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parcel tax

Original post made by anne on Mar 1, 2009

Although our children are out of school, I am more than willing to pay a parcel tax to maintain excellence in our schools. Valuable programs were cut this past week. This tax is one of the few options to "find" the cash to prevent deeper budget cuts.

Comments (39)

Posted by Liz, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 1, 2009 at 7:48 am

Taxpayers will have a hard time justifying yet another new tax that will go to pay PUSD's, high payed administrators and well paid teachers, continued salary increases (call it what you like S&C are raises).

Without a true and absolute salary freeze MANDATED in any parcel tax language FOR THE LENGTH OF THE TAX it will become a game of hide the pea. Money will be moved around, paid by the parcel tax in one pot and freed up in another for raises. It is not that teachers are not valued but this economy can not support raises for anyone. We must preserve jobs over raises.

We love our kids we care about our community and we support our teachers but everyone must make concessions.

As the parcel tax stands now it will fail and a lot of money and community resources will have been waisted!!!


Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 1, 2009 at 8:23 am

I have to ask how many "newer" homeowners in Pleasanton have the bandwidth to afford an additional "tax" that impacts their monthly bottom line. Especially in this era of declining salaries and layoffs. AT&T plans on letting 15k go this year -- many of them management in San Ramon -- many of which live and OWN in Pleasanton.

Bottom line -- a parcel tax can impact ones ability to make a house payment, their bills, and put food on the table versus a "short sale" or "foreclosure."

How would that possible scenario help anyone? How would a foreclosure or short sale next door to you help your values -- regardless of school rating? Think about that!

Finally I will again remind people that there is an active group of "boosters" that can help fund some of what you are looking to US via the parcel tax to fund. I challenge you all to ask your kids if they'd rather have teachers in classrooms or a new sound system on the sports field. Teachers and smaller class sizes or a new marquee? If they are half as bright as you parents/posters here make the kids out to be, I bet they'd prefer teachers.

There is a line I tend to embrace on this matter -- "God Helps Those Who Help Themselves." Let those in need help themselves without digging into the pockets of others so deeply.


Posted by Dana, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 1, 2009 at 9:09 am

Residence newer to Pleasanton and parents with younger children may not understand that Pleasanton property owners have been paying an average of $900 dollars per year to PUSD for nearly 20 years and we will continue to pay it for the next 20 years.

PUSD has disregarded all protection of oversight that was promised to the taxpayer when we voted for those bonds. The oversight committee has only met a few times in 15 years and not at all in five years. New promises are not credible.

You are naive to suggest a parcel tax is a small price to pay without considering the districts history.


Posted by raven, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 9:20 am

The proposed budget cuts are written full of hysteria and fear tactics. There is a lot on this list that cannot be implemented due state law. They, the district have placed themselves into a corner and is using these proposed cuts to get the parcel tax passed. I for one will be at the March 4 meeting to speak out. Specifics are necessary, Not hysteria. I have lived and worked in the district for 25 years and this is unacceptable.


Posted by honest question, a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Mar 1, 2009 at 9:45 am

Here's what I don't get, and maybe someone can clarify for me. My understanding is that it would take a parcel tax of $300 or more to cover everything on that list, but they are only going to ask for about 1/2 that and then make up the rest with cuts (on top of 2 million they've already cut). If that's the case, then I'm having trouble understanding why people are saying "everyone must sacrifice" but excluding the community in that equation by saying they won't vote for the parcel tax? It's clear there is going to be sacrifice for teachers, administrators, children and their families whether or not the parcel tax passes. It seems like the $150-$200 would be the sacrifice the community could make to "share the pain". Now, don't flame me! I really am trying to understand here! :)


Posted by Liz, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

If the district were honest and did not use the extortion/scare tactics.
If all salaries were truly frozen. If the sneaky raises that were taken (from reserves), just before the budget crisis was announced, were rolled back.
If a lot of unnessisary administrative perks got eliminated (car allowance etc.).
If some Management and admin positions were reduced and eliminated (not just MORE vacation time). If the Union were reasonable and made concessions.
If the federal money was considered real money toward the PUSD shortfall.
If the property owners of Pleasanton continue to pay the $900 per year, on average, special tax they already pay to PUSD.
If we all continue to pay the many taxes that contribute to the districts funding............. we would not need a parcel tax and we would not need to waste money on a special election that is sure to fail : )


Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 1, 2009 at 11:22 am

"Honest Question" -- Read the posts by Dana and raven. I think they summarize why many residents are unwilling to "share the pain." Add to that the money spent to enable the "culture" (Bill Coupe's words, not mine!) at Amador and recent arguments over a new, technology rich marquee and one can see where other funds are available by those with the willingness and/or ability to freely "donate." Unfortunately those same sources appear to have prioritization problems, just as apparently some see the District as having administrative salary issues.

