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SAVE PLEASANTON SCHOOLS DONATE NOW!!

Original post made by Sherri on Jun 11, 2009

SAVE OUR SCHOOLS!!

Pleasanton Partnerships In Education (PPIE) Foundation, is working in conjunction with the Pleasanton Unified School District and the Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment (PSEE) Foundation to raise funds for programs that would have been supported by Measure G and have been cut.

The goal for the campaign is to raise $2.8 million. This would fully fund four areas—class size reduction for grades K-3 and grade 9 to 20:1 (currently at 25:1); reading specialists; counselors to 2008 / 2009 levels, and the elementary band and strings program. PSEE will focus on the elementary band and strings program. This is in line with their mission, and their part of the campaign goal is $120,000. PPIE will focus on the other three areas.

PLEASE... DONATE NOW!! The campaign will end on August 15. At that time, the foundations and the District will look at how much money has been raised and determine to what degree each of the areas could be supported. 100% of donations made through either foundation will go the campaign, and either foundation can accept donations for any of the programs. Donations processed with no bank fees!
Donations of any amout our welcome! See link below.

Web Link

Comments (32)

Posted by Why Worry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm

No problem. If everyone who voted yes on G donates their $233 then you should meet your goal, and I'm sure that many people who voted no will donate too, because now it may actually go to the students and not to RAISES.


Posted by Yes to this if...., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm

So I was a vocal no on G because of the ballot language and the raises, but, I can certainly get behind this if the district agrees to these numbers.

A question: What if the 2.8 MM isn't reached? What is the first priority with the funds that are raised? Meaning, if we only reach 1.8 MM by August 22, will they reduce class sizez first or will it all get washed since the 2.8 was raised?


Posted by Yes to this if..., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Meant to say, will it all get washed if the 2.8 isn't raised?


Posted by Matt, a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I voted YES for Measure G, and I'm going to donate my $233+

You're only young once, you can't repeat your childhood. Give them the best you can give.


Posted by Sherri, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:09 pm

From what I have heard, class size reduction is the number one thing on the list. There is a number on the PPIE website that you could call to ask that question.
There were a lot of people that said that even though they voted no on Measure G, they would be willing to donate towards the schools and I hope that is still the case. I know that money is tight for many people, but any amount of money donated will help!


Posted by Yes to this if..., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Hi Sherri,

I would bet on the fact that the far majority of the "no" on G folks were like myself and weren't voting no just to be obstanate. I would guess the majority were like me and voted no because the language wasn't specific enough and felt the money was going toward raises.

Some may continue to hold out - being as stubborn as the teacher's union. Many No on G voters are waiting for a 10% concession from the district admin, personnel, and unions. I hope those district personnel do the right thing, and I hope the community does as well.

People are definitely going through tough times and shouldn't be expected to have a tax LEVIED against them. This is by far the most fair approach during these difficult times.

I hope those that this community will indeed work together now - ALL of us - and that we will make this work!!

Cheers!!


Posted by teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I think many teachers recognize that these are unusual circumstances and are open to concessions, but the union hardliners are not really open to it. Maybe those teachers can be encouraged to donate privately to PPIE if the union refuses to budge. Then again, I'd be scared to donate and THEN have the union make concessions. Best to wait and see?


Posted by sj, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 11, 2009 at 9:13 pm

PPIE is a non profit organization that parents, teachers and members of the community can donate to privately without any repercussions. The union shouldn't have a say in anything a teacher does on their own time!


Posted by Teacher, a resident of Mariposa Ranch
on Jun 11, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I plan to donate to this fund and am willing to make concessions if necessary but, to assume all my colleagues can afford to do so is not appropriate. This parallels the communities need to not have taxes levied on them. Our need to earn a living wage is by no means the cause of this financial disaster. I implore those of you who are so angry at us to please direct your anger at your elected officials. This should not be happening in public education. PUSD is a great and well-run district. Your children are happy and successful in our care.

Please consider donating to this fund!


Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2009 at 8:49 am

Julie is a registered user.

Teacher, you are so right that teachers are not the cause of the financial disaster and that they deserve to earn a living wage.

