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No mattter which side you're on, this is scary

Original post made by P\'town parent on Mar 15, 2011

"Schools send out hundreds of preliminary pink slips"

Web Link

The article covers what is happening in the South Bay schools. I don't know that it will change anyone's minds, but it shows where things are heading. It really doesn't look like much else can be cut from these schools so it's all going to be about getting funding from the state, local communities or salary negotiations. It's concerning we've let things go this far without doing better for our kids.

"Alum Rock Union also has notified all 49 of its managers and principals, in addition to potentially cutting 53 teaching jobs."

"Last year, the Cupertino Union School District avoided both an increase in class size and huge teacher layoffs because its staff took a week of furlough and the community raised more than $2.5 million. But this year, the district is ready to cut more than 92 teachers and counselors."




Comments (74)

Posted by jay, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm

jay is a registered user.

The districts do this every year. Some time ago the union got a law passed that you cannot lay a teacher off unless you give them notice by March 15, for the following year. Most districts want flexibility in who they can lay off in the upcoming year so they make sure they send out slips to any teacher who has a minute chance of not being there, or in the case of many districts, almost every teach receives the slip. This slip is not a layoff notice but rather a notice that it could happen.

This is also a tactic for the unions. Have the district give out these notices, the kids comes home crying that their teachers said they might be fired during the summer, the parent get all excited and say we will give you more money.

Remember that the district will still be giving out step and column raises which is around $1,500,000 for next year. That means they have to give out at least enough pink slips to pay for the raises. In Pleasanton's case this means that around 25 newer teachers will have to be fired in order to pay for the step and column raises.

Our district also has $3,400,00 from the federal government to be used next year for teacher's salaries. We already received the money. I think I read that it increased by $300,000 just recently but not positive on that.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Yet there is no mention of addressing the root problem: automatic raises (step and column) which happen even when districts are laying off and cutting programs. There is also no mention of addressing the liability created by unreasonable benefits/pensions.

Did you notice the list of supporters for measure E? It includes people like Patty Bowser (a teacher), Bill Radulovich (former principal who is now getting a pension of over 100k), etc.

Until the system is reform, we will see education continue to decline since each year we face the same problem: what student program do we cut in order to continue to finance raises when there is no money?

The contracosta times also has an article talking about schools but it talks about schools in the East Bay. Oakland is getting ready to lay off 528 teachers. Walnut Creek on the other hand gave its teachers a 3% raise, this while announcing that come june, if the tax initiatives do not pass they will have to make severe cuts!

Address the root problem: automatic raises, unreasonable benefits.

And if you must give pink slips, do no do it based on seniority. PUSD got rid of an excellent math teacher last year, this is even though the CDE has said we have a shortage of qualified math teachers. Instead of giving pink slips to qualified teachers, give them to the ones who are not as qualified or who are well known by parents and students as "the teacher to avoid at all costs"


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm

"Until the system is reform"

should have read:

Until the system is reformED


Posted by liberal mom, a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm

This is a nice article about a librarian in Maine. I think that she is spot on when she articulates the point on our messed up priorities.

Web Link

I have no problem paying taxes. I understand that we have a collective interest in our schools running well and having a full array of services. We all benefit from this. Teachers and their unions are not the enemy! Unions have been instrumental in advocating for workers rights. The S&C is not breaking our economy.


Posted by jay, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm

jay is a registered user.

"The S&C is not breaking our economy."

Tell that to the teachers who will be fired in order for other teachers to get raises.


Posted by P town parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

"I have no problem paying taxes. I understand that we have a collective interest in our schools running well and having a full array of services. We all benefit from this."

Here's something to consider, $98 doesn't sound like that much to pay a year and I fully plan to vote for it, but what happens when / if it turns into $500 or more as it has in other areas? I know plenty of people who would be very happy to pay the higher amount of money if class sizes are saved etc. (in fact I probably would if class sizes were guaranteed for the duration of a tax), but what if it got to this amount and class sizes were still not saved or class sizes were but AP classes had to be dropped? How high would you go and how high to you think it would be OK to make others pay?

On another subject, does anyone know what exactly we are saving with the parcel tax? Is there a list? I know this money is going to be ringfenced and can't be touched, but what is this pool of money saving?


Posted by robin, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

"Tell that to the teachers who will be fired in order for other teachers to get raises."


Tell that to the teachers who will be fired because skinflints like jay in the community don't want to pony up 35 cents per day for other people's kids.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm

"The S&C is not breaking our economy. "

Tell that to the students whose programs were cut and will be cut further, thanks to step and column.

The unions do not want to address the root problem, they just want to tax more so they can continue their bad financial practices:

"Teachers rallied around the state Tuesday to support Gov. Jerry Brown's plan for a budget that maintains current K-12 spending by asking voters to approve tax extensions. "

Web Link

I have kids in PUSD and they will be affected by all this mess, but I will vote NO on E and NO on the june initiatives.

Brown needs to address the issue of union reform and unfunded liabilities, and the school districts need to get their act together.

So here we have a bunch of teachers rallying for the june tax initiatives, knowing that 19K layoffs will be issued, and yet happily accepting a raise! Fiscally irresponsible? Absolutely! Trying to scare people into voting for this tax extension? Yes, but I hope it will not work.


Posted by I'm a parent too, a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm

"what happens if it turns into $500 or more as it has in other areas?"

Better question: How little revenue will the schools need to take in as the economy continues to recover? One thing is for certain, Gladys: those who voted YES on E will justifiably pat themselves on the back for a job well done. We'll have helped our schools weather the stormy seas of yesteryear which already are receding.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm

"One thing is for certain, Gladys: those who voted YES on E will justifiably pat themselves on the back for a job well done. We'll have helped our schools weather the stormy seas of yesteryear which already are receding."

I wish that were true. I think you're making an assumption that an increasing economic climate, in conjunction with a parcel tax, will solve the budget issues of the PUSD. Assuming the economy recovers and the parcel tax passes, the budget math still doesn't support your claim. It still isn't a sustainable budget. If the economy doesn't recover then we have a much bigger problem. Raises funded by a short term parcell tax will only make the problem worse. I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment - or another parcel tax in two years.

I've learned a few things from this recession:

1) you can't use short term funding to fund longterm obligations

2) the teachers union will never stop asking for more money for more raises.

3) the teachers may have the kids best interest at heart but the teachers union has zero interest in anything but monetary gains - even at the expense of class size and school programs

4) you can't use short term funding to fund longterm obligations. It just doesn't work!


Posted by OMG, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm

OMG I can't believe the stupid remarks in this bla bla bla blog. STOP reading the Blogs these are poison.


Posted by Rico, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Robin, why don't you pony up $1.05 per day to cover for Jay the skinflint and me? You can afford that and more; just quit buying mochas at Starbucks.


Posted by robin, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Very telling comment, Rico. You and jay see 35 cents per day in terms of mochas at Starbucks. Most of the rest of us see it in terms of our children's education. Thanks, though, for your contribution to the community. Let's see, you'll be on the server's side of the counter next time I'm in Starbucks, right?


Posted by Rico, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 16, 2011 at 7:10 am

Robin, why don't you answer the question? If this is such a great cause, and the amount is nominal, why don't you sacrifice and give up more than 35 cents a day? Why aren't you giving additional money now? Before you start volunteering someone else's money, perhaps you should step up to the plate.

