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Teachers Bringing Pink Slip Issues Into the Classroom

Original post made by Concerned About Teacher Behavior on Mar 12, 2009

Just out of curiosity, would you find it inappropriate if your child's teacher constantly talked about losing their job to young children? Would you find it inappropriate if they showed up at school in an "I got a pink slip," tee shirt? Aside from how you feel about the parcel tax, budget cuts, etc. do you find this to be divisive behavior?

Comments (148)

Posted by Scott Walsh, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 12, 2009 at 11:41 am

Has this happen or are you just stirring it up? If you have info then share it or go away. You have my full name and I am registered with the Weekly and am sick of the behavior and comments of people on both sides of this issue. Go ahead, start attacking me now.....


Posted by BCF, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm

The questions are legitimate:
Q. Just out of curiosity, would you find it inappropriate if your child's teacher constantly talked about losing their job to young children?

A. Yes. However, if a child asks a question, a factual response is legitimate.

Q. Would you find it inappropriate if they showed up at school in an "I got a pink slip," tee shirt?

A. Yes, very!

Q. Aside from how you feel about the parcel tax, budget cuts, etc. do you find this to be divisive behavior?

A. Question one, perhaps. Question 2, absolutely.


Posted by Disagree w/B, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 12:13 pm

It is happening. I've had the emails but didn't want to raise a flag (doing enough of that already); I figure other parents can speak out about whether they prefer not to receive them. I wouldn't mind the shirts, but the students are going to ask about it and then what? I'm also bothered by the emails that are saying (paraphrased) keep an eye out for information on the parcel tax. You can't say it's campaigning exactly, but to use a classroom email list for this seems wrong.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Scott: Yes it is happening.

I support the parcel tax but I'm a bit offended by the "in your face" campaigning. Teachers are emotional...I understand. But professionalism is still expected in the schools and classrooms and this type of campaigning is anything but professional.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Scott: Drive by a few campuses in your area and you'll know what I mean.


Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 12:52 pm

The on campus DRAMA is out of control and completely unprofessional!

Children on every campus K-12 have stories of teachers telling the class very inflammatory things about the pink slips and parcel tax. Elementary students are coming home crying because they of what their teachers are telling them in class.
Teachers have signs in their classroom windows, teachers and staff are wearing pink t-shirts and armbands, staff are wearing buttons.

Scott, sincere question, does this seem appropriate to you?


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

I am not comfortable with teachers initiating discussions of this issue with elementary school students. I agree with BCF that if a student asks a question the teacher should answer factually.

I support any citizen's right to free speech, however. There's no dress code that dictates what color clothing teachers can or cannot wear at work.


Posted by Paddy, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:10 pm

All persons that support our kids and teachers but oppose the parcel tax should show their solidarity by wearing green next Friday the 17th!

Green of course represents the color of the dollars that should not be wasted on this parcel tax.

Wearing green on Friday the 17th is a show of opposition to the parcel tax.

Green means:

Pro-kids

Pro-teacher

No parcel tax


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm

To clarify: the question is not about the color pink, but actually says, "I got a pink slip." This is what was being worn today.


Posted by dad of four, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I remember back when the ROCA group complained and got the buttons and flyers taken out of the schools for the teachers participation in their views about something? Can't clearly remember exactly why, but they were successful. So what has changed? Why is this ok to use my kids as pawns for a political issue? It happened in my kids class and I when I called the teacher, I was told that I needed to be more sympathetic to their "plight". Her word not mine. Stirring up trouble has already started. OUr family will not be voting for the parcel tax. This about the teachers and their greed not about the kids.

Sadly voting, with 2 NO's.





Posted by Go Green, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I love it, you are so clever!


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:33 pm

My child is an Amador student and told me that students are being asked to wear pink on Friday in support of teachers who have received pink slips
They are not being asked to wear pink specifically in support of the parcel tax, but that's the implication.
Also, my student said the issue of the parcel tax is being discussed throughout Amador...on the campus and in the classrooms (either initiated by staff or in response to student questions) My student said that the point of view the students consistently hear is a pro-parcel tax perspective. They are unaware of alternative solutions that have been suggested (e.g. Valerie Arkin's budget proposal)and many are under the impression that if the parcel tax passes, everything will go back to normal.
My student will wear a pink shirt in support of a fabulous teacher who received a pink slip. If I could afford to, I'd pay this teacher's salary to keep her because she doesn't do a good job, she does a great job. If teachers were retained based on performance, not longevity, there's no question this teacher would be retained.
But supporting this teacher doesn't mean I support the parcel tax. Passing it may mitigate the current budget problem, but solutions that take a long term perspective are needed.
I am quite concerned that the cost to place the parcel tax on the June ballot can run up to $300K (this is information from the Registrar of Voters). Initially, the community was told the cost would be approximately $150K, but it appears this figure was provided before PUSD verified it.
Whether it's $150K or up to $300K, it's a lot of money and money I'd prefer to see spent retaining reading specialists.



Posted by button, button, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Thanks for starting this thread.I think the dad of four is correct. If anyone knows of a ROCA team member who can shed some light on the button issue, please post. My memory fails me sometimes. My child came home upset because her best friend was crying about her teacher crying in the classroom with her pink slip in hand. That was drama to deal with at home. This was at a middle school. Where does John Casey stand in all of this? Is the union running the school district now? Saddened by what is happening.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Supporting good teachers is a good thing.
Balance it by suggesting your student wear green on Tuesday the 17th in opposition to the money wasted on the parcel tax.


Posted by what color to wear, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I'm confused what color I should wear if I am a troll who supports teachers, not the union, and doesn't look good in the color green. Help I don't want to make a fashion boo-boo.


Posted by excited, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I can't wait for Friday, the town will be so colorful.