Honestly I'm confused as to why some are so angry that you and your colleagues were not willing to take a 10% wage cut in order to "save other teacher's jobs" or programs. When my husband was part of a large lay off a few years back there was no one taking pay cuts in order to save those jobs, and I wouldn't have expected it. 10% is a significant percentage. I wonder if most people would be willing to take such a cut to save a colleague's job or a "program" at their company. I see no problem with freezing raises (i.e. future income). Raises, bonuses, etc. should not be guaranteed and in tough economic times we all do without them.

I will gladly donate to this fund. Honestly the CSR doesn't concern me as much as the loss of the music programs. At least class size is being kept at 25:1, still a much better ratio than I had growing up.


Posted by Amador Teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 12, 2009 at 9:08 am

I just donated (more than $233!), let's do this! :)


Posted by Share the pain, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2009 at 10:04 am

Julie, some comments re your recent post:
"Honestly I'm confused as to why some are so angry that you and your colleagues were not willing to take a 10% wage cut in order to "save other teacher's jobs" or programs. "
Assume for a minute that all the new teachers hired in Pleasanton over, let's say, the past five years, are the best of the best. Now a budget crisis looms, 10% of the teachers, all the ones with less than six years of district service, per union contract, are at risk of losing their jobs in the district. All positions can be saved if all the teachers, administrators and classified employees take a 10% pay cut during the duration of the crisis. For many of us, this is the right thing to do – it's clear, it's equitable and it meets the objective – saving teacher jobs.
"When my husband was part of a large lay off a few years back there was no one taking pay cuts in order to save those jobs, and I wouldn't have expected it."
In 2001, in order to save the high tech company I worked for, the CEO (yes, the leader, Dr. Casey) of our company mandated a 10% wage cut, across the board. He took a 25% cut. There was no company vote. There was no union to negotiate with. Every position in the company was saved. The moral after the move was Sky High. We all felt that we did something of sacrifice. True leaders lead for the long-term greater good.
"10% is a significant percentage."
What is more to lose, 10% of $65k (median salary of all PUSD employees – my guess) > $6.5k or 100% of $65k > $65k?
"I wonder if most people would be willing to take such a cut to save a colleague's job or a "program" at their company. "
See my comments above.
"I see no problem with freezing raises (i.e. future income). Raises, bonuses, etc. should not be guaranteed and in tough economic times we all do without them."
Don't forget the exec. admin. perks: stop the $1k per month car allowances, free cell phones, etc.

My wife and I voted no on G. If all PUSD employees step back and announce a 10% wage cut, we'll contribute substantially more than $250 per year (we have children in PUSD schools).


Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:07 am

Julie is a registered user.

Share the Pain, Thanks for the response. I respect your point of view and can certainly follow your line of logic - I just see it differently.

If a family is financially capable of donating "substantially" more than $250 to their children's school, I don't see why they insist on only doing so if every single PUSD employee takes a pay cut. You aren't harming those who don't want (or CAN'T due to personal finances or the union) take the pay cut, you are only potentially harming your own children.

Those with less seniority are often (I know, not always) those first on the chopping block. It's a shame, but a reality. My husband wasn't laid off because he lacked talent, he had no seniority.

I don't think your one example proves that MOST people would be willing to take a 10% cut to save a colleague's job or program at their company. Even in your example you didn't volunteer to have your wage cut. You weren't "willing", you were "forced". Upper management made that call and took the brunt of it because they wanted their (likely small?) company to succeed. High tech is all about earning money, nothing else. Often the high level officers of a corporation will take cuts. My point is that teachers are not "high level officers" in PUSD.

I don't doubt that you would have voted to earn 90% of your salary rather than 0%. What if you were definitely going to keep your job and were asked to take a 10% cut to save other jobs and what if you couldn't afford to do it? What if you were asked to volunteer 20%? 30%? At what point would it be too much and your family's survival would overtake "doing the right thing"? I simply don't think it's my place to decide how much teachers can afford to give up.

It's sometimes tough to choose between survival and morality. Maybe the teachers would like to have that 10% to spend on their own families and not on ours. Maybe every one is mad because the teaching profession is dominated by women and historically women should be expected to make sacrifices for others. Perhaps, because teaching is not a profession that people enter into to make tons of money for themselves or for anyone else, people expect a higher level of idealism from them.

I do think that all the executive perks should go away. Perks rank up there with raises and bonuses - nice when there's money, but not a definite. I also don't think it's my place to decide how much Dr. Casey can live without, but if anyone should volunteer a pay cut, it is him. He is the counterpart of the high level corporate executive who makes sacrifices to keep the company/agency/etc. alive.