I have children in PUSD. I have volunteered countless hours over the years supporting the students, teachers, and district. I have donated funds and materials. I am opposed to the parcel tax.


Posted by SteveP, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:25 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Bottom line-two things hold true regardless as to the climate in Calif.: 1) unions will always demand more money; 2) more money handed to the school administration and the unions does not equate to better schools or student performance.
If that were true, with Dems controlling Calif politics for the past 50 years and handing our taxes directly to the unions all that time, our students would be outpacing the rest of the country educationally.
Sadly, things have only devolved during that time. Yet, our state's voters keep putting the same boobs back in charge of the budgets. The definition of insanity......


Posted by Mom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:41 am

Hey SteveP,

Pleasanton students are outpacing much of the country. Check the test scores (such as SAT, ACT and others). Pleasanton schools are very good. Sounds like we do need to keep doing more of the same. Our family moved here for the good schools. Do you have children in Pleasanton schools?


Posted by SteveP, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

SteveP is a registered user.

I do have children in Pleasanton schools, which I have been supporting for over 20 years. Doing more of the same works for me. I'll keep paying the same high property taxes to support the schools, donating money to school programs, volunteering time, etc.
But the notion of reaching into our savings again to pay for raises when the rest of us are making sacrifices does not sit well with me.


Posted by robin, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

You wouldn't believe how many kids Rico, and Steve and me have in the PUSD, and you wouldn't believe how much we've contributed to the schools, and you wouldn't believe how we've given till it hurts to the larger community. And for good reason.


Posted by Perfect Storm, a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

Teachers pension agency: beyond oblivious

"Meanwhile, the upper management of the struggling California State Teachers' Retirement System seems to be under the impression it has money to burn. On Wednesday, the CalSTRS board revealed it had paid more than $1.6 million in bonuses to 52 officials, including $146,000 to CEO Jack Ehnes and $116,604 to Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman.

Is this based on the outstanding record of CalSTRS' top ranks? Well, no. An August report by the Milliman actuarial firm said its evaluation of the latest available data showed that CalSTRS' assets were insufficient to meet its obligations, as has been the case since 2003 – except now "the deficit is significantly greater."

Instead, the CalSTRS bonuses were driven by the delusion that Wall Street-style compensation practices are appropriate for a pension agency, even one that is so hard up for cash that it may sue California to force the state to hand over billions in annual subsidies."

Web Link


Educator pensions report raised questions

Who's to blame?

"Marty McGee of La Jolla wants to know how California got into this mess. She wrote, "In order for your watchdog reports to lead to meaningful changes, the people need to know who did it."

Some of the blame goes to California voters.

"A little-known ballot measure a quarter century ago, Proposition 21 in 1984, opened the door for much of the current controversy over California's public employee pensions," former Union-Tribune reporter and pension expert Ed Mendel wrote last year. The measure passed with 53 percent of the vote.

Before Proposition 21, pension funds had been required to put most of their money into bonds. The ballot measure allowed pension funds to shift most money to stocks and other riskier investments. Some have said that public pensions would be more manageable today if the funds had stuck with safer investments.

Other changes to CalSTRS have also contributed to the funding gap.

In an effort to address teacher shortages and convince veteran educators to put off retirement, CalSTRS benefits were sweetened about a decade ago under AB 1509, legislation sponsored by Mike Machado, D-Stockton.

To fund the added benefits, the legislation took a fourth of the money teachers had been contributing to their pensions and used it to seed the added benefit. The teachers no longer pay into the supplemental benefit fund, but they draw from it."

Web Link


Teacher pension costs a looming crisis


"…exploding pension costs threaten to eat up the operating funds of school districts. Under state law, all districts have the same funding formula: Each teacher gives 8 percent of salary to CalSTRS, the school district adds 8.25 percent and the state provides about 4 percent. To fully cover unfunded pension liabilities, however, the amount set aside would need to go from that present 20.25 percent of teacher pay to nearly 36 percent.

This shows the need for drastic change. Even a humming economy isn't going to generate enough revenue to cover these pending costs and a round of big tax hikes seems highly unlikely.


Web Link


CalSTRS needs to be candid with teachers

"The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office says the present system – in which veteran teachers retire on average with a pension equal to 55 percent to 60 percent of their final pay – is unsustainable. CalSTRS' own actuaries say that to put pension reserves on solid ground, total payments made by teachers, school districts and the state need to be increased by a staggering 77 percent.

But when these gloomy stories appear, they often trigger skeptical letters to the editor from present or retired teachers who say the information they get from CalSTRS about CalSTRS depicts no problems; we got such a letter after a recent editorial.

A look at the CalSTRS web page and its official communications confirms this representation. This is not remotely a healthy approach. Teachers need to know the truth."

Web Link

...and taxpayers. Has the PUSD factored these costs into their financial projections? Expect these additional costs to materialize in 2012.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

"I do have children in Pleasanton schools, which I have been supporting for over 20 years. Doing more of the same works for me. I'll keep paying the same high property taxes to support the schools, donating money to school programs, volunteering time, etc."

If you've owned your home for 20 years, you aren't paying high property taxes. Maybe you moved recently?


Posted by Robin, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

[To improve its public schools, the United States should raise the status of the teaching profession by recruiting more qualified candidates, training them better and paying them more, according to a new report on comparative educational systems.

Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the international achievement test known by its acronym Pisa, says in his report that top-scoring countries like Korea, Singapore and Finland recruit only high-performing college graduates for teaching positions, support them with mentoring and other help in the classroom, and take steps to raise respect for the profession.

"Teaching in the U.S. is unfortunately no longer a high-status occupation," Mr. Schleicher says in the report, prepared in advance of an educational conference that opens in New York on Wednesday. "Despite the characterization of some that teaching is an easy job, with short hours and summers off, the fact is that successful, dedicated teachers in the U.S. work long hours for little pay and, in many cases, insufficient support from their leadership." [...]

Source: NY Times ... It is truly unfortunate that we have in Pleasanton these yapping little pooches out in the community nipping at the ankles of our teachers. Yes on Measure E.


Posted by more ideas, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm

more ideas is a registered user.

@Robin,

When I read the article, I thought the important takeaway message for raising the status of teaching was contained in raising standards:

"'five things U.S. education reformers could learn' from the high-performing countries, the report says, include adopting common academic standards — an effort well under way here, led by state governors — developing better tests for use by teachers in diagnosing students' day-to-day learning needs and training more effective school leaders.

"Make a concerted effort to raise the status of the teaching profession" was the top recommendation.

University teaching programs in the high-scoring countries admit only the best students, and "teaching education programs in the U.S. must become more selective and more rigorous," the report says.

Raising teachers' status is not mainly about raising salaries, the report says, but pay is a factor."