Posted by Scott Walsh, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I am saddened to hear this. I do not think these issues should not be in the classroom, at least not at the lower grades. If the teachers are doing this then they have stooped to a lower level than I feel they should. They perhaps feel it is neccessary to do this but I feel it will harm then in the end...As for my two cents and having put two kids through the district, I never thought they were as good as they touted themselves in being, long thought the school board "rubber stamped" staff reports, and "mortgaged the farm" on a loser law suit. I think many of the administrators should go and do not make stupid house loans to a school superintendant. I would rather see that money in the classroom or teacher receive house loan money so they could live here and not in timbucktoo. Some tenured teachers should go who are lousy teachers(we know who they are but say nothing as parents, keep some counselors who are really great and the best teachers. I also think the county school administrator or state should do a full and complete audit of the books. Now have at me.....


Posted by Sam, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 12, 2009 at 2:12 pm

You go Scott! How do you look in green?

Pro-kids!

Pro-teachers!

Pro-community!

No parcel tax!


Posted by John Adams, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Just out of curiosity...

How would you feel if your fast food server wore a red anti-meat protest tee and whined to you over a pending termination as he served your burger?

I would speak to his manager and probably hasten his termination.

These people are putting our students in an untenable situation.

NO MORE TAXES


Posted by concerned mom, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Mar 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm

My daughter came home from Amador yesterday reporting that one of her teachers was polling the class to find out who was 18, or would be 18 by June 2nd. The idea apparently being to encourage kids to vote in the special election. In his defense he did say that he just wanted the kids to vote-BUT he also shared the discomfort of having just received a pink slip.
Is this merely a "teachable moment" or an attempt at an emotional plea to a vulnerable population?
I hope that the Mr. Coupe and company have a plan to keep a lid on the latter.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I think this whole parcel tax issue has become a teachable moment in human nature!


Posted by mary, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm

It is another teachable moment. Sadly, the teachers have such a large amount of influence over our kids that we can't be sure how "rational" any discussions will be.
SO...
Talk to your kids and explain it from your perspective and an opposing perspective, too, if you truly want it to be teachable.

It is, after all, our kids who are inheriting this the larger whole of this financial mess.


Posted by obvious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Parents: It is unfortunate that our teachers decide to put their own interests before our children. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children the value of personal responsibility and working hard to get what they want. Teach them why they shouldn't rely on others or the government to rescue them. Obviously those are not the things they'll learn in class.


Posted by Diana, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm

I have always demonstrated to my kids that you should advocate for your beliefs. But today when my student shared the fact that they have been told to wear pink tomorrow I counseled my student to not engage in the discussion because I don't want there to be a conflict with teachers or other students that don't share our views.
This is not a reasonable position to put our kids in.


Posted by Joe Blow, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Teachers are very upset at the possibility of losing their jobs - I get that. Maybe teachers need to find someone to talk to who can help them through these difficult times. Parents - if your kids are coming home reporting conversations their teacher have had in the classroom that you feel inappropriate - call your Principal and report the incident in a respectful way - get it taken care of. Principals want to know and will address the issue. Don't blog about it.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Just curious.

Granted that there are issues with the union, the parcel tax and district management...But how did these discussions and threads lead to sooooo much animosity towards teachers?

Poor teachers.



Posted by Been there done that, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Dear Joe,
Have you ever called a principal to talk about a perceived misstep in a classroom? Trust me someone will get much more support on this blog than on the upset end of that conversation.
I've had three kids go through and by the third stopped bothering to call. PMS being the worst where all you'd hear is, "Mrs. So and So your child can't be right, all the kids love Mr. So and So and you are the first person to ever complain about him." It was funny really when you'd talk to other parents who'd heard EXACTLY the same line-about the same teachers.
Circle the wagons and support your staff no matter what. Parents are the enemy.

And Observer,
You're asking why there's soooo much animosity?


Posted by Amador Teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Parents,
Rest assured that your children are not mistreated and brainwashed while in my care. Yes the pink slip issue has come up (no, I did not get one) and yes, I have had to address it. It is not something that can be ignored. Students have asked questions. Believe me they ask a lot of questions about a lot of things I would rather not talk with them about. They also tell me lots of things about their parents I would prefer not knowing, but that's for another blog. These are semi-adult people with thoughts and ideas and feelings. This issue is affecting them more than you know. For or against it they are scared. They have one shot just four years in high school and they want it to be the best experience it can be. They know the cutbacks will affect our Amador family. I don't think that some parents really understand how much their kids love our schools and how much we love and care for your kids. I am not going to go on and on about all I do, I do it because I am invested in this school and this community. But I do want you to think about your own tone in these conversations as I am very careful with mine. It's not something we can avoid talking about with your very smart, very kind and thoughtful kids. Pleasanton is a community of character and this is a teachable moment. Regardless of your opinion when teachers are degraded in front of students it hurts them deeply. They come to school and tell us the mean things they have heard their parents say. This is hard for them to understand because they love their parents and they really like and respect us. Sometimes we disagree in our practices but I assure you parents that we teachers want the same things for your kids as you do. We want them to have the best education they possibly can and we want them to be happy productive members of this community. The latter is often harder to help them achieve but really is the most important, isn't it? Whatever color you wear, whatever you decide to vote, please think about what you say in do in front of your children just like I do. Thank you for reading.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2009 at 7:11 pm

This topic reminds me of a cute little bit of parody from "Pleasantopia" by Douglas Kendall.

One of the teenager characters gets kidnapped so everyone at the high school begin to wear black armbands. The teachers, in support, started wearing "a little black ribbon folded once, right next to all the other multi-colored little ribbons they wore showing that they supported everything -- except the twisted folded up dollar bill to support lower taxes and fiscal responsibility that their national union wouldn't let them wear."


Posted by hurt teacher, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm

I am truly hurt by these blogs. I have invested 22 years into being a teacher, received 3 teaching awards and am so saddened by all of this hostility. Teachers did not cause this problem. Greed caused this problem. We simply don't have enough money coming in from our state and we need our community to band together to help solve this problem. You can be anti tax all you want but how happy will you be when the value of your home goes down. The parcel tax will cost $233.00 but loss of home value would cost up to much more.
Work together to solve this problem.


