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Parcel tax to be decided tonight

Original post made on Mar 5, 2009

Tonight the PUSD school board will decide whether to move forward with a parcel tax. While it is likely they will vote in favor of the tax, they have yet to decide the amount, how long it would be collected and if it would be on the May 19 or June 2 ballot.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 5, 2009, 8:25 AM

Comments (77)

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 8:40 am

So exactly what motivation would the unions have to negotiate if we decide to tax ourselves to raise additional funds to sustain the continued progression of raises? Have you made compromises at your job? Why would public workers be immune to the realities of the economy?

No additional property tax. Manage what you have and negotiate a compromise.


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Posted by Cost Controls
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:06 am

No parcel tax. Not at this time. The sky is not falling.

Do this...

Cut administration costs 50%.
Cut Classified costs 25%.
Cut Certified costs 25%.
Cut vendor/3rd party costs 25%.

This is not rocket science.

It takes real leadership to lead.

Oh, by the way, I'm a teacher in this district. Surprised?


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Posted by Betty
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:07 am

Did anyone hear what concessions the union announced last night? Can anyone report on last nights meeting.


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Posted by Betty
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

Cost control,
I agree with you. Do you know what the teachers union is offering?


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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:17 am

Sandy is a registered user.

At last week's board meeting, Valerie Arkin suggested asking for one less paid non-student day, which would save just under half a million dollars a year. (Non-student days are when teachers prepare their classrooms in August, and pack them up in June. Many teachers need more time than just one day to set up, and come in on their own time.)

The list of cuts approved last week totals over $9 million. A $200 parcel tax is estimated to yield only $4.4 million per year. A $300 parcel tax would yield around $6.6 million per year.

There will still be cuts, even beyond the administration layoffs, regardless of the outcome of the parcel tax vote, unless the union makes serious concessions.

I'd like to applaud Mike Hamilton, who spoke last night at the hearing in favor of shared sacrifice, including opening up labor contracts for concessions, and stated that the likelihood of a parcel tax passing with a supermajority is low. He was courteous and direct in expressing his point of view. There was applause when he finished speaking. Chris Grant, the board president, also emphasized the board's desire to hear all points of view.

(I was not able to stay till the end of the hearing, so I don't know if others expressed similar sentiments.)


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Posted by raven
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:19 am

I attended the meeting yesterday, and the unions did not offer any concessions. But why should they. They believe that this parcel tax, is the way to go.

The president of the classified union, spoke on just wanting the parcel tax to pass.He was eloquent in his speech in his comparison of how well inmates are treated over how the education of students are treated by Sacramento.

The teachers who spoke did not offer any concessions. And I do not remember if the president of the teachers union spoke at all.
My opinion of the overall meeting was that everyone in the room, is absolutely putting their salvation of the district in the passing of this parcel tax. There was panic.




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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:20 am

Sandy is a registered user.

Trevor Knaggs of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers stated last night that negotiations are underway as of last Friday. He did not provide details.

In my experience, it would be unusual to hear details about possible concessions until negotiations are about to wrap up, just before union members vote on whether to accept a contract. (I don't know if that's the way it works in the APT.)


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Posted by Cost Cutter
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:45 am

Betty,

Sorry, I don't have this information (Do you know what the teachers union is offering?). I doubt that any initial concessions will be significant. The union, the board and the superintendant are banking on the parcel tax.

Watch out for the Obama strategy - scare the living daylights out of everyone in order to get what you want. In a major crisis - take full advantage to fulfill your agenda.

Look for a parcel tax of $300 - $350.


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Posted by Another Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

Placing a parcel tax on the ballot delays the negotiation process and puts the district in a weak negotiating position. It also will cost the district 150-300K to fund the special election. The board is too close to the parties involved to see that they are lining themselves up for a public relations disaster when the measure fails. I think it is safe to assume that the common taxpayer is tired of the ongoing bailouts and rescues. It looks like the bill is finally due for our years of unsustainable expenditures.


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Posted by West side observer
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:51 am

We were warned about a parcel tax three or four years ago. Nevertheless, we were well on our way to a parcel tax a couple of years ago to fund our 55-item wish list. Today, it is to fund a district that cannot teach a simple economic lesson--don't spend more than you take in; don't throw good money after bad; and save for a rainy day (no, make that yearly monsoons from state fiscal irresponsibility).