Posted by steve tenderfeet, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm

What I got from the study was that S & C ought to be eliminated, unions are bad, tenure should be abolished, and that people who can read between the lines -- like really, really read between the lines -- should not support Measure E.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

From the article posted by Perfect Storm -yes, there is/will be a teacher pension crisis but (and I am agreeing with what is said) I keep coming back to some basic math. Using both Walnut Creek and Pleasanton as an example, the recent announcement that WC is giving their teachers a whopping 3% raise due to their fiscal prudence -the average salary of a WC teacher = $41,250 and their monthly health care contribution = $1,300 (pre-tax). Take out pre-tax medical and the monthly pre-tax income is $25,650. Take out 18% for various taxes = $21,033/12 = $1,752 per month. Pleasanton- a teacher who makes $80K and pays $1,900 in medical per month = $57,200 x .82= $46,904/12 = $3,909 per month (and I've probably understated on the 18%.) So, comments/questions:
-who can live on $1,752 per month in the Bay Area?
-I'd like to see the family budget of anyone who owns a home in Pleasanton, can save for their retirement, ahve a car payment, put their kids through college, actually take a one week vacation 1x per year, put money into savings, pay for their kids activities on $3,909 per month.
-where will teachers find the extra money to contribute to a retirement plan given their current salary structure now they know the truth?
Unfortunately, the education discussion locally, at the state and national level is typical of how most issues are discussed these days -vitriol, the other side is greedy, and no-one is entitled to what I have...
So, let's keep slagging on the teachers and squeeze blood from a stone...


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Joe,

You seem to misunderstand something. No one is talking about raising teacher contribution rates. They currently pay 8% towards their own retirement. The district pays 8.25% and the State is supposed to be paying 4%. The problem is that this is still not enough to ensure that CalSTRS says solvent through 2042. The option that CalSTRS wants is to be able to raise the amount that the district pays because CalPERS has this power currently.

Also, the advantage for the employee to have health care paid for in salary is that it raises the amount they would get in retirement.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm

To add to Joe's comment, WC teachers are among the lowest paid teachers in the Bay Area.

On the opposite end, the number of millionaires in the U.S. grew by about 600,000 during this recession. There is a widening gap between the uber-rich and the middle class.

But the Republican ideology of reducing funds for things like education, research, and alternative energy will hurt our country's long-term growth. Right now, Asian countries are increasing investments in education, science, technology and infrastructure. On the other hand, we are cutting investments to education, science, and technology, the opposite of what we should be doing to stimulate economic growth. That is a terrible sign of our priorities.


Posted by agree with joe and anon, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm

It isn't only that the trend in the United States is so disturbingly wrong-headed when compared to other higher performing countries. It is also that the wrong-headed trend is part of a conscious effort by Republicans and Tea Partyists to cut away at education because they know it will {emphasis: will} lead to poorer academic progress across the board.

A well-educated citizenry is a threat to the uber-rich. Better to keep their employees just well-trained enough to do their jobs without criticism or complaint. An increasingly poorly educated citizenry, moreover, is susceptible to propagandistic claims built on fear and hate and ignorance. Were the Republicans and Tee-Pee-ers to have their druthers, they'd prefer the nation become more like the red state south. We see this in Palin's idiotic statements about teachers and new englanders and californians being 'elites'. All other Republicans hold the same belief, but they're not so stupid to utter it aloud as is Palin. Wisconsin's shameful antics, for example, have not been about an economic crisis (beyond it being 'manufactured' as one by right wing propagandists); nor certainly has it been about educational improvement. Rather, it has been about an attempt to systematically reduce the power and effectiveness of teachers across the state. The right wing in Wisconsin wants to take one of the highest-performing educational states in the union and turn it into one of the lowest, such as South Carolina. All for right-wing economic and political gain.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Actually, Stacey, it is about the contribution rates. The drumbeat locally and nationally is already loud and clear to have teachers/public employees contribute more to their retirement and health care so let's not pretend that point isn't going to get brought to the discussion. The problem for teachers is that they either fund a retirement through their current massive salary or they pay a higher contribution toward their retirement, again, from their already massive salary. No respect or appreciation for the profession = $1752 per month


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm

So the Democrats (union controlled) say that the Republicans are to blame because they won't raise taxes on the wealthy. The Republicans (wealthy controlled) say the problem are the unions and unsustainable benefits.

I think the unions and the wealthy both need to show some restraint for the well being of the country. Retiring at 50 or so with a great pension is not sustainable (and I'm talking bigger picture here, teachers contribute to their pensions which many other union employees do not). The wealthy need to contribute more as the gap between rich and poor in the US currently resembles a bananna republic.

Which non-monied interest is looking after the non-union, not wealthy people in this country? We are the ones in trouble.


Posted by long time parent, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm

We also need to get rid of pension spiking. It is appalling that our district has 15 recent retirees who in their retirement make more than $100,000 per year. It goes all the way up to $178,000. To me making that much in retirement is "wealthy". So we should put taxing public employee pensions that are excessive. How about any amount over 60% of their last years salary (actual salary; not spiking), or over $100,000, or amount that are over two times social security payouts.

Joe, I think the most fair thing to do is a 401(k) type plan plus something like social security. We need to do something because it is projected that STRS will be going broke based on the payments being made to it and the retirement payouts. That leaves nothing for the new teachers.


Posted by Beth, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Joe,

I'm not sure why you are using Walnut Creek as your example, but 45% of Pleasanton teachers make $89,787 to $98,045.

The percentage is actually higher than that because of Step and Column raises, but the district has not posted information for more than a year.

Web Link


Posted by Observer, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Beth, you are out of your mind.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

To 'Observer' - Why is Beth out of her mind?


Posted by Joe, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I used WC as it clearly illustrates a point-there are a lot of teachers who, in spite of the local animosity, aren't exactly hauling in the big bucks. Beth, I'll split the difference and use $95K as the salary which moves the take home up by $1k per month and then re-ask the question--I'd like to see the family budget of anyone who owns a home in Pleasanton, can save for their retirement, make a car payment, put their kids through college, actually take a one week vacation 1x per year, put money into savings, pay for their kids activities on $4,909 per month. My point still stands-all of the complaining about how overpaid teachers -let's see who in this community can make it on that kind of money. And I will add that this is the second time I've posted a work-through of actual take home pay and it's amazing that no one seems to respond with "wow, I didn't realize teachers made that little" -as they say...numbers don't lie, people do -or just ignore the numbers when it doesn't fit their argument.


Posted by family, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I'd like to see the family budget of anyone who owns a home in Pleasanton, can save for their retirement, make a car payment, put their kids through college, actually take a one week vacation 1x per year, put money into savings, pay for their kids activities on $4,909 per month.

Ours isn't far off this and we can pay for our home, bought our car for cash (we save up for stuff) and put a tiny bit into retirement, these days some taxes come out of our savings and we're cautious about the rest you mention. The parcel tax will come out of savings. We don't have the guaranteed pensions, health care of the public sector, so are worried quite honestly.


Posted by Beth, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Well, I'm not bragging about it, but we "own" (meaning we have a mortage) a home in Pleasanton and our hosehold income is less than most of the teachers in this town. I also work full time (meaning all year).


Posted by robin, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:11 pm

The argument from a couple of the posters above that they cannot afford the 35 cents per day is the first honest rationale for voting NO that I've seen. I'm in support of Measure E, but if I couldn't afford it, I'd vote against it, too.

