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Schools facing at least $6.9M in cuts

Original post made on Jan 15, 2010

PUSD's latest budget forecast may not have hit rock bottom

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 15, 2010, 12:00 AM

Comments (121)

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Posted by I would like to know
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:45 am

Can someone from the district release a document explaining how they came up with the 6.9 million deficit?

I would like to know how much money the state is withholding, and for what reasons. I would like to know if PUSD is predicting an increase in class size because they have already decided to take money from that program to fund, say, step and column?

Would the district be willing to tell us in an honest manner what they are really doing? This past school year, they used money raised over the summer to re-instate some programs. But why were those programs cut in the first place? Was it because funding things like step and column was more important than keeping CSR? Was it because the district knew that the community would give money for reading specialists but NOT for step and column?

We need answers, and we also need the three guys from the board to start acting like board members: wake up, stop saying yes to everything Casey says, he works for you, and you work for us the taxpayers. Do the right thing for the kids and community.

The fact that the board agreed to renew the assistant superintendent's contracts right before announcing a deficit shows that these board members have forgotten who they work for: you work for the community, not for Casey et al.

Ott and Kernan: you are up for re-election, do the right thing and start doing your job, stop being so agreeable to everything Casey says even when what he says does not make sense and is not in the best interest of the students of PUSD.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"inflation-adjusted weekly wages for the 12 months ending in December were down 1.6 percent, the biggest decline since 1990"

"A surge in energy prices last year offset the biggest drop in food costs in nearly a half century. "


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 11:08 am

Nothing is going to get better until taxes are reduced on personal income and business in this state. We need business revenue to survive and you only get business revenue if they are in the state and not being chased out. Reduced taxes, reduced environmental regulations, less state employees, and tort reform will resolve the problem and nothing less. If we do not do this then what is the growth for California by doing what we are doing now and that is chasing business out of the state?


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Kudos to "Rat Turd." You called it like it is.

FYI folks -- jobs are leaving the state for places like Texas or being off shored to India (See AT&T for a stellar example of both!). The only job growth seen in California recently is Small Business growth and our Wall Street Meltdown killed that!

Stop placing all the blame on John Casey.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 15, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Stacey, you wrote ""inflation-adjusted weekly wages for the 12 months ending in December were down 1.6 percent, the biggest decline since 1990"
Have you not paid attention to the parcel-tax-at-any-cost rant from "a reader"? Reader claims that wages have gone UP and that is why we must fund the teacher raises no matter how much of a pay cut the rest of us may have taken.
Cut the waste! Get rid of the bobble-headed "Yes Dr. Casey" Ott and the non-resident Kernan. Stop renewing contracts with raises at highly questionable times. The PUSD is making a case for all us as to why a parcel tax will be money thrown away. Well, I guess the teachers getting raises might not think of it that way, but those of us who are paying for it will.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm

On Jan 7, Myla Grasso e-mailed a document entitled PUSD_Budget_Challenges_Rev_010710.pdf which lists additional savings available including:

- Suspension of Step and Column increases ($1.6M)
- Reduction of five instructional days @ $450K each ($2.25M)
- Modify service provider in warehouse/graphics ($250K)

If these three are implemented, savings would be $4.1M, or 60% of the now expected $6.9M revenue reduction.

Since these three items do not reduce programs/services to our kids, would it be good to lead the cost reduction list with these three before needing to look at Barton, counselors, CSR, reading specialists and the other items above?

Can PW get its hands on this document from Myla and update this story to be more accurate?


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm

And if you add in a 4% across the board salary reduction for all employees for a savings of $3.6M, now you have a total expense reduction of $7.7M, all without touching a single kid-facing service or program. Everything is the same as this year and you still have $800K to bring back services/teachers. All in favor, vote aye!


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

If I were the boss and I guess I am in a way because I am a taxpayer I would ask for the resignations of the entire board and every executive in the district. Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents etc. and start over. Should have a new election for a school board and let that board which was elected select their own staff that they have confidence in rather than just having "leftovers". We need to start firing people who are not getting the job done.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

On another note don't we have an Assistant Superintendent who is responsible for business? Cuz or Luz or something like that? If so, she should be fired immediately because it is not happening.


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Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Does everyone realize that our teachers are now making almost exactly what other districts make, yet they do not get health care? In order to cover a family of four, a teachers has to pay an additional $1400 a month most districts do not require.

Suspending the step and column is ridiculous if we expect teachers to fork over a ton of money to provide something that is necessary.

Time to make the parents parent their children. Keep necessary programs, such as the reading program, that help kids that need it. But get rid of Academic Support and tell parents to get off their butts and get involved in their child's education.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

To 'Seriously?' - Can you link to the data that shows that teacher salaries are 'equal' to other districts? Thanks.


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Posted by To Seriously
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm

"Does everyone realize that our teachers are now making almost exactly what other districts make, yet they do not get health care? In order to cover a family of four, a teachers has to pay an additional $1400 a month most districts do not require."

Most teachers I know are do not pay for healthcare they take the extra cash instead because they get health care from their spouse.

Where do you get your data from? I know a school district where the starting pay for teachers is a lot lower than in Pleasanton, and the superintendent also makes less. Give us the link the the data, please.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The 2008-2009 teacher salary data for all districts will be released and available on the Ed-Data sometime this month (it isn't released yet).


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

That's Ed-Data website. Web Link


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Posted by To Seriously?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I do not know if this link will work or if you have to enter the information you want using the link Stacey provided:
Web Link

According to the data, in Alameda County, Pleasanton has the HIGHEST average teacher pay for the ADA funded districts. Avg teacher pay in Pleasanton is 81K, Fremont is 75K, Berkeley is 62K

Use the ed-data site Stacey gave, it is very informative. It looks like PUSD teachers are better off than in other districts.

For those who argue that not continuing to fund every teacher perk will result in losing the best teachers: I doubt it. They are the highest paid and have easy jobs here. Or would they rather take a big paycut and go to Berkeley?


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Posted by MythBuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm

The "myth" of the "highly paid" PUSD Teacher needs to be put to rest with some factual numbers. A starting Teacher in Livermore makes $46,816 with healthcare included. A starting Teacher in PUSD $60,371 with NO HEALTHCARE included. If the PUSD Teacher chooses the cheapest healthcare plan offered, they are looking at an average of $1,300 per month (or $15,600 per year). It is more if have kids. That adjusts the starting income to $44,771. Some have claimed that only a minority of teachers actually take the healthcare, which I don't believe to be true - but is really not something to rely on as the bases for an argument of highly paid employees. A business comparison must assume that employees need healthcare, the costs of which have skyrocketed over the past 5 years as well.

After 6 full years of service, the PUSD teacher is now making $63,072!!. Assuming their healthcare costs have remained static, they now haul in $47, 472 ($2,000 less than if they drove to teach in Livermore). In reality they are probably living in Livermore since they could never afford to live in Pleasanton with the current PUSD pay scale.

Another reality that has been overlooked in the "step and column" debate is that a Teacher's salary does not just "grow" over time. If a Teacher does not take approved classes on their own time - their salary will "freeze" at a pay level. Even with a reasonable number of professional development classes that a Teacher has to take on their own time, and pay for themselves, an 11 year veteran will max out at $75,895 whether they teach another 20 years or not. If the Teacher does not take additional classes - that is their salary ceiling, minus the Healthcare of course.

This information can be found on the PUSD website, go to Human Resources, Certificated Salary Schedule.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Mythbuster,

I guess I have to be a mis information buster. Most teachers and I would guess the number is over 90 percent do not take the insurance option because they have a spousal insurance. This gives them a $10,000 advantage. I have 3 relatives who are Livermore teachers and 1 who is a Pleasanton teacher and Pleasanton without question.

