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School fundraising rally slated for Thursday night at Amador

Original post made on Jun 23, 2009

A rally for the school fundraising campaign I Love Pleasanton Schools is taking place at 6 p.m. Thursday at Amador Valley High School. The Pleasanton Unified School District reports that over $130,000 has been donated to the two educational foundations since the campaign began June 15.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 22, 2009, 5:30 PM

Comments (45)

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Posted by Scott Walsh
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 23, 2009 at 9:46 am

This is the community I remember. One that said "Let's not rely on others, do it ourselves". We've known for years not to believe or trust state government. I wonder if legislators run their households like they manage the state budget. I doubt it. The school district should manage their monies as though it was their household. I know that cannot be exactly the way but at least with that mindset. I plan to donate and I hope others will as well. I also hope an oversight committee will be in place to see how the donated money is spent.


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Posted by Chas Bell
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 23, 2009 at 11:35 am

$189... Come on people...


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Posted by Angel
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Excellent Pleasanton. This is how things really get done.


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Posted by June
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jun 23, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Scott & Angel - I like your energy and positive thinking. Im tired and disappointed by the negative characterizations about who did or did not support the parcel tax, so I appreciate your comments!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 23, 2009 at 9:49 pm

How about contributing funds toward retaining counselors and adminstrators at the secondary schools? They are needed for student and campus safety, program implementation, scheduling concerns, college preparation, faculty support and evaluation, etc. CSR hasn't been proven to be cost-effective for district like ours(see the Valley Times's Sunday editorial for a good summary of studies); let's help the students who are at risk for dropping out.


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Posted by Let it be
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm

The people voted no on G. Many of them are probably going to lose their houses and have to leave the town. Why pay for schools you kids will not go to?


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Posted by mac
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2009 at 12:17 am

So nice to see this movement and its success thus far. Whether you are with or against G, this is the measure of a town "pulling itself up by the bootstraps". It takes those with their convictions to act regardless of the whole, and allows things to happen without forcing it upon the whole.

I'm proud of this town.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 24, 2009 at 5:54 am

FYI -- the Kick-off event takes place from 6 - 7:30 p.m. in the Amador Valley High School quad.

Who the heck picked a week night and during the dinner hour?


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Posted by Lee
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 24, 2009 at 9:46 am

Another Gatetree Resident,
I am sure whoever picked the time was a volunteer who did so after attending multiple meetings, checking multiple calendars, and trying to pick a time that works for as many people as possible. Maybe you could eat dinner a little early that night?


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Posted by LCG
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:51 am

Another Gatetree Resident,

The e-mail I got about the rally said there would be food for sale. Bring a little extra cash, grab some grub, and celebrate the cause!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Former Gatetree resident
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jun 24, 2009 at 11:03 am

My son was attending Alisal..you couldn't ask for a better school and/or school district. This community IS like a family - they really stick together through thick and thin. We had to move out of Pleasanton for a short while but plan to move back within 3 years so our kids can go the best schools. We plan on continuing to donate funds whenever we can during this time to ensure the best education and community for our kids. $189 - seriously people! It's for the kids, for the schools, for your property value and for the future of Pleasanton.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 24, 2009 at 11:30 am

Lee and LCG -- Both stellar ideas!


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Posted by resident
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm

First off - we waste $350,000.00++ dollars on a campaign. We lose thousands and thousands of dollars and countless productivity hours from employees who stood around the water cooler talking about job losses, we move numerous UNION employees into new jobs - more countless hours of retraining and starting from scratch and now we take up a campaign for money with no accountability on where the money is spent! Come on folks - what are you thinking. What is wrong with a class of 25 students? It was that way when I went to school 40 years ago and we did just fine. I'm happy that some folks are willing to contribute to the benefit of our schools but I sure would not be happy sending in money - in any amount- to be used for more UNION bureauracy. We need CHANGE in our schools not just money. When is the UNION going to be abolished and pay for performance and common sense implemented. Time in position whether you're a teacher, an administrator, a clerical assistant or a custodian does not make any sense. Let's use the money collected to implement a needed change so that we are not wasting money over and over again in the same useless way. I am in support of our schools and our teachers....I just think it is NOT currently working as efficiently as it needs to be. Education is to some degree a business and needs to operate like a business. The business of educating our youth in the best way for the future. Don't spend useless dollars that will just need to be respent over and over again. Demand some critical thinking of our educational system.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Resident: We live in Stepford and the cheerleaders are dealing with this the way they did in high school when they wanted to save the school's mascot. If you dont support their pet cause then youre an outcast and are scorned. Am I the only one getting sick of these people in Pleasanton? They havent got the intelligence to analyze the budget details in depth, so they are doing what they do best. Have pep rallies, bake sales, and criticise anyone who doesnt support them.


