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Pleasanton schools receiving $4.25 million in ARRA funding for general purpose with more money in June

Original post made by Jay, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on May 9, 2009

The California Department of Education just released how much each district gets for ARRA fund (released on Saturday at: Web Link). Pleasanton will receive $4,244,533! So this in on top of the $2.5 million for special ed so so far we have $6,744,533 of federal money coming to our district. And there is more! The CDE website said this $4.25 million is for general purpose. They will release the numbers of how much more we will receive for categorical programs in June!

NO NEED FOR A PARCEL TAX THIS YEAR! The federal money more than pays for all the programs listed in the Measure G wish list.

Comments (30)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tim
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on May 9, 2009 at 11:43 am

So why do they want to tax us?


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Posted by Parent who is voting NO ON G
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 11:49 am

Thank you federal government!
Too bad PUSD didn't do as many suggested - wait until all information about revenue coming into the district was available before putting a parcel tax measure on the ballot.
So what did PUSD waste with the Measure G ballot? Up to $300K of taxpayers' money!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

They're still going to use all their tricks to get this thing passed, but now thier new message will be that the money will go into their "rainy day fund" a.k.a. surplus ?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 9, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I just looked at the website. This is great! Just to be clear, this $4.25MM is from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund of ARRA. The primary purpose of these funds is to avert layoffs and threats to programs due to budget cuts. It is different money from the $2.5MM PUSD will get for Special Ed. I bet this general fund money represents only about half of what PUSD will ultimately get from the SFSF since the State's SFSF application said they'll devote 50% to revenue limit and 50% to categorical programs.


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Posted by Not Right Now
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 9, 2009 at 12:59 pm

This is FANTASTIC news!!

Time to write a letter to the editor of all local newpapers to get the word out!!!

No need for a Parcel Tax!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent who is voting NO ON G
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Not only a letter to the editor, but emails to the school board members asking them to make the information public at the next school board meeting on May 12th!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yes on G
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 9, 2009 at 1:37 pm

This is good news and underscores the need for the parcel tax. It demonstrates how bad things are for funding and it is a one time thing. The parcel tax is for four years.


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Posted by YES ON G TOO
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm

You said it Yes on G. We all need to come together as a community and support our school district. I don't like to brag too much, but we do have a good team here. We elected them, and they are delivering the goods. Don't pay too much attention to the few anti-education people who post here. We want our kids to get a great education and go to college and be the leaders of the future. Try not to dwell on the hateful and the negative.


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Posted by Stu Gazzo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Yes on G Too, we need to come together as a community as long as we come together your way. That is the new liberal way of thinking...I'm liberal but to a degree as long as you agree with me. I'm sure when your children get to college you'll want the tax payers to doleout more then too. People against Measure G are not anti-education-we know that and you know that. We are against raises now and being threatend by the scare tactics of the State with thier props and the pro-G people.


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Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm

And once again, the only shot left in the gun for some of the Yes on G posters is to call those who are against the parcel tax anti-education.

Call them what they are - anti-fiscal irresponsibility.
Remember what they've said - before PUSD came to the community asking for more money, they should first have gone through their budget, item by item and cut all the wants. They should first have waited to determine what funds they would receive from ARRA and the State.
THEN, with all the facts in hand, if they could justify a parcel tax was needed, then and only then come to the community and they would have had no opposition.

They didn't do this. What they did do was write a parcel tax measure so vague they left giant loopholes for PUSD to change what everyone thought the parcel tax would support. They wrote a measure that did not guarantee that during the life of the tax, administrators would not receive pay raises.

There is nothing hateful or negative about wanting all the facts before making a decision. Just smart.



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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 9, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Its been well established for a long time now that the No on G people are not anti-education and they are not anti-child and they are not hateful as "yes on g too" comments. Either that poster is new to the discussion or its someone on a chain yanking expedition.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Yes on G: Are you saying the federal money (one or two years) is not stable funding, but the parcel tax (four years) is? The important piece is to take the time to get the district's fiscal house in order, take a close look at the contracts of top administrators and the unions, and give the community time to consider its priorities . . .

Again, many of us would support merit pay or other specific purposes for a parcel tax. It would be a great time to set up a survey on Survey Monkey to get to the heart of how and with how much this community might support K-12 education.