Step and column is also automatic year to the tune of 1.6 million. Please do not lie to the people anymore.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Some have claimed that only a minority of teachers actually take the healthcare, which I don't believe to be true"

Then call the district and ask or wait until I dig up that number.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I think the factual number/percentage of PUSD Teachers who have the luxury of not taking healthcare is core to the salary debate, I would like to see that number. I would be surprised if as you say 90% don't need it, since that would mean that same percentage of Teachers are all married and have healthcare plans superior to what the district offers. What about younger Teachers in the district, or when PUSD tries to hire candidates out of college - they all have to pay healthcare that typically costs more than the $10,000 difference in base salary. I think the county by county comparisons of salary averages are not taking into account this healthcare anomaly. I think most school districts include healthcare in the salary package so their average salaries appear lower but in reality they are not. This will be tough to nail down.

As for the "step and column" - the PUSD website states that a Teacher must work for 12 years AND complete 45 units of approved educational classes above a Bachelors Degree - in order to earn a salary of $81,525. I would be impressed if the average of teachers in Pleasanton include 12 years of Teaching experience and 45 units of post graduate work - that is nearly a master degree. Good for Pleasanton.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm

To resident,

" Reader claims that wages have gone UP and that is why we must fund the teacher raises no matter how much of a pay cut the rest of us may have taken."

And once again, that is exactly what the data have shown. Notice what that report says, "INFLATION-ADJUSTED weekly wages for the 12 months ending in December were down 1.6 percent" (emphasis mine). But we are not paid in "inflation adjusted" dollars, we are paid in actual dollars. The consumer price index (CPI) for 2009 was 2.7%. That means in order to break even in "inflation adjusted" dollars, a person would need a 2.7% raise. The numbers showed a 2.7 - 1.6 = 1.1% average raise in actual dollars. If you want teachers to suffer the same rate of impact to their pay as the rest of us, then you are arguing for a 1.1% raise.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 15, 2010 at 7:18 pm

PUSD has posted the actual distribution of employees on their salary grids here (Web Link). Look at the scattergrams.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Thank you, mythbuster, for putting to rest some of the lies some posters maliciously spread. I am not a teacher, so I could not rebut any of their claims. People like resident and Stacey are not teachers either, but they really have the audacity to claim to know everything about teaching (even though they are ignorant).


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Dark Corner of Town,

Thanks for the link. I had no idea teachers in Pleasanton make that much money. I believe when I retire I will start teaching if I can work through the waiting list. Not to bad actually. I would only have to work 8 months out of the year and make good money.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Very interesting. So much for the idea that very few make it across the columns or to the highest pay--rough numbers of 722 FTE teachers, 632 make $70,000 or more; same 722, 464 make $80,000 or more; same 722, 222 make $90,000 or more. There are 123 FTEs are at the top step and column. I'll check the administration next.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Anonymous,

It would be true if I actually ever claimed to know everything about teaching, which I never have. It is precisely because I don't know that I ask a lot of questions, read, and learn. You could benefit from asking the right questions too.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm

It is really amazing that they make this amount only working 8 months a year. Just think if you took it out over a full year then 632 would be making over $105,000 per year, 464 would be making over $120,000 per year, and 222 teachers would be making over $135,000 per year. Pretty good money if you ask me and I suppose it does not include COLA either. Yes, I feel sorry for the teachers.......right!


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I also just ball-parked that chart. A very positive way of looking at the information from a student value perspective is that 85% of PUSD teachers have a Masters degree level of education or more (if you make the assumption a Masters degree is about 60 units - some are less). The big numbers on years of experience seem to kick in about the 8-10+ years level as well. Pretty impressive.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Kathleen,

The management salaries are pretty amazing as well and I wonder but do not know if they administrators work during the summer or no? Those teacher salaries are truly staggering.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I am having a hard time agreeing with the "truly staggering" teacher salaries. You are telling me I have to put in 20 years, AND have a Master Degree level of education just to make $95K, assuming of course I can also get fully paid healthcare from some other source??

I think if you have that level of education, there are a lot of jobs to make more than that a whole lot sooner.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Private business does not reward someone who gets an education but rather those who accomplish and deliver and contribute to a profitable enterprise. That is a lot of money for 6 hours a day and only 8 months a year......truly amazing.


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Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:37 pm

As parents we always tell our kids to ask questions so they can learn. Seems that is just what Stacey is doing - in addition to sharing verifiable information and suggesting that some questions should be directed to PUSD or a school board member. I appreciate the links she's provided.
Seems like the only point Anonymouse has is on his/her head.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Rat Turd,

Of course you will not be rewarded....you will not even be considered for an interview if you have not proven yourself academically and have earned degrees from reputable institutions of higher education, especially in today's market.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Mythbuster,

Yes you are probably right. I would not be considered for a teaching position nor even get an interview. My BS in Business and MBA would not qualify me no more than my 30 years experience as an executive. They want people who are willing to teach a book rather than the realities of the business world of achievement. I was thinking of doing it next year when I retire but now that I know I could not even get an interview I will just sit back and watch.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm

RT, Many on the management schedule work a 220ish work year (I work 223), I don't know for certain.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Kathleen,

Thank you. Well that is certainly a full year so no gripe with that. Are Pleasanton management salaries in line with other districts or do you know?


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Posted by Ruth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Help me understand one thing. Do all public school teachers in Pleasanton...and everywhere else in Calfornia have to be a member of the teachers union?

Is the union the NEA ... or what is it?

Does Pleasanton have to hire teachers who are members of the union, or does PUSD not have any choice?

(I should know this...but don't. I do not have any children in public school.)


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Rat Turd,

I was referring to an interview in private business, not Education. I am confident you could get an interview in Education, however even with your BS and MA you must first go through a 2 year Teacher Credential Program (which can run about 12k), Student Teach half a year for free and then of course pass a rigorous state exam. At that point if you are hired, you will start at the bottom of the salary scale, unless your Masters degree is deemed to be related to the subject you are Credentialed to teach - then you can get some credit. I imagine it is not exactly the slam dunk you thought - but education needs people with experience from the business world so I would encourage you to go for it and not just sit back and blog about it :)


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Posted by scattergram
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I agree with mythbuster. I would be very concerned if this chart were distributed in the middle or to the left. Now, every step equals 2 years of employment correct? If I'm reading this right, a teacher w/ a masters or higher needs to be employed 8-12 years in the district to break $70,000 a year with health care covered out of pocket. Even if I'm wrong and each step is 1 year, that's 4-6 years to break $70K a year. I'm sure column I has been impacted by all the layoffs of the new teachers we had. The scattergram is about what I'd expect from a superior district with high test scores and highly qualified teachers who have been building this school district for some time. Am I also seeing an aging skilled and experienced workforce whose retirement is coming soon with no fresh talent in the pipeline. A district that has no COLA and no step-and-column may make a poor destination compared to our neighbors.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Most districts have most of the management schedule posted. Here are three.


Livermore (don't see Asst Supts) Web Link

San Ramon (ditto) Web Link

Palo Alto (MOTS) Web Link


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Mythbuster,

I had a credential, albeit 30 some years ago but I could go back and do what I had to do. I would not want to take a salary to teach but rather to give something back and have some fun.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Ruth, Pleasanton is APT; they are linked then to the state CTA; and then its NEA or AFT.

Scattergram, Clarifications: you move each year; you can move to a new column with the requisite education credits; teachers coming with experience are credited up to six years (start on the seventh step in the appropriate column); there are stipends and longevity bonuses at 5 years, 10 years (more?) that I don't see noted. So this is informative, but it still may not be everything.

I wouldn't argue against paying teachers well; there are questions about S&C and tenure, though.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:13 pm

scattergram

I was pretty shocked at the chart as well - I thought is was incorrect at first. There is no-one on the left side of the spreadsheet - but as you mention this is most likely due to the cuts from last year. I think you are reading it correctly, but it does look a bit confusing. My take is that if you don' t have the educational units you can not move across the chart "column" and your salary will become fixed at certain "step" 6yr, 11yr and 12yr...but I could be wrong. The aging point is well taknn with 20% of the workforce in the 20yr+ zone - so not sure if the district could use that to some fiscal advantage with retirements...but of more concern is the pipeline as you mention.


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Posted by informed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:15 pm

For number of days worked:
Assistant Supt, Senior Director, Director, High School Principal all work 220 days
Class director 225 days
Coordinator, Asst. Principal High School, Principal Elementary School work 210 days
Principal Middle School 215 days
Assistant Principal Middle School 207 days
Assistant Principal Elementary School 200 days

This is from a document I received from the District a year or so ago.