Posted by Falcon, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Been there done that,
I have to agree with my colleague at Amador. There are very few parents like you and thank goodness for that. We do not view parents as the enemy but we have learned to take much of what the kids say with a grain of salt. Obviously issues of abuse will be handled properly but if we were to judge you the parents through the comments of your children you would be in trouble. (I have a student in my class right now who daily shares with me the stories about his father's gastrointestinal problems - this is why the child says he is late daily - TMI?)
Your kids share so much about your behavior too. As a responsible adult with children of my own I know much of what they say comes from the perspective of an egocentric child. Many of the horrible things the students report as having happened in a classroom are again from their egocentric perspective and have not much merit. Generally what happens is kids are trying to get out of trouble or not admit their responsibility in a situation and then try to shift it to a teacher. Most parents (like myself) do not fall for this but some do, they take it hook, line and sinker and are off to the principal to talk about what we are doing to little Johnny. Oh and once that happens you have provided your child with the ultimate out. Honestly we see this play over and over and over in the many, many, many years we teach and with many different kids.


Posted by I'll vote yes, just spare out kids please, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 7:58 pm

My daughter came home tonight asking me to give her $20 so she can keep her teacher. She says that her teacher needs the money or will be out of a job. My daughter is in kindergarten!!! She is very upset about the whole situation.

What are these teachers thinking?

Fine. I relent. I will do as you people want and vote yes on the parcel tax. Just don't hurt our children anymore!


Posted by In response, a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Unless it's in high school, I don't think its appropriate to discuss these issues in the classroom. Some of the children may get scared, confused and exaggerate what they have heard.
With this said, I have discussed this issue with my three boys (it's a great learning experience.)
I have also asked them if they have heard anything from their teachers. They have not.
On the other hand, I understand why teachers are upset. In their time of need, they are reading many, "insensitive", comments that are hurtful. Historically teachers have always had to "speak up" to be heard.


Posted by Elsey, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 12, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I support the parcel tax, but I do see some validity in a few of the arguments against it. One thing is clear: this issue isn't going away. To those of you who want to shelter your children from this information, at some point you probably want to think about being able to explain to your kids what is happening, what your position is and why. Even the little ones will ask. If you keep them in the dark, how will they feel when they show up back at school in August to find their beloved teacher from this year is no longer teaching, and that they now have an additional 12 children in their classroom, no music or PE class, no science or computer lab and a stripped down library time? Then you will be seeing tears because it will be personal.

I can understand not wanting them to hear it just from the teachers. But even the little ones will hear it from classmates. Do them a favor and talk to them about it now.


Posted by John Adams, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I want to thank my daughter's teachers at Amador for their professional behavior. Not one of them participated in the drama I have read about, and I would go to bat for all of them to keep their jobs.

The teacher who posted above that greed is the problem is right. But it's not greedy for the citizens of Pleasanton to balk at another tax at a time when state taxes are skyrocketing, ALL our wages are falling, and yes, our home values have already plummeted.

It IS greedy for teachers to insist on continuing their step and column RAISES during a time when the state has frozen raises, and thus reduced the income of the district. Teachers are not the only ones in danger of losing their jobs. A lot of parents have, or will before this economy is through.


Posted by Teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Ironically, I am a teacher with a 5 year old son who I have tried to keep shielded from the fact that I may not be in my current position next year. When my own students ask, I try to answer them with a very vague answers and reassure them that everything will be fine. It isn't right to discuss budget shortfalls with children in class. However, my child was crying tonight because a classmate told him that his mother isn't going to work at his school next year. So, it's hard to shield children from the conversations they hear between their parents or the visions on the nightly news. A child from a home without educators broke my little guy's heart today, not his teacher!
The wearing of pink tomorrow is to raise awareness that the K-12 funding was the hardest hit of all the budget cuts. Educators, community members, and parents are wearing pink throughout the state of California tomorrow. We are honoring dedicated California teachers, about 25,000 of them, that will receive their pink slips tomorrow. It isn't about the Parcel Tax. Teachers want community members and particularly parents to write the governor and representatives serving in Sacramento. All of us, whether we have children or not, should be furious with the people in Sacramento that have mismanagement our tax money and now jeopardize quality education for all California school children. This fighting among community members is so disheartening! It's so simple, if you want to keep program, pay the parcel tax if you don't vote no. There really isn't any need to name call, accuse P.T.A. of wrongdoings, or attack teachers who have been notified that their careers may be over. Do you realize that some of the teachers who have received pink slips have taught in Pleasanton as much as 7 years? Some of these teachers taught elsewhere first and have 10-20+ years of teaching experience. These teachers who were pink slipped are incredible teachers who won't be able to find work anywhere in California since this is happening all over the state.


Posted by Trish, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 9:53 pm

"It's so simple, if you want to keep program, pay the parcel tax if you don't vote no."

If it is so simple why does the pro-tax group need to raise $80,000? Maybe we could broker a deal, there will be no money spent or campaigning for the yes on taxes side, and the no on taxes side will agree to the same ;-)


Posted by Keep in mind..., a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Teachers have not yet spoken about possible concessions like the step and column increases. I am a teacher in Pleasanton and I am willing to say publicly that I would forgo that increase this year to "do my part". Keep in mind that my "greed" amounts to $1600 this year alone if I do not take the step and column increase. This is far more than the $233 annually that parcel owners would be asked to pay. It's not that we are being greedy at all. We are proceeding with caution. A lot of history has taught us to be very careful with what we give because we may never get it back.

Educators were never part of the dot-com boom. We did not get bonuses during that time. We did not get nice perks at our work and we did not get lavish company parties. We just don't have a lot to give back in terms of salary. I think we are a reasonable bunch and will help to solve this problem.

It just does not seem fair that a teacher who already gives so much, this one spent $3000 in the classroom last year above and beyond my school budget, to take on an unfair cut in pay.


