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Parcel Tax 2 - Fact or Fiction?

Original post made by Dark Corners of Town, Country Fair, on Dec 24, 2009

Recent writers to the Town Square have repeatedly stated that there is no parcel tax. True. As long as the PUSD Board of Trustees have not approved such action, this claim can be made.
However, any reasonable viewer of the Dec 16 PUSD School Board Meeting has to conclude that a Parcel Tax 2 is a foregone conclusion.
Every Trustee and the Superintendent mentioned the words 'parcel tax' and Measure G multiple times.
President Grant speculates on how to change a percentage of 'no' votes to 'yes' in order for a parcel tax to pass.
Trustee Ott said '...we need to have a parcel tax.'
Trustee Hintzkee wants a Measure G de-brief at the Jan 5 special board meeting along with a report on who is leading the effort, what is their plan, how much money has been raised and how many volunteers there are.
President Grant said there are '...teams of folks...' contributing to the effort.

How can the entire Board of Trustees and the Superintendent be of such like mind? How can there be a seemingly coordinated series of information sessions on school sites? How is there already a 'Train-the-Trainer' session held at Walnut Grove School?

Parcel Tax 2...More Fact, Not Fiction.

Comments (136)

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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2009 at 9:04 pm

To Dark Corners,

I sure hope there is a parcel tax in the works. Please let me know what I can do to help promote this and get it on the ballot. Were you aware that every high quality school district in the Bay Area already uses a parcel tax? We don't want to give the best new teachers incentive to select other communities instead of Pleasanton. Prospective residents could also be discouraged from buying in Pleasanton, and could select San Ramon or other districts instead. These parents, who value education highly, are the kind we want to attract to Pleasanton. Already, class sizes in K-3 have been raised from 20 to 25, and they may go to 30 soon without the help of a parcel tax. Let's work together to get a parcel tax that meets the community's needs on the ballot.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Reader, How about we look at all possibilities including waiting for the new superintendent and the election of new board members?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 25, 2009 at 8:36 am

a reader -- please include your mailing address in your post so that I can send you my parcel tax bill. You want to be free to play with my money, let's see how it is when your money is on the line. You seem to think that rewarding greed and stupidity is good business practice. Across the board cuts are needed, then someone can talk to me about a parcel tax. Until each and every person employed by the district takes a pay cut I will vote no on any tax. Or you can just pay mine as well as yours, your choice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 25, 2009 at 9:17 am

a reader...How about we look at a tax that includes ALL of the citizens of Pleasanton or some innovative funding sources.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 9:30 am

I stood on the sidelines last time, but will get out and actively work against any parcel tax attempt.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by To resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:03 am

While you're at it, please do everyone a favor and pull your children from school, so that there is room for children whose parents care whether they have a good education.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:47 am

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:50 am

To resident,

"a reader -- please include your mailing address in your post so that I can send you my parcel tax bill."

HA. HA. OK, I'll send pay your parcel tax bill if you pay my income tax bill! ;-)

Merry Christmas!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:52 am

To Kathleen,

"How about we look at all possibilities including waiting for the new superintendent and the election of new board members?"

Sounds good to me. I hope PPIE is looking at doing a fund raiser. I think we also need to be looking at how we can keep the K-3 class size from going to 30 this fall. All practical options should be on the table.

I hope you are having a happy Christmas.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:59 am

To Joe,

"How about we look at a tax that includes ALL of the citizens of Pleasanton or some innovative funding sources."

I'm open to any possibility. From what I've read, California law is pretty restrictive in how taxes can be levied for local schools. As far as I know, a parcel tax is the only option. I hope PUSD is looking at all possibilities.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 12:50 pm

How about a head tax on every student in the Pleasanton Schood District. Exceptions would be made for students that attend private schools


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:30 pm

To Taxpayer,

"How about a head tax on every student in the Pleasanton Schood District."

That wouldn't be legal. Free K-12 education is in the California constitution.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm

NO PARCEL TAX
NO NO NO
I won't ever support this
Cut teacher salaries they are the highest in the area


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 8:24 pm

It is like one of those monster movies. Just when you think the evil thing is dead it springs back to life only to be killed again.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Before making a definitive vote in either direction, please educate yourself in what is now going on in the school district. PUSD did not just "find" money like many thought they would after the last go-around. The cuts that have been made just this year have been very discouraging and it will ONLY GET WORSE. Budget cuts continue to be made and there is no federal stimulus package or PPIE to step in and make it better. Classes have been cut at the high school level (meaning our above average students are no longer getting into the honors courses they once sought, and in effect, are less attractive to colleges), our schools are becoming dirtier by the day (I see this first-hand), and our class size continues to grow not to mention our counselor and specialist staff shrinking. Wouldn't you rather have everyone share the burden (and at $200+/year doesn't seem that bad to me) than rely on private fundraising to shoulder these costs (which by the way it can't possibly do)? The people who have given in the past our tapped out and probably feeling somewhat taken advantage of - Pleasanton residents - wake up and realize that this is the way to go.


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Posted by Just say no
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Parent,

You can me out this time. I and my husband voted yes last time but now the economy has hit us hard and we cannt afford it. In addition, I have heard some very disheartening things about board members not living in the city, teachers refusing to give up their raises even though they make a lot, car allowances, phones etc. Very wasteful


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:20 pm

To "Just say no",

"I have heard some very disheartening things about board members not living in the city..."

All hearsay and non-sense. Anti-tax zealots always try to cast aspersions on a school district whenever a parcel tax is proposed. They said all the same kind of things in Palo Alto and San Ramon, but those communities did the right thing. They are now highly regarded school districts and sought out by parents who value education highly. Pleasanton can maintain its high quality schools and support a parcel tax.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:26 pm

To Resident - Your post implies that if we do not support a parcel tax, we do not care about our children's education. I would propose, blindly supporting a parcel tax that doesn't lead to a sustainable, fiscally responsible, and equatable solution is the true sign of someone that is not concerned with their children's education or the education of children to come.

You want my support? Bring everything to the table, nothing is "off-limits". I don't want to hear that my childrens' education isn't being funded but S&C and other salary increases are.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:27 pm

YES YES YES!!

PARCEL TAX NOW!

Teacher salaries NOT highest in the area.

Pleasanton schools are the best in the Area!

Let's keep it that way.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Just Say No
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 10:17 am

Reader,

You are not being upfront here. Are you saying that Pat kiernan does live up by Tahoe? He did not get his daughters with the district, we didn't give Casey a preferable home loan we are on the hook for? You are losing whatever value your posts had related to objectivity.

Yes I agree with post above. If everything and I mean everything is put up for negotiation and I mean teachers salaries then we can work something out. Why do we need a Superintendent when we have Luz? Is she incapable of doing the job?


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 11:23 am

To "Just Say No",

"You are losing whatever value your posts had related to objectivity. "

Just attack the person if you don't have anything to say.

"Are you saying that Pat kiernan does live up by Tahoe?"

I'm saying it is not relevant to the parcel tax issue.

It is the same kind of nonsense we were hearing in San Ramon and Palo Alto, and the other districts. You get a bunch of anti-tax zealots posting a bunch of "inefficiencies" with all the districts.

It is like saying "we've discovered that the board bought an extra box of pencils in the last fiscal year, and those pencils went UNUSED. Until this sort of waste is eliminated I will not support a parcel tax."

We get it. You're against all taxes. Fine. Voters in San Ramon, Palo Alto, and all the other high quality school districts saw through that kind of silliness.


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Posted by No more bad teachers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 12:23 pm

It all depends on what "reader" means by high quality teachers.

This year alone, we had to deal with 3 very awful teachers, people who should not be anywhere near the classroom, yet they are here, protected by their unions.

I voted yes on G, but after my experience this school year, I will vote NO on any parcel tax. Bad teachers have to go, the unions have to stop protecting people who clearly should be fired.

There are many good teachers who are not tenured and who will be affected, and that is not right. Get rid of those old tenured teachers who think they can do whatever because they know their union is behing them and will protect them even when it is clear they should be fired!

It is also a joke to see so many adminstrators in the budget advisory committee. They must think we the community are all stupid, but we will all speak again at the poll, when we vote no for a parcel tax.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by My 2/100
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Dec 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm

>If everything and I mean everything is put up for negotiation and I mean teachers salaries then we can work something out

Nonsense. At least be honest. No circumstances or situation will cause many of the crazy anti-tax folks to support a parcel tax.