Posted by resident, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 12, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Thank you, Julie. I completely agree with your posts.

I think asking teachers to donate to PPIE instead of having a pay cut imposed on them is exactly the same as asking the community to donate instead of having a tax imposed on them! People who voted "No" on G should really understand the teachers who won't be forced into pay cuts. It's the same mentality.

I hope everyone will give what they can voluntarily! Our school and our kids need us to!


Posted by Not Donating a Dime, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Not until Casey is off the PPIE board. His incompetency in spending OUR money does not deserve more.


Posted by A little confused, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 12, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Why haven't the teachers volunteered to take a salary cut of any amount? What are they offering to do to "meet us half way" if we donate money? Is that being discussed?

I hear the community mad at each other, teachers sad that today was their last day, etc, but why is it so silent from the teachers?


Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Julie is a registered user.

I'm confused too. Why should teachers volunteer to take a salary cut at all? Why does everyone expect them to sacrifice for the good of *our* children? You are talking about donating money for the good of the community, not for the teachers. You can say that donations, etc. will save teacher jobs but isn't the real motivation saving CSR and other programs that benefit the children and not some big campaign to help individuals keep their jobs? And when you say "meet us half way" it sounds like you view it as teachers v. parents. Personally, I think it's a mistake to make it an "us against them" scenario.


Posted by deadringer, a resident of Old Towne
on Jun 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I agree with Julie. Saving the schools cannot be solely the teacher's responsibility. Sure, maybe step and column can be put to bed for awhile but even that doesn't come close to closing the full budget gap.Toss in cell phones and other perks and you are still not even close. This 10M we are talking about here.

First off, I just donated what would have been my measure G $$$ to the cause -- I put my $$ where my mouth is.

At the same time I really do not like the model of having to rely on donations to have a superior school system. Why? well, most of those donations will be coming from parents of school age children -- naturally. It is as if the state will start charging you for having your kids in school. You have a student? Pay up, You don't? not cost to you. This is not the proper model for public education. EVERYONE benefits from providing education to kids so this is a public good -- everyone should pony up. This means tax.

Sorry to those how think otherwise, it just makes the most sense. Now we can certainly debate about how the $$$ are spent to get the best bang for the buck but to have only/mostly parents pay for school -- people who generally have not reached the top of their personal pay scales -- is silly.

I really hope that proper public funding sources can be secured so there is a predictable per pupil budget from year to year. The "keep your fingers crossed" methodology is just too risky and variable.

Some posters on this forum describe a "goodness of your heart" funding source for San Ramon unified. I would like to hear how much that varies from year to year, especially the last couple as the economy has gone downhill. Can a district that relies on a significant percentage of their income from donations make hiring/firing decisions just before the school year starts because the donations came up short? Does that happen in San Ramon?







Posted by Russell, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:05 pm

I'll be donating too (as usual). I'm not asking teachers to take a pay cut. I think they're doing a good job. I didn't take a pay cut this year either.


Posted by Carmen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2009 at 8:21 am

I hope you libs donate all of your money to the schools and that way you will have a bigger vested interest and when your money is wasted you will see it for what it is.


Posted by Privatize, a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2009 at 2:46 pm

If you can't beat them, join them. I could see it in my heart to give a little, and I don't event live there.


Posted by Privatize, a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I meant don't even live there. It is a nice little town. Carmen, it isn't just liberals who donate, volunteer, and care about the community. Even Ron Paul supporters do it (just ask me). I would prefer vouchers. I drink too much, and it makes me angry at times. I bought a house too near the peak and I have an 7 year ARM, which I though was fairly conservative. Sometimes it is hard to find friends.


Posted by Pete, a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 14, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Don't donate to these organizations. Donate directly to your kids school.

Thinks about it, if these groups give money directly to the district for specific programs, then the money the district was going to spend for these programs can go back into salaries for both administrators and teachers. If the money is donated by these organizations with a stipulation that the money that the district was going to spend on these program will go to what these organizations so deem, then the loop-hole is closed. Will the distict allow this loop-hole to be closed? Look what happened with measure G, it failed and the district found money to save CSR, to at least 25:1. Maybe the district can continue to be creative, without the money donated. Dontate directly to your kids school if you want to donate, at least you know it will be used at the school for the kids.