Posted by Jenny, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Mar 12, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Thank YOu Amador teacher! We need more like you.I could never do your job. I wish our system was different and you could be paid what you are worth. This is a time for coming together and supporting one another - all, not just teachers. The PUSD staff are not the only ones who have been laid off. I have heard so many teachers say they would take a cut in pay than to loose a job- but it is the Sacramento CTA that is pressuring our local union - come on people- it is about Pleasanton and protecting our own shangra-la. WE all need to model good and caring behavior for each other and for the kids. Keep it together peole.


Posted by Matt, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm

The school budget issues is affecting all schools in California. Not just Pleasanton.

From the northern most of California, to the southern most of California, each school district is facing the same issue.

To think that PUSD is causing the whole budget issue on their own is kind of ridiculous. PUSD has tried to not asked for Parcel Tax for years, while the surrounding city, Livermore, Dublin and San Ramon asked for it years ago. If you got an issue w/ PUSD, work with them for the long term to resolve it.

Please, look at the bigger picture. The state budget is going to get worse. When May election come, and all the props 1 did not pass, we are in BIG trouble.


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 11:21 pm

I merely asked if it was appropriate to bring one's own political views and personal worries into the classroom... SHEESH!!!


Posted by living among brain deads, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 11:22 pm

"but it is the Sacramento CTA that is pressuring our local union"

If the Sacramento CTA pressures our local union, we should all just hand over our wallets? Listen to what you people are saying.

If the Sacramento CTA pressures our local union, I'd say let's get rid of the union altogether.

This is absurd!!!

No Parcel Tax!!!


Posted by KGB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2009 at 11:35 pm

I hate to state the obvious but isn't it true that the budget is not even finalized? I mean, the board still has no clue how much they'll be getting next school year, correct?

In that case, all these notices are just that: notices. By late summer, they'll get the millions from the FEDS and news that the cuts aren't as deep as they first thought (off by 8-9 million).

The notices they sent are flat out ridiculous, merely an attempt to stir up panic and drama to manipulate us into supporting that silly tax.

In the 5 schools I visited, over 80% of the teachers received a notice. Over 80%!!! Unless they're planning to close the 5 schools, I find it highly unlikely all those teachers would be axed.

So here we see yet another scare tactic. They're getting more and more creative.

No on Parcel Tax!!!


Posted by Parent and Active Classroom Volunteer, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 12:44 am

Teachers are not the enemy here.

Teachers did not cause the budget crisis.

Teachers are real people, a number of them with husbands/wives in the private sector who got laid off as well.

Many teachers got laid off this week. Getting pink slips is not a scare tactic. It is PUSD's way of trying to keep our schools operational in the light of the tight budget.

Stop attacking your child's teacher. Show a little compassion and empathy. If you are not willing to be productive and constructive, then homeschool your kids and get them away from these teachers and the school district that you scorn so much.


Posted by KGB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 12:58 am

"Parent and Active Classroom Volunteer" - Let's get the facts straight. Teachers did NOT get laid off this week. They got notices of possible layoff. Read my last sentence again. They're notices mandated to be sent by the contractual agreement with the union.

My point is that the board and PUSD deliberately sent out more notices than they plan to lay off, citing that they want to add some cushioning. I've to be really stupid to believe that they'll lay off 80% of all teachers across 5 different schools. It's all smoke and screen to manipulate and confuse the voters. Such tactic is low, even for them.

No on Parcel Tax!!!


Posted by pass parcel tax, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 13, 2009 at 6:33 am

KGB-this is not a scare tactic. IF you had gone to any board meeting you would have known that this is the first time ever that PUSD had to have a "qualifying" budget to the county. That means they do not think they will be able to pay their bills. The problem was at the end of last year Sacramento said we would give so much money to the schools. Now Sacramento says-sorry the money I promised is not coming. They do not have the money so they must cut 9.7 million. The parcel tax will not even pay for all of it so there will be drastic cuts
Those notices are real because if the parcel tax is not passed they will not have a job. STOP attacking our teachers!


Posted by Concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 7:38 am

Why are people debating the tax in a thread that is about teacher behavior? Look at the title of the thread, people!!!!


Posted by Sarah, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:18 am


To Parent Classroom Volunteer, Walnut Grove/ Stepfordwife,

No one has been laid off yet!!!

Pinkslips are a regular event to panic people. This time some of those people will lose jobs but it is unlikely it will be many. All teacher Jobs could be saved if STEP and Column is suspended until after the crisis is ended and Admin reverses the raises they snuck through weeks before the state froze raises along with other nonessential cuts.
Anti-tax is not anti teacher, I want to save every teacher job!!!
Demand that the district make responsible management decisions.

I agree:
"The notices they sent are flat out ridiculous, merely an attempt to stir up panic and drama to manipulate us into supporting that silly tax."


Posted by stayhomedad, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:24 am

Parent and active classroom volunteer...are you defending teachers? How noble of you, expecially when NO ONE IS ATTACKING THEM! Don't waste your time being distracted by their diversion. Stay on the issue of...the Unions...the School Board...and Dr. Casey!!


Posted by Trish, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:30 am

Matt, a resident of the Stoneridge,

PUSD has been trying to pass a parcel tax with a variety of justifications for five years now but the community would not support it.
They would be foolish to waste this budget crisis. They have played hide the pea, instead of making reasonable cuts and concessions they have targeted emotional cuts to get support from panicked parents and teachers.

Teachers please keep this out of our classrooms.


Posted by Feed Up, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:32 am

Blue, Pink, Green, Red.... I can not wear anything in my closet anymore. I don't know what statement I may be making. None of it belongs in the classroom.

I think the tax may be a necessary evil. It will need to be monitored to ensure that it is used correctly. I heard people say that we should just take a 10 % cut across the board and that will fix the problem, However, I think they should still have the tax (perhaps less) and put it in a reserve account for the future. The schools that have a tax are doing far better than we are right now. What I do not agree with, However, is more taxes and some people losing their jobs and others not feeling the hurt at all. Just my two cents.