The district should have saved the consulting fees for polling, etc. because, one way or another, there was going to be a parcel tax on the ballot.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:56 am

"Watch out for the Obama strategy - scare the living daylights out of everyone in order to get what you want. In a major crisis - take full advantage to fulfill your agenda."

I couldn't agree more with this statement.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 10:11 am

Posted by West side observer, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood
We were warned about a parcel tax three or four years ago. Nevertheless, we were well on our way to a parcel tax a couple of years ago to fund our 55-item wish list. Today, it is to fund a district that cannot teach a simple economic lesson--don't spend more than you take in; don't throw good money after bad; and save for a rainy day (no, make that yearly monsoons from state fiscal irresponsibility).

-----------

You forgot teaching about teamwork. The District (and often times the schools themselves) allow Alumni and/or Parent run organizations to spend money foolishly on their campuses.

However, it appears the "Marquee" at least got the textbook onto a desktop and opened.


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Posted by Divided we fall
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

"Watch out for the Obama strategy - scare the living daylights out of everyone in order to get what you want. In a major crisis - take full advantage to fulfill your agenda."




I couldn't DISAGREE more with this statement.


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Posted by Won't drink it
a resident of Avignon
on Mar 5, 2009 at 11:44 am

Divided we fall, what flavor is the Kool-Aid? LOL!


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Posted by Good News
a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:01 pm

The good news is that when the right-wing voters of Pleasanton turn down the parcel tax and their much-vaunted school system crumbles into ruins, I'll finally be able to afford a home in Pleasanton!

But if I wanted a dusty East Bay town with mediocre schools and no real culture to speak of, I guess I could just stay in Livermore.

I'm still trying to work out exactly how the parcel tax is connected with President Obama. This is all Obama's sinister plan to enslave us in a socialist gulag of taxes, right?

Well, I do enjoy watching a fire burn, so...rock on, right-wingers!


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Posted by Trish
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I can't believe they are thinking of a $300 plus tax. That is way too high. I have kids in school but my limit is $150.

Why can't bigger parcels be charged a higher rate like in other school districts?
Web Link
AMOUNT OF EDUCATION PARCEL TAX; PERIOD OF ASSESSMENT The education parcel tax shall be a tax levied on all parcels of taxable real property in the Mountain View Whisman School District (K-8) for eight (8) years based on the total number of square feet of each parcel, as follows:

Size of Parcel Amount of Annual Tax
0-8,000 square feet $127 per parcel
8,001-14,000 square feet $254 per parcel
14,001-22,000 square feet $339 per parcel
22,001-28,000 square feet $508 per parcel
28,001-44,000 square feet $677 per parcel
More than 44,000 square feet $1,016 per parcel


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Posted by Cost Cutter
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Good News, I said it was the Obama STRATEGY. It is the communication strategy of gloom and doom. If you say it's bad enough, long enough, otherwise sane people will succumb to the rhetoric. Our President has shared his fear filled rhetoric almost daily, since January 20, 2009.

Btw, I'm and independent, not a right-winger – not that there is anything inherently wrong with being one.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Great idea Trish, I would support that entirely, but Luz said there were problems with that strategy at a board meeting about a month ago. Alameda, I think, is getting sued for trying this. I wish we could go this route though!


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Posted by Good News
a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Well, sure President Obama gives people bad news. Of course, the bad economic news is conjured out of thin air. The USA has no real economic problems: just ask the millions of unemployed, the bankrupt state governments, or the executives of Citibank, AIG, Ford, GM, Chrysler...nope, no problems here! It's that doom-sayer Obama who is whipping up hysteria!

Nothing to see here, folks, just move along.

My question is, what does Obama have to do with the pros and cons of a parcel tax for Pleasanton schools? Was that Rush Limbaugh's latest "talking point"? He never should've got off the Oxycontin. The guy made a lot more sense when he was slamming down those prescription meds--or at least was a lot more fun.


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Posted by Cut it out
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Trish,

I don't like the progressive tax model Mtn. View uses. I think this whole parcel tax thing stinks. Cut the adminstrators - we have too many deputy and assistant superintendants. Too many high paid administrators that don't teach in the classroom. Cut them out!