Included in these days are legal school holidays so you can subtract out New Years, MLK Jr, Lincoln Day, Washington Birthday, Labor Day, July 4, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.




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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Rat Turd

You should offer your help & experience at the District Office - Education and successful Business Background...they should be seeking you out! You might have to think about changing your screen name though :)


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm

To RT,

"Private business does not reward someone who gets an education but rather those who accomplish and deliver and contribute to a profitable enterprise. "

What rubbish. My employer (a mid-size silicon valley company at the time) did exactly that. They paid for my MS degree classes AND gave me an increase for completing the degree. Some companies were giving bonuses for GPA higher than 3.5 and 3.7. This practice is commonplace.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm

To KR,

"I wouldn't argue against paying teachers well; there are questions about S&C and tenure, though."

I agree that this isn't about feeling sorry for teachers. It is about paying teachers well enough that we can hire the best teachers we can afford.


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Posted by wait
a resident of Avila
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:57 pm

>Included in these days are legal school holidays so you can subtract out New Years, MLK Jr, Lincoln Day, Washington Birthday, Labor Day, July 4, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

That is simply not true.


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Posted by Ruth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Kathleen or whomever...
Thank you for informing me about the name of the teachers union.
However, I am still in the dark about whether it is mandatory that all teachers join or not.
Can PUSD (or other public schools in CA) hire non-union teachers?

Thank you.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Ruth - you can submit questions to PUSD. See (Web Link) and see the section on Community Forum. Questions can be submitted to budgetinfo@pleasanton.k12.ca.us
Hopefully your questions and PUSD answers will be posted to their website.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I completely agree with this statement below, and is sounds like many of those on this thread are trending towards this end (or at least I think so)

".......this isn't about feeling sorry for teachers. It is about paying teachers well enough that we can hire the best teachers we can afford."

but I would add - "and keep the good ones we have now". Teaching can be a very mobile profession within the state and we have to be cautious of other districts (aka San Ramon) stealing our best assets.

For me, I would look into the healthcare "stipend" process - it just does not seem like standard practice to pay folks up front for healthcare, but then tell them that have to choose very costly specified plans if they are not on a spouses plan. This salary discrepancy makes an apples-to-apples comparisons to other districts nearly impossible and I think has caused a ton of frustration and misinformation in the community.

How can you have some teachers getting financially clobbered by healthcare costs working next to others who don't not pay a dime into the plan. That has to be addressed.

Next I would clear up the "step and column" process/mysteries. There was mention earlier of stipends & longevity bonuses - never heard of that before. I thought it was much like any government job where there were levels of achievement/advancement and the pay scale was very public - you get what you get over time - no additional bonuses, or hidden incentives, raises etc... which I think is the case, but do not know this to be true. Not saying I agree with this approach - but that is definitely a topic for another day!


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Ruth

I am pretty sure the Teachers Union is optional - like most associations they have to pay monthly dues so that could not be mandated.

Since hiring is done at the management/district level, I doubt that "union membership" would be high on their list of what they are looking for in a candidate :)


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Ruth - The following is from the Oct 2009 newsletter of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers. (Web Link)

"Because Pleasanton is an 'agency shop', all non-administrative, certificated employees are required to pay an agency fee while employed in the District. However, just because the fee is deducted from your paycheck each month DOES NOT mean you are a member of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers. APT/CTA/NEA membership is not automatic. According to the contract, all teachers pay membership dues or a non-member fee."


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Reader,Mythbuster

Reader, You work for google and they do not make anything. I work for a company which makes very large consumer products. They reward having a degree getting in but that is all it gets you. After that it is all up to accomplishment. I graduated from college with only a 2.7 or something but played sports and had a lot of fun.

Mythbuster, you are pretty cool so no need to call me Rat Turd. You can call me RT for short. It does not mean what you think. I would love to do something to help the kids and I have been fortunate in life and want to give something back and will even if I cannot get an interview :)


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

Ruth and Mythbuster: DCOT is correct. Membership in the unions is mandatory if you are part of their bargaining group (teachers must join APT; classified must join CSEA). Opting out is difficult, but has been done in the past by the very few. It's almost like a religious objection and then they are not supposed to benefit from what the union negotiates (and you only get to opt out of the political campaigning portion, not the entire amount of the dues). Not many want to bother with the challenge.

Exceptions are management members. No union there, but in most cases, union or not, there is a "me too" clause so that if one group bargains something higher than the other, they all get the higher package. CSEA has literally been told to take a back seat so they don't negotiate something APT leadership doesn't want.


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Posted by Ruth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 8:50 am

Kathleen,
Thank you for the clarification. Seems very very unconstitutional to mandate joining a union...similar to the Fed mandating Americans buying national health insurance (tho the teacher's union mandate would be a State issue).

If somehow the PUSD could take a stand against teachers unions and hire non-union teachers, this could save some money. Yes, this would be a bombshell...but the unions have a stranglehold on education. On this note, I saw a revealing video of the retiring NEA counsel, Bob Chanin, state that the NEA's highest priority is not to provide quality education to the students.

Here is the article and video... Web Link



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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:17 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I don't believe actual membership in the unions is mandatory. The only thing mandatory is that your employment is subject to all the union rules like bumping and seniority and this "agency" fee that's mentioned in the APT newsletter. There's information out on the web about how to remain a non-member.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The scattergrams posted on the district website are not useful without a translation guide or comparison with say, last year's scattergrams. I too noticed the lean to the high end of the chart and also attributed it to the seniority rules. Keep in mind that the average teacher salary (2007-2008) is well over $80k, near the high end.

The only thing the chart is indicative of is more experienced teachers (seniority again). That doesn't necessarily translate into better teachers.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Teachers pay for their own continuing education in order to move along columns. Steps are obtained for the simple fact of remaining employed for another year. That's why a temporary freeze on at least the step raises is fair during such economic times.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:34 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Salary comparison information between districts that had benefits "on the schedule" used to be published on the PUSD website. The writing was misleading though because it wasn't transparent. It didn't say which districts so that one could further assess if they were comparable districts, etc. IIRC there was something else funny about the way the comparison was structured, like it was sensitive to some sort of selection bias.


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Posted by scattergram
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

"The only thing the chart is indicative of is more experienced teachers (seniority again). That doesn't necessarily translate into better teachers."

I agree - however the district consistently exceeding AYP and exceeding an average 900 base & growth API does translate into better teachers.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

Stacey is a registered user.

... assuming that AYP and API are adequate measures of teacher quality. Are they? I think a lot more plays into those measurements.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 16, 2010 at 10:47 am

Stacey, Membership in the unions is opt out only and it isn't easy--you can't just say no thanks when you are hired. That's how any union shop works.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 11:37 am

Kathleen,

I do not know about Pleasanton but my sister in law teaches in Livermore and she resigned from the Union and she said it was easy to do. That said, she got extreme pressure from the union until she had an attorney send them a letter. Since then no problem.


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Posted by Amador Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

From what I've heard from a few PUSD teachers I know, it's not just pressure to join the union, but pressure to vote the way union leadership wants the membership to vote.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"An amount equal to full dues is deducted from your monthly paychecks and you are entitled to a yearly rebate of monies that the union admits not spending on collective bargaining, contract administration or grievance adjustment. Using the above example of $922 of dues, a rebate of approximately $370, spent on other items, could be returned to you. Choosing this option means you are not a Union member."

"Using your dues rebate check, you can join organizations such as the Association of American Educators (www.aaeteachers.org) or the Christian Educators Association International (www.ceai.org) for your insurance and legal needs. These are professional organizations, not unions. Your rebate check will more than cover the cost of joining one of these organizations."


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Posted by scattergram
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I'm not a teacher but if I were one, why would I quit the CTA/APT? This is the ONLY group representing teaching interests in:

1) in a district that's eliminated many of their colleagues and support personnel.

