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Layoff notices headed to PUSD employees

Original post made on Mar 2, 2011

The Pleasanton school board voted last night to send layoff noticesto more than 62 employees, although board members hold out hope that at least some of the jobs can be restored.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 6:28 AM

Comments (153)

Posted by Mary Anne, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:20 am

Yet there was no consideration given to asking for minor concessions when the new contract was rushed through a few months ago. A four percent salery roll back would have saved all jobs and programs. Suspending step and collumn raises would save one and a half million dollars per year. TWO special elections (one pending) equals over a half a million dollars, with a high probability of zero return. Addressing the underfunded pensions? Well, let's just kick it down the road and hope for the best, eh?

Real leadership requires honestly negociating without conflict of interest and recognizing that goverment services must expand and sometimes contract with available revenue. You can't continue to hand out raises and unrealistic pensions when the well is clearly dry. Yet that's what continues to happen.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:42 am

The next meeting of the negotiating teams from APT and the district is March 10. There is still the possibility of concessions.

It's also very important to realize that the board and the district have no influence over teacher or staff pensions. The rules about CalSTRS are made at the state level -- objections about those issues should be directed to your state assembly representative or your state senator.

All the scientific polling conducted so far indicates a high probability of passage for measure E.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:49 am

Sandy - Has there been a 'scientific poll' since Godbe/TBWB did theirs in January?


Posted by Mary Anne, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:05 am

"There is still the possibility of concessions."

However both sides of the negotiating table sleep in the same bed. In Pleasanton statement is literally and figurative.

"The rules about CalSTRS are made at the state level"
Agreed, but it still illustrates a significant piece of the problem. And once again the Teachers' Union is fully in the middle of this issue.

"All the scientific polling conducted so far indicates a high probability of passage for measure E."

This statement is simply creative embellishment at its finest. Nice touch using the word scientific, by the way. It implies credibility. The carefully guided poll showed iffy acceptance if the question was cautiously phrased without surrounding context.

Things haven't significantly improved at the street level since Measure G. There are additional tax increases and extensions cueing up for vote as we speak. There are articles about public unions and the absolute need for reforms in the paper EVERY DAY. I realize that you are trying to get a downhill run at this, but I think the measure has a fairly low chance of succeeding.


Posted by Mary Anne, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:07 am

Should have read literal, not literally in the first response.


Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:26 am

Sure thing Sandy -- "scientific polling".
All of the rational people who were lied to during the polling (no money will go for raises, yeah right!) now know that ALL of the money will go for raises. S & C is a raise!
Greed from Trevor and the union translates to a no vote for a salary tax. We have even changed our travel plans to be home for the week that the ballots will be mailed. Every member in our household will be voting NO TO THE SALARY TAX.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:55 am

"He said the board has tried to keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible, but "we're down to the bone.""

What a LIE. They will give RAISES, yet they cut programs. How is that keeping cuts away from the classroom? Stop the LIES.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:58 am

Two points:

First, a majority of Pleasanton voters will vote for Measure E (the parcel tax initiative). But it will fail, because of the anti-democratic requirement in California that taxes pass with a two-thirds majority. A simple majority should be sufficient, but what will happen with Measure E is what has happened before: a minority of voters will thwart the will of the majority.

In other words, the parcel tax is going to fail by a slender margin. But fail it will. Pleasanton may be a wealthy community, but unfortunately it is one of the national centers for the Tea Party and their corporate-funded agenda of attacking unions, public employees, and public education (among other things). Tea Partiers tend to be elderly cranks who vote, alas.


Second, even if the parcel tax passes, and Pleasanton property owners are burdened with 17 cents a day in additional taxes, so what? The tax doesn't raise anything close to the amounts needed to keep PUSD from deteriorating further. $98 a year for a parcel tax is a sad joke, and the joke's on us.

No matter how Measure E turns out, the losers are the public schools in Pleasanton, which will slip further in quality when compared to peer districts such as San Ramon, etc, and of course the property owners who will scratch their heads and wonder why it's so hard to sell their homes all of a sudden...and the price is 15% lower than it was...hm, couldn't be the decline in the school system.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:00 am

""Some would say that we're laying off people to scare the public," said board member Jeff Bowser. "That's not the case.""

Of course it is a way to scare people. You took money from programs to finance the raises. Then cried to the community to give you money. You and your spouse are so out of line. You should step down from the board or your wife should quit being a union leader. Only then will we see decisions on behalf of the students instead of the paychecks of the employees with tenure.


Posted by long time parent, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:01 am

"It's also very important to realize that the board and the district have no influence over teacher or staff pensions."

The District has "golden handshakes" and other perks that increase pension payouts, which increase costs for everybody. Look at our recent retirees from the district that are retiring with up to $175,000/year. We have 15 retirees from our district who take home over $100,000/year in pensions. There are all newer retirees. We have policies now that also allow for more spiking of salaries.

Don't forget out district gives out health insurance to retirees; totally paid for by the district (i.e., the Pleasanton taxpayers). That liability is $11.9M. It is unfunded by $11.9M. That means we give out this benefit but do not put any money aside for it. This would be illegal in the private sector.

The district should have started contract negotiations earlier; not wait till the last minute. It is a common political tactic before asking for a parcel tax, however. Give out pink slips, everybody cries, kids come home from school saying their teacher is being fired. Trying to scare the public into voting for a tax. I wish our district and union had integrity and dealt with this before the deadline to hand out pink slips. The reason we have pink slips at this time is because of the unions, forcing this into state law. So if the teachers are uneasy because of the pink slips at this time, they should be blaming the unions for this law.


Posted by long time parent, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

To Yet Another Teacher, you said:
"even if the parcel tax passes, and Pleasanton property owners are burdened with 17 cents a day in additional taxes, so what? The tax doesn't raise anything close to the amounts needed to keep PUSD from deteriorating further. $98 a year for a parcel tax is a sad joke, and the joke's on us."

You are absolutely right! This parcel tax is not going to fix the structural financial issues the District is in right now. You cannot give out raises while at the same time you fire employees.

The polling indicates the community does not have a lot of faith in the current district administration. This is a well-educated community and if the polls says the public would only support $100/year, that is a vote of no confidence to the district.

I also think you are giving the Tea Part too much credit. While this movement might have taken off nation-wide, just look at the last election and you will see in California it did not. So quit blaming others. It is the district fault, along with the union, for the position we are in now.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:08 am

" We have even changed our travel plans to be home for the week that the ballots will be mailed. "

We have changed our travel plans too!!! In fact everyone in our neighborhood is staying home all summer just to make sure these greedy teachers can't get any more of our money!!!

First they want to teach that we all evolved from Monkeys!!! I'm no kin to the Monkey!!! This is sick and leads directly to atheism and communism and the theory of relativity!!! Don't know what the theory of relativity is? That means there is no right or wrong everything is relative!!! If you think it is allright to murder someone well then OK it is all relative!!! That is what they are teaching!!! What ever happened to the 3 Rs thats reading, writing and arithmetic??? And now they lie, lie, lie.

What we could really use is a surprise visit from Sarah Palin for the no on E campaign!!! I wish she could personally call everyone in the district to put a stop to this!!! She would never be for higher taxes!!!


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:18 am

you said Tea Partiers tend to be elderly cranks who vote, alas ---

All you can do is call names!!! Stop the monkey business!!! I was raised on traditional values!!! Did you know that all scientific evidence shows that the earth is only 6000 years old???

Web Link
Web Link

Exactly like the bible says!!! But the teachers in Pleasanton will tell you they are only following California requirements to teach atheism, err evolution!!! Johnny can't read and right but he can hate America and had no sense of right and wrong!!! Failing schools and they want more money??? This is child abuse!!!


Posted by ATM, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:30 am

The public has little faith in the District's promises based on past and current actions. It is no fault other than the District.

Just last night the Pleasanton USD staff said that if the ballot measure passed, instead of money going to be used for core academic subjects of math, science and reading and keeping libraries open as the ballot language reads, the money could be used to "retain and attract" ANY teacher including those that teach athletics.

Basically they plan to do a bait and switch which is unconscionable and use any money received as their ATM for whatever they want.

Talk about fraud and deceit.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

Basically they plan to do a bait and switch which is unconscionable and use any money received as their ATM for whatever they want.

It is child abuse!!! Hows that for scientific!!! No more monkey business!!!

This is about evolution so don't just laugh it off!!! It starts that way and then leads to tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend and no family values.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

"Basically they plan to do a bait and switch which is unconscionable and use any money received as their ATM for whatever they want.

Talk about fraud and deceit."

Yes, they are promising everything to everyone. HS students are being told 7 period is coming back. Elementary parents are being told the parcel tax is for CSR.

I think they are promising everything to everyone in order to get people to vote yes.

This happened with the I Love Pleasanton Schools campaign. About 400K or so was raised, not enough for a full CSR, but something could have been done given that it was mostly elementary parents who donated, writing on their checks that money was for CSR. Instead, the board turned around, and following Casey's advice, used the money for other things like counselors (which no one wanted to give money for), and even hired Casey's buddies back on a temporary basis to increase their pension.

I am going to vote NO and the "scientific" polling is a way for the consultants to make money. If E passes, it will be because not everyone was aware of the mail-in vote. It will be interesting to see what percentage of residents vote.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:03 am

"The assessor will charge 1.7 percent of the proceeds as a collection fee. The district's cost for conducting the election will be between $200,000 and $250,000."

We have 1.6 million cost of step and column.

We have between 200k and 250K for the cost of the election.
Web Link

We have a 1.7 percent of the proceeds for the assessor.

After all those expenses, there will not be any money left for the students.

I have read that next year the cost of step and column will exceed the revenue from the parcel tax.

