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More reason to believe a parcel tax is not needed?

Original post made by Diana, Harvest Park Middle School, on Apr 18, 2009

PUSD has confirmed it will receive 2.1 million from federal stimulus money.

In addition PUSD is eligible to receive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that is intended to avert layoffs of teachers and other personnel. Web Link


State Fiscal Stabilization Fund
Due: Monday, May 04, 2009
Web Link
The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) is intended to avert layoffs of teachers, professors, and other personnel and to further education reform in the key areas of teacher quality, standards and assessments.
Program Questions: Justin Salenik, e-mail: ARRA@cde.ca.gov, tel. 916-319-0654

Comments (28)

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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 18, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Diana,

Could you please provide a link that shows where PUSD confirmed that they will receive an unanticipated 2.1 million in funding? I couldn't find it on those links that you provided (maybe I'm looking in the wrong place).


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Posted by Diana
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Apr 19, 2009 at 8:05 am

Russell,

Luz discussed it at the April 7th budget meeting. It would probably be easiest to call her. Emily West was also at that meeting perhaps she could report about the large amounts of money the district will be receiving.
It is not certain how much over the 2.1 million PUSD will receive but it will be significant, it is intended to relieve the cuts from the state.

This discussion is at least two hours into the meeting.
Web Link
Web Link

This money makes the parcel tax unnecessary.


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Apr 20, 2009 at 9:38 am

Can the PW report on this funding?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 20, 2009 at 11:59 am

Stacey is a registered user.

For those unclear on the ARRA funds, the State is receiving three different pots of money to use for education.

1) State Fiscal Stabilization Fund
2) Title I low-income funds
3) IDEA special education funds

PUSD's $2.1MM is coming from the IDEA funds. PUSD is receiving zero Title I funds.

Still unknown and what's worse, unadvertised, by PUSD is the amount they will get from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund in order to avoid teacher layoffs as mentioned by the initiator of this thread.

PUSD has been playing up the idea that all of these funds might be diverted by the State for other uses, yet the Governor and numerous legislators have rejected that since late March.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 20, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I want to know if PUSD has sent in their application yet for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund money. Don't wait until the May 4th deadline! The early birds get the worm.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 20, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Here's an interesting condition placed upon SFSF monies:

"The local educational agency will provide reasonable opportunities for the participation by teachers, parents, and other interested agencies, organizations, and individuals in the planning for and operation of each program;"


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 20, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Maybe I should add this from late March: "Schwarzenegger Administration: Federal Money Enough to Offset Public School Budget Cuts" Web Link

Who wants to guess that the money PUSD could get from the SFSF could be enough to completely offset the budget cuts. We're not talking about the $2.1MM to Special Ed, we're talking about $10MM. These funds are supposedly available for two to three years. What does that mean? It means PUSD could get it's fiscal house in order without a parcel tax if they start clamping down now on their wasteful spending.


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 20, 2009 at 12:27 pm

The money from the Fed offsets the shortfall from the State...crisis averted.

$300K on a special election and $80k for the campaign, what a waste of money!

$380,000 would pay for 9.3 starting teachers in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm


"$380,000 would pay for 9.3 starting teachers in Pleasanton."
Oops, my bad......
I used the amount paid to the average California teacher. Pleasanton teachers are paid much better.

Correction:
$380,000 would pay for 6.8 starting teachers in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Drexl
a resident of Ironwood
on Apr 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Conservative here, and I will vote for the parcel...and since 75% of Pleasanton is Democrat, I expect you as well... so no money wasted here...pass the parcel and we are set short term....and with your philosophy..tax more later..lol..as for this round..i am ok...heck.."it is for the children"


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Correct me if I am wrong here but shouldn't the people with the biggest homes, parcels, and income pay more for their share of the parcel tax if passed? Afterall they are in a much better financial condition to be able to afford this than those of us with less money on a one person income? If they are older they were able to send their children to school for free because of the health of the California economy and now I believe they need to shoulder the cost rather than us with less.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

That would require a progressive tax, which I'd be for. A flat parcel tax like Measure G is highly regressive. Structuring it as a per square footage tax (which some Districts have) could turn it into a progressive tax, but it would take more time and effort on the District's part to figure out the rate for such a tax (although it punishes owners of large parcels with low value).

Incidentally, a square footage parcel tax would also help restore some of the subsidy to homeowners from non-residential parcels that used to exist pre-Prop 13. Why do businesses like flat parcel taxes? It's not much skin off their teeth to look like education champs!


