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27 positions on possible chopping block in Pleasanton school district

Original post made on Mar 11, 2010

The Pleasanton school board voted last night to send notices of possible layoff for 27 full-time positions, fewer than expected and even some of those could be spared if state financial aid improves.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 11, 2010, 8:00 AM

Comments (107)

Posted by Teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 11, 2010 at 8:21 am

This is just plain silly. The war drum has been beating on campuses that another round of massive layoffs are on the way, that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, now only 27 folks are going to be layed off. Teachers were given the impression it would be far more. It is exactly this kind of scare tactic from the District Office that pits teachers and the community against eachother! The teachers start to prepare their defenses to hold as many of their colleagues as possible only to see such a paltry action by the district office.


Posted by Teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:50 am

The only reason it was 27 and not 100 is the teachers gave up 8 days of PAY to save class size and many other programs to the tune of 4.5 million dollars. Teachers on the top end will be out $4500 and if they are married to a teacher in the district $9000. Unlike every other district in the area APT was proactive giving days so that 100 teachers would not have to be laid off. Unfortunately the situation is so bad 27 were still given notice. Hopefully most will be still be retained when the budget is clarified more.


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm

The actions taken by the board were influenced by the teachers' agreement on modifying their contract. If the teachers had not agreed to any modifications, the board cuts would have had to be deeper.

The agreement about furlough days preserved current class sizes, reading, music, science and PE specialists in elementary, as well as counselors across the district. Other provisions in the agreement had the consequence of shaping where layoffs would occur (in middle and high schools, where the student to staff ratio was increased by 1).

The agreement is for one year only, so there will be a number of tough choices ahead that will impact students, teachers and staff in the fall of 2011. Projections right now indicate that the revenue the state provides to the district will be cut again for 2011-2012, though the cuts are expect to be smaller than the cuts in revenue the for next year, this year, and last year.


Posted by To Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

"The agreement about furlough days preserved current class sizes, reading, music, science and PE specialists in elementary, as well as counselors across the district. Other provisions in the agreement had the consequence of shaping where layoffs would occur (in middle and high schools, where the student to staff ratio was increased by 1)."

Why are you spreding INCORRECT information, Sandy?

The furlough days, per the district, save about 1,080,000.00 - that is hardly enough to save class sizes, and PE and all that stuff you claim.

What happened was they decided to make the high schools give up items such as the 7 period day. That right there saves money because it means teachers let go. Increasing class sizes also saves money, right? Less staff and more students per class in middle school and high school.

So please state things the way they really are. Yes, the furlough days save about a million, but if I remember correctly, the concessions added up to 4.5 million. The furlough days alone did NOT save all the programs you claim.

What happened was the elementary community was quite vocal, especially that lady that said she is from Livermore and went to Stanford blah blah. Since she has a 5 year old, that is all she cared about. Gee, she even told the board to make the high schools suffer in order to pass a parcel tax, said we do not need AP classes, oh yeah but her precious child must have a science specialist, and CSR and music.

Go raise money from elementary parents. And good luck with a parcel tax, I will vote NO and silently campaign against it. I will remind everyone about the lady who selfishly proposed to punish the high school so her 5 year old would be ok

Better start lobbying for a freeze to step and column and other smart and fiscally responsible moves.


Posted by To Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm

"Projections right now indicate that the revenue the state provides to the district will be cut again for 2011-2012, though the cuts are expect to be smaller than the cuts in revenue the for next year, this year, and last year."

So revenues will be cut again, do you think it is time to freeze step and column or should we continue to give raises even though revenues will be down again?


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I see that Kansas City is shutting down half it's schools. We are not done here yet. The big problem is retirement benefits. Noone has belled that cat yet.


Posted by huh?, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I don't get the logic of the post above (to Sandy)

If you're unhappy about the cuts hitting the high schools, how does saying no to a parcel tax help that situation? And is your reason for voting "no" and lobbying against it really just because one lady stood up at a school board meeting and you didn't agree with her? Major flawed reasoning...


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm

"So revenues will be cut again, do you think it is time to freeze step and column or should we continue to give raises even though revenues will be down again?"

We should raise revenue so that there won't be a shortfall. Simple stuff.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm

" I will vote NO and silently campaign against it. "

Well you don't sound to silent to me, but if that is the way logic works for you, then good luck with that.

And since I may be joining the board in the fall, this kind of illogical statement is not the kind of thing that I'll be listening to with a lot of sympathy, should the community be fortunate enough to elect me. And I say that with all due respect and humility.


Posted by To huh?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm

"If you're unhappy about the cuts hitting the high schools, how does saying no to a parcel tax help that situation?"

Because the concessions pay only for one year and focus on elementary, after that they will need money probably from the parcel tax, and guess where the money would go to?. Trust me, I doubt that the 7 day period will be reinstated.


Posted by To huh?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Also, the fundraising effort does not even mention the 7 day period even though it is only about half a million, less than a lot of the stuff they are currently financing (say CSR)


Posted by To A reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Hopefully the community will not vote for you. I will make sure during forums, you are asked your stand on the parcel tax. That should turn quite a few against you.


Posted by David, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Well you have been dancing around for a couple of day now reader. Don't you think it is time for the big reveal? Let's get on with it so we can all choose our sides and debate.


Posted by To A reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm

"should the community be fortunate enough to elect me"

You already lost my vote, that of my spouse and most of my neighbors (who oppose the parcel tax).


Posted by concessions?, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm

The only concessions I see are the ones students are taking. Am I just alone on this one or what? Teachers (and yes many of them I consider friends of mine) take a pay cut? A pay cut is when you continue to work the same number of hours, if not more, for less money. It's not days off without pay, but call it what you want. (Yes, I know teachers work hard, take things home, etc. etc. but when you're an exempt employee that's just what you do! All the while,our kids miss instruction time, parents and kids miss out on Open House, and there will be no scheduled parent/teacher conferences, unless requested. Who is paying the price? Our kids and our community! In the private, non-unionized sector if your company is going belly-up you work harder for less. But at PUSD, we'll just take away things from the kids like instruction days, Open Houses and conferences. Open House is a lot of work, I know. I'm one of those moms that comes and helps tack things up on the bulletin boards, make the memory books and hang things from the ceiling. Why is this such a drain on the education process and teachers that it has to go away? I really don't understand that one at all, but that is probably the least of this district's worries. As far as qualifications for a new superintendent, let's make sure kids are at the top of his/her list.


