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Sides still at odds over step and column raises for teachers

Original post made on Apr 22, 2011

As Pleasanton prepares once again to vote on a parcel tax, no single issue has received more attention than step and column, the salary schedule for teachers and other certificated employees.

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

Comments (8)

Posted by sky, a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I think the heart of this dispute is that many feel that PUSD should not grant any raises that it can't fully fund, now or in the future. The argument is made that the raises are needed to attract and retain qualified teachers and that everyone uses the step & column system. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the news I read daily indicates that most school districts - in CA and nationally - are financially strapped so the premise that the teachers will flee for better paying jobs doesn't hold water. Unemployment is still at levels where highly educated workers and recent college grads are unable to find jobs commensurate with their skills and education, providing an excellent pool of candidates should current teachers feel they're underpaid and leave for greener pastures.
The bigger picture is that gone are the freespending days where money was spent based on faulty assumptions of future revenues with no provision for recessions.
Thanks to the real estate crash, everyone understands the importance of buying a house with a mortgage payment you can actually afford today, not a bigger house with a bigger payment based on what you might earn in a few years.
No one is disputing that education is important but giving raises that aren't funded, robbing Peter to pay Paul isn't sustainable no matter how noble the cause.


Posted by Phillip, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 9:23 am

sky,

You forgot to add: Yes on Measure E.

Voting no on Measure E will not have any effect on scheduled raises.

"recent college grads are unable to find jobs commensurate with their skills and education"

Not lately. If your degree is computer anything or engineering or anything related to medical care, and a whole lot of others, you'll have your pick of jobs. Things are much better in general this year for new graduates. If PUSD froze salaries for teachers, it would be the only top district in the Bay Area to do it. It would make a difference.

I voted yes on Measure E.


Posted by Out of the Box, a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

There is a teacher shortage in this country and in this state, despite the unemployment rate. Why? Low pay, and a strenuous, difficult credentialing process.

Why not allow individuals with 4 year college degrees to begin teaching in the classroom, without the need of specializing. This will increase the supply of teachers, and lower the needed compensation rate.


Posted by jill, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

There is a shortage of new teachers because new teachers know they cannot get a job since district give out raises they cannot afford and have to fire the new teachers to pay for the more senior teachers. Look at the Scatter Gram from our District and look at how many new teachers we have. Almost none.

The new teachers are sacrificed to pay for raises of tenure.

Vote No on Measure E


Posted by Shortage is not real, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 11:24 am

I know people with masters and phDs in math and science who teach at prestigious private schools because they were told they were not qualified to teach in the public schools due to the lack of a teaching credential! And yet many public schools have teachers with degrees in the liberal arts (and with teaching credentials) trying to teach subjects they do not fully understand, like math and science. Something is wrong with this, it does not make sense.

The "shortage" of teachers is due to the nonsense requirements of public schools. Rather than wanting the most qualified teachers in specific subject areas, they want the ones with teaching credentials regardless of their abilities in areas like math, science, language.

It seems liks an artificially created shortage of teachers.

If you read the CDE notes, you will see that the shortage is of QUALIFIED teachers in MATH and SCIENCE. Yet qualified individuals with post-graduate education in these fields have been rejected by public schools because of the teaching credential silly stuff. Is it the union or the state? Not sure but if the silly "must have a credential" rule were to be lifted, the shortage of QUALIFIED teachers would end.

Private schools hire excellent teachers, and there is no requirement for a credential. Preference is given to those with post-graduate degrees in specific areas like Math, Science and Language


Posted by No on E Spin, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Apr 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

No shortage in teachers???

If teachers were paid so well as you claim, why isn't there a mad rush to the employement line???

If teachers are paid so well, why do you become a teacher???


Posted by Jack, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

"Private schools hire excellent teachers,"

That's a laugh. Have you ever had your children attend Quarry Lane or Carden West. We've had kids in both. I would hardly say "excellent". We had better luck with PMS and Vintage Hills. Where do your kids go to school?


Posted by nighthawk, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 24, 2011 at 2:19 am

I support S and C and the union that helps to maintain it. Without it, chaos would reign with teachers pitted against other teachers, and students would feel the negative effects. Yes, the union and S and C produces something of a leveling effect (though still preserving some hierarchy based on added education and seniority). But that is the 'price' one pays for having union representation. Inasmuch as it ensures a relatively conflict free work environment for our teachers, the kids receive a higher level of instruction. (See, for example, the Michelle Rhee fiasco where teachers and administrators, in order to feather their own nests, cheated to bring test scores up, and by so doing lied about their students' actual needs.) I do not find teachers salaries in PUSD to be excessive, at all. In fact, given the very strong performance of PUSD schools on a comparative state-wide basis, I'm surprised teachers are not making higher salaries.

For the life of me, I cannot fathom why posters spend what appears to be the majority of their lives on these topic threads trying to undermine all that is good with PUSD schools. They seem to come in three varieties: (1) there's the obsessive internet addict with a numbers fetish, albeit with a severe difficulty in making themselves understood by readers; (2) there's the huge (but also sadly weak) ego which incessantly demands attention and affirmation; (3) and there's the ignorant and poorly educated old goat who shows a deep-seated loathing for teachers and all other manner of education-related things that have passed him by.


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