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Drexl...
Don't be disappointed but 75% of PTown is not Dem. Go to the Alameda County Website/Registrar and you will see that PTown is roughly 50-50 dem/rep not counting idies. Besides Dems. don't like taxes either.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm

@Joe

Not trying to nit pick but how does "75% of PTown is not Dem" square with "PTown is roughly 50-50 dem/rep not counting idies"? Is it 50-50 or 75-25?


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Posted by Dominic Di Blasio
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 21, 2009 at 9:22 am

Dominic Di Blasio is a registered user.

If Dems don't like taxes than why do they keep proposing and voting for them. Seemingly equality has replaced freedom and individual responsibility as the top values for the democartic party. Voting for the parcel tax is a big mistake. Besides being a bandaid fix that doesn't address the root problem, it is simply not needed as other have mentioned here.


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 21, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Hi Stacy and thanks for the info but maybe after thinking about it might be more fair for all if they homeowners in Pleasanton who have children in school or children who will attend school pay their portion of the amount needed. It could not be more than say $1,000 per family.


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Posted by To be fair
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2009 at 8:12 pm

If we are going to finally discuss what is fair, then to be fair, only home owners should be eligible to vote for this - and maybe only homeowners with current children in the schools. Why should renters get to vote for this, if they don't have to pay? Or am I misunderstanding the process?? And to be clear, I think only those participating in the vote should have to pay. Homeowners without children shouldn't have to vote or pay. Hope that clarifies my understanding...


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Posted by sandy
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2009 at 12:02 pm

hmmm.................To be fair, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood

.......that makes no sense at all
The rest of the homeowners benefit from high home values as a result of high quality schools.........it affects everyone, not just people with kids in schools and BENEFITS everyone.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm

@Sandy

"The rest of the homeowners benefit from high home values as a result of high quality schools.........it affects everyone, not just people with kids in schools and BENEFITS everyone."

That's the way I see it too. People with school age children or people even considering having children in the future will pay more to live in a better school district. We chose Pleasanton over surrounding cities because of the schools. Home buyers pay attention to things like this.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm

No on G!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sandy and Russell,

True, homeowners benefit from quality schools. So how again does Measure G improve school quality? See Web Link This related item also came across my Inbox this morning: "It seems that parent education is a strong predictor of school ratings" Web Link


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Stacy/Russell,

I see your points but on the other hand I do not know how fair it is to make people who children have already graduated from the school system here in Pleasanton pay again because of lack of fiscal accountability. I have no children and did not move here because of the schools otherwise I would have stayed in San Ramon but for ease of commute. The more I speak with people like my neighbors who have been here for longer than my two years the more I think we planning to have children and the ones with children in the schools should pay for it.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Posted by sandy, a member of the Alisal Elementary School community

"The rest of the homeowners benefit from high home values as a result of high quality schools.........it affects everyone, not just people with kids in schools and BENEFITS everyone. "


That would suggest that teachers that own homes in Pleasanton would also benefit from this correct?

So for those stating that asking the teachers to forfeit their step and column increases is a "double whammy" to teachers living in Pleasanton because they'll be paying the parcel tax as well, how is this so? How is the parcel tax both a negative hit to teachers that are homeowners, but a positive hit to homeowners that are not teachers?

Measure G is fundamentally wrong.


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Sandy, to your point I have checked with most of my neighbors and if their opinion is consistent with the rest of the voters then measure "G" has no chance of passing as not one of them are voting for it. Based on this does anyone know what the next plan being considered is?


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm

@Phil

"...because of lack of fiscal accountability"

I haven't seen evidence of that. There was something about cell phones, car allowances, and solar panels. None of those things add up to the amount of decrease revenue from this once in a lifetime recession. I don't see how anyone could have planned for that.

We all benefit from good schools. It is more than just higher property values.





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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Phil,

" have checked with most of my neighbors "

I'm not sure that is a very "scientific" poll. ;-)


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Russell, if your revenue source dries up then you must look at meaningful ways of reducing cost. Private businesses cannot just pass on higher prices for the same commodity and hope to stay in business. Lack of funding and revenue is going to be the way of the future and they will need to find out ways of operating in this environment otherwise very difficult times. The teachers are probably not the issue but I suspect that there are so pretty high priced salaries at the district office and maybe they should consider a workshare program for the district or better yet maybe Pleasanton and Livermore could combine into one office and reduce cost by reduction of redundancy........many ways of reducing cost.

Maybe not the most scientific but when you ask and they all say "no" before you can finish your sentence then it may be an indicator.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2009 at 9:38 pm

@Phil

"Russell, if your revenue source dries up then you must look at meaningful ways of reducing cost."

Or you can look for other sources of revenue. As I said in another post on these forums, I'd rather see my taxes dollars keeping the quality of education high in Pleasanton than bailing out failed companies like AIG.


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