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Posted by Stop the fear game
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Good News, the connection between how Obama acts and how our Superintendant/school board and teachers union act are this:

They all feed you with fear and ram down a solution that basically says - my/our way or ruin. No middle ground, no time to sort things out, just DO THIS, RIGHT NOW, or we're ALL DOOMED.

This approach is total garbage. This is what we're fighting against.


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Posted by attorney
a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm

If the District said the strategy of putting on different rates per parcel size is not allowed, that is incorrect information. What is illegal is putting a different rate on parcels because of what their underlying zoning is.

Alameda is being sued because they put on one tax rate for commercial and industrial zoned property and another for residential zoned property and also because the wording on how the funds would be used was vague, rather than specific. The legal briefs and all the filings are within the lawsuits that are below............

Beery v Alameda Unified School District is here Web Link

Borikas v Alameda Unified School District is here
Web Link


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Posted by James A.
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Good News, the Obama playbook is this: Scare 'em, tax 'em, have central control of power over 'em for the next 100+ years.


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Posted by Check Mate
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:37 pm

How about a volunteer fund drive? Those that want a $150/$200/$300/$1,016 parcel tax, donate it annually. If your numbers are so big, you'll surely have at least 4,000 families ready and eager to write that annual check. Quick, get that check book out and WRITE!


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:47 pm

To attorney, the district never said "the strategy of putting on different rates per parcel in not allowed", they just expresssed caution over going this direction since Alameda is being sued.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Good News
a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Posted by James A., a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, 23 minutes ago

Good News, the Obama playbook is this: Scare 'em, tax 'em, have central control of power over 'em for the next 100+ years."

Fortunately, I don't plan to live that long :)


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Posted by Not Chicken Little
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2009 at 1:40 pm

You can't sell something unless there is motivation to buy. And fear is the age old tool of a shoddy salesman. Put your hand over your wallet anytime someone tells you to act before all the facts are in.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Yea, Obama seems to be capitalizing on the FUD factor. FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) is a very old spin strategy. Obama is using it because it works, just as Bush used it effectively in order to get everyone up on the Iraq war bandwagon, and just as PUSD is using it to get everyone signed up to vote yes on a parcel tax.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

If we pass this parcel tax we have no one to blame but ourselves. In Korea all employees from the top down are taking 20% paycuts to preent layoffs. Pensions are an even bigger issue with public sector employees. Most pension funds are underfunded by 50%. You are looking at huge tax increases for that. The city of Pleasanton has $120million (Probably more by now) in unfunded liabilities.

We are going into social warfare between the privileged public sector and the serfs in the private sector. This is only the first round. If we cannot muster a 1/3rd vote to defeat this we have no hope.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Mismanaged your industry? Don't worry there is always a bailout available from the taxpayer.

Can't sell the cars you manufacture? Don't worry there is always a bailout available from the taxpayer.

Don't have enough money to fund the salaries and retirement funds of the State workers? Don't worry there is always a bailout available from the taxpayer.

Is the well dry yet?

"We are going into social warfare between the privileged public sector and the serfs in the private sector. This is only the first round. If we cannot muster a 1/3rd vote to defeat this we have no hope."

Absolutely correct.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm

"Appeal to fear" Web Link

Either "Yes on Parcel Tax" or "Loss of CSR".
"Loss of CSR" is frightening.
Therefore, "Yes on Parcel Tax" is true.


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Posted by Shop Downtown
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Good News - it's interesting to see how much you care about future generations in this country.

Here's a small part of the BHO playbook:

Vilify corporations.
Redistribution of wealth.
Class warfare: set 95% of our people against our wealthiest.
Have Wall Street and Main Street at BHO's mercy.
An enemy is anyone who fundamentally disagrees with the BHO agenda.
Enemies must be silenced.

Learn who Saul Alinsky was. BHO is a student of Alinsky.

"The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results."
-Saul Alinsky



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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Ouch... As I was surfing Wikipedia on logical fallacies, I came across a quote from Hitler's Mein Kampf:
"As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."

From Web Link)


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Posted by No Fear
a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Good post, Stacey.

argumentum ad metum - I've nver seen enyone do this better than BHO. Casey, the school board and the teachers union use this strategy as well, just not as well as BHO.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:03 pm

The above link got cut off. Here's the correct URL en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_The_Children_(politics)


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Posted by Not Mine
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:06 pm

J.L.M.H.Y.W.M.

