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School board meets tonight on teachers' salary cut offer

Original post made on Feb 23, 2010

The Pleasanton school board is expected to vote during its regular meeting tonight on a tentative agreement announced last Friday by district's teachers' union for its members to take a 4.3-percent pay cut over the next two years.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 7:25 AM

Comments (183)

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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 7:34 am

I can't make the meeting tonight as I have a work commitment. However I hope the board will reject this offer (and the very questionable math offered in the title) and push back for a fixed percentage cut and a suspension of S&C. Once those are in place we can talk about additional community supported funding.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"A more detailed list of the tentative agreement details can be found on the district's website."

There's supposed to be a document detailing the long term fiscal impact of any new contract, not only a list of the "details". Where is it? I couldn't find it in the Board packet, where I'd expect it to be. Are they going to present it at this meeting and expect the public to make comment on it right then and there and then vote to approve this? That's not proper notice! Until the district can provide the public with adequate notice, the Board needs to hold off on making a decision.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:02 am

Let's see....3 furlough days out of 185 contractual work days is 1.62% for the 09-10 school year. 5 furlough days out of 185 contractual work days is 2.7% for the 10-11 school year.

Over two years that's 8 days out of 370 or 2.16%.

Maybe the Pleasanton Teachers Association leadership needs a math teacher to review their work?


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Posted by Kari
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:47 am

2.7% + 1.62% = 4.32%......I guess they're adding the two percentages instead of taking the overall percentage of 370. You do the math that works best to support your position.....creative accounting :-)


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

Since when is lying considered creative?


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Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:08 am

I commend the teachers for taking this step. Although I would have preferred to freeze step and column, cutting the school year by a few days is far preferable to losing whole programs, decimating counseling staff or drastic increases in class size.

However, I question suspending the 7th period option. That is the ONLY way most kids can participate in band or choir their 9th and 10th grade years. Kids should not be forced to give up science or foreign language in order to take music. The suspension of 7th period MUST include a solution to this problem.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:36 am

Remember Luz said that a 4% salary reduction (all employees) would offset the entire projected deficit. So if this was REALLY 4.3% the problem would be well on the way to solved.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

Stacey is a registered user.

resident,

But it isn't all employees. Certificated staffing costs make up only ~60-62% of the budget. There's another 25% of the budget that is made up by the rest of the staffing costs.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:54 am

Stacey is a registered user.

There's no clarity on this topic and I'm not even sure myself (yet). Eight furlough days is ~2% off every certificated staff member's take home pay. The rest of the amount comes from other means. That isn't to say that there's no 4.3%. It is only to say that 4.3% is an _equivalent_ amount arrived at by taking the total amount of the concessions and dividing it equally amongst certificated staff to give some sort of average idea of the impact. The _actual_ amount is sourced by taking 2% equally and the rest comes some other way.


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Posted by Stop the Negativity
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:54 am

Resident, I've been seeing your posts on PW for awhile now, and I'm convinced that: you don't have children in currently in the school district, and that you are anti-parcel tax anyways, so you want the district and the children to be the sacrificial lambs. And your last statement isn't true: that was when the estimated shortfall was lower, not the $8 million as it stands now.

The teachers have sacrificed quite a bit. And even if a parcel tax was passed on to the community, it wouldn't come close to the thousands that will be cut from teachers' paychecks.

CSR, counselors, and specialists are being saved. While it is disappointing that 7th period will be eliminated, at least there is still an option to take music class. Just like sports, music is extracurricular; it SHOULD be treated as an after-school activity.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:06 am

Your assumptions about me are incorrect, except for the notion that I am against additional taxes. That part is spot on.


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:17 am

Hey Get the facts, are you out there? Stop the Negativity is an example of the mudslinging fired at members of this community for daring to oppose a parcel tax. The only sacrificing we want is of people like you Mr. Negativity


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It looks like the district has posted the required disclosure information on the website finally. It is under "Updates" on the Board Agenda/Meeting page. Is it enough time before the meeting? I don't know...

Since the PUSD website frequently breaks PDF downloading, here's the documents uploaded to a file sharing site:

Tentative Agreement with APT: Web Link
Reductions/Actions to address Financial Challenges: Web Link
Services to be reduced or eliminated at close of 09/10: Web Link
Administrative services to be reduced/eliminated: Web Link


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Just in case it isn't clear, on those download links I posted above, you have to scroll down the page past the ads and click on the "Download Now" button then wait 30 seconds. C'est la free file sharing sites...


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:54 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Interesting, the Tentative Agreement document shows 1.62% of full time salary in 09/10 and 2.70% of full time salary in 10/11. Add that together and there's the 4.3% number. But then one can't take that combined percentage and apply it to current full time salary since next year's full time salary is still increased by the salary schedule. Therefore the math won't add up without taking that increase into account.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:57 am

Stacey is a registered user.

So it seems like the best one can say at the moment is that it is 1.62% this year and 2.70% next year "across the board", plus the other savings from things like increased staff ratio, etc.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:59 am

Who is the Teacher's Union trying to fool and how stupid do they think we are!!! These concessions give nothing back to PUSD or our kids. What it does is give the teachers more vacation days. Furlough days are vacation days. The only time a pay cut is meaningful is if you're producing while impacting pay. So if the teachers were teaching our children but not getting paid for 3 days that would be a concession. To sit home, go out to lunch, have another 3 day weekend at the expense of educating the kids is giving back nothing. Doesn't the school board see this. This is a perfect example of why a parcel tax is not favored. The union wants it all but consistently puts up smoked colored glass to blur what is really happening. School board - vote NO on this proposal - residents of Pleasanton vote NO on another tax.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Take average PUSD teacher salary ($81,466).

In 09/10 the person making that is reduced by $1319.75 (1.62% of 81466 is $80,146.25). Now let's say that person is due for a step or column increase of $1000 (hypothetical), bringing their salary to $82,466. Next year they would be reduced by $2226.58 (2.7% of 82466 is $80239.42) or in other words, a small gain over 09/10's take home pay. 80239.42 of 81466 is 0.98%. This particular individual would see a total pay cut over two years of 1.62% plus 0.98% (2.6%), not 4.3%.

But for those that aren't due for a step or column increase, they'd see the full 4.3% reduction over two years. So again, like the one offered last year, this concession affects individuals differently depending upon where they are on the salary schedule (and this is the only point I'm making with my post).


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:20 am

Stacey is a registered user.

See kids? Learn math because it IS important in life after school!


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:21 am

One concept I would like to introduce to the PUSD School Board and Administration is that of "the myth of scarcity". All I have heard about the budget discussions seems to paint the picture that you have a fixed income and now need to cut services to meet the new (and declining) budget. One resource that seems to be overlooked is the Pleasanton community and "an out of the box" approach to leveraging "public/private" partnerships to keep alive programs that might be destined to the cutting block. Of course we all know the reasons why we can't reach out to the public to take a more hands on roll in the education of our youth: a) the unions won't like it; b) we have legal liability; c) it hasn't been done before; d) we don't know how to do it, etc.

There are plenty of parents in this community that would be willing to volunteer time after school to head up an after school homework club, or coordinate the Barton tutoring program (which is the best ROI that this school district has for dyslexic kids), play music, or supervise kids to run around a track and get some exercise. I know this concept is sheer heresy in the halls of the education community, however, the issue facing PUSD are not educational right now, but rather business.

We pay the administration of PUSD to find creative solutions to problems and hold the School Board's feet to the fire to "think outside the box" to address the challenges we face. You have a great resource in the Pleasanton community. I applaud you for reaching out to the community to get feedback, but this seems to be more an exercise to see who makes the most noise before you get out the axe – it isn't a bad political strategy. However, if that's all you've got you are missing the mark. Why don't you introduce the concept of private/public partnership and see what kind of feedback you get from the community – you will be surprised.

Your budget next year will be worse than this year, and probably will be bad for the next 3 to 5 years. You can only cut so much. Why doesn't the school board consider some other business models. Sure you might get a parcel tax passed, but until everyone feels pain and the community is confident you have exercised all your options, don't count on it.

I encourage you to get real with the unions and don't fear them going on strike- it isn't going to happen. Negotiate work rules to let volunteers participate in the education process, that is if the real concern is the children. Why would anyone expect to be immune from the economic crisis we face? The taxpayers aren't.

I encourage you to be bold and take a page from successful businesses that are weathering this global economic crisis, which isn't going to end next year. Don't fear the unions or the unknown, but rather be willing to take a chance - you won't be faulted for that.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

Stacey is a registered user.

total pay cut percentage = 1.62% + ((next year's salary - (next year's salary * 2.7%)) / current salary)


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Ah, another detail!

The 5 furlough days next year are 3 student attendance days and 2 staff development days. So I'm not clear now on if these 2 staff development days that are part of the 5 day furlough are the same as the "suspension of voluntary staff development days in 10/11" or not. If they are, then it seems like there's more bad math going around. There's no explanation in the Tentative Agreement that these "staff development days" are different from each other.


