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PUSD Slashes Instructional Time for Students in Secret

Original post made by What? on Jun 9, 2012

PUSD sent home a muddled barely readable letter that is difficult to interpret, but some say that they are cutting instructional time for Grades 1 - 3 by 40 minutes a day District wide, yet will not reduce teacher salaries.

At Valley View, the total instructional time for Grades 1-3 is 55,816 minutes for a 180 day school year according to this Web Link

Also, State Law minimumally requires 50,400 instructional minutes per year for Grades 1 - 3. By slashing off 40 minutes a day, this means children will receive, calculating 40 minutes X 180 days per year, a total of 7,200 minutes LESS of instructional time per year!

How can they possibly do that? If you take 55,816 current instructional minutes and subtract the 7,200 minutes, that is far below the 50,400 minimum threshold. That will drive the number of instructional minutes LESS than the State Law 50,400 minutes per year. Does this mean we have management in place that doesn't even know what the minimum instructional time per year is or haven't bothered to look it up?

Comments (82)

Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Here is the letter Web Link that accompanies a scathing article concerning this last minute sneak from the school district.


Posted by clink, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm

They gotta pay for their life time pensions somehow ... what'd you think? That they're in to educate our kids? Whew, that's a doozie.


Posted by Well...., a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Pass a damn Parcel Tax like San Ramon, Lafayette, or Piedmont. Then you won't have to deal with these problems.


Posted by had enough, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Great idea "Well...." - then everyone can have their cake and eat it too - er, um, except for the taxpayers. What's happening is to be expected - the school district has limited funds (duh), and so the first knee jerk reaction is to short the kids. Then the next knee jerk reaction is to try to make the taxpayer's feel guilty for not opening their wallets even more - but they (taxpayers) are not to blame for the fiscal irresponsibility that every single pension recipient knew was going on. If they didn't, they certainly shouldn't be involved in education of the next generation. If a parcel tax would "fix" things, I think people would be more open to it. But we've all been down that road before.


Posted by no, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Shortening the school day has zero impact on the budget. This was not a decision made for cost reasons. Raising class sizes did save money, but not this.


Posted by no, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Oh, and even if the parcel tax had passed last time, there is every chance CSR would have been dumped this year.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

the parcel tax was $98 a year? so, less than $9 a month! I have a hard time believing that people cannot afford less than $9 a month. Most (but not all) blow that much on Beer or wine, or Starbucks or eating out or etc ... the list goes on and on.
It's a game of stubborn children. The taxpayers want to teach the board a lesson and the board wants to teach the taxpayers a lesson. In the meantime, who is stuck in the middle? THE STUDENTS!!!!!!
It's disgusting all around.
And don't tell me the people didn't want it. 65% of the city voted for it. It lost by less than 1%. So the majority (greater than 50%) DID want it.


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm

After seeing these summer shenanigans, I'll never vote for a school board parcel tax or bond again. And to think I volunteered for phone banking to pass a tax, actually sitting in some office near Santa Rita Road for hours on end.

Never again.


Posted by no, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm

I should clarify, our family voted yes for the parcel tax. But as you mention, it was only $98 a year and not going to save much of anything. I'd recommend one much higher that is guaranteed to make a difference to the students. But not empty promises.


Posted by clink, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm

@ jake: " And clink, we had some of the top API scores in the state, so I guess they were educating our kids, you ignoramus. Why don't you try getting an education for yourself. I'm a parent, and I actually care about the education my children get, not just tax cuts."


Hummm ... I guess my PhD from Berkeley doesn't count. Being called an "ignoramus" is quite intense. "Getting an education for yourself" ... well that's just off-point.


But, I understand that misplaced emotions lead to misdirected anger.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I have too very successful children who went on to junior colleges. But everything they learned was at home. Every single teacher they had was a looser with an agenda. The sickness of liberalism, the purversion of "diversity," Godless arnachy. They boil and fester in there incompitant illness.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

@Steve - I see what you did there. Misspelling 'loser' was especially good - however, the misspelling of 'two' was a bit 'too' much!