Posted by mom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2009 at 7:00 am

Pete,
If we donate to PPIE, the money will go for teachers, counselors, and reading specialists.
If we donate to the school, it will go to crayons, markers, and papers.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 15, 2009 at 7:07 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I don't think that's necessarily true. I'll just take for example the Barton reading program, which I understand is funded either partially or wholly by school site discretionary funds. So one can make a donation, for example, directly to a school and designate something like Barton reading.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 15, 2009 at 7:10 am

Stacey is a registered user.

As for CSR, I believe it has to be a district-wide program so there can't be CSR 20:1 at one school and not another. But, it CAN be by grade level, so for example there can be 20:1 at grade level 1 (in all schools) and 25:1 at Kindergarten.


Posted by Teacher2, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2009 at 9:37 am

A few of you wanted to hear from a teacher. I am a teacher and a parent of an elementary student. I voted to take the two day pay cut, and I am currently on a frozen step of the salary schedule, so it was truly going to be a decrease in salary. One I was more than willing to take to maintain the quality of PUSD schools.

So, yesterday, I donated the amount of two days of pay to PPIE for two reasons. First, after 25 years in teaching, I do believe that class size reduction and reading specialists make a tremendous difference in teaching all children and working with them as individuals with a variety of needs, academically and socially. Secondly, I did want to support the dynamic younger teachers who were laid off last week. My hope is that my donation to PPIE will bring these teachers back to PUSD. In the next five years, many senior teachers will reach retirement age, and we need to retain these younger teachers who have already been through coaching and staff development to stay.

Thank you to all the community members who are also donating to PPIE.


Posted by CSR, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 15, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Pete,

If you care about CSR, you should donate to PPIE, not to the local school.


Posted by Drexl, a resident of Ironwood
on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:33 pm

To Teachers: There are a lot more of us parents here than there are of you; therefore, WE will take the cut and donate so you don't have to take the big cuts in pay. You concentrate on teaching our kids, we will make sure you can pay your bills. There is absolutely no reason for the teachers to take pay cuts; I don't care what others say about any one individual teacher salary. You get what you pay for. Thank you.


Posted by RePost, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I started a topic, posting the following. It seems that this more belongs here. Pleas help me try to understand all of this.

I admit to not knowing the exact situation or details on measure G when I voted. I have a better understanding, but have much to learn about the whole system.




I thinking and reading people points of view I have the following obsevations.




We just lost over 128 teachers and a lot of support staff. I believe that the layoffs were based upon tenure. I do know that the newer teachers were the ones let go ay my childs school.




I have observed that in many cases the older teachers are, less patient, more burnt out and have lost that spark. Many of these teachers will be retiring in the next few years, so we will be left with a lot of younger and less expeienced teachers down the road. That will be a huge concern for many, but not me, as I admire the newrer teachers. They have more energy and I believe are better teachers.




If I am understanding correctly, the PARCEL TAXES would have covered the RAISES over the next few years, or rather, if NO raises were given, there would have been money to fund the samller class sizes and greatly reduce the need for the layoffs.




I was always under the impression that teachers, firefighter and cops were underpaid, or made lower income. Upon research, this is not the case clearly. Also, some of the retirement benefits and payments are way above average and COSTLY to tax payers.




That being said, the TEACHERS could have volunteered to NOT take any raises or COLA for a year or twon and the problem would have been solved. The majority of the TEACHERS with tenure, had NOTHING to loose and they knew that!




In my opinion, this was in the TEACHERS hands and they were GREEDY!




Case in point.. I do NOT know of anyone who was given a RAISE last year, or will be getting a RAISE in the next year in working world.


Million are getting laid off or have hours cut. Jobs are being consolodated and most of us are doing the work that 2-3 employee had done in the past. We CAN NOT ask the TAX PAYERS to pay a parcel tax to FUND OUR SHORTFALL!!




Times are TOUGH and the PUSD TEACHERS should have been the FIRST to volunteer to forego raises and even take a PAY CUT for a year, IF they REALLY had our childrens best interest in mind.




Please excuse my typing, as I have a child waiting to leave and I am not the best typer, especially when I am hurried.




Thanks for taking the time to read my post. So, you see, even a LEFT WING LIBERAL SOCIALIST like me can listen to others and change my views! LOL



Posted by to RePost, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2009 at 11:02 pm

read Julie's posts above


Posted by Matt, a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 16, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Wow.. looks like its measure G debate all over again.


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