>Why do we need a Superintendent when we have Luz? Is she incapable of doing the job?

Ummm....the superintendent is the chief executive of the district, and Luz runs business services? Do you really want Luz running curriculum?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jen
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Dec 26, 2009 at 2:35 pm

While I am not a "anti-tax" person, I want to have confidence in the leadership before I would give them more of my hard-earned money. The actions of leadership, as said in this forum and others recently, has shown me that "there is trouble in river city." While there will always be things like unused pencils and trivial things like that, the main issue here is the confidence in the leadership. We need to wait for the next superintendent and probably two new board members at the election next November in order to us to get back to an environment where there is trust between board members, superintendent, and the taxpayers/parents. I honestly do not trust our leadership to tell us the real story on the issues of finances in the district. Last election they said a lot of scare tactics that ended up not being true. They still are getting raises, having large auto allowances, and are doing things that do not look honest with transferring deferred compensation into current compensation, a board member who does not have his primary residence in the district, and votes on things that directly affect his daughters who work for the district, and the board president who wanted to stay as president because "it was fun", and votes, along with his male counterparts, directly against the women on the board. There is no way I can look at all of this and say "hey, I want to give these same people more of my hard-earned money."


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm

To 2/100, you are correct that many will not support a tax regardless of what concessions are made. However, there are those like myself; who I feel make up the majority, based on the results of the previous ballot measure, that are not convinced that the district has done all it can to remedy its budget deficit before coming to the community for additional funds.

Instead, we are being asked first. And what I find more insulting is, we are being told what the conditions of the funding is instead of writing them ourselves. I would love to see a entrepenuer take that approach addressing a panel of venture capitalists.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:35 pm

To Jen,

"They still are getting raises, having large auto allowances, and are doing things that do not look honest with transferring deferred compensation into current compensation"

This was disproved. Did you follow that thread here on Pleasanton Weekly. People called the district for follow up conformation. There was no pension spiking or compensation impropriety. It was the same people making false accusations. It is the same silliness and nonsense that those other top notch districts saw. They did the right thing and put parcel taxes in place.


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Posted by just say no
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:36 pm

And I believe that is why it would fail bigtime! "Here is how much we want, what we will use it for and open up your wallets and keep your mouths shut.

No more teachers raises.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm

To "no more bad teachers",

" the unions have to stop protecting people who clearly should be fired."

This has nothing to do with a parcel tax. Things like rules for teacher tenure are set at the state level.

This is the tired, old "the schools are crap, so why should I support a parcel tax" argument. Well, the schools aren't crap. We have good schools here in Pleasanton.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm

To "just say no",

Why do you say "No more teachers raises", as if such a thing were part of some parcel tax that has been proposed? If you want to participate in the process, I suggest that you attend some meetings. If you want to stipulate that a step and column freeze be stipulated in a parcel, now is the time to make your voice heard. I would recommend against freezing step and column. The other high quality districts haven't done that, and we will be competing with them for the best new teachers.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm

"However, there are those like myself; who I feel make up the majority, based on the results of the previous ballot measure"

I don't get what you are talking about. A MAJORITY of Pleasanton voters supported the previous ballot measure.

"Instead, we are being asked first. And what I find more insulting is, we are being told what the conditions of the funding is instead of writing them ourselves."

Again, who is saying any of this? There is no parcel tax proposal. No one is being told the conditions of funding. Why are you saying this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm

To "No more bad teachers"

"I voted yes on G, but after my experience this school year, I will vote NO on any parcel tax. Bad teachers have to go, the unions have to stop protecting people who clearly should be fired."

If you had such bad experiences with teachers, why did you vote for Measure G? Please explain the reasoning behind that.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:59 pm

"I would love to see a entrepenuer take that approach addressing a panel of venture capitalists."

Venture capital is uniquely unlike K-12 public education. PUSD can't sell stock or charge for its "products".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm

To "a reader", you are mistaken. Teachers and staff are still getting raises for longevity and additional education (step and column) and I believe the district said that was $1M in cost this year. The administration's contracts were not modified so they are still receiving the auto allowance. I never mentioned anything about pension spiking. I just said it does not look right where we have a benefit for deferred compensation and this board retroactively changed into the non-deferred compensation. It looks bad. Bad enough to do it for this year but to do it retroactively looks even worse.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 4:37 pm

To Jen,

I'm not denying that they are getting step and column raises, and I think they should be getting them. What I am denying is that there were was any impropriety with compensation. Once the board explained why the pay was done retroactively, I don't think it "looked bad".

And frankly, the "auto allowance" thing looks to me like just another distraction. Can you tell me how many of the other high quality school districts in the Bay Area use "auto allowances"?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by The Other Mary
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm

[Portion removed because it was abusive toward another poster and irrelevant to the thread.]
You MIGHT have a chance of passing this thing if it was a majority vote, but at 2/3 + 1 for approval, a Pleasanton Parcel Tax is just a Union pipe dream.

That said, I will get out and actively work to defeat any proposed Pleasanton parcel tax as they are nothing but a spiraling trap for property owners.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by poster boy (si)
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm

[Portion removed because it was abusive toward other posters and irrelevant to the thread.]

"Pleasanton parcel tax as they are nothing but a spiraling trap for property owners." The last measure G was looking at a tax increase PER YEAR of 233 dollars per parcel. That's about, what, 60 cents per day? Yeah, that's really gonna break the bank for you poor property owners out there. I'm sure some of the longtermers (prop 13ers) in pleasanton are looking at blistering tax bills nearly 1000 dollars (I bought my house in pleasanton 2.5 years ago, so I'm looking at a tax bill of nearly 9000/yr, and the thought of 60 cents extra per day seems like a paltry amount to keep our schools in workable shape.) The biggest point is that if you want to maintain the property values in this town, the best way to do it is support the schools. So fine, save 200 bucks per year, but when it comes time to sell your house and you're shocked to find out your home is valued about 10-15% less than you expected, look to your "high" tax bill for a good answer. And if you think i'm making this up, look no further than the folks in the Mohr neighborhood who've seen only small dips in housing values due primarily to the demand of people to move into that neighborhood for Mohr's 900+ API rating. So sure, let the schools tank, see the APIs drop into the 700s and then wonder why no one wants to move to pleasanton anymore...that should be the spiraling trap to property owners you're worried about....


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm

[Portion removed because it referred to a deleted portion of another post.]

"That said, I will get out and actively work to defeat any proposed Pleasanton parcel tax as they are nothing but a spiraling trap for property owners."

I get it that you are against all taxes. The voters in San Ramon, Palo Alto, Piedmont, and all the other top school districts in the Bay Area have passed parcel taxes with the 2/3 majority rule, and we can do the same here in Pleasanton. Of course there will be a small group of dogmatic anti-tax types who will post nonsense, true or false, in an attempt to smear the school district. There will also be the silly of too many pencils being bought by the district as evidence of waste. The voters of Pleasanton will see through this, just as the voters did in all the top quality school districts in the Bay Area.


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Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Dec 26, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

Please stay on topic and refrain from calling fellow posters names and arguing with individuals.


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Posted by jeannie
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Dec 26, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Add me to the list of No voters. I live in the Mohr neighborhood and our values have dropped significantly and our scores are high because of the high asian population over here and not the teacher.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The fact that Pat Kernan doesn't live in Pleasanton and sits on a board where he participates in tax-related votes is WHOLLY RELEVANT. The Trustees are our at-large representatives in school district government. It is unethical for someone who doesn't live amongst their constituents to be casting a vote on a motion that could ultimately result in a new tax. That's what "no taxation without representation" is supposed to mean.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

poster boy wrote: "The biggest point is that if you want to maintain the property values in this town, the best way to do it is support the schools."

Right, so the schools should focus only upon those things which the housing market values. There's a one to one relationship between test scores and property values. As a property owner, it is in my best interest for the schools to focus on test scores and get the highest possible. That means all teachers must absolutely teach to the test, no ifs ands or buts. It doesn't matter what is in the best interest of the students because my property owner interests trump that if you really expect me to add a new tax on my property. Then I can watch my property value skyrocket as our test scores skyrocket. There's a one to one relationship between test scores and property values so that is what we need to do. It'll be a win-win situation.</sarcasm>


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Poster boy also wrote: "The last measure G was looking at a tax increase PER YEAR of 233 dollars per parcel. That's about, what, 60 cents per day? Yeah, that's really gonna break the bank for you poor property owners out there."