Next time you want to make conservatives appear as uneducated buffoons, I would recommend a more subtle approach.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:59 am

Hmmmm misses alot. Cant reply to the ideas so can only acquse others as being dummer then him. Just another incompitant. Uneducated bafoons like Hmmmmm are testamony to need to home school our kids.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:59 am

Give me a break, 65% of those who voted wanted the tax; not at all close to "65% of the city." The figure of those who voted was just over 50% of registered Pleasanton voters (51.54%): Web Link


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:06 am

Thats right Kathleen. And the 53% who voted Obambi in was only about 20% after you exclude children, fellons, and them that didnt vote. We always need to count those who dont vote. Because they count two. And when we justify are own position, then those that dont vote are even MORE important. They have rights two!

Since no children voted for parcel, we must assume all of them where against it.

Obami wasnt voted in by US, but only by a tiny slivver of liberal loons whose votes count more because of Acorns involvment. We shouldnt call him President of US, but President of Loons.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

P.S. Kathleen maybe wouldn'tve been much of a teacher, but maybe mathimatics is her calling. 2+2=4. But not really, all after excluding all them multaples that werent included. Counting those not in the 2+2 are possible threes, and fractins, and negatives. How can anyone say 2+2 is 4 when they have'nt included MY numbers? See? Obama our master isnt relly our president. And Parcel Tax lost rezoundingly because of the fellons an such who did'nt vote.


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm

If Pleasanton truly wants to have parents ricochet back and forth 4 times to drop off and pick up kids each day, it needs to re-institute busing that it dropped in the early 1990s.

Otherwise, Jerry Brown is bound to sue the PUSD for excess greenhouse gas emissions and failure to follow the Climate Action Plan.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Steve, one cannot say 65% of the city wanted the tax. 65% of the 51.54% who voted wanted the tax. Can't say how the other 48.46% would have voted. And that goes for any election. So, I can say Obama won by the rules; and the parcel tax lost by the rules.

What?, seems to me Jerry Brown will have a difficult time if he's making us add housing and then doesn't like all the new traffic (school or otherwise). Interesting conundrum.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Kathleen

I mis-stated and I apologize. 65% of the citizens of Pleasanton who VOTED approved of the tax. This, 65% of the VOTERS approved of the tax. If people did not take the initiative to vote, then their opinion is irrelevant. We have NO idea what they thought, and frankly it doesn't matter. So the fact is a majority of the VOTERS approved of the tax.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Give me a break, Agreed.


Posted by Starcy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Glad Kathleen gave "Give me a break" his come-uppence. Otherwise we would'nt know that a overwhelming majority of Pleasanton did not support the Parcel Tax but that 65% of VOTERS supported it. Thank you Kathleen for raising this important issue and then agreeing with the person who, truth be told, was perfectly understandable before you drew upon your intellect to throw mush at the clear and obvious. Nevertheless, Kathleen should be commended for another of her trenchant contributions.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

65% of those who voted. Had I said exity-ex percent of the city voted against the parcel tax, you would have taken umbrage with that too. Clearly Starcy, accuracy isn't important--like not telling voters about cash out refinancing and, well, you know all the rest.


Posted by a parakeet, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Hey Kathleen,

It's a beautiful day out there. You should check it out.

Just sayin'...


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Working on that as we speak; thanks!


Posted by Vinny, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm

The parcel tax failed twice. Everyone knew it needed a 2/3 vote to pass but it did not. Now the pro tax crowd is crowing that "we got 65% of residents to support a parcel tax" Who cares? It's not enough. YOU LOST.

It's like saying Joe Montana drove his team 99 of the 100 yards needed to score a touchdown. If you don't get it in, you don't get the points. Do you understand that?

Now go waste more taxpayer money on another ill fated tax hike.
Going after the core of the problem(pay, pension, benefits) is beyond your comprehension.


Posted by jake, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Hey Vinny,

Wait and see. Fit any reasonable curve to the graph. Support is increasing with time. Third effort seems likely to pass. Second measure got more support than the first. The math looks good for a third try, more likely to pass than not.


Posted by Pleasanton teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm

All of these comments make me cry. I never thought Pleasanton residents were such a negative, biased, uncaring group. Makes me very sad.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

And what are your thoughts regarding the teachers pension taking a huge blow this year. The funding level will decrease dramatically requiring the district to pay even more than the expected that CalSTRS is proposing. The current projections call for a 13% increase in payroll, or an additional 13k for every 100k in salary.

Those costs will increase substantially based on the current year losses CalSTRS is experiencing; maybe 15-18 percentof payroll (100% increase from the current costs. The time-bomb is ticking while school districts hope the problem goes away. It isn't going away, it IS getting worse, and school districts everywhere in California will suffer. That is unless tax payers bail out the teachers retirement system with their own money that could fund their own retirement.