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Posted by Hey Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Joe,

I'm with you. You'll be in better company if you head over to this thread...Web Link

To everyone else...Go Team! (Ack..)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yay!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm

This is going to be great! I can't wait to see how much money this town will raise tomorrow and until the August deadline! I just KNOW and can't wait to see the 10MM this fundraiser will bring in (1000 dollars x approximate 10,000 voters that were for Measure G).

This is SO exciting!! :)

Yay...CSR is going to be fully restored thanks to the those who really love the kids! Also the reading spec. and the music programs.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 24, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I just love message board trolls


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yo resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Don't give if you don't want to. It is a free country. What do you hope to accomplish by discouraging people from giving?


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 25, 2009 at 8:28 am

Yo resident - Maybe true structural budget reform in education like the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce urged, but instead wants to go the pep rally route? Maybe getting out from under the education union stranglehold? Maybe gaining a dramatic productivity improvement in our tax dollars? You know, the kinds of things that will truly Save Pleasanon Schools, that is, if you truly Love Pleasanton Schools. Tough Love is sometimes hard. Maybe doing what is right as opposed to what feels good?

What do you hope to accomplish by setting up a dependency on an annual fundraising program of $3.0M, oh, and won't the fundraising goal have to increase every year due to the union contracts that guarantees salary increases?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yo Dark Corners
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2009 at 12:27 pm

All I can say is feel free to not give. If you think you're going to get "out from under the education union stranglehold" by withholding your donation, good luck.

Most of us like the schools and will be giving. There are plenty of other communities around that don't care as much about their schools. You're strategy of not giving may get more traction in one of those places. I don't think you're going to convince a lot of Pleasanton residents not to donate on this blog.


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Posted by Katheryn
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 25, 2009 at 12:29 pm

After the Measure G campaign, I made a promise to myself to be more involved and educated in regards to PUSD and the Board. I have watched every board meeting since June 3rd and I've watched some of the archived webcast's from April and May. I have yet to form an opinion of Dr. Casey and his staff or the Board. My only opinion is that my children's teachers and the school staff is phenominal!! I do have an important question about the current fundraising effort that is underway. First off, I admire the organization's and the volunteer's who have worked diligently for the sake of our schools and for their convictions.

Measure G, if passed would have had an oversight committee that would monitor the tax $$ collected to ensure it was utilized in accordance to the provision's of the initiative.

Does anyone know if the board and PUSD will be formulating an oversight committee to monitor that the donations collected will be utilized in the way that is wished by PPIE and the community??


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Posted by Where's the oversight
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Hi Katheryn,

I thought the oversight committee sounded great as well until I heard the current budget oversight committee for previous measures and plans doesn't even meet. I'm not sure, but I would wager that the district was planning on a Measure G oversight committee to not have much oversight...it seems consistent with current practices.

The Board should be this oversight anyway and they don't seem to me to be doing a very good job.

Thanks for your good comments. I wish there was more accountability and willingness to be forthcoming with the community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 25, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Wouldn't the current board members of the PPIE and the PSEE (to whom the dollars are being donated) be the ones who would be responsible for ensuring that donations are used as intended?

Here's a list of board members for PPIE: Web Link

The PSEE website does not list the members of the advisory board, but the executive board members are named here: Web Link

When I asked about the previous oversight committee (the one for measure B) I was told that they met regularly until the dollars for school renovations had all been budgeted. Almost all of the renovations were completed years ago (the measure B bonds were passed in 1997). Former PUSD board member Kris Weaver could probably provide details.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michele
a resident of Las Positas
on Jun 26, 2009 at 8:44 am

I love the comments "We had 25 students in class WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL...", etc.... People don't get that standards have changed??? Please, take a look at what teachers are teaching NOW, not in 1955, 1965, 1975, or 1985.

Ignorance is truly bliss, isn't it!?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 26, 2009 at 9:39 am

Anyone have a first person report from the rally?


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 26, 2009 at 10:07 am

Having voted no on Measure G, I can readily support parental and community involvement to ensure that our schools are well supported.