And I'm giggling. When the suggestion was made for a use tax on each child (only $1 a day), another poster who apparently is a teacher was vehemently against this idea for the same reason anti-parcel tax people are against the parcel tax.

It is also a little silly to think that property owners are somehow all rolling in dough especially given that many were able to purchase during the housing boom on funny ARMs with little down.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barack
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 7:37 pm

I wish we could move beyond the parcel tax and venture into the land of hope and change as long as no one needs to work, we can print all the money we desire and tax everyone into submission.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Property owners don't actually fully own their parcels until the mortgage is paid off. You lose that equity if you foreclose and of course it is especially bad if you're upside down on your mortgage. Decreasing enrollment is pretty damaging to school finances too.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 8:21 pm

To Stacey,

"When the suggestion was made for a use tax on each child (only $1 a day"

Such a tax is obviously a violation of the California constitution. It doesn't need "vehement" argument against. It is a non-starter.

"who apparently is a teacher"

Why would you say that? Did the person claim to be a teacher?


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 8:23 pm

To Stacey,

" Decreasing enrollment is pretty damaging to school finances too."

If you're suggesting a parcel tax of $233 year is going to push a significant number of homes into foreclosure, then you're just not doing the math.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 8:27 pm

To Stacey,

"The Trustees are our at-large representatives in school district government. It is unethical for someone who doesn't live amongst their constituents to be casting a vote on a motion that could ultimately result in a new tax. "

What is unethical about it? I don't see a significant problem with it.

" That's what "no taxation without representation" is supposed to mean."

So I can't be represented by someone who lives in a different town? And I'm supposed to vote against a parcel tax because of that? And that is going to reduce class sizes or improve education how?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm

So Stacey, are you going to district meetings and adding your suggestions to what you would like to see in a parcel tax? Are you getting involved. Will you be posting here about all the things that the district is doing right? Will you be talking about the excellent education system we have here and what we could do to not only preserve it, but to improve it?

Will you be supporting a parcel tax?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

To jeannie,

Your property values are a lot higher than they would be if you lived in a different community. As shown before on this board, declines in places like Tracy and Stockton were more than twice what they were in Pleasanton.

"our scores are high because of the high asian population over here and not the teacher. "

How can you possibly know that is the reason? I hope you will get involved with the process and attend some meetings so that your voice will be heard in parcel tax process. I hope that you will support a parcel tax.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 8:51 pm

"Again, who is saying any of this? There is no parcel tax proposal. No one is being told the conditions of funding. Why are you saying this?"

My comment was in regards to the manner in which the community was approached for Measure G.



"Venture capital is uniquely unlike K-12 public education. PUSD can't sell stock or charge for its "products". "

That has nothing to do with the example. My comment is meant to point out the difference in how our school district has approached the community for additional funding. The attitude, the stipulations of the agreement, etc. were (at least in my opinion) mandated by the same people asking for money. If the district is going to ask for additional funds from the community, the community should set the conditions, not the district.


"The voters in San Ramon, Palo Alto, Piedmont, and all the other top school districts in the Bay Area have passed parcel taxes with the 2/3 majority rule, and we can do the same here in Pleasanton."

We already have, check your most recent property tax bill. There is already an additional tax for our schools on it. Do the communities mentioned above also have multiple school related taxes?

Furthermore, how many times have you told your own child, "If ____ jumped off a cliff would you?"




"Of course there will be a small group of dogmatic anti-tax types who will post nonsense, true or false, in an attempt to smear the school district"

Just as there will be those in support of a tax attacking those opposing it claiming they don't care about the children or their eductaion and making other false claims.


"There will also be the silly of too many pencils being bought by the district as evidence of waste. The voters of Pleasanton will see through this, just as the voters did in all the top quality school districts in the Bay Area. "

During the measure G campaign, never once did I see "too many pencils" as a reason given for opposition of measure G. What was your previous statement again....something about nonsense?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

A reader wrote: "So Stacey, are you going to district meetings and adding your suggestions to what you would like to see in a parcel tax? Are you getting involved."

Been there, done that.

"Will you be posting here about all the things that the district is doing right? Will you be talking about the excellent education system we have here and what we could do to not only preserve it, but to improve it?"

No, dear reader, because that is your job. I already tried.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

A reader wrote: "What is unethical about it? I don't see a significant problem with it."

No, I suppose you don't.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

A reader wrote: "If you're suggesting a parcel tax of $233 year is going to push a significant number of homes into foreclosure, then you're just not doing the math."

I guess you don't understand tax delinquency either.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

But you're an intelligent person so I'm confident you could figure it out.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

By no means am I suggesting that Pleasanton voters should vote no on a parcel tax that hasn't materialized yet. I'm suggesting that Pat Kernan needs to resign because he doesn't live here.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Would people care if say, Hosterman were no longer a resident? Why hold Kernan to a different standard?


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:00 am

To "Pleasanton Parent",

"During the measure G campaign, never once did I see "too many pencils" as a reason given for opposition of measure G. "

Complaining about silly "inefficiencies" and nonsense like this was exactly my point. All the business about car allowances, solar panels, and cell phones. It is like complaining about the extra box of pencils that went unused. All the other high quality school districts passed parcel taxes regardless of these kinds of statements being posted. They did the right thing. They are better able to provide educational services to their children.

"Just as there will be those in support of a tax attacking those opposing it claiming they don't care about the children or their eductaion and making other false claims."

Some people have volunteered that they don't care about children and posted things like "raise your own children", "why should I pay to educate your brats". Those aren't false claims, they are true.

"Do the communities mentioned above also have multiple school related taxes?"

Certainly. Just look at a San Ramon property tax bill in Windermere or other communities when you get a chance. They did the right thing and supported their schools.

We need to get a parcel tax on the ballot to support our schools and our children. It is the right thing for our community.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:01 am

To Stacey,

"I guess you don't understand tax delinquency either."

I have no idea what you're suggesting here. Maybe you think a parcel tax will decrease revenue for the schools somehow? I can't see how that works.


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Posted by Big Poppa
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:44 am

With taxes about to dramatically increase in order to pay for all of the new social programs our [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment] President and the [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment] Congress are passing I will not accept any further increases in my proprty tax. Those who voted for the [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment] can dig into their pockets and pay for everything. My wife and I already pay 80,000 in Federal and State taxes. I will do everything I can to keep what I earn inuding not giving to Charity or anyone else including the "children". I have to make sure my kids are taken care of first. I will help get out the "no vote" on the parcel tax if it gets on the ballot. I see nothing but bad times on the horizon including for us just like when Carter was in charge. Good luck to everyone you'll need it.


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Posted by poster boy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

Two comments on the real reason this country is in decline: "I have to make sure my kids are taken care of first." First off, very christian attitude. Second off, the best way to make sure your kids are taken care of first is to make sure everyone's kids are taken care of. What good is a society when only your kids have education, only your kids have opportunities, only your kids are safe...the only way to guarantee this is to lock yourself up in a gated community and never leave. Take your attitude to its logical extreme and we should do away with all government services and government itself and just rely on the tyranny of the masses.

Next comment: "I see nothing but bad times on the horizon including for us just like when Carter was in charge." You have brilliant foresight if you see bad times on the horizon, because the past 9 years have been a joy to behold. You're like the person who tells his kids to put on their seat belts *after* driving off the road and rolling the car 8 times.

At this point I'd be happy to see the return of the bad old days of carter, where unemployment was at 8%, the TOTAL national debt was a skyrocketing 800 billion dollars (before Reagan and the two bushes had their way with it) and the schools in california were the envy of the world. But thanks for your wishes of good luck, because the reason we need it is because too many people think as you do.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:07 am

Stacey is a registered user.

A reader,

It's funny. You write something that you think I'm saying (which I didn't) then you are arguing over that. How about asking for clarification instead of putting up strawman arguments that seem to put works in my mouth and then knocking them down?


