Pleasanton considering eliminating class-size reductions, teaching and administrative positions Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Jan 9, 2009 at 10:00 am
Pleasanton School Supt. John Casey warned yesterday that the state's growing deficit problems could force the district to cut as much as $8.7 million from this year's and the 2009-2010 budgets, which could mean reductions in faculty, programs and an end to class size reductions for kindergarten to third grade classes.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 9, 2009, 8:16 AM
Posted by Bryan, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Jan 9, 2009 at 10:00 am
This is potentially a devastating blow to our town and its future. Quality of the schools is THE metric used to judge how desirable one town is to live in as compared to another (read “property values” here). To protect Pleasanton’s place as one of the best places to live in the East Bay the quality of the schools must be maintained. Currently we do have some of the best public schools in the state, which is definitely noted and considered by the people who contemplate moving here. Our property values are being assaulted by conditions in the world economy; this would be terrible local blow that would in the short term hurt us even worse. Please remember it is much more expensive and difficult to recover and rebuild a town’s reputation than it is to maintain our current enviable position of being towards the top of the heap. I would gladly accept a parcel tax to keep our schools strong, not just for my enlightened self interest as a resident, but for the future of our kids and town as a whole.
Posted by Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Jan 12, 2009 at 10:50 am
Those communities (Livermore/San Ramon) have only recently put in place parcel taxes to maintain thier current standards. It would be hard to judge the success rate yet, but those schools overall are not as highly regarded as our schools. Brian is correct, the number one reason people move to Pleasanton is for the schools...it is NOT for the cute downtown which is almost devoid of retail, but rather full of banks and restaurants, nor is it for our parks. Reality is that it is for the schools.
Livermore lost thier science, PE, music, computer specialist and class size reduction a few years back. As a community, they organized, mobilized and restored those programs. This year they passed Measure M, providing 5 years of stable predictable funding to secure those instructional programs. Also in Dublin, Measure L was just passed in November, providing thier schools with similar benefits.
We need to consider the return on investment for supporting our schools. According to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance/UCLA Anderson Forecast, property values have declined 35% in Alameda Co. and 45% in Contra Costa, but only 12% in Pleasanton. Pleasanton schools are the #1 reason our values have stayed where they are. Even if you do not have school age children, a minor $200-400 a year Parcel Tax, is a GREAT investment in the stability of your home price...not to mention an investment in our kids' (and ours') futures!
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 12, 2009 at 11:48 am
"Pleasanton schools are the #1 reason our values have stayed where they are."
Let's not forget that the real estate statistics for Pleasanton are likely skewed due to 1) Pleasanton's slow growth policies and 2) the high socioeconomic standing of a large percentage of Pleasanton residents who can afford to stay in their homes and weather an economic downturn. This is unlike many other Alameda and Contra Costa places which saw a massive build-up of new home inventory sold to those who couldn't afford them to begin with.
A true measure would be to look at other cities comparable socioeconomically to Pleasanton, look at if they have a parcel tax or not and what that tax funds, look at their real estate statistics, and look at their school rankings.
Posted by Jon, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jan 18, 2009 at 11:55 am
Statistics may be skewed but I know for a fact that I chose to buy here in Pleasanton last summer is definitely NOT for its appeal or congested traffic. I chose this city for its great schools. That's why I paid the high price that I paid. If not for the schools, I would definitely consider buying elsewhere for a lot less money. I paid $300K more for one reason only: the schools. I'm not saying that I represent the entire population of folks who choose Pleasanton but I can safely say that there are a lot of people like me. That's why places like Mission San Jose, Cupertino, and Palo Alto still have houses that are appreciating.