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Posted by Questions about days off
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:55 am

The 3 days cannot be seen as a paycut. The teachers already get many days off with pay, why not make 3 of those without pay? Days that come to mind:
- the three extra days at thanksgiving
- the whatever holiday was called for Monday 2/22/2010

Right there you have 4 days, just make those the 3 furlough days, and that way instructional time won't be affected.

The teachers agreed to days off around holidays. Any parent will tell you that those days are full of subs all over, so the teachers only made formal what they already do: not work those days. It saves money and also the money from subs, but it is not necesssary.

What will happen is people like me will just take our kids out of school the entire week, why not? Elective days off if you want to call them lose money for the district, but selfish teacher actions require selfish parental responses.

And will someone please correct the numbers? I would hate to see this funny 4.3 percent of "concessions" used all over to show the generosity of teachers and "smart ideas" of the district


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"And will someone please correct the numbers?"

To figure out actual percentage of reduction in take-home pay for each individual member use this:

total pay cut percentage = 1.62% + ((next year's salary - (next year's salary * 2.7%)) / current salary)


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Posted by Questions about days off
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

"To figure out actual percentage of reduction in take-home pay for each individual member use this:

total pay cut percentage = 1.62% + ((next year's salary - (next year's salary * 2.7%)) / current salary)"

I was not talking about you Stacey. I meant for the school district and PW to start reporting the whole thing in an accurate way.

Right now, it sounds as if the teachers are giving up 4.3 percent in pay this year, there is no mention of days off around holidays, all the facts have been twisted.

We need accurate information released and written on the PUSD website.


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Posted by hmmm...
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Stacey, you forgot to include the fact that teachers pay 1300.00 (15,600 a year) a month for benefits not reflected in the salary scale. So you need to subtract that from the median salary number to present the true facts and not your perception of the world.


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Posted by Question about days off
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm

"CSR, counselors, and specialists are being saved. While it is disappointing that 7th period will be eliminated, at least there is still an option to take music class. Just like sports, music is extracurricular; it SHOULD be treated as an after-school activity."

The elementary school community was quite vocal. They even had presentations from PE specialists, etc. One parent who said she had a 5 and a 3 year old suggested to cut AP classes, etc, to make it painful for the high school community to get the parcel tax passed.

What she does not realize is that by the time parcel taxes are up and running (if they pass), high school students would have lost a couple of years and will be lacking clases. What she does not realize is that we really do not need elementary Science Specialists (ironically she spoke about how we do not need AP classes because colleges won't count it against you, yet she wants a Science Specialist for a 5 year old?).

So good luck trying to pass a parcel tax or raise money. You may want to focus on the k-5 community, but only those without high schoolers, because it is the elementary community that benefits from these so called concessions.

And it is not just parents, it is teachers as well who benefit. They were crying so hard about losing their PE teachers, their Music specialists, their Science specialists. It is as if they knew they could not handle the job without these individuals.


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Stacey, you wrote "I'm not clear now on if these 2 staff development days that are part of the 5 day furlough are the same as the "suspension of voluntary staff development days in 10/11" or not."


No, I don't think so. The suspension of voluntary staff development days pertains to article 11 of the current contract, on salaries. 11.16.3 explains that staff have had in the past, the opportunity to participate in certain kinds of staff development and earn pay ($250 for the first day, 6 hours of training, and then $42 for each hour completed after that.) By suspending this article, the district will not have to budget to pay out those amounts.

There are only 3 non-instructional days that are mandatory work days for teachers. The tentative agreement is cutting those days by 2 for the 2010-11 academic year. (There are no more mandatory non-instructional days on the calendar for this academic year, so none can be cut.)

There are 180 instructional days in the contract. The tentative agreement is cutting those days by 3 in the current academic year, and again by 3 in the 2010-11 academic year.


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Posted by Anonymousse
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm

If you attended any of the town hall meetings, you would have learned that the science and music specialists were a hallmark of Pleasanton schools, and that the school board fought hard to get them awhile back. The fact that we HAVE specialists teaching these important programs separates Pleasanton schools from mediocre school districts. Yes, teachers could be teaching these subjects as they are in mediocre school districts, but students would be missing out on laboratory time and instrument play. This is a benefit to our students. For those of you who complain about retaining specialists, how is it to our children's advantage to NOT have them?

Along the same lines, Pleasanton schools have more instructional hours than other mediocre school districts. This is also what sets us apart. Many of these other school districts do not have a 7th period, and music is not even an elective. So now with the elimination of 7th period, we are where many other districts already are.

I believe the community spoke up when they voted down the parcel tax and called for large salary and benefits cuts: they want Pleasanton schools to be MEDIOCRE, just like other school districts.

If you don't want to invest in our schools and retain the value-added programs that made our schools great, just ACCEPT that they are going to be average, that the housing values in Pleasanton will also be average, and that if PUSD teachers are paid just an average salary then our teachers will be average as well, as the good teachers will go to where they are better respected.

I think many posters here want PUSD to make miracles happen (cutting costs without cutting any programs) without burden to themselves. If you don't want to pay for good schools, then bad schools are what you're going to get.


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Posted by Out of patience
a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm

This offer from APT is a ridiculous joke. What are they smoking over there at Union HQ ? We have no money! And we blew the parcel tax effort thanks to the greed of Cabinet executives and ostrich Union leadership. Hello APT? Anyone listening? You need to be bringing close to six million to the table to be a serious player. Do you want the Board running the show or a State Administrator ? Get a clue and quickly, please!


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm

This offer is a joke. We need actual paycuts so that the real problems of retirement benefits are addressed. Furloughs solve nothing. Given the lack of backbone of the men on the Board I won't be surprised if they cave in. They seem to be employed by the Unions.


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Hey anonymousse, we give plenty of money. People like you misuse it. And the only thing we're accepting is that your type doesn't know how to listen to anything more than what you want to hear

PARCEL TAXES DO NOT EQUAL HIGHER PROPERTY VALUES

that is an unfounded assumption. You can try to tie it together with your Rube Goldbergian mechanisms, but we're not buying it anymore


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Posted by Anonymousse
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm

And with regards to the cuts to instructional hours, again, we will be more on par with other average or bad school districts.

We all reaped the benefits of a good school district over the years, from high housing values to low crime. And since many in the community have expressed they don't want to pay for premium programs such as specialists, Barton reading, vice principals, CSR, etc., then we will need to lower our standards as well. The good times are over, people. Get used to it.


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Oh and Get the Facts, anonymousse is yet another example of the mudslinging the members of this community endure from your side


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Anonymousse, no! You usurpers do not get to take credit for everything created by good parents and good communities. Your schools do not make the crime ratio, the people do! Go on and build a state of the art school in Richmond and see if the crime drops and property values raise. No! The next thing you know the unions are gonna be like the Aztec priests, taking credit for the sun coming up, for the rain falling.


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Posted by Just the Facts
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm

You are all unbelievable! All you have done for months is complain about the teachers and now that they have come up with half of the deficit you still want to complain? They are saving key programs for our schools - what are any of you doing to be part of the solution? How many meetings have you attended? How many times have you actually spoken to a board member or district staff member? Until you are in the thick of it and have ALL the facts you have no right to complain!


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Posted by long time Pleasanton resident
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Finally, a plan which takes the children into account. The parents who are complaining about a tiny cut in days, should think of their children without PE, Science, and Music pullouts! Also do you really want your children in a class of 30-32 in the lower elementary grades, where the low ratio prepares the students for 12 years of rigorous education. Good teachers can get everything taught and re-taught in 175-180 days. They always used to, before the extra time was added a few years ago. Pleasanton kids have always had a huge percentage going to college and beyond and being very well prepared. Give your teachers credit for doing a great job. I commend them for stepping up to the plate to help the kids. And Thank You to the administrators for also taking the same cuts. It's about time! The money needs to be used for the classrooms --- kids success is your product!


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Posted by Thanks
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Thanks Teachers.......

I know you will be taking in less income and that is always hard – for anyone to accept. But, your efforts will make a difference.


To the community – and especially those who have been against any community parcel tax initiatives…, please stop for a moment and realize that the $200-300 you were asked to pay is well below what a teacher will be losing in salary. It's time for us to add to the pot.


To those that continue to believe the administrators are greedy and that teachers have not given their 'fair share', I can only say to you that this economic situation we find ourselves in will not be fixed by any one person or group. We all need to play a role.

And, certainly – if you are concerned with how the admin is handling things – then voice your opinion at a meeting.

But, to blame teachers or point fingers is not helping. Take a couple thousand dollars out of your own salary and it will hurt, right? Well, it is no different for a teacher. It will hurt them and their own families…and yet, they voted to do just that.

Open your eyes, take a breath, and maybe step away from the keyboard for a while. Teachers are going to take a pay cut. A pay cut is not defined as ONLY being a pay cut if you work and not get paid. It is defined as "the act of reducing a salary".

That is exactly what teachers voted to do – for YOUR children's education.



For that, they have my admiration and my thanks.



And, no – I am not a teacher or administrator. Just a citizen of Pleasanton that has been blessed to have 2 children go through the system here – and both on to wonderful lives as well educated adults. Let's try to up our own game, and loose the rhetoric that is only serving to divide the community.