Yet CalSTRS is still paying retirement bonuses of upto $400 a month on top of the 2.4@63 formula, and the 2% COLA they aren't obligated to pay. What is that all about? Wake up people!


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm

It seems intentional that this was done also to keep the press from knowing about it. Any editor or reporter for newspapers should be outraged that this was not announced as an agenda item for the June 5 meeting. How else can you explain the sneaky "let's put a one page letter in the backpacks of the children 5 minutes before dismissal that the parents will find when they open up the backpacks in August before school starts" approach?
Given this was done in secret after the fact supposedly after a Board meeting that was never announced on the Official Board Calendar, all I can say is that Pleasanton residents deserve a superintendent who will be transparent and honest with them. We deserve a superintendent who will uphold the basic standards of openness, political independence and accountability and actually comply with the Brown Act. The current superintendent has proven time and time again, sadly, that she is unwilling to do so.
I hope that the School Board will replace the superintendent with someone who is actually up to that challenge.
No agenda item on June 5 even listed in a sentence a discussion that vaguely even mentioned the possibility of reduced instructional time and staggered starts. She and the Board President violated the Brown Act by not listing that as an agenda item for discussion.


Posted by Happy Parent, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

As a parent of a strong reader, I am thrilled to have my child home that extra 40 minutes each day. This past year, he spent way more than 40 minutes sitting at his desk each day doing 'independent reading' Never once was he pulled aside to see a reading specialist, or parent helper, or even read one on one with the teacher. There is no reason to keep him there to read by himself. Quite frankly, I'd be happy to 'donate' his spot in the reading time to a needier child and keep him home longer. There were other kids in this same situation. His teacher was wonderful and I think they have every right to structure the day in a way to help the kids learn. They are working just as much - this is about the kids success. And yes, as a parent, I knew this was in the works for the past few months....


Posted by Wah wah, a resident of Ponderosa
on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

To teacher

re: "All of these comments make me cry. I never thought Pleasanton residents were such a negative, biased, uncaring group. Makes me very sad."

If We did not care, we would not post our feelings and or take appropriate actions to ensure our children get what we pay 4.

What makes everyone sad, is the fact the school district is trying to be a bunch of sneaks and hope they can skate all over us.


Posted by yetAnotherParent, a resident of Downtown
on Jun 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm


Schools are really places where we send our kids so that they can socialize and interact with other kids and discuss baseball and football. In a class of 30 or more, there is only so much a teacher can do. Those parents who are complaining here, please get a life. Have you every taught a class of 30 like the regular teachers do? Have you even been a substitute teacher ever?

If you want your kids to be good at reading and be good at math, then you as parent need to spend time every day. Make sure that they do homework without any distractions and make sure that they learn. If they make mistakes, then help them learn. Switch off tv, phone, games, etc. That's what I do with my kids. They are in the top of class due to that. I have seen their grades improve.

So are the complainers here willing to help your child and not just blame the teachers?


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Re that poor Teacher who said "All of these comments make me cry. I never thought Pleasanton residents were such a negative, biased, uncaring group. Makes me very sad."

Welcome to Pleasanton toots. Being a real American patriot means being mean with you're eyes closed. I, nor others, will not bite the foot of any union slacker who tries to pull the wool over are eyes. We need vowchers, not incompitants sent over from the union hall If you want gossup, you'll find it here like no place else. If you cant stand the gas, go stand outside.


Posted by really, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

So while we work all day to pay for our overpriced houses in this great school district and pay for our state and property taxes, our kids can go to schools that are:

"really places where we send our kids so that they can socialize and interact with other kids and discuss baseball and football."

And then we can come home to educate our kids at home even more next year. Of course they aren't playing with electronics during the school week - we know that for crying out loud. And of course we already help them with their homework - who else is going to do this?

Awesome! So glad we moved here.


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

This "Sizzlin' Summer 'Surprise'" routine gets old. Reading the online newspapers, I see a pattern to this old end of school year slime. The only solution is to have the Board meet 12 months a year with no breaks like the City Council does so that the administration doesn't keep on pulling these late May/early June stunts.