While my comment before was taken poorly -- I will reiterate -- I will not willinly pay for those created by others who got the benefit of the enjoying the intercourse. If you expect me to pay for your spawn, then at least allow me to have sex with your husband in return. Until then, look to yourself and other sources of available dollars. Keep your hands out of my checking and savings accounts!


Posted by honest question, a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Mar 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Ok, I'm honestly trying to figure out which way to go on this issue and I'm trying to weigh valid arguments for and against. Gatetree lost me at "spawn" b/c it's like saying "I won't pay for roadwork on 680 because I don't use that freeway". Plus, referring to children as "spawn" is just plain offensive.

That aside, I appreciate Liz's posting and am going to cut and paste it and try to insert the counter arguments I have heard in the hopes that others can clarify and fill in the gaps of my knowledge. I want to weigh reasonable arguments for and against this thing!

"If the district were honest and did not use the extortion/scare tactics."
Ok, I think this is just a matter of perspective. Does the district have credibility, or doesn't it? Are these cuts for real, or are they just a threat? Not much I can insert here, factually.

"If all salaries were truly frozen. If the sneaky raises that were taken (from reserves), just before the budget crisis was announced, were rolled back."

There seems to be some discrepancy about what constitutes a"raise". Teachers are saying that what some refer to as "raises" are actually earned when teachers spend their own money to further their education or through years of experience. In their view, a raise occurs when the amounts of the steps and columns go up and not when they advance from one step/column to another. Was there some other "sneaky" raise that occurred that I'm not aware of?

"If a lot of unnessisary administrative perks got eliminated (car allowance etc.)."
How much money is being spent on these "unnecessary perks" exactly? Do they have a major impact on the budget, or are they drops in the bucket? (again, I'm asking an honest question and hoping someone who is more in the know than I am can respond)

"If some Management and admin positions were reduced and eliminated (not just MORE vacation time).
I think that's going to happen, right? The last board meeting slashed a bunch of admin positions and the parcel tax verbiage is going to save k-3 class reductions, reading specialists, counselors and librarians from what I know (recognizing that the final draft hasn't been submitted to the public yet and is open to change). Again, the parcel tax is only covering 1/2ish, so they'll have to cut admin jobs.
Also, the opposing side would argue that a furlough day is not the same as a vacation day. Less paid work days = less pay and a hit to retirement. This is not the same as vacation time.


"If the Union were reasonable and made concessions."
I looked at an APT FAQ sheet and here's what it said: "APT is absolutely willing to make concessions to help during this budget crisis. Our goal is to make sensible business decisions that help students and our members. Last year, APT made concessions during out negotiations and gave 1% of our salary back to the school district to help fund the elementary science specialist program. In addition, due to the rising cost of our healthcare paln, many of our teachers took an additional pay cut last year. Over the last six years our healthcare costs have risen 10-12% annually, while our [cost of living] "raise" averaged only 3.2%. For four of the last nine years we have had raises of lest that 1, if a raise was given at all."

"If the federal money was considered real money toward the PUSD shortfall."
Does anyone have any exact figures on this? Is this money PUSD can count on?

"If the property owners of Pleasanton continue to pay the $900 per year, on average, special tax they already pay to PUSD." AND "If we all continue to pay the many taxes that contribute to the districts funding............. we would not need a parcel tax and we would not need to waste money on a special election that is sure to fail" :
I think these are both making the same point that we are already paying enough to properly fund the schools and they shouldn't need more?




Posted by honest question, a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Mar 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Sorry for typos above. Those are mine, not APTs


Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm

"Honest Question" -- Again, read the posts by Dana and raven. They make valid points.