Stop the lies. The board has not kept the cust away from the classroom. The superintendent still receives her 600 per month car allowance, and many administrators have similar perks... I wonder how that helps a child to learn how to read.


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

More casualties from the outrageous pensions and raises. This is very unfortunate.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:27 am

This is all about morals and the school district is lying to us!!! They continue to push atheism on our children and then tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend. I would be willing to support a tax is they returned to reading, writing and arithmatic!!!

How many of you will join me in getting morals back in our failed schools!!!


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

Don't kid yourself. This is about morals.

"The whole effort to create a ruthless, amoral, situational ethics culture has probably driven me toward a more overt Christianity. I'll give you an example. As a college student at Emory when the Supreme Court ruled that school prayer was unconstitutional [in 1963] after 170 years of American history, I didn't notice it. As a graduate student at Tulane I probably would have said it's a good decision.

I've now had an additional 40 years to think about it. And I think about the world of my grandchildren. I don't think American children are healthier, safer, and better off today than they were in 1963. So I have actually become more conservative in response to the failure of the liberal ethos to solve problems."

Web Link


Posted by ATM, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

The 'one speaker' the article is talking about that started the angry exchange was Dan Maslana from Henry Mohr Elementary School

"The discussion over cutting P.E. specialists led to an angry exchange between one speaker and Trevor Knaggs, president of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers (APT). The speaker said the P.E. cuts weren't announced early enough and that people should have been given more time to speak out. He also said teachers should have been polled to see what they thought should be cut.

Knaggs said the idea of a poll violated the fundamental principles of unionism.

"You cannot ask people to vote their colleagues off the island," Knaggs said, clearly upset about the idea...."


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

You know where all this comes from all the tax, tax, tax, spend, spend??? It happens when we turn our backs on what this country was founded on.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Those of you who are voting "No on E" what do you hope to accomplish?

Do you want teachers to give up S&C so that we'll be the only district in the valley that doesn't give our teachers s&C?

Do you want programs to be cut and teachers to be laid off when E doesn't pass?

Do you want to be the only district in the valley without a parcel tax protecting our schools from decreased state funding?

I think many of you No on E people have no children in the district, because all you seem concerned about is cutting teachers' salaries.

Where is your concern for the children? I have not seen a conscience from any of you.

I think many of you are misguided and I am going to repost a joke from another thread that I think is appropriate:

A CEO, a Tea Partier, and a union member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 cookies and says to the Tea Partier, "Look out, that union guy wants your cookie!"

You guys are angry at the wrong people (teachers and children).


Posted by Parent, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Thankfully my children do not attend Hart Middle School. I would not like my children to be anywhere near the negativity coming from "Yet Another Teacher". He/She has no respect for what the parents are saying and only cares about the union, not the students. I'm sure he/she is not getting a pink slip. So sorry for Hart Middle School.


Posted by Mary Anne, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

"Those of you who are voting "No on E" what do you hope to accomplish?"

I, personally, hope to stop others from spending my money because they think it is their right. It's not.

"Do you want teachers to give up S&C so that we'll be the only district in the valley that doesn't give our teachers s&C?"

The strategy seems to be to act like this is an isolated, local discussion. It's not. In fact it is happening all over the state and country. No one is leaving their tenured job if S&C is suspended.

"Do you want programs to be cut and teachers to be laid off when E doesn't pass?"

No, I want the teachers to accept and acknowledge that their income is directly sourced through tax revenues, and that the available revenue is driven by the economy. That means SOMETIMES (like now) raises are not appropriate. Creating a new tax won't solve this problem.

"Do you want to be the only district in the valley without a parcel tax protecting our schools from decreased state funding?"

That is not even a remote possibility, but it wouldn't change anything if we were.

"I think many of you No on E people have no children in the district, because all you seem concerned about is cutting teachers' salaries."

You are wrong about that.

"Where is your concern for the children? I have not seen a conscience from any of you."

As much as you would like everyone to believe the rhetoric, the need for more money has NOTHING to do with the children. It's to cover salary increases. And the kids aren't getting paid, are they?

"I think many of you are misguided and I am going to repost a joke from another thread that I think is appropriate:
A CEO, a Tea Partier, and a union member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 cookies and says to the Tea Partier, "Look out, that union guy wants your cookie!"

While I think it tiresome and unoriginal to post this, you have to realize that most of us that are against the tax (and there are more than enough to defeat the measure) are not any of the people in the story. We are just hard working people that are trying to stay afloat and avoid the foot in the door parcel tax trap that communities like Piedmont have endured. Which one are you in the story?

"You guys are angry at the wrong people (teachers and children)."

I'm not angry at either. But I will defend myself with my vote.


Posted by Steven, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

This is like the salmon run, over fish it, and you are going to run out of fish. The better way is to manage it, and you will always have a harvest.

The school district needs to learn to live within its means, and better budget its expenses, this way it does not have to go to the voters with an open hand every so often.

The voters(taxpayers) are reeling from a very difficult economic situation:

losing jobs,

falling balances in retirement accounts,

many are small business owners that have to pay their own health insurance which seems to be going up all the time,

falling home prices, and if they bought their home in the last 4-5 years the price has fallen but the county is refusing to bring down the property tax,

meantime they have kids to put through college with skyrocketing costs,

meantime they have elderly parents that need help!!

Meantime, the school district wants to continue to give raises, in this economic environment????? Give me a break!!!!

I had children going to school prior to and during both the dot com bubble and the housing bubble. During the housing bubble, the property tax revenue went through the roof. The schools did not get better, or worse for that matter. Where DID all that money go??????

School district: Please live within your means.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Mar 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Knaggs (Union Hack) needs to take a walk. All his union talking points can't deter us from the facts:

1) We are in the highest taxed state in the country (sales, tax, state income tax, property tax). We are at the breaking point.
2) Our teachers are paid well when you consider they work 8 months a year. It is a sweet gig with the time off.
3) These sweatheart pension and healthcare benefits were extorted from the taxpayer via politicians bought and paid for by union thugs. Look at Wisconsin....the democrats wear t-shirts with union slogans....they don't even try to hide the fact that they work for the unions.
4) Spending more money will not make our schools better....we need to do away with tenure and the entitled, untouchable teacher base. Fire a few dozen slug teachers and the rest will hop to....the good teachers would welcome this since they cover for the deadwood everyday.
5) The public sector should not be immune to this economic downturn. The bar has to be reset for all public workers...it might mean some will determine that being a teacher or city worker is no longer economically feasible for them......well welcome to the party! There will be other qualified candidates to take their spot if its determined their spot is even essential.
6) I'm OK with my kids class size going up by 5-10 kids. Bring it on powder puff....they will get along just fine.


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I agree the schools do not get better when more money flows into the gigantic bureaucratic quagmire known as California school districts.

Also, based on last night, the kids at PUSD are held to a higher standard of behavior than the caustic, yelling Phys Ed teacher who had a confrontation with Trevor Knaggs.

No on E for me.


Posted by Streve, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Mar 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm

"Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Feb 27, 2011 at 1:06 am

When I first accepted my position with PUSD, I was stunned to learn that I had to pay for my own medical benefits. Seems that whoever negotiated that deal had a spouse with a gold-plated medical plan and threw the rest of us to the wolves."

Hey....Yet Another Teacher....do us all a favor and quit. Take your scary, unique skills and try to get a job in the private sector. Maybe the DMV is hiring. You are the poster child for the spoiled, entitled teacher base prevalent in PUSD. By the way, E will fail by a LARGE margin...we have been bled dry. We would be throwing good money after bad if we continued to feed the beast that is PUSD. The taxpayer is fed up....you whining about having to contribute to your healthcare is falling on deaf ears.




Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Nosy Neighbors is a registered user.

Well lookey here...

Web Link

Web Link

The one advantage (& perhaps DISadvantage) of being a public entity is that the disclosure of practically everything that you are either accountable for or to must be made public information.

I am simply offering this information so that a more realistic picture of the various salaries, compensations, COLA, S&C & furlough variables can be applied to this discussion.

It definitely looks like it was a sweet gig for a few folks on the county's payroll.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm

"I think many of you are misguided and I am going to repost a joke from another thread that I think is appropriate:

A CEO, a Tea Partier, and a union member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 cookies and says to the Tea Partier, "Look out, that union guy wants your cookie!""

It should read:

A CEO, a TAX PAYER, and a union member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 cookies and says to the TAXPAYER, "Look out, that union guy wants your cookie! The UNION guy then tells the TAXPAYER: That is MY cookie, and you owe me 20 more cookies, so get busy raising money for the 20 cookies I am ENTITLED to as per my contract"


Posted by Resident Evil, a resident of Lund Ranch II
on Mar 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

"That is MY cookie, and you owe me 20 more cookies, so get busy raising money for the 20 cookies I am ENTITLED to as per my contract" ...which is true because not only does your teacher earn much, MUCH more than a CEO, by this analogy, but also because contracts are soooo un-American!

USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!


Posted by Steve is Right!!!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Some have stated that arguing with Steve is like trying to argue with a dish of scrambled eggs. Not me!!! I like his original ideas, all of which I've never heard since he posted them an hour before, or the day before that. And his spelling and grammar indicates that he must be a really well educated guy. Keep up the posts there Steverino!!! You're the gift that keeps on giving, to your opponents!


