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CORE campaign

Original post made by wondering on May 7, 2011

Finally got the CORE campaign letter. It's funding the same thing as last year - tech support and libraries, which I'll happily support.

But I need to know something - are class sizes been kept where they are this year through the concessions made? What has been taken off the cut list due to these concessions? CSR is my top priority, so if we need to fundraise for this, we need to get this started asap.

Comments (19)

Posted by wondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Thinking about it, what about reading specialists, Barton etc.? How do we know that these are OK or do we need to fundraise for these? Who is going to do this - CORE? Does anyone know what the plan is?


Posted by Well...., a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Not sure about CSR but I do know that the libraries are being drastically cut. As of now, the middle schools are only having a librarian 2 hours A WEEK. Not a day, a week.

That is a travesty!


Posted by wondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 7, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I don't think you're right. On my letter it says we are funding library assistants, not librarians. It also says that in middle schools the district would like money for 6 hours a day for library assistants - they want CORE to raise money for 2.5 hours and they will fund the other 3.5 hours. So the minimum you'll get if no money is raised through CORE will be 3.5 hours of library assistants a day(if I'm reading it right!).


Posted by Jill, a resident of Carlton Oaks
on May 8, 2011 at 8:31 am

The district says this about the tentative contract agreement and CSR:
"The agreement continues the increased secondary staffing ratios that were implemented for the 2010-11 school year. The staffing ratios at middle school would remain at 27:1 and at high school at 28:1 in 2011-12. Estimated budget savings of $880,000."

It's noticeably silent on CSR and K-3. According to a teacher, they're going to 30:1.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on May 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

Extortion, give us money for our raises or we damage your kids.


Posted by another parent, a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2011 at 9:23 am

There are no savings in the APD contract with staffing ratios. They are saying they will "let" the district keep the staffing ratios higher.

They will have this done anyway, even without a concession. If there are less teachers, the staffing ratios will go up and the district has to educate everybody. They cannot tell students they cannot enroll in school because the classes are full.

The union is acting like they are doing a favor and saving money. It is not a favor and it is not saving any money there. We will have done the staff level changes anyway because we do not have the money for extra teachers (because we are paying step and column raises).

This is an item where the district can force a change without bargaining because state law says we have to educate all our students.

This APT contract is an insult. The board should not accept it. The board has the power to do one-year contracts in times of financial problems. The board should do it with the APT now.

The CSEA union has already agreed to some real cost savings of furlough days. Although this is not a paycut in the form that most private sector jobs are. In the private sector, a paycut is doing the same amount of work for less pay. A furlough is doing less work for less pay. Furlough days show that the employees do not have enough work to do so they can work less. This is typically used in the private sector when sales are way down and there is no need to do manufacturing as many days.

We really should not be accepting furlough days. We should be doing reduction of pay but working the same number of days. That is a paycut.


Posted by wondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2011 at 9:24 am

OK, then we need to talk to them about CSR in elementary. We have a 3.5 million gap and it's actually 3 million because they decided to add the extra 500k "just in case" at the very end. There were nearly 2 million given in concessions and I'm sure we can raise at least 500k so there is not much of a gap left and there are less essential things to cut on their list than CSR. They can't raise class sizes just to make a point.


Posted by wondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

I think either the management and board know that class sizes across the board are safe because of the concessions that have been made, which is why they have cut and pasted the CORE campaign from last year. Or they haven't thought this one through. Hopefully the former is true. If it's not, the board should say no to the contract until they know that vital student services are safe. We need to know what is being prioritized.


Posted by David, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on May 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Classes in K-3 are going to 30-1. Period. During the CORE meeting last week, raising money for CSR was discussed but raising $1.3 million is not achievable, given past attempts. It's really too bad since CSR is a priority for every K-3 parent.


Posted by wondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm

We don't need to raise 1.3 million. There have been concessions made that can contribute to this + some CORE money + we'll need to cut some of the other less essential things on the list or have a furlough day or two. This is a priority and should be treated as such.


Posted by Unions rule, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2011 at 8:45 am

APT is offering no furlough days. This means that their salary schedule will revert to the previous one pre-furlough days. That means an across the board 2.78% salary increase in all cells of the current step and column matrix.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2011 at 10:27 am

To "Unions rule",

As a parent, I agree with the decision. It is now time for everyone in the community to step forward and donate. Don't listen to the idiotic [removed] nonsense about all public schools being bad. Pleasanton has some of the best schools in the country. Let's keep them that way.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I agree with Jack that we should all donate.