Posted by who got laid off?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:43 am

My wife got laid off in September. He didn't get pink slip, he was given 5 hours to close out his life of 22 years at a job he loved and security walked him out. THAT people is getting laid off. Pink slips are a notice. Like the poster above it is a mandatory notice by the union. PLEASE for heaven sake STOP whining. Pink slips used in the classrooms to alert our children of the impending DOOM is unprofessional and an obvious tactic set up by the union and the blessing of the district to scare parents into voting yes on the parcel tax.
Shame on all who feel like they can use any child of any age as a chip for what they want. Get your facts straight before out pink slips, It's really getting old.
If this is how you think that you are going to win over the fence sitting, get a grip on the reality you seem to have lost.



Posted by pink slip annie, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:45 am

Pink slips in mass do not equate mass layoffs. John Casey has lost his control over the district. It's a union run know. Too bad.


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:46 am

Yes, I find it completely inappropriate. Our 9 year old has been the unfortunate receiver of such comments in their classroom. Of All people, Teachers should know that children of such an age are not mature enough to understand and process such complicated issues, but rather react by becomming scared, anxious, and worried. The fact that the teacher conducts themself in such a manner and doesn't understand children only reinforces that giving them a pinkslip is likely the right thing to do.


Posted by West side observer, a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:50 am

Teachers are a large part of the problem. The teacher's union supports—campaign funds from union dues--all of those state politicians who HAVE caused the problems. You might be surprised by how much and to whom the union donates.
In addition, teacher intimidation and other stunts have always been a part of the PUSD curriculum—ask Mark Moses, former board candidate, who saw teachers distributing campaign literature in teacher cubbies.


Posted by 38 Year resident, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:51 am

Of course it would be inappropriate for a district employee to do campaigning in their classroom. It is not inappropriate for them to do it outside the school grounds. It is also appropriate for non-employees to voice their support anywhere they choose, for or against.

Unfortunately, there are many attacks on teacher's taking place on these boards, most I expect are from 20 something's who have a vote, but haven't yet honed their 1st amendment skills to address the real issue. It is OK to be against the tax for a variety of reasons, including your beliefs that their is too much bureaucratic waste, that the unions are the cause, that the shortfall is just life, live with it, that CSR has a poor cost benefit ratio, that you cannot afford it etc... I fundamentally disagree with all of these, but can understand why some might feel this way. But, to make character assassination attempts on the teachers as a community, or to use "the she called me a name" so I'm voting no, approach, is just plain juvenile.

Yes on Parcel Tax


Posted by MomofTwo, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:54 am

I realize this is about teacher behavior but I feel I need to add my two cents:

1. We need to do whatever we can to make sure our own school districts reputation does not become like our surrounding cities reputation (Livermore/Dublin). The schools are the main reason we paid more to buy a home in Pleasanton. This concerns EVERY homeowner in Pleasanton.

2. I find it a shame that some of the best and brightest teachers (the ones with less experience but some very exciting, engaged, current) are being the ones that may have to go. This is the Teachers Union's doing. Unfortunately, won't it be the long term teachers who stay and may end up teaching classes they have no experience teaching, just because of their seniority, ie: a 1st grade teacher teaching 5th grade or a music teacher teaching a regular class?


Posted by ActiveParent, a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

I think it is too bad that we all can't try to work together on a solution that works for everyone. Everyone is spending too much time pointing fingers at each other instead of working together. Some of these teachers that are being asked to take a paycut actually live in Pleasanton and will either take a paycut and/or lose their jobs and then be asked to pay a parcel tax on top of it! While I don't think that the teachers should be discussing this in the K - 5 grades I think the high school level students should be allowed to ask questions and have them answered. As one of the writers noted these people are young adults and you'd be surprised at how intelligently they can discuss these topics.

I also find it amusing that someone has actually asked people to wear green on March 17th if they don't support taxes, since it is St. Patrick's Day many people will be wearing green anyway! Clever campaigning Paddy!


Posted by anon., a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

When it comes to teachers discussing the pink slips in class, I feel it depends on what level of school it is: elementary, middle, high school. Also, are they discussions or are they rants on injustice and discontent? I believe some middle school and high school students can hold honest and open and interesting discussions on what is happening concerning teachers right now.
Do any of you have kids in Special Ed? If not, do you have any idea what the staff cuts mean to kids like this? Both of my children receive some RSP services. Both of my children are losing teachers that do the MOST for them. How will my children advance and succeed, even just survive the day to day classroom without the teachers they need the most?
To me, to my family, the wearing of pink today means that we support the teachers who got pink slipped this week. 16 teachers at my daughters elementary schools were Pink Slipped. That is HALF of the school staff. I dread next year--are we going to have classes filled with 40 + children? When my kids need to go to RSP class to get help in math or language arts, who is going to be there to help them....NO ONE? When my daughter needs the school counselor to work on social skills or the OT to work on sensory skills, where will they be?
I'm wearing pink. My daughter is wearing pink. My son is wearing pink. My husband is wearing pink.


Posted by Tell them, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:59 am

I hope you are all sending emails to the Board and Superintendent!
ChrisMGrant@gmail.com -President
jott@unclecu.org
valerie@arkinhome.com
hintzke@gmail.com
patkernan@gmail.com (non-resident that will not pay this tax trustee)


Posted by 38 Year resident, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:03 am

Dear conspiracy theorist:

Pink slips
Layoff notice are legally mandated by state Web Link and federal law Web Link

They require statutory advanced notice.


Posted by On The Fence, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:04 am

This is getting WAY out of hand!! I mentioned in another thread that my young child was told, by their teacher that "the money is gone and the teacher's will be too". This was said by an excellent teacher who my child adores!

I'm struggling with rational of this, these children are too young for such a topic. I have a great deal of respect for the teaching community which is the one, and only reason I'm still undecided on the parcel tax.

Please, please, please spare the young children from such a confusing topic, it's not helping the cause.


Posted by West side observer, a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:05 am


I am actually wearing black today to show my support for taxpayers who are about to get slammed with a higher car tax, a higher sales tax (9.75%), and a higher income tax.