1. 'Agreements' for building schools that PUSD really doesn't want to build happen the week before school ends: They sign an agreement with Signature over Neal an an up to $8.5 million dollar advance to build a school right before school ends, then behold! They all go on summer vacation down at PUSD so there is no second follow-up agreement. Result-no school.
2. They threaten to permanently close schools like they did with Vintage Hills many moons ago.
3. They do smoke and mirrors with refinancing things right before the end of the school year that makes it appears they are saving money. But the truth is when everyone comes back in September surprise! It ends up they have incurred more debt.

And of course, they send one page photocopies home saying they are reducing the school day, buh bye.


Posted by Again, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Everyone needs to start paying attention to the teacher's pension problem, CalSTRS. If you are really concerned about school district finances then there is absolutely nothing more important. While it's VERY troubling that the district is ignoring this on-coming tsunami of increased district costs the community shouldn't join them by sticking our collective heads in the sand. The teachers union does NOT want this issue discussed but it needs to happen.

What is the PUSD's position on the soon to double pension costs. I have seen ZERO evidence that they even acknowledge the imminent problem exists, and that's tragic.

To the people that are concerned about the issues being discusses in this thread - you obviously aren't aware of the larger issue heading in your direction. It is going to get ugly!


Posted by Pleasanton teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

@ Wah wah - I am fine with people expressing their feelings, but not with people that do it by putting others down, like Steve calling me 'toots'. I hope that I am able to listen to both sides, take in all the information, make a fair decision in my mind, all while not calling people names. I am an American patriot, not a Union slacker, and a proud teacher doing my best to teach your children during very difficult economic times.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm

To: Pleasanto teacher

What are your thoughts regarding the teachers pension taking a huge blow this year. The funding level will decrease dramatically requiring the district to pay even more than what CalSTRS was proposing just a few months ago. The current projections call for a 13% increase in payroll, or an additional 13k for every 100k in salary. Where do you think the district will find that amount of money?

The pension costs will increase substantially based on the current year losses CalSTRS is experiencing; maybe 15-18 percent of payroll (100% increase from the current costs). The time-bomb is ticking while school districts hope the problem goes away. It isn't going away. It IS getting worse and school districts everywhere in California will suffer. Unless, of course, tax payers are called upon - again, to bail out the district for the sake of the children. What is the district doing right now - "for the children".

CalSTRS is still paying retirement bonuses of upto $400 a month on top of the 2.4@63 formula, and the 2% COLA they aren't obligated to pay. What is that all about? It amounts to a tax dollar give-away "for the of the teachers" at the expense of the taxpayers.


Posted by Barbara, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm

You're all a very deep embarrassment. I doubt that any of our graduating seniors would make such a poor showing of themselves when discussing public policy. And now you're going to attack me instead of taking a good look in the mirror. Or you'll look in the mirror and not even know what I'm talking about, which is even sadder.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm

To: Barbara

What are your thoughts regarding the teachers pension taking a huge blow this year. The funding level will decrease dramatically requiring the district to pay even more than what CalSTRS was proposing just a few months ago. The current projections call for a 13% increase in payroll, or an additional 13k for every 100k in salary. Where do you think the district will find that amount of money?

The pension costs will increase substantially based on the current year losses CalSTRS is experiencing; maybe 15-18 percent of payroll (100% increase from the current costs). The time-bomb is ticking while school districts hope the problem goes away. It isn't going away. It IS getting worse and school districts everywhere in California will suffer. Unless, of course, tax payers are called upon - again, to bail out the district for the sake of the children. What is the district doing right now - "for the children".

CalSTRS is still paying retirement bonuses of upto $400 a month on top of the 2.4@63 formula, and the 2% COLA they aren't obligated to pay. What is that all about? It amounts to a tax dollar give-away "for the of the teachers" at the expense of the taxpayers.

Barbara, do you have any comment regarding my concerns? Why is it that nobody wants to talk about this imminent finacial burden? Are we going to address the issue now or should we just wait until the implosion occurs? What then - more reductions in teaching hours? Larger class sizes?


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Arnold says it best. Why are taxpayers paying for teachers? My kids got home schooling and now there in a great junior college. I dont' care if there are rations of 70 to 1. That is'nt my concern. Tax payers should not have to be responsable for teachers living high off the hog on vacations most of the year.

Like Arnold says itsa time bomb ticking, a sunami brewing, coffee purcolating with pensions. Therefore, union teachers are bad. The end is near. God bless.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

YAT, Psychologist, or whatever other names you like to use, the issue is really about the quality of education we provide to our children. I'm sorry you're butt hurt because I don't believe the teachers union has the best of interest of students as their primary focus.