As for my post being offensive -- I'm sorry you feel that way -- especially given that I have and do donate not only time but money to a District I have never used since moving to Pleasanton in 1990.

If you find my post offensive, why not ask those that funded the new sound system for the sports stadium what that cost and what educational value it delivers. Investigate how much the desired new marquee was going to cost in times like these and then let that take the truly offensive test.

Money well spent is of great value. I think it's wise to question beyond that of the District's spending habits.


Posted by honest question, a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Mar 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Those are good points. It's the "I don't have 'spawn', so therefore I don't have a vested interest in the school district" stance that you lost me on.

I get what you're saying with the marquis that the boosters paid for. Point taken. One thing I have seen from reading this, though, is that the district/boosters etc are being crucified for "frivolous" spending that was done when economic times were better. I think we all were guilty of that. I know my company is cutting back on a lot of the perks I used to get. I know personally I wish I hadn't saddled myself into a car payment 2 years ago that I'm regretting now. Point being: I just want this conversation to be realistic and productive. There's lot of unnecessary stone throwing going on based on what should've been done differently in hindsight instead of looking at the situation we're in and making decisions about where to go from here.

For my part, I hate taxes and think we already pay too much... but I also care a lot about this community and the "spawn" in it. What to do? :)


Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 1, 2009 at 12:49 pm

"Honest Question" -- I never said I don't have "spawn." I said I've never needed to use the District, yet I do donate time and money. Don't twist my words nor their intent.

As for the MARQUEE -- that was a recent debate and John Casey took a lot of heat for not allowing a new marquee to go up as he had the foresight to see where funds and the budget were headed. The sound system was installed last year just prior to graduation when indicators all ready existed as to economic hard times ahead. Yet the Boosters proceeded and now look not only "frivolous" but selfish in light of the current discussion topic. "Economic times" were not "better" when these items were discussed, yet many still had their blinders on.

5 years ago there was a lot of discussion about Pleasanton being close to build out and needing to revisit how schools would be funded now that the developer cash cow was finally being butchered. Few listened. Now we are where we are today and many have the gall to be surprised and angry. Go figure.


Posted by Liz, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm

"honest question",
This is a beginning.

"If the district were honest and did not use the extortion/scare tactics."

Board member Arkin, presented a budget that would not touch CRS, reading specialists, lay off any teachers, or any of the parent sensitive programs. The district on the other hand presents the most parent sensitive items for first consideration.


"Was there some other "sneaky" raise that occurred that I'm not aware of?"

The Administration presented a major pay increase to the Board weeks before the budget crisis was announced. At that point the State froze salaries that would not have allowed that raise. Many feel certain they knew that announcement was coming. San Ramon backed up their admin raises.

"How much money is being spent on these "unnecessary perks" exactly? Do they have a major impact on the budget, or are they drops in the bucket?"

When I am told to give up a cup of coffee because $200 dollars a year is a drop in the bucket, the hundreds of thousand in perks seems significant to me.

"There seems to be some discrepancy about what constitutes a "raise"."

If we need to increase the budget 2mil a year to pay the salary increases they are raises.

"APT FAQ sheet ..gave 1% of our salary back"

This is a problem with the Union they think all of the operating money is theirs to control.

Yes they know they can count on the federal money but they are looking for a continuing slush fund, this money is only two years.

"I think these are both making the same point that we are already paying enough to properly fund the schools and they shouldn't need more?"

San Ramon out performs PUSD with $600 less per student after the San Ramon Parcel Tax.


Posted by Disagree w/B, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm

HQ: $9 mil in cuts were to allow layoff notices to go out by 3.15.09. The district hasn't released actual data for cuts since the state budget was adopted. K-3 CSR was funded, so the delta is $2 mil that the district has always had to pay. They are asking us to vote in May, but their budget doesn't have to finalized until June 30 (by law). The district could actually find itself in the black because of federal aid and less onerous cuts and more flexibility from the state. And because we have to vote in May--before they finalize that budget--the parcel tax could be gravy that ends up allowing for items like raises that the community did not intend to happen.

With the federal funding; $2-4 mil depending on the source, can be included in the budget. The district has access to what the amounts are that they can expect. The proposed parcel tax potentially would be more than 1/2 of what the district MIGHT need.