Posted by Steve, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Ahhhh....I do believe the paid union hack bloggers are out in force. Fear not my fellow "No on E" citizens. We are winning this war with logic. The union is on their heels...Knaggs cronies know that this measure will not pass. No amount of lame posts and claims of attacks against the working class will offset the truth that we are the most taxed state in the nation...the well has run dry and the union refuses to see the dust. Don't fall for the threats that our property values will all either...our school's will remain above average and Pleasanton will remain a desirable place to live. The sky is not falling...or maybe it is falling on the greedy teachers union.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:40 pm

""That is MY cookie, and you owe me 20 more cookies, so get busy raising money for the 20 cookies I am ENTITLED to as per my contract" ...which is true because not only does your teacher earn much, MUCH more than a CEO, by this analogy, but also because contracts are soooo un-American!"

The joke for a school district should read:

A district administrator, a TAXPAYER (who is also a parent), and a union member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies. The district administrator takes 11 cookies, to distribute between HERSELF and the UNION guy and says to the TAXPAYER, "There is one cookie left for your child, but we need the approval of the union guy!" The UNION guy then tells the TAXPAYER: "NO, that is MY cookie, and GIVE ME 20 more cookies, which I am ENTITLED to as per my contract. The plate is empty you say? NOT my problem, raise the money and lots of it because next year I will come back to demand 40 cookies. The children you say? Sorry, no cookies left for them."

Not the best joke, but more realistic than the one about the CEO with the tea partier (which btw was on a CNN blog, Cafferty's) - whoever posted the joke on these forums needs to be more creative and not borrow comments from other blogs.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Ahh, Steve, you are your typos are dreaming. Obviously, you don't value schools too much, as it's evident that you don't know basic grammar.

You really shouldn't bash the working class much, as I think you and your thinking are in the gutter.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:03 pm

"Obviously, you don't value schools too much, as it's evident that you don't know basic grammar."

I agree with Steve's comments, and I think the ones that do NOT value schools are the pro-raise types.

There is not enough money, programs are being cut, and yet the not too smart people who insist that measure E will fix things are pro-raises and proudly say so! They do not understand that even with measure E, programs will be cut because next year the raise will be more expensive. They do not understand that it is because of the raises and unreasonable perks that programs are being cancelled. They do not understand that the current system is unsustainable. They do not understand that this problem goes beyond PUSD and California. They do not read the news to find out how the rest of the country is calling for union reform because unions are making sure that every state, every school district is going bankrupt because of the union liabilities.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Anonymous,

Your lameness is only exceeded by your love of the Union. Think independently....get Knaggs out of your ear. I'm sure I have a higher education than yourself, so save the typo argument....use your mind. If you are getting paid to blog, at least earn your money. Your better than that Union Muscle. Entertain me at least

NO ON E


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Looking at the neighborhoods the No on E posters live in (Vineyard Heights, Birdland, Pleasanton Meadows), you are not fooling anyone. You are typical anti-tax Tea Partiers who want to cut all social programs -- except for Social Security and Medicare.

Go ahead and humor me, Steve.


Posted by Steve is Right!!!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm

'Your better than that Union muscle.'

Even when he's called on his poor grammar and spelling, Steve can't spell or syntactically steer his way out of a paper bag. This should not be held against him, however. For he has reminded us, again and again and again and again and again, that he is well educated and very intelligent, too. I'd hire him in an instant. Don't know if I'd put him with other workers, though, as his intellect might blind themm or dumbfound them, I don't know. But he's had to deal with this all his life. He hates unions most likely because their emphasis on brotherhood and sisterhood reminds him of how he was ostracized in school because his intellect was so much higher than everyone else's and left them all stupified. But I'm against unions, too. Not at my workplace. They're too effective in getting a higher wage for themselves. Do I resent it? Sure I do. To think of how much money I'd have made were it not for their muscle! Instead of a 1.8 million dollar house, I'd have me a big columned mansion in Alabam or Mississipp where the real patriots live.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I'm new to these blogs so please take it easy. My two children are going to Mohr elementary school. I love them so much and I want what's best for them, as I'm sure most parents would. I thought that voting for Measure E would help. Some of you are saying that I should vote against Measure E. I can't understand, but are you saying the best way to make sure they get the best education possible is to vote against Measure E? Please explain how that will help.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Knaggs said the idea of a poll violated the fundamental principles of unionism."

Wow, really? Exactly how does a poll violate the fundamental principles of unionism? There's polling for accepting a collectively bargained contract but for nothing else? How does a union even form without polling?


Posted by Steve is Right!!!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Mary,
Just read Steve's comments. You don't need to read anyone else's. He'll help you decide. He and I agree, for example, that we shouldn't worry about classrooms needing to accommodate an additional 10 students per teacher. He says not to worry; that the kids'll be okay. He wants the deadbeat teachers to teach more, and he's opposed to spending 35 cents per day out of his own pocket. He's the most brilliant thinker I've ever read. He also gets angry at the thought of fatcat teachers flaunting their wealth as they drive through your neighborhood in their Nissan Sentras. You need to read him too. Either scroll up or scroll down, his comments will be there, mark my words. Join Steve and Me, Mary, and just Vote NO!!!


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 7:47 am

Come on folks, this isn't about 35 cents a day. Most of us in Ptown can afford that. This is about a system that no longer works-THE UNIONS. We no longer have the money to support this old dying system. We can no longer afford to fund the pensions of our teachers-it's time they fund their own pensions-just like everyone else does. It's called a 401K. It's also time that teachers are kept on based on performance not because they've taught for 10years. Other professions don't have this lovely benefit. If you don't perform, you are out, regardless of how long you've been at the company. Just like with any other system etc., some times things need to change as society changes. And it's time the union changes-meaning we get rid of them. I'm sure deep down many teachers realize what a great thing they have. Heck, some have told me that's why they became teachers. Get a huge chunk off during the year, can job share and still get full pensions etc. Can anyone else say they get that-don't think so. Teachers are so important, but so is every other profession.


Posted by Steve is Right!!!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 8:23 am

Us NO! supporters always make sure we don't mention that numerous studies have shown the forcing public workers to have 401k's would cost the public more. This because those who manage them charge percentages and fees -- sometimes to the tune of 40%. I realize Anonymous doesn't want to tell you that he's a 401k manager. I won't tell you that either. This isn't about 35 cents a day, this is about breaking unions, which might cost Pleasanton more money over the long run, but think of the satisfaction of getting these pampered teachers out of their Nissan Sentras. Anonymous, like Steve, always draws upon legitimate sources. I have a neighbor who is a teacher, too. He confessed that he decided to become a teacher because of the union guaranteed grandoise lifestyle. He bought a brand spanking new Kia only last week. Citizens of Pleasanton, how much longer can we tolerate this? Join Steve and Me!!! Vote NO!!!!


Posted by No raise here for three years, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 3, 2011 at 9:24 am

No parcel tax can fix the structural problem that must be addressed: the health and pension benefits negotiated by the unions were predicated on never-ending growth in tax receipts. Now we are surprised that these promises can not be kept without draconian cuts in services. A parcel tax will merely put off the inevitable by a year or two. At some point, we must admit to the new reality that school teachers can not have gold-plated benefits for life. The private sector came to that realization a decade ago. Painful, yes, but necessary to preserve the viability of the public school system. The question is, do we have the leadership to take this on, or will we just buy some more time?


Posted by No raise here for fifty years, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 9:38 am

Everything about these fatcat union thug sponsored teachers is gold-plated. In my company, I never gave raises at all. Period. When workers complained I found their complaints unsustainable. This happened ten years ago. In order to preserve the viability of the private sector, I moved my company to China. It's a great place, actually. There people can be free. No government restrictions on factory owners. We need to make education viable, too. Cuts are necessary. Painful to the teachers, bad for morale, creates divisions in the community, adds to stress loads, but hey, not as painful as that 35 cents its going to cost me if we don't cut. We need to be real.


Posted by reasonable, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 10:19 am

I like Steven's comments above -- he understands (like no one in the school administration seems to) that taxes flow from the economy, and when the economy slips, so do taxes, and therefore school budgets, and so must school spending.

That said, I have friends who are teachers and are passionate about their column raises (those that allow wage increases for additional training and master's degrees) as it is the one avenue available for a teacher to grow in their job AND earn a raise/promotion. Think for a minute how disheartening it would be to take a job where you could never advance?

That said, STEP raises which are based solely on seniority, need to be suspended. The unions need to recognize that part of their "model" is outdated, or they will eventually get kicked out like what is currently happening in Wisconsin.

And what about this business of "no more teacher furlough days" this next year? Why on earth not? It is the easiest and least painful way to save money. Much better than firing teachers and increasing class sizes (those two go together). Furlough days, are unpaid vacation, NOT pay cuts. Pay cuts are less pay for the SAME amount of work, this is less pay for LESS work. There are many people out there who gladly "buy" additional vacation, and many others who are given "forced vacation" around the holidays when their company is losing money. This is no different and spares greater pain.


Posted by Steve is Right!!!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 10:40 am

@ reasonable

All right!!! Now we're cookin'!!! Teachers are outdated. If they don't get indated, they'll be "kicked out like what is currently happening in Wisconsin." That's exactly right!!! That's why they're being kicked out in Wisconsin. Now those darned teacher-taught kids in Madison and Berkeley are going to try to tell you all that the teachers in Wisconsin are being scapegoated by a fraud of a governor who had virtually no budget deficit until he gave tax cuts for the rich in his state. Don't believe those kids!!! They've been brainwashed by teachers. The teachers are propaganda puppets for the union fatcats. Don't believe the lying polls that state that 2/3 of the populace supports Wisconsin's public workers. Those polls are likely being run by people who were propagandized by teachers. Time for us all to make sure outdated teachers get what they deserve -- indated. Steve and Me know more about this than any teachers. Add ten more students to every classroom. The kids'll be fine. Save the children and My 35 cents: Vote NO on E.


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Mary, welcome to the boards. You'll find out it's crazy here.