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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Hmmm....posted, "Stacey, you forgot to include the fact that teachers pay 1300.00 (15,600 a year) a month for benefits not reflected in the salary scale. So you need to subtract that from the median salary number to present the true facts and not your perception of the world."


Where did you get this $1,300 number from? The last published information I saw stated that healthcare for those that pay for it could possibly reach $1,000 per month. And even that number isn't representative of the proportionately small number of teachers that actually pay for their own healthcare. And lets not forget this is something the union voted for!


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm

And for those posting that it is time for a parcel tax please note that once passed they NEVER go away regardless of expiration date. In fact most increase … sometimes radically (Piedmont is way over 2K now with another bump pending). For the last year I have challenged anyone to find a single education parcel tax that has been allowed to expire. No examples have been reported yet.


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Just the facts, I'm sorry if you choose to call our solutions complaining. I'm sorry the only answer you want to hear is that we're forking over more money. I'm sorry that you're like an adolescent who wants to always demand more money but doesn't want to hear how to spend it. I'm sorry you think teachers are responsible for the entirety of a childs being, as if parents are a mere side note.


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Posted by Don't fire il you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

And Thanks, you don't get it. It ain't about $200. I would gladly spend $500 if I thought it was going in a truly useful direction. But in our opinion it's not.

And you already take thousands of dollars a year from each of us in property taxes. So you keep stacking a little more on top every year, hoping that we'll be like the frogs in a kettle of water, while it's slowly brought to boil, not noticing the slight degree rise until we're toast


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Posted by URpathetic
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment and for being off topic]


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Posted by Jeff Bloom
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Unbelievable! With taking these 8 days, you will not a teacher group around that is giving up that many days. Go to Fremont- 1 and 1/2 days, Livermore?, San Jose?..... All of you people that sit up here and demand that teachers lose step and column are so blinded by your own misery that you want others to suffer too. Yeah, the economy sucks, yeah-you got a pay cut, yeah- there is no funding.. are tehse the teacher's faults? Well, teachers in this community are giving and do put their students first.

And you act like teachers will just be drinking margaritas by the pool during these furlough days. You just don't get it. Teachers WANT to work. Teachers only get paid for the school year. If teachers could work year round and be paid for it, I bet they would. Yes, teachers have a lot of vacation time, but if you add up the hours that they work during the regular school year, it far outweighs a normal 9-5 job. I read somewhere that the average teacher works enough hours during the 185 day school year that if you spread those hours on a normal 9-5- it would equal a full year's work. They do it in 9 MONTHS!

My point is, that I have been watching this blog for a long time. I have seen people hide behind anonymity and use it to bully others, post incorrect "facts", and really divide the community.

Shame on you Pleasanton. Look at what you've become. You used to be a town that was proud of and supported your schools, a town whose schools were your crowning jewel. Now look at you... at eachother's throats, finger pointing, and just being mean and nasty. It's really sad, so so sad. Instead of coming together as a community, you are a community divided.


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Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

A quiz:

When presented with this paltry offer, the bobble heads will

a. Reject it and demand step and column be suspended.

b. Gush about how the teachers are really are making a sacrafice
for the kids.

c. Let random speakers droan about insignificant things to wear down our senses.

Answer: b and c


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Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm

To those who complain about anononymous postings.

Find another blog.


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Posted by Quiz contestant
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Caesar, you have provided the correct answers to the quiz! But you omitted a fourth choice --- d. the three obsolete male board members will trot out platitudes like "oh, my heart is breaking", "it just tears me up", "we've got to come together", "management is so wonderful and incredibly talented", and other such worthless drivel. Gotta tell you that this board is only functioning and has any hope because of the two women trustees doing all the hard work and taking all the heat. What the district's management and the unions need are clubs applied to wake them up. But all we've had from the three guys is clubs in the golf bag touring around the greens with the management.


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm

URpathetic, that was an adolescent outburst on your part. You must have nothing else


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Quiz Contestant

Since when are Labor-management conducted in this manner. That is, the union votes on a concession/proposal for management to review
(in a public forum surrounded by teacher cronies). It is bizzar to say the least. Then you have Lame Duck Casey trying to placate the teachers and administrators. This place is nuts.

Real world labor management negotiations go like this.
During economic downturns, management demands concessions.
Pragmatic unions, realizing they don't have leverage, agree to concessions(see recent BART negotiations).

When economic conditions improve, unions demand raises and
get them because they have bargaining power.

None of this holds true in the bizzaro world of PUSD.
Recession, depression, come hell or high water, Teachers will get their step and column raises. SOMEONE ON THAT BOARD NEEDS TO STAND UP AND SAY NO.


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Posted by Quiz contestant
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Caesar, you are indeed correct ! I'm hoping it will be the two new trustees who will send the union proposal back for a rework. The current offer falls far short of what the arithmetic says is needed. Times have really changed. This time the arithmetic will rule.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by dear stacy
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I look forward to seeing you at the meeting rather than hiding behind a virtual soapbox.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Ceaser - you are correaact, during the good times we don't givea teachers raises or bonuses and now we get upset when they don't want a pay cut during tough times.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm

it will be exciting to have so many people ruanning for school board next election!


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment and for being off topic.]


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Posted by Captain Kirk
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm


Urgent message from the Starship Enterprise.

Tell the teachers...
THERE IS NO MORE MONEY..THERE IS NO MORE MONEY
You can't have raises without more money....over.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thanks
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Don't fire ….. Posted"
And Thanks, you don't get it. It ain't about $200. I would gladly spend $500 if I thought it was going in a truly useful direction. But in our opinion it's not.
And you already take thousands of dollars a year from each of us in property taxes. So you keep stacking a little more on top every year, hoping that we'll be like the frogs in a kettle of water, while it's slowly brought to boil, not noticing the slight degree rise until we're toast


Couple of things to 'Don't Fire…":

1. Because I don't agree with you – I don't get it? Nice comeback LOL

2. You are right – It IS just YOUR opinion LOL

3. Of course you pay for schools with property taxes! Who else is supposed to pay for your children's education? LOL

BTW – using the word "ain't" LOL


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Posted by Starship Budget
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Spock to Kirk: "Captain, we are out of money! Our debt engines are malfunctioning and can provide no more cash. We need to be logical here and reduce our burn rate. The county klingon is approaching to take over the bridge. Reduce the burn now and direct all to the bankruptcy shields!"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Amazed
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Feb 23, 2010 at 6:58 pm

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment and for being off topic]


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Jeff Bloom, please don't confuse the communities request for budget cuts as an attack on teachers. While I understand why it is hard to accept this, please know the call for a responsible and sustainable budget is in no way an attack on you and all you do. Personally, under revised accountability metrics I would support paying teachers more. The bottom line is, the money is simply not there to sustain your current compensation package.


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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Well as a dedicated teacher is already frozen on the pay scale I would have prefered a freeze of step and column as opposed to the furlogh days. I will see a smaller paycheck. I think the whole thing is crazy. The current budget for PUSD or the state will not change in the near future. We will have to cut program (program already taken away in many district many years ago) in order to continue to meet the budget losses. I am willing to teach more students and go with less program if needed. The only other thing I will comment on is the current calendar. The reason we have a week off at Thanksgiving is because so many families were taking it off anyway it didn't seem to make sense to have school. Funny how people think they can vacation whenever they want and schools should accomodate their children's needs while they are on vacation in Hawaii. As teachers we are docked for taking days off at the start of school and the end of school as well as before or after Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring breaks. I have chosen my career and enjoy it. I have made sacrifices for my career by choice. I did not take my child across country to college because 1) I felt it was important to start the year with my students, and 2) it was too costly to go without pay and pay for the substitute. My child will graduate from college in a year and I will make the choice to go without the pay and pay the sub in order to be at the graduation. I walk a fine line (like most people) between my family and my job.
I work hard because I like and believe in what I do, please do not group all teachers in one pot and assume the worst.


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Posted by Another Concerned Parent
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm

1. In regards to cutting counseling staff, let's not forget that the district drastically increased counseling staff numbers a few years ago after the "Excellence Committee" report suggested this change.
2. The district pays a PR person and her assistant about $200,000 a year total (if I remember my numbers correctly) to spin the facts. So no, you will not get a straight story from the district flak. The local newspapers are not doing a good job in reporting this story by digging into the issues. They're merely flipping what the PR person says.
3. When Dublin and Pleasanton became separate districts, the Pleasanton union chose higher pay in lieu of having benefits included in their pay. So if any teachers are paying high monthly bills for benefits, it's because of the way their union decided to set up the pay scale. Teachers are not required to pay for benefits. It's an option.
4. I and many other Pleasanton parents invest plenty in our schools through exorbitant taxes, countless volunteer hours and hundreds of dollars in donations. I bet Pleasanton's highly dedicated and supportive parents donate millions upon millions in volunteer time each year, not to mention the money they give in straight donations or through fundraisers.

By the way, Rahm Emanuel made that comment about Democrats, not about Palin. She was offended by the remark, not the target of it.