Posted by To A reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm

"We should raise revenue so that there won't be a shortfall. Simple stuff."

Wow, we certainly do not need another moron on the board. Which part of the deficit and recession do you not understand? Until raises (step and column) and unreasonable perks are dealt with, no amount of money will be sufficient.

Look at San Ramon. You said so many times how they were great because of the parcel tax etc etc. Yeah, they are now using the parcel tax money not for programs but for raises.

I can't wait to campaign against you - we do not need someone as blind and dumb as you on the board.


Posted by To concessions?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm

"The only concessions I see are the ones students are taking. Am I just alone on this one or what? Teachers (and yes many of them I consider friends of mine) take a pay cut? A pay cut is when you continue to work the same number of hours, if not more, for less money. It's not days off without pay, but call it what you want"

You are right, and you are not alone in your analysis of the concessions. I called them that to make a point, but I too think the concessions were not a good solution. The students will pay the price, by having more students in class (middle school and high school, and last year elementary), no 7 period, etc.

A true concession would have been to make the furlough days the three extra days they get at thanksgiving. That would have meant same work schedule but less pay, a true paycut.

A better solution would have been to freeze step and column, take a 4% cut across the board. But the unions will never go for that.

We will see what is done nationwide as more schools like Rhode Island and Kansas make the news as examples of how bad the unions can be and the awful consequences. We may just see some reform. For now, the only thing I can do is speak with my wallet, no more donations, no to parcel tax and continue to talk to every one I come in contact with about how screwed up this logic from school districts including PUSD is.


Posted by A must read, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Please read this forum:
Web Link

Someone posted it. It talks about how much unions have spent not for the benefit of students but themselves.


Posted by David, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Don't be coy now reader. You have been pontificating for months. Don't you think we deserve to know who to vote for?


Posted by A must read, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

The post has a link to this article:

Web Link

These are a few quotes from that article:

"In all, 15 groups - two labor unions, six corporations, three Indian tribes and four business associations - spent more than $1 billion over the past 10 years to sway the outcomes of elections and government decisions, the report said."

"For example, the California Teachers Association, which represents 330,000 public school teachers in the state, spent $26 million to defeat a school voucher system in 2000 and another $50 million to kill three other ballot measures."

"These 15 groups spent more than a combined $1 billion over the past 10 years to influence public policy:

-- California Teachers Association: $211.8 million

... "


THe CTA makes the top! It is the one group that spent the most influencing elections, politicians.


Hey CTA, why not spent the money on the students? 211 billion is a lot and could do wonders for struggling school districts. And didn't you get that money from your members, ie, teachers?


Posted by A must read - correction, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm

"211 billion"

should be 211 million


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm

The California Teachers Association outspent the combined gaming (gambling) industry. They also out-paced big tobacco by more than a four to one margin. Now THAT is some political muscle. Anyone actually still believe it is "all for the children"?


Posted by teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Interesting, a "true pay cut" is now the way this community views it? Let me tell you about my 4% pay cut- I have been frozen on step and column for two years now, and more to come in the next upcoming years. My families medical benefits have gone up, while my salary stayed the same, until this year. My husband has been out of work for a year now. With this new pay cut, we are barely hanging in to keep our house. My children will not be playing spring sports, and I am now looking for a second job.

Explain a "true pay cut" to my children. Are you pleased to hear of others pain?

$11 million dollars was cut last year- the brunt of it felt in the elementary schools. The logic of "To Sandy" baffles me- since high school has there share of the cuts this year, all of a sudden it is not fair? I see the point- as long as it doesnt affect you, its fine.


Posted by To teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Last year all elementaries saw was an increase in class size. This year, high schools see loss of 7 period days, loss of funding for many extracurricular activities, more crowded classrooms. Elementaries keep CSR, I am okay with that since they saw an increase last year. But why would high schools have to give up the 7 period so elementaries can keep ALL their programs (Music, PE, Science Specialists, Reading Specialists) Not evenly spread if you ask me. And that woman that proposed the punishing of high schools had nothing in mind but keeping programs for her 5 year old, even proposed to get rid of AP classes.

I am sorry to hear about your personal hardship, but that does not change the fact that you are not getting a paycut. A paycut would be working the same amount of days and getting paid less. What you are seeing is yes, less money but also less work. So if I don't work on Wed and do not get paid, that is NOT a paycut but a day off without pay, get it?


Posted by Elementary My Dear Watson, a resident of Willow West
on Mar 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Its pretty simple. The elementary schools got hit hard after last year so now the high schools are being bled out. Now the 27 teachers will die a silent death with few in the community caring or noticing.

Open House - Elementary
Family Math Nights - Elementary

The high school concession of a 7 day knocked a number of teachers out at all three high schools, and the increase was not in class sizes but in SITE RATIO. That means add up the number of credentialed staff and divide by total students. That means a librarian counts as a teacher and that someone who is part time counts as someone with a full load. Average high school classes will be at 33 as a minimum with some going four to five students above.



Posted by To Elementary...Watson, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm

"Its pretty simple. The elementary schools got hit hard after last year so now the high schools are being bled out. Now the 27 teachers will die a silent death with few in the community caring or noticing."

Quite a few took notice and will speak with their wallets and votes. So make sure you fundraise with elementary parents, oh btw I have kids in elementary too but I do not agree with the cuts to the high schools so I won't be giving money or voting.

"Open House - Elementary"
This is not a result of budget cuts but of teachers making a point. If I am asked to take a day off without pay, I am still expected to do my job, that is how it works in the real world. Lazy teachers here chose to punish the kids, nothing to do with budget cuts. Open House were not costing anything, but teachers are saying no because they want to punish kids and parents alike.