2) a city with a vocal group calling for a 5-10% decrease in salary and the suspension or elimination of a system partially designed to reward for additional education (step and column)

3) a state that's reduced education spending by $13 - $17 billion in 2 years and are lying that there are no more cuts to education this upcoming fiscal year

4) a federal government that's initiating Race To The Top that tries tying teaching compensation to unknown metrics of student improvement

I suppose there's a argument in conceding to district and public demands, or opting out of the union all together, in exchange for saving some fellow teachers. But in my profession, asking me for a salary give back is the best red flag that's it's time to find a new gig. Why would I expect teachers to act differently? Especially in such a volatile climate where they're being told how greedy they are.

I've read numerous posts advocating running a district like a true business. The flip side of the "at-will" employment coin may not be all that its cracked up to be. Especially where kids are concerned. But, hey, I'm open to the possibility I'm way off base here.

And Rat Turd, man you need to change your name.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I'd argue that such seemingly hostile relations are exacerbated by unionization, not a protection against such relations.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Thanks Stacey, I said something similar, without all the actual facts. :o) When I worked in PUSD, several teachers tried to get out of the union on an annual basis. No one ever made it easy for them to do it; I'm not sure they succeeded either. That RT mentions an attorney--an expensive way to opt out--does point to it being a battle.

Scattergram: There are a few of us is most districts that aren't management; aren't union; but are at-will employment (often referred to as non-management, non-represented).

There are stipends for masters and doctoral degrees already; there are other ways worth considering for compensating teachers; tenure and S&C protects the bad as well as the good right now. I think we are in a race to the bottom without change. The current union system gave PUSD the flu (those pesky unsustainable raises) and now the state has us swirling the bowl. If the feds hit the handle . . .

Why shouldn't we "be the change"?


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Posted by Ruth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Given that it is not absolutely mandatory to be a teacher's union member, I think it is time for courageous teachers within the PUSD to take a stand.

How about starting a movement to withdraw from union membership to help improve the quality of schools and reduce the expenses of the public school system? This would be a reverse of a "Norma Rae" movement...to take a stand for students, for the PUSD, for the State of Calif, and for "individualism" vs. "union collectivism."

Teachers unions are not about providing quality education and the chief counsel for the NEA admitted this (see above link in a previous posting).


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Yes they did continue to deduct something from her paycheck but she said it was money well spent not to be part of it. In her opinion only the poor teachers were really pro union and that is because they afforded them protection from losing their jobs She says it create a disincentive for the great young teachers because they get no more benefit than the teacher just going through the motions. I am beginning to like the name rat turd and actually was able to give info on how to get rid of rats on another site.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I think in this blog we need to make a stand and call it like we want it. Since Teacher's salaries in PUSD seem to be such a sticking point that many of you cannot stomach the thought - lets poll it out. Teaching vs Private Industry.

It appears that the average salary of teachers in Pleasanton this year is 80K (this average was significantly impacted by the fact that all the new teachers were fired last year AND I won't even mention the reality that this 80K salary average may be hiding a 15K or more mandated deduction for Healthcare - making the average salary more like 65K, but lets not go there for now)

Moving on....this "average" Pleasnaton Teacher who is making 80K, also must have 10+ years experience in the classroom (per the posted chart) AND has have earned a Masters degree equivalent or more in post graduate degree units....AND has helped keep every school in Pleasanton in the top of the State API assessments for years. I won't even touch on the longterm "value" of their profession to the rest of us/society, since that is subjective, but they aren't selling software.

So now lets share....How much would you pay someone with that level of formal Education, Experience and proven Performance record in the private sector????

If you have business world experience and are being honest - I think you have to admit that 80K is very fair or even a low ball with that type of CV and district performance record. ( keep in mind that the PUSD Teacher it might actually be at 65K per year if they have a family and desire healthcare for their kids!)

So what do you guys honestly think?? Lets get some numbers on the table.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Mythbuster,

Pretty hard to develop a correlation because teachers do not work a full year so the $80,000 is the equal to $120,000 in the private sector per year. In the private sector you get fired for poor performance and do not get an automatic raise. In the private sector you are expected to work over 8 hours per day. I think our teachers make more money than the work dictates honestly. When growing up people who went into teaching were aware that the pay was not that great but then again it provided job security that the private sector did not hence the phrase "those who can, do and those who cannot teach".


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Mythbuster,
I have to agree with RT about teachers working part time. Regarding the insurance -- they decided to take the additional pay and then force those not covered by a spouse to pay for insurance. Had they not taken that raise it would not have been included in their retirement calculation as well as in the regular paychecks of those who have other insurance. That's called greed.
There is so much talk about teachers leaving if they have to take a pay cut. That is just garbage. Where will they go? What school district is hiring that will pay them as much or more than their pay here? They already make more here than in most districts in the country, let alone in this state. If teachers think they are worth even more then they should feel free to leave and go somewhere else. As it has been said here many times, the most senior and highest paid teachers are not necessarily the best. So teachers, please feel free to leave if you think the grass is greener somewhere else.
Regarding the comments about the union and agency shop -- many people give lip service to quitting the union because of having to pay dues. That attitude generally changes when the employee does something that could get them fired and they want the union to defend them.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm

RT

I see your point and I know many others will agree. I have to admit that I am surprised by all the angst over teacher salaries. I have two young children myself under the age of 10 and would award a medal to anyone who steps up to be their keeper, educator and mentor everyday from 8:00 - 3:00. I could never question how much that is worth. I was happy to see the level of Education and Experience of the Teachers in our district who many of us entrust our most prized possessions to everyday.

I guess from my perspective, I made a whole lot more money in software, for a lot less personal investment than I see these teachers putting in every day, so I don't think we will ever come to an agreement on putting the price-tag on education.

The tired argument of teachers not working a full day, year etc... is not realistic. Our API scores don't come for free - or from teachers punching the clock at 3:00, but some will never be convinced of that.

Personally, I am a product of private education. My parents grew up in the depression ers and severely sacrificed to be able to send me and all four of my siblings to private schools - so I think my educational mindset is very much that you get what you pay for. I do appreciate the public education mindset, though do not fully understand. We always paid our taxes and then paid for our education in addition. The High-School I attended in San Francisco now costs $12,000 per year, and folks are lining up to get in, but here folks squabble over a few hundred per year or question the salaries of the very people who are the stewards of our future.

Anyhow - Nice chatting on the topic - hopefully some positive change might come from such discussions...but I think this is it for me on this topic.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Mythbuster,

Nice chatting with you are well. You should as if you have been quite fortunate in life and for that you should be quite thankful and it sounds as if your parents had the monetary means to be able to send all of you to private school. Unfortunately for all of us California is not the same state it once was. Therefore, we have to make do with the revenue stream we currently have until such time as we can gain the trust of business and the wealthy and get them moving back into this state. It will not happen overnight but I think people are beginning to see that the nanny state does not work and we must go back to self sacrifice and ingenuity.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Mythbuster wants to compare unionized teacher's compensation for 9 months per year of service to annual private sector compensation. There is nothing comparable in the private sector. The only unions with members who pull in $80K or more per year are in the government sector. There are no private sector unions like this that I can think of. And for 3/4 of a year work commitment? All private sector salaried professionals that I know of and that earn $80K or more work 12 months a year, are not unionized, and have at-will employment contracts. Furthermore, most of these private sector jobs are exempt positions, and the worker often puts in much more than 40 hour work weeks. The professionals of whom I speak often have much more than 10 years of experience and in many cases have M. S. and Ph.D. degrees in technical fields, which are rarely found within the teacher community, a community that seems to pursue rote educational programs designed to qualify them for union-negotiated step and column increases.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

"The only unions with members who pull in $80K or more per year are in the government sector. There are no private sector unions like this that I can think of."

UAW had people making more than that, and with decades of seniority there was quite a bit of time off.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm

As an FYI, for those who might consider attending the next forum on the budget (Tuesday, 19th, Amador auditorium), it will include a presentation by the HR department about union contracts.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Frank - your salary comment brought me out of retirement on this blog.

My salary comparison had nothing to do with Unions. I was stating that I felt any professional in any field who has 10 years experience and a Master Degree level of education should be making at least 80K per year or they need to rethink their profession.

