable pieces of the educational system.

It is apparent that Pleasanton is in dire need of quick, efficient and viable solutions; ones that will save our children's quality education, currently and in the long run. We all need to come together
Advertisement
Click Me! Quantcast
to resolve the budget issue, as well as create a balanced approach to cutting expenses.

As a family, we are committed to our schools and our community. We are proud to say we live in Pleasanton and that our daughter attends school in town.

For Pleasanton residents who do not have school-aged children, maintaining quality schools should be a priority as well. Good schools better our youth and maintain our property values.

Measure G has our complete support on the June 2 ballot.

Annette Vidal Sodergren


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 8, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

Here's another letter:

FOR A second, let's get beyond local politics (and the need to get elected), blogs that border on the asinine (where did all the vicious anger come from?), distorting facts and numbers and attempting to criticize current administration and teachers for factors out of their control. Any surprise that many other East Bay districts are being forced to cut millions from their budgets as well?

In Time Magazine (April 27), the U.S. ranked 25th in math performance by 15-year olds, 15th in reading. Not exactly leading the pack nor creating a work force prepared for that new global economy (it's already here!). It's our choice people, we can let our excellent schools, after years of building programs and competencies, take a huge step back in terms of delivering a quality education to our children or pay a small price ($233) to ensure seven critical initiatives that directly benefit our students including class size reduction, reading specialists, technology, library and counseling remain in place (while maintaining our kids global competitiveness).

Seriously Pleasanton, see the bigger picture and get past issue distortion and petty sniping about car allowances and cell phones. The education community is making sacrifices. It's time for our community to support them as well.

Ennis Pipe


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 8, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

Here's another:

THE PRINCIPLE of fairness has inspired some local citizens with this idea: simply cut school employees' salaries in equal percentage as the budget shortfall! Thus, closing a 10 percent budget gap is simple if the Pleasanton board of trustees cuts everyone's salaries by the same percentage.

And, why not? After all, many in the private sector have had their salaries cut by 5 percent or 10 percent. It's only fair. If Mr. and Mrs. Pleasanton Taxpayer must tighten their belts, then so should Mr. or Mrs. Pleasanton Schoolteacher. What common sense!

Let's make sure that everything has been fair up to now: today, the median household income in Pleasanton is $125,000 (source: city of Pleasanton, demographics). In 2000, it was $91,000 (source: U.S. census). That's a 37 percent increase, so to be fair, school employees should have received a 37 percent increase between 2000 and 2009.

I detect a problem with this fairness idea. School employees don't earn anywhere near 37 percent more than they earned in 2000. Where were all the people demanding fairness when private-sector salaries were going up at this rate?

I can't recall any board meetings where community members spoke about their raises or bonuses and insisted that school employees' salaries increase commensurately.

When an idea is fair, it works both ways: ask school employees to share the burden only if you plan to share the wealth, too. School employees are expected to accept public-sector salaries in flush times and accept pay cuts in spare times. What's fair about this?

Sheri Scarborough


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 8, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

Here's another:

WHEN I became a teacher, I didn't have any idea how diverse the abilities in one classroom could be. It's been many years and I'd like to think I can now accommodate most kid's needs "... but it takes time. The number of children who need special attention seems to be growing each year.

Our goal is to "leave no kids behind," but obviously we are. Twenty percent of any classroom needs special attention of some sort. Class-size reduction has allowed us to accommodate these kids.

Whether or not you have children, no one can say they would like to see children suffer, and suffer they will if class sizes grow to 30 students.

With cuts in reading specialists, librarians and counselors, the increased class size is just the beginning of the problem.

Kids who do not get the attention and resources they need to accommodate learning styles, disabilities, attention deficits and social-emotional issues will fall even further behind in school.

In correlation, their self-esteem will plummet, which could result in behavior problems, lack of concentration and possibly depression.

I am not exaggerating. I have seen it happen. We will be leaving more kids behind than ever.

Pleasanton Unified School District's motto is that "Kids Come First." We can support that slogan by voting yes on Measure G on June 2.

Vicki Stephens


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2009 at 6:52 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Sandy your post is quite comical. Basically you're saying that if classes go up to 30 students, and I'm assuming these are K-3rd grade, that those students will develop behavioral problems, their self-esteem will suffer in a negative way, and their over all educational journey will be hindered. It's interesting that PUSD use to have ratios similar to those numbers, and seeing that I went through the school district when ratios were high, I have say I turned out well. The same goes for the countless number of other students I went to school or who went to other local schools- they are all turned out well. Deviant behaviors can happen in a classroom of 5 students or a classroom of 30 students. It's the teacher's responsibility to effectively manage what is appropriate/non-appropriate behaviors in the classroom; a number doesn't give concrete evidence of what could or couldn't happen.

Also these student-teacher ratios shouldn't have a sole baring on whether or not a students learning needs are met. If a teacher has a class of 22 one year and a class of 30 the follow year, he or she should know how to accommodate in similar ways without having to let a child fall behind. Educators are trained and taught that they have to meet every child's needs and provide positive, enriching lessons that encourages a child's intelligence to grow- no matter how many children are in the classroom.