"Family Math Nights - Elementary"
Again, due to lazy teachers not budget cuts. Reminds me of Rhode Island where teachers were like: oh no I have to work 7 hours? Goodness no! Tutor a student? No way - so they got fired, I wish we could do the same here in PUSD

"The high school concession of a 7 day knocked a number of teachers out at all three high schools, and the increase was not in class sizes but in SITE RATIO. That means add up the number of credentialed staff and divide by total students. That means a librarian counts as a teacher and that someone who is part time counts as someone with a full load. Average high school classes will be at 33 as a minimum with some going four to five students above. "

It would have been better to freeze step and column, take a 4% cut across the board. But no, selfish teachers again, (led by their union which btw spent 211 million over the past 10 years lobbying against reforms), making decisions that hurt the students


Posted by To Elementary....Watson, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm

"or voting."

meant to say "or voting for any parcel tax"


Posted by My 2/100, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 11, 2010 at 7:23 pm

>A paycut would be working the same amount of days and getting paid less. What you are seeing is yes, less money but also less work. So if I don't work on Wed and do not get paid, that is NOT a paycut but a day off without pay, get it?

Yeah, I get it, You're a complete sadist, and part of the problem. Teachers are paid by a 186 day (or so) school year. Not by the hour. Not by the month, week, or day. Payments are typically spread out over 10 months (a few elect to be paid over 12, personal choice.)

They work fewer days, and are paid proportionately less.
The CA state standards remain the same. The expectation for the year remains the same.

Somehow it's not good enough because it doesn't fit your tortured definition of a pay cut.

Let's face it: you want a pay cut, you got one. Now you want to dictate the method. I think that for some of you, no manner or method of "pay cut" is ever going to suffice.

I've never been a union supporter, but if I were a teacher, I would be looking at a union to speak up in defense against the likes of many of the posters here. I know for a fact most of them work their ass off. They shouldn't have to be put on the defensive over what is by any reasonable definition a modest living.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm

To the person who posts as "To everything".

I am advocating for a parcel tax, and retention of step and column. I have never said otherwise. You could do your readers a favor by sticking to just one name. Otherwise people may surmise that you are just trying to disrupt the conversation.


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:12 pm

"The furlough days, per the district, save about 1,080,000.00 - that is hardly enough to save class sizes, and PE and all that stuff you claim."

That's how much the 3 furlough days in the remainder of this school year will save. There are additional furlough days in the 2010-2011 school year, some instructional days and some not. The furloughs alone don't add up to the full $4.5 million, but it's nothing to sneeze at either.

It's true that there were savings that came from increasing class sizes in middle and high schools -- which lead to layoffs.

Also, I want to note that teachers already do not get paid for the three days at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. It's not possible to cut their pay for those three days, because they already don't get paid.


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:12 pm

"The furlough days, per the district, save about 1,080,000.00 - that is hardly enough to save class sizes, and PE and all that stuff you claim."

That's how much the 3 furlough days in the remainder of this school year will save. There are additional furlough days in the 2010-2011 school year, some instructional days and some not. The furloughs alone don't add up to the full $4.5 million, but it's nothing to sneeze at either.

It's true that there were savings that came from increasing class sizes in middle and high schools -- which lead to layoffs.

Also, I want to note that teachers already do not get paid for the three days at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. It's not possible to cut their pay for those three days, because they already don't get paid.


Posted by f all of you!!!, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:14 pm

You are the most selfish and self-centered community i have ever seen. god will punish all o you!


Posted by To a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:19 pm

To a Reader, if you are thinking about a leadership position, you should demonstrate that in using your real name. Spreading your ideas and cutting other ideas down by not using your name, and then state you are looking at being on the board does not show real leadership skills. I don't look for a candidate that believes exactly like myself but I want a candidate who says how they feel openly. I respect that in a candidate.


Posted by To Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:31 pm

"Also, I want to note that teachers already do not get paid for the three days at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. It's not possible to cut their pay for those three days, because they already don't get paid."

Then why do students get those days off? I read in a thread that it was because students were taking those days off anyways. Well, what do you think will happen with the upcoming days off?

And Sandy what about my question for where the money will come from next year and the year after that since they are not freezing raises?

And the money btw also came from eliminating the 7 period in high school, not just from increasing class sizes.

About the savings of furlough days, isn't it 450K per day? So three days would be about 1.3 million, again not enough to even fund CSR in elementary


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm


Well look at what has happened in other districts that passed a parcel tax. Has that saved them from layoffs? No.

If you wait around for the government to solve your problems you are going to be out in the cold. The parents whose kids are surviving this mess are the ones working together to find alternatives to school cutbacks - things like tutoring co-ops, after school programs where the parents rotate who runs an interesting workshop or lesson, etc.


Posted by To Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:36 pm

"Also, I want to note that teachers already do not get paid for the three days at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. It's not possible to cut their pay for those three days, because they already don't get paid."

Are you 100% sure about that Sandy? Because your first post above was less than accurate, claiming the 3 furlough days paid for CSR and Music and etc etc.

Does anyone know for sure? Because if it is true that the teachers do not get paid for the days of Thanksgiving, then PUSD should re-think their calendar. PUSD is one of the only districts (actually the only one I know of) that takes the entire week of Thanksgiving off.

If I am not mistaken, the administration does work during that week, so that is cost


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

It's hard for me to tell what you are proposing, since you ask a series of questions. It sounds like you are advocating that we change the school calendar so that students and teachers are required to attend those three days before Thanksgiving in November. If school is open, and yet many students skip school on those days so that they can travel with their families for Thanksgiving, I don't think that does anyone any good. On days when school is open but attendance is low, costs are fixed but revenue from the state declines (because our ADA, average daily attendance, goes down).

I believe the $450k per day figure takes into account savings not just from teachers, but also from classified staff and management. Since an agreement about furlough days has not yet been reached with CSEA, the district is not counting that full amount in savings.

I agree with you that after the one-year agreement with the teachers ends, the district will still face tough choices.


Posted by Dr. Finkelstein, a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Mar 12, 2010 at 12:17 am

A parcel tax will never pass in Pleasanton. Doesn't matter if the majority required to pass the tax is lowered to 55%; the people of Pleasanton have turned their backs on the schools.

As for the deep, into-the-bone cuts to the school districts not only in California but across the country: it's the end of America as a "first world" nation and the beginning of its next phase, "banana republic with nuclear weapons".