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Posted by another perspective
a resident of Avignon
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm

You know, there is something else to think about: [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment and for being off topic]

Think about it.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

If I were a teacher (even non-union members get the same contract) I'd do THE SAME EXACT ANALYSIS on this concession to see how it affects me. Someone is negotiating a contract on my behalf. I'd want to know exactly what it does. As Teacher points out above, since they're frozen on the salary schedule, they'll feel the effect of a full 4.3% pay cut over two years. Others won't.

dear stacy,

What would that accomplish?

7 hours ago "hmmm..." wrote: " Stacey, you forgot to include the fact that teachers pay 1300.00 (15,600 a year) a month for benefits not reflected in the salary scale. So you need to subtract that from the median salary number to present the true facts and not your perception of the world."

If you want to replace a published AVERAGE salary number (not median BTW) reported by the district itself with your "true facts" (whatever those are), have at it. You can chose not to have a respect for facts. I can't help that as that's your choice alone. The fact remains that the salary schedule for certificated staff costs the district $81,466 per certificated staff member. Multiply that by the number of certificated staff to arrive at the total cost to the district, exclusive of other employee compensation costs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Were any of you at the board meeting or do you just make your comments here on the blog?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by I AM A PROUD TEACHER!!!
a resident of Dublin
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Quotes from the board meeting tonight:

"Teachers, please know that the bloggers do not represent the community."

"Teachers, it is because of you that these programs are going to return next year."

Thank you so much to the community members who are willing to work together to find a solution.

Those of you who think it's not good enough: I would suggest that no matter what we do, you would not be happy. If you don't like, enroll your child in private school. If you can't afford it, stop whining on the blogs and work with us. Put your actual name on your posts and contact the district/union and ask them how you can get involved. I CHALLENGE YOU TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION AND NOT THE PROBLEM!!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Please know that Daniel Bradford does not represent the teachers!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:32 pm

"The bottom line is, the money is simply not there to sustain your current compensation package."

A parcel tax can help alleviate this. This should be the focus going forward for the community, in my opinion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Earth to Caesar: Teachers are proposing cuts, not raises. Didn't you get them memo?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:41 pm

It's official. This board does not represent taxpayers.
A 5-0 vote to approve the Union's concession plan without posting it online. The public did not have access to the agreement. They were pressured to vote tonight by the teachers union. So much for transparency.
This board is under the control of the Teachers Union.


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Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Reader


From here in the real world,
16 million in step and column raises minus 4.6 million in so called concessions (days off) is a raise.


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Posted by Hah!
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Get used to hearing this "Due to budget cuts, _______________ could not be completed".

In your case, you can fill in the blank with "posting the agreement online".

You cannot have your cake and eat it too.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Earth to Caesar:

You forgot the decimal. It isn't 16 million. Its 1.6 million. Maybe you're thinking of the old Measure G stuff about the cost over 4 years. I can see how it could be confusing.

You're the first one to call the proposed concession a raise.


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Posted by Lame excuses
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm

The explanation for not seeing the tentative APT agreement in advance was quite lame. And what a pathetic cop-out on Step & Column freezes that are critical for budget labor cost stabilization. The fact that more than 75% of APT members voted in favor of the package suggests that the concessions weren't very aggressive. It would have been smarter to take a bigger cut now and put the savings into reserves to cushion programs from future uncertainty.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Reader,

S&C for two years costs a total of $4.8MM ($1.6MM this year + $1.6MM * 2 next year). Concessions total for two years is $4.6MM. So instead of costing the district $4.8MM, it will only cost the district $0.2MM. Effect on individual members will vary.

Hah!

Facetious, but is it really extra cost to post additional pages on a site that is already paid for by an employee that is already paid for?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Budget deficit= $8 million
Teacher's concessions= $4.5 million

Bottom line is what counts here. You can spin this anyway you want, reality is the only the teachers and administration have saved programs in the board packet from being cut so far, not the community. Where are your cries for "shared sacrifice" now?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lame excuses
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Yes, but what I'm saying is the concessions presented PLUS the freeze on step and column. The labor cost stabilization needed to have been meaningful so we don't have to ask APT to go through this again. The cuts also needed to have been more enduring rather than just temporary for the upcoming budget period.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gwen
a resident of California Reflections
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:18 pm

To no one's surprise that is paying attention, the back room deal was pushed through without public review. As was the contract renewal for the three administrators. Here comes the tax propaganda.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Really,

What part of the "increasing costs" effect that S&C has did you not understand? Or is it rob from tomorrow to pay for today?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Or put another way, S&C has the same effect on these concessions that it would have on a parcel tax.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Lame excuses,

I think it is reasonable that the concessions are temporary. The assumption is that the budget crisis is temporary, right? At least these concessions are a lot more temporary than a parcel tax (statistically speaking, parcel taxes get renewed a lot more often than not).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The time for public review was a joke. Documents posted roughly at 9am today for a 7pm meeting. Any other portion of government would require 72 hours. It is really really odd that we have a quality school district where that quality is not reflected in the governance.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm

The agreement was published Feb 19 - as of tonight there have been 277 public comments pertaining to this agreement. Many gave feedback, emailed board members, called for clarification.

Number of speakers at tonight's standing room only board meeting, asking for clarification= 1.
Number of people speaking against the contract= 0.

If you wanted to provide feedback, the opportunity was given tonight. You chose not to.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Don't be so sure ;)

Also, define "published". Just because something is in the hands of an elected official does not mean it was properly "noticed" to the public.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:00 am

Stacey is a registered user.

And how many of those 277 public comments prior to the meeting occurred after 9am today?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:05 am

I Am A Proud Teacher: Doesn't work. I know several people who contacted the board members asking for this vote to be delayed because the materials had not been posted long enough (and I can't even get them to download) for any scrutiny and comment. Three, of course, never bothered to respond. And the result was a 5-0 vote. I've been out here with my real name; it doesn't matter. Making suggestions hasn't mattered either. I may be "a" problem, but I am not "the" problem. "The" problems were created, at a minimum, by a governance team that has forgotten they represent the taxpayers.

I'll try to explain this the way it was once explained to me (and confirmed by Luz Cazares):

2009-10 $1.6 million in S&C increases, now less the $1.08 million in concessions
10-11 $1.6 + $1.6 in S&C increases (it compounds year over year), now less the $1.8 million in concessions
11-12 $1.6+$1.6+$1.6
12-13 $1.6+$1.6+$1.6+$1.6

Total cost over the life of this agreement: $13.2 million. And that is assuming there aren't any changes to the salary schedule via a COLA (raise)--doubtful with today's lenses.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:12 am

How many of the 277 comments were against the agreement or calling for a delay in the vote? How many were from staff members? How many in the audience were staff members? And why would anyone with an opposing viewpoint show up?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:10 am

Kathleen, I would expect more from you because of your position and knowledge of how the board and Sup work. These issues are not solved on a blog, they are solved in the board room, during meetings with all the team players present- including the community. Where clarification can be made, suggestions offered, and in numbers of people- impressions can be made. The date of this meeting was known well in advance, the information needed was available. It was a choice to not participate.

The bottom line is the "problems" of THIS YEAR'S $8 million deficit are being solved by the teachers and current administration who showed REAL action by covering over half of it.

Thank goodness the staff members are present and actively solving the problems our students are facing. Certainly more than hours complaining on a blog has done for our schools over the past year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Elementary Parent
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 6:11 am

I am confused by the negativity expressed by some many on this site. I have participated in the process for the past few months and appreciate the concessions that the union has made to save key programs for our students- CSR, Specialists, and more.

Reducing your paycheck by any amount is a sacrifice. I am confident the teachers would rather work 8 extra days than bring home a smaller paycheck.

we will all have to contribute in the future if we want a quality education for our kids in Pleasanton. The revenue we could count on from the state in the past is not there. The teachers union concessions were the first of many steps to help save our schools.

I am saddened that so many in the community are fighting against eachother, instead of together to provide a better education for our kids. I think our kids expect more from all of us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by What a shame.
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 24, 2010 at 6:39 am

Kathleen and Stacy: Why do you use the PW blogs to shout down everyone. There is nothing positive about what you have to offer if you do not attend meetings and voice your opinion. I have known you, Kathleen, for years, and I respect you, but you are a coward for not going to meetings. Stacy you are even more of a coward since you don't attend the meetings, and you speak with no experience other than you went to school. You both are part of the problem in America where people criticize from behind a keyboard, but are too gutless to show up in person. Both of you should be ashamed of yourselves for the divisiveness that you create, rather than using your strengths to come forward, volunteer your ideas and be part of the solution, not a couple cackling hens on a blog. Yes, you use your names, but these blogs only reinforce the negative tone and divide the community. I have never written on any blog before, but the two of you have led the fight to rip this community apart and I am tired of it. :(


 +   Like this comment
Posted by VVTeacher
a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 24, 2010 at 6:52 am

What a shame-

Well said! Thank you for saying it!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:14 am

"2009-10 $1.6 million in S&C increases, now less the $1.08 million in concessions"
10-11 $1.6 + $1.6 in S&C increases (it compounds year over year), now less the $1.8 million in concessions"
11-12 $1.6+$1.6+$1.6
12-13 $1.6+$1.6+$1.6+$1.6"

So essentially the teachers' concessions pay for this year's and next's step and column (and fall short)

For 11-12, even with the 4 million in concessions, it is not enough to cover step and column?