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:10 am

To Stacey,

OK. Didn't mean to put words in your mouth. Please clarify.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:28 am

To Stacey,

Who are you talking about when you say:

"...another poster who apparently is a teacher..."

?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:34 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Poster boy was writing from the viewpoint that property owners are somehow rolling in dough, how can 64 cents a day not be affordable? I was pointing out that that isn't always the case. There are foreclosures going on in Pleasanton too. Whether a use tax or a parcel tax, the concept is the same. It may seem cheap at 60 cents a day (taxes are not due in daily installments) but each of our situations are not the same and it is a mistake to assume that just because one may feel they can afford $233, another cannot.

A monthly mortgage payment here can be much higher than monthly rent and there's property taxes on top of that. Equity is not necessarily a saving grace as one can lose that from either mortgage foreclosure or tax delinquency foreclosure, yes even failure to pay $233 can result in a tax delinquency foreclosure. And given the demographics of this city, many are young families who are not necessarily rolling in dough. They're just trying to provide a good home in a good community.

So no, I wasn't suggesting that somehow there will be a mass exodus and foreclosures due to a $233 parcel tax (there may be a minor amount of that). It was a point of illustration to show that poster boy's argument is based on an assumption that is not true of everyone. We have yet to see the effects of the NUMMI closure. I think for many here $233 committed to a new tax means $233 less spent on a child's extracurricular activities.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:43 am

We need cuts in the budget, administrative and teacher salaries,lower pensions,medical benefits etc. The public sector employees have not taken any cuts comparable to the private sector. The Federal Govt. is almost bankrupt. Once interest rates start going up we won't be able to pay the interest on the national debt let alone repay it. Once the federal programs stop there will be further huge deficits at the state, county and city levels. All public sector employees will have to take big cuts. The parcel tax is a small amount but I will vote against until I see some big cuts in the salaries,pensions and medical benefits. This holds good for the city employees as well. We have no choice.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:58 am

"...$233 committed to a new tax means $233 less spent on a child's extracurricular activities." It also means $233 less spent on businesses in Pleasanton which translates into less sales tax revenue sharing for the city coming at a time when they are beginning to finally show concern over lost revenues.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:00 am

To "Concerned",

"We need cuts in the budget, administrative and teacher salaries,lower pensions,medical benefits etc"

I agree with what you are saying about lower pensions. I don't think we should even consider allowing retirement with a pension for an able bodied person who is less than 65 years of age.

I don't think that has anything to do with a parcel tax. A parcel tax can help offset the unintended consequence of Proposition 13 that aging districts get a smaller portion of property tax revenue. This happens because the largest amount of property tax increase allowed under prop. 13 is less than the average rate of inflation. This results in long term home-owners paying lower and lower property taxes, due to inflation. It also creates an artificial incentive to for owners to stay put and not trade up, further dampening revenues.

I say support a parcel tax and support pension reform.


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Posted by Frank
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:03 am

I believe the impact of Nummi closing will be huge and not just the 5000 that work directly there. Do not forget they employ another 45000 indirectly through suppliers in Alameda and San Jauquin counties. We need deep cuts in our school and city budgets. We have way to many people working for the city and the money saved could be used for the schools. Here are a couple examples of waste I just saw with my own eyes. Last night at 2 AM a small branch fell of a tree and blocked part of our street down the block. 3 city trucks responded with 6 workers. 2 AM!!! My grandson could have pulled it out of the way. They used chain saws and then fed this one branch through a chipper!!! All of this done on overtime!


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:04 am

To Joe,

"It also means $233 less spent on businesses in Pleasanton "

Are you sure you mean to say that? That would imply that every dollar saved on property tax would be spent in Pleasanton, and not in some other community. It would also imply that none of the money would be placed in savings. I agree that some portion of the $233 would not be spent in Pleasanton, but not all of it by any means.

$233 would be spent maintaining high quality education in our local schools. It would ALL be used locally.


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Posted by Frank
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:13 am

We would not even need more money if the teachers and their mafia union agreed to do away with the step and column or in other words their annual raises. This all about taking money from the citizens who in soe cases are not working and giving it to others for raises who are working.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:20 am

To Frank,

"We would not even need more money if the teachers and their mafia union agreed to do away with the step and column "

Unfortunately, that is not true. The amount paid for step and column raises would not be near enough to make up for the loss of revenue and programs would need to be cut. Further, the other top quality school districts in the Bay Area are not freezing step and column raises, so we would be giving the best teachers an incentive to teach in one of those districts rather than Pleasanton.

I think our best bet at this point is to put a parcel tax on the ballot.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:39 am

If step and column went away last year, we would have an extra $2M to work with this year (the money accumulates). However, as a matter of principal, don't ask me for more money when staff is still getting raises. Nobody in my family is getting a raise.

We already have a local school tax on our property tax (in addition to our state taxes that are supposed to pay for education). It is almost $1000 per year for my house. When is enough enough?

As for the reason why our property values have not gone down like Stockton and Tracy, it is simple. Pleasanton was not building houses like crazy in the latest boom. Our housing cap saved our property values. The people who are loosing houses in Stockton and Tracy are mostly from new developments with people thinking they could buy a house and flip it, or live there with teaser rate mortgages. If you lived in Tracy you would also find that you are paying a lot more in local taxes because of Mello Rose and landscape district taxes. So if you want to work on this argument, perhaps Tracy housing prices went down because of all the extra taxes they charge. Hence Pleasanton values would go down if we add additional taxes to our residents.

Even our superintendent, who you think would be the biggest advocate for better schools increases the value of the houses, sold his Pleasanton house as soon as he announced his retirement, and moved to Brentwood; a place not known for a great educational system. He lived here because our district gave him an interest free home, not because he thought this was a better investment because of the school system.


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Posted by Frank
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:53 am

Jen,

Good points and I will vote no this time as well. I do not have the money to spare.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:55 am

Bravo Jen! You nailed just about every point right on the head.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

To Jen,

If you are against step and column raises, work to get that stipulated on the parcel tax. There are no step and column raises in the parcel tax because there is no parcel tax. And the amount saved would not be enough to make up the difference. Furthermore, the top school districts in the Bay Area are not freezing step and column. Doing that would give the best teachers incentive to teach in other districts.

"When is enough enough"

When it is enough to maintain high quality, competitive schools. See the my comments and unitended consequences of proposition 13 above, and read more on the Palo Alto School District web site to see why it isn't enough.

"Hence Pleasanton values would go down if we add additional taxes to our residents."

Mello Roos taxes are not the same as parcel taxes. Parcel taxes are not about building new facilities to handle explosive growth. That is not what is needed in Pleasanton, so your argument does not apply.

In conclusion, you need to re-consider everything you said in light of the points I have made. If you do that, you will come to the inescapable conclusion that a parcel tax is needed in Pleasanton. I look forward to working with you to get a parcel tax on the ballot and getting it passed.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm

To a reader,

Don't think you understand landscape districts in Tracy as they are for operations and not for infrastructure. The city uses these districts to help pay for maintenance of the city; something the other taxes are supposed to be. So this is a supplemental tax for the city; just like a parcel tax is a supplemental tax for the schools.

I can see that there is no limit in the amount of taxes you want to pay. Good for you. I expect to see your name mentioned at the next school board meeting under the item of donations received. A $10K donation would be great. Don't get cheap on us now.

BTW, proposition 13 is not the problem with the schools. It probably has saved the local economy because taxes could only go up a certain amount each year, unless changes in ownership. If property taxes were directly related to home values, we would have received a lot more money in taxes a few years ago, we would have spent it, and now we would be in a REAL PROBLEM since we would have spend all of our money in the good times and we would be down significantly now; sort of like the problem of the state income tax at the state level.

In conclusion, I think you need to re-consider everything you said in light of the points I made. You have the freedom to give as much money as you want to the state, the district, or to whomever else you want. You don't like proposition 13 so I hope you call the tax assessor and let their department know that you are willing to forgo the 2% increase limitation of property 13. Since there were so many of you who voted for the extra $233 per year in additional property taxes, how come you all did not step forward in donate the money to the district? Maybe those who voted for the tax did not understand it? Maybe the campaign workers went to every senior citizen and gave them the paperwork so they can vote for the increased tax but not have to pay it themselves? Maybe people voted by-mail before they heard the facts on why this was not a good tax? Don't know. You tell me. We should have had millions in donations if everybody who voted for the parcel tax that lost actually made a donation in the same amount.