The new mantra of the power elite:

Just
Let
Me
Have
Your
Wallet
Moron


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm

No Fear wrote: "I've nver seen enyone do this better than BHO"

I disagree. Bush did this quite well to a much more deadly effect. Recall back to Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech: "Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans, this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes."

Either "Get Saddam!" or "Day of Horror".
"Day of Horror" is frightening.
Therefore, "Get Saddam!" is true.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by At Risk
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Let's see, we got Saddam and there was no day of horror on President Bush's watch. What did I miss?

With BHO, every two bit dictator will want to take a shot at us. A secure USA is at risk, right now, and for at least the next four years.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:19 pm

You missed the part where the US found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, thereby confirming what all the UN weapons inspectors had been saying. When there's no evidence, there's no evidence. The argument was ad metum and not based upon any evidence.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm

You could call the fire department to come sit outside your house if you're afraid your house will catch fire, but where's the evidence of smoke?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by GWB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Of course, At Risk totally ignores how many have died in the Iraq war, all of which was based upon a lie. The made-up mind can block almost anything out.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Isn't this a parcel tax blog?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Avila
on Mar 5, 2009 at 3:50 pm

The Board needs to be an oversight board and ask hard questions to school staff. I know I want to see the same exchanges go on like the subcommittees grill the federal agencies on CSPAN rather. Just some sort of blind concurrence and nodding their heads in agreement to all of this, saying "we need to community to come through for us" talk is all wrong.

I'm tired of the auto maker bailouts, the bank bailouts, now the school bailouts.

Why are the District reserves so low in the first place? Shouldn't they have saved money while the economy was in decent shape? Or did they just spend everything that was allocated?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:00 pm

The bottom line is that funding of public education is being pushed to the local level- It would have been nice had the legislature and Governor just come out and said that.

Now, it is up to the community to decide what type of school system we want. For everyone who says we should run education like a business, there is one problem. I know of no business that would on one given day open their doors and invite anyone who wanted to work to show up. That is what our education system does, they don't turn away any student. So, yes we have to pay for programs that we might not like, but I'm sure we all get some benefit that ticks someone else off.

As for asking for concessions from teachers, they already pay for books and supplies that most never hear about. Most teachers go far beyond the call of duty to help our students. For money-No; for glory-no; for fame-no. Most do it because they care.

As for the parcel tax. Well, I think one of the shuttle astronauts summed it up best on her recent visit to the bay area. "There are lots of jobs in the bio tech field... they need lot's of technicians. Don't worry about the top jobs, foreigners have those positions. We can fill the rest." I don't think so, I want my kid to "fill those top jobs" thank you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Godwin fan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Stacy you lose, per Wikipeida:
Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies)[1] is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."[2][3]. References to Godwin's Law often actually refer to a corollary of it which determines that the person who first makes an unwarranted reference to Nazi Germany or Hitler in an argument loses that argument automatically.


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Posted by K
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:16 pm

A previous post mentioned that Casey was retiring next year,
so he has no real vested interest in trying to find solutions.
Is he just waiting it out? This has to affect his decision making
In regards to the current problems.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by puffy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Casey will likely be the first in line for the senior exemption.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Liz
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Mike,
The parcel tax will not improve education. *Neighboring districts
have, for years, received approximately 20% less funding from the
state than PUSD, yet their test scores are comparable, if not
superior.
The parcel tax would be spent to provide raises in a time
when job and salary cuts are the norm.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Web Link says that teachers salaries in California are among the highest in the nation, even when adjusted for inflation. The teachers' union, along with management, needs to have a wage adjustment downward.

The private sector has pay cuts. Taxpayers just can't just keep subsidizing the public sector to increase the pay, when it is already out of scale to begin with.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by nirvana
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Union and district staff have no reason to offer concessions unless the parcel tax fails to pass. Those board meetings are a joke. Nearly everyone who spoke in support of the tax are either a teacher or classified staff.

Kudos to Mr. Mike Hamilton for demanding concessions and shared sacrafice.

Promoting irresponsible spending and lack of accountability have long been the biggest problems in PUSD. Funneling more money to support those wreckless behaviors will further magnify the problems.

Are you ready to be a part of the solution by voting NO on a parcel tax and demanding better financial planning and management from the district?

And don't forget, next time elect a board that puts the community interests before those of the administrators and teachers' union! We need real leaders in the school board.