The raises were $400,000 for administrators taken from the reserves--an ongoing expense from a one time source. The 1% giveback was not a savings to the district, it purchased what the teachers/union wanted--another ongoing expense (unless it was only for the year the they gave back 1%). 4/5/6% raises were given over the 2005-08 school years--adding somewhere between $10-15 mil in ongoing expenses.

Furlough days do not change contracts or salaries or retirement calculations. Think of it more as the district pays the salary and the people DONATE some of it back.

Perks add up, but they are probably comparatively small to the out of focus picture we are being asked to believe. $1,000 a month car allowance is negligible, but offensive. There's a lot of mileage reimbursement in $24,000 for one car, most likely with money left over.

The $900 is for facilities bonds and cannot be used for anything but facilities--and even that use is restricted. There is a loss of credibility here though, because the oversight committee has not met in five years to verify the funds have been spent correctly.

So it's like peeling an onion; lots of layers and it only makes you cry!


Posted by Disagree w/B, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Ooops - $12,000 a year, not 24.


Posted by Fed Up, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 2:13 pm

In my year 2008/2009 property tax bill, there is an itemized parcel tax of $967.81 for the PUSD. Giving them another $200 is not going to make the schools any better and not paying that $200 is not going to make them any worse.

Like Liz said, there are a lot of unnecessary spending they can cut and also freeze the step and column pay hike to balance the budget. But they're ignoring those options and resolve to just ask the community to hand over more of our hard-earned money.

The buck stops here! Fix the system and balance the budget. No more free lunch here!


Posted by Think Twice, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm

The fact remains that Dublin and Livermore both passed a parcel tax and that didn't make their schools any better than schools in Ptown. Consider the facts before jumping into your conclusion on the need of a parcel tax. Passing a parcel tax will not make our schools better.

Keep in mind that Casey rakes in $1000 each month, $12,000 per year, from the district on "travel expenses", another hundreds of thousands on expensed lunches, an interest-free mortgage on our backs, and also a $229,000 per year income.

Are we going to pass another tax so Casey can be rewarded with more perks?


Posted by In your face, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Superintendent Dr. John Casey is employed under a contract which ends June 30, 2010. His annual salary is $227,002, with a 12-month work calendar and 24 days of vacation. Medical and other health insurance may be purchased at his sole expense, and the District contributes $5,000 annually for life insurance premiums. At the completion of each year of the contract where he has worked at least 85% of the days, he receives a payment of $10,000 into a tax-sheltered annuity. He receives $1,000 per month as a transportation allowance and membership in professional organizations as appropriate and necessary. When Dr. Casey moved to Pleasanton, he received a $200,000 loan to help purchase a home in the community. This loan is interest free and must be repaid within 18 months of the termination of his employment. There is no provision or expectation that the loan would be "forgiven." The current balance of this loan is $190,000.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Casey will not give concessions because he is planning to retire next year. He was here for the good times but plans to take as much as he can with him now that things are getting tough.


Posted by How bad is his health, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Gawd! My similar aged husband has a $1,000,000 life insurance policy for 25% of $5000! How much does this guy really think he is worth!


Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Why on all the other threads is the tirade about John Casey posted under the moniker of "think twice" yet here in this thread the same tirade is posted under "your face?" Why not just keep posting under the same name?


Posted by Linda, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 1, 2009 at 7:02 pm

My children attended schools in PUSD. I am happy to pay the parcel tax - lets just make it high enough to cover the cuts. Honestly, regardless of the complaints of a few, our children have received excellent education and we all need to chip in one dollar a day to keep programs alive. Our children depend on us to make the right decisions and our home values reflect the excellence of PUSD! Eat out one less night or brew your coffee at home, - in the long run it is a small amount of money.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 1, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Gateway,

I"ll take you up on your offer if your"re in good shape and cute.:) hubba hubba

No percel tax


Posted by What the Heck, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 2, 2009 at 7:28 am

So...when do we start talking about the real problem of school funding. Where the state of California went wrong with school funding is during the late 1970's with the passage of prop 13. Has anyone seen the PBS Merrow Report called "First to Worst"? It chronicles how the nations best educational system has fallen to dead last. There is a whole section on Prop 13, and the death warrant it was to school funding. Check out this link: Web Link
There's tons of video, transcripts of the program, etc. If you're really ineterested in the cause of all of this, take a look. The problem is that it would be near to impossible to get rid of prop 13 for the same reason it is difficult to get a parcel tax passed.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2009 at 7:54 am

Prop. 13 may exacerbate to the problem, but then how does one explain the education funding problems happening all over the US?


