Posted by Common Sense, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 7:46 am
Counseling and library services makes sense, so does maintenance workers and custodians, and the PE and band teachers.
Instructional coach sounds like a do-nothing yet high paying job in the education profession. We should reward teachers who innovate with additional pay, not hire outsiders to tell them how to do their job. And it might make sense for a struggling school district that has bad metrics - but Pleasanton API scores are the highest in Alameda County.
As for the vice principles, what is the justification? Has there been a glut of unpunished kids because there weren't enough VPs to discipline them? Really, how many more Mr. Beldings buying sports cars do we need to subsidize with my tax dollars?
In the private sector, when you cut the admin bloat, it stays cut even when profits are up.
Posted by typical, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 8:35 am
If you ask the real stakeholders - parents, teachers and students, what is most important to restore, it's lower class sizes at all levels. But no chance of that happening here sadly.
And of course the one disaster that they should spend all of their time fixing is ending the staggered start (shortened day) in elementary, which has proved useless for most kids educationally and a nightmare for parents. Don't see that on the agenda. This must be addressed asap.!
Posted by local, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 8:49 am
In the article it says "The union wants to discuss salaries, benefits and class sizes, among other things." That is why the Superintendent is trying to spend all of the money now on more administration, mostly for vice principals. The more money we pay in taxes, the better the administration does as they will take all the money and there will be nothing left for the teachers. Remember that anytime they ask for more tax money from us.
Posted by TK parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:29 am
I agree with "typical" in the above post. Having 30 kids in a Transitional Kindergarten or regular Kindergarten, and also first grade is insane. The poor teachers. REDUCE CLASS SIZE in these years--these SO IMPORTANT early years.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:30 am Kathleen Ruegsegger is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I hope those negotiating will consider compensation as in this example from across the Bay:
"Article VI, Compensation and Benefits
• The District will provide employees under contract with the District in the 2011-12 school
year with a one-time, off-the-salary-schedule payment equivalent to 1% of the employee’s 2011-12 school year Appendix A base salary and earned stipends. For less than full-time service the 1% one-time payment will be pro-rated."
This approach acknowledges the work and years without raises for teachers and staff without adding to future costs. Seems to me it is the only sensible approach with funding still so volatile. I don't believe district office management should receive this compensation, however. I have suggested in the past that a parcel tax that gives an off the salary schedule bonus to teachers, staff, and school administrators would be a great way for the community to support our district's educators.
Posted by Elane, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 10:22 am
I have a daughter graduating with a Masters in Counseling in May. I would have a clear double agenda, one for more counseling in our schools and a job for my daughter. With recent devastating episodes in schools across this nation, I truly feel its imperative that our schools be well equipped with more counselors to watch for disturbing behavior, bullying, and mental imbalances in our students at an earlier stage. We need counselors MORE than ever to be vigilant in looking for possible problems. We all know it starts with good parenting, but for those children that fall thru the cracks at home, then counselors who are trained to watch for behaviors can be helpful. For students to have a non biased place where they can vent their frustrations is a good step in helping prevent future bad behavior. I am all in favor of staffing more counselors even more than 5 years ago.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 10:29 am Kathleen Ruegsegger is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I believe instructional coaches, if similar to Teachers on Special Assignment in PAUSD, have expertise at a grade level(s) or subject and directly help teachers. I couldn't find anything specific at PUSD doing a quick search, but here is a job description from San Diego COE: Web Link
Posted by Why?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm
"The Pleasanton school district will look tonight at a one-time spending plan of more than $2.7 million that would restore nearly 37 employees for the upcoming school year."
If it is indeed just for one year then why not put the money in reserves. Surely the district is aware that the Prop 30 tax revenue is only temporary; just starting to roll in and apparently already being spent. And recent reports from CalSTRS indicate the cost of payroll will soon add at least 12.9% to the current cost of payroll for the next 30 years.
These increased jobs sound like a scheme only the unions would come up with. "It's all about the children". Sure it is! In the meantime it focuses on more union jobs which provide more union dues, while completely ignoring the longterm burden be placed on school system budgets. If the district can't sustain these additional costs for a 10 year period they'd be better served to start paying down the teacher union members pension debt NOW!.
Maybe I'm missing something but this proposal makes little sense, other than appearing blatantly/fiscally shortsighted.
Posted by Teacher Too, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm
I feel PUSD will betray the voters if our increased taxes (which is the only reason they have money to spend) go to administrators (V.P.s) and literacy coaches when reading specialists who worked directly with children have been cut. That's not obvious to the general public, but PUSD is "replacing" direct services for children (reading specialists) with trainers and coaches for our already skilled teachers.
Posted by local, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm
The district will spend every cent of the money they receive right now. They will just be salivating, waiting for prop 30 to end and then they can say they are broke and need a parcel tax.
Here's another thing they can do with the money, the have an unfunded liability for retiree medical. They should fund that with this money, or stop the retiree medical benefit. They still continue to add the cost of the retiree medical to the charge card. This is no different than somebody getting a bonus at work and instead of paying down their huge credit card balance, they buy more things. Because it feels good.
Posted by typical, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2013 at 10:10 am
Did anyone go, what happened? From what I've heard, people think a parcel tax will be easy to pass when it changes from a 2/3 vote to less than that, due to the supermajority. And I guess they're saving the programs we care about for the parcel tax and using prop 30 for things that we wouldn't vote for.
Question - Does the general population get to vote on lowering the parcel tax threshhold or do the politicians get to make that decision without a public vote since they have a supermajority?
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2013 at 10:37 am Kathleen Ruegsegger is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Here is the answer on whether we vote to lower the parcel tax threshold: Web Link
"According to Proposition 13, enacted by the state's voters in 1978, local districts can levy this type of non-ad valorem tax only if a supermajority of two-thirds of the voters approve. (A non-ad valorem tax is one that is not based on the value of the property that is being taxed.)
"Proposition 13 also required a 2/3rds supermajority vote in order to approve a local school district bond measure. However, California's voters approved Proposition 39 on November 7, 2000. Proposition 39 reduced the supermajority requirement for school bonds from 2/3rds to 55%.
"From time-to-time, various politicians have suggested that the threshold for approving a parcel tax measure should also be reduced from 2/3rds to 55%. The 2013 session of the California State Legislature is widely expected to refer a measure to the 2014 statewide ballot to ask voters to reduce the parcel tax threshold to 55%."
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Feb 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm Kathleen Ruegsegger is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Here is what I found:
California Constitution, Article 13a, Section 3
(a) Any change in state statute which results in any taxpayer paying a higher tax must be imposed by an act passed by not less than two-thirds of all members elected to each of the two houses of the Legislature, except that no new ad valorem taxes on real property, or sales or transaction taxes on the sales of real property may be imposed.
But that doesn't really answer the question. Prop 30 passed by simple majority (55%), so maybe that is the answer.