At the same time, I would hope that if it is at all possible to pony up that amount, that one do so. This is not a matter of big bad unions, on the one side, against the wealthy, on the other. Such is a false dichotomy. Unions did not create this recession. Unions are not responsible for the fact that virtually all increases in income and wealth in this country, since Reagan, belong to the super wealthy. If you ranked in the 47th percentile of income earners 40 years ago, you're likely to still be there around 47%. The wealthy do not care about you. That's why they haul off to China with their industry at the drop of a hat. They're only in it for the profit. They've consistently broken unions, and have gotten Republican pols to help them do it. Nancy Chow as secretary of labor under Bush? Her qualifications? Married to ranking Republican Mitch McConnell. Can anyone name a single thing she did on behalf of working people? Of course not; she wasn't put in that position to do anything except look the other way at safety violations in mines and on drilling platforms and all else. If they could, they'd farm out public service jobs to China also. But they can't (yet). Next best thing is to weaken unions, and especially teachers (see, for example, Wisconsin). Why? Because they can. It saves them a nickel here, a dime there, and that's the 'logic' that drives them. They want society to resemble a Monopoly Board: winners own houses and hotels, losers are plum out of luck. No social security, no unemployment benefits, no nothin'. They believe, and act upon the belief, that an uneducated society is to their advantage. They want the U.S. to resemble a third world country like China. (Then they won't have to go all the way to China, but indeed, will be able to play Chinese workers off against American workers.)

It makes my heart ache when I read posters here saying they can't afford 35 cents a day to help our schools and kids. This should not be happening in Pleasanton or anywhere else in the United States. It makes my blood boil that there are NO on Measure E people here who either are rich, identify with the rich, or likely are in positions where they leech onto the rich in hopes one day they may be rich too. They do this at our teachers' and kids' expense. I trust Pleasanton's citizens will see how disingenuous the NO side is, and act accordingly.


Posted by family, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Robin, I am voting for measure E. But I hope it doesn't escalate too much.


Posted by You created system, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2011 at 8:54 am

How about pony up for my family.....having an unemployed professional....company shuttered after ran out of cash....and NO severance. Let's see now....WE have to SAVE (deduct from pay) for retirement. Tell me again, just HOW much is it YOU SAVE for YOUR retirement?? Oh, that's right, YOU don't HAVE to SAVE, you can spend EVERY penny of you paycheck right, I'll accept your thanks for that ? ? (Well, except for the extortion $$ you have to hand over to your many layers of union bosses (of course any day you wanted to stop that you could, but then you'd have to be self-reliant).


Posted by well...., a resident of Downtown
on Mar 17, 2011 at 9:37 am

You created system

You want capitalism, pal, and that's what you end up with. On your, um, reasoning, sounds like there's a little bit of incompetence in the family, yes? Product of a poor educational system maybe? If my company had employees who wrote and reasoned like you do, it would probably go belly-up as well. Have you thought about volunteering at Red Cross or something? Or if you're in need of money, maybe Walmart might hire you as a greeter? I dunno, or something else maybe that fits your competence level?


Posted by Sue, a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:15 am

I don't understand what all the whining is about. I make a house payment, paid cash for my car, pay my bills every month, save a small amount taken out for my 401(k). I worked 27 years, 17 in the union and 10 management, of which both are being threatened by having to be turned over to pension guarantee. The reason I stayed in that job for that length of time was to plan for my future of which I will probably now have to work until I'm 70 to make it, or even older. I worked for one company that was taken over by another and then they too went belly-up. Things happen and for the most part are out of our control.

Now, I have no problem with teachers being paid decent, they deserve it and earn it, -- most of them, not all are created equal. Many parents send their children to school to learn manners, respect, discipline which they should have learned long before coming to school, but because the parents haven't done their part, the teachers are left responsible for teaching the children what they should have learned at home. That takes up extra time that they could have used teaching them academics.

What I have a hard time with is receiving emails and letters from the teacher that cannot even spell properly or even put words together to make a sentence and they are teaching our children??? They should have to go through a series of tests before being accepted as "teachers." Pay them what they're worth and get rid of the ones that aren't worth a dime!


Posted by Headliner, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:20 am

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! After years of whining about everything under the sun, man's company finally shuttered for good. Now spends time on PW website whining about everything under the sun. Banks refuse to help because man can't spell his own name.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:51 am

"What I have a hard time with is receiving emails and letters from the teacher that cannot even spell properly or even put words together to make a sentence..."

Sue (from another community), this isn't "another community". Pleasanton has one of the best school districts in the country. We like our public schools. We have good teachers. Come visit some time.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

Until I hear that California State Agencies have been disbanded or combined, these reports are simply tactics designed to influence our vote for increased State taxes and local tax initiatives (like Pleasanton's parcel tax).

Obviously the State government hasn't felt the pinch, if they're still cutting vital services rather than little known state agencies. In other words, they still believe we don't see through the old tactics, and they can get away with NOT cutting non-vital services. It's a game of wills, and they're playing with our children's educational and financial futures.

We need to send a message by not increasing taxes. You may believe that we need to acquiesce so that our children's education isn't endangered, but that just pushes the problem into their future. We need to take responsibility for the mess we've voted in. The crooks need to lose, so our children will have a future.


Posted by Home School, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

Don't like the pay teachers are getting? Don't want to antie up for a parcel tax?

Homeschool your kids...sell your house and rent (so you can avoid the prop taxes)...use the extra money you get out of your house for your retirement.

We have public systems for a reason (school, city, state, country) if you all think you can do better (i.e. teach, defend the community, keep the community clean, take care of business in the community)...then step forward! Take a public service job - you think it is a cush job, it is not because they have to take all the bashing and hate from the community. It is hard to work for "people" who hate you. They also saw, in the prosperous times of corporate America, the extravagant bonuses, stock options, etc. They received no bonuses, no stock options. They have had slow and steady increases...while you all prospered and spent your money foolishly, they were plugging along watching you get into those million dollar homes you now cannot afford.

Why are we angry at these people? They are making a living just like you. We should be angry with the movie stars and athletic stars who make millions per episode or game - thanks to $12-$13 movie tickets for an hour and half of my time (not to mention the overpriced popcorn, candy and soda) or a sports game where a seat at a football game can cost a couple hundred dollars only to watch them earn millions. Sometime obscene amounts of money.

You people have it all wrong - go ahead...complain about the salary a teacher gets, a firefighter, a policeman, a city worker but watch what happens when the staff dwindles and kids don't get the instruction they need, your suffer a loss because the firemen can't get there because the station closest to your home closed down, or the crime rate goes up because there aren't enough police to keep things under control, or that the city is trashy because there are no city maintenance people to keep it looking nice.

I will gladly pay to keep this community nice...desirable...and to keep my house price from falling!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Maybe it is about the salary a teacher makes to some, but the real issue is automatic raises (S&C) when there isn't money to pay for them. CA ended COLA payments to districts that used to pay for the automatic raises so now the pressure is on local districts to actually pay for the labor costs they agreed to in negotiation. So they have to cut staff or have furlough days to continue to pay for those automatic raises. Sad, but that's just the way things are playing out.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Stacey,

As the economy eventually recovers, we will have the funds necessary to continue to pay step and column raises without needing additional taxes. It is because of the recession that tax revenue has dropped. Teachers didn't cause the recession. We need Measure E to get us through this downturn.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Home School --

Don't be such an alarmist. It is quite alarming that the State cuts vital services such as fire, police and education before cutting less vital services (Dept of Aging anyone?).