Yes, by voting No on E, you not only will ensure that your kids don't get a good education, but you'll also ensure that the Tea Partiers, I mean No on E folks, will be able to spend that $98/year on pedicures and manicures and claim victory against all those evil teachers.

I mean, what's more important: appearance or education?


Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

I think a no vote on E will bring the problem to a head. We need complete reform on these issues and throwing a bandaid on the issue only makes it harder to solve in the future. At some point, regardless of how unpleasant it might seem, we need to take a real good look at what New Jersey, Wisconsin, Ohio, and other states are doing because this model we are pursuing will not work.


Posted by Einstein 2, a resident of Avignon
on Mar 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Yes, let's indeed follow the lead of the fat guy in New Jersy and the two union busters in Wisconsin and Ohio. First, come into office with a surplus. Second, give the surplus and then some away in the form of tax breaks for the rich. Third, let's then say the state is insolvent. Fourth, let's blame it on teachers and other public workers (but we don't want to blame the Republican-voting cops and firefighters). Fifth, let's declare a state fiscal emergency and disband the right of workers to engage in collective bargaining. Yes, sounds like a real plan! Einstein, you're brilliant!!!


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

"You cannot give out raises while at the same time you fire employees."

How can you say that? The largest and most important private banks in this country had to take bail-out money to stay afloat yet gave millions in bonuses while firing some. These are private companies and we all know that all private companies operate extremely efficiently. So this must be the proper way to operate in difficult financial times.


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

"Furlough days, are unpaid vacation, NOT pay cuts."

Call it whatever you want, but its still a reduction in annual salary. If you are expecting to make X dollars next year and you are told you will make 10% less, than the perceived reality is that you are taking a paycut. You can through around all the semantics you want and call it all you want, but at the end of the day, if your paycheck is less and you had no choice in the manner it is a pay cut.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm

If it's "all about the kids" the teachers would have accepted the economic reality and agreed to a real pay cut. I'm not trying to be critical of our teachers, but how are furlough days and program reductions suppose to benefit an already struggling education system. How many days off per year do teachers need?

Are the teachers driving these negotiations or is this a union thing?


Posted by just a resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Einstein 2, are you on drugs?


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm

NO on E


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Hmmmm - well there's the problem. The union drives the negotiations and what's best for the union is to have the most members with the highest pay because that is when the union takes in the most money. So the negotiations are driven by a small number of union members and reps and I guess it depends upon those people to get feedback (if any) they get prior to negotiations starting. Generally speaking, you would think that people who are on the bargaining team would be very pro-union and may not necessarily be in the same mindset as a majority of the members (but they might be also). So who really knows how many members would be willing to make different concessions, but that's what collective bargaining is all about.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm

To Einstein,

I'm sorry, but I don't understand how that will help them get the best education possible. I can see how it would save some tax money. I don't even see how it would bring about any big changes at the state level, I mean we are just one tiny district, and I don't know who would really even notice in Sacramento if Measure E didn't pass. I really just want what's best for our kids, and I can't help but think voting for E would be better for them than not. Best wishes.

Mary


Posted by OMG, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Wow, people you are ……… but it is not your fault it is probably just "tradition" not "education" fault


Posted by on the fence, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 8:09 am

I really dislike being compared to a CEO who is too cheap to part with $100. year. Currently, I pay 6200 in property tax(down from 7300)
and while this is a big chunk of what i take home, another 100 dollars is not going to make the load noticeably heavier. It really comes down to this.
>Is there something inevitable that has to happen to the system that is simply being delayed? If so, do it now and be done with it. <




Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:53 am

Einstein is a registered user.

Mary,

My point is that people think that giving more money (primarily to teachers) is the answer to quality education. If that were true California would have the highest educational level in the United States and we do not but do pay our teachers the most in the nation. I personally think we give teachers way to much credit for success and at the same time I think we give them to much blame. If we are really interested in getting the best teachers and movitating them then go with a pay for performance formula and get rid of the union which is dragging them down. I will not vote for E and do not believe it will pass and honestly do not think it would help if it does because it is such a small amount of money. I think it would be interesting to see how many administrators we have for every teacher in this district and what the wage disparity is. There has to be a reason all of the principals aspire for district jobs.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Mary:

I think the question you need to ask yourself is how Measure E will help the kids. It won't.

This year, if E were to pass, the income from it would go to finance teacher raises and the cost of the election. NO money left for programs.

Next year, the income from E will not even be enough to finance the raises. Programs will again be cut. We may see the PTA and district saying there is no money, the tax was not enough, we need more.

An example is Cupertino. They passed a parcel tax in 2009 and kept programs for one year. The year after that (2010), the district used the money for raises and again cut programs. The community raised over two million to re-instate the programs that were cut in order to finance the raises. Now a year later (2011) programs are again being cut, and Cupertino is trying to pass yet another parcel tax. The 2009 tax is still in effect, for 125 per parcel. On top of that they want another tax for 125, for a total of 250 per parcel for two years (the remaining time left for the 2009 tax), and after that the tax will be for 125 per parcel again (for four more years). You can be sure that even before the 2009 and 2011 tax run out, they will be again asking for either fundraising money or yet another tax.

Tell me how that helps the students. Voting yes on E only gives power to the unions, sends a message that as a taxpayer you either do not understand the corruption and the lies, or that you have given up and see no other solution but to continue to bend over and take whatever nonsense the union says.

Read the papers: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Ohio, Texas are all calling for union reform. California is not doing that because if you remember, it was the unions who helped Brown get elected. In the end, there is no money. The unions will eventually have to face the reality because they cannot continue to tax and still be in the red because of liabilities from the unions (and that includes the teachers union). The current system is not sustainable and is driving many cities and school districts to be in debt, to go bankrupt, to cancel programs.

I can only do my part and send a message with my vote. I will not be a part of the broken system. I will vote NO on E. I think union reform is coming, it is just a matter of time. I have a feeling that the june tax extension will fail just like the Arnold initiatives failed in the past. I also think E will fail, and if it passes it will be due to people not being aware of it and thinking the mail-in ballot is junk mail.


Posted by Resident 2, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Mary,
If above Resident is at all unclear, you can refer to any other post on this site and you can re-read it. But you should know that Resident is telling the absolute truth. She learned it from the Koch brothers who are financing attempts to break teachers' unions across the country. Resident wants you to believe the 35 cents a day from citizens will go toward raises for the teachers. Mary, don't believe what the measure itself says. Don't believe assurances from many informed people on this site that the money will not go toward teachers' raises. We must protect our children from the greedy clutches of their teachers and the union thugs who manipulate them for their own purposes. Today they rule Pleasanton, tomorrow the World!!! So, yes, believe everything Resident has told you. Starve the beast. It will greatly enhance teacher morale and make Pleasanton even more pleasant to live in. That's what they do in China.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Resident 2:

You call yourself churchill, steve is right, resident 2, etc. Your posts are trying to distract from the issue being discussed. I am not sure I understand your goal, other than perhaps get people to quit posting. Please stop or start contributing your thoughts and ideas, whether they agree or disagree with others.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Resident,

Notice that Resident 2 ignored your Cupertino example.

Mary,

concerned parent has written here before about how S&C will happen whether the parcel tax passes or not. Because S&C is a negotiable item and the current contract continues with the same salary schedule, the district has to commit itself to place S&C at a higher priority of General Fund expenditures than a program like reading specialists. Parcel tax money goes into the General Fund. So the reality is that parcel tax money gets used for salary increases because it is easier to cut programs than to negotiate a new salary schedule.


Posted by aloyious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm

(Post makes no sense and has been removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff.)


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

That's right, the measure specifies that the parcel tax revenue will not be used to increase salaries or benefits for employees. They won't use the money for raising amounts on the salary schedule or raising benefits. That doesn't prevent teachers from moving up a step or column and being paid for what they've contractually earned on the current salary schedule.

No conspiracy on the vagueness of the measure. It is standard practice not to include binding language so as to maintain flexibility in where the money can be used.


Posted by Palin' in comparison, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:35 am

Please don't forget, people, that to speak your mind here is your right within limits, but that disagreeing with Stacey is a clear violation of her free speech. Let's remember Sarah Palin's example on defining free speech: my point of view is protected; Muslims', liberals' and union workers' is not.

Any questions?


Posted by huh ??, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

to Palin' in comparison - Most of the time, I haven't agreed with Stacey, but why do you think that she thinks she is being oppressed??? (please stick to "playing the ball" Palin...., you're more likely to contribute rational thought to the discussion)


Posted by Palin' in comparison, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2011 at 9:09 am

...because she has her own thread dedicated to it?


Posted by huh ??, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

Should not be brought up here. It's off topic and personal.
I guarantee it will turn people off and end the discussion.
Lets stay on course


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 9:28 am

Web Link

I am disappointed at the campaign tactics of the yes side for Measure E. Not entirely a surprise after Measure G's campaign where some made claims without providing data. Obviously, not everyone on either side of the parcel tax issue expresses their opinions--whether facts are being presented or not--in the spirit of proper debate.

I wanted to let this discussion find its own balance. I like the new superintendent. I find her to be gracious and truly interested in our community's children. I had high hopes for at least one of our new board members as well.

However, this time the tone has changed on the yes side to be dismissive, combative, and even moronic. My sincere fear is these are teachers, and I say that because I have experienced similar tactics in the past. At that time, teachers burned the effigy of the superintendent, marched in front of board members homes at all hours moaning like the undead, and sent horrible letters to members who crossed the picket lines to actually teach. And yes, that was here in Pleasanton.