However, let's make sure that this in't just another "band-aid" and padding to the already overweight administrative expenses that in the short term covers what we really need which is more responsible spending (lots of comments already on this)and true revccenue/expense matching reform.

Let's raise as much as possible and then "negotiate" how it is to be spent and the real reforms we need to insure that this situation desn't happen again, and that our kids are paramount; not the administrative and support staff. Withhold the moneys until we are satisfied that they have undertaken the actions that the voters demanded with the "G" lack of passage.


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Posted by Yo Michele
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Good point. My grandparents never went past sixth grade, and they did fine, but it is not 1905 anymore. Standards change. Some dinosaurs here in Pleasanton want to freeze time. But the world is passing them bye.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Michele and Yo Michele, We are talking about graduates as recent as 2000, a little closer than the dark ages.

What I heard from someone at the rally was they raised less than $10,000, This is a tough time of year to be raising $2.8 million.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by This just in
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm

So I was in line at the grocery store today and I overheard two women upset that so "few" donated last night.

One mom was a first-person reporting to the other (who claimed she already donated) and the mom that was there said that a lot of people were hesitant to donate until they knew others were going to, etc.

What happened to the Save Pleasanton Schools concept? Apparently there were more than nine thousand people that voted for this...right? Where are all of THOSE people.

Strings music, etc, is basically saved.

CSR?? I'm not so sure...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Former measure G supporter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Here is the problem I see with PPIE raising money for CSR. When I asked what happens if the whole 2.8million isn't raised, it was explained that the amount sent for CSR would be applied to that, and the money would be spread across the programs. Therefore, we could have class sizes of 22, instead of 25. To me, this is not helpful because for one thing 25 is an average, so some classes will have more, and some less depending on school and grade level. This could also lead to more split grade level classes, which I don't think are any better than a larger class size. If this information is incorrect, someone please add the correct interpretation!
Pleasanton needs a parcel tax, with specific wording, for a long term solution to help our district while the state sorts out it's financial issues.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 5:04 pm

To former measure G supporter -
The 9 thousand plus who voted for G could donate the money they were willing to be taxed - $233 - which would go a long way towards restoring programs and staff.
I donated $233 to a school program after G failed, and I know many people who voted against G who also donated because their No votes weren't about not wanting to help the schools, but concern over PUSD financial management.
Based on the information posted on other threads about what the Board is considering doing about the budget, it seems those concerns were valid.


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Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jun 26, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Many of the 9 thousand people that voted yes on G did so because, like Trustee Pat Kernan, they would not have to pay it because they were either exempt or not property owners.

Sandy the oversight committee only met twice, there are no minutes for either meeting and no record at all of the second one.

The district is not giving the community reason to donate with confidence. It is appalling to restore administrative and district office positions.



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Posted by I'm frustrated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm

I will state from the beginning that I have not been that savvy with staying up on all the details at the district over the last few years. Until the economy started to falter, I never had a complaint about our district. It seemed as I believed the district was chugging along well, the cookie jar was getting depleted. I'm not sure how/why. I've "heard" things, but I can't be sure.

What I do know is that a lot of teachers that shouldn't be out of a job, are. What I do understand is that the teachers that remain will get a salary increase, as usual, next year. What I do understand is that the district office staff (Sup, etc) are not being up front with the community and just want a parcel tax - again.

I'm frustrated.

Who is supposed to be able to accurately and clearly convey this info to the public? Who is supposed to share what each "group" (union, admin, clerical, etc) has to offer to the district?

It seems to me until we get all the info out front, look at our options, and vote with our checkbooks, nothing is going to improve.

I'm frustrated, and I know I'm not donating a cent until I hear more details...

Again, I've not been exactly "tuned-in" over the past few years, but shouldn't info be available when I am ready to tune in?

- Frustrated in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Gale Naylor
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 26, 2009 at 6:37 pm

2.8M is a daunting figure. In spite of that, we are trying our best, setting a good example for our children by acting and volunteering for a cause in which we believe. If we sound like "cheerleaders," maybe it's because we figure we'll get a better response being cheerful than if we're sour and depressed.

Clearly, we need a long term solution and it will take time for the community to "cuss and discuss" and decide what that solution is going to be. Meanwhile, I'm passionate about these programs and am not willing to let them go without a fight.

PSEE and PPIE have been supporting our schools for years and have a strong track record of accountability. I'm sure if you contact them with any concerns you will be reassured that 100% of the donations will go to support the designated programs (www.psee.org and www.ppie.org.) Rather than speculating about how the money will be managed...ask them. They have an answer.