Eh, it was a good ride while it lasted.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2010 at 7:04 am

Dr. Finkelstein, Pleasanton hasn't turned their backs on schools, just bad management of their tax dollars. There will be a shift, hopefully for the better, in the governance team in the coming months. I remain optimistic.

It's not the end of America, but it certainly is a time for sweeping, unsettling change. Large pensions, tenure, early retirement--those may become things of the past. Despite that, it's still one of the best rides on this planet.


Posted by My 2/100, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2010 at 7:41 am

>"Also, I want to note that teachers already do not get paid for the three days at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. It's not possible to cut their pay for those three days, because they already don't get paid."

This is in fact true. Teachers get paid for a set number of days per year, and if they don't work Thanksgiving week, they'll work other days at the beginning, middle, or end of the year. Many districts give the week off, it makes sense because attendance is atrocious during that week.


Posted by Anonymousse, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 8:56 am

Agree with Dr. Finkelstein: America is starting on a downhill path. We are already 19th in the WORLD when it comes to high school graduation rates. We used to be FIRST! China and other developing nations are INCREASING education funding, while the US and the UK has been decreasing it.

Wake up, people. If we cannot give our children a world-class education, we are doomed to fall behind. The children are the future of this country, and we need to invest in them.


Posted by Long Time Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:08 am

It's all a numbers game. Whichever side you are on, the numbers game prevails. Here is one: We say the teacher salaries in PUSD coud be as high as 80-90K which translates to over $100K if prorated to 12 months of salary. That's not the point, what is the burden rate on PUSD (and our tax dollars) to support one teacher? It's not pure salary we have to worry about... typically, the burden rate is 22-25%. Does anyone know if teacher union (namely retirement fund and alike) increases this burden rate? Why ask? I had asked the question about 'guarantee teacher raise' not part of merit or COLA and we, the citizens, finally found that there was a underlying 'raise' which no one talks about. So, is there another hidden gem here? To the lay folks, we can't simply talk about salary $'s, for PUSD, it's the fully burdened salary that drives the budget. So... answers???

As for the 27 layoffs, I wonder who will be on that list? If it is like industry, it will be lowly paid workers not the highly compensated, politically correct folks.


Posted by another teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:09 am

I keep seeing the statement made that we will be working less, so the pay cut isn't really a pay cut.


1) The standards will not change, so I'm still required to "produce" the same amount with less time (and less resources, b/c our department budgets have been decimated)

2) The elementary school teachers (k-3) have 5 more kids in their classes and the mainstream high school and middle school classes are going to grow by a minimum of one student per period X 5 periods in a day next year (I think it will be more than one student for most teachers, because classes like special ed., ELD, etc are not going to get bigger so mainstream classes will have to add more than one student to offset the ratio)

3) the non-concession/concession of furlough days means I make about $700 less dollars (sure feels like a pay cut)

I truly fee that I will be working harder for less money.




To Elementary my Dear...
"That means add up the number of credentialed staff and divide by total students. That means a librarian counts as a teacher and that someone who is part time counts as someone with a full load".

Are you sure about that? I think part-timers are counted by the % of FTE they are.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:51 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Longtime Pleasanton Resident wrote: "That's not the point, what is the burden rate on PUSD (and our tax dollars) to support one teacher?"

Thank you for not getting distracted from the main issue! Or another way of putting it, it is about the total employee compensation costs to the district which make up (apparently) roughly 85% of the budget. That percentage is expected actually as it is the average for California districts, although it would be nicer to see that number closer to 80%. These costs come mostly from a district's unrestricted funds which is why the percentage is more like 94% if one narrows into only those unrestricted funds (from vague recollection of a pie chart on an older PUSD budget on their website).

Regarding what was written by Another Teacher, I think it highlights what is being said by the New Teacher Project's report on how layoffs by seniority are damaging (that I created an earlier thread on). Let's say a teacher can teach the current standards to a class of 22 students in 180 service days. Now we are cutting that down to less days of service (for same per unit cost!). So we derive value from retaining teachers who can teach the current standards to a class of 22 students in 175 service days. Raise class sizes and now we gain from retaining teachers who can teach the current standards to a class of 27 students in 175 service days. But the so-called "quality-blind" layoff system prevents us from making staffing decisions this way.

I'm not going to bring up overtime that teachers work into my argument here because there is no tracking of it. What I mean is that what the district compensates for is what the district expects as spelled out in contracts and because there is no contractual expectation for all employees to work such overtime, each individual employee will do as they see fit.

In case it isn't clear, discussions about whether teachers or people in the private sector work more overtime to me distract from the main issue again about total compensation costs to the district. Discussions about fairness the of overtime, etc. are separate to the budget management issues.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:54 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"each individual employee will do as they see fit."

One teacher may spend more of their own personal time working than another teacher, but the district only requires all teachers to work a certain amount.


Posted by Longtime Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

I guess a lot of people don't know the term 'burden rate'. It's a finance analyst term used to estimate the total compensation an entity (e.g. PUSD, State Gov't, company) must payout to employee, to IRS, to FICA, to State, to Local, to retirement fund, to health insurance, to SDI, and to etc... . So, if one has only $100K for personnel, one cannot hire someone at $100K salary, it must be at $75K to $80K depending on the 'burden rate' for that employee. Does anyone know what this 'overhead' is? Oh, this does NOT include support staff, facilities, etc... So.. until one gets to the true numbers, the discussions are moot.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2010 at 10:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm also not clear on if that 85% of the budget figure includes the burden rate or not. I assume it does.


Posted by Longtime Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 10:08 am

Stacey, I believe their #'s should include the burden rate (not including so-call overhead which includes support staff, facilities, occupancy cost, etc...) The reason why I ask about the 'burden rate' is to figure out if it is out of whack with industry (so-to-speak). If it is, one needs to find out why and see if concessions are in order. For example, we (the public) found out about the auto workers's layoff benefits. The $'s set aside per employee must be considered into the 'burden rate' because once a worker is hired, the company is liable for putting $'s aside for the 'layoff benefit'. This is not about union busting or anything close. It's getting the truth out and let the public see where the money goes. It's the transparency that elected our current president.