I provided the link above because of one statement: "The bias of management will be keeping as much of available funds as possible to devote to district's programmatic priorities; the bias of (the union) is to secure the best salary, benefits, and working conditions possible." No mention of taxpayers' interests; no mention of setting aside funds for a rainy day (perhaps that district has large reserves). The mentality for both sides at any bargaining table seems to be: "how much do we get, who gets to spend it, is there a way to get more so we can spend that too?"

If you want to learn how money comes in and filters into unintended places, check what happened with a large Chevron grant recently. Without specificity in the ballot language, it is easy to fit spending to something unintended by voters by using more amorphous language. I will vote no on Measure E and will continue to do so until it is tied to something tangible.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

Kathleen:

Do you know what the rules are for board members as far as actively campaigning for measure E? (given that there are rules about passing literature on school grounds)

My neighbor last night showed me all the emails he/she has been getting from the Yes on Measure E folks (he/she gets them because of past support/endorsement for G). Many emails are signed "Sincerely, Joan Laursen" and on the latest email, they have a paragraph about lawn signs, and it says to contact the "lawn sign coordinator" which happens to be Valerie Arkin. That is two board members actively involved, as measure E lead and lawn sign coordinator.

I know from talking to friends in other districts that board members can endorse a parcel tax, but from that to actually being actively involved in the campaign as in emailing people to ask them to work the phones and walk precincts, and being a lawn sign coordinator?

I mean, a board member is emailing people asking them to work phone banks, etc. And giving the name of another board member to get their yes on e sign.

Do you know the rules?

And as for the re-directing of money (Chevron), the district also did the same with an art grant. Money was placed in the general fund instead. I tried to look for the minutes, but the website only shows minutes going so far back. But it happened, an art grant money was spent on something else. What are the rules? Can PUSD do that? Apply for a grant for X program and then use it for Y?


Posted by To Comment, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm

You stated that "I don't think American children are healthier, safer, and better off today than they were in 1963."
Well I will argue that my two black children are far safer now and have more opportunity than my parents did.
We can not go back just because you have some twisted sense of nostalgia.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

First to "To Comment," What "comment" wrote above is exactly the kind of nonsense I was talking about.

Resident, I'll look to see if I can find the guidelines, but you can be sure the consultant won't let board members stray.


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Kathleen, I agree with all of your statements. The ballot measure for E does not commit to specific programs or level of service.

Also, I agree that the 'Yes' side with all of these off-topic, nonsense posts about various tangential topics and Palin and are completely inappropriate and show a complete sense of desperation. Why not talk about the issues?

And if teachers, district staff, or board members are the source of these off-topic posts and have been advised to do this by the district consultants, well, that is just completely sad.


Posted by rational radical, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Yes, Ken and Kathleen are right. The measure does not specify exact programs or levels of performance. Therefore, the Measure must actually be a conspiratorial attempt to smuggle our funds to the unions. Anyone who disagrees with this is clearly off topic.


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Kathleen,

To add to "At that time, teachers burned the effigy of the superintendent, marched in front of board members homes at all hours moaning like the undead, and sent horrible letters to members who crossed the picket lines to actually teach. And yes, that was here in Pleasanton," they also took over the administration building at district headquarters, and stayed there overnight, refusing to leave.

I recall that they wanted a 9.75% raise.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm

rational radical, thank you for proving my point.

Ken, I know the consultant and actually have a lot of respect for him. He would not encourage posters like rational radical. Don't remember the percentage; what I remember is the slogan: "30, 60, by 90," which was $30,000 to start; $60,000 at the top; by 1990. It was also part of a CTA campaign that hit Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Fremont all at the same time. Won't argue about worthiness of that cause, but the tactics tore the town apart for quite awhile.


Posted by Watch more news, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Well, if teachers did this -- marching, moaning, and sending letters -- then clearly they were in violation of Stacey's rules of civil discourse and should have been arrested. I'm absolutely aghast at what people will do in the face of what they perceive to be injustice. It reminds me of what Martin Luther King did. He also marched, moaned and sent letters on behalf of sanitation workers in the south. Very UNAmerican if you ask me. Only Egyptians should be allowed to march and moan.


Posted by Resident Evil, a resident of Lund Ranch II
on Mar 5, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I love the "moaning like the undead" line--so melodramatic! The best part is when you pair claims like that with claims that the other side of the issue is hamming it up. Classic Rove!

What you guys won't come up with to cling to your pennies. It's sad, but money brings out the worst in people.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

And so it continues. I didn't say anyone should have been arrested; I didn't like the tactics. Don't care for that of some of the posters here either. I'd rather debate the merits of issues, but I can rebut the drivel.

As a point of clarification, the letters were written by teachers to their coworkers and divided school staffs for years afterward. Please enlighten me as to what the injustice was in that case.

I believe Martin Luther King was far more elegant in his approach and words. Something to model?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

RE, seems to me our forefathers came here for several reasons, one of which was the problem of taxation.

No fan of Rove. No melodrama either. I was there; I talked to those teachers; I watched the faces of the kids who had been their students. You cannot understate that.

I will repeat this as many times as it takes: I am not against a parcel tax; I am willing to pay more than $98 (without it being parsed to equate to a stick of gum a day). Tie it to something tangible--counselors, reading specialists, seven period day, fill in the blank. It is not too much to ask.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Laughing aloud at the blatant and well-known hypocrisy of Ruegsegger, who has a job with the Palo Alto District...which has a HUGE parcel tax that is NOT tied to anything specific, as she advocates for Pleasanton.

That's why Ms. R still has a job; otherwise, Palo Alto would have had to lay off Ms. R and lots of other people, same as PUSD has.

So, here are the Rules According to Ms. R:

If she benefits from the parcel tax, a huge, non-specific one is GREAT.

If she has to pay the tax, a small, specific one is the ONLY acceptable one.

Glad we could clear this up :)


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Ah, Ms. R thinks our "forefathers" came here to escape high taxes in Europe?

Um...what an interesting and imaginative rewriting of American history.

Black Americans came here because they were clapped in chains and forced into chattel slavery for four hundred years...

My own ancestors came here because there was a famine in their home country and they wanted to survive...

Maybe Ms. R's "forefathers" were tax-dodgers, but I don't think the Founding Fathers set up the Republic as a tax-shelter scheme.

What time is the Tea Party, Ms. R? And do you serve Earl Grey? That's a British tea, ya know...should be thrown into the harbor, not served!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm

YAT, no secret where I work. No secretbi don't vote there. No secret it is a basic aid district, not revenue limit. No hypocrisy, but nice try. And I did state I would pay $98 or more; always been clear about that. Again, nice try. NOW it is cleared up.

Next posting, I wasn't referring to how Black Americans got here. One comment was a reference to taxation. The other was the link to Martin Luther King. I'll try to write more clearly. No tax dodgers; no tea party.

Turns out my ancestors are Irish; I'm from a blue collar, union household, oldest of eleven. But you already know that too You're going to have to work harder; slinging slurs is not very becoming, and good luck if you think any of it will buy yes votes.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Apologies for the typo. No secret I don't vote there.


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm

With the personal attacks that Yet Another Teacher teacher doles out, it is disappointing. It really is embarrassing. I'm a Democrat and I hope Yet Another Teacher is not one. When I see the venom of Yet Another Teacher, it makes me think that the students of this teacher are probably being inundated with propaganda in the classroom. With all of that anger, Yet Another Teacher should become Yet Another Ex-Teacher and find a new line of work.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Another interesting fact about my job, I have never taken benefits in the eight years I've been in Palo Alto. Pretty sure dollar for dollar, I'm making up for the parcel tax there . . . $500ish vs $10,000-17,000ish.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I'm not trying to "buy" any "yes" votes. I think people should vote "no" on the parcel tax. It's too small and is a Band-Aid on a deep wound.

Just cut the staff and programs and get it over with. Race to the bottom.

And yes, it is hypocrisy to advocate for a limited, specific parcel tax in Pleasanton and benefit from one in Palo Alto.

As for your imaginative revisionist history...it speaks for itself.


Posted by defensive, a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Kathleen-

Thou protest it too much....


Posted by on the fence, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Web Link
Web Link

Some arguments, for and against, can be picked out in the links above (same source) Just another set of data pts

Honestly, my only concern is that by voting for the measure, I am perpetuating a failing system, possibly even making matters worse.

I would really prefer to hand over the money to the Mom's I have seen giving freely of their own time to help out in the classroom. The teachers have been great, but for me, these Mom's are extra special. Just my own bias.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm

YAT, My preference is that any additional funding be tied to a program, a job, whatever this community's parents value for their children. It is why I will vote no. I may lose, and so I will pay despite my preference.

I value a reasoned discussion, as do others. Then there are those who choose to be abrasive--and I responded. And those who choose to make this personal--and I responded. You and I differ in approach, on why to vote no, and apparently on what I've actually written.

Defensive, I won't let personal attacks slide, so I guess I'm defensive by definition, but it isn't a protest.


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I'll be definitely voting no on E. But I will write a check for to the school district and write on it specifying for it to be used for any civics/social studies/community service program. You see, civics/social studies/community service programs aren't one of the vague "academic" subject areas allowed by Measure E.

It is one of the most poorly worded ballot measures I have seen in Pleasanton in quite a while, second only to Measure QQ.


Posted by Zeno, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm

First of all, anyone who thinks our Founding Fathers came here because of a search for religious freedom or for the possibilities of expanding they're own wealth needs their heads examined. They came here because they didn't want to pay taxes. Period.

Second, the phrase you hear -- 'No taxation without representation' --is actually a bit of revisionist history. The actual phrase uttered by the Founding Fathers was 'No taxation, no way, no how, and especially not parcel taxes.' I heard that on Fox News.

Third, Martin Luther King was a communist. A marching and moaning leftist. Arizona was right to fight the feds about making King's birthday a holiday. Workers should be working on that day, for free, out of gratitude for those heroes of capital who have hired them.