Do you have a comment regarding the immenent finacial burden about to be placed upon our school districts? What is happening right now pales in comparison to the financial burden that is heading in our direction.

The pension costs will increase substantially based on the current year losses CalSTRS is experiencing; maybe 15-18 percent of payroll (100% increase from the current costs). The time-bomb is ticking while school districts hope the problem goes away. It isn't going away. It IS getting worse and school districts everywhere in California will suffer. Unless, of course, tax payers are called upon - again, to bail out the district for the sake of the children. What is the district doing right now - "for the children".

CalSTRS is still paying retirement bonuses of upto $400 a month on top of the 2.4@63 formula, and the 2% COLA they aren't obligated to pay. What is that all about? It amounts to a tax dollar give-away "for the of the teachers" at the expense of the taxpayers.

Do you have any comment regarding my concerns? Why is it that nobody wants to talk about this imminent finacial burden? Are we going to address the issue now or should we just wait until the implosion occurs? What then - more reductions in teaching hours? Larger class sizes?

What solutions do you have to offer? I haven't heard anything from anybody at the district, nothing from Pleasanton teacher, but I hope you have some solutution to offer. What is it?


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Arnold is right on the money again! Teach our teachers how to spell immenent! Second, then rail time and again about teacher pensions. Finally, talk about ticking time bombs and overwelming sunamis. Therefore, teachers are bad and we need to do away with teacher pensions. The reasoning is inpeckable.


Posted by really, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Arnold, I hadn't heard about this, but if true, clearly there is no way that the district could handle the scenario you have described and it will be the same across the state. I can't see how the taxpayers will cover it either, particularly if people don't vote for more taxes. Have you raised this with the school board? Have you asked the management what the plan is?

I read that in the new state budget they are going to allow for districts to cut 3 weeks off the school year - is this the plan? Honestly this is feeling like Greece . . .


Posted by Pleasanton teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I agree that some pensions costs are way out of line, and I do know that some things will need to change in the future; just as I believe that Social Security ages will need to rise. Maybe teachers do need to pay more towards their pension. This won't fix the economy, but maybe it is a start. Do remember, too, that 2 sides made the current agreement. It was not teachers alone that developed the pension system. That being said, understand that only those that have taught for 34 or more years will earn the $400 monthly bonus and 2.4% @ age 63. How many actually get to that point? When I retire, I will have taught for 34 years, but will not be 63, so I won't earn 2.4% (wish I could, though). In addition, do you realize that teachers do not pay in to Social Security, nor do we get our spouses SS if they die. We can never collect that money. Ever.
Now, back to the kids. No matter what, I know that all the teachers want to do is educate your children. Regardless of what some of you may think about education and educators, they do have your children's best interest in mind. They want them to learn. They want them to succeed. They want what is best.


Posted by really, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Good comments Pleasanton teacher. Please know that people are not upset with teachers, it's the management's last minute decision with no consultation with parents (or even many teachers) that has caused the damage.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Teacher,
If you really want to contribute, send your enflated salary and pension to needy taxpayers. Some people who come into my work place workhard to make their 10 million a year and then have to pay 13% taxes. Its killing them, and you and other incompitants keep exploiting them. Thats why I home school. Have a conscious.


Posted by Pleasanton teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm

@Steve - I don't make $10 million, I pay my taxes, I am not incompetent, I don't exploit people, and I'm glad you home school your children. That's all folks. I'm tired of this banter, so no more from me.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

To: Really

The problem is very real. "Pleasanton teacher" acknowledges as much but fails to understand the severity of the problem. The PUSD appears to be taking the head in the sand approach regarding the looming financial impact of the school districts unfunded pension liabilities. My guess is that when he crap hits the fan hey'll claim they had know idea. Of course that would be a lie.

Prepare yourself for the inevitable $500 per year parcel tax because the district has completely failed to plan for the inevitable - and the money is all about the children. If that were true the district would already be planning for 2015. Thet aren't. Pensions costs will double and and the district isn't prepared, nor have they even acknowledged the problem exists.


Posted by really, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Isn't Jerry Brown also trying to divert more funding to the school districts where there are fewer English speaking children? These two issues together add up to a nightmare scenario for many districts. Will people pay up or move I wonder?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Pleasanton teacher, Steve is using "hyperbole." It's a troll tactic (Steve uses many names too).