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 2, 2009 at 8:44 am

Sandy is a registered user.

Perhaps by considering the economic funding problems happening all over the world?


Posted by Linda Scanlin, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 2, 2009 at 11:40 am

I have no problem paying a parcel tax if it will help our schools. We moved here from Oakland 5 years ago, mostly because of the excellent schools.


Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 2, 2009 at 12:00 pm

The draw to Pleasanton is the schools. The problem at the moment is that the state is not handing down the necessary funds to properly fund the existing program. What should we do? Should we gut the program that is working? Should we lay-off teachers, counselors, aides, and administrators who are the back-bone of the program? Should we pack the kids into classes and rely upon the hope that clever staff members will make it work anyway? Should we keep the staff and ask them to take less in order to fund the program? OR if we do value the school program, appreciate what it offers our kids, and would like to see it continue do we fund it appropriately? The state has left us holding the bag. What will we do? I say we fund our kids education. Show them that we do care about them and that we do value their future. Yes on the parcel tax.


Posted by raven, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm

The vote is on June 2, 2009 not May 2 as stated above.


Posted by May 19th, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm

PUSD is going for the May 19th special election.


Posted by raven, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Then again, the flier that I picked up from the library, from the PUSD, is wrong. Mis-information. The district needs to slow down a little and catch it's breath. They need to figure our exactly what they want and when they want it.


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Las Positas
on Mar 2, 2009 at 1:44 pm

To Raven - You say "There is a lot on this list that cannot be implemented due state law."
Can you elaborate, please? I would like to know what is on the list that cannot be implemented because of State Law....


Posted by raven, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm

The following is state mandated:
The state mandates that any 504, IEPs need to updated every year and any 504 and IEP not reviewed within the 3 month time frame of school start date,the plan becomes out of compliance by the state. There are heavy penalties, if the district is found out of compliance. Also, when a child is placed on a 504 or IEP the child's teacher is required by the district to know this to make the appropriate adjustments for the child within the 3 months. Most appropriately before progress reports go out.
Page 5, of the Proposed Cuts document under Elementary Assistant Principals 7th bullet- and Middle School Assistant Principals 7th bullet, Slower scheduling of students study teams, 504, IEP.

A qualified district person (whatever the title is) to oversee the IEP compliance. IEP training is mandatory.

Policies in place by the district
Policy by the PUSD states that the administration,including counselors, at the schools have a 48 hr return phone call policy.
Page 4, Counseling Assistants- High Schools 4th bullet,longer response time for parent call and concerns.
Page 10, Office Assistants - High Schools. 3rd Bullet, Response time to students, parents, teachers, administrators will be increased.
(of course they can change policies as they see fit if these cuts are made). However, then someone at the district must change the policy under the direction of the school board, it must be reviewed, revised and submitted for acceptance by the board. More time, no staff.

PUSD policy states that one administrator must be at a school site at all times. Whether that is a VP or principal.
Page 5, Elimination of Assistant Principals, Elememtary, Middle schools.

Safety Concerns,Pge 9 Campus Monitors and Noon Supervisors,2nd bullet, safety and emergency provisions will be comprimised.
Eliminating or drastically reducing the campus monitors, and noon supervisors, puts the burden back on the VP.
But if the 3 VP are eliminated, then WHO is watching the students? At the high schools, it is NOT the responsibility of the SRO to become a campus monitor.
And where is the responsibility of the principals in all these reductions? Not mentioned in the document.

I am very saddened that this document even had to be published. Loss of jobs is always devastating, especially in a school district. My opinion stands however, that the wording in this document should have been more professional.

Another example: Community Day School-Eliminate Program,1st bullet 30 of our most at risk students. Understandable. However then the 5th bullet, Students will be out in the community more. What does that mean? Should the community be afraid of these students? Are they a danger to our community? Truancy law states that all children must be school during a school day. What recourse are the parents going to be given if any?