Why is the board playing games? Why are they trying to fool the community?

For all those attacking Kathleen: you now see why people with opposing views do not show up at the meetings, it is hard enough to read attacks against opposing views here in these blogs, I would never dare to post my real name.

And for those patting the teachers on the back: why? The concessions are not really helpful. We still have step and column, and the days off, well, teachers already took those days off except now it is official and no pay and no paying for subs.

And the concessions are all for elementary schools. So we have high school teachers making concessions (no collaboration=no 7th period) that affect students in high school for the benefit of elementary students and teachers. How is that a good thing?

While I am not surprised by the vote from Grant and Hintzke, I am surprised Arkin went along.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:18 am

By the way, Stacey posts facts, and that may be why those of you are attacking her.

It is obvious by the teachers' concessions that they are playing around, presenting information in a less than accurate form.

Stacey points out the fallacies, and that is a good thing!

Keep up the posts, Stacey, I appreciate them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:22 am

"The time for public review was a joke. Documents posted roughly at 9am today for a 7pm meeting. Any other portion of government would require 72 hours. It is really really odd that we have a quality school district where that quality is not reflected in the governance."

I agree, and also note that the survey sent to high school, middle school and elementary parents has not even been processed, so they just wasted parents' time and never intended to take the survey as input.

Many parents I know were surprised that a vote was taking place yesterday, given that the agreement was only announced a few days ago without supporting documents. The documents, posted yesterday at the PUSD website cannot even be downloaded. Surveys were a joke, right?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by tiredofittoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:26 am

To What a Shame: you eloquently stated what so many in this community feel, thank you
Kathleen and Stacy, Really, Really, if you want to help the solution SHOW UP, get out from behind your keyboards.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:26 am

"Budget deficit= $8 million
Teacher's concessions= $4.5 million"


Why don't you mention the cost of step and column? That way people can see that teachers' concessions barely pay for their own raises.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:31 am

"if you want to help the solution SHOW UP"

Why do you want people with opposing views to show up? What for? Last year, everyone at the meetings spoke about their support for the parcel tax, no one dared to speak against it. But they spoke when it mattered: at voting time.

And for those elementary parents who lobbied hard and blamed high school parents, and asked the board to spread the cuts to high school in order to pass the tax: why don't you see your own role in the lack of fundraising? Last year the ILPS effort raised less than half a million, and a lot of that money came from people without kids in elementary. So where is all your support? With 9 elementaries I would think the amount of money needed for CSR would have been raised but it wasn't.

Enjoy your temporary programs, because the so called concessions are only good for this year. You will need a parcel tax or support with fundraising. You will have a hard time getting it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:34 am

It seems that we now have an aversion to truth in this country. "Spin" slanted to an intended impression is now the norm. I echo what disappointed and others have said. This was another sleight of hand move by the board and district presented to create the illusion of concession. Next up will be the parcel tax campaign. I, for one, will work to defeat that effort.

My favorite new quote: "If high taxes encouraged balanced budgets and responsible spending, California would be the best-run state in the nation!"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:01 am

To those who are angry with me, I was working last night; I could not attend the meeting, so I'm not a coward. If you know me, you know I was taking minutes for a meeting of the board on the other side of the bay. I was able to attend the first budget meeting. I have met with board members willing to do so.

I also emailed the Board members yesterday--all of them. I used that part of the process. I am not complaining about the concessions or shouting people down. I wanted everyone to understand what that agreement really meant over its life.

Frankly, if I was a coward, I would never have used my name out here. I had an anonymous name up to that point. I thought long and hard about it, and I did what Mr. Bradford said . . . stand up behind what I had to say. Unlike Mr. Bradford, I don't expect any of you to do that. The dialog is what matters, preferably about the issues and not the messenger, but even that's okay.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:09 am

And, I would support a parcel tax if I thought the governance team was worth a hill of beans. I've said this since Measure G was a twinkle in some administrator's eye.

Maybe we'll get a great superintendent in the coming months who believes in transparency and true communication with the entire community; maybe we'll get two new board members who clearly understand the issues and will represent taxpayers. I am foolishly hopeful still.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:17 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It is funny how conversation suddenly turned to attacking Kathleen and I when hard numbers were presented.

Kathleen,

After thinking about your numbers, maybe it is unfair to display $16MM in total S&C costs over 4 years with 2 years of concessions. I know you're trying to determine the fiscal costs of the full three year contract as it is written now. There's no telling what will happen in the next two years and it is possible for additional modifications to the contract in future years. So a more reasonable comparison would be two years of S&C ($4.8MM).

What a shame wrote: "You both are part of the problem in America where people criticize from behind a keyboard, but are too gutless to show up in person."

I appreciate your opinion, but naturally I disagree with it. The problem in America is too many citizens don't bother to get involved at all. Perhaps it is because they don't want to deal with the politics where posters like you interpret any form of attention to an issue as a negative. Things would run more smoothly if there were no dissent, right?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by appreciate facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:20 am

Kathleen,
Thank you for posting factual information and respecting the rights of posters to remain anonymous for whatever reason.
I might not always agree with you, but I appreciate the way you present facts minus the rampant emotionalism and name calling characteristic of other posters. The facts may make me angry, but I am not inclined to shoot the messenger.
I read your posts, and others (Sandy P., Stacey) because they provide factual information and direction on where to check your sources.
Thank you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites ofyheir ryes
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:24 am

So the latest tool of obfuscation being wielded by the union is that the only way to be part of the solution is to attend board meetings. They say inane things, such as posting on this blog our solutions is merely complaining, being on a virtual soapbox. They make it seem as if these outcries are irrelevant. Well, if they're so irrelevant, why do they attack us on here so? Hmmm

They want us to believe that the "real majority" only attends meetings. That this is representtive of nothing. Well then why do the unions appear so frightened of what we have to say here? If we were the unruly minority, they would feel quite content. They would say "Oh let those crazy few speak on that worthless blog forum. We know they don't represent the community."

But they know we do. So they'll do anything to stop us from speaking through thus forum. They know that it's far easier to mobilize an angry and strongly self interested minority than the majority. For instance, I was taking care of my kids last night, their mom having to work late. My kids to to sleep at around eight. I'm not gonna take my sleepy kids to a board meeting. So this is the means available to me, and that's why the unions want to deprive it of the community. They know the audiences at those board meetings are stacked. They're like saddam husseins elections, merely a facade. They know these threads are the true representation of the busy yet evermore indignant majority. They know how many true locals are reading our comments, and that those who speak with logic are winning.

In that, all we need to do is keep up what we're doing. The real community sees the absurdity of Proud Teacher broadly labeling our suggestions as complaining. I mean, Stacey and Kathleen and many others do nothing but give facts and stats and try to pose real specific solutions, often to my boredom. But nonetheless they are specific solutions. And solutions like mine can seem more rabble rousing, but they're still solutions. We're not just posting "teachers suck!"

The readers can see through such patently false mudslinging from the unionists. They know the adolescent insults of those who have no ability to argue their point with fairness, and they know that the preponderance of that is fired from the unions.

So, we just need to keep doing what we're doing here. Soon enough hundreds of people representing the true majority will physically mobilize and storm the board meetings. And then it wiill be all over for the unionists- a quick and sudden fall- like the soviets


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:39 am

Stacey, I'm looking at concessions impacting teacher pay ($2.88 million over two years), and while it's apples to apples, maybe it's a little bit Galas to Pink Ladies. The other $2 million are budget reductions (cutting 7th period), even if they were negotiable.

If I thought about it more globally, the total cost over the life of the agreement vs the total budgets for the next three school years, well . . . I get the same place, just with really big numbers.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:49 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Kathleen,

It's a rabbit hole :) We can make ourselves crazy looking at the size of those increasing costs. It is like a game called "How do we fund automatic raises"? Under normal circumstances the State funds them. With no COLA from the State, do we fund them with a parcel tax, employee concessions, reserve fund, etc.? In three years will there still be no COLA from the State?


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Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:56 am

Please quit arguing over nickles and dimes. Get to the root of the problem. The Assembly and Senate know that nobody tries to understand the root problem and it is not local funding. When they pay uneducated prison guards $120 K a year and teachers with graduate degrees half that amount it is time to throw out every one of them and start over. A vote for any incumbant in the next election is a vote of stupidity and you deserve to have a bad education for your children since you obviously are not using your education in a responsible manner. The State collects enough money to fund the best education system in the country, they choose not to. Elect someone who will educate your child before spending billions on illegal aliens. We as citizens are required to speak English, why therefore, are we wasting money printing ballots in multiple languages. Why are we wasting money on bilingual education. You shouldn't be allowed in the school system until you can read and write English. Provide night school classes in English until they than can enter the school system. Stop wasting our tax dollars, stop pussyfooting around being so PC and do what is best for the children.


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Posted by To elementary parents
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:13 am

"I am saddened that so many in the community are fighting against eachother, instead of together to provide a better education for our kids. I think our kids expect more from all of us."

Say that to the person who suggested at a board meeting to "punish the high schools" - she said do this to pass a tax.

Well, thank her for the lack of support for parcel taxes and fundraising you are about to see.