These public servants are essentially putting us under siege to convince us to give them more of our money. That is really. the alarming aspect of this issue.

Does anyone really not see what they're doing? Aren't they supposed to be helping us? Why are they cutting vital services instead of sweeping cuts in other areas first?


Posted by numbed by a broken record, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Oh boy, Stacy's back. Hmmmmm, I wonder what her position is on this? This is a recording. This is a recording. This is a recording.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

comment,

And when will that be?

When will the State resume COLA payments? They are predicting continuing budget deficits well past 2015 even with the recovering economy. The economy would need to recover much faster than most economists are predicting over a 10 year period to avert that. Measure E will not even cover the cost of the current salary schedule for the four year term of the tax.


Posted by numbed by broken record, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Stacey,
Can you give it a rest, please? Just change the channel or something for an hour or two. Tell us your thoughts on commodity fetishism. Or maybe where you stand on John Locke's ambiguous treatment of money. Or work us clear on whether humans are indeed nothing more than economic animals. Yer killin' me with the boredom, kid.


Posted by Helen, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Have you talked with a student about how they perceive having more students in the classroom, fewer resources, such as counselors and specialists who can help struggling students learn to read? The majority of our students want to learn and when the teacher has to work with more students or stop to focus on disruptive or struggling students, it affects the entire classroom. The students didn't create the system but their education is being affected. And if there are more dropouts, our society is impacted. I'd rather pay to support education than the prison system. I look at the $98 as not just keeping the kids in school but also to retain the value of real estate. I like many other families was attracted to Pleasanton because of PUSD's reputation. The kids in the system now still need and deserve a solid education; their future does affect us all.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

"The economy would need to recover much faster than most economists are predicting over a 10 year period to avert that. "

I'd like to see your numbers for that. Anyway, the economy has recovered much faster in the last year than many economists predicted.

"Measure E will not even cover the cost of the current salary schedule for the four year term of the tax."

We don't know that yet, but at any rate, I agree, I'd like to see more money raised by measure E.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

$98 does not go far enough. There will be more layoffs or program cuts a year after Measure E. We need a parcel tax of at least $188 for four years or another parcel tax after next year that makes up the difference.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Helen - How will a $2 million tax retain the value of $16 BILLION of Pleasanton's residential real estate value? Web Link


Posted by Bigfoot Marshall, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm


Here's a shining example of the intellectual swill being forwarded by those who encourage you to vote NO on E. Read it closely, please.


"What will a $2 million parcel tax provide?

If we assume the entire $2 million is spent on NEW teachers, it could fund twenty-five teachers at an average $80,000 cost.
That's 1.7 teachers per school by placing those 25 teachers in the 15 schools.
Or one teacher per 600 students throughout the district.
Therefore, each student in Pleasanton will receive approximately 2 more hours of teacher attention per year.
Or about 36 seconds a day.

If the $2 million is used to fund employee step salary increases and higher longevity bonuses, then our children will have no benefit from this parcel tax."


Notice anyone a lack of proportion in the argument? It's called numbers fetishism, and it is deployed without consideration of the human dimension. Holy crappola, I just want some of the money to go toward fixing the air conditioner in my kid's classroom. And, yes, too, those are the kinds of things that do have an impact on a school district's reputation. "36 seconds per day." Do you believe it? Dividing 1.7 students into 600 teachers. What a head-shake. This is a lost calculator in search of a human brain.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Start Afresh,

Your question makes no sense at all. It is like asking how could a $100 investment in AAPL (stock in Apple Corporation) turn into $100,000 ten years later.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 17, 2011 at 4:46 pm

The $98 Parcel Tax has nothing to do with school expenses, or "saving the schools" this year. It has everything to do with getting the camel's nose in the tent.

Web Link

A consulting firm called Godbe Research determined through polls that Pleasanton voters could be most easily duped into voting for a parcel tax if the amount is $98.

The $98 Parcel Tax is the result of a marketing campaign that began this month. We'll soon get hit with calls from phone banks. They're pulling out all the stops this time because they know this will either be the end, or the new beginning of a never ending & growing source of cash for the city.

If this passes, get ready for $198 Parcel Tax next year.

For me, if this passes, I will stop all voluntary school donations in favor of the mandatory one. For those that think it's still too small, please donate more.


Posted by Doom & Gloom, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 17, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Love your post Helen! I too would rather pay to the schools than prisons.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2011 at 11:55 pm

""Affordability of the measure is key," Bryan Godbe told the board. "We did find some tax sensitivity.""

They called me. I told them I did not care about the amount but I wanted to see the money used properly. The lady then asked: is that a yes or a no? All the questions they asked, I did not have a yes or no answer so they put whatever they wanted.

Is the result of such survey accurate? I doubt it, as I have talked to others who were also surveyed and their experience was similar to mine.

Most people I know do not care about the amount but about what the money will be used for. Indirectly supporting raises is a concern and was not addressed by the survey.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 17, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

comment,

You're right to ask for numbers. My comment regarding the economic recovery is tied to California's growing debt and perhaps I'm conflating the issue of public pension solvency a little bit. The economic recovery should outpace California's debt growth before things start to stabilize. We'll need jobs to achieve that and so far the number of jobs is about the same as it was 10 years ago. California's economic recovery so far has been slow as a result.

The Legislative Analyst Office projects out about 4-5 years and they are understating the budget deficits because they are not including COLA or inflation in their projections. (Web Link)

When you say you believe that the economy is recovering, it may be slowly, but when do you think the State will begin making COLA payments again? The district is pressured into actually paying for what they negotiated as a result of the State budget. It is reasonable, of course, to have assumed that COLA would be coming from the State practically indefinitely, yet this Great Recession is an extraordinary time. People need to start acknowledging it as such. Everything should be open to negotiation. The elected trustees have a fiduciary duty not only to taxpayers, but also to employees to ensure that what is being promised in compensation won't translate into layoffs. The worse thing is to be laying people off, especially when the economy is still down and unemployment is high.


Posted by toe-jam freddie, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 18, 2011 at 12:57 am

So, Stacey/Start Afresh,
You've both cited approvingly the extraordinary document that calculates how many seconds of the day of a new teacher each of the 600 kids will be able to claim, given the $98 parcel tax: 36 seconds you say. I'm wondering: Have you calculated the number of seconds per day each of the 600 will have with a $198 parcel tax? Because if it's a difference of say, more than 22 seconds per day, that would be the kicker for me and would likely swing my vote.


Posted by filling your time, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 18, 2011 at 9:12 am

I think there are plenty of places within California where folks should be looking to make cuts long before education. Why is everyone on these blogs so obsessed with attacking the local schools?

Stacey - here is a partial list of current California services/agencies - all of which must have some areas that could use some of your "fiscal responsibility" advice moving forward- knock yourself out and leave the local schools alone! I will anxiously await your full report.