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Posted by Kim
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:51 pm

I voted no in 1996 when the District put up a $204 parcel tax on the ballot. It didn't get anywhere near the 66.7% needed. It didn't even get 50% of the voters to vote for it.


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Posted by why?
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Wow! Just listened to the replay of last night's board meeting. The special election cost is estimated at around $290,000! That is a very risky investment without conducting a survey. This is very disturbing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned about Pleasanton's future
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Please do not post blatant lies about what the parcel tax will and will not do. The parcel tax WILL NOT be spent on raises. It is amazing to me that so many people who probably don't have children in Pleasanton schools but have enjoyed their property values because of the Pleasanton schools are now screaming no parcel tax. Communities all around us have and will pass them because of the understanding that blame can be put on some grown ups that perhaps diversified with too many programs or added extra positions, but in late August hundreds of five year olds will start school, eager to learn.I hope all of you that are so anti-Pleasanton will greet them and tell them you didn't think they were worth it....this isn't about blaming grownups, it's about continuing to give children a wonderful, thorough and successful education in Pleasanton.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Are you really surprised that the initial estimates of the election cost are proving to be out and out lies?


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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 7:55 pm

I am curious, if the union came out tomorrow and said "we'll take care of half of the deficit (in whichever way they negotiate it within their organization - loss of SDR, loss of step and column raises, loss of teacher work days, garage sales...) if the community steps up and pays the other half via the parcel tax, would any of you change your mind and vote for it?

A couple of comparisons that have been made here are not based in fact. I think it's disingenuous (or maybe just uninformed) to compare this situation to the bailout of GM, AIG, etc. This is not the bailout of a mismanaged company, nor is PUSD a grossly mismanaged district. It is a public service - just like police, roads, military... that has lost its funding due to lack of tax revenues at the state level. They can balance their budget and "live within their means", but that will mean cuts in the public service. I think the parcel tax issue is really about deciding how much those services are valued in the community. If they're not valued, then let them die. If they are, then support them.

For those who are asking why we didn't have more in reserves, PUSD has had more in reserves than most districts. The state withdrew a significant chunk of funding in the middle of the school year when classes were already in motion and contracts had already been already written. The district had no choice but to take from those reserves.

And then there's the John Casey/Hitler comparison...


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Teacher,

If you're suggesting that I was making a comparison between Casey and Hitler, I suggest you read what I wrote again. Implying that I was making such a comparison is as offensive as the comparison is itself.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Teacher,

Additionally, you're right that education is a service and comparing the parcel tax with a bailout is wrong (I've never done so). But where you're wrong is that the service is not going to go away (unlike AIG) if a parcel tax doesn't pass.


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Come on, Stacey. You WERE making a comparison. If you weren't it wouldn't have been on a post about this topic. You were implying that, like Hitler, Casey is using the the "welfare of children" theme as a way of manipulating public opinion to further the power of the government. I don't think I misinterpreted your post at all, but feel free to clarify what your purpose was for posting that quote if it wasn't to draw a parallel.

But really, I'm more interested in an honest answer to the first question I asked. I want to know how I should advise my union.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Teacher,

If I meant to make that comparison, I would have written Casey's name and clearly stated my conviction that he's being like Hitler. YOU'RE the one making the leap to such a conclusion. My foul was in not realizing that there are readers of this thread who will jump to a Hitler-Casey comparison.

Has Casey made a "For the children" argument? I haven't seen one from him. I've certainly seen it from other writers on this site. My goal was only to say that these are the different kinds of logical fallacies out there, they're not new or unique to anyone, and they've been used throughout human history as a way to manipulate a populace so this is what readers should watch out for. So in that sense you haven't misrepresented my position. It was only the Casey part where you were wrong.

Also see what I wrote above about Bush, Obama, PUSD, and FUD factor where I _do_ implicate PUSD in using an argumentum ad metum fallacy as a means of manipulating public opinion, just as many other writers here have done. Does that mean we're making a Casey/Bush/Obama comparison? Why didn't you jump on that comparison?


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Posted by no tax
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Teacher: Teachers' salaries are reasonable so I don't have an axe to grind with the teachers. I would go as far as supporting step and column raises for teachers who spend their time and money to attain more education.

What keeps me, my friends, and everyone in my household from supporting a parcel tax of any amount are the administrators' overcompensations (salary and perks).