All you parents with only kids in elementary need to get your checkbooks out and donate. 9 elementaries means a lot of parents, except you may want to exclude those of us with kids in elementary but also in the upper grades. We do not appreciate trading good high school programs for items such as elementary counselors or science specialists.

You are right that you need a long term solution. That is why this "solution" was not good, it was just for show and temporary at best.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:17 am

To 'Disappointed' - The surveys are being used to gauge how parents value the various programs/services and to determine the donation $ amount to ask from parents. REC (Revenue Enhancement Committee) meets 2/25 at 10 am at the district office to review the survey results and work further on the fundraising, donation and parcel tax efforts.


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Posted by Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:55 am

Stacey, Kathleen what part of the shortfall (deficit) is made up of the S&C. Hmm equal parts huh.
So without S&C deficit falls. S the concessions actually have the 4.3 million intended impact. Remember in algebra you had to subtract from both sides of the equation to isolate the variable.


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Posted by Learning
a resident of Mission Park
on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:27 am

I appreciate all inquisitive input on this forum, as I'm trying to learn all sides of the issue. I very much appreciate Kathleen and others who fill in some of the blanks that are otherwise tough to find elsewhere.

I agree that S&C is a challenge that has yet to be adequately addressed. Does anyone know if there were to be a freeze on S&C, does it ultimately have to be paid back? I think I heard somewhere that would be the case. If so, then freezing it would also be a short term fix and create a longer term liability, right?


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Posted by confused
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

I have been reading these blogs and while I appreciate those of you who are trying to present the facts, one question keeps coming to mind. Why do you expect the teachers to pay for your child's education?

The teachers have tried to do something to help the budget. Regardless of whether or not you consider it a concession, it is reducing the shortfall.

The other issue is the S & C which I understand is what many are complaining about. I do see how this may not be sustainable and if it isn't, it will have to be addressed as well.

I understand that we pay taxes to pay for education, but why would you expect teachers to throw their salary in to pay for your child's education? Would you expect a doctor to kick in his salary to pay for your child's health? The grocer to pay for his food?

Many of our teachers do care deeply and spend an enormous amount of time outside school hours. If you have never been a teacher, please do not suggest that you understand the amount of effort that goes in to being prepared to teach a room full of students, all with different needs!

Please do not let this issue tear our town apart. Instead, let's try to work together to find the solutions.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:34 am

"The teachers have tried to do something to help the budget"

I do not view it that way. It was clear from hearing speakers at board meetings this month that the teachers wanted to keep all the specialists (science,etc) for their own good.

Now they have sacrificed the high school students on behalf of that convenience (not having to teach science themselves in elementary but having a specialist). High school teachers gave concessions (collaboration) in order to save programs at the elementary level, and those concessions by high school teachers affect high school students.

Why can't the elementary teachers do without step and column to save the specialists they themselves want? It was not just the parents of elementary kids speaking, it was the teachers as well.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:44 am

"why would you expect teachers to throw their salary in to pay for your child's education? Would you expect a doctor to kick in his salary to pay for your child's health? The grocer to pay for his food?"

We are simply asking for teachers to understand that they cannot get raises, not during this economic downturn.

You say the teachers agreed to paycuts, yet that money will have to be used to finance their raises (step and column). Do you not see how dumb this "solution" is?

Look at salaries even in districts like Palo Alto. PUSD teachers are well paid, and they complain about having to pay for healthcare when it was their union that negotiated that. If it is such a bad deal, they can re-do the terms and ask for healthcare to be covered; of course that would mean less cash to pocket, and most teachers do not pay for healthcare. We again see the majority of selfish teachers getting away with a nice deal at the expense of their colleagues, and now also at the expense of the students


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Posted by confused
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:57 am

I agree that we may not be able to sustain the S & C, but that is a different issue. That will probably come next. BUT they did do something. Let's appreciate that. And work WITH them for the next step.

While specialists may seem like an unnecessary expense, it is the way that elementary teachers receive their prep periods. At the middle and high school, the teachers get a prep a day. And while they have more students, elementary teachers have so much more prep being ready for all subjects as well as dealing with so many issues that are not present at middle and high school. They need their prep too. Perhaps we should try to think outside the box for other ways to give prep to elementary. Then they may be more willing to give these specialists up.


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Posted by to the high school parent who is upset
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:10 pm

The fundraising will support all kids. Elementary parents will contribute for all levels. Hopefully we can raise enough to get everything back. Don't let one comment pull us apart. The community is hopefully working together for the good of all the kids. Let's make this a positive experience. It's worth it for our children and for Pleasanton as a community.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Posted by Disappointed, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, 32 minutes ago

"The teachers have tried to do something to help the budget"

I do not view it that way. It was clear from hearing speakers at board meetings this month that the teachers wanted to keep all the specialists (science,etc) for their own good.

My RESPONSE:
You are so pathetic! The teachers didn't want to keep them for THEIR OWN GOOD. The specialists are what sets us apart and above other districts. We have the state, and western region P.E. teacher of the year, Terri Drain, working for our district!!!!!!!! - Highly specialized people are teaching these specific subject areas. In other districts, P.E., Science Lab, Music, are something that general ed teachers "get to" if they are able to. It is not valued. Teachers wanted to keep these specialists because they know that what these specialists add to the education of Pleasanton students.

Kudos teachers! Thank you for your sacrifice.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Re: "I agree that we may not be able to sustain the S & C, but that is a different issue. That will probably come next. BUT they did do something. Let's appreciate that. And work WITH them for the next step. "

It's a three year contract. That is called kicking the can down the street and hoping it gets lost in a storm drain.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

"Highly specialized people are teaching these specific subject areas. In other districts, P.E., Science Lab, Music, are something that general ed teachers "get to" if they are able to. It is not valued. Teachers wanted to keep these specialists because they know that what these specialists add to the education of Pleasanton students."

Someone used three districts as examples of good districts because they have a parcel tax: San Ramon, Palo Alto and Cupertino.

I called one of them this morning: Cupertino.

Over there, they will still have 7 periods in high school but in elementary, class size goes up to 30.

In PUSD, the elementary community was more vocal, fine. Do the donations yourselves and do not count on us for parcel taxes or fundraising. It is the elementary teachers more than anything getting the benefit.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm

"Teachers wanted to keep these specialists because they know that what these specialists add to the education of Pleasanton students."

And they did so at the expense of the high school students.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

"Elementary parents will contribute for all levels."

I doubt it. As upset as they all were about CSR last year, did you see how little was raised? Less than half a million.

For 9 elementaries, that is very little. Obviously elementary parents want services but are not willing to donate, it was very clear last year during the ILPS campaign. If every parent in elementary had donated money, there would have been enough money to keep class size at 20.

As an elementary parent I know that this science specialist does not add as much value as they say. Kids can do without them, but of course it would mean teachers have to actually teach science


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Posted by to disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Your other option is to get involved, fundraise and get these valuable programs back for high school. It's completely possible for these programs to come back if people get involved. It wouldn't take a huge contribution from every parent in this district to get every cut off the list.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

"it is the way that elementary teachers receive their prep periods."

Exactly, it had nothing to do with the kids. It had to do with the teachers needing prep periods, and also not wanting to teach these areas themselves.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm

"Your other option is to get involved, fundraise and get these valuable programs back for high school."

Again I use the ILPS campaign as example. Promises were made about specific items. Not enough money was raised, so the board and Casey decided instead to use that money to pay for part of the salary of the PIO, counselors in elementary, etc.

Unless they have a specific item for the high school, it won't work.

Did you see the surveys? They ask what you value (including custodians, etc) then they ask how much you want to give but they don't allow you to say which area, it is all a big item.

You may not see this, but the concessions pay for this year's elementary programs only. My guess is that any money raised through parcel taxes or fundraising will go to that but for the following year.

The decision has already been made and it is unlikely high schools will get anything back.

Good luck with your fundraising, you will needed, hopefully you can get the elementary parents to give what they refused to give last year.


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Posted by to disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Why don't you check the facts about fundraising this year before you make too many statements like this. You may be less disappointed and you may be able to be more proactive about the choices you make this year. A lot of people are working very hard to make fundraising work across all levels.


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Confused says "why do you expect teachers to pay for your childs education?"

Nice straw man. Ya, that's what all the opponents of unions are saying. We're organizing a movement whereby property taxes are only placed on the homes of teachers, so that they alone pay for public education.

Oh, and I didn't realize teachers didn't have kids in the schools. Wow, we are unfair. We only want teachers to pay for our kids education, not theirs. You have opened our eyes to our folly.

I also didn't realize our property taxes paid for doctors and grocers and such jobs in the private sector. Thanks for clearing that up

I'd be confused too if I misperceived things as you do


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Posted by confused
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

It is too bad you are so close minded and angry!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by To Confused
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 2:50 pm

To Confused, you say "Why do you expect the teachers to pay for your child's education?". Teachers are not paying for our child's education, our tax money is. Maybe the teachers should be thanking me for sending my kids to Pleasanton Schools as the district gets money from the state to pay the teachers by my kid's attendance in the school.

In the private sector, a person who receives no pay increase or a pay cut because of a limit in the income of the company has to deal with it, or find another job in a company that is doing better financially.