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm

The letter here discusses 'options for child care' Web Link

I called the State today and Pleasanton has not even applied to the State to have the capacity for their PUSD on site child care centers to have more people in them (Grades 1 through 3 would be about 300 kids so half of that would be 150). The EDCC (80 children max) and Y-Kids facilities (each are 60 kids max) would need at least 35 square feet interior space per child added and would probably to need double to triple of their current capacity, not including hiring additional staff to supervise the kids.

The State says it would require several months lead time to even do a boost of maximum capacity in certifying and inspecting the additional facilities to handle more children in them. All would require site visits from the State.

Also, they said usually the city's Planning Commission would have to approve any modifications to maximum capacity of any off-site child care facilities.

It sounds like PUSD has not even thought through the ramifications of this at all. How much will extra portables cost on campus? How much cost would this add to other organizations and will PUSD subsidize it?


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I've listened to you blether on for years Kathleen. We usually are agreed. Almost all the time, and I feel like you are my political sole mate. I've never called you a troll. Don't know about hyperbowl, but I call em like I see em. Like ARnold. Their's a crisis looming, a sumani coming, a big block of ice is going to fall from the sky because taxpayers have to pay for teachers and there pensions. As he so eloquentely puts it, "when he crap hits the fan hey'll claim they had know idea." That's because knowbody has know idea, which is what hey'll claim about he crap which is much worse than she crap. Therefore, teachers are over payed, and pensions are just around the bend in acopolyptic fashion.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:52 pm

When i was going up, I remember my Mother and Father helping me with my reading. I guess that is a thing of the past.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm

The pension problem is a budget issue that requires a mathematical solution. Given the districts current budget and the teacher unions inflexibility regarding hours of work, and the huge cost that will impact the school district that ALREADY can't seem to manage a 100 million plus budget without using reduced instructional hours to lower cost, the math just doesn't work.

The only options being presented are reduced educational services or more money from taxpayers. IMO, we need to demand more from our educators.


Posted by really, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Many children have parents teach them to read today. Many go to K reading. Many go to K without knowing their letters.

It's a great idea to have groups learning at their own levels. But keep the school day the same length and let them learn other things too.


Posted by ltmartinez, a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

if parents really cared about the student they would care about the person teaching their student and not the union they are forced to pay and realize that in order to teach they have to play the game. there are many teachers and aides that work at minimum wage to fulfill their dreams of being a mentor in a child's life. I wonder what you a person that works hard at what they love to do no longer received a cost of living raise or had to pay full amount for their health care coverage. if suddenly because people believe that they are overpaid had to put up with their precious children that lord knows does no wrong in their eyes that once they are on school property tell a aide or lunch security person to f.. off leave their trash on the tables and grounds, trash a bathroom and looks at a teacher with the eyes of just try it my mom and dad will call their lawyers. you parents want to have your children to count on them to rescue them when they are in trouble, I believe that is a parents role, but what do they learn? Do you have the respect of your child? What have you taught them if they don't learn right from wrong. Let the teachers do their jobs make sure they are teaching them, make sure your students are doing their part. the assignments. the homework. the test and if they are not, let them earn a honest grade.I am so tired of reading these post and your right all I have to do is turn off my computer, but being a resident of Pleasanton for 26 years and a mother of a pleasanton student it saddens me to see what a few voices can do to ruin a community, This is my opinion and as American citizen I can voice it. God bless America and all the idiots that live in it.


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Working at minimum wage? You've got to be kidding, right? Web Link says that the Average Teacher Salary in Pleasanton is $82,367 for teaching 177 a year. With 3 months vacation. Sweet!

Dr. Lodi, the guy they just hired at twice that salary, probably is the one behind reducing the instructional hours to minimum State levels. Wonder if looking at the Lodi site will be a crystal ball into more 'enhancements' for learning.


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm

The future of Pleasanton schools? See this article about Lodi. Web Link

They wanted to get a state waiver to exceed classroom pupil caps.


Posted by jake, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Hey Arnold,

I'll address your concerns. It isn't pension obligations that are driving the need for a parcel tax in Pleasanton. It is the current expenses of running the schools and paying the salaries of school employees in the district, combined with an unprecedented decline in taxes that couldn't have been reasonably predicted by anyone. Pension obligations aren't what is causing our current financial trouble. We need to get behind a parcel tax to solve our immediate needs.