Casey's compensations is the perfect example of wasteful spending by the district. That has got to change. For him and management to "donate" 5 days back as their form of concession is an insult to us.

Our votes are "No" if the board does not renegotiate Casey and others' contracts to slash all perks and cut salary by at least 40% before the election.

We refuse to pay more taxes knowing that administrators are lining their pockets and expensing their lunch on our backs.


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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:08 pm

I don't want to get in a big back and forth on this, so it's last time I'll post and leave you with the final word.

I think in bringing up Hitler, one has to acknowledge there is a connotation there that does not exist with any other historical figure (ok, MAYBE Pol Pot). That is why I did not "jump on" (and "jump on" makes the implication that I was much more aggressive in my post than I actually was) the Bush, Obama stuff. Using an example that references Obama or Bush is not the same thing as using one that references HITLER.

But really, this is one of those conversations that you'd scold others for engaging in (i.e. Lydikson mom and teachers), so let's get on to more productive dialogue.

Still waiting for answers to my first question...


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Teacher,

You want my honest answer? I think most of the items on the cut list should be cut, including CSR. The union doesn't need to make any concessions. I know that won't fly with a lot of parents because CSR is perhaps the most important program to many.


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Posted by cola
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:18 pm

For the first time I'll have to agree with Stacey. Just cut all the items on their cut list. CSR is hugely overrated by the union to create more jobs. Less taxing and more cutting.


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Posted by Concerned about Pleasanton's future
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:25 pm

curious to know the ages of Stacey's children in PUSD.....the negative,overly confident, and know it all attitude of her postings sure doesn't sound like children are first and foremost in her mind....she needs to read, think and review before she posts


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm

BUT THINK OF THE CHILDREN! ;)


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:37 pm

But seriously, if the parcel tax fails and CSR gets cut, let's just say my children will be at the forefront of that effect and I'm not really worried about it.


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Posted by Concerned about Pleasanton's future
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm

grownups with overgrown egos that refuse to stay positive, help keep our community great, and put current and future Pleasanton chldren first should consider going somewhere that you might like better.....ANYONE who would deliberately vote against children and education, in Pleasanton or anywhere, needs a reality check in being human


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Posted by An involved AVHS parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Although I know Stacey does not need anyone to come to her defense as she is quite capable of defending herself, I, for one, appreciate her posts!! They are well thought out, have valid points and are based upon her research and/or her belief without all the usual emotional mess and anger of most of the other posts.

Oh, I forgot to mention I quite often do not agree with Stacey's viewpoint, but I always appreciate the ideas, data, argument and humor she brings to the table! Keep up the good debate, Stacey!!


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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Hmmm... that wasn't the answer I was expecting at all. Interesting.

A collection of thoughts for those who care what a reasonable (at least I think I am ;) teacher thinks:

I wish there was some middle ground with CSR. I think it has value but see that it's expensive. Maybe we should be lobbying at the state level to get a reasonable 3rd option that would allow us to go from 20/1 to 25/1 without losing every bit of the CSR money from the state. 34/1 really would be a nightmare, especially if those teachers lose their prep time due to PE specialists being cut. The standards really are much higher than they were even a few years ago, then add the pressures that various IEP plans, ELD students, etc put on the teacher and it's just not realistic to think the teachers will be able to meet every child's needs (and what a lot of people don't realize, is that the teachers often become so busy dealing with the special needs kids, that it's the middle and higher level kids that get neglected).

As a teacher, I'm as frustrated as everyone else with the whole seniority issue. I wish we could just keep the best teachers and get rid of the dead weight. The bad teachers hurt our kids, and they also hurt our credibility in the community. I'll just ask you to understand that the bad teachers, at least on my site, are the exception and not the norm.

Also, I think there have been a lot of assumptions made about the teachers being unwilling to make concessions. I think the majority of us are, but they need to be reasonable ones. It's just not reasonable to ask teachers to cut their pay by $1500 each to fund programs when the community that benefits from those programs, directly or indirectly, isn't willing to ante up $233 dollars per household to support them. Also, the cuts that some people are asking for from teachers are permanent, whereas the tax will expire in 3-5 years.



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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Now voting no on a parcel tax is being equated with voting against children and education! Is that like voting no on PP means a person is against protecting the hillsides?

