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The numbers being proposed for teacher cuts does not look correct!

Original post made by Chad on Mar 1, 2009

Has anyone really looked at the number being proposed for actual cuts? I have. These numbers do not make sense. Example: Under the possible Reductions for 2009-10 report, page 2 indicates a $400,000 saving by cutting 11 teachers. That comes out to be $36,360 per teacher!

Since teachers have to pay for their own benefits and their salaries are adjusted upward to cover that pay-out, there is no way we are paying teachers $36K per year. Even at the lower end for a new teacher in this market.

Either the School Board wants to cut more teachers than what would be required to meet the revenue shortfall or they don't understand their own math.

Second Point: The parcel tax being proposed does not take into account increases over the next four years (such as cost of living or salary increases). In an open public forum in February, it was brought to everyone's attention that the numbers being proposed by the Board would only cover 2009-10 fiscal year. That means we could have a repeat of another ballot initiative next June if this in not handled correctly (include a CPI/other increase multiplier or request a higher parcel tax amount that will cover expenses for the next four years).

If the Board is afraid the parcel tax won't pass if set too high, I can guarantee you it won't pass again next year if they have to "go back to the well". We need to get it right the first time!

Comments (14)

Posted by think twice, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm

None of the numbers PUSD provides make sense since there is very little transparency and accountability. Most people just believe what they're told by the district, like the PTA crowd. Don't believe in their scare tactics. Vote NO on a parcel tax.

If they want things to cut, here's a big piece of fat to trim:

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 Sara, a resident of Civic Square
on Mar 1, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Yes, you do make some sense with the numbers, but who can we trust to really know? PUSD School Board and readers take this challenge. Let's bring in an outside agency that really specializes in School District budgets. Everyone reading this comment go to Web Link and read about the services and what this company does to help school districts and more important bring out the true facts. Yes, it may cost some money, but in the long run hopefully the facts will be correct. Don't let the District tell you that they do an annual audit; this annual audit is an auditor that only makes sure the District is in compliance with state requirements. One final point, is the district still paying the former business person to come back on a consulting basis? If so why? Isn't she one of the reasons we are in this bad of shape, or did Dr. Casey just not listen to her? Go and visit the fcmat site, then email a board member your feelings. Students and teachers need you to speak out.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 1, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Sara,

What is amazing about your link is that that site has tons of links to news articles about all the cuts districts all over California are facing. It is amazing the amount of cuts going on elsewhere. Some districts are planning to lay off up to 400 teachers. I bet that's mostly from CSR programs...


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Walnut Hills
on Mar 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm

After looking at that link, I find it hard to believe the district is bluffing and using scare tactics, as Raven has asserted in many of her posts. This is clearly a state-wide crisis. I feel blessed that we are fortunate enough to live in a community that can shield our kids from this... if we choose to. I'm also thankful that things in Pleasanton aren't as bleak as they appear to be elsewhere! Very sad...


Posted by Terrence, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm

NO TO ANY PARCEL TAX


Posted by Liz, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Compare San Ramon to PUSD. PUSD has substantially more dollars but San Ramon outperforms PUSD. There is an obvious way to reduce the PUSD budget by $2,430,456 per year. How is it reasonable to give them more money?

PUSD has $698 more per student in ADA dollars than San Ramon.
PUSD has $1,850 more per student in total Revenue than San Ramon.
Spends $776 more per student on teachers salary.
Spends $168 more per student on administration.
PUSD spends $2,430,456 more per year for administration and is still out performed by San Ramon!!!!!!

PUSD Performance
API base score 893
Average SAT 1,676
Math proficient 79.7%
Lang Arts proficient 80.7%

San Ramon Performance
API base score 893
Average SAT 1,693
Math proficient 81.3%
Lang Arts proficient 82.7%
ED-Data, Web Link


Posted by Chad, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

To set the record straight on my comments, I am not opposed to the parcel tax since every school district in California is being faced with short fall revenue from the State. I just want to get the dollar amount correct on the ballot and see our school district prevail (no over crowding and maintain the highest level of education to our kids).

I have managed several large divisions for some top 200 major companies, and if I presented numbers like this with no clarification or back-up, people would be questioning my ability as a manager. I have seen too many budgets in my career where figures have been miss-keyed resulting in over or under inflated budgets. Dr. Casey or someone on his staff needs to explain these figures.

Again, we need to get it right the first time on any parcel tax amount.


Posted by raven, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Jennifer,
Since you felt the need to single me out....
I never said that the district is bluffing, Jennifer, in their believe of wanting a parcel tax to help the students of this district. However, I still maintain after reading the proposed budget cuts document, the WORDING on this document is meant to scare parents into believing that without this parcel tax, the students will be at risk for a less than perfect educational process and their social circles on campus will be threatened. Their ability seek help with a counselor will be next to impossible. The perception that the district document asserts is the reality that the district wants parents to believe. Anger is a symtom of fear and whether you like it or not, when you read all the weekly postings there is a lot of anger and mistrust toward this district. The fear is that if the parcel tax passes how can people trust a district that they already mistrust to do a good job with extra money they are putting out.MMMM...
People on these forums are asking for more reliable, specific information from the district. The numbers don't add up, as posted above. The proposed cuts document is unprofessional and not thought out. If you need specifics from this document, I'll post them.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Livermore
on Mar 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I noticed that too. My understanding is that a large portion of CSR is is paid for by a state program. Taking this into consideration, it is logical that the per-teacher reduction is going to be less than the full cost of compensation, since a large fraction of compensation would have come from the state, not from the district.


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Walnut Hills
on Mar 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm

My apologies to Raven for the following:

1) I didn't know it was poor etiquette to single someone out based on the their (I assume fake?) name & previous comments. I am new to the internet posting world.

2) When I did reference your post, I should've directly quoted it as saying that the budget was "written full of hysteria and fear tactics" instead of rephrasing your words in accordance with what I interpreted their meaning to be.

Lesson learned.


Posted by Sara, a resident of Civic Square
on Mar 2, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Everyone is missing my point. Yes, this is a statewide issue. Why are some District better off than others? The answer is simple; better management. However many other School Boards and Districts are seeking outside help to deal with this budget crisis. Lets once and for all, get all the facts. Bring in someone from the outside to really look at the PUSD budget, especially the expenditures and budget practices of the district. Maybe this is why the District did not have an active Measure B oversight committee, they did not want outside people asking questions. It is time for this community to get to the truth.


Posted by ., a resident of Birdland
on Mar 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm

11 positions doesn't necessarily mean 11 *FULL TIME* positions - it could include 1/2 time positions, too.

This would change all "per teacher" figures.


BTW, San Ramon asks its parents for a FAT donation at the beginning of each year, something around $350. They don't need a parcel tax as their parents ante up the money with few exceptions.


Posted by Tim, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 7, 2009 at 8:57 pm

., a resident of the Birdland,

You have not been reading the posts. We know SR asks for a donation between 300-500 and they also have a parcel tax that they are trying to raise. But even with all of that Pleasanton still has considerably more funding than SR.


Posted by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Mar 15, 2009 at 9:56 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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