Posted by Suzanne, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:09 am

This is absolutely inappropriate and unprofessional!!! It's definitely happening...so, please knock it off, teachers! My son told me he has teachers in the classroom talking about receiving (or possibly receiving) pink slips all the time. Also, he has teachers trying to get students to take their classes next year so their particular class won't be canceled (as in "I only need 7 more students to sign up for this class and then I'll definitely get to teach it"...or some such stuff). Again, completely inappropriate!
By the way, Our family will be voting NO on the parcel tax.


Posted by Been there, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:15 am

My children are all done with PUSD. They all had unique experiences and my family could provide an anecdote to back up each one of your points-positive and negative. It is not all one way or the other. My child all had different needs, expectations and experiences. Like most of life, truth is somewhere in the middle.

One of the best the things any of my children learned was during Senior year at Amador. The teacher was asking the kids to take a position and defend it. They were taught to attack the issues, not the person speaking. He told them that unless they could come up with a great defense for the other side and thoroughly understand the opposing position as well, their position was uninformed. As parents and voters we could all learn from this advice.


Posted by Scott Walsh, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:16 am

What this town does best is polarize and insult. Community of Character my patootie. I gag everytime I see one of those signs. sorry folks those signs don't fit this town. We are like the seagulls in "Finding Nemo". Mine,mine-mine.....We are like the Titanic...panicking and seeking the "Lifeboat" because "I" deserve it....all justifying their issue instead of problem solving....all, including me, talk alot-blah, blah, blah but do so little when we need to roll up our sleeves and do so much more. We like to blame all kinds of things--for me, it's Casey and what I believe, non-forward thinking school boards who did not prepare well enough for this "climate". Now we're here talking about doing the easiest thing--throwing money at an issue. Then what.......?


Posted by Support of (proper) Education, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:19 am

This blog just keeps on going, and for the most part, for good reason. However ...

I am a long-time Pleasanton resident, having gone through these schools myself, and now I have children who are making their ways through each of the three leveled schools. Though I haven't read each and every preceding blog, I think Jennifer said it best in her response. This is undeniably a hot topic - valid concerns being expressed on both sides as it should. However, from a legal standpoint, if what the kids are being exposed to with this topic in the classroom happened in a regular office, it quite probably would be considered a hostile environment, and with the button pushing inside the classroom, which is supposed to be education time (not for personal agendas -- which I hear from my own kids reminiscent of what has been brought up here), in such an office environment, there would in the least be reprimand and even can cost individuals their jobs.

Let's keep this healthy exchange outside the classroom. The classroom is a learning environment, and while the high/middle school kids may have questions that can be addressed generally and w/o excessive detail, the continual topic taking up constant classtime is not what taxpayers want their education $$ spent on. BTW: I too question the separate ballot, cost, etc.

To the Falcon faculty member inclined to "agree with (his) colleague at Amador," I take issue with your points as at least from my chair it would seem to be a veiled threat and/or mud slinging. Come on now, you are probably a good and decent teacher who really does care about kids, but your post leads elsewhere.

I for one had been on one side of the table parcel tax-wise and find myself coming to the other side. The bottom line is here in Pleasanton we do pride our community on the education our kids receive; it is important to us. However, the economy being what it is leads everyone to tighten their belts. At times like these, if it were a cut and dry issue, there wouldn't be the innumerable back and forth. It isn't so cut and dry. Not sure how much of an impact it will make, but I would encourage more administrative cuts ($$, etc.) first and then look to the teachers. Just what does an athletic director do for instance?

Bottom line, if it's warranted it will pass. Let's all decide for ourselves. I know I will. Yes, I do support teachers but with so many lay offs (in all sectors) as a result of this economy, I'm going to be sure and weed out the propaganda and focus on the facts.

To those making this teachers vs. the community or vice versa, shame on you! The education of our children, the dedication most teachers show and the parent/teacher cooperative effort necessary to success in education are vital to a successful learning environment. Get off that distraction. There are legitimate issues to be addressed and it will affect all of us. Make an informed decision.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:21 am

I think we can all agree that regardless of our feelings about the parcel tax, it's as inappropriate for anyone (teachers, parent volunteers, etc.) to campaign on school campuses for/against the parcel tax, as it was to campaign for any other measure or candidate.

Teachers have come in for the most criticism about this because, by their own admission, they greatly influence our children.

There has been a discussion on this and other blogs about teachers feeling not respected.

Teachers, please realize that except for a few comments here and there (which I do not condone at all) the majority of the people posting have indicated they hold Pleasanton teachers in high regard. Being anti-parcel tax does not equate to being anti-teacher. There is anti-union sentiment, and a real concern that the parcel tax is a short term solution - it may save some teacher jobs this coming school year, but what about the next year, and the years after?

But please teachers, respect parents. They are their children's first teachers, and even those for the parcel tax have noted that campaigning in the classroom is inappropriate.

At the high school level, teachers can tell students that voters should be fully informed on an issue and recommend students do their own research. If asked for your opinion, certainly give it, but give it while indicating that you do have a personal bias.

At the middle school and elementary school levels, I think teachers should respect what many parents are saying - don't say things that scare the students - ask the students to have a discussion with their parents. Perhaps even email the parents and let them know their child has expressed some concern, fear, whatever and then leave it to the parents to address.

While good teachers can and do positively influence and shape a child's educational experience, please don't forget that parents do too.


Posted by Ken J, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:28 am

Why should the teachers and their supporters be the only ones able to air their grievances during classtime? Perhaps each of us who has problems should arm our children with colored t-shirts, send them to school with posters and placards, and instruct them to "ask questions in the classroom" that would then have to be discussed. Easier than deconstructing a sentence or solving a math problem! These are tough times that require tough decisions and belt-tightening from all of us. Yes, some teachers and (heaven forbid) some administrators will be laid off. But how many students are fearful of where their parents' next paycheck will come from becasue the parent(s) have also been laid off? We have to stop thinking that more money will solve all the problems and find a way to get back to the basics and stay focused on those basics for the benefit of our children and future generations.