I agree that pension policies for school employees are putting us in a precarious financial position in the future, but I think this is will have to be solved mainly at the state level. We are offering benefits that we will not be able to pay. That has to be fixed.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2012 at 12:08 am

Jake,

I don't agree with your first paragraph. I do agree with your last statement: "We are offering benefits that we will not be able to pay. That has to be fixed."

Finally a bit of honesty. Unfortunately the problem has grown beyond a quick fix. The fix should of happened years ago. The issues I'm discussing aren't getting much play in the media at present - but will eventually make it to the front page. It won't be pretty. It will be ugly when the underbelly of the


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 13, 2012 at 1:35 am

Arnold is a proffet. A seer who does math and knows that a time bomb is ticking and ticking and ticking away. The underbelly of the beast will rise up when the fore acopalyptic TEA Party horsemen swoop down to take from fake incompitant teachers and give back of the god fearing good tax payers who educate there own children. Before that, all sunamis and purcolations. Mitt Romney in 2012!!! Slashing teacher salaries, make the incompitants sweep the floors and other stuff to make them more accountible for the unfunded liabilities that they are, face it. We need more from are educators. I guess only a giant ice block dropped from the sky, causing a humongess tidel wave, will do the trick.


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 13, 2012 at 1:52 am

When most of the California budget from taxpayers paid into the coffers is spent on repaying debt and paying retirees an annual salary of just about as much or MORE per year than they made while they were working, there is little money left to pay salaries for people actually working.

Likewise, government has taken on a huge debt to accommodate the visions of builders. Housing tracts and mini-malls sprawling onto farmland typically cost more in public services than they generate in tax revenues.

The state, counties and cities have had to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds to pay for new sewer and water treatment facilities. To meet the immediate bond debt, many cities build thousands of houses each year and make new residents pay higher fees. This is a kind of Ponzi scheme--each new revenue-losing subdivision having to pay for the losing subdivision before it.


Posted by An angry parent!, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 13, 2012 at 6:27 am

If I had known that the parcel tax could have prevented this, I would have voted for it! Since when do we cut services just because there's not enough room in the budget for them?! When there's not enough room in my budget for a new Hummer, I just refi my house! When Reagan and Bush and Bush cut taxes, did we cut spending? NO! We INCREASED it! Our district is grossly irresponsible in its lack of deficit spending and we should recall the board! It's ridiculous the I should have to face consequences for voting down the parcel taxes. Ridiculous!!


Posted by jake, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:31 am

"What?",

You said:

"When most of the California budget from taxpayers paid into the coffers is spent on repaying debt and paying retirees an annual salary of just about as much or MORE per year than they made while they were working, there is little money left to pay salaries for people actually working."

Do you have any links that show most of the budget is going to repaying debt and paying retiree pensions? That doesn't square with my understanding of the our current spending at state and local levels.


Posted by Ha ha, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:57 am

A parcel tax would not have changed this decision. It costs the district $. It would not have saved csr either.


Posted by chemist, a resident of Downtown
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

The District can afford to hire a bundle of six figure salaried administrators. We don't need a parcel tax, we need to spend the money on education. If another parcel tax "study" (last time is was $250,000) is done, that will just show more fiscal stupidity on the part of the District. Whether or not one supports a parcel tax has nothing to do with how much the tax happens to be ... $1, $100, or $1000 per month - it does not matter because whatever it is will go to hire, pay, and perq more useless administrators.


Posted by Anne, a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

Steve, I hope you are messing around with all of your spelling errors! I also hope that, if this is how you really spell, you are not teaching your children spelling as you home school them. It is very difficult to focus on content when so many words are misspelled. One more hope for your kids is that they get some positive influences in their life...you seem like a very angry man.


Posted by steve's a troll, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:40 am

:) union person pretending to be a conservative who can't spell


Posted by jake, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:58 am

"chemist",

You said "it does not matter because whatever it is will go to hire, pay, and perq more useless administrators." But you haven't given us any reason to believe that is the case. When PPIE raised money to save programs in 2010, the money saved the programs. I know, because my children benefited. A parcel tax would be used to save programs that impact the quality of education in the same way. I think your comments are misleading and not helpful.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

Stacey is a registered user.

What wrote: "How can they possibly do that? If you take 55,816 current instructional minutes and subtract the 7,200 minutes, that is far below the 50,400 minimum threshold. That will drive the number of instructional minutes LESS than the State Law 50,400 minutes per year."

