School board to discuss budget tonight Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Jan 13, 2009 at 8:51 am
School districts across the state are looking to cut millions of dollars from their budgets in face of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget outlining a $41.6 billion deficit. Pleasanton Unified School District will meet tonight for a breakdown of the major impact.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 6:50 AM
Posted by Rae, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2009 at 11:30 am
Great ideas! I do hope that you plan to attend the school board meeting and give your info to the board members directly, as well as provide them with a hardcopy for the record. As popular as this forum seems to be, your ideas, as well as anyone elses on this matter, need to be presented directly to the board to ensure they actually get your input.
Posted by Heather, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm
Here are some facts for you to consider. You might find some more data regarding nearby cities by Googling UCLA's findings. I enjoy following real estate and just last Monday was clicking through the internet page after internet page of homes in Livermore that are priced in the $300,000 range...there were even some single family homes in the $200,000's. Because of many reasons, people are not clamoring to live in Livermore. One might consider their school system in this equation. Why did you chose to live in Pleasanton? I, for one, chose it for the schools.
From Walnut Grove's "Greensheet" (weekly emailed newsletter from the site administrator):
"In the recent economic downturn, property values have dropped around 35% in Alameda County and close to 45% in Contra Costa. In Pleasanton this decline was barely over 12% (East Bay Economic Development Alliance/UCLA Anderson Forecast). If you do the math, you can't help but note that something has saved Pleasanton residents from the loss of home equity that citizens of other cities around us are experiencing. In real numbers, the average Pleasanton home has dropped about $90K. The average Contra Cost County home is down nearly $250K. You may want to consider why these numbers vary so widely. Yes, Pleasanton Schools are the #1 attraction to our city, and one of the major reasons that homes have retained value."
Just something to consider. Our schools certainly have not hurt property values. It would be foolish to believe they haven't helped.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2009 at 1:14 pm
Hey thanks! Now I know where that writer in the other thread got that same data from. It helps to do your own research rather than rely upon "data" provided by an interested party, i.e., a PUSD school. The huge drop in other Alameda cities and Contra Costa is influenced by a lot more factors than school quality alone. The way that "data" is presented in your "Green Sheet" is synthesis. It tells you nothing about how school quality is factored in to the housing prices, but you're supposed to believe it is the sole cause.
It is recognized that high scores of performance tests and per pupil spending are "capitalized" into housing prices, but you need to compare apples to apples. Does Antioch or Brentwood compare with Pleasanton in housing stock? Also beware of use of the term "average" in your "Green Sheet". Average is not typical. Averages are skewed by high and low extremes. Calling it "real numbers" is a joke.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2009 at 1:24 pm
Note that housing price premiums reflect parental perceptions of school quality, not actual student achievement! So as long as we maintain a higher per pupil spending than our surrounding communities and high test scores, all your property values will be safe! Who cares if students actually learn or not! *facetious*
Posted by Kids!, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm
"Elementary preparation period provided by a shortened student day."
While this is time for your child's teacher to review/correct/reflect/plan/communicate, it is also a time for children to receive specialized education in the areas of Science (w/hands-on lab studies,) Physical Education, and Music. (Our local specialist teachers are amazing, by the way!)
Each class' knowledge, thinking, and skills are state standards; they must be taught. By removing the "prep" classes, one is also removing the time necessary to teach that required content.
With cost-cutting methods to balance our budget, there will be drastic cuts and they'll hurt. Perhaps there's a way to bring all the players (that's all of us!) to the table in a way that creates innovative ideas, a varied approach, a unique blending of seemingly disparate pieces...who knows! We have a community of interested, intelligent, hard-working, caring people who love their children and their town. Let's keep looking for ways to make PUSD and Pleasanton better.
In stressful times, it's easy to let that anxious energy get the best of us. Let's band together and use our energies positively to further our goals. (Importantly, this is not in response nor toward anyone so please view it only as a message from a place of love of our town and community. :)
Posted by John, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm
There have been a lot of talks about imposing a parcel tax to fund all the existing programs. I, for one, will NOT agree to imposing anymore taxes to fund crappy programs that are offered today. If we're going to impose a new tax, I want to see that the new money will be used to expand our programs beyond what we have today and create more well-rounded learning opportunities for our students. The district should look at cutting those pencil-pusher jobs and ways to improve its efficiencies. There are lots of "fat" in the district and this is the time to burn them. Just throwing more money into the current system will not work...it's no different than throwing money into bailing the automakers. PUSD needs to cut its pay for its admin staff and do more with less.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm
Get reid of the PE teachers...why do we need to pay over $700K for teachers that serve no real purpose in elementary schools? Anyone can tell kids to run around the yard and toss the ball around. Let's save those money for the kids' real education.