In the public sector, a person who received no pay increase or a pay cut is said to be subsidizing the customer, if I understand what some people are saying on this forum.

Maybe we should conduct an experiment. Lets give a pay cut to our teachers of 5-8%% (or some amount) and we keep all the programs we have today. Do you believe the quality of our education in Pleasanton would be decreased? Would Pleasanton be singled out as an undesirable place for teachers to come to work for? I think not.

The job of the school board is to give the highest level of education within the income it receives. "The teachers want more money" is not an excuse for not giving us the best education. If the Board cannot handle this, they should move on and let some business-minded professionals do the job.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm

And I think it is important to clarify, from the community standpoint, the salary schedule at the teacher's level isn't the only area that needs to be, or should be targetted. Personally, if the district can find a way to maintain the existing salary/compensation structure while maintaining the education level all within the allocated budget - no problem as far as I am concerned. If the administration can take cuts to support the salary structure, then so be it. However I think it has been made all to clear that the current COLA/S&C/raises/etc. are not sustainable on an ongoing basis - which is why there is so much focus on them.


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Posted by Take a breath
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm


Of course our taxes pay for public education…..
Of course teachers pay their share of taxes, just like anyone else….
So…we all have 'paid', right?

And now, the teachers have stepped forward to help close a portion of the huge financial gap by reducing their own income – and thus, maintain some of the education services we all want for children.

And, we all have a vested interest in the outcome for education, right?

I appreciate what the teachers have added to the solution, and hope the citizens will match them.


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

You say teachers pay there share of taxes, which I agree. However, if I were a public sector employee I might have more ease in paying taxes knowing that I'm effectively paying myself. Teachers get to take from the tax pot they put into. Private sector employees, ie: the majority, do not.

I don't think the unionists yet understand, or wanto understand, that we would be happy to pay more if we thought it valid. But we don't. I don't want the teachers to "sacrifice.". I want the system to be balanced. Right now it's imbalanced. I'm sorry that you unions placed it so out of balance in the first place, so that now you perceive sacrifice when merely we want things put right.

For lack of a better analogy, I'll use this once more. We perceive you to be akin to an obese 600 pound person who loses five pounds and then says "well I've done my part. Now meet me halfway and give me more candy!"

No homeboy. You're fat. That's your problem and you need to lose a lot more weight. Me "meeting you halfway" is a non sequitor


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I meant to say their where I said there. I hate when I make that mistake. One of my peeves


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Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm

That council meeting was funny. Several speakers villified bloggers as "not representative of the community". Surrounded be their cronies frop APT, they vowed to push for a pracel tax getting a thunderous applause by the pro teacher union crowd. What a cozy little bubble they live it.

The fact is that there is a substantial minority in this town that opposes the parcel tax. And in the voting booth there are no pep rallies to distort perceptions. One third is all we need baby. Bring it on!


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Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm

FIXED THE TYPOS

That council meeting was funny. Several speakers villified bloggers as "not representative of the community". Surrounded by their cronies frop APT, they vowed to push for a pracel tax getting a thunderous applause by the pro teacher union crowd. What a cozy little bubble they live in.

The fact is that there is a substantial minority in this town that opposes the parcel tax. And in the voting booth there are no pep rallies to distort perceptions. One third is all we need baby. Bring it on!




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Posted by All teachers fired at this school district in Rhode Island
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Looks like a school district in Rhode Island is not afraid of the unions and fired all the teachers:

"A school board in Rhode Island has voted to fire all teachers at a struggling high school, a dramatic move aimed at shoring up education in a poverty-ridden school district.

In a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, the board approved the plan by Frances Gallo, superintendent at Central Falls School District, to discharge the teachers, administrators and other personnel at Central Falls High School.

The firings, which will be effective at the end of this school year, came after the district said it failed to reach an agreement with the teachers' union on a plan for the teachers to spend more time with students to improve test scores."

Web Link


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I think the majority is opposed to the tax with a significant minority STRONGLY opposed. But the strongly part is important. That minority will keep apprised of the situation and will make sure to get into the booth


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm

All Teachers, thank you for posting that article. It's time to reboot the system


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anna Graham
a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm

"Don't fire:"

You've made the claim in another thread that you are a teacher. Why, then, are you so anti-teacher? And how do you get in all this posting during your day? Do you get any work done?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Is that all you got?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by My 2/100
a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Not much was needed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Me,

Perhaps you could explain to everyone how automatic salary increases increase student achievement.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon seems to understand no new taxes
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Since San Ramon was mentioned in several threads about a district that cares because of its parcel tax, I thought it would be useful for all to read this article:

Web Link

It looks like the communities in many districts are finally questioning why services are being cut despite their parcel taxes:

"Earlier in the evening, a parent who worked on the campaign to pass a districtwide parcel tax in May criticized the budget cuts the district is considering. He said the community thought the Measure C parcel tax would fund those services."

"Meanwhile, the school district continues to look at budget cut possibilities. Also Tuesday, the school board look at a list of possible further reductions, including elimination of crossing guards, a 30 percent reduction in counselors for middle and high schools — the equivalent of eight full-time positions. The district, which has a $215 million budget this year, is expecting a $30 million deficit over the two upcoming school years. "

I am surprised we still have people in PUSD saying that we need a parcel tax. Don't they read the news? Districts like Cupertino, San Ramon, Palo Alto who have parcel taxes are getting ready to cut programs, programs that were supposed to be funded by the parcel tax (Cupertino and San Ramon, as well as Palo Alto are increasing class sizes). Palo Alto is trying to renew and increase the amount of the parcel tax in May.

It is never enough, districts will always find a way to threaten people with program cuts unless more taxes are approved.

Unless districts freeze teachers' and employees' raises, no parcel tax or temporary concession will be a real solution to the budget problem.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by teacher
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:56 pm

To Disappointed -

What are you talking about? My students only go to the science specialist once a week for lab work. I am responsible for teaching science the other four days. Either you know very little,like spreading false information, or care little about elementary children. Unfortunately, I believe all three are correct. Too bad you're disappointed. Boo hoo.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Educator
a resident of Civic Square
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:09 pm

@ Stacey

"Perhaps you could explain to everyone how automatic salary increases increase student achievement."

You should be more worried about how salary decreases can decrease student acheivement!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Educator,

Red herring. I guess your answer to my question is that you don't have an answer.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:40 pm

According to the PUSD website:

"Continuing instruction by elementary physical education, science, and vocal music specialists ($931,000)"

According to teacher above:
"My students only go to the science specialist once a week for lab work"

The teachers were willing to hurt the high school students for once a week in the lab? For once a week in PE and music?

If teachers already take care of science, then why the need for a science specialist? Can't the teachers do the lab themselves since it is only once a week?

It seems quite costly to keep PE, science and music specialists (almost a million). It is only less than half a million to keep the 7 periods in high school. Hmmmm..


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm

"or care little about elementary children. "

I have elementary kids and fail to see the value of a science specialists. You on the other hand, cannot possibly see you doing your job without the science specialist not because of the students but because of the prep period, right?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I assume that PE, Science and Music specialists get paid about the same because it requires special training to get certified for what they do.

That means that if all 3 programs are 931K, Science specialists are about 300K.

Since Teacher above states teachers only use the Science specialist once a week, it seems quite costly. And it does not seem necessary as teachers can do the lab themselves; after all, they are the ones doing the lectures, so the lab should be an easy addition for them to take care of.

Why spend 300K in times of budget deficit for a Science specialist when other programs/items could use the funds?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm

To "San Ramon",

San Ramon is a great example of a parcel tax working for a community. It is obvious to any unbiased observer that San Ramon is better able to maintain programs and provide quality education than they would have without a parcel tax.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. No amount of concessions will ever be enough for the anti-tax zealots. Frankly, people who are not themselves well educated aren't likely to understand the importance of a quality education, and not likely to vote to adequately fund it. Fortunately these people are very much in the minority in Pleasanton.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm

To Stacey,

Automatic salary increases are a vital tool in retaining and hiring the best teachers. Obviously, student achievement is affected by the quality of their teachers. The connection is clear.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:22 pm

"If the Board cannot handle this, they should move on and let some business-minded professionals do the job."

Maybe somebody like this:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

A reader,

The connection is absolutely not clear. Student achievement is affected by the quality of their teachers, yes. So how does automatic salary increases equate quality teaching? Please educate everyone on this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Without that benefit, you are giving yet another incentive for a teacher, especially in math or sciences, to pursue a far more lucrative career in another field. I know of at least one person who was former teacher with a math background who went into the IT field because of better pay.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Would the pro parcel tax crowd quit calling it a "revenue ehhancement". It's a tax hike for cryin out loud!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:29 pm

To a reader- you guys keep telling yourselves that we're the minority. If that were true, you wouldn't have to harp on it so much. But whatever helps you sleep at night.

To my 2/100, you're such a wit... If only by half

Ah, I love the smell of desperation in my opponents. Smells like victory


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Posted by Let them go if they want
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:48 am

"you are giving yet another incentive for a teacher, especially in math or sciences, to pursue a far more lucrative career in another field."