To answer your question, it seems that the subtraction doesn't really count. Staggered minutes appear to countable twice. (According to this presentation pg. 7 Web Link)

As for instructional minutes, what is your idea of "instructional minutes"? Did you know that California allows lots of non-academic activity to be included as "instructional minutes" (like school breakfast). It's treated more as a measure of the number of minutes a child attends school and less how many minutes a teacher is actively teaching the standards to a class. We really don't know how many minutes are allocated towards that activity because none of the available data seems to measure that. And we really have no idea on the effective use of such minutes, which points towards teacher quality.


Posted by Michelle Wagner, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2012 at 11:38 am

I hope all of the teachers who dare to read the comments in these types of forums take into account that the comments are typically written by the same people over and over, usually anonymously (mostly using false names and aliases.) They are commonly referred to as "internet trolls." There have been a number of news stories published in recent weeks about the psychology of this type of behavior, which has prompted me to take a look at what is going on in forums such as this one. Frankly, I am shocked that this is the way people choose to spend their time. It would seem that if people are truly concerned, that there are many more productive ways of voicing their opinions and affecting change. As a longtime Pleasanton resident, I implore any teachers reading this to please believe that, while there are many issues facing all school districts in our state, the vitriol found here and in other "forums" does not represent the opinions of most of the residents of Pleasanton (according to my experience as an involved member of this community.) Please don't waste your time and energy reading and worrying about the words of cowards who hide behind anonymity to criticize the work of others.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 13, 2012 at 11:53 am

Ive been posting here for years and suddenly the union shils are calling me a troll. Which I adamintly deny. Spelling, like reading, is highly over rated. My IQ is very high according to numberless tests Ive taken on internet. Besides, it does'nt take a rocket scientest to know that Obama is behind this whole education fee-asco. If you want your kids to be socialists send them to public school. If you want your kids to be successfull patriots home school them.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Steve, thank you for proving Michelle's point.


Posted by What?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm

If PUSD would not spend so much money on consultants and administrators, they would not have to affect the classroom. Also the inflexible union contracts guarantee teachers don't have to teach at all when kids are pulled out for music, library, PE and science. Ideally, these pull out periods could be used as a way to have small group learning.

7,200 minutes of instructional time (that doesn't count recess and lunch) lost per year over 3 years means over 21,000 minutes of lost instructional time which equates to almost a half year of instructional time lost.

Teachers complain they don't have enough time to teach the standards as is, yet the administration thinks 21,000 minutes lost over 3 years is 'progress?'


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm

And thank you, Kathleen, for proofing how you, Stacey and Arnold are one person using three different computors. Which is okay. Because I love you just the same. Nor would I have it any way or another. As long as we stay on track we can defeat the evel ones. And just remember as Kathleen so trenjantly pointed out, the parcel tax only had about 32% support because so many people who really count did'nt vote. Its' all about truth here.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

It is about the truth. Try it.


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Ha! Ill take that as a admission of truth from the old girl. Thanks for settling us all straight about the parcel tax. We had no idea! It takes a cleer thinking rightwinger who loves the truth like you do to expose the culprets who tried to convince us all that the tax had 65% support. What a bunch of liberal loosers. Liberalism is a desease.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

The question at hand was whether "65% of the city" supported the parcel tax or whether it was 65% of those who voted. The latter would be accurate.


Posted by Steve, a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm

No need to dissassemble old girl. We all know what your about. And you still are spot on. Only those who VOTED elected our president, not the citizens of our country. So our COUNTRY didn't vote him in, just a tiny fraction of the populus -- too whit, those that VOTED. Of course, on this reasoning, KR's (aka Stacy and Arnold) rightwing correct spot on reasoning, Obama shouldnt' have the legitemacy that he has. Hes just a poser. So two, the parcel tax. How can it be given any amount of seriatude when it wasn't 65% that supported it but more like 32% Genius. Hey, find any new dirt on the new asst super lately? Please share. After all, its for the kids.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm

So, you're admitting the parcel tax lost fair and square. All good. I wasn't looking for dirt on the new assistant superintendent. Wish him well.


Posted by jake, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I think we're seeing some misunderstanding of statistics here. A poll with a sample size of half the population (like the parcel tax vote) has a very high level of confidence. Opinion polls typically use a much smaller sample size and have confidence levels of better than 5%. The parcel tax vote was a very accurate measure of the level of support within the community.


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