California Academic Performance Index (API) * California Access for Infants
and Mothers * California Acupuncture Board * California Administrative
Office of the Courts * California Adoptions Branch * California African
American Museum * California Agricultural Export Program * California
Agricultural Labor Relations Board * California Agricultural Statistics
Service * California Air Resources Board (CARB) * California Allocation
Board * California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing
Authority * California Animal Health and Food Safety Services * California
Anti-Terrorism Information Center * California Apprenticeship Council *
California Arbitration Certification Program * California Architects Board *
California Area VI Developmental Disabilities Board * California Arts
Council * California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus * California
Assembly Democratic Caucus * California Assembly Republican Caucus *
California Athletic Commission * California Attorney General * California
Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California Bay-Delta Authority
* California Bay-Delta Office * California Biodiversity Council * California
Board for Geologists and Geophysicists * California Board for Professional
Engineers and Land Surveyors * California Board of Accountancy * California
Board of Barbering and Cosmetology * California Board of Behavioral Sciences
* California Board of Chiropractic Examiners * California Board of
Equalization (BOE) * California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection *
California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind * California Board of
Occupational Therapy * California Board of Optometry * California Board of
Pharmacy * California Board of Podiatric Medicine * California Board of
Prison Terms * California Board of Psychology * California Board of
Registered Nursing * California Board of Trustees * California Board of
Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians * California Braille and
Talking Book Library * California Building Standards Commission * California
Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education * California
Bureau of Automotive Repair * California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance
Repair * California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation *
California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine * California Bureau of Security
and Investigative Services * California Bureau of State Audits * California
Business Agency * California Business Investment Services (CalBIS) *
California Business Permit Information (CalGOLD) * California Business
Portal * California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency * California
Cal Grants * California CalJOBS * California Cal-Learn Program * California
CalVet Home Loan Program * California Career Resource Network * California
Cemetery and Funeral Bureau * California Center for Analytical Chemistry *
California Center for Distributed Learning * California Center for Teaching
Careers (Teach California) * California Chancellors Office * California
Charter Schools * California Children and Families Commission * California
Children and Family Services Division * California Citizens Compensation
Commission * California Civil Rights Bureau * California Coastal Commission
* California Coastal Conservancy * California Code of Regulations *
California Collaborative Projects with UC Davis * California Commission for
Jobs and Economic Growth * California Commission on Aging * California
Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation * California
Commission on Judicial Performance * California Commission on State Mandates
* California Commission on Status of Women * California Commission on
Teacher Credentialing * California Commission on the Status of Women *
California Committee on Dental Auxiliaries * California Community Colleges
Chancellors Office, Junior Colleges * California Community Colleges
Chancellors Office * California Complaint Mediation Program * California
Conservation Corps * California Constitution Revision Commission *
California Consumer Hotline * California Consumer Information Center *
California Consumer Information * California Consumer Services Division *
California Consumers and Families Agency * California Contractors State
License Board * California Corrections Standards Authority * California
Council for the Humanities * California Council on Criminal Justice *
California Council on Developmental Disabilities * California Court
Reporters Board * California Courts of Appeal * California Crime and
Violence Prevention Center * California Criminal Justice Statistics Center *
California Criminalist Institute Forensic Library * California CSGnet
Network Management * California Cultural and Historical Endowment *
California Cultural Resources Division * California Curriculum and
Instructional Leadership Branch * California Data Exchange Center *
California Data Management Division * California Debt and Investment
Advisory Commission * California Delta Protection Commission * California
Democratic Caucus * California Demographic Research Unit * California Dental
Auxiliaries * California Department of Aging * California Department of
Alcohol and Drug Programs * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage
Control Appeals Board * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
* California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating) * California
Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS) * California Department of
Community Services and Development * California Department of Conservation *
California Department of Consumer Affairs * California Department of
Corporations * California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation *
California Department of Developmental Services * California Department of
Education * California Department of Fair Employment and Housing *
California Department of Finance * California Department of Financial
Institutions * California Department of Fish and Game * California
Department of Food and Agriculture * California Department of Forestry and
Fire Protection (CDF) * California Department of General Services *
California Department of General Services, Office of State Publishing *
California Department of Health Care Services * California Department of
Housing and Community Development * California Department of Industrial
Relations (DIR) * California Department of Insurance * California Department
of Justice Firearms Division * California Department of Justice Opinion Unit
* California Department of Justice, Consumer Information, Public Inquiry
Unit * California Department of Justice * California Department of Managed
Health Care * California Department of Mental Health * California Department
of Motor Vehicles (DMV) * California Department of Personnel Administration
* California Department of Pesticide Regulation * California Department of
Public Health * California Department of Real Estate * California Department
of Rehabilitation * California Department of Social Services Adoptions
Branch * California Department of Social Services * California Department of
Technology Services Training Center (DTSTC) * California Department of
Technology Services (DTS) * California Department of Toxic Substances
Control * California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) * California
Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets) * California Department of Water
Resources * California Departmento de Vehiculos Motorizados * California
Digital Library * California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise
Certification Program * California Division of Apprenticeship Standards *
California Division of Codes and Standards * California Division of
Communicable Disease Control * California Division of Engineering *
California Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control *
California Division of Gambling Control * California Division of Housing
Policy Development * California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement *
California Division of Labor Statistics and Research * California Division
of Land and Right of Way * California Division of Land Resource Protection *
California Division of Law Enforcement General Library * California Division
of Measurement Standards * California Division of Mines and Geology *
California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) *
California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources * California
Division of Planning and Local Assistance * California Division of Recycling
* California Division of Safety of Dams * California Division of the State
Architect * California Division of Tourism * California Division of Workers
Compensation Medical Unit * California Division of Workers Compensation *
California Economic Assistance, Business and Community Resources *
California Economic Strategy Panel * California Education and Training
Agency * California Education Audit Appeals Panel * California Educational
Facilities Authority * California Elections Division * California
Electricity Oversight Board * California Emergency Management Agency *
California Emergency Medical Services Authority * California Employment
Development Department (EDD) * California Employment Information State Jobs
* California Employment Training Panel * California Energy Commission *
California Environment and Natural Resources Agency * California
Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) * California Environmental
Resources Evaluation System (CERES) * California Executive Office *
California Export Laboratory Services * California Exposition and State Fair
(Cal Expo) * California Fair Political Practices Commission * California
Fairs and Expositions Division * California Film Commission * California
Fire and Resource Assessment Program * California Firearms Division *
California Fiscal Services * California Fish and Game Commission *
California Fisheries Program Branch * California Floodplain Management *
California Foster Youth Help * California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) *
California Fraud Division * California Gambling Control Commission *
California Geographic Information Systems Council (GIS) * California
Geological Survey * California Government Claims and Victim Compensation
Board * California Governors Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons *
California Governors Mentoring Partnership * California Governors Office of
Emergency Services * California Governors Office of Homeland Security *
California Governors Office of Planning and Research * California Governors
Office * California Grant and Enterprise Zone Programs HCD Loan * California
Health and Human Services Agency * California Health and Safety Agency *
California Healthy Families Program * California Hearing Aid Dispensers
Bureau * California High-Speed Rail Authority * California Highway Patrol
(CHP) * California History and Culture Agency * California Horse Racing
Board * California Housing Finance Agency * California Indoor Air Quality
Program * California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission *
California Industrial Welfare Commission * California InFoPeople *
California Information Center for the Environment * California
Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) * California
Inspection Services * California Institute for County Government *
California Institute for Education Reform * California Integrated Waste
Management Board * California Interagency Ecological Program * California
