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Measure E: separating the myths from the facts

Original post made on Apr 22, 2011

There are certain ideas that most of us can agree on:

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 22, 2011, 12:00 AM

Comments (16)

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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:20 am

We've already sent our ballots in.

YES on E.


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:37 am

Thank You Ken for this very clear statement of facts. We also already voted yes for Measure E.


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Posted by optimistic mom
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:22 am

Thank you, Mr. Mercer, for reminding the community of the value of investing in our local schools.


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Posted by javadoc
a resident of Dublin
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:52 am

javadoc is a registered user.

I am confused again. Isn't all the money that pays for the school system's expenses fungible? I am addressing Fact #1 above, which I am not certain is a fact.

School wants to spend $100, $10 for salary and benefits and $90 for everything else.

$90 is all that is available. School has to figure out what to cut from its budget "wants" of $100. Absent any additional source of funding, salary and benefits might only get $5, instead of the $10 that was desired.

Someone comes to the rescue and chips in an extra $10, with the stipulation that it go to the classroom. That $10 note is waved in the air as it is taken to the store to purchase classroom supplies, so there is no mistaking its disposition.

School decides that it effectively cut $10 from the classroom, which was backfilled by the $10 donation. School then uses the $90 that was available to pay for all the other components of its initial budget "wants."

The $10 donation enabled the school to spend as much as it wanted to spend, on salary and benefits. Who cares that the donation was restricted to classroom expenditures? The same net result occurs as if the $10 note were tossed into a bucket with the $90 that was available, and no one knows which $10 note was actually used to pay for the supplies.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

javadoc - Don't you know you aren't supposed to look behind the curtain?


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 11:46 am

javadoc, "Start Afresh",

Yes, of course it is fungible. I don't think that changes the meaning of the Measure E. The scheduled raises under step and column are scheduled to take place regardless of the outcome of the vote on the Measure. However, things like hiring reading specialists or limiting class size increases will be affected by the outcome of the vote. I don't see anything inconsistent in that and the statement: "The legally binding text of Measure E specifically prohibits funds from being spent on increased salaries and benefits for any school employee." The bottom line is that PUSD will be paying step and column raises either way. Measure E does not address that. I'm voting Yes on Measure E to maintain the high quality of our schools.

Yes on Measure.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Bill - Is there a difference between "scheduled raises" and "increased salaries"?


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Posted by Toby
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm

How sad, the state of California can't give the basic education to are kids. More sad is in PUSD office a lot of people gets a big fat pay check and they still want us to pay more tax. Shame on you PUSD.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Start Afresh,

You could substitute "scheduled salary increases" if you like.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

"More sad is in PUSD office a lot of people gets a big fat pay check and they still want us to pay more tax."

Pay checks like a starting salary of $55K didn't seem so "fat" during the go-go years of the dot-com days and the housing boom days. Teachers were plodding along with the same salary structure, but no one paid any attention because they were getting much bigger raises themselves. But now that the economy is slow some people here are pointing fingers at teachers and yelling "unfair!". Grow up. Either (A) let teacher salaries and raises grow at the same large rate as everyone else's during the boom years and suffer the same as everyone else during the down years or (B) let teacher salaries and raises plod along at the same rate during good times or bad times. Your choice.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Toby,

I hope you are aware that PUSD is an excellent school districts and provides far more than "basic education".


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Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Yes, of course it is fungible. I don't think that changes the meaning of the Measure E. The scheduled raises under step and column are scheduled to take place regardless of the outcome of the vote on the Measure."

"The legally binding text of Measure E specifically prohibits funds from being spent on increased salaries and benefits for any school employee."

I disagree. I have voted yes, but I think it is misleading language for anyone who isn't digging into the details as many people might not. People could easily think reading this, that there would not be any raises and vote with this assumption (that is what I thought when I first read it).

They should have been told scheduled increases would go ahead as usual and that some of the programs being cut were being cut to help pay for this. It doesn't change the end result - we need more money to keep the programs we have, but I think it would be more direct.


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Posted by gary
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm

where did we go wrong? it seems to me that there is an overabundance of "administration" personnel. how did we get along before in the good ol' days without so many administrators? too many chiefs and not enough indians methinks (and that's no knock on indians or should I say native 'mericans?!)...self perpetuating, self serving, too expensive, and off message but then again, i haven't studied the budgetary line items. the big pensions sound like an anchor sinking the ship. (the use of all lower case in dedicated to e.e. cummings...i learnt about him in skool)


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Right, you are, and I'd be the first to vote with you in a perfect world. In the here and now, however, I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the district spending money it doesn't have on things it doesn't need.

Show me that your priorities are consistent with your stated goals, then ask for more money. As an investor in the quality of the community, I have a right to expect responsible management.


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Posted by Giles
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Reading some of the No on E statements leaves me wondering whether I'm living in central Alabama, without the accents.

Care about education. Care about our children. Care about our community. If you haven't voted, please align yourself with those who care against those who seem devoted to tearing down an excellent school district. Vote yes for continued excellence in PUSD.


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Posted by Scott
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I hope the PUSD, city, and state make some prudent changes. I hope everyone is writing their political representative supporting their position. Fortunately, I am in a position to pay the extra $8/mo. I already spend much more than that to support my childs classroom (pencils, paper, kneenex, etc). If my child was not in the PUSD school system, I would not have supported the Measure and I feel all those that do not have attending children should be exempt from this tax.

The following article clearly shows those who can afford to pay more do not always obtain the results they would hope. PUSD should follow the lead from one of these less weathly communities to find out the secret to their success.
The following link is from today:
Web Link


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