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Board votes to fund music, counseling and reading specialists

Original post made on Aug 20, 2009

Even though Measure G failed in June, some of the programs and positions supporters hoped to save will be at least partially preserved, but only for the current school year which begins Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009, 12:41 PM

Comments (18)

Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 20, 2009 at 7:55 am

SRV School District votes to increase CSR ratios.

Web Link


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 20, 2009 at 8:09 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Around $31,000 in ILPS funds were designated for class-size reduction, but Superintendent John Casey said it would require $450,000 to have that program just for one class."

Was $450,000 for one grade level across the District meant? I'm just wondering how the District spends roughly $1.2MM out of the General Fund for K-3 CSR, but suddenly the cost is $450,000 for "one class". Is it the assumption that the State funds for CSR are out of the picture by Aug. 15th? That should have been disclosed up front.


Posted by Joan Laursen, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 20, 2009 at 9:14 am

Yes, that is the cost for CSR for one grade level across the entire District.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2009 at 9:55 am

San Ramon Valley School District also increased class size (to 22) even though their parcel tax was successful:

Web Link

"Board approves recommendation to allow K-3 class sizes (and 9th grade English/Math) to increase to 22 students."

It looks like even with the parcel tax, districts like San Ramon are unable to keep class size at 20.

I am very proud of our Pleasanton administration and board for keeping class sizes at 25 even when measure G failed.

Pleasanton is a great district, and I hope we can either keep raising money or pass a parcel tax next year.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:07 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It's $400,000 per grade level according to past information provided by the District (included what was printed in the Measure G list). Why the discrepancy of $50,000? That's a lot of money to be off by.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:15 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The other thing I'm not understanding is why the "all or nothing" approach? The District can implement CSR on a grade by grade basis starting at grade 1. Is there a reason why not to reduce grade 1 to 20:1? Also, how much does it cost per grade for other ratios?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:26 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Last thoughts. I don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm angry about no money going to CSR. Those familiar with my past posts on the subject realize I'm no big fan of CSR. I just understand that it is a community priority.

Glad to see money go to reading specialists as I think they're a bigger bang for the buck than CSR, but the increased hours for counselors will always have me scratching my head. To me they're a luxury that the District added just a few years ago and their impact on academic performance (i.e., test scores) is suspect.

What's not been reported is how much money individual schools have received during this fund raising drive.


Posted by Frustrated Supporter, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:29 am

I donated a good amount, thinking that a good portion of it would go to the class size reduction. The fundraiser was very misleading! Some of it should have gone to that, even if only saving a few jobs. They are losing a lot of great teachers - some who have been through this same district as students. So much for their dream of having a future in this district, and giving back. You will definitely use the counselors that have been saved - they will surely be needed, this year especially. Our children and town deserve much better! Sorry, just needed to vent - hoping my grandkids would be able to benefit someday as my children did here.


Posted by Pleasantonian, a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 21, 2009 at 1:15 am

I'd like to know what the class size for 9th grade math and English will be this year.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 22, 2009 at 9:45 am

Web Link Joyful musical...listen up!


Posted by Lee, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Money spent on reading specialists and counselors I can go with. Money spent on the music program I can't see. Surely there are more important things to allot money to--like teachers and small class sizes!

The families that want music can always pay for it outside of school. But the basics should be available to everyone. Music is not a basic.


Posted by Stanley, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Lee,

We can spend it on both. Let's support the upcoming parcel tax, and get some real revenue in it. Many of the parents I'm talking to really think that the amount of Measure G was too small considering the size of the state cuts. My organization is seeing a real groundswell of interest in a serious parcel tax.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Lee- I totally agree with you. In fact, reading specialists and counselors can also be paid for outside of class. But CSR is the one item that cannot be bought outside of school. All the money should have been directed to CSR.


Posted by Music lover, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm

The fundraiser allowed donors to specify how they wanted their funds used and many donors wanted their funds used to support music programs.
The decision to not allocate any of the funds given to support CSR seems to have been based on the fact that not enough funds were contributed to implement CSR at even one grade level throughout the district. However, it would have been wise to offer donors a second option if CSR funds were insufficient since the point of the fundraiser was to allow the voters to save the programs they believed should be saved.
As for the changing costs of CSR ($400K vs. $450K for one grade level), it has already been established that PUSD has difficulties with its math.
Perhaps if the PUSD administrators had taken music instruction when they were students - studies show a positive correlation between music instruction and math ability - their math skills would be better!


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Stanley - What organization are you referring to when you say "My organization is seeing a real groundswell of interest in a serious parcel tax." Thanks.


Posted by Stanley, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2009 at 7:21 am

It is a marketing and outreach company.


Posted by Kasey, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2009 at 9:58 am

Pleasanton! You have no idea! After seven years teaching in the district, I left and moved up north with my husband. I am now teaching in another district and I can honestly tell you that the quality of Pleasanton teachers and the Pleasanton district is superb. The fact that you have science specialists, reading specialists, PE specialists, and Music specialists are such an advantage. Where I am, we have NONE of these besides music once a week. I have to tell you that it became so disheartening to hear all of the negative things said about this district and to teach in a community divided these last two years. It wore on me and many of my teacher friends.

Now leaving the district, I am so amazed at the opportunities that Pleasanton children get as compared to other districts. Great job coming together and saving reading specialist and counselors as well (Did I mention we don't have that either :) Kudos to PUSD and Kudos to the amazing teachers, PTA, and families here in Pleasanton!!! I miss you guys!


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2009 at 10:06 am

Kasey,

Thank you for your kind words and reminding us what a great community we have here in Pleasanton. I wish you the best of luck with your current employment and I hope some of they can support some of the programs that you mention in the future.


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