Posted by guess what, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm

To teacher,
I've worked 24 years in the same industry and my company told us they were shutting down over the holiday this past November. That's an imposed furlow with no input from me which equates to a pay cut. Additionally, my husband's and my company issued "no raise policies due to economic conditions" last year and the same is expected this year.
I don't understand why you feel teachers are being singled out. This is the new norm. You say "as long as it's not affecting you". It is affecting us. We live it every day. Where do you get your perspective from?


Posted by My 2/100, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

>That's an imposed furlow (sic)with no input from me which equates to a pay cut.

Yes, that is a pay cut. Many posters here refuse to acknowledge it as such.

No pay days, furloughs, whatever you want to call it - it hurts. Not just saying that either, I've had exactly the same experience many times over the last several years.

The issues as that a not-insignificant number of posters want the teachers to somehow feel even MORE pain. Declaring that the concessions are not a pay cut, frequently accompanied by a statement like teaching isn't a full time job, or some other cheap, irrelevant shot.

You get the feeling that nothing short of unilaterally firing the entire district (or throwing them in the slammer) is going to make some of these people happy.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

THEY'RE NEXT! Web Link

"Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) introduced a bill last week to cut pay for members of Congress by $8,700 a year — or five percent — and freeze their automatic cost-of-living increase."

"Members of Congress are currently paid $174,000 — leaders earn more — and Kirkpatrick's office estimates the proposal would save $4.66 million a year. "Though it's slight compared with the $12.5 trillion debt," Kirkpatrick argued that it's hard to justify the automatic pay increases in the current economic situation. So far, 21 lawmakers from both parties have signed on as co-sponsors and the measure is being considered in two House committees."


Posted by guess what, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

to 2/100
I don't think anyone want teachers to feel more pain.
This economy is painful, we all need to share the burden.
I don't feel the need to protect any one group either.
This is hurting my kids the same way Prop 13 hurt me and my educational opportunities. I hope my kids have an appreciation for educational opportunities in the future.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

guess what wrote: "I don't think anyone want teachers to feel more pain."

Why defend those posting the more extreme opinions? Perhaps it is better to write, "I think the typical Pleasanton resident doesn't share the same view that teachers should feel more pain."


Posted by A Baseball Fan, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm

When the article said 27 Full Time positions, I am positive that should really read "27 Full Time Equivalent" positions. For example...by eliminating all the elementary & middle school techs you wipe out 12 part time positions each consisting of 3 hours a day. So 36 hours - almost one full time position. 27 Full time doesn't mean 27 people...it means more people let go and no coverage for tech, library, custodians, etc.


Posted by Patricia Collins, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Guess what,

I think the basic premise here is that the teachers have a contract with the school district and the district is obligated by law to abide by the terms and conditions of the contract that was agreed to by THEM as well as the teachers bargaining unit. The school districts were not obligated to agreed to the terms but chose to of their own free will.

You are all blaming the teachers and their union when in fact you should be looking in the mirror at the individuals you elected to negotiate the contracts with the teachers union. The teachers union uses the best negotiators money can buy and can we say that our elected school board members are of that same caliber?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Longtime Pleasanton Resident,

Ah, burden rate is something more than just the total costs. These links are helpful:

Web Link

"After you compute an employee's fully burdened labor cost and then divide it by the number of hours that employee actually works on projects, businesses often find that workers typically cost the company from 50% to 150% (or more), above and beyond their gross hourly labor rate. Getting in touch with, and carefully managing, employment-related costs can be the critical difference between staying in or needing to get out of business."

Web Link


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Patricia, you wrote "The teachers union uses the best negotiators money can buy..."

It's not clear to me that the APT hires any outside negotiators -- all the members of their team that I've ever seen named are teachers from the district. The union president is paid for non-teaching time, but I'm not sure that any of the others get any compensation at all.

You're from San Ramon, so perhaps they do it differently there?


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

"Dr. Finkelstein, Pleasanton hasn't turned their backs on schools, just bad management of their tax dollars. There will be a shift, hopefully for the better, in the governance team in the coming months. I remain optimistic."

I love how Kathleen will use every post to spread her OPINION of the PUSD management rather than the facts. It is amazing Kathleen, when looking around to every neighboring district across the state that they are in the same situation or worse than PUSD, including your boss. How coincidental that all these school district management teams are unable to fund their schools with tax dollars....your motive to degrade PUSD continues to surface in your every post!


Posted by Ha!, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm

How obnoxious is that Stacey is now rephrasing other peoples' posts using semantics that meet her approval?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2010 at 7:56 pm

The facts have been posted enough. I'm sure they're still out here somewhere. I responded to Dr Finkelstein's opinion with my own. I have never denied that all districts are suffering because of the economy. My hope is to have an engaged, transparent, and financially prudent governance team for all . You're welcome to post facts that prove your points and your opinions. I will debate about our differences on the issues, but not about you personally.


Posted by Debbie, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm

After reading many comments, we need to all take a deep breath. It is not only our schools people, it is our entire nation that is falling apart. Regardless of how each of us feel, we are all experiencing a deep depression. Many engineers in the Silicon valley haven't had pay raises for three years, and as much as I care about our schools, keeping a roof over my family's head is more important. We have make do with what we have, because many people in this area do not have the money to give. I will say no to a tax parcel, not because I don't care, it's because I don't have it to give.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ha,

If you haven't noticed, there are a few posters who do want teachers to "feel more pain". But if you'd rather focus on me instead of issues, go right ahead.


Posted by Patricia Collins, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Sandy,

I am not sure about Pleasanton. I can tell you however that the teachers are allowed to discuss issues related to work rules, district issues etc. but all economic decisions related to benefits, salaries, etc are made by the state teachers union professional negotiators. They are professionals. Sacramento school district negotiators came in from Chicago to conduct the negotiations.


Posted by Patricia Collins, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Sandy and all,

I have just been living here for the last few months with my sister and brother in law in San Ramon but am getting ready to head back east. I suggest all of you look into how the negotiations are conducted and by whom. I think you will see that it is approached as no holds barred war by the union and they will give nothing because it is in their current contract. The contract with the union can only be broken by renegotiation (will never happen), expired contract, or bankruptcy.