I'm certain this is another logical fallacy! Which one, hrm? Faulty generalization perhaps?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Teacher,

I agree with you on those thoughts. Perhaps the pressure one day will get so great that public opinion on the matter might go back to tracking students. Who knows?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm

An involved AVHS parent,

Thanks for the words. OK, I go now...


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Posted by Another teacher
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Stacey,
You say that unlike AIG, without the parcel tax the service will not go away. I would tell you, from experience, that it will. Look around at other grossly underfunded school districts. People in the Hayward district used to have highly rated schools (30 years ago) as demographics changed, increasing the needs of the system, the money dried up. The schools tanked. Yes, our schools are wonderful because of the involvement of the community, the education level of the parents & the dedication of the teachers. You should note though that our demographics are changing, this is not a bad thing but will require more money to make it work. That money should come from the state but in the likely event that it does not it is not unreasonable to ask the community to step in and help to maintain the level of excellence. Without money the services, in the manner you have all grown accustomed to, will indeed go away. Just like AIG. Unlike AIG we have no assets to sell.


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Posted by get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2009 at 12:04 am

Another Teacher wrote: "You should note though that our demographics are changing"


Based on the API data from the past 10 years, the quality of Pleasanton schools has improved steadily. I would argue that the change in demographics is making life easier for teachers in the classrooms.

Most people that moved here in the past 10 years are highly-educated professionals. Teaching children from parents with graduate degrees should be relatively easier. That may be the reason for the steady improvements in quality.

I don't see how this "will require more money to make it work" as you had claimed.

Here is a breakdown of the percentage improvements last year versus year 1999.

Alisal Elementary +12.95%

Donlon Elementary +8.43%

Fairlands Elementary +10.43%

Hearst Elementary +12.03%

Lydiksen Elementary +3.53%

Mohr (Henry P.) Elementary +7.43%

Valley View Elementary +10.5%

Vintage Hills Elementary +5.84%

Walnut Grove Elementary +8.93%

Hart (Thomas S.) +8.47%

Harvest Park Intermediate +12.55%

Pleasanton Middle +10.49%

Amador Valley High +10.03%

Foothill High +10.16%


A breakdow of API scores for each school in the past 10 years.


Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Alisal 803 840 859 866 872 864 874 884 897 907

Donlon 854 889 866 869 868 874 881 910 900 926

Fairlands 844 864 860 857 879 891 925 930 915 932

Hearst Na Na 906 892 900 906 911 914 930 959

Lydiksen 851 880 876 861 884 889 893 894 899 881

Mohr 875 918 911 915 935 944 950 960 961 940

Valley View 819 856 845 845 881 882 889 901 915 905

Vintage Hills 874 893 913 900 912 912 918 918 916 925

Walnut Grove 840 877 884 898 896 924 927 932 922 915

Middle Schools
Hart Na Na 850 859 869 871 884 894 895 922

Harvest Park 821 834 840 852 854 863 893 894 899 924

Pleasanton 820 852 850 863 872 883 902 Na 905 906

High Schools
Amador 788 795 798 790 821 829 836 850 870 867

Foothill 797 810 799 808 817 847 843 832 884 878



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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 6, 2009 at 7:28 am

Another teacher,

"the Hayward district used to have highly rated schools (30 years ago)"

Are you saying it'll take 30 years for quality to go down in PUSD? No one is talking about cutting funding for 30 years.


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Posted by Jeb Bing
editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Mar 15, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Jeb Bing is a registered user.

We're intentionally giving topics pertaining to the June 2 parcel tax measure and teacher layoffs a rest because the postings have become repetitive and, in some instances, accusatory and hurtful to teachers and other employees of the school district who are unable to respond to postings, most of which are made under the cloak of anonymity. The postings online will remain, but future postings to these threads or new ones dealing with teacher layoffs and the parcel tax can be made only by registered users of the Pleasanton Weekly forum.


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Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Apr 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

So I know this is late to ask but can someone tell me why we waste all of the money on the district offices? Pleasanton has two high schools and one district office and Livermore has two high schools and one district office but Livermore and Pleasanton share the same fire department and have reduced costs by having one administrative group to reduce costs and make themselves more cost effective. Just think of all of those $100,000 non teacher salaries which could be reduced in order to support the children!!!. As a side note, the Fremont Unified School District has seven high schools and a district office with half the members as ours and Mission San Jose High School has scores off the charts.


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