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Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Kathleen, your idea about a survey is great, I am wondering though, if you flat out ask (for example)..is a Vice Principal needed (not sure of your exact wording on the sample questions on other posts) how are the general population going to even begin to understand the role and need for this position.

It has been made very clear that people want the facts, so in order to conduct such a survey, shouldn't people be made aware of the specifics of the role?

Another thing that has been very clear on these posts, is the distrust for anything PUSD says or does. If you can't get the information from those who work or are directly affected by these programs and positions, then how do you propose it should be done?

PUSD is a district full of excellence, I am all for keeping that growing, just wanting more information on how you see a survey working.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 9, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Jennifer, A survey isn't an original idea, of course. There are examples and it would be a good idea to look at them as a starting point.

Each school is a community--and even those without children in the system know a lot about and feel a connection to that site. You could have meetings at the elementary schools or at the middle schools into which they feed. Trust ties more closely to those who work closest with the local "community," so I think it would need to be the principals who conduct the education nights. The principals at any site are also most able to explain the needs for someone like a VP or the positive impact of counselors at 400:1.

I'd like to think the local papers (Herald, Valley Times, Independent, and the Weekly) would gladly run articles about community meetings as a lead to the survey. You'd probably have to work with the local library and maybe even the schools to allow access to computers for those who might otherwise not be able to do an online survey. And hard copies should be made available and can be input by volunteers. The surveys can be anonymous.

Volunteers can also analyze and report the findings directly to the board. I've seen it done; there are community members that might be willing to share their time and expertise. I've also seen the surveys be done slightly differently for each stakeholder: teachers, other staff, administrators, parents, students (middle and high school level) community members at large. The corporate buzzword is 360 review; schools use them too. One problem is how deep you want to go--from the few questions I noted to suggesting new ideas (KIPP or magnet programs for example).

It's something that should be conducted in early fall when everyone in town is focusing on the start of school and all the activities surrounding it.

Those are just initial ideas; others are likely to have other and better ones.


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Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Thanks for your response Kathleen- you have great ideas about educating the community and I only wish it could happen. My original point though was about the lack of trust I hear in the postings. It seems like no matter what the district says or does it is viewed as scheming and corrupt.

I did hear about regular meetings at the district, I did go to meetings at my local school where the principal did an amazing job "educating" us about how school finance works. I have learned a lot over this past school year. Unfortunately, the meetings were poorly attended. I can't see how it would be any different next fall.

The number of people speaking out about school reform is great, but is it all just complaints and no action? I ask this because when you state that a survey asking how necessary a vice principal is determines the funding, lack of education can really be detrimental and actually cause a lot of damage to the schools.

When I need my sink fixed, I listen to my plumber, when I have concerns about my child's education I listen to the teachers. The negativity, lack of respect, and disregard for their competency that No on G's are posting is really overshadowing any point they are trying to make. How will they "believe" anything that the schools say when they aren't hearing it now?

I am thinking if the measure fails or passes, how will these people ever be happy with any solution? Past record shows most will just stop commenting and leave the work to those who already have been involved in helping to make PUSD the district of excellence that it already is.




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Posted by Mom2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 8:20 pm

San Ramon received over $ 7,000,000 so I guess we need to stop saying that they have less money than Pleasanton. San Ramon also has a parcel passed, so their district will be moving ahead of PUSD. YES on G!!


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Posted by Mom of 5
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on May 9, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Mom 2 says....."so their(san ramon) district will be moving ahead of PUSD"

Then move to SR if "moving ahead " is the discerning factor about how to vote on G. Their homes will probably go up in value too.

NO NO NO to Measure G. There are a total of 7 votes between me, my spouse and 5 voting age kids(adults from 19 to 30) who live in Pleasanton.


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Posted by jay
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Mom2, don't think you understand this all. San Ramon has more students than us so that is the reason for the total dollar amount being higher. This ARRA money restored the revenue limit money and the difference in revenue limit between San Ramon and Pleasanton will stay the same. Pleasanton still receives six hundred and something dollars more than Pleasanton per student for the revenue limit. You should go to the California Department of Education website (www.cde.ca.gov) and it explains how the ARRA money for general use was calculated.

The only thing that will change the difference between San Ramon and Pleasanton for revenue limit will be legislative changes.