When I worked in software (over 7 years ago now) - employees who were QA testers and pretty much stared at a screen all day made close to 80K - and that job is in no way comparable to what a Teacher is expected to deliver on a daily basis. So I think an 80K average for a what our Teachers deliver in this district is quite fair- not forgetting that according the salary chart they need to put in 10 years and have earned 60 post graduate units to get to that 80K. Those software QA testers I reference did not need to do that.

Am I that out of touch with compensation??

Oracle has "age times 3" guideline for salary compensation, which is how I remember it. (see below from Oracle 2010 data).

So the "average teacher" is Pleasanton is about 40 years old with a Master Degree equivalent in post grad units (per the scattergram chart posted yesterday) which means they should make $120K with the Oracle model. Go ahead and factor in your "they only work 75% of the year argument" and you have 90K - so they are underpaid. If they have to pay healthcare - deduct another 15k, now they are severely underpaid.

I really don't think we are ever going to agree on the salary issue. From your postings my guess is you feel that the folks entrusted with your kids future (which is also your future) should make about 60K per year (which may really 45K if they have to pay healthcare) and should commute from Tracy to teach the kids in Pleasanton......but I could be misreading your comments.

Oracles "age x 3" algorithm:

On average, an Oracle professional with at least a masters degree can expect to earn approximately age x 3. If you are 22 years old, expect a starting salary for an entry-level Oracle administration job is about $66,000. As your experience increases, so does your salary, such that you could expect about $120,000 per year when you are 40 years old (age x 3) with many years of experience.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:32 am

Mythbuser, The original supposition on teacher pay has flaws. First the $15,000 isn't mandated if you have proof of insurance, and I recall that at least half opt out (again a recollection, don't have the actual %). Movement on the S&C has nothing to do with the performance of students. Long-term value to society is also subjective (I understand the point); compared to whom? Other or similar points were already made about this model.

I think the best of the best should be granted bonuses or merit pay and mentoring positions (there is a model called Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSAs) based on annual reviews. The review has to have some affiliation with proven performance, but not solely based on testing results; and then they should be able to make, each year having a possible different outcome, more than a principal. Some of the benefits for something along these lines is a great teacher who wants to teach teachers has a higher potential income. And great teachers with young families or other priorities can still be recognized without pressure to do more than they have time for while having an opportunity for higher earning power. And mediocre teachers have a chance to improve; and bad teachers would be encouraged to seek other careers.

As to Oracle's pay structure, the expectations are certainly for more than a 40 hour work week; deadlines mean vacation plans get canceled; you may work a holiday here or there; and I think someone pointed out, today you have a job; tomorrow you pack your desk. Some of these highly visible corporations are pressure cookers. Places like Google and the once PeopleSoft (others I'm sure) offer three meals a day, let you bring your dog to work, and have work out centers that look great for those of us looking in from the outside, but they are intended to keep people at work; comfortably.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2010 at 10:32 am

"Places like Google and the once PeopleSoft (others I'm sure) offer three meals a day, let you bring your dog to work, and have work out centers that look great for those of us looking in from the outside, but they are intended to keep people at work; comfortably. "

Yes, and they look pretty good from the inside too. One thing you left out is that while vacation plans can get postponed, at the end of a major release there is sometimes a nice long (unofficial) break and depending on the circumstances people work 20 to 30 hour weeks for a while to recover, after a few weeks off. I've seen that happen plenty of times. Another big benefit is stock options, stock grants, and employee stock purchase plans. There is also a large discrepancy in the amount of work expected from those in engineering vs. those in HR or accounting.

I have also noticed that there are good and bad teachers at both public and private schools. I've gone to both public and private schools in K-12 and College. It is certainly easier to get rid of bad teachers in private schools, but it doesn't happen as often as I would have thought, at least in my experience.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2010 at 10:37 am

To "mythbuster",

One thing you frequently see on these boards is something like "teachers should take a pay cut because everyone else has". But the data for average salaries for the year of 2009 published Friday showed an average increase of 1.1% in actual dollars. To say that "everyone has taken a pay cut" is flat out wrong. There was again a small increase, just as there was in 2008.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 17, 2010 at 11:12 am

Kathleen,

It sounds like we agree that working in Technology can be a challenging job - no one here has discounted that...but as pointed out by others in this blog there are also great financial rewards to be had. I know - I have been there and experienced both of these truths first hand (although I don't recall anyone offering me three meals a day....that is a myth I must bust)

Teaching is also a challenging profession, yet many won't allow financial reward. This is the part I am not understanding. No one will offer here what they feel the role of a Teacher in this district is worth in terms of a salary so we have a stake in the ground. And you cannot just discount the healthcare elephant because half the work force is not married, or cannot get on a spousal plan.....that means half the workforce is severely hurting financially because they need healthcare.

Young, up and coming teachers we have attracted to this district are stuck - low pay and expensive healthcare. Most of the newer teachers were also fired last year, with more to come this year. So the "job security" benefit that has been touted did not exactly work out for them.

The myth of Teaching being a 40 hour week must end. Much of a successful Teacher's job cannot be accomplished while they are engaged with an audience of 35 students, all of whom have different needs.

The employment comparisons discussed in this blog have cast Teachers as hourly employees who clock out at 3:00 pm regardless of the situation - and should be compensated as such.

So when does the required non teaching work take place?? Lesson planning, grading papers, preparing presentations/lectures/labs/activities, meeting with parents, corresponding with parents etc....is this somehow all accomplished during class hours when students are looking the other way??

I think you see my point, that the 40 hours is just a convenient myth. However - I offer a solution: Let's truly classify teachers as hourly employees, who then must keep logs of all outside of school hours spent on Lesson planning, grading papers, preparing presentations/lectures/labs/activities, meeting with parents, corresponding with parents..... then they will be paid an agreed upon overtime rate....just like hourly employees in the private sector!! problem solved.

My guess is once we have to foot the bill for +40 hours put in, then we will be wishing we kept them as salaried employees and paid them what they are worth.

But I could be wrong.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm

This part seemed to have gotten skipped in what I said:

I think the best of the best should be granted bonuses or merit pay and mentoring positions (there is a model called Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSAs) based on annual reviews. The review has to have some affiliation with proven performance, but not solely based on testing results; and then they should be able to make, each year having a possible different outcome, more than a principal. Some of the benefits for something along these lines is a great teacher who wants to teach teachers has a higher potential income. And great teachers with young families or other priorities can still be recognized without pressure to do more than they have time for while having an opportunity for higher earning power. And mediocre teachers have a chance to improve; and bad teachers would be encouraged to seek other careers.

I'm not against paying good teachers well; but the other side is the ability to evaluate out those who do not, regardless of their years in the profession.


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Posted by some thought...
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm

All that money that goes to the teachers to take care of just a bout every aspect of a young's person's life, even though that is not in the job description!

Where do those teachers spend their money? Well most of it goes right back into the city and businesses of Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley. Cut their salaries, and you are going to affect many businesses in Pleasanton and the surrounding community!


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm

some thought,

Some teachers live in Pleasanton and everyone impacted by a tax do live in Pleasanton. Bottom line is that if you take the money out of Pleasanton taxpayers pockets and give out to the teacher then the result is negative to Pleasanton.

I could very well be wrong but I do not believe I am but I do not believe for a minute that a tax would pass in this environment so if true it seems to me everyone should be talking about other alternatives lost cost reduction and fund raisers.


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Posted by vinny
a resident of Village High School
on Jan 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Adjusted for benefits, PUSD teachers make around $6000 more on average than San Ramon Valley teachers. All you have to do is ask P-town teachers to come back down to SRVU rates, and the shortfall is solved.

Web Link

Sounds simple right?
Wrong. Enter the bobble heads.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm

reader, you said it..."UAW had people making more..." Where are they now?

mythbuster, it is a new world. Your QA tester is now staring at a screen in India making a salary of 1/3rd their age in USD, if even that. Their US counterpart is trying to get a union teaching job by taking re-training classes for a teacher's certificate. Nearly everyday I have evening Cisco Meeting Place meetings with company team members in China, who make 1/5th of my salary.