These are my observations of this document, and after working in the district for so many years and knowing that the district works on a crisis management platform, I was hoping that it would be handled better because the stakes are so high.

If someone asked me to give $5.00 dollars to a fund to save a counseling job or campus monitor job, and everyone in Pleasanton (roughly)60,000 residents, did the same, that might save at least 2 badly needed jobs.







Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Las Positas
on Mar 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm

To raven- thank you for clarification. The Community Day School has already been eliminated due to low enrollment. I can only assume that other options were made available to parents, most of them needing to go outside the district from what I heard at one meeting. The list of cuts are "proposed" and not a complete list. I suppose we'll see in the coming weeks what exactly will be on the chopping block.

On whether or not to vote for the tax... I will vote for it. There is a lot at stake here.


Posted by huh?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I just read what Raven posted, and I'm still not clear what cannot be implemented b/c of state law. The majority of that post was about PUSD policies and, for me, don't clearly answer Concerned Parent's question (but apparently the post satisfied Concerned Parent, so now I'm feeling dense.). I was following it when it was talking about IEPs & 504s, but then it lost me. Am I alone? Maybe I'm just an idiot and am about to get lambasted. On any account, after reading it I am not clear on exactly what cuts from the Cabinet Identified list truly CANNOT be cut due to the state laws. It seems like cutting this many positions may make it hard to stay in compliance with IEP & 504 needs, but I imagine they'll remedy that by making it priority #1 for the few counselors, etc. that are left and then the "regular" kids will be lacking in services. Right?


Posted by June, a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 3, 2009 at 7:08 pm

I know so many people here in Pleasanton who have lost their jobs or had their hours and salary cut 10-20 percent. My husband lost his job and I myself fall in the latter. To us, its more than just brewing our coffee at home so we can afford to pay the parcel tax and Im kinda offended by those comments. I think the entire district has to earnestly make across the board cuts before we can get behind a parcel tax. That includes salaries of both administration and teachers being frozen and/or reduced. We are in an economic crisis and we all have to sacrifice which is painful. And let me touch the third rail. Im 55 and was an average student in classrooms of 30 or greater. That didnt stop me from graduating and going on to college. Has there been on-going studies to track performance to class size since the law was passed? Im just trying to open discussion and get answers so dont torch me please.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 3, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

Hi June,

There's a good summary of research on class sizes and performance available on the US Department of Education website, here:

Web Link

There are also a series of Rand Corporation studies of the implementation of class size reduction in California, which were written after the summary above. Those studies are sometimes cited as demonstrating that class size reduction did not improve student achievement -- but this is a misstatement of the findings, which were inconclusive. However, the study authors state that the inconclusive findings are probably due at least in part to implementing CSR too quickly, which meant that new teachers flooded into elementary schools, and not all were qualified.

The press release providing an overview of the study is here:

Web Link

I'll quote from it briefly:

"Many actions are needed to improve schools and improve student performance," said Brian Stecher, Senior Social Scientist at RAND. "Reducing class size must be combined with other steps to come up with the most successful strategy."

As a researcher, I give the most weight to the results of the Tennessee STAR study (summarized in the first link above) because it was an experimental study -- in any school that participated in the study, different classrooms were randomly assigned to a small class size, a larger class size with an aide, and a larger class size without an aide. (The research also showed that in the larger classes, having an aide had no influence on student performance).

If you have other questions about research on CSR, please ask.


Posted by June, a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 4, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Thanks Sandy,I'll check it out and get more informed altho it sounds like the findings are still inconclusive given variables. Sounds like you know the info. Can you tell me what teacher salary is in Pleasanton. I read one person's comment above that said $63K. If true, for a 9 month assignment (prorate to approx. $84K annually for comparison) is better than I thought. In fact, better than my full size salary


Posted by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Mar 15, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Jeb Bing is a registered user.

We're intentionally giving topics pertaining to the June 2 parcel tax measure and teacher layoffs a rest because the postings have become repetitive and, in some instances, accusatory and hurtful to teachers and other employees of the school district who are unable to respond to postings, most of which are made under the cloak of anonymity. The postings online will remain, but future postings to these threads or new ones dealing with teacher layoffs and the parcel tax can be made only by registered users of the Pleasanton Weekly forum.


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