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Posted by Frank
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Well it looks like game, set, match for Jen. I bet Reader is surfing the net trying to come up with something truthful.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

To Jen,

"BTW, proposition 13 is not the problem with the schools. It probably has saved the local economy because taxes could only go up a certain amount each year, unless changes in ownership. If property taxes were directly related to home values, we would have received a lot more money in taxes a few years ago, we would have spent it, and now we would be in a REAL PROBLEM since we would have spend all of our money in the good times and we would be down significantly now; sort of like the problem of the state income tax at the state level."

Unfortunately, you've got this wrong again. Property taxes go up a variable amount that is capped, but that amount is smaller than inflation. Look up the average rate of inflation:

Web Link

Inflation has run well higher than the 2% cap imposed by proposition 13. This creates an artificial incentive for people to stay put and not move up to a larger house. It creates a market bias and that is inherently inefficient. It is a well known problem with the law that economists have recognize for years. The cap could be raised to match the average rate of inflation, and you would still have a predictable rate of increase. Parcel taxes are another helpful measure.

"I can see that there is no limit in the amount of taxes you want to pay. Good for you. I expect to see your name mentioned at the next school board meeting under the item of donations received. A $10K donation would be great. Don't get cheap on us now. "

Really, resorting to personal attacks doesn't serve your argument. And, yes I have given substantially to the schools here, even when I had no children attending.

"We should have had millions in donations if everybody who voted for the parcel tax that lost actually made a donation in the same amount."

Your guess is as good as mine on this one, but very likely many yes voters have observed what happened in other top quality districts such as Palo Alto where the first attempt at a parcel tax failed, then the second attempt succeeded. This is a common pattern that has played out in many districts. It makes sense to me. The yes voters expect to pay the tax in the near future.

So, once again, you need to look carefully at the unintended consequences of Proposition 13 and the way the law is structured. Once you objectively evaluate the facts, you'll agree that a parcel tax in needed in Pleasanton. I look forward to working with you to get it on the ballot and get it passed.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 27, 2009 at 3:13 pm

A Reader,

Wish you understood proposition 13 better. Proposition 13 ensured that the taxes did not go up at the same rate as housing prices. It is capped at 2% or inflation, whatever is lower. Without prop 13, we would be in chaos right now. Property prices historically had nothing to do with inflation.

Not sure where you saw an attack from me. I was only stating that you are welcome to give whatever you want and pay higher property taxes if you wish as it is a personal decision. If you think that somebody telling you that you are attacking them because you are asking that they pay more, then you should not be lobbying to raise taxes to those who do not want to give more. No difference.

Once you understand what the real impact of not having proposition 13 would have on all of us, and that a parcel tax is not the right thing to do in this environment, especially with the current superintendent and board, you will agree that this is not the time for a parcel tax in Pleasanton. I look forward to working with you to fix the real problems and not just throw more money at it.


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Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Jen is correct again.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 6:01 pm

To Jen,

"Under Proposition 13, the annual real estate tax on a parcel of property is limited to 1% of its assessed value. This "assessed value," may be increased only by a maximum of 2% per year, until and unless the property undergoes a change in ownership. At the time of the change in ownership the low assessed value may be reassessed to full current market value which will produce a new base year value for the property, but future assessments are likewise restricted to the 2% annual maximum increase of the new base year value."

Web Link)

"(b) The full cash value base may reflect from year to year the
inflationary rate not to exceed 2 percent for any given year or
reduction as shown in the consumer price index or comparable data for
the area under taxing jurisdiction, or may be reduced to reflect
substantial damage, destruction, or other factors causing a decline
in value."

Web Link

So long term owners end up paying less and less each year in real dollars (dollars adjusted for CPI -- the actual buying power of a dollar). There is no misunderstanding here. Just a simple fact. Property taxes actually drop for long term homeowners because they are paying with inflated dollars. The dollars today can buy far fewer goods than at the time the house was purchased. This is result of inflation. Because average consumer price index inflation is closer to 4% per year, the 2% cap in proposition 13 is too low. It creates a market distortion. That results in reduced wealth creation.

"Once you understand what the real impact of not having proposition 13 would have on all of us"

I never said we should abandon Prop 13. I am saying it has unintended consequences, and we need to deal with them.

Please try to understand what I have written. Read on the Internet about inflation, the consumer price index, and the impact of proposition 13. After careful consideration, I think you'll understand that a parcel tax is needed in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Rita
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Reader,

You are missing Jens point entirely. She is trying to explain to you the disaster which we would have been in without Prop 13 but then again that is water under the bridge and it was passed 30 years ago. Parcel tax would never have a chance of passing in this economy and certainly not after the tax increases associated with this healthcare bill take effect in a few weeks.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 27, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

What is being misunderstood about Prop. 13 is that Prop. 13 did not create school district revenue limits and move school funding to the responsibility of the State. Even if we had a cap on increases in Prop. 13 that grew with inflation (actually it _is_ linked to CPI or 2%, whichever is less), the school district's per pupil revenue would still be limited based upon some arbitrary 1970's number and whatever categorical program the State cheer leads. That's the effect of Serrano v. Priest and the legislative answer to it.


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Posted by To Frank
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm

At least reader can come up with the truth and have the backing of websites and research to prove it. Jen has only come up with her own assumptions and understanding of the problem without any truth to back it up.

Game, set, match--reader!


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Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:18 pm

"Even our superintendent, who you think would be the biggest advocate for better schools increases the value of the houses, sold his Pleasanton house as soon as he announced his retirement, and moved to Brentwood; a place not known for a great educational system. He lived here because our district gave him an interest free home, not because he thought this was a better investment because of the school system."

A great example of the toxic gossip posted here! Then the following posts supporting Jen as a winner for posting gossip is classic. Casey is from Brentwood. His extended family lives there. He was required to live in Pleasanton.

How this gossip helps the students of this town is beyond me. You seem to be advocating for the deconstruction of our school system. Our tax dollars are not being spent as intended in education, yet I don't hear the outrage against Sacramento in your posts.

Next year, without alternative funding our schools will be dismantled with the switch to 30:1. Empty classrooms will mean possible school closures. Music, reading specialists, and counselors were saved only because of the fundraising efforts of many. Next year that is gone as well.


Through difficult economic times, I would think we would want to encourage and congratulate each other on preserving the quality of education and our community, not congratulating the effort to take it apart.

I appreciate the many who are part of the solution; attending meetings, supporting fundraising efforts at each school site, working to find multiple alternatives to the lack of funding from the state, and striving to keep quality education a priority in this community as it benefits everyone living here.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Get Educated, "Next year, without alternative funding our schools will be dismantled with the switch to 30:1. Empty classrooms will mean possible school closures. Music, reading specialists, and counselors were saved only because of the fundraising efforts of many. Next year that is gone as well. "

And here lies the problem. The approach is always, "we need more money".


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

And why there's no new concerted fundraising effort from PPIE is beyond me. Going to wait until the summer again?


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm

To Get Educated,

Casey was not required to live here. That is against State law to make that a requirement and thus was never in his contract. He was encouraged by a $200,000 interest-free loan. Prior to working in the Pleasanton district, he worked in the Pajaro Dunes district and lived in Watsonville.

I think that people do want a good educational system in Pleasanton but they are not willing to give money unconditionally. There are concerns on a tax but a fundraising plan could be successful in my opinion. The advantage of fundraising is people can give money one year and if they are not happy with the results, they can stop the next year. A tax is there for many years no matter how it performs and the district is reliant on the money, no matter how good the economy and funding is in the future. Maybe there is a way to word a parcel tax that would be acceptable to the community but I don't believe the administration wants any strings attached. The citizen committee they talk about is bogus and just like the budget advisory committee that is run by staff. If they had stipulations in the parcel tax where raises to any staff members could not be given out until reserves are back at 7%, that would certainly be a start to show the tax is temporary for hard financial times. If there is a tax to "save programs" but the district is handing out raises of any type, I conclude that the tax is for raises (for you math people this is the associative property).


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:46 pm

California is ranked near the bottom of all the 50 states for class sizes, test scores, and per-pupil spending. We cannot just keep cutting from the schools and expect to continue to provide a quality education for our children.