We also know that money does not make the complete difference in the education. Pleasanton has always had significantly more money per student than San Ramon and our test scores are about equal but San Ramon, even with significantly less revenue, has managed to have much larger reserves and they also are funding their retiree medical liability while Pleasanton is not.

Personally I am not looking to be the biggest spending district. That does not define success.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 9, 2009 at 10:04 pm

mom2,

better come up with plan two as this one is going down in flames


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 9, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Jennifer: I know there were district meetings, mostly of the board either at the DO or at a high school. Somehow, I never heard about meetings at the schools, so if they were only intended for the parents, many community members were left out of that loop. And, to be fair, I don't know if you would have gotten better attendance if they were open to all. I would like to think, however, that if enough press was given to a 360 survey, attendance at meetings prior to its release would be well attended.

I will disagree with you about the negativity of No on G toward teachers. There is concern about step and column costs, previous raises, and finding ways to reward the best (merit pay?). I haven't spoken to anyone who doesn't have respect for the teachers who are working above and beyond . . . and we acknowledge there are many.

A survey is meant to determine what we value enough to possibly pay more for if it is necessary. Choices should be provided, then weighed. It could be classes at 22:1 and a vice principal is the right combination. A small trade off and quite possibly at no extra cost to taxpayers.

You speak of excellence . . . it's a much bigger topic involving education levels of parents, passion of teachers, drive of students, etc. Leaving the work to those in the community who are interested is not a bad thing.


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Anyone see the channel 5 CBS broadcast this weekend on home prices in Pleasanton. It stated that homes are being overbid because so many people from surrounding areas want to move to Pleasanton. It specifically stated the quality of schools as the most cited reason for moving here. It went on to say that, while other communities have seen their home values fall, Pleasanton has not.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by just the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm

fact checker, you must be real excited since you put this posting on every blob subject. I think you missed all the discussion on this. Please read the blog on this subject to get more information.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Max
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Please stick to the topic of the particular blog, in this case the $4.25 MILLION dollars coming to PUSD from federal funds!

Yes, I know that doesn't cover the entire 'shortfall' but with some of the cuts already planned, additional savings identified with things such as phone bills, this is enough to preserve CSR and other programs for another year while giving management time to clean house.


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Posted by Fairlands Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Cholo has the last word - Measure G - down in flames!
We should all be glad that a parcel tax isn't necessary!
Those who still want to pay $233 per year - donate it to your local school, food bank, or health center. Send it to the Oakland Police Officers group collecting funds to help the families of the four slain officers. Get $233 in dollar bills and hand them out to the homeless in San Jose. Support cancer research. Contribute to a pet shelter.
There are plenty of places and people who can use financial support and you can now use the money you're saving by not having to pay the parcel tax to do good in many ways.
Unbelievable that there are actually people on these blogs complaining because the parcel tax isn't needed.


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Posted by Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 9:34 pm

The $4.2M ARRA funds on the CDE website are for Tri-Valley SELPA (special ed consortium of 6 districts: Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, Sunol, Mt. House, Alameda County). Pleasanton is the lead fiscal agency and received the funds that are passed through to the other 5 districts.

Pleasanton will indeed receive $2.5M over two years or $1.25M per year. Only $650k per year may be used to offset the $10M it cost the district for special education. It must be spent on special education. The other half must be used for new programs for special education that will cost the district at least what they receive in payment. The cuts are almost $10M to balance the budget.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 10, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

If they're for SELPA, how come the website (Web Link) says...
" State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF)
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Preliminary State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Entitlements "

"These amounts included the entitlements associated with general purpose (revenue limit) cuts only; amounts associated with categorical program cuts will be available in June 2009."


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Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 11, 2009 at 8:40 am

"Facts" is reporting fiction.

Is must be so disappointing to learn that Measure G REALLY is not needed this year, and may never be needed.

If we must vote, vote NO on Measure G.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 11, 2009 at 8:52 am

Am I seeing things, or is "Facts" posting fiction on other threads as "Accurate Info"?


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Posted by Practical Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Why hasn't the district posted this information yet on the website? Or even sent out a special e-connection? This is great news that the community should be made aware of!!

PW, can you do a complete story about the funds?


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Posted by Fairlands Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Perhaps PUSD will make an announcement at tomorrow's School Board Meeting (5/12).
ARRA funding is very good news for PUSD and many other CA school districts.
But it's not news that SPS is sharing on their website!


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