Fourth, I'd pay 10X more than the parcel tax if only the wording was more specific. Honest. I've stated it before,and I'll state it again.

With no venom intended, your most respectful and ever most sincere servant,


Posted by Mary, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Thank you everyone for your comments. I'll have to say I'm still firmly on the yes side. My main concern was to make sure my children still got the best education possible as our economy recovers from the recession. I don't think anyone explained to my satisfaction how a no vote will do that. I can see how it will save me some tax money. I can see how it might send a message to the union or to Sacramento (though I kind of doubt anyone would hear the message). At any rate, those things aren't my top priority. I'm not too worried that the money isn't specifically targeted. I'm very happy with our school and I hope they keep up the good work. I think we have a good thing going. I went to both a pretty bad public school, and a decent private school when I was a kid. I'd say Mohr is probably better than the private school I went to. I've heard good things about our middle school and high school too. Best of luck to you all, and let's all hope this economy keeps turning around so a lot of this will blow over.

Mary


Posted by Hank, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Mary,
But what about the balloons!!! Answer me!!! I demand it!!! Your silence is deafening!!!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 10:41 pm

The first section is from Wikipedia; the rest accompanied the Declaration of Independence--a laundry list of complaints against the king, of which taxation is one.


The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest in both religion and religious liberty. In the French and Indian War, British forces seized Canada from the French, but the francophone population remained politically isolated from the southern colonies. Excluding the Native Americans (popularly known as "American Indians"), who were being displaced, those thirteen colonies had a population of 2.6 million in 1770, about one-third that of Britain; nearly one in five Americans were black slaves.[31] Though subject to British taxation, the American colonials had no representation in the Parliament of Great Britain

The next section is a list of charges against King George III, which aim to demonstrate that he has violated the colonists' rights and is therefore unfit to be their ruler:
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such disolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass [sic] our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm

It is of no surprise to hear Kathleen actively campaigning against the new parcel tax, while claiming to be on the side of the teachers and the new sup. I said this during the last campaign and my predictions are clearly stated by her today- she will not be supporting a tax for reason x,y,and z. The moving target of demands is of no surprise as there was never an intention to ever support a tax, yet play victim when questioned or called on the misrepresentation of the facts that she actually is employed under.

While spending the day with many educators from Paly and Gunn today, we shared some interesting stories Kathleen. They were very surprised to hear your role in our schools while enjoying the benefits of Palo Alto school district which uses Step and column and has continued raises regardless of being a basic aid district- your defense is not asked for or wanted since it is full of only the portion of the story that fits your point. I hope the word in your work community spreads as you have worked to tarnish the work community that I belong to.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 11:27 pm

First let me fix one thing from above--the Founding Fathers were certainly forefathers, but I will take the hit on the fact that they are not interchangeable terms.

Really?, I don't know who you talked to, but the administration knows where I stand. So do many others at the DO. I'm not exactly a wallflower. If anyone else is interested, I'll respond. I said the same thing about this during the last campaign.

My position on the parcel tax for E is the same as it was for G. I actively worked with the assembled team to change the language this time; I didn't prevail. I stayed out of this debate until some of the posters mocked those speaking in opposition. Blame them for my involvement now.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Oh, so your not responsible for your own actions, and can only cast the stones of blame yet never accept them.

Your motives for both of the campaigns have always been clear, its your faux attempt at supporting the schools that is the lie here.

I really question your involvement in a school system when you have such strong opinions against the way they are run, including your own district that has the same basic structure of pay and seniority. Just as many, including yourself, question YAT ability to be in front of students at Hart, the same goes for your involvement at PAUSD- funny- that sentiment was coming from many employees in your own district when they read your comments. So its not a secret, not the point.

And really, must we have cut and paste from WIkipedia? WIthout a personal interpretation? For what purpose?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Really? I'd also like to ask how exactly I've tarnished your work community. I've spoken about things I don't personally support, but I've also spoken about ways of rewarding the best teachers, like their being able to make more than a principal or take time from the classroom (if they wish) to be a teacher of teachers for a year (or whatever). I certainly am interested in finding better approaches to learning. I would love to hear about your experiences and what you see as the future of K-12 education. I'm open to learning more.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:02 am

You see Kathleen, if you knew what was truthfully going in PUSD, you would know that the teacher on assignment program was very successful in this district. (your term teacher of teachers) That is until we had to make cut backs, trim the fat, cut the extras as you continually alternate your personal requirements for what is deemed a fiscally responsible district.

So you SAY you want teachers paid more than a principal, yet you incite mistrust and doubt for the teachers over issues that happened twenty years ago! "My sincere fear is these are teachers," as if we will resort to violence now! Please open your eyes to the interpretation your posts lead to, reread those who post after you. I hold you personally responsible for this repeated incitement of distrust, I dont believe your long winded explanations and faux support....if only x,y,and z, nor do I trust anything you post due to your obvious motive- your bluff is called- on both sides of the bay.

Now I will wait to be called an attacker for answering your question as the pattern usually follows. Though none of the outrageously disrespectful posts by many fall into that category. The hypocrisy is disturbing, the priorities are inexcusable, and the lack of respect is unforgettable. And to say you value education- do you hear yourself?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:02 am

Really? I was covering a question raised about taxation.

There is no faux attempt, I kept my children in public schools and didn't have to; I've put in 16 years of learning about the education system; I have friends and family that are in education. I am not alone in my concerns.

I do what most people do, I go to work and do my job and do it well, including giving support to any teacher who has a request I can help with. When opportunities arise, I have conversations about my opinions. It's not like everyone, or maybe anyone, agrees with me. They are gracious and there is a reasoned exchange of ideas.

Teachers here and there have my respect initially for taking on a job I know I couldn't do; more so if they are incredible at it, and I can tell you a few at Paly (more than Gunn because the DO is on the Paly campus). You don't accomplish what either of those high schools do without amazing students and teachers who can keep several steps ahead of them on top of the demands of their jobs.

So please don't mistake my opinions about step and column and tenure as disrespect for teachers. Changes will come whether I am part of them or not, and they may not look anything like I think they should, just like the language for Measures G or E. In the meantime, I'm allowed to have my opinions and to put in an honest days work, just like you.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:03 am

Wikipedia, the new last refuge of scoundrels?

Yes, other people have forced the dear Ms. R to argue with the likes of us, as we moan like the undead.

"Teachers...marched in front of board members homes at all hours moaning like the undead..."

That's from the woman who accused other people of melodrama and unwarranted attacks. That characterization of teachers striking for better pay and benefits as brain-eating zombies tells you everything you need to know about the true motives and mindset of the divine Ms. R, the lady who benefits from a huge parcel tax in Palo Alto but fights against a very modest one in Pleasanton.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:09 am

And now you want my opinion about the future of k12 education?

Where in anything you have posted do you respect the opinion of a teacher as anything other than financially motivated? Where in your postings do you ever defend the abuse to teachers who do try to post the truth? Where in your posts do you say ANYTHING positive about this award winning district?

Why would you want to hear from the teachers of pleasanton, so you can further ridicule us with your double speak? Please see that your posts are not just what you think they are- you are no supporter of pleasanton schools- that is a well known fact from the last campaign and now again with this one. My point from the beginning was that this is no surprise to me and my colleagues- just one to those who work at your high schools!


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:14 am

Love the backhanded insult- "You don't accomplish what either of those high schools do without amazing students and teachers who can keep several steps ahead of them on top of the demands of their jobs."

Funny I was at a workshop today- I was training them! Yet no word to the positive about PUSD- only the fact that twenty years ago teachers protested....your incitement is very clear.

You keep claiming your involvement, your family's involvement in education- I guess thats why I am so appalled by your blinders to what you are doing.

Again, there is no acknowledgement- only excuses, defensiveness, and my favorite- the victim who is being attacked- yet I am only answering your questions with my opinion that you can not seem to hear.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:22 am

Sorry we are one post ahead or behind. I do fear the mocking posters are teachers. I wasn't going to make that statement without saying why; it happened. I don't know whether teachers would ever do that again; different times, different people. I certainly hope not.

It is interesting to me that I post with my name. Anyone can find what I say. What bluff am I posing that is now blown on both sides of the bay. I don't understand your apparent satisfaction with this.

I would not have cut TOSAs. I talked about their value with the last measure.

I wouldn't call you an attacker. We disagree; I think you misinterpret what I say. Don't know that we'll find common ground, but we could try. Where do you see K-12 education heading? e-texbooks? A shift in 1:30 (or more) teaching models?

If everyone is on the defensive, where will the collaboration come from? Sad really, there are a lot of well intentioned, bright people on either side of the issues who may have the workable answers.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:35 am

Really? I live here, I've known many amazing teachers in this district.

You mentioned Gunn and Paly, and I know teachers there. That was all that was intended. Amador and Foothill are incredible schools too, but other than the principal at Amador, I don't know that I know more than a few teachers anymore. At least one math teacher that I thought was great.

So, tell me what I can state more clearly, if you have any desire for me to do that. The one key thing for me on these posts is I wanted specific ballot language both times. It isn't there. That is about decisions made by administrators, not teachers. I think I said hours ago that it wasn't too much to ask, in my opinion.


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 6, 2011 at 6:38 am

The fact is that Pleasanton teachers have been and currently are already the highest paid teachers in Alameda County even when you compare them to teachers that pay their own health insurance.

"But Hayward is dead last in Alameda County among experienced teachers. A Hayward teacher who has worked for 18 years and has the requisite educational credits can earn $75,167 annually, from which health benefits have to be paid. By contrast, a Pleasanton teacher who works 20 years receives an annual salary and health insurance package of $94,838. In the Emeryville district, teachers get the top compensation of $79,164 (including health benefits) after just 12 years."