Posted by To Patricia Collins, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I wish you much luck going back east. Yes, we know how the unions and their contracts work. It is just sad that your sister is a part of that. Rest assured, we will fix it. If California is to survive, we must deal with the unions as they are killing our state, and yes, sadly, that includes your sister - she is a part of the problem.


Posted by Patricia Collins, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Honestly, I believe few outside of this state believe California has the drive to resolve its problems. California is full of spenders who do not seem to be attached to reality. Good luck to you all because if history repeats itself you will keep doing the same thing over and over again. Good luck to you all. Be leaving in the morning.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

Patricia is right. Really old history (late 80s) saw the East Bay locked up with union leaders in several districts working with CTA to force change in many districts all at the same time. There were strikes and burning effigies on Main St. and picketing in front of board member houses. It was awful.

Most district bring in someone from CTA to sit in on their negotiations. Most district teams use a lawyer (PUSD uses the Kingsley firm I believe). A few districts have found that removing both of those people from the equation makes for more open negotiations--all the players are comfortable with each other (or they wouldn't do it). I also believe negotiations need to be open to all--employees and the public.


Posted by Good luck Patricia, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 8:38 am

"California is full of spenders who do not seem to be attached to reality. "

True, very true. Does your sister think like you? I would hope so but I doubt it since she is part of one of the biggest problems in California: The CTA. And happily accepts raises she knows San Ramon cannot afford.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

"California is full of spenders who do not seem to be attached to reality. "

"Good luck to you all because if history repeats itself you will keep doing the same thing over and over again. "

This financial downturn has nothing whatsoever to do with "spending" or "taxing" in Pleasanton, California, or Washington. The problem started and ended with financial innovations on Wall Street and the failure of the US government to properly regulate them. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the schools.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 8:46 am

Here's another proposal that probably has no practical chance of passage, but may make for some good publicity. Why not have the state of California impose penalties (taxes) on:

AIG
Morgan Stanley
Goldman Sachs
Citi
other investment companies that took Treasury or FED bailouts.

They caused the entire problem. They robbed the US tax payer of many trillions in US Treasury and Federal Reserve bailout money. They owe us. Let's tax them until this crisis passes.


Posted by To Ha!, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 13, 2010 at 9:11 am


I agree with you. Stacey is very annoying. Whoever this person is, he/she probably has a serious inferiority complex, otherwise why would they be on the internet as much as they are expressing opinions and denegrating others?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2010 at 10:22 am

a reader, There are much longer answers and more knowledgeable people to write them, but I'll try to write the summary. To point to the companies you list or Wall Street is like looking at only one or two points on a Serault painting Web Link and failing to see the entire portrait. Many contributors brought us to this crisis--including local, state, and national issues. The multitude of errors including, for instance, government pension plans, cannot be ignored in a complete and honest discussion. Otherwise, one cannot understand the full range of issues and all the possible and necessary solutions required.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 11:11 am

"Many contributors brought us to this crisis--including local, state, and national issues"

I'll have to disagree with you thoroughly on this one. The sole cause of this economic downturn is financial institutions behaving badly. Either you haven't studied it, or you are in denial. The US government has committed $8.2 trillion already in combined Treasury and FED bailouts, and the size of the credit default swaps industry is in the $30 - $50 trillion range. The things you mention are rounding errors. The standing doctrine of privatizing profit and socializing risk (too big to fail) is poised to create another downturn from which we may not be able to recover.

Web Link

"Government pension plans" may be the cause of some of some future recession, but they certainly were not the cause of this one. There is not a "full range of issues" here. If the financial companies had not been properly regulated, we wouldn't be having this coversation. There are higher priorities.


Posted by Totally agree, a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

Stacey, you are annoying! How can you spend so much time on the computer? What do you do for a living? Come on tell us. You repeatedly keep bringing up what you percieve to be wrong with teachers and schools. How they are paid, seniority...etc. What's your job? How are you paid?


Posted by And I disagree with "Totatlly Agree", a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm

"Stacey, you are annoying! How can you spend so much time on the computer? What do you do for a living? Come on tell us. You repeatedly keep bringing up what you percieve to be wrong with teachers and schools. How they are paid, seniority...etc. What's your job? How are you paid?"

At least Stacey sees what is wrong, which is more than the yes men on the board or the community members who blindly believe the nonsense. Look at reader, a blind advocate for a parcel tax, denying that the govt pensions are a problem. Was he not here in 2003 when education also suffered and it was because of govt pension obligations? Has he not read about California cities having to declare bankruptcy because they can no longer afford the pensions?

At least Stacey can think throug things. What do you care what she does for a living? I mean, you are posting too, what do you do for a living? What does a reader do for a living? (other than annoy and threaten to run for the board)


Posted by And I disagree...., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm

To add to what I wrote:
"At least Stacey can think through things. What do you care what she does for a living? I mean, you are posting too, what do you do for a living? What does a reader do for a living? (other than annoy and threaten to run for the board)"

See, what you or Stacey or reader do for a living is NOT our business! And perhaps a reader wants to run for the board because he wants a piece of the pie? (the monthly stipiend, not much but 700 a month is not bad for sitting there acting like an idiot, plus health benefits? - not sure if board members get that but I know in most districts they do). Maybe that is why a reader seems so pro status quo since he wants a piece of the pie


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Las Positas
on Mar 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm


Stacey is full of hot air. Likes to hear herself talk since she has nothing better to do. Can't make it in the real world so she comes into this "virtual" one. I think she should move in with Cholo.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Haha thanks for the soap opera everyone!


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Stacey,

The Rat Turd above is not me he is an imposter. I guess everyone wants to be a "Turd"


Posted by To A reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Please read this mercury news article:

Web Link

As you can see, cities like San jose have had budget deficits since the year 2000, that is way before the 2008 recession. That city is not unique and its problems are similar to those of other cities in California. The article says that the labor costs went up more than expected. How can you say that the entire problem is because of the financial institutions? It is a combination of things: the housing crisis, the lack of regulations of finacial institutions, and here in California also the unreasonable pensions which started years ago and got worse under Davis' 3 point system


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I'm not denying those other things are problems. I'm just saying that that's not what got PUSD in the current mess and they just pale in comparison to the problem that we are facing with the financials. The whole pensions/salaries at state and local levels problem is like a $500 Billion - $1 Trillion. Small potatoes compared to the trouble on Wall Street. PUSD wouldn't be in particularly bad shape were in not for the trouble originating in Washington.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm

"not for the trouble originating in Washington."

should have read:

"not for the trouble originating on Wall Street"


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I hope you blushed when you said $500 billion - $1 trillion is small potatoes. How many small potatoes does it take to make au gratin? And that's today's liability. What will it be in five or ten years if there is no change? And who is paying for those potatoes? Believing any mismanagement of taxpayer dollars is small potatoes is how you get into bigger trouble. Again, all the dots add up.

