Not One Dime (for Measure E) Schools & Kids, posted by Nomad, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm
Not *ONE* Dime, But FIFTEEN MILLION Dimes!
The four page glossy mailer recently sent out by the Measure E campaign falsely claims that “Not One Dime” will go towards increased pay. Which technically is true, because Fifteen Million Dimes ($1.5 million) are already budgeted for increased pay for PUSD employees for the upcoming school year.
How can that be?
PUSD’s budget already plans to pay increased salaries and higher longevity bonuses. PUSD has laid off dozens of employees to help cover those increased salary expenses. The cost of these increases is already in a separate budget account.
If the parcel tax passes, PUSD intends to set up a separate account to place the tax revenue in, and use it to pay for employees and programs that have already been eliminated. Thereby being able to claim that the tax dollars won’t be used for salary increases.
This is a clear demonstration of the fungibility of budget dollars, and allows PUSD to make false claims about their finances.
Others have used the ‘beggar’ example where the person on the city street with the cardboard sign that says “Please Help Me. I’m Hungry and Need Food. God Bless You.” This person may have already spent their social security check on rent and liquor, with nothing left for food. So if they say they need food money, it’s because their other food money has already been spent on liquor.
Likewise, PUSD is saying this new parcel tax money won’t be spent on raises. But what PUSD won’t tell you, is that the money for raises has already been set aside and spent. And they want you to pay for the laid off teachers.
Join thousands of others who say ‘Not One Dime’ for PUSD salary increases this year.
Posted by Sal, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm
Nice attempt to rationalize your selfishness. I’m sure you would rather give your dime to the next Tea Party rally rather than support the education our children. I guess middle class teachers are the new enemy of right-wing cultural. Stay classy conservatives! Maybe you can kick some homeless people after you vote no on Measure E.
Posted by John, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm
I'm happy to support step and column raises. We have an excellent school district in Pleasanton. The school district did not cause the recession. I'm glad to step in and do my part.
Nomad, you should get to know your community. Many people move to Pleasanton for the excellent schools. If you don't want to pay, then that is your choice. 3 in my household have already voted for Measure E. All of my neighbors have voted for Measure E too. Voting against measure E will only take away programs from our children.
Posted by I wonder, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm
I keep asking but don't get many answers, especially from the generous liberals like Sal. How much have you donated to PUSD over the past few years? Have you written checks to the district or paid MORE than the required minimum on your property taxes? Do you pay the state tax on all your Internet purchases? Did you send in the $233 you said you would after Measure G failed? I didn't think so.
Posted by read my lips, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm
Hum, sounds like "Read my lips, no new taxes." The flyer knows there will be raises but they are saying what they think the public wants to hear, and the survey they did confirmed. People will not pay a parcel tax while they are giving out raises, so they just say they are not, in a slick way.
Yes the current staff will receive raises but the current staff will not receive any additional raises with Measure E passing. So they say that no Measure E funds for raises. How misleading!
Posted by John, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm
"I keep asking but don't get many answers"
And I keep answering that I've given more than Measure E and Measure G combined. I want my children to have a better education than I had, and they'll get it here in Pleasanton if we support our schools.
Posted by John, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:20 pm
I think he means that the cheaper private schools tend to be religious schools. I also have a friend who lives in a bad school districts and sends his kids to Catholic schools, though they are not Catholic. They have catechism requirements. He would like to be able to send his kids to PUSD, but can't afford to buy a house here.
Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:24 am
Back to the key point of the post, which is that budget dollars are fungible and PUSD makes a very misleading, yet technically accurate claim.
Yesterday, I opened my wallet and saw two $20 bills. I pulled them out and put one on the table and said proudly "This $20 will not be spent on ice cream." Took a walk to my local Gene's and bought several quarts of delicious Starbucks Frappuccino ice cream with the other $20.
Posted by John, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:33 am
I think there is more to it than that. I think the point of saying that the money won't be spent on raises was to say that unplanned raises would not be given as a result of Measure E. I didn't understand that to mean that all raises would be frozen for the duration of the parcel tax. But if you extend your argument, you could say that raises given 20 years from now could come from Money from Measure E right? How is that any different?
At any rate, if you find the language to be misleading, here is my best attempt to clarify it: Step and column raises will not be frozen for the duration of the parcel tax, but no new raises above and beyond step and column raises will be given. I'm happy with that language.
Posted by curious, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:51 am
"I think the point of saying that the money won't be spent on raises was to say that unplanned raises would not be given as a result of Measure E"
Then it should have said S&C increases will go ahead as contractually agreed, but no unplanned raises will be given. That language would be accurate and would not rub people up the wrong way.
Everyone knows that S&C was a sticking point for the last parcel tax, everyone knows that when the survey was done raises were a big objection, so this should have been clearly and carefully explained so people felt they had the full facts. I really think these days people don't trust leaders as much as they used to, so you have to go the extra mile to earn this trust.
I've noticed lots of bickering about ballot language etc that could have been completely avoided by being clearer. And yes, some people would still vote no on the "no more taxes" thing, but people in the middle would feel that they were voting with the full facts in hand.
Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:00 am
Are you suggesting PUSD wrote their resolution and ballot measure poorly? That PUSD really didn't mean what they said? That they did not take the time to understand the implications and interpretations of what they said?
I don't think so.
If they meant to say 'unplanned raises' or 'future raises' or 'new raises', then they would have said so. PUSD had two years to understand why Measure G failed. They worked with residents who were against Measure G to understand the need to be specific. They hired a parcel tax consultant to craft the language to attract the greatest number of votes. They polled hundreds of residents to test out the language. Maybe they should have hired you to write the parcel tax resolution.
As it stands, PUSD's budget dollars are fungible, and their linguistics to make you think the possible parcel tax revenue will be spent with pure intentions is misleading.
Posted by Really?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:01 am
PUSD has been very clear about funding- funding that has remained the same for decades- through the good economic times and bad- this information just falls on deaf ears- those who want to continue to call S&C form of compensation a "raise". In the sense that you believe a raise is above and beyond the salary agreement signed in a contract- PUSD is not giving any. You say it's misleading because you chose not to understand/believe the way teachers are paid. You are misleading the community.
There have been no COLA increases- real raises- in over three years during the budget crisis. Plus teachers took a pay cut of up to $4000- far about the step increase they would receive IF they are not frozen.
It has taken 20 yrs to get to the point on the schedule that I'm at- not 20yrs at this salary- big difference, in cost to the district as well. Everyday I read and hear of private sector workers getting raises, bonuses again- this coming from those also not in tech or banking- again misleading the community to blame and punish the schools.
Another poster raised an important question that fell on deaf ears as well- "our teachers already took their share of the shared sacrifice many of you demanded, they should not be asked to pay for our children's education year after year. When do we stop asking them to pay?"
Posted by I wonder, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm
I know you've responded before and glad that you have made donations to support the schools; I have too and in very significant numbers both monetarily and in volunteer hours. The arguments for and against E have been beat to death here so no need to state why I'm voting NO...and I'm sure you understand the point I am making. Most people who call for new taxes are expecting someone else to foot the bill and aren't willing to step up themselves. You'd be hardpressed to find someone who doesn't look for every possible tax deduction or actually pays more than the minimum amount of tax that is due.
Vote NO on E! Take personal responsibility on the things you believe in.