Web Link


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 6, 2011 at 8:17 am

It is clear that 'Really?' offers no recommendations or vision for how to improve public education. Their only purpose here is to attack those with different opinions and defend the status quo.
Voting 'NO on E' can be a message to PUSD and the unions to reach fiscal excellence.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2011 at 9:54 am

I just have to repeat that I'm very happy with what my kids have here at Mohr, so I don't understand why people are talking about the status quo like it is something bad. I also don't get why everyone wants to freeze all the teachers' raises. It is not like they caused the recession. I wish I could give them all raises. I'll say it again. I've gone to good schools and bad schools, and my children are going to a good one, that's for sure. Why shouldn't my children's teachers be rewarded for that?


Posted by Marty, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

I have to admit the idea of the race to the bottom sounds pretty good to me. Education today is pretty overrated. There's always Fox news and one can always get everything one needs from Wikipedia.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2011 at 10:46 am

I posted a question above about what future K-12 education would look like. A friend, in a completely different discussion, mentioned a speech by Bill Gates at a TED conference. Instead of finding Mr. Gates, I found Sir Ken Robinson.

Web Link

Worth the 17 minutes.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2011 at 11:28 am

Dear Kathleen,

K-12 education looks like many, many different things right now in America. I ought to know, I've been to some horrible schools that weren't run anything like Mohr. If you live in Pleasanton, I hope get to know some of the people, the teachers, and volunteers, and everyone over here at Mohr. You probably be quite pleased with what you find. I don't know what your point is posting some stuff about Ken Robinson and that other stuff. Most of the parents I know want to pass a parcel tax because we like what we have.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Mary, Sorry to hear about your past experiences and glad you have found a better place for your children in Mohr--it is an outstanding school in a community of outstanding schools. I have lived in Pleasanton since 1985, with the exception of three years in the Houston area. If you get a chance to watch the link, you'll understand why i posted it.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Mary wrote: "I just have to repeat that I'm very happy with what my kids have here at Mohr, so I don't understand why people are talking about the status quo like it is something bad."

When most people talk about the status quo, they are not talking about the quality of education produced overall by Pleasanton teachers, but the management. This was argued about time and time again during the Measure G campaign while others tried to make the argument all about teachers. For example, PUSD hired more counselor staff without identifying ongoing funding sources to pay for them. It isn't clear where in the budget they absorbed the cost. Also, tech specialists were hired using the funds from a teacher COLA raise give-back one year: more one-time money. Predictably counselors and tech specialists were all on the chopping block during Measure G (probably are again with Measure E). In the meantime, the former superintendent reduced the amount of district funding to each classroom for supplies. To maintain the quality of education PUSD is known for, teachers need the support from the top of the organization through quality management. Putting budgets at risk because one-time money is used to acquire additional staff that requires ongoing operational funding is no way to maintain support of the classroom. Now PUSD has a new superintendent who has only been on the job for less than a year. A lot of people, myself included, are hoping she is able to turn things around.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Here's the old article on school counselors, from 2006: Web Link

====
"I hate being at the mercy of the state," said Trustee Pat Kernan. Kernan proposed that the board ask the district to hire new counselors, regardless if the state provides additional funding or not, by taking the money needed out of the district's reserve funds.

"I've heard throughout the community people saying, 'The Excellence Committee is great, but you're just going to add a parcel tax and make us pay.' But that is not the case," Kernan said.

....
Trustee Juanita Haugen was adamant that the district should not dip into its reserve funds.

"I'm not willing to risk the reserve for hiring long-term people," Haugen said. "The worse thing we can do is hire someone without knowing we have funding and then cut them the next year, or cut other non-contracted staff."
....

In the end, the board agreed to authorize the district to hire new counselors up to the $602,126 maximum cost, but left it open where the funding would come from. Casey said the hiring of counselors will be contingent on the additional state funding and if the district receives any additional funds from increased enrollment.


Posted by To Ken, a resident of Golden Eagle
on Mar 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Ken your posted quoted is misleading an incorrect.....

A teacher in PUSD who needs health insurance can make more starting in Livermore where the health benefits are included in the compensation. In Pleasanton, the benefits are "not included". About 40% of the teachers need to pay for benefits from their "inflated salary". A PUSD teachers salary is about 12k higher than other districts, but they must fork out 17K - 20K for health benefits, and they must purchase these through the district. So they are not the most highly paid in Alameda Cty. San Ramon is a better deal if you compare apples to apples.


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm

To the person living in the Golden Eagle Estates gated community --

You are incorrect. I posted the correct information and a weblink to an article that indicated that Pleasanton teachers are the highest paid teachers in Alameda County even if you factor in health benefits. Look at the article.

You then discussed San Ramon. Last I heard, San Ramon is located in Contra Costa County. I am not aware that SRVUSD had moved into Alameda County. However, their average salary is $64,717 per teacher, still around twenty thousand less (non 12k less than you claim) than the Pleasanton average teacher salary.

Also, I know of no statistics that state that 40% of PUSD teachers purchase PUSD medical; most of the Pleasanton teachers do not buy the PUSD medical benefits and are covered under the spouse's insurance.


Posted by PEVC, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

Mary - The PUSD board voted to cut Barton reading funding in half to save $53,000. Did you know that PUSD pays more than that to provide a paid Birthday holiday to classified employees? Web Link
You said earlier you value Mohr Elementary, you love your kids, you want the best education for them, and more, and want to support Measure E.
Given the existence of paid Birthday holidays, do you think PUSD could better allocate its funds and help protect essential student programs and services? There are many voters who believe PUSD can do more to insure efficient use of funds and will vote against Measure E as a way of letting PUSD know that it can do better for the kids.


Posted by PEVC, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

Mary - Last November, only 2 of 19 school parcel taxes won in California Web Link
One of those was a renewal for non-operating (playground facilities, etc.) expenses. Only one parcel tax passed.
Sacramento took notice, and PUSD's parcel tax consultant gave advice to the PUSD school board regarding the voter's mood about new taxes.
Your vote does matter. It is heard. And a defeat for Measure E would continue to send a message that accountability for how taxpayer dollars are spent remains important.


Posted by paul revere, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

Mary,
The Vote NO people are destructive types who don't care one iota about your children. Read carefully the posts by Hysterical Hughes (Answer Me!), Stacey the Censor, and Streve the Cleaver. Their motive is not to improve the community but to tear it apart for their own selfishness and seeking of political gain. They know nothing about education, but want you to think they know better than the teachers themselves, their union administrators, school administrators and members of the board. They spout some nonsense about step and column raises being bad, because it rewards seniority at the expense of young blood. Anyone in education knows that becoming a genuinely effective teacher takes years -- especially today with increasingly diverse student bodies and expanded classroom sizes. The senior teachers, moreover, are a source of stability for teachers generally. One of the named above has constantly advocated expanding your child's classroom size by a measure of ten students. He assures us: 'The kids'll be alright.' Another bit of nonsense they spew is that Measure E will be used in part to help finance teacher salaries, and they drool on about how the language of the Measure is intentionally vague -- done so because of a conspiracy of its authors. This is simply a lie. The language must be vague to a degree to allow for some discretion and flexibility among those responsible for distributing it according to the (always changing) needs and priorities of the schools, teachers, and students. The NO! people want things in Pleasanton to get worse, thinking the worse things get the more likely people will get angry and thus be vulnerable to more destructive lying and propaganda that tears apart our schools and community.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

Stacey is a registered user.

What would not be destructive?

How about hiring counselors and tech specialists responsibly by committing ongoing money instead of one-time money?

How about restoring classroom budgets instead of shoving the costs off onto teachers and classroom parents?

This is about holding management accountable for the way they spend the money. You don't keep giving a drug addict their drug then expect them to improve.


Posted by paul revere, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Note the question: What would not be destructive?

Note the relating of teachers to drug addicts.

This gasbag couldn't find her way out of the lunchroom to a classroom, but she deems it necessary to punish teachers, students and all of Pleasanton community. Critique of step and column doesn't fly? Union bashing falls on deaf ears? Vagueness of Measure E language doesn't hold water? Instead of contributing 35 cents a day, she wants to bring in techs. And where do the techs come from? Right. In a pig's eye.

This is all about scoring political points by those out of power in the community. They're throwing sand into the eyes of the community and calling themselves civil in the way they do it.

What would not be destructive? How about removing that big thing double parked on this intersection?


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

"The language must be vague to a degree to allow for some discretion and flexibility" -- Huh? That sounds like the parcel tax would not only salaries, but car allowances, travel boondoggles to so-called training retreats, and all of those trips to "Sacramento" that are spoken about at Board meetings.

And the "(always changing) needs and priorities of the schools, teachers, and students." -- That is a puzzle, indeed. What changes? Other than the schools seem to always be needing more money, usually to offer courses that are offered during the 2nd or 3rd year of college (perhaps we should rename the High Schools to UC Foothill and UC Amador).

Giving more money to management that cannot seem to curb their spending habits is not going to solve anyone's problems.

In the actual private sector, businesses aren't handed a set pile of money from some government agency quarter to quarter, and most don't spend every cent (and then some) that come through the door as if there is some sort of race to spend it.

The two new board members obviously are overwhelmed and know of no solutions. When they are spending time emailing people getting them to volunteer for a campaign, they really should be spending their time learning about finance and how to balance a budget.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

paul revere,

Is name-calling the way it is hoped to win the Measure E election?

I didn't relate teachers with drug addicts. That sentence followed a sentence about holding management accountable. It was an analogy about accountability that I believed a wide audience could understand.

