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School board to discuss parcel tax, budget crisis tonight
Original post made
on Jan 27, 2009
Tonight the school board will discuss the budget crisis and take action on whether to employ a survey firm to conduct a parcel tax feasibility study. This comes one night after the first of two budget forums held at the district high schools.
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posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 6:46 AM
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Posted by A Teacher, Too
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 27, 2009 at 11:55 pm
Unfortunately, I have read too many of these blogs over the past few days, and like the other teacher, I am shocked by the mean spirited comments about teachers, especially our pay and hours "off". Mostly, I am saddened to hear dedicated teachers criticized in such hurtful ways. During the school year, I work on average 60 hours a week and rarely is there a weekend that I don't steal some time away from my own family to work at school preparing lessons. Currently, this year, I have spent over $1,000.00 of my family's money on my classroom. Most of you "bloggers" don't realize that our site level funds have already been frozen, but I, like most teachers, can't let my current students go without the activities I have provided in previous years. So this year, I expect to take about $1,500 of our my family's very tight budget....I guess you might say I have already taken a salary reduction. A few of you need to look at the salary schedule, for there are blocks of years which there are no changes in salary, so without a COLA, there is truly no raise. I am okay with not receiving a COLA in these tough economic times even though my son's daycare went up 30% this year and our medical costs have been rising steadily each year. PUSD salaries do not include benefits and some teachers paid upwards to $1500+ a month to cover their families.
As a teacher, I don't mind the questions and the true problem solving, but the mean spirited comments which are not based upon the facts or any true knowledge of a teacher's working day, week, or year are hurtful and I know have caused a lot of hurt to teachers who read the Weekly blogs.
And Kay, wow, I was once a fan of yours when you ran for mayor for our city. My husband and I campaigned for you. I didn't realize you, of all people, don't see the connection between high quality schools and the economic health of a city. You are a leader and you have shed doubt on our superintendent and board. You will very likely create a following and take pride in defeating a parcel tax that could keep this district from becoming average. I hope that in five years when API scores fall, you don't regret your decision to lead this campaign, but of course, it's your right. This board already made cuts last year and will need to cut nearly everything besides a "basic" education to meet this budget.
I didn't plan to raise my children in town that excepted "basic" even in tough times. I lived in Fremont when the property values were higher there than in Pleasanton. I bought my first condo here because it was more affordable than Fremont. Once I lived here, I wanted to teach here because the community seemed so focused upon schools, families, and seniors. It appeared that it was a community that cared about citizens at all stages of life. Since that purchase, API scores appeared on the educational scene and many families moved over the hills to Pleasanton from Fremont and the San Jose area because there wasn't a poor quality school in town...and the Pleasanton realtors' were waving our API scores like golden nuggets in front of those eager, young families wanting to provide the best for their children and this city benefitted from those developments. You were there on the council enjoying the revenue brought to this town from Ruby Hills and many other "new" developments. Those families sent our property values soaring and have kept them stable. All of my friends from Fremont occurred larger property taxes by purchasing a newer home in Pleasanton because of one reason, the schools, the safe, well staffed schools.
At least 7-8 staff members at each elementary school will be laid off or displaced to another location next year because of the loss of class size reduction. About 80+ teachers, community members of Pleasanton, will lose their jobs this spring.
Finally, it was community members and parents, like myself, who wrote the board asking them to please work on a parcel tax, so that this spring we won't lose the programs we have worked tirelessly over the past 13 years to implement. The attacks on Dr. Casey are really unjust! He cares deeply about these children and of course, and thankfully, he cares deeply about his employees. I have never worked for a superintendent that actually knew his district employees so well or took the time to visit schools and listen to the students.
Okay, bloggers, ATTACK. But, I won't be back to check because this is way to negative for a believer like me. See, I see little miracles each and every day in the children I teach. I believe we, as a community, will get through this and protect Pleasanton's crowning jewel, our school district. The 60% of you that don't have children at home, I am sure that this district provided your children a wonderful education or at least has elevated your property taxes. I realize we don't have a crystal ball, but I see our property values falling if Livermore and Dublin keep class size reduction and we don't. Where would a young family want to take their children? Remember, they moved over the hill from Fremont, why not down the road to Livermore?