Job Service * California Junta Estatal de Personal * California Labor and
Employment Agency * California Labor and Workforce Development Agency *
California Labor Market Information Division * California Land Use Planning
Information Network (LUPIN) * California Lands Commission * California
Landscape Architects Technical Committee * California Latino Legislative
Caucus * California Law Enforcement Branch * California Law Enforcement
General Library * California Law Revision Commission * California
Legislative Analyst's Office * California Legislative Black Caucus *
California Legislative Counsel * California Legislative Division *
California Legislative Information * California Legislative Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus * California Legislature Internet
Caucus * California Library De velopment Services * California License and
Revenue Branch * California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program *
California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board * California Maritime
Academy * California Marketing Services * California Measurement Standards *
California Medical Assistance Commission * California Medical Care Services
* California Military Department * California Mining and Geology Board *
California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts * California Museum
Resource Center * California National Guard * California Native American
Heritage Commission * California Natural Community Conservation Planning
Program * California New Motor Vehicle Board * California Nursing Home
Administrator Program * California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals
Board * California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board *
California Ocean Resources Management Program * California Office of
Administrative Hearings * California Office of Administrative Law *
California Office of AIDS * California Office of Binational Border Health *
California Office of Child Abuse Prevention * California Office of Deaf
Access * California Office of Emergency Services (OES) * California Office
of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment * California Office of Fiscal
Services * California Office of Fleet Administration * California Office of
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Implementation
(CalOHI) * California Office of Historic Preservation * California Office of
Homeland Security * California Office of Human Resources * California Office
of Legal Services * California Office of Legislation * California Office of
Lieutenant Governor * California Office of Military and Aerospace Support *
California Office of Mine Reclamation * California Office of Natural
Resource Education * California Office of Privacy Protection * California
Office of Public School Construction * California Office of Real Estate
Appraisers * California Office of Risk and Insurance Management * California
Office of Services to the Blind * California Office of Spill Prevention and
Response * California Office of State Publishing (OSP) * California Office
of Statewide Health Planning and Development * California Office of Systems
Integration * California Office of the Inspector General * California Office
of the Ombudsman * California Office of the Patient Advocate * California
Office of the President * California Office of the Secretary for Education *
California Office of the State Fire Marshal * California Office of the State
Public Defender * California Office of Traffic Safety * California Office of
Vital Records * California Online Directory * California Operations Control
Office * California Opinion Unit * California Outreach and Technical
Assistance Network (OTAN) * California Park and Recreation Commission *
California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) * California
Performance Review (CPR) * California Permit Information for Business
(CalGOLD) * California Physical Therapy Board * California Physician
Assistant Committee * California Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services *
California Policy and Evaluation Division * California Political Reform
Division * California Pollution Control Financing Authority * California
Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo * California Postsecondary
Education Commission * California Prevention Services * California Primary
Care and Family Health * California Prison Industry Authority * California
Procurement Division * California Public Employees Retirement System
(CalPERS) * California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) * California
Public Utilities Commission (PUC) * California Real Estate Services Division
* California Refugee Programs Branch * California Regional Water Quality
Control Boards * California Registered Veterinary Technician Committee *
California Registrar of Charitable Trusts * California Republican Caucus *
California Research and Development Division * California Research Bureau *
California Resources Agency * California Respiratory Care Board * California
Rivers Assessment * California Rural Health Policy Council * California Safe
Schools * California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development
Commission * California San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and
Mountains Conservancy * California San Joaquin River Conservancy *
California School to Career * California Science Center * California Scripps
Institution of Oceanography * California Secretary of State Business Portal
* California Secretary of State * California Seismic Safety Commission *
California Self Insurance Plans (SIP) * California Senate Office of Research
* California Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise
Certification Program * California Small Business Development Center Program
* California Smart Growth Caucus * California Smog Check Information Center
* California Spatial Information Library * California Special Education
Division * California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board *
California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) * California Standards
and Assessment Division * California State Administrative Manual (SAM) *
California State Allocation Board * California State and Consumer Services
Agency * California State Architect * California State Archives * California
State Assembly * California State Association of Counties (CSAC) *
California State Board of Education * California State Board of Food and
Agriculture *California Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) *
California State Children's Trust Fund * California State Compensation
Insurance Fund * California State Contracts Register Program * California
State Contracts Register * California State Controller * California State
Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) * California State Disability
Insurance (SDI) * California State Fair (Cal Expo) * California State Jobs
Employment Information * California State Lands Commission * California
State Legislative Portal * California State Legislature * California State
Library Catalog * California State Library Services Bureau * California
State Library * California State Lottery * California State Mediation and
Conciliation Service * California State Mining and Geology Board *
California State Park and Recreation Commission * California State Parks *
California State Personnel Board * California State Polytechnic University,
Pomona * California State Railroad Museum * California State Science Fair *
California State Senate * California State Summer School for Mathematics and
Science (COSMOS) * California State Summer School for the Arts * California
State Superintendent of Public Instruction * California State Teachers
Retirement System (CalSTRS) * California State Treasurer * California State
University Center for Distributed Learning * California State University,
Bakersfield * California State University, Channel Islands * California
State University, Chico * California State University, Dominguez Hills *
California State University, East Bay * California State University, Fresno
* California State University, Fullerton * California State University, Long
Beach * California State University, Los Angeles * California State
University, Monterey Bay * California State University, Northridge *
California State University, Sacramento * California State University, San
Bernardino * California State University, San Marcos * California State
University, Stanislaus * California State University (CSU) * California
State Water Project Analysis Office * California State Water Project *
California State Water Resources Control Board * California Structural Pest
Control Board * California Student Aid Commission * California
Superintendent of Public Instruction * California Superior Courts *
California Tahoe Conservancy * California Task Force on Culturally and
Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists * California Tax
Information Center * California Technology and Administration Branch Finance
* California Telecommunications Division * California Telephone Medical
Advice Services (TAMS) * California Transportation Commission * California
Travel and Transportation Agency * California Unclaimed Property Program *
California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board * California Unemployment
Insurance Program * California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting
Commission * California Veterans Board * California Veterans Memorial *
California Veterinary Medical Board and Registered Veterinary Technician
Examining Committee * California Veterinary Medical Board * California
Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board * California Volunteers *
California Voter Registration * California Water Commission * California
Water Environment Association (COWPEA) * California Water Resources Control
Board * California Welfare to Work Division * California Wetlands
Information System * California Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch *
California Wildlife Conservation Board * California Wildlife Programs Branch
* California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) *
California Workers Compensation Appeals Board * California Workforce and
Labor Development Agency * California Workforce Investment Board *
California Youth Authority (CYA) * Central Valley Flood Protection Board *
Center for California Studies * Colorado River Board of California *
Counting California * Dental Board of California * Health Insurance Plan of
California (PacAdvantage) * Humboldt State University * Jobs with the State
of California * Judicial Council of California * Learn California * Library
of California * Lieutenant Governors Commission for One California * Little
Hoover Commission (on California State Government Organization and Economy)
* Medical Board of California * Medi-Cal * Osteopathic Medical Board of
California * Physical Therapy Board of California * Regents of the
University of California * San Diego State University * San Francisco State
University * San Jose State University * Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
* State Bar of California * Supreme Court of California * Teach California *
University of California * University of California, Berkeley * University
of California, Davis * University of California, Hastings College of the Law
* University of California, Irvine * University of California, Los Angeles *
University of California, Merced * University of California, Riverside *
University of California, San Diego * University of California, San
Francisco * University of California, Santa Barbara * University of
California, Santa Cruz * Veterans Home of California