According to the Pleasanton Weekly cover page, we've raised just over $170,000 so far and the Kickoff last night raised $13,598. Let's keep it going!

Got Hope? I do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gale Naylor
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 26, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Dear I'm Frustrated,

The June 22nd board meeting (available to view over the internet at Web Link) has a very informative presentation on collective bargaining. I strongly recommend you watch it; I learned a lot.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yo frustrated
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2009 at 9:39 pm

You won't donate a cent no matter what happens. Why don't you just admit it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yo Kathleen
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2009 at 9:44 pm

2000? Is that some kind of fuzzy math? You're telling me K-3 class size in Pleasanton in the year 2000 was what?

And how much are you giving?


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

If there is no problem with 25 kids in a room, why not 30? or 35? or 40? or 50? 60?

I had 30-35+ in all of my elementary classes and I turned out just fine. Oh sure, there are several of my classmates that dropped out, some in jail, others chronically unemployed and otherwise working the system, but there are many that are doing great - so what's the big deal?

I say just do away with public education. We don't need it and it costs too much. As a country we have already lost our place among the world's elite educationally and financially, so why are will still trying to make schools better?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Supposedly K-3 CSR was implemented in PUSD sometime in 1998 (which means prior to that class size was 30:1). California started the K-3 CSR categorical funding program in 1996. I don't know when California added 9th grade CSR categorical funding nor when PUSD implemented it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 26, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The first children in PUSD who began in K with CSR implemented haven't graduated yet.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 27, 2009 at 11:32 am

Uh, Yo. I was stating that just nine years ago, students were graduating and are doing well now despite the lack of CSR in order to point out that it is more recent than you and Michele might believe. Thank you to Stacey for posting the facts.

The deadline isn't until August, so I'm a current hold out on the donation based on what is going on at the district office. There is also the option of donating directly to a school or classroom so I know where the money goes. My preference is resource specialists or counselors. And your donation?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yo Kathleen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm

$300 already. Watching to see how it goes and maybe more. Intend to give next year either way. Already buying supplies at for the classroom.

The "doing well now" argument doesn't cut it for me. We need to do better. We need continuous improvement.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Still waiting
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Per Kathleen: "I was stating that just nine years ago, students were graduating and are doing well now despite the lack of CSR in order to point out that it is more recent than you and Michele might believe"

I posted this to address an article about suspending California's CSR program posted on PW by Stacy a few days ago: Web Link

When I posted, I was not speaking about Measure G or PUSD. This time I am. My original post:

"My concern with this the notion that CSR is dispensable is that two key pieces of legislation were enacted after CSR in 1996:

1) 1999 California Public Schools Accountability Act resulting in the Academic Performance Index (API)

2) 2002 Standards Based Education Reform through No Child Left Behind (NCLB) resulting in the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) testing benchmark.

Education has changed a lot as a result - going back in time and increasing class sizes may have drastic implications that aren't understood in a contemporary test driven, standards based world..."

You know, when we went through the Measure G campaign we constantly heard on this blog that there was no proof CSR mattered and that there was no "guarantee" that the school board would use the revenue from a parcel tax to keep CSR or small class sizes.

The first point may be technically true but I don't need to jump in front of a moving truck to deduce that bad things are going to happen.

The second point has been clarified by the fact that PUSD reduced class sizes from 30:1 to 25:1 as soon as the state changed its CSR penalty structure from an all-or-nothing funded program to a flexibly funded program. The state did this in response to the budget crisis to allow other non-20:1 student ratios and still get state funding for CSR. PUSD didn't need to do this. They could have stuck to the 30:1 ratio and saved money instead of breaking even on the CSR budget item. However, PUSD knows how important CSR is to this community and the quality of the kids' education. With this decision, they certainly put their money where their mouth is and earned my trust for a donation, which I gladly gave.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm

For the sake of those trying to write War and Peace in a blog, I'll keep this short.

1. The money donated so far is way way short. So what next?

2. Actually increase class size or lower salaries or other expenses no matter how much that hurts.

3. Pray for devine intervention or actually work to make it a balanced budget with a lot of parental help, besides driving the SVU's to school.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Very well said Still waiting. The legislation you pointed out is key to the CSR issue. Just look at the rise of PUSD's API scores to see that this is a very successful district deserving of my trust.


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