My point is: private sector=competitive free enterprise compensation, teachers(government sector)=union-negotiated compensation that taxpayers are forced to pay.


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Posted by mythbuster
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Vinny

Where are you getting the "healthcare adjusted" comparison numbers that have the PUSD employees $6,000 ahead of San Ramon?? I would love to see them, as I imagine many in this blog thread would as well.

Per the posted certificated salary charts, a 10 year teacher in San Ramon with an average number of post graduate units (BA+30) makes $59,636.(Healthcare and Dental included)

The same 10 year teacher in PUSD makes $73,915 - but then must pay for Healthcare and Dental from that salary. Cheapest family plan is Kaiser @ $1,400 per month, Dental runs about $150 per month, so that comes to ($1,550 X 12 = $18,600!!)

This makes the "Healthcare adjusted" comparison for 10 year veterans in each district as follows.

PUSD $73,915 - $18,600 = $55,315.

SRVUSD = 59,636 - 0 = $59,636

If you can get on a spouses healthcare plan in Pleasanton, then there is no salary comparison - but I don't know how you can attract new young teachers to your district with that message.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:47 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Total district costs for employee compensation are much higher than just a salary number. Just a guess, but if you take the total costs for employee compensation and subtract the health insurance, you'd end up with around the same amount as salary.

A small percentage of employees have to pay health insurance that cuts into their take-home wages because their union negotiated that (How's that union representation working out?), they benefit from a higher salary for pension calculation purposes, and continue to get contractually obligated raises. In the private sector health care costs go up too yet there's no contractually obligated raises nor, in most cases, are there pensions. My point is that it is foolish to expect much sympathy from the general voting public of the plight of a small percentage of employees.

(Comparing 180 day salaries with 365 day salaries seems like a real flakey argument.)

I'll just reiterate in case someone jumps on me and thinks I'm arguing for pay cuts since this discussion has turned to focus on teacher salaries. I don't think cuts in salary are fair. Temporarily freezing at least step raises is fair (because teachers pay for the columns). The district costs increase and when there's no increase in resources to pay for those increases, a shortfall is created. So it is fair to target those things that increase costs.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:52 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"EMPLOYER COSTS FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION-SEPTEMBER 2009

State and local government employers spent an average of $39.83 per hour worked for total employee compensation in September 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $26.24 per hour worked and accounted for 65.9 percent of these costs, while benefits averaged $13.60 and accounted for the remaining 34.1 percent. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $27.49 per hour worked in September 2009. Total employer compensation costs for civilian workers, which include private industry and state and local government workers, averaged $29.40 per hour worked in September 2009."

It would be interesting to get these statistics from PUSD. I bet their costs may be slightly less because they don't pay for employee health insurance.


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Posted by To Mythbuster
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm

"but I don't know how you can attract new young teachers to your district with that message. "

I do not think that is our problem. Our problem is and will continue to be to get rid of the old timers, teachers who are not effective yet very costly, and we have plenty of those in PUSD.

There is a reason the UNION negotiated more salary and a "pay for your own benefits" deal. Obviously, here in Pleasanton, that is a good deal for most of their members; otherwise, why would the teachers agree to such a deal that is very different from most districts? Could it be because MOST wanted to pocket the extra cash because they know their benefits are covered by a spouse?

Maybe if we start from zero, with all new and young, dynamic teachers, their UNION can negotiate something that is in the best interest of most of them. Maybe they can do what other districts do: district covers health care but teachers DO NOT have such high salaries, which means their pensions also are not as big.

I guess I would be okay with that.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm

To "To Mythbuster",

"I do not think that is our problem. "

But it is our problem. Every time a good, non-tenured teacher quits and goes somewhere else, Pleasanton loses. Every time a new, highly qualified teacher decides not to teach in Pleasanton, Pleasanton loses.


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Posted by To Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

"Every time a good, non-tenured teacher quits and goes somewhere else, Pleasanton loses. Every time a new, highly qualified teacher decides not to teach in Pleasanton, Pleasanton loses."

How often has this really happened? We have young, high quality non-tenured teachers working here, and they will probably get laid off because of the seniority system - they are NOT leaving because they are unhappy, they are getting pink slips so the old timers can keep their perks and raises (step and column).

So our problem is the old timers. Their UNION negotiated the agreement in place which Mythbuster argues will keep new teachers from applying to PUSD. Again I will say this: it was their UNION who negotiated this, the community had ZERO input on the details of their agreement. If the UNION negotiated such a deal (high salary, pay for your own benefits), there is a reason for that, or the teachers would not have agreed to that. Maybe the majority of the current teachers LIKE it that way, but they want to complain anyways. If they do not like it, they by all means, they should talk to their UNION about re-doing things.

It is not too late to re-do the deal: roll salaries back, start subsidizing healthcare like other districts and please get rid of old timers who are not effective and are not only getting in the way of new teachers coming on board: they are making some students hate school!


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Posted by scattergram
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm

So now we're down to laying this at the feet of "Union Old Timers". Sigh. There are countries out there that revere their older teachers. Concepts like wisdom, knowledge, experience. I hope they still have some meaning. My kids have had both younger and older teachers in this town and my experience is they get very different gifts from both age groups. I personally have not experienced a stereotypical Union Old Timer slacker. The older teachers I've known in Pleasanton are just as committed as their younger counterparts. I know we live in society that likes to dispose of our older professionals. I hope that's not the avenue we go down when continuing this conversation about how to get through this period of time.

And the seniority system is not a union point of agreement. It is clearly spelled out in California Education Code Section 44955. It is law.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Now how did that law get on the books? Hrm?

Hopefully, it won't be there much longer. Web Link


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Posted by To scattergram
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2010 at 8:11 pm

"And the seniority system is not a union point of agreement. It is clearly spelled out in California Education Code Section 44955. It is law."

That is what is wrong with education. There are too many regulations in place, and it is very hard to fire bad teachers once they are tenured. The governor is trying to change that; along with the budget cuts, he proposed reforms including being able to lay off teachers without following the seniority rules.

Ed code 44955 states something interesting:

"(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a school district may deviate
from terminating a certificated employee in order of seniority for
either of the following reasons:
(1) The district demonstrates a specific need for personnel to
teach a specific course or course of study, or to provide services
authorized by a services credential with a specialization in either
pupil personnel services or health for a school nurse, and that the
certificated employee has special training and experience necessary
to teach that course or course of study or to provide those services,
which others with more seniority do not possess."

Web Link

I wonder how many districts really do that: to bypass seniority rules when the teachers with more seniority simply do not have the necessary skills or training needed (Math and Science are two areas where this could easily apply). Does PUSD do that?

I am all for reforming the system: keep the good teachers regardless of seniority. If teacher A is new but an excellent instructor and very qualified, and teacher B is a bad teacher with lots of seniority and lacks required skills, keep teacher A.

I hope the governor's proposed reforms pass. Unions are outdated, there is no reason why any profession should have collective contracts and protections. Individual performance is what should be looked at.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 18, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

That's what "bumping" is. It isn't anything real special. Yes, PUSD did that in last year's layoffs. That's why teachers from all different grade levels were affected rather than just the programs targeted like K-3 CSR.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 18, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm not being clear. "Bumping" is where a person with more seniority would bump another, but the regulation allows someone to not get bumped if their position was special. Like, you can't bump the Chemistry teacher if no one else can teach that course, but you can bump the History teacher because that falls under "English", or something like that.


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Posted by To Stacey
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2010 at 9:33 pm

"I'm not being clear. "Bumping" is where a person with more seniority would bump another, but the regulation allows someone to not get bumped if their position was special. Like, you can't bump the Chemistry teacher if no one else can teach that course, but you can bump the History teacher because that falls under "English", or something like that."

I am glad that PUSD is following this, and teachers who specializes in subjects like Math, Science or Language cannot be that easily bumped.

Bumping the history teacher is still not right. Yes, anyone can study the history book and teach it, but seniority should not be used as the criteria for keeping one person and not the other.

Administrators are a good example. I think this school year we have vice principals teaching. So they got to bump teachers. That is not right at all, the most qualified teacher should stay, regardless of seniority. And what about elementary school? We have some really bad teachers there, but the teaching is general so I am sure bumping happens all the time. This needs to stop.