Many of you who are against any form of community funding for schools have not provided any solutions. The cuts you are asking for (no more teacher raises for, say, the next few years) are only a drop in the budget bucket and don't come close to bridging the budget shortfalls from the state. Schools have already laid off teachers, raised class sizes, and reduced other important programs. Why do you want our schools to enter a race to the bottom?

Our neighboring school districts have parcel taxes and have recently renewed them. All you have to do is look at the districts that do not have parcel taxes to see that they are faring much worse than those that do have a parcel tax. And it is not because of financial mismanagement from those districts--it is because of a lack of funding.

I agree that there should be concessions from PUSD, but to put all the onus on PUSD to solve the budget crisis is unfair, especially because the major source of local school funding is the property tax, which has been limited by Proposition 13; the state provides the majority of school funding, which as you all know has been decreased in recent years.

Certainly, repealing Proposition 13 would have disastrous consequences, but you could also say that the savings long-term homeowners have amassed since the passage of Prop 13 have had disastrous consequences on the schools. Having a parcel tax combined with concessions from PUSD would be a small price to pay for the below-inflation property tax rates from which many people have benefitted.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Stacey, I agree that time is ticking away and there is no concerted fundraising effort yet. Instead of the district having these meetings to rally for the need for a parcel tax, they should have parent groups seriously working on fundraising (like they do in San Ramon). You cannot wait till summer. While I think PPIE is a good organization, San Ramon's success is each school's parent club is focused on their academic boosters fundraising so you have more involvement and since there are decisions made at each school on how their money will be used, people are more willing to donate since they know the funds will be used in the school and not in district administration.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm

To Concerned Parent, you neglect to mention that Pleasanton receives significantly more money per student that other districts like San Ramon. San Ramon has to have a parcel tax just to get to the same level of funding as Pleasanton.

Comparing California to other states, here is what ed-data (California education website) says about per-pupil spending: "At $8,486, California was at 93% of the national average and ranked in the middle of the five most populous states." The stats you mention are from the CTA which wants more money for teachers and does adjustments for cost of living and whatever else they need to do to get the resulting stat they want. The EdSource website shows that California ranks number one in the nation in teacher salaries and 24th n the nation in per pupil spending. The interesting thing about the chart is it shows The District of Columbia as the highest expenditure per pupil in the nation but we all know how bad their school system is so obviously there is not a direct correlation between spending and quality.


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Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Pleasanton Parent,

Where did I state "more" money? Money from the state that was intended to pay for the education in this community is not being funded. Your tax dollars are not being given back to the district to fund the programs in place. They are being used to balance the state deficit. This is the problem.

Web Link

Web Link


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Posted by To Stacey
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm

You said: "What is being misunderstood about Prop. 13 is that Prop. 13 did not create school district revenue limits and move school funding to the responsibility of the State. Even if we had a cap on increases in Prop. 13 that grew with inflation (actually it _is_ linked to CPI or 2%, whichever is less), the school district's per pupil revenue would still be limited based upon some arbitrary 1970's number and whatever categorical program the State cheer leads. That's the effect of Serrano v. Priest and the legislative answer to it."

That is not true. Local school districts' revenues ARE limited by Proposition 13, which capped the local property tax rate at 1%, with below-inflation limits on increases. School districts' local funding comes primarily from property taxes. Most states do not have these property tax restrictions--local school districts in other states actually have the authority to adjust local property taxes to raise resources needed for schools.

What a parcel tax does in California is just raise the resources needed to maintain its schools due to the cap in funding from Prop 13 and reduced state funding.


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Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:32 pm

"Bon Appetit" – Toasts & Tastes Of Fall- Via sponsorships and auction activities, this is PPIE's major fundraising effort. Proceeds will assist in funding programs PPIE facilitates at various school sites and to fill grants submitted by students and teachers of the Pleasanton Unified School District.

Last year, Bon Appetit raised over $80,000 for our schools!


Web Link
Web Link


You can continue to ignore the efforts of many voluteers in this community, but to say it isn't happening is wrong and misleading.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:36 pm

No one from the "Yes on Greed" people has yet answered the question about fundraising.
If all of you gave what the proposed tax was to be there would have been millions in the fund rather than mere thousands. So why should the rest of us now get on your bandwagon and give our money when you failed donate yours?
No, cancelling the teacher raises alone will not fund the programs. But until those raises are frozen I will campaign non-stop to prevent any parcel tax.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Ok, Jen, you want to get into a battle of stats, here goes:

San Ramon also has much better fundraising than Pleasanton, so that combined with their parcel tax, makes their per-pupil spending HIGHER than Pleasanton's.

In 2005-06, California K-12 spending per student was 34th in the nation ($8,607 vs $9,566).

California K-12 spending as a percentage of personal income was lower than average due to Prop 13 (3.82% vs 4.17%).

California is ranked 48th in the nation for student/teacher ratios.

Yes, you could say that teachers in California make more money than in other states, but the same applies for occupations ACROSS THE BOARD (nurses, accountants, etc.). You neglected to mention that cost of living here is also among the highest in the nation. Teachers living in California are not wealthy by any means.


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Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:49 pm

"I will campaign non-stop to prevent any parcel tax."

How will this help to improve or should I say maintain the education system in this community? Is this your priority, to work non-stop to make sure it is dismantled? The us vs. them seems to be the problem. Don't we all work for the betterment of our community and thus all benefit? I donated, does that mean only I should benefit from the effects of a strong school system and you shouldn't.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:57 pm

To Concerned Parent:
You hit the nail on the head by saying "San Ramon also has much better fundraising than Pleasanton." That should be our district's challenge; not to raise taxes.

Once again, understandings of Prop 13 are incorrect. The State pays the districts based on a formula that has nothing to do with property tax. It is funded based on formulas from Prop 98. If our property taxes were allowed to go higher, the state would continue to siphon the money off for the legislature's pet projects.

With all this being said, I do appreciate our teachers. The problem is mostly in the legislature of the state so the lobbying should be at the legislature to get the money for education, not from the taxpayers to pay more. California has high income tax rates. Part of the problem is there is a very high percentage of residents who pay no tax (which is wrong), and the legislature has never seen a program they did not like so they keep funding new projects.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Resident,

I donated to PPIE, I donated to the PTA, I've donated countless hours as a volunteer, and I've donated many items to my child's classroom. I have done my fair share of donating and then some.

I could ask the same of you: as a long-time homeowner with your lower-than-average property taxes from Prop 13, which has reduced the local funding to our schools, how have you contributed your fair share? Because of these property tax limits, the percentage you've spent on our local schools over the years is lower than the national average. This has deprived countless children of a quality education. The community here is NOT BLAMELESS. Everyone in this community has had some part of this budget crisis, and to place all the blame on PUSD is just irresponsible.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Jen, I was not incorrect about Prop 13. What I mentioned had nothing to do with the formula on which state school funding is based. What I said was that LOCAL school funding comes primarily from property taxes, and that state funding to local schools over the years has been reduced. Yes, Jen, local school funding IS impacted by prop 13 in an indirect way.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:30 pm

To "resident",

As far as I know, none of the other high quality Bay Area school districts are cancelling step and column raises for their teachers. Cancelling those in Pleasanton puts us at a disadvantage. Would you have voted against Parcel taxes in San Ramon, Palo Alto, or Piedmont? What do you think of the quality of education in those districts?

If you really want such a stipulation for a parcel tax in Pleasanton, then I suggest you attend meetings, and get involved with the process.


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Posted by One Mother's Ugly Truth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I have four children, the eldest a sophomore in college. Last year he attended a University as a freshman (UC), as did the majority of his friends (only one of 7 joined the military). After all he accomplished in school, after all we contributed in time during his education, and even with his 3.88 GPA from Amador and all his extracurriculars there, he still had to leave after his first semester. He was not prepared for college level work. I was shocked - he was shocked.

It was shocking, at first. Then we learned the ugly truth here in Pleasanton and that is just how many families we have come to know that have the same story. Our family is still in shock. We currently have a senior this year, a sophomore, and a middle schooler and we aren't taking chances - we are cutting extra curriculars and attending additional outside courses to verify the breadth and depth of our kid's learning. We can't depend on the school district it appears - it isn't what we had hoped for when we came here and thought it offered such a hopeful future for our kids.