I didn't say I wanted to bring in techs. You wanted to know about destruction. Techs were already hired with one-time money gained from a teacher COLA raise give-back and are now being cut because of that mistake. That was a destructive choice. I've given you this example three times now.


Posted by Mom of four, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Just in terms of the civility of the people posting here, I think I find the "Yes" posters to be offensive.

Paul Revere...did you really call someone here a "gasbag"? Sheeesh.

Can we keep the discussion civil so we can debate facts and not throw insults?


Posted by father of five, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I was going to vote Yes on Measure E until paul revere referred to one of the NO clan as a gasbag. Now there's no way I'm going to vote YES on Measure E. I'll change my vote simply because paul revere is so uncivil. By the way, I really like Stacey's attempt to censor the Yes posters; and I really would rather be called a drug addict than a gasbag; and I'm in accord with steve's logic a thousand and seven per cent. Moreover, I'd rather have someone who knows nothing about education attempt to tell me how to do my professional job as an academic than have someone call me a gasbag. Sheesh, I've never heard such language before. I think it is time we destroy the unhealthy addictive relationship that unions, administrators, teachers -- well, let's see, which one is it now? oh, okay, take your pick -- have with our community. We can do this destruction in a very civil way. One doesn't have to be uncivil about undercutting people's livelihoods and decimating the morale of our teachers. Hey, if they quit they probably weren't very good anyway. And besides, we don't want quitters teaching our kids. Much preferable to have nonquitters teaching with low morale caused by the destructive ones in the community. Vote No so that we can spread more cheer and civil good will throughout the community!!!


Posted by Mary, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Mom of four,

I don't think that I said anything offensive.

Stacy,

I'm talking about the quality of education. That is important to me. I'm not on a mission to punish some old managers who don't work for the district any more. I want my children to have the best education they can. I don't see how voting no can help with that, but I do see how voting yes can.


Posted by Mom of Four, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 12:03 am

Father of Five, Paul Revere, Teacher. All in one.

I agree with Stacey that we should look at what is best for the education of our children...the future of our country. I do, however, sincerely believe that there are families in our community who are more seriously devastated and threatened by the economy than the families of teachers with seniority.

I have a family comprised of teachers so I hear their concerns regularly and I know that, when you do it right, it is indeed a hard job...no doubt about that. But it comes with a degree of certainty for a pension in retirement, albeit not a windfall by any means, but a safety net and an early retirement that others in our community don't have. We are all ready to do what's right for our kids but some of us are more concerned, in these difficult times, that the money will go toward the kids and the programs...not to raises. Teachers sometimes refuse to realize that so many people are not getting raises...they are losing their jobs(including, I might add, other teachers who seem to be sacrificed to maintain current benefit levels).

I think that the economy will improve for everyone (hopefully) in the next few years. But for now....I think many people are not ready to see the parcel tax money go into a general "pot" from which raises are distributed. Especially when many parents work so hard with their kids' homework at night and then look forward to 2 weeks annual vacation at the most....certainly not 4-6 weeks off at summer.

I'm sorry...the emotional alignment with the teachers often just isn't there.




Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 8, 2011 at 1:55 am

I agree with Mom of Four. The union-backed teachers have all the power, and it comes from paying dues to a monolithic teachers' union who does not want reform and does not want sound financial management, as this video shows:

Web Link


Posted by Ken is right, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 8, 2011 at 4:50 am

hmmmmmm, I was just thinking. Is there a way we could either lock out or threaten to lock out the teachers? It worked with Castleton Country Club. I just don't think teachers have the right to make a higher salary than I do. I'm suffering, and so they should suffer too. I don't have a union. And so I don't see why they should have a union. I only get 2 weeks vacation. They shouldn't get more than I do. It just isn't fair. Isn't that communism?

There are a lot of people in the community wealthier than I am. I'll try not to advance my interests, though, because I don't want to offend them. I'm sure they deserve to be wealthier than I am. I just don't think teachers should be wealthier than I am.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 8, 2011 at 5:54 am

KIR, life is full of choices, including a choice of career with all the risks and potential, talent, or altruistic endeavors--cowboy, teacher, actor, or entrepreneur.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 8:21 am

" I do, however, sincerely believe that there are families in our community who are more seriously devastated and threatened by the economy ..."

Two years ago, sure. But for now, I don't know what you do, but at my company we're getting to the point that anyone who can fog a mirror can get an offer. The only time I've seen things better in information technology or engineering was during the dot com boom. I'm not talking about highly skilled positions either. If you're out of a job, you really have to ask yourself what are doing. I mean, pick up a couple of books on jquery, php, and mysql, maybe get a certficate (the tests are pretty easy), then put your resume on dice and monster. Many of theses jobs don't require a college degree or associates degree. Did you notice that big career fair at Sybase? A lot of those positions still aren't filled, and the commute from anywhere in Pleasanton is nothing. There is also database administration and development, business intelligence, mobile computing, and many more. My company has been having trouble filling several open positions and has had to give out substantial raises to keep more from leaving. My spouse tells me things are even better in health care. Unemployment may be high among unskilled laborers, but I haven't run into many of those in Pleasanton, at least not who were Pleasanton homeowners.


Posted by I'm in, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 8, 2011 at 8:50 am

Given this parcel tax some thought, and I'm going to put a yes on it.
Doesn't seem like we are going any further with this discussion anyway.
Before the no's say anything, i know ,i know and i really don't like it but I'm going to look at it as a 100 dollar bet. I am going to try to watch the money, assuming this thing goes thru, and be ready with a "I told you so" for all the real yes people. It's wrong, but I have to do it. No bad feeling here I hope, You make your own choices.
best regards


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 8, 2011 at 8:51 am

That's great your company is doing just peachy. Must be some selective company where everyone who can fog a mirror can get an offer. Why don't you say what your company's name is?

Are the taxpayers paying the salaries and outrageous pensions at your company? Did your management sign unsustainable contracts with unions that promise raises even during economic downturns? And is it bankrupting the state?


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 8, 2011 at 8:59 am

"How are we supposed to feel, for example, when the Los Angeles school board agrees to a union demand and spends $35 million to give fully paid health benefits to part-time cafeteria workers, then lays off teachers, raising class sizes, and asks unemployed parents to ante up for the difference?"

From this morning's Valley Times ... sound familiar? Web Link


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:16 am

"Why don't you say what your company's name is?"

I dropped some pretty good hints. It is pretty well known the IT and engineering job markets are picking up strongly, and so is health care for that matter. What is it that you do where jobs are hard to find?


Posted by ken is right, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:44 am

Kathleen Rueggsiliver,

Thanks for the pep talk. Yeah, my parents were extremely well educated and they tried to convince me to be a cowboy. Now I'm a paid right-wing agitator on the internet. But I still just don't think teachers should get paid more than I do. They made their choices. Let them live with those choices. They should have been bankers or something. Bankers, unlike teachers, have to work all day long, and they don't get summer breaks. Also, who ever heard of bankers getting furloughed. So they don't even get unpaid holidays like the furloughed teachers do. Bankers deserve to make more than I do. But not teachers.


Posted by Mom of Four, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

I wish you would just say where you and your spouse work (because you've mentioned it on more than one post) so people can get those jobs you speak of.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:35 am

"I wish you would just say where you and your spouse work (because you've mentioned it on more than one post) so people can get those jobs you speak of. "

I can't give out the company, but it is not like it is a big secret. Did you happen to notice that career fair at Sybase recently? That one was local. There are many, many more that are hiring web designers, software architects, database administrators, and related jobs. It is not a secret that there are both salary increases and lots of new hiring going on in these fields. What is the industry do you work in that isn't hiring?


Posted by to concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

To concerned parent: So if you are a university graduate from a good university, but with a liberal arts degree, can you really re-train yourself just with some books, get the certificate and get one of these jobs if you have the aptitude?

I am seriously thinking about doing this to get back in the workforce. Which training could you do yourself in the most straightforward way to get a job? Which skills are the most needed? If there was a class or training course to take, what should it specialize in to have the best chance of getting a job? Thanks!


Posted by Pablo, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

Well unemployment rate in Alameda County is 10.8% and when you include those which have dropped off the rolls of those looking for a job it is over 20% so a lot of folks are not working.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

"but with a liberal arts degree, can you really re-train yourself just with some books, get the certificate and get one of these jobs if you have the aptitude? "

Yes, no problem. We have web designers, DBAs, and we programmers without any degree at all, and others in unrelated fields.

" Which training could you do yourself in the most straightforward way to get a job?" These links have self study. Both have certificate programs. You should also ask yourself what you like to do. A web developer's job is very different from a database administrator or linux administrator.

Web Link

Web Link




Posted by to concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thanks for the info / links, really appreciate it!


Posted by Ken, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

One third of the SAP/Sybase openings in Dublin listed on their website (out of the grand total of drum roll - 25 positions) are for college intern positions. Give me a break.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm

You're welcome and good luck. Here is another perspective that might be useful. It is a little old, but I think offers some good advice.

Web Link


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Ken,

It was one example with one company, and it happens to be right next door. There are many more.


Posted by No wonder!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm

"Yes, no problem. We have web designers, DBAs, and we programmers without any degree at all, and others in unrelated fields.


I seem to remember you saying you could not get a qualified person because they rejected your offer and took another job.

No wonder!

With people without degrees at all, your company must not pay a good salary! It sounds like your company tries to hire cheap employees, that is why you cannot get someone qualified for the job.


Posted by No wonder -no job, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm

No wonder -

Unnecessary negativity Its a job thankfully -
Assumptions are just that and not helpful in this regard.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm

"Pleasanton has an unemployment rate of 2.6%, compared the national average of 6.9%."

Web Link



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