I think the proposed budget reforms are trying to eliminate the "bumping":

"Increasing flexibility to ensure California's students have the most effective teachers. Under current law, layoffs, transfers, assignments, reassignments and reappointments must occur strictly on the basis of seniority. For example, administrators who have not been in the classroom for years can replace effective, but laid off teachers due to seniority. This forces school districts to retain or rehire ineffective teachers solely based on their seniority status. Such provisions have already resulted in the loss of many committed and highly effective teachers during the ongoing budget crisis, and the Governor is proposing to put an end to it."


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Posted by Donna
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 18, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I like how many residents are trying to find the facts and solutions to the current school budget crisis. Let the reasonable people rule the world!

For those who truly don't know, please stop suggesting that teachers only work 8:15 until 2:50. It just isn't true for the majority of us. Just like business professionals we work a "professional day", that means if it takes 20 hours to get the job done, that's what it takes. Reasonably, there are teachers, usually those that are very experienced, that leave earlier, just as in any job where an employee has gained expertise they can complete an assignment in a more compressed time period. I am sure that there might be a "non-performing" employee abusing the system, but I don't know any personally. At the elementary level we typically get to work early, leave late and come in on weekends. Many teachers attend classes on weekends and during the summer and it isn't just to go up the pay scale. We stay late in June to clean classrooms and come early in August (sometimes July) to set up. I used to work in the private sector (20 years) before becoming a teacher. Mr. CEO probably shouldn't consider teaching unless he is independently wealthy. I know longer qualify to receive all of my social security benefits, even after working 20 years, because I am a teacher. Oh well..

Stop bashing the teachers, please. If you really have a great idea to solve the problem, go to school board meetings and offer up a viable solution. Better yet, go to Sacramento and then head to Washington. It is a problem facing every child in the Nation, not just in Pleasanton.




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Posted by used to be pusd
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 18, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Stacey, I completely agree that "comparing 180 day salaries with 365 day salaries seems like a real flakey argument" especially considering no one works 365 days a year. Taking into account weekends, federal holidays, and an average two week vacation, there is about a 56 day difference between the "other" salaried employees and teachers. That is considering days for which the employee is paid to work. I'm sure there is wiggle room in there, but you see what I mean.

Now, I can only speak for myself, but the first Friday of this school year marked my 16th day straight working in my classroom to prepare for the first day of school. Only five of those days were paid days (the day before school started and the first four days of school). This year, during each non-paid "vacation" such as Thanksgiving or winter break, I have worked one day in my classroom to be prepared for the first day back. In addition, by October 1st, I had spent $1500 of my own money on my classroom.

My husband works in "Corporate America" and takes our daughter to school each day and picks her up from after school care because he goes to work later and is finished sooner than I. I am paid to work 7 hours and 10 minutes a day (random, I know) and clearly put in more by the time I leave at 5 and bring things home to do after my kids have gone to sleep. It is just endless.

Anyway here is some additional, first hand info. about health care benefits and PUSD. I worked as certificated staff in Pleasanton for two years and lost my job last year b/c of the budget disaster. When I was hired, and again the following year, I was required to show proof of health insurance. By that, I mean that my health insurance could only be from my spouse's "group plan." I could not have a private Blue Cross plan or coverage through my husband's small business (if he were to have one). If I could not show such proof, I would have to take the district's coverage. Luckily, I did not have to. To have a comparable PPO for our family, it would have cost $2400 a month...seriously. I about died when I read that number!

In addition, I had to elect dental coverage (didn't matter that I had it already. I had no choice, but to be covered twice) which was $56 and change each month. In my previous district (Dublin Unified...take a peek at their salaries btw), they paid for my dental and that of every member of my family. I could also show them proof of any kind of health insurance (private, group, etc.) just once and that was that.

Sure there are perks to being a teacher, one could argue that for any job. And certainly, with any job, there are things that we could do without.

Just wanted to share some real teacher experiences vs. some people who post possibilities, rumors, or assumptions.

It is a tough situation for all and, unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.


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Posted by To Donna
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2010 at 6:08 am

"Just like business professionals we work a "professional day", that means if it takes 20 hours to get the job done, that's what it takes"

How long does it really take for a teacher to master the curriculum for kindergarten, or first grade?

And please do not insult my intelligence, I worked in my children's class, the work is easy, and the parent helpers do most of the grading, putting projects together etc.

So a kindergarten teacher works long hours? Give me a break!

"I know longer qualify to receive all of my social security benefits, even after working 20 years, because I am a teacher."

But you also do not pay into social security. You will receive a pension, different system than social security.


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Posted by To Donna
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2010 at 6:19 am

"Taking into account weekends, federal holidays, and an average two week vacation, there is about a 56 day difference between the "other" salaried employees and teachers."

The private industry does not get holidays like Martin Luther King off, not do they get the equivalent of "teacher work days." What do you mean only 56 days? That is about 3 months (M-F)

Teachers continue to argue how long and hard they work, they have to because this recession opened a lot of people's eyes. From Obama trying to reform the system, to Arnold trying to do the same, to parents refusing to agree to more taxes because they too want to see the system changed.

"My husband works in "Corporate America" and takes our daughter to school each day and picks her up from after school care because he goes to work later and is finished sooner than I."

This is unusual for an employee in Corporate America, so your husband works from 8:30 or so to 3, unless he is working from home afterwards, that is a very unusual schedule if he is actually working in a professional job. Most leave work at 2:30 to pick up kids if they have to, but after that they either work from home or go back to the office.

I used to work wih someone who: got to work late, left early. It took a few years, but he finally got laid off when the recession hit. The company had to get rid of a certain numbe of employees, so of course they picked the ones who they knew did not work hard or got much done.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2010 at 9:14 am

There is a significant difference in the level of stress and responsibility that follows almost all upward pay progression paths in the private industry. In extreme climates (like now) those who have higher compensation packages are actually often subject to the most significant job loss exposure. And the pressure to continue justification of your cost has never been higher in my lifetime. That is decidedly opposite of the conditions created in public service positions, including teaching. Not only are the employees protected from "at will" job loss by their union contracts, but the supervisors and administrators have "me too" interests in increasing pay and benefits for their employees.

This is a public employee created problem. The solution lies within.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Lemoine Ranch
on Jan 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Do not block development and the school fees they bring in!


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Posted by used to be pusd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Donna-

Reread my post. I said he picks her up from after school care. Not from school when they get out. I sure wish he had those "teacher hours" and could get her by 3:30!! We have to pay for childcare until 6:00 because of our jobs. My husband picks her up because he can be there before I can.

My point in sharing my perspective as teacher who isn't "off" early enough to pick up my daughter until between 5:30-6:00 (remember I no longer work in Pleasanton so I have a commute), was to share that teachers really do work later than some people were arguing. I'm sure that isn't the case for all...just as with the people you knew who were laid off from their corporate jobs. Trust me, I would love to get off work as early as when the kids leave my classroom, but I simply can't. I would never get the things done to be ready for the next day, next project, report cards, etc.

Again, reread my post, I commented that there is probably wiggle room in the 56 day estimate. So you can eliminate, it looks like, three of the Federal holidays and I am sure you can add far more than just two weeks of paid vacation. In fact, I just asked my husband, he has three weeks of paid vacation and his counterpart has 23 days, nearly five weeks. He is also paid for the seven Federal holidays he does get off (in addition to paid vacation) such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. Teachers get those days off, too, without pay. Other professions may work more, but they are paid for the additional days they work. So if they work 56 or 22 or 40 more days, they are paid for those days. If I want to have a classroom prepared for kids on the first day of school, it is likely that I will be doing much of that work on my own, free time.

I wasn't hostile or nasty in my post. I felt it necessary to share a real life story from a real life teacher who really does work far past the time the kids go home. Knowing my colleagues over the years, the majority of teachers work much longer and harder than is being portrayed by assumptions made on this blog. Disclaimer: this clearly isn't true for everyone. So let's not post that not ALL teachers work hard, etc., etc., etc.