Pleasanton USD has put so much money into making the school properties look nice, having activities, and paying their faculty to "attract the best" etc, that they have forgotten their real job: To thoroughly educate our kids. The turn-over rate in the past 10 years alone in this average district is appauling. Teachers leave here shortly after they get here - if the money has been so good, then why? The money brought them, the lack of professionalism causes them to leave. Amador has several teachers that don't do their jobs - period. According to my children, teachers often aren't teaching. When it comes to the preparedness of our children in PUSD having to go on to compete at the college/university level, it is seriously behind.

Test scores, grades, etc, isn't what our kids need here: They need to be able to compete rigorously to go on and compete in a global work force, but from what our family has endured, Pleasanton isn't doing their job. I'm not sure what a parcel tax will do when our priorities are sorely off. More money for a staff isn't better; and my kids have all benefitted from CSR and it obviously hasn't helped.

This district needs real direction. With all the money I am needing to supplement my children for a real education that PUSD isn't providing, I am not willing to pay a parcel tax at this time.

Show me real results - like student's acheivement out of PUSD that is sustained. Any kid can get a 4.0 in high school if the district isn't challenging. It's what happens to them once they continue. That is why we're striving for college, yes?


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm

To "One Mother's Ugly Truth",

I'm sorry to hear that your son had trouble with college. There may have been many factors at play. Did your son take many AP classes? How were his scores on those? What about the SAT? It is difficult to score well on the AP classes and SAT without actually being prepared. Looking at the published statistics for AP and SAT scores for Amador, you can see that they are well above average.

You say "Test scores, grades, etc, isn't what our kids need here". But that is exactly what they will be getting at any UC school. They will be taking tests and being graded. Maybe you are saying the testing and grading is too easy in Pleasanton? What specifically are they doing wrong?

"The turn-over rate in the past 10 years alone in this average district is appauling."

Please, publish some numbers and compare to the other high quality school districts in the area. What level of turnover is "appauling."

" I'm not sure what a parcel tax will do when our priorities are sorely off."

What do you mean? What are our priorities?

"Show me real results - like student's acheivement out of PUSD that is sustained."

Please show me any hard evidence that "student's acheivement out of PUSD" that isn't sustained.

All I see in your post is a lot of anecdote and vague accusations. Show us some hard facts. Pleasanton is recognized as one of the best school districts in the Bay Area. It is measurably so. We need a parcel tax here to maintain the high quality of our schools.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 8:32 am

Stacey is a registered user.

To Stacey wrote: "Local school districts' revenues ARE limited by Proposition 13"

1972 SB 90 established the revenue limit. Also go learn about the "$300 band" for equalization. None of that is Prop. 13.

Get Educated,

No one is ignoring that. That is not a concerted fundraising effort. That's just their normal operations. What I'm talking about is the coordinated PPIE and PSEE fundraiser like what was done over the summer. Where's the follow up one now that students are in school?

Concerned Parent wrote: "California is ranked near the bottom of all the 50 states for class sizes, test scores, and per-pupil spending. We cannot just keep cutting from the schools and expect to continue to provide a quality education for our children."

And that's why this is a State problem that we need to work at the State level to fix. Communities shouldn't have to pass parcel taxes. We'll just end up cutting and cutting and raising more parcel taxes if we allow the State to continue on its present poor course with its outdated school financing system. That ain't right. Now's the time to stand up as a State.

Concerned Parent also wrote: "San Ramon also has much better fundraising than Pleasanton, so that combined with their parcel tax, makes their per-pupil spending HIGHER than Pleasanton's."

C'mon. Battle of stats? At least use the right stats. You make this claim and then show some average number for California for 2005/2006?! I love Ed-Data. Anyone can go to that website and look up the real numbers. 2008/2009 financial data aren't available yet. The latest numbers you can look up are from 2007/2008. Go do it before trying to get into a battle of stats.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 8:36 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Concerned Parent wrote: "What I said was that LOCAL school funding comes primarily from property taxes, and that state funding to local schools over the years has been reduced."

Not entirely. We're not a "basic aid" district so any excess property taxes above the revenue limit and after equalization are taken away by the State. So we can rescind Prop 13 and raise our ad valorum tax rate but it wouldn't fix the schools.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 8:37 am

Stacey is a registered user.

But wait, we could become a "basic aid" district... Well yes and no. Equalization requires something like the majority of districts to be within the $300 band. If a bunch of districts start getting out of that band, the State steps in.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 8:44 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The point I'm trying to make about Prop. 13 is that repealing it won't have the expected effect on school funding that many here think it would. What people talk about with the idea of rescinding Prop. 13 is that it would raise more money for the State, not necessarily local. Your excess property taxes wouldn't get back to PUSD in a one-to-one relationship. The excess would be used by the State to pay for education in a poorer district.

Here's an overview of school funding in California: Web Link


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 8:50 am

Stacey is a registered user.

You have to become a basic aid district in order to stop relying upon the State funding schema. I found this article for a district that became basic aid. It says that only 10% of districts in California are basic aid. Web Link Palo Alto is also a basic aid district.

Basic aid is still somewhat of a mystery to me. I don't understand how the State allows it with regards to Serrano v. Priest. It has something to do with not having to be 100% compliant.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:58 am

Concerned Parent
You know nothing of my situation and should not speak as if you do.
"as a long-time homeowner with your lower-than-average property taxes from Prop 13, which has reduced the local funding to our schools, how have you contributed your fair share? Because of these property tax limits, the percentage you've spent on our local schools over the years is lower than the national average. "
I am not a long-time homeowner in Pleasanton, less than 10 years. My taxes exceed $12,000 per year so the actual dollars that go to the schools is likely far greater than what you pay. Because I did not overpay for my home, it is still worth more than the purchase price. Because I accept personal responsibility for my economic situation, I have paid off my home and have no mortgage. I have never had a child in the schools and have no cares about the scare tactics of "losing all the value in my home" if the schools fail to get money for the teacher raises. I will never, ever, vote in favor of a parcel tax until every person in the district takes a pay cut.
for "a reader", your incessant demands for "stats" is unrealistic. The family with a pay cut/job loss could not care less about your statement that wages are up statistically. THEIR wages are not up. Many in Pleasanton are suffering the same fate. Oh wait, my bad, there really is NO recession and the jobless numbers are not really up. WHAT was I thinking? I should just listen to you and believe that everything is fine.


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Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

"That is not a concerted fundraising effort. That's just their normal operations."

Your logic astounds me. To respond with the argument that "it is just their normal operations" when you originally posted saying they were doing nothing, is undermining the efforts of hundreds of volunteers.

From your words, I can tell you have never been to a PPIE event, volunteered for the organization, even been to their website, or even know the first thing that goes into planning this event. Concerted is the perfect word for their event that raises up to $80,000 in one evening. Dismissive comments like yours are quite a slap in the face of those who are actually doing something for the school district.

I am amazed by the criticism for those who are doing from those who do nothing yet want it all.



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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

To "resident",

"for "a reader", your incessant demands for "stats" is unrealistic."

I say that because people are making statements like "most have taken pay cuts or lost their jobs.", when that simply is false. It is different to say "most have taken..." than to say "some have taken...". Do you see the difference?

"there really is NO recession "

Why are you saying things like that. Did I ever say there was no recession? Are you saying there is no recession? I think a lot of people would disagree with that.

"I should just listen to you and believe that everything is fine."

Again, where do you get that I said "everything is fine"? I never said that either. Do you think everything is fine? Maybe it is fine for you? You have posted you tax bill and the fact that you have no mortgage, you are obviously rich. It is not fine for everybody.

and have no cares about the scare tactics of "losing all the value in "...my home""

Why do you put "losing all the value in my home" in quotes. Who said that you would "lose all the value"? People said you could lose some of the value of your house. If you ever want to move, or sell for any reason, then that would be a factor.

"My taxes exceed $12,000 per year...I have paid off my home and have no mortgage."