The local CFO was also talking to me about the mistakes made with Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae--government sponsored entities. Plenty of blame to share.


Posted by To A reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm

"I'm just saying that that's not what got PUSD in the current mess"

Actually, it is part of the reason PUSD is in this mess. If PUSD did not have the contractual obligations with the unions, it could both have a 3 percent cut across the board and no automatic raises. In times like these, being able to do that would solve the problem.

My neighbor received a letter from PUSD. They ask for 150 dollars per students. At first, my neighbor thought it was not too bad and would give the money. As we read the letter together, we realized the money did not go for any programs that my neighbor thinks are important.

High schools are asked for 150 dollars per students, and doing the math, that would be enough to reinstate the 7 period, but that is not even mentioned. Instead they are vage.

Elementaries are also asked for 150 per students. With so many students, that could do a lot, but instead it is said the money would be used for tec and library services.... again not something most are willing to give 150 dollars per kid.

PUSD is not acting smart. First they cancelled valuable programs in high school to finance the elementary programs. Now they try to ask for 150 dollars per students and they do not even try to restore what people value. The letter says that what they are proposing to raise money for is what people value: nonsense, people returned surveys and said they would give money but not for what the letter states.

Unions are killing the state, reader, if you don't see that then you are naive and would be nothing but a yes man if you were to get on the board (which would make many like myself vote for someone else or encourage someone else to run or even run ourselves if that is what it takes to keep yet another yes man from getting on the board)


Posted by To a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm

And as for the parcel tax you think is a good idea: now that PUSD has made it clear that the only thing a parcel tax would finance is elementary school programs and the nonsense the letter asks 150 dollars per student for, it will be very easy to defeat that tax if it ever makes it to the ballot.

Elementary parents are not sufficient to pass a parcel tax, and many like my neighbor have kids in elementary and high school and would vote no. As parents of older kids, they know that what is important is the high schools, and that PE in elementary and all of that is nice but definitely not required especially at the expense of middle and high schools.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 13, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Rat Turd,

No problem. :)


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm

A completely different survey would need to be done before any future parcel tax effort. Let's not jump to any conclusions about what programs would be identified for support through a parcel tax, before the questions about voter priorities are even asked.

After all, the survey just completed, which lead to the fundraising focus for the next academic year, was only distributed to parents. A parcel tax would need to take into consideration the long-term priorities of all property holders.


Posted by To Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 8:37 pm

"After all, the survey just completed, which lead to the fundraising focus for the next academic year, was only distributed to parents. A parcel tax would need to take into consideration the long-term priorities of all property holders."

Yes, but even then the parents' wishes were not taken into account. The survey was very badly designed. They asked about programs and janitors in the same context, and when asked how much you were willing to give, you could not say yes I am willing to give but for this item, it was all mixed in.

So Sandy, I very much doubt that the surveys pointed to the stuff that the letter talked about. Why doesn't PUSD release all the surveys? After all they were anonymous so no problem there. I know why, because the letter is not forthcoming, it is not true that they decided to raise money for tech and libraries based on the surveys.

I will be curious to see how much money they raise, given that what they are raising money for is probably only a priority for some in elementary (librarians, that is - I am not sure about tech)


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 8:59 pm

"The local CFO was also talking to me about the mistakes made with Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae--government sponsored entities. Plenty of blame to share."

Fanny and Freddie failures are also much smaller scale events than the big, spectacular failures of the "private" financial institutions. Those were in the hundreds of billions of dollars range. Chump change. Rounding errors. The derivatives casinos deal in tens of trillions of dollars. Around about October 2008, they were all headed for failure. Of course they were mismanaged, and should have been regulated, privatized, or just eliminated, but their impact was relatively small in the scheme of things.

"How many small potatoes does it take to make au gratin?"

My point is that it is small when compared to the problem on Wall Street. Sure it is a big problem and will lead to economic crisis in the future if not dealt with, but the more imminent and larger problem is with the financials.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

"Unions are killing the state, reader, if you don't see that then you are naive and would be nothing but a yes man"

Where did I say they weren't? I voted for Arnold and for his failed initiatives, and thought he was doing the right thing to take on the unions. I'm just saying that even if we fix all that, we'll still have economic disaster on our hands if we don't fix the problems in New York. And those problems are at the root of the downturn we are now suffering.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

If you want to support the cause of education, give. It is a fundraiser, not a tax. One can chose to give or not. Nothing is being forcibly taken. It is a bit like donating to any other charity. One donates because of a desire to support the concept in general. Those uncomfortable with the idea of donating to the district can donate directly to a school instead.


Posted by To A reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 9:22 pm

". I'm just saying that even if we fix all that, we'll still have economic disaster on our hands if we don't fix the problems in New York. And those problems are at the root of the downturn we are now suffering."

Yes, those problems must be fixed, but that is out of our control. Obama et al must do that, and I do not have much hope, but we will see.

We do have control over what we do here, in our town. We need to make sure PUSD behaves fiscally responsible and stops thinking that asking for more money is the solution. Show me fiscally sound decisions, show me a freeze to step and column, show me contracts with admin without unreasonable perks and salaries, etc. Show me that then give me the TRUE amount of the deficit (ie, a deficit should NOT include raises for anyone) then we can talk fundraising, then we can talk parcel taxes. Do not lie to me like they did in San Ramon. But the letter that parents just receive asking for 150 dollars per student is an example of lies and poor decision making, inability to prioritize and do the right thing by the students.


Posted by To Stacey, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm

"Those uncomfortable with the idea of donating to the district can donate directly to a school instead."

Except that is not even a good idea these days. Did you know that PTAs last year decided to use some of their funds to support Measure G? Not my idea of something I want done with my money.