Each of us go into our professions for various reasons, often out of interest. Why teachers are continually attacked on this blog for choosing their profession, I'll never quite understand. Again speaking for myself, I didn't create the pay structure, make the decisions regarding benefits, number of work days, etc. I just chose a profession. It was set up a certain way. I didn't care or even know. I just wanted to work with kids. I personally think it is an admirable job and one for which I work very hard and I am sometimes resentful of the amount of time I put into other people's children when I would love to be spending more time with my own. But it's my job and it has to get done and get done well.

I personally didn't choose teaching because I thought it was an easy, high-paying job with unbeatable benefits. It sounds like many people think it is. Career changes anyone?


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

"How long does it really take for a teacher to master the curriculum for kindergarten, or first grade?"

Behind this question is a big misunderstanding. Teaching is not just about telling. Many experts make horrible teachers, because they cannot explain their specialty to novices; they have forgotten what it is like not to know their specialty.

A big challenge of teaching is to anticipate all the different ways a particular idea might be misunderstood, and to find the way to convey it so that each child can make that idea his or her own. What one child gets stuck on, another will grasp at once. It takes careful observation to figure out what is confusing, and help the child to reorganize his or her thinking. Understanding how children learn is no trivial matter.

Then comes the issue of motivation. A creative and skilled teacher will find ways to engage all students so that they can discover their own strengths. When a child is not enthusiastic, it takes persistence and a personal relationship with that child to find a connection between the topic being taught and the natural interests of the child.

There's a whole lot more to teaching than just knowing ABCs and 123s.


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Posted by Rats Are Nasty
a resident of Danville
on Jan 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

Posted by Rat Turd
"Thanks for the link. I had no idea teachers in Pleasanton make that much money. I believe when I retire I will start teaching if I can work through the waiting list. Not to bad actually. I would only have to work 8 months out of the year and make good money."

Dear Rat Turd,
Come on over and teach with us. There is no waiting list, in fact we have to depend on uncredentialed teachers every year because nobody wants to do this job. Please, have at it. Get your credential + masters degree and student teach (teach for free) for a year and come join the party.


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Posted by To Sandy Piderit
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

"There's a whole lot more to teaching than just knowing ABCs and 123s."

Agree. But there are many teachers who do not know how to work with kids. So now you have a not too knowledgeable person who also does not know how to deal with children.

I remember one of my children's teacher - you could hear her yelling at the kids all the time. She was horrible, and it was a looping class. Needless to say, most parents asked not to be placed in that class the following year, so the combo class was no longer there the next year.

Teaching seems to attract good people, but many go into teaching because it is easy, even if they do not know how to work with kids or have the patience to do it.

We have also had teachers who did not know how to teach the material (Math), and that was because they did not understand the concepts themselves. I remember last year having to be the Math teacher for my child, because the book was terrible and the teacher did not explain any of the concepts in a way that students could understand. I tutored both my child and some of my child's friends. They understood when I explained it, and when they told me how it was explained in class, I was surprised at the little to no knowledge the teacher had.


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Posted by To Sandy
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Wow Sandy, you were able to determine that the book chosen by dozens certified Math teachers was horrible, AND you found a method to teach it in a way that made sense to a number of kids....you should write your own book!


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm

We are nearing "High Noon" time. We have been arguing for years and not really facing the issue that the model is broken. Expenses are way beyond revenues with no hope of ever getting back in line. The same is true for the state and the nation. The Mass. election shows that the "Tea Party" group which I have been a part of for years is now the mainstream. California is incredibly overtaxed and the public sector employees are way overpaid including their incredible pensions and other benefits. They are the royalty which the rest of us serfs are supporting. Finally the serfs are revolting like the American revolution and the French revolution. Maybe we have to declare bankruptcy for school districts,cities,states etc. to redo the contracts from the ground up. Vallejo is probably the leading indicator. Get your pitchforks ready guys.


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Posted by To Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm

"Maybe we have to declare bankruptcy for school districts,cities,states etc. to redo the contracts from the ground up"

I am not a fan of the tea party movement, but I agree with you 100%. Expenses are out of control.

Since we have contracts with unions which are killing education and forcing cities into financial deficits, declaring bankrupcy is not a bad plan. Let's start fresh: no unreasonable perks, no unreasonable pensions.

I agree with you that we already pay too many taxes and spend too much, both in California and at the federal level. I too was very happy to see the Massachusetts results (and I am not republican) because it is a way to send a strong message to an administration that is not listening to the voters.

This fall we have an election for two board members. I hope someone decides to run, because Ott and Kernan should NOT be on the board again, we can't afford the yes men another term.

While I may not agree with your tea party movement, I see that we have some common ideas: we both want to see fiscally responsible decisions, to get rid of waste and union perks.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Just got back and would love to teach only one more year to work and then credential although I found out I can teach in JC with Masters.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I am not a Republican either. I am an independent, a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. I am just sick of the tyranny of the Public sector. Instead of King George and Marie Antoinette now we have Washington,Sacramento and the county and city govts. It is time for the grassroots taxpayers to take charge. I was just reading Thomas Payne's "Common Sense". That is what is needed n ow.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Reduce taxes so we can buy and invest in the economy with our own money. Tax and being bad for business and the working classes is what got us into this mess.


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Posted by To RT
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm

You said:

"Tax and being bad for business and the working classes is what got us into this mess."

What about credit default swaps and unregulated derivatives trading? Don't you think that played a role in getting us in this mess (you're talking about the economy, right)? I'll agree that California state pensions are just too high to be sustainable for the long term, especially for some of the public safety workers. But I don't think this recession came about from too much public sector spending or taxes that were too high. It was a credit crisis that came about because companies like AIG operated legal casinos where they sold side bets against bonds that payed long odds. When the casino went bust because they couldn't pay off winning bets, that froze up credit across the whole world and the American tax payer had to bail them out. That's why we're in this current mess.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

To RT,

We got into this mess because we failed to live within our means and in most cases we continue not to have learned this lesson. Yes we allowed risky ventures and bets as you say. I read the article today which discussed the casino issue. This mess goes back to Bill Clinton and everyone should have a home mentality and the pressure applied to Fanny and Freddie. Bush continued with the everyone should have a house without considering that maybe not everyone can afford a house and hence should not be given a loan. Now we have a President who is completely lacking in experience and it shows. He continues to spend way beyond his/our means. What you see going on in the United States now is exactly what has been going on in California since Jerry Brown was governor and really accelerated by Gray Davis and his 3 point retirement system to get the vote of the state unions. Well the chickens are cominghome to roost because they have drained the bank and now we no longer have any money because we have chased out all major industry and the wealthy so where do we now get tax revenue? We need business back and fast otherwise the only recourse is to do what we would have already done to get out of this if we were a private business and that is file for bankrupcy. Bankrupcy is the only way out of these stupid unaffordable contracts we have no money for.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

Turd has covered it nicely. The next thing in the not too distant future is the downgrading of the U.S.sovereign debt. We are the largest banana republic in the world.When our interest rates start going up (The Fed. reserve is currently buying the majority of our debt auctions as China and the other countries are pulling away), we can't even pay the interest on our debt as it will take up half the budget. As a reserve currency the dollar has helped us to live way beyond our means. Those days are gone for ever. We are the Emperor with no clothes. We are headed towards national bankruptcy. It maybe already too late. Pleasanton can survive if we take tough steps as families have already done. PUSD is just the first step. We need to cut salaries and benefits of all City employees.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

Here is a proposal:
- Suspension of Step and Column increases ($1.6M)
- Reduction of five instructional days @ $450K each ($2.25M)
- Modify service provider in warehouse/graphics ($250K)
- 4% across the board salary reduction for all employees ($3.6M)
A total expense reduction of $7.7M, all without touching a single kid-facing service or program. Same level of student services as this year and you still have $800K to bring back previously cut services/teachers.
Budget deficit is solved, without touching a single kid-facing service or program.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 26, 2010 at 11:23 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It cost $1.6MM for S&C last year. It costs $1.6MM for S&C this year. That's $3.2MM the district doesn't have to fund both years.


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