OK, so you are a very wealthy person, and I get it -- You won't vote for a parcel tax under any circumstances. That is your choice. Other Pleasanton voters care about the quality of the their schools and value of their homes. If you want to vote against a parcel tax, then that is your choice, but if you post falsehoods and exaggerations here, I will call you out.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:42 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Get Educated,

Where is the concerted fundraiser specifically targeting this crisis? Where did I say "they" were doing nothing? All I was asking was where the concerted fundraiser is. I have looked at their website. All it looks like to me is they're holding their normal fundraising programs. They mention nothing about this budget crisis. If it is such a big crisis then they should be rolling out the extra effort. I guess it isn't much of a crisis then.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:49 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Get Educated,

"Proceeds will assist in funding programs PPIE facilitates at various school sites and to fill grants submitted by students and teachers of the Pleasanton Unified School District."

So where's the fundraiser for keeping elementary music, counselors, librarians, CSR? Just because there's _a_ fundraiser doesn't mean there's a big concerted fundraiser going on that is community-wide and addresses the areas of concern that were funded by one-time monies like what was done over the summer on little time and when everyone was away on vacation. We have time NOW.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:31 am

To Stacey,

I agree that we could always work on improving the way the community does fund raisers. You have some good ideas, in my opinion. Maybe we have a volunteer? Looking at what San Ramon does, I think we could try to do some of what they do right.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Stacey, really, now you have resorted to making conjectures about the "repeal of Prop 13"--no one (yes, not even you) can say what the effects of repealing Prop 13 would be because it's not going to happen.

What I am saying, and what others have been distorting, is that because of the inflexibility of the property tax rate, local governments do not have the flexibility to raise these tax rates to cover shortfalls from state funding. In states that do not have property tax restrictions, you will find variances in property tax rates among localities. Pleasanton and other California cities do not have this option and have therefore resorted to supplemental taxes such as parcel taxes to cover funding reductions.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

And the point that's being missed is that even if we had the flexibility to raise the ad valorum tax rate, any excess would be taken away by the State due to PUSD being a revenue limit district or we'd be asked to become a basic aid district. That isn't due to Prop. 13, that's due to other laws to be compliant with Serrano v. Priest. Even those other States where they do their property taxes differently still have worked on similar ways of solving the issues brought up by Serrano v. Priest. Hawaii, I think, provides funding to districts by individual student need so that if that student moves to another district, the funding follows that student.

If you're a revenue limit district you receive X number of dollars per ADA from the State (money which is made up of local property taxes) for general operations. If you're a basic aid district, you operate solely upon local property taxes because your local revenue exceeds a certain limit, but then you don't get extra money based upon how many students you have so these kinds of districts tend to carefully guard who is allowed in via transfers and they like to have less students because that means they can spend more per pupil. If they take on more students, they don't get more money. Even basic aid districts utilize parcel taxes because they don't get extra money.

A reader,

I think one of the things done in San Ramon is they have only one big foundation for raising funds.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Basic aid doesn't necessarily mean good times for a district either. The State has lowered the bar on who becomes basic aid because of this budget crisis. See something like this: Web Link


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Actually in a basic aid district, they are able to keep the amount over the minimum base for their schools AND receive basic aid. Yes, most of the control over school funding is centralized within the state, but it also draws much of its school funding from local property taxes. And even with Prop 98, schools have been funded below the guaranteed amount from Prop 98 for the past few years.

Schools have to resort to closing that gap via local funding, which basically amounts to two options: parcel taxes and education foundations (the latter of which Pleasanton has in the form of PPIE).


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Concerned parent wrote: "they are able to ... receive basic aid."

It is past tense "they were able":
Web Link
"in 2002-03, lawmakers decided to eliminate the $120 per student based on average daily attendance (ADA) in basic aid, saying that the state met its constitutional obligation to these districts with other state funding from categorical programs."

Yes, they keep their extra revenue, but they don't receive anything extra if enrollment increases. They could revert back to revenue limit if they fall below again.

The point here was that a school funding model based upon individual districts being able to levy property taxes ad valorum and raising tax rates is 1) not caused by Prop. 13 and 2) is in violation of Serrano v. Priest.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Incidentally, if PUSD were to enroll more students, it would get more revenue.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm

And how are we going to attract more students- with classes of 30+ and limited support services?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

When the district gains in enrollment (and therefore receives more funding), money becomes available for those things. It is a very good question as such a question leads people to start thinking outside of the box. Perhaps the discussion needs to be moved to the other thread regarding alternative revenue sources though.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 28, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Stacey,
My question was how are we going to attract more students- and therefore increase funding, when we already can't compete with other districts?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Who said we already can't compete with other districts? That's not true. Other districts are also increasing their class sizes and Pleasanton is still a top district in terms of test scores and other areas. None of that goes away suddenly because 10% of the budget gets cut.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

See, what we need are leaders who are thinking outside the box and capitalizing on our current assets. Instead we have yes-men.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 7:00 pm

To Stacey,

"Other districts are also increasing their class sizes "

Aha, but we are raising class sizes faster than other districts and we have the largest class sizes in the tri-valley area already.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

So? Livermore, if I recall correctly, was using parcel tax funds originally to pay for smaller class sizes in grades 4-6 while Pleasanton still had regular sized classes in 4-6. Sure didn't seem to affect Pleasanton's attractiveness over Livermore.


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm

We have the largest class sizes but not any larger than the other districts so you are playing with words.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 7:57 pm

To Jen,

K-3 class sizes in Pleasanton are 25. In San Ramon, Livermore, and Dublin K-3 class sizes are all smaller than 25.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

I have been using this name for a couple of years. I see there is a "Concerned parent" as well. As Yogi Berra said this is deja vu all over again. We went over all this last year. The situation is worse and nothing has been done. We have to live within our means. The total compensation for public sector employees (wages per hour, pensions , medical benefits etc.) has to be comparable to the private sector. In fact it should be less considering the lower risk and lower pressure and productivity. The private sector has taken huge cuts in the past decade but the public sector goes merrily along wasting money. Cut the new Supdt.'s compensation by at least 15% for a start. If the school board cannot do this get a new board. No more taxes till substantial cuts are made. The bleeding hearts here can donate all the money they want. This doesn't apply just for the school district but also to the city, county, state and the Federal Govt. When the Treasury actions start failing then the whole Govt. bubble will burst in the not too distant future.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I meant "Treasury auctions" not "Treasury actions". Sorry for not catching the typo.


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Posted by Focus on the goal
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm

We'll never increase the amount of students in PUSD to increase enrollment, hence increasing state funding in the time we have. It's not possible. We'd need at least a 10% growth rate of school aged children in the next 5 months for next year alone.

The contracts with the union are up this year, we are negotiating a new sup's salary, and fundraising money is always an option before taxes. Why not start with those priorities and then bring the results to the community before wasting thousands of $$ for slick signs, etc for a parcel tax campaign. Focus energy where it should be, not fighting one another.

The district needs help. If we focus on what's important (the kids learning environment), then priorities fall in line: actions either foster the goal or they don't.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

To Concerned,

"...Federal Govt"

Federal salaries and pensions are not high. What is killing the federal budget is Medicare and Social security benefits as well as bailouts for large financial institutions. Cutting salaries or pensions at the federal level won't amount to anything. The only way to solve that is to cut benefits, raise taxes, or both.

None of that has anything to do with a parcel tax for Pleasanton. Not passing a parcel in Pleasanton will do nothing to change the structure of pay state workers or change their pensions. We need a parcel tax in Pleasanton because we have excellent schools and we need to make sure we maintain that excellence.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2009 at 7:44 am

Basic aid districts still have revenue that meets or exceeds the limit, which is theirs to keep. And you can bet these districts have strict controls over transfers to their district. When they fall below the limit, they can become a revenue limit district.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 29, 2009 at 10:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

That's right. They are more protective of transfers to their district because they don't get any extra money.

There's news reports where you can read about several districts in California that have now become basic aid districts for the simple reason that the State has been cutting the revenue limit and their property taxes have been stable so suddenly they've found themselves meeting or exceeding the limit. They still have to make big cuts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MK
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 29, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Class size is the least of your worries - it's the upper levels that will suffer and then you will really see a decline in the schools. When our high school students can no longer compete that's when our district will not be a draw.

Again, I say, let's take on the state, but to all of you that have all the complaints locally - what are your suggestions other than more cuts - which are coming - and no auto expenses? What are your ideas for revenue that might actually have a chance of working? All that I have heard from you are things that are against the state constitution or will only cover very limited things. Lots of private foundation money cannot cover state mandated programs.


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