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 9:30 pm

We need to look at the bigger picture. We must get business back in this state and I mean industrial jobs like we used to have which allowed for tax revenue. When I went to college years ago in this state is cost me 63 buck a quarter because of tax revenue from business which made college and most other things affordable. We will never make it with pretend companies like google, apple, etc who do most of their manufacturing out of this state if they do much at all. We need companies like NUMMI who employ the working class at a high hourly rate. let's reduce taxes, environmental regulations, worker compensation, institute tort reform before it is to late otherwise no one will be left.


Posted by huh?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Google and Apple aren't real companies?

Just because they hire professionals, and not hourly workers for manufacturing jobs?

welcome to 2010.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2010 at 1:14 am

None of this would be an issue if it was a pay for performance system and the UNION was not at the heart of the problem. Look at how many millions of dollars are spent on political nonsense. How does that help the students. What does millions of dollars spent campaigning against gay marriage have to do with schools and students.....not much! The UNION is bad news and the students and teachers will suffer from the narrow-mindedness of the system. Pay for excellence....you will get excellence. Stop throwing money away on the teacher UNION. It has outlived its purpose. I vote for education. I will pay for education. I will not pay for a system backed by the bureaucracy of the teacher UNION.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2010 at 9:33 am

"Except that is not even a good idea these days."

Maybe you can figure out a way to take money away from the schools and keep it for yourself and improve the community in that way.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

"We need to look at the bigger picture. "

The bigger picture is unregulated derivatives trading on Wall Street. That's what got us into this mess. We need to regulate that or the rest won't matter.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2010 at 9:37 am

"pretend companies like google, apple,"

What about Intel? They do plenty of manufacturing in the state.

And what a silly remark about Google and Apple. Maybe you would prefer coal mines.


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2010 at 10:10 am

Reader,

Intel does most of its major manufacturing in Arizona and Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The Intel President went on record years and years ago and said he would never build another greenfield site in this state. The point here is that unless we get some business tax revenue back in this state we are cooked pure and simple and anyone who does not believe that better get ready to pass a new parcel tax every year. We need tax revenue from business pure and simple.


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2010 at 10:12 am

and not everyone will go to college in this state and be a "professional" ha ha ha! as say but rather most will be hardworking folks who are just trying to provide for their families and we will need jobs for them and yes there is nothing wrong about getting a little dirt and grease under your finger nails. It is what made this country.


Posted by To A reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm

"Maybe you can figure out a way to take money away from the schools and keep it for yourself and improve the community in that way."

That is a stupid comment from the moron who wants to get on the board. No one is taking money away from schools, we simply do not want to give MORE of OUR money to people who do whatever they please with it.


Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm

"and not everyone will go to college in this state and be a "professional" ha ha ha! as say but rather most will be hardworking folks who are just trying to provide for their families and we will need jobs for them and yes there is nothing wrong about getting a little dirt and grease under your finger nails. It is what made this country."

Sentences like these make the strongest, most heart-wrenching case in FAVOR of education reform. Rat Turd, I'm so sorry schools weren't overhauled in time to help you; fortunately, Obama can still turn things around for today' students.


Posted by Obama Nation, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 14, 2010 at 5:27 pm

This IS the MOST intelligent Post EVER on this Forum! "Derivatives" were/are EXACTLY what got our Country into this mess and we are NOT through as of yet!

UNREGULATED DERIVITIVES, TRUTH be TOLD are the demise of this economy!

"Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, 7 hours ago

"We need to look at the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is unregulated derivatives trading on Wall Street. That's what got us into this mess. We need to regulate that or the rest won't matter"

That my friend IS the KEY! REGULATION and OVERSIGHT or WE as a Country will parish! NO ONE here can argue this with merit, I GUARANTEE that!


The Fed knew EXACTLY what was going on as FHA, Fannie and Freddie the Fed and were in many cases backing these class F assets that were commingled in with good and better assets, bringing those assets DOWN with the ship! My Wall street People and I KNEW FLAT out what was going on the entire time and the outcome of the recession is evidence like clockwork in spreadsheets analysed two years ago and is based upon class of DERIVITIVE BASED assets. HEDGE BETTING! Gambling when the LOSSEWS were predetermined BASED upon the reality that these assets were BOGUS and would NOT perform long term.

A BIG Scam in Fact! Cold hard and most calculated scam and ZERO oversight what so ever, in FACT the Bush Admin and the FED were WELL AWARE of the repercussions way back when!~ Keep Americans FAT and Happy while we go invade a few Countries. Happy people don't bitch, plain and simple!


Posted by To Obama Nation, a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Mar 14, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Settle down, kid; the grownups are talking. And fix the caps lock on your keyboard.


Posted by Pablo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Gunslinger,

You right winger, tea bag chewing conservative elists are why we are in the mess we are in. You think everyone should just be googling each other and no produce anything. Watch and see what is coming. Judgement day is around the corner. Go Mexico!!!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:34 am

Forget the parcel tax - we all pay plenty of taxes and need to make the government live within their budgets. Start by cutting frivolous spending and high salaried administrators. With 34 candidates for the new superintendent position, pick the one that's willing to work for a reasonable wage and bring the budget in line; that's what we need, not someone who is "charismatic.., a good listener," - sounds more like they are looking for a highly paid politician; we don't need that.

Look to the City of Pleasanton to step up and help the school district. If the city has enough money to blow on a $10 million firehouse theater downtown, from which the citizenship at large will not benefit, the citizens should insist that that funding be used for schools instead. Yeah, I know, people will say that's a different budget, blah, blah, but if your kids were starving, wouldn't you divert your entertainment dollars to necessities? Look at other frivolous City spending like City Council travel and training budgets, and the City hiring two sets of outside consulting agencies (from Danville & Santa Cruz) to advise on what to do with the downtown (as if outsiders will know..). It all adds up. There's plenty of money being wasted by the City that could be used for the schools. Kick out the current mayor and council and get people in there who will work for the citizens, not their own personal business interests (i.e Mayor's husband is head of the insider's club Downtown Association, for which the City is paying consultants, and most of her donations are from realtors and developers - it all adds up to corruption and waste of tax dollars...).


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