Posted by A Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:32 am

I call this EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL on kids and parents. Teachers, get over it. Do your job. Take a pay cut. All of us are not getting a merit increase this year and some of us have to take a pay cut. So, you should do the same.

NO PARCEL TAX. One time fee this year of up to $500 is fine. This fee should be based on size of property. If parcel tax wins the ballot, it should be called SCHOOL (PUSD) TAX and all monies from this should go to the school district.


Posted by Just A Mom, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:34 am

My daughter's teacher at Amador has shared with his class that he is to be laid off due to budget cuts and apparently the kids feel guilty and feel pressured to wear pink today. After some discussion in which I shared with her the mismanagement of funds, she decided not to wear pink. She states that many teachers are instructing students that to vote for the parcel tax is in their best interests without further discourse regarding both sides of the issue. Very disturbing.


Posted by yet another pay cut for US not the teachers???, a resident of Happy Valley
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:37 am

My family gets hit with a PAY cut for this year - NO BONUS - and forced vacation days - yet the teachers are clamoring for "what's rightly theirs!!""" " Help - I can't breathe" !!!!!!!!!!
This is the BIG one Ethel!!! This BAD economy is affecting EVERYONE - why not the teachers - come on - give a little to save some jobs - we all have to - why not you????????


Posted by Amador Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:49 am

Just a Mom,
Perhaps we should start identifying on this blog which teachers are instructing students to vote for the parcel tax. I too have heard about some (not all!) Amador teachers spending clas time to discuss the parcel tax issue and how it personally impacts them.
At a guess, does your daughter's teacher teach science?


Posted by PINK FRIDAY, a resident of Remen Tract
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:50 am

The reason for Pink Friday is not the teachers jobs. It is the sad state of education funding. Unfortunately that is tied to teachers jobs, education is not much without them, but we really need to focus on minimum funding levels and what is important to educate our kids. PUSD does a great job with education. If anyone really thinks otherwise you are nuts. Do we want to help a fine institution through this rough patch or do we want the kids to help shoulder the burdon? It's not right that we have to but no matter what you say, that is the way it is. Cuts will affect the kids. Vote how ever you would like. That is the joy of our system.


Posted by Concerned Parents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:51 am

I am getting: CHECK YOUR POLITICS AT THE DOOR tee
-shirts made for my kids!


Posted by Worth reading again, a resident of Village High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:54 am

Not sure who wrote this but worth repeating:

"Parent and Active Classroom Volunteer" - Let's get the facts straight. Teachers did NOT get laid off this week. They got notices of possible layoff. Read my last sentence again. They're notices mandated to be sent by the contractual agreement with the union.

My point is that the board and PUSD deliberately sent out more notices than they plan to lay off, citing that they want to add some cushioning. I've to be really stupid to believe that they'll lay off 80% of all teachers across 5 different schools. It's all smoke and screen to manipulate and confuse the voters. Such tactic is low, even for them."

No on Parcel Tax!!!


Posted by Parent of two, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:07 am

Wake up, parents. This is the same situation we had in November when teachers openly campaigned for Obama in the classrooms.

And teachers are people. Those that got "notices" ("pink slip" makes it sound like a fait accompli, which it isn't) are hurt, they're confused, and they're worried about their futures. The most sympathetic audience they will ever find is the kids, with whom they have an emotional bond.

Let the teachers talk. You, as parents, should mitigate any extreme talk to keep the kids centered. "Yes, Johnny, your teacher might lose their job, but would you rather have a PS3, or pay the extra tax to keep them?"


Posted by Are you kidding?, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:27 am

"start identifying on this blog which teachers"

Why don't we just throw them into the water and see if they are witches too?

Do you want them to start identifying your badly behaving kids by name?

You parents give the rest of us a bad name.

You should really be ashamed. Ashamed.


Posted by On The Fence, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:31 am

I am wide awake, and know that I don't want my 6-year-old to play the part of a psychologist to their teacher. It's hard enough for my child to decide whether to have regular Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast. These young children should not have to be in a position to worry about "teachers being gone too".

I understand the urgency of the financial well being of the PUSD, this is a very emotionally charged issue and the voters should think through and make their own educated decisions.

Please, please, please leave this issue to the "grown-ups" and let the little one's brains expand with Math, Science and reading.


Posted by K Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:33 am

There is plenty of time in life to be worried about our futures-we're a clear representation of this. Why do we as parents and teachers think it's okay to "vent" to our kids. Factual conversation is one thing, but this does not excuse our judgment in deciding what really needs to be divulged to our young kids. To the teacher above who commented about her 5 year old being told his mom wouldn't be back to school, I actually cried when I read that. I'm sorry for your son and I'm sorry for my own kids who will hopefully be spared that same heartache. We're all on the same side. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can work towards fixing this big mess.


Posted by Momof2, a resident of Beratlis Place
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:45 am

Instead of the witch hunt, maybe you could just contact the teacher?

Community of Character.


Posted by witch of PTown, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:51 am

I see the teachers are the witches boiling our kids in the oil of the parcel tax. My pretty!!


Posted by just because, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:53 am

This is a blog, this is a forum. The thread is the topic in which everyone is responding to. Web logic 2.0


Posted by Vince + 4, a resident of Las Positas
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:54 am

Did not read all these posts but what one thing is clear to me. So many on here are trying to are trying to frame this debate as teachers vs. the community or support kids not not and so on and so on. Why? Because they can. Caution to those responding to the teachers vs community (or vice versa) like debate ......don't let them. We will be voting NO and telling others the same.


Posted by Jim, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Mar 13, 2009 at 11:06 am

More taxes. Just what we need!
The sales tax is going up April 1 this year to 9.75%. Yes that is right. The state can not make cuts, so they are raising sales taxes 1%.
We went to 8.75% in this county a few years ago to show our Oakland neighbors that we cared. This new tax shows that Sacramento does not care. Just pass the cost of government on to the people of California.
It is time to make hard decisions; not raise taxes. When does the tea tax start?