But I have a huge problem with the same people always donating and the rest riding along without contributing. We donated to CORE, we supported the I love Pleasanton Schools campaign when G failed, we give to the schools and PTAs, but looking at how much was raised, you can see that not even half of the schools' parents donate. We donate more than once, per kid, but it seems like most families don't even donate a little.

I think there are a lot of people benefitting from fundraising and they have never donated a penny.

I also find it in poor taste to continue to call those who voted against E, tea party members.

I voted yes on E, but I know people who voted against it, and some are registered democrats, so the suggestion that only the tea party members voted no is absurd.

Just like some parents never donate, I am sure those same parents voted no. I am also sure that many people without kids voted yes (I have neighbors who are seniors and voted yes)

The fact that many parents are renters and we have out of district students taking advantage of our schools tells you that many are here for the ride but do not intend to give money.


Posted by optimistic mom, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm

It might be unrealistic to raise the full $1.3 million for K-3 class size reduction (to stay at 25:1), but what would it cost to keep 25:1 just for kindergarten? $300,000? Or for K and 1 -- $600,000?

Regardless of what happens with salary, I think we will eventually see higher turnover among K-3 teachers as they burn out with the higher workload. Financially, that might be a good thing, if experienced teachers leave and we can hire newbies at the bottom of the salary scale to replace them. In terms of educational quality? Probably a bad thing.

I hope that CORE will be soliciting widely in the community, and not just among parents of current students.


Posted by long time parent, a resident of Birdland
on May 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

CSR has not always been there. Were teachers quitting because they were burned out before CSR? I never heard of that. Interesting that when we added CSR we did not lower their salaries. So for those saying that without CSR there is more of a burden, we did not say it was less of a burden when CSR was enacted.

Seems the weekly and others is trying to imply that a bit over 1/3 of the Pleasanton voters belong to the tea party. They are blaming the tea party for loosing but I did not realize we had that many tea party members here.


Posted by tetu, a resident of Del Prado
on May 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm

"CSR has not always been there."

But times change. There are now things like more non-English speakers to deal with.

"Were teachers quitting because they were burned out before CSR?"

I have heard of that. I had a friend in a different school district who left teaching for exactly that reason.

" I did not realize we had that many tea party members here."

They played a major role, and Pleasanton hosts a many of the Bay Area Tea Party events. I have attended two of them. I wish there was more focus on the too big to fail problem, because that was what really got the tea party thing started in my opinion.


Posted by Debby, a resident of Birdland
on May 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Not one member of our family is associated with or will be associated with the Tea Party. We used to be Republicans, our son is and our daughter independent. Not one of us voted for the parcel tax - note our kids could have voted for it and we would have to pay. We taught or, more accurately, let our children make decisions from a young age. We did not let anyone say how they would vote until all of us voted. May I repeat - not one of us voted for the parcel tax.

I'm not sure where Jeb gets his statistics. He certainly has let more views that coincide with his be published - he's the editor after all.

Now if you want money for school programs, tell people how much, for what and don't just send the information with those in school. As I said before, we will donate. We want to know - how much, for what and what over sight to ensure that the money is used in that way.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm

The problem with CORE is that it does not go to your school. Last time, our donation was split among the three high schools, middle schools and all elementaries.

Even the donation to music - they decided band was more important than strings.

The money for elementaries was misused, imo. Why can't they set it up so that people can donate for specific items, like CSR in K or other grades. Splitting it by grade makes it easier, and it would be up to parents in say, 1st grade to raise the funds to keep CSR in that grade level, same goes for other levels.

And given that FHS and AVHS hsve the same kind of demographics, let each HS raise money for THEIR stuff, and each would give a portion to Village.

This is the only way to ensure all parents donate. I am tired of giving and then talk to people who didn't but enjoy the benefits even if in a different school than my kids


Posted by Property Perspective, a resident of Ironwood
on May 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm

What I hear is that folks will NOT donate if the money goes into a big pool because it just disappears. Learn from this mistake and change the system! Have each school able to receive money and make sure there is a clear paper trail to show where the money goes to. Charitable giving in general is increasingly project-based because of accountability, so it is no surprise to see this spill over into schools.


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