If the community is so worried about certain programs that are on the chopping block, which are much needed, then why aren't teachers and all other district employees willing to take a pay cut? There should never be an excuse of "if this doesn't happen, X, Y, and Z won't happen in the classroom. Teachers have to be able to adapt with what is given to them; not assume that if a ratio goes up for some time that we are going to be creating future citizens that don't know what they are doing. If people are worried about that, lets take notice that we already have been currently doing that- many, many college professors complain that students can't write a simple essay. So what is the real problem here then? Teachers salary, student-teacher ratio, the way students are taught, or possibly the "Who" is doing the teaching?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Sandy, do you hear yourself? By your rationale everyone would be better off by keeping their kids home and homeschooling them after all it would be one teacher per pupil. You are aware our president brags that he went to a private school in Hawaii and brags about its large class sizes. He seems to have done pretty well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Get educated!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm

"If the community is so worried about certain programs that are on the chopping block, which are much needed, then why aren't teachers and all other district employees willing to take a pay cut?"

Teachers have agreed to a pay cut. For some that equals from $600-$1000- the cost of the parcel tax for four years. For those who have two teachers in the family that number is doubled. PUSD teachers are the only ones from this valley to agree to this concession, while all surrounding districts currently have a parcel tax.

This concession combined with Administrations cuts total over 1 million dollars. These funds are specifically earmarked to do just what you suggested- they will cover programs that will need to be cut even if the parcel tax passes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent who is voting NO ON G
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Support our future leaders by using the parcel tax issue to teach your children about fiscal responsibility and the importance of living within their means.
Remind them that in spite of the propaganda being published, voting no doesn't mean a person is anti-children, anti-teacher or anti-community - just anti-irresponsible fiscal behavior.


Vote NO on G.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Regardless of whether or not G passes or fails can you imagine the fracture that has developed here? I fear we will never be the same as now I am not sure I can ever look at the teachers the same as they now seem so money hungry at a time when we are all hurting. My husband lost his job 6 months ago and we are behind in payments and the teachers do not seem thankful that they have a job but want more and will do anything to get it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 8, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

All that Sheri Scarborough seems to have proved is that more rich people moved into Pleasanton during the years between 2000 and now. Is that supposed to be a reason to give raises to teachers?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sheri,

Did you divide the double-wage earner household incomes by two in order to compare them fairly with a single employee's salary?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent who is voting NO ON G
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Some teachers keep saying that teachers didn't get into this profession for the money.
But their arguments all focus on money.
Their arguments are all "you made more money than we did, so you should give us more."
All of you in the private sector, please try that argument with your boss and see where it gets you.
Let's trade those two staff development days for a freeze on wages AND the FREEDOM to handsomely reward the good teachers and boot out the incompetent ones.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 8, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I am all for giving them a 10% raise ifffffffffffffffffffff...................they get rid of the union and every year we get rid of the lowest performing 10% and reload. This way it is like the private sector and creates a level of competition for excellence.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 9, 2009 at 8:58 am

Love it Fred!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 9, 2009 at 9:09 am

"we get rid of the lowest performing 10% and reload. This way it is like the private sector "

I've never worked for a company with that high a forced turnover rate.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent who is voting NO ON G
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 1:15 pm



News Flash Saturday May 9, 2009 (you won't get this info on the PUSD website or from SPS!)

The California Department of Education just released how much each district gets for ARRA fund (released on Saturday at:

Web Link

Pleasanton will receive $4,244,533! So this in on top of the $2.5 million for special ed so so far we have $6,744,533 of federal money coming to our district. And there is more! The CDE website said this $4.25 million is for general purpose. They will release the numbers of how much more we will receive for categorical programs in June!

PUSD has no reason to push for parcel tax! PUSD - use the time these fundings are giving you to work on your budget and long term fiscal planning - as you have been asked to do!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Anyone see the channel 5 CBS broadcast this weekend on home prices in Pleasanton. It stated that homes are being overbid because so many people from surrounding areas want to move to Pleasanton. It specifically stated the quality of schools as the most cited reason for moving here. It went on to say that, while other communities have seen their home values fall, Pleasanton has not.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 14, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Measure G raises taxes in a recession to keep about 15 employees on the public payroll. While the tax is scheduled to run for 4 years in the hope that the recession will end these extra FTEs will be on public support for the next 50 years including their retirement years. Many were hired in an economic bubble that is not sustainable even when the economy recovers. It is the children in school now who will be paying the most for these extra employees in the years to come not just the taxpayers today.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

Supporting G works the opposite of supporting leaders. Voting no on G shows leadership by doing the right thing and that is forcing our school board and administrators to look at the big picture and reduce all completely non essential activities and expenditures. After doing all of this we cannot fulfill our obligation to provide an education to our children we should pursue a parcel tax but not for raises for teachers but for specifically identified actions which are necessary for viability not raises.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by NO ON G
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Please see Web Link for information about Measure G.
Please take the time to mail in your ballot or go to the polls and vote NO on Measure G.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

No on G,

I believe that a no on G is a given now we need to figure out what is next without tax revenue and support from the state.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Valley View Dad
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Posted by Russell, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on May 9, 2009 at 9:09 am

"we get rid of the lowest performing 10% and reload. This way it is like the private sector "

I've never worked for a company with that high a forced turnover rate.

Obviously Russell has never worked at a high tech company in Silicon Valley...

Fred is spot on!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Martin Litton, force of nature. An appreciation.
By Tom Cushing | 2 comments | 993 views

What to do with your buckets of water
By Tim Hunt | 2 comments | 655 views

Chanukah & The Bill of Rights
By Roz Rogoff | 0 comments | 462 views

How Many Colleges Should I Apply To?
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 179 views