Let them. There is a reason they are in teaching. The private sector is very competitive and in this economy especially.

By all means teachers who would prefer to go to the private sector should. We should not give in to their unreasonable union demands just because they threaten to quit. Quit, let's see how well they do in the private sector, where by the way, there will not be a union to protect them, and long days are common. No more summers off, etc.


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Posted by Did you read the article?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:21 am

"San Ramon is a great example of a parcel tax working for a community."

Did you read the article? Community members are upset because they are seeing cuts to programs the parcel tax promised to save!

San Ramon is an example of a district that passed a parcel tax with promises to save certain programs, then turned around and said : ooops, never mind, cut programs and use the parcel tax money to pay the teacher raises (ie, make up state deficits)


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Posted by To reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:54 am

"Frankly, people who are not themselves well educated aren't likely to understand the importance of a quality education, "

I think it is the other way around. Those of us with post graduate degrees and jobs in the private sector know how to analyze this.

The paycuts the teachers claim are not so. They are days off without pay.

San Ramon has lied to its community by promising to save certain programs and then turning around and cutting those programs so they can continue to fund step and column.

I think the people who do not understand numbers can be easily fooled by the APT concessions. Too bad.


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Posted by a concerned parent of bad teachers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

Have your children not experienced the poor math teaching at the middle and high schools? There are so few who do a good job in this area now. What will happen if we can't attract people who understand the math well enough to teach it? It is already a problem. PLEASE do NOT make it worse!!!!!


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Posted by concerned parent of bad teachers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:49 am

That last comment was directed to "Let them go if they want"


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:53 am

Any adult who's not a fool could take a month of training and teach any math below precalc


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Posted by concerned parent of bad teachers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

Don't Fire... You are rude and obnoxious! I feel sorry for you and your family (if you have one). You must be a very unhappy person.


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Posted by Take a Breath
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Don't Fire posted:

"You say teachers pay there share of taxes, which I agree. However, if I were a public sector employee I might have more ease in paying taxes knowing that I'm effectively paying myself. Teachers get to take from the tax pot they put into. Private sector employees, ie: the majority, do not."


You are cracking me up.…. LOL

So, when a teacher or any public employee purchases the goods or services that you create (if you actually do…) they are effectively paying you? Sorry…..yours is a "non starter" argument



But, you are probably right - When a teacher or other publically paid employee is PAYING THEIR TAXES, I am SURE he/she says – phew – oh joy…it's like paying myself.

You're a 'funny' person.

;-)




BTW – Anne asked a good question. I can't believe you teach in public education (K-12).


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Posted by Let them go if they want to
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm

"Have your children not experienced the poor math teaching at the middle and high schools?"

Yes they have. And that is exactly my point: these math and science teachers would not last very long in the private sector, if they get hired at all. The post that says some math teacher went into IT: unless you have not noticed, while IT jobs are still out there, they are reserved for the very qualified, not for teachers who decide to switch. In this economy, at least my company, experienced people is what we look for, this is not like the dot com era where anyone who could breath could be hired. Skills, talent counts.


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Posted by GeoffLeeVog
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Feb 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm

GeoffLeeVog is a registered user.

Please get rid of your misplaced angers and join me a moment to think of those who affect our lives greatly. Surely among these would be TEACHERS!

I'm a parent myself and just so surprised on how some of you are so angry. Perhaps some of you never really worked and just depended on your working spouses? Wake up!

Did you know that a teacher spends thousands of hour each year to make sure that your kids receive the highest possible education in Pleasanton? Do you really think that all the accolades of Pleasanton School District were due to you, parents?

Did you know that teachers spend more hours each year on work-related tasks that any other profession...that most of all--teachers just want a simple "thank you?" I'm so embarassed that some of our teachers have read your negative comments in this forum.

It's so easy for you, parents, who work out in Club Sport or go shopping at Stoneridge on your "spare" times to criticize the individuals who have been working diligently to educate your kids!

SHAME ON YOU! I'm embarassed to be associated with parents like you!


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Take a breath, yes the customer does pay the salaries of the private sector employee. However, he's not compelled to. Thus, the private sector does EVERYTHING thinking about what the customer wants, not what they think the customer should want. Tha private sector employee, for lack of a better phrase, kisses the customers' butts. They wouldn't say "Oh you don't want to buy my iPhone?! Well then you must hate your children! You must not care about their future! You're selfish and cheap! Shame on you! I mean for the cost of one night on the town you could buy an iPhone! Well if you won't buy it then I'll organize a stacked vote where we force all of you to buy it!"

In the private sector, employees don't get mad at customers for not buying their products. The do all they can to appease their customers' demands until they've appeased them.

And you're argument style is eerily familiar to Cholo and Thanks. LOL? What are you 13?


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Posted by Anna Graham
a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm

"Smells like victory," said "Don't Fire."

If your idea of victory is board approval of the teacher's concessions and the non-disbanding of the union (which you've been advocating).

Or did you change sides since you lost? Are you a flip-flopper?

Oh, and are you going to answer the question about your job? Are you brave enough for that?


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm

No Anna, if you all want to address what I'm saying, then you have to know the context of what I'm saying which means looking to who I'm talking to, which takes an ounce of discernment. In the case of smelling victory, I said that because my opponents were getting so obviously frazzled that they were doing nothing but engage in personal attacks and other desperate outbursts. You can't come halfway into a debate, not do any research on the context, and think you know what you're talking about. It's like the guy who accused me of using LOL and made fun of me for it, when I was the one making fun of my opponents who said LOL. Get a clue


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gin Rummy
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Anna,

Don't bother trying to get a simple, straight answer out of him; he'll only change the subject or attack you. Probably both. He's more than happy to hide his wretchedness behind complete anonymity while attacking people's jobs, but he'd never own up to his own job. Maybe he's worried someone will come in and mess with him at his work. Like, pull the plug on the Squishee machine or something.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Who are you Gin Rummy? Who are you and what do you do? I'm dying to know (not). But in the spirit of fairness, why don't you divulge, if you're so desperate to know my life?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gin Rummy
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I do physical therapy for children with disabilities. And you?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:36 pm

I build orphanages for Haitians using organic materials.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Freido
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I am the chief chef in Ethopia.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gin Rummy
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Anna,

As you can see, Don't Fire has proven my point for me.

Now that he's been exposed, I'd like to re-focus on the thread and thank our board and the teachers of Pleasanton for working this solution!


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Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Now that Gin Rummy has been exposed as a self righteous liar who can't debate, can we get this thread back on track? I'm trying to have a reasonable debate here. We need solutions people, not personal attacks


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:55 pm

"The post that says some math teacher went into IT: unless you have not noticed, while IT jobs are still out there, they are reserved for the very qualified, not for teachers who decide to switch. In this economy, at least my company, experienced people is what we look for, this is not like the dot com era where anyone who could breath could be hired. Skills, talent counts."

We're still hiring new college grads and people have MS degrees in computer science or computer engineering with top grades can be hired without any or with little experience. In fact the teacher I referred to got an MS degree in CS at CSU Hayward, and that opened the door. I think we want more people of that caliber working as teachers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Dont fire is too young for a job, sounds like one of my middle schoolers, cant you tell by the writing?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 25, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Teacher,

Actually, that poster should register his moniker on this site and post while logged in. The writing is different while the moniker is the same.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Don't fire,

Don't you know it's going to be "Cuss Free Week"? Web Link

Now if only our State legislature can do some real work on the budget and getting down to the business of education reform that California already has a plan on!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 26, 2010 at 1:09 am

So the first week in March is supposed to be "Cuss Free". Well I'm gonna get it out of my system before it becomes "official"!!!

DANG!!! There, I'm ok to go now...

Wonder if it's the partial week of March 1 - 6 or the full week of March 7 - 13...:)

And we wonder why most people think California is nutty. We're going broke and all our elected officials can do is come up with something like this... What a bunch of jmokes... Sad...

Keep electing them, folks...

I realize this is off topic but I couldn't resist...:)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Let them go
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2010 at 7:28 am

"We're still hiring new college grads and people have MS degrees in computer science or computer engineering with top grades can be hired without any or with little experience. In fact the teacher I referred to got an MS degree in CS at CSU Hayward, and that opened the door. I think we want more people of that caliber working as teachers."

The good and qualified teachers will not be afraid to be held accountable.

The bad teachers need the union.

Unions are a problem. When you start hiring and retaining based on merit rather than collective bargaining, you will see a lot more qualified people in teaching.

Right now, no matter what PUSD does, the fact that we have a union and many incompetent teachers, it will be hard no matter what to retain and hire competent and qualified teachers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Let them go
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2010 at 7:30 am

"We're still hiring new college grads and people have MS degrees in computer science or computer engineering with top grades can be hired without any or with little experience. In fact the teacher I referred to got an MS degree in CS at CSU Hayward, and that opened the door. I think we want more people of that caliber working as teachers."

Your company is different from many. New grads are still being hired, but people with degrees who have not worked on their field even as interns who have been out of school for years have a more difficult time.

CSU Hayward is not considered a top university.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pharmacy tech
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Feb 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm

nice post. thanks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Maggog
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Apr 4, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Post removed


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