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2011 at 9:26 am

A lot of good stuff on that list, but I'd leave these alone too.

University of California * San Diego State University * San Francisco State


University * San Jose State University * Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy


* State Bar of California * Supreme Court of California * Teach California *


University of California * University of California, Berkeley * University


of California, Davis * University of California, Hastings College of the Law


* University of California, Irvine * University of California, Los Angeles *


University of California, Merced * University of California, Riverside *


University of California, San Diego * University of California, San


Francisco * University of California, Santa Barbara * University of


California, Santa Cruz * Veterans Home of California


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Not sure what document you're talking about that I supposedly "cited approvingly", probably because I never did what you claim (where's your proof?). There's other websites you could go to where fiction-writing is the main goal.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It is interesting that since Measure E campaigning began, there's been a ramp up in the number of posts written that are nothing more than ad hominem posts. It started even though I have not written anything like "No on E" and have no where near engaged in the same level of campaigning here like I did for Measure G. I can only guess that the idea is to shut my posts down through lies because somebody has a vested interest in seeing the message silenced. This activity actually makes me post _more_ as I feel the need to counter such lies that put words into my mouth, that make it seem that I take a certain position on something based upon reasoning I never would agree to or would never have said. Just something to keep in mind.

So, good work, keep it up. And keep encouraging me to post.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:46 am

To filling your time: I can't really see the point of your post other than to point out that there are plenty of places to cut costs rather than ask for new taxes.

I'm going to vote yes on the parcel tax, but I think the attacks on Stacey are not helpful.

I'd love it if the yes people concentrated their time more on determining where the money is actually going to be spent on and making sure that this is going to help the schools for four years. There is work to do on the specifics and practicalities rather than just citing the mantra that the no's are anti-school, which I do not believe is the case.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

" There is work to do on the specifics and practicalities rather than just citing the mantra that the no's are anti-school, which I do not believe is the case."

Certainly not all, but some have said they are against public schools and don't really care if Pleasanton schools are any better than average. I agree that making up things about other posters is counterproductive.


Posted by toe-jam freddie, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I plead guilty to attributing 'cited approvingly' to both start afresh and stacey. Start afresh supplied the web link -- titled, 'Measure E -- Do the Math' which Big Foot Marshall quoted from in his post. I attributed the web link to stacey, too, because I could have sworn she had posted it a few days ago. Also, it seemed reasonable to me to attribute authorship to both start afresh and stacey because the reasoning and methods exhibited by the 'Measure E -- Do the Math' web link is consistent with their positions. My question still stands: given the conclusions of the web link document, how many more seconds of teacher time can a student expect, $98 v. $198?

I suppose if stacey's censorship crusade had succeeded, I'd have been censored for my alleged error.


Posted by New Ptwon Parent, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

We just moved here from another area where schools were top priorty. Our schools rivaled Pleasanton for Excellence Yes, we paid more and moved to Pleasanton specifically for the schools. I am shocked and dimayed at the state of the schools here. In our previous state, we paid $7400 in property tax on a home value of $450K. We just purchased a home for $850,000K and the previous owner was paying taxes of $4000-ish on value of $480K. (We expect our taxes will rise to $10K on the new value.) In my uneducated opinion, this is part of the problem for the schools. If you want good schools and services you have to pay for them..... If you don't want to raise the property taxes to realistic levels...like us newbies have to pay...then just pay the parcel tax.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

New Ptwon Parent --

It sounds like you're making up for the taxes the previous owner didn't pay. That's how it works in CA. On average, everyone ends up paying about what you paid before.

Now home prices are also higher here per square foot than elsewhere, so actually we pay far more per student than elsewhere.

You can always donate if you don't think you're paying enough. I do, but I don't try to force anyone else to.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

New to town- what Steve left out was tax payer money is not coming back to the schools, it has owed the schools based on Prop 98 for years. Anyone who has refinanced their homes in the last couple of years are contributing less in property taxes that also go to the schools. Many in this town are paying less now in taxes due to this refi and it shows in the level of funding that the schools are receiving.

If you look back over the decade of PUSD- our scores have annually risen as the funding keeps depleting and so now its expected that we should keep cutting "the fat". As many educators have tried to explain, there is no more fat to cut. The teachers took up to $4000 in a pay cut last year to save positions, and even that was called "not a real pay cut". The attitude towards the successful schools here is shameful- teachers are demoralized and called greedy, yet somehow we are still producing the results.

I'm not sure what this community wants, expects or prioritizes anymore- it doesnt make sense to me.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2011 at 8:39 am

Well, I'm going to vote for a parcel tax and I'm too new to CA to comment on what's really going wrong overall, but there definitely does seem to be a bit problem with how schools are funded. And I'm not sure that it's something a parcel tax can really fix - maybe it can here in a reasonably wealthy community, but not overall. And maybe that's what people are trying to say - we need to look at the bigger picture. Bandaids aren't working anymore.

I just checked the school where I grew up - the average student / teacher ratio in elementary is 16-1, we still have specialist teachers teaching art, music + orchestra, PE, speech, media, all sorts of things. If they're doing any fundraising, it's private. House prices are the same if not more than here. It's a democtratic state that does not tax as much overall as CA, but the allocation per child for school funding is close to twice what it is here. Something isn't right.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2011 at 11:58 am

"I'm not sure what this community wants, expects or prioritizes anymore- it doesnt make sense to me."

OK, to bring this to a local level there may be a few things the community would like:

1. Clarification of what is going to "be saved" by a parcel tax and assurance that it will filter down to the children's level. It would be very helpful if we knew which things on the "cut list" will be saved for the next four years.

Get some important things for the kids off the target list where they can't come back for a while. What is it that we don't have to worry about for the next four years in return for the 8 million - class sizes remaining where they are? Reading specialists keeping their jobs? 7th period? There clearly isn't enough money to pay for everything on the list, so what does the administration and board value?

Waiting until after the election to prioritise doesn't encourage optimism that we'll be happy about the decisions being made, so let's avoid the cynical thinking and be upfront now.

2. Some people feel strongly they want to save both S&C raises and programs, which is understandable. But in this case, the "yes" message has to be clearer and our ability to fund both needs to be discussed. If we're saving both, it will definitely need more than just a parcel tax for $98 a year - how are we going to do this? And if we can't, what is the backup plan to protect the education of the kids?

3. I'm assuming that through negotiations and furlough days in addition to a parcel tax, we will be able to save additional jobs and programs. It would be helpful to know how negotiations are going.

4. We also need to have an honest discussion about how it's not enough money (which it isn't) and what we are going to do next year. It would be great to see some forward planning.

It isn't the mere existence of a parcel tax that helps home values, it is the result of this funding, like good, competitive class sizes and graduates getting accepted to good schools and a community that works together.


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