Posted by Ellen, a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 13, 2009 at 11:12 am

Just a MOM - what reasons could you have given your child that the pink slips are due to mismanagement of funds??
Why do you think the funds have been mismanaged? Is this slander?

Teachers needs to check their politics at the door. Most peole get walked out by security with NO notice.

I do not think the pink slips are a scare tactic, but an effort for the district to protect itself against the teacher union.


Posted by obvious, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

"what reasons could you have given your child that the pink slips are due to mismanagement of funds??"

Hmm...where do I begin? How about here?

Superintendent Dr. John Casey is employed under a contract which ends June 30, 2010. His annual salary is $227,002, with a 12-month work calendar and 24 days of vacation. Medical and other health insurance may be purchased at his sole expense, and the District contributes $5,000 annually for life insurance premiums. At the completion of each year of the contract where he has worked at least 85% of the days, he receives a payment of $10,000 into a tax-sheltered annuity. He receives $1,000 per month as a transportation allowance and membership in professional organizations as appropriate and necessary. When Dr. Casey moved to Pleasanton, he received a $200,000 loan to help purchase a home in the community. This loan is interest free and must be repaid within 18 months of the termination of his employment. There is no provision or expectation that the loan would be "forgiven." The current balance of this loan is $190,000.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 11:52 am

Are the teachers willing to let me come into the classroom to discuss my lay-off? The teacher's union and tenure are out of control. Not to say that there aren't some excellent teachers because there are. Teachers and other government workers need to understand just how bad things are (CalPers is also out of control) Sorry but the party is over. Time for everyone to buck up.

I have tried for 2 years now to get my property tax lowered to the current value, about $1000 per year lower, BTW. It will happen this year so parcel tax or not, school revenue is going to be much less this year, and the next.

Lastly, my son has no impact on these decisions so leave him out of it.


Posted by Amador Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 11:53 am

Many parents reported teachers who campaigned for or against Proposition 8.
Parents felt teachers should not use their classrooms as forums to discuss this issue, particularly since there's no equality in the classrooms...the teachers are in charge, and if they want to spend 10, 20 , or more minutes of class time to present their viewpoint on any issue, they can...they have a captive audience.
The only classrooms where the parcel tax should be discussed is high school civics classes where all viewpoints are objectively presented.

Teachers who use the classroom podium as a soapbox to vent their frustrations or spout their opinions to try to influence students are abusing their role.

As one poster said, everyone needs to check their politics at the door, and this is especially true of the teachers. Many are not objective, and because they have the power of assigning grades, students feel the need to agree or pretend to agree with what the teacher says.

Teachers tell students there are consequences for inappropriate behavior. Well, there are consequences for teachers who behave inappropriately too.

There is nothing confidential about what these teachers are doing - they are using a public forum - the classroom. Equating naming a teacher who abuses his/her role in the classroom, an adult no less, to keeping behavior of minors confidential as required by law - there's no comparison, just emotional knee jerk logic.

Ellen, there are threads on other topics about ways PUSD has mismanaged funds (e.g. $100K solar panel error at FHS). It's not slander, it's information that can be found in School Board meeting minutes.


Posted by To Amador Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I agree that naming a teacher who abuses his/her power is appropriate. I still think the mature thing to do is contact that teacher, but you can not suggest naming a teacher based on what you hear from your kids can you? I believe in a court of law that is hearsay. Unless you are there to hear it and see it for your self I strongly caution you against naming names. That is in fact slander. You would be best served using this fiasco as a teachable moment rather than take your frustrations out on school district employees.

You are not there, you are not aware of the situation that brought up the conversation. I don't believe teachers are lecturing one way or the other regarding the parcel tax. They don't have time, they are busy.

If you are very worried contact Bill Coupe and ask him if you can observe the behavior of these teachers. If you don't care enough to do that then shut up. You are making the rest of us look bad.


Posted by bel, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I don't like politics in the classroom, especially the kindergartners and first grade. There are enough things for kids to worry about, at least in school they should be safe from that and able to focus on their schoolwork and grades.

Maybe in civics in HS like Amador Parent said above, but it is too much for the young kids.


Posted by Parent of two, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm

As some have said, use this opportunity as a learning tool for your kids. I have one at HMS and one at FHS, and it gave me an opportunity to teach them about the tyranny of tenure when their young, energetic teachers got "pink-slipped" and the old, tired teachers skated by.

Also, in some of these cases, it points out the impulsiveness of youth is a detriment. Anyone who tells their class about their job situation is probably not a suitable teacher to begin with, thus vindicating their status. I KNOW not to talk about politics at work, especially when jobs are at risk. Apparently that lesson still needs to be learned by a few.


Posted by Cathie Feiler, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm

These teachers have every right to fight for thier jobs. They spend more time with our children often times then we as the parents do. It's our job as well to discuss these issues with our children. These are teaching MOMENTS that suround us today. The bigger worry should be how will these cuts affect my children and how can I be part of the solution. While I would rather have the 3 R's being taught, this is a REALITY that will affect our schools. Support these teachers, the stress of a lay off affects them too.


Posted by George Martin, a resident of California Somerset
on Mar 13, 2009 at 1:09 pm

No one has been laid off yet!!! That is correct, but if you get a notice would you wait on a vote to see if you have a job or not. Is it fair for the parcel tax to be connected to jobs? This is simply the TOP administration and the board not wanting to own up to the really probelm. Over spending for years! Why did they wait so long to put this on the ballot? What really is going on in PUSD with the budget, it is a moving target. Don't blame the state, that is only one part of the problem.

Anti-tax is not anti teacher, I want to save every teacher, classifed and low level administrator jobs (they are the real worker bees)!!! Next time you see Dr. Casey or one of the other top administrators at the club or on the golf course, note the time of day.

Demand that the district make responsible management decisions. Demand that the board is not a rubber stamp board and Chris Grant stop TALKING SO MUCH!!!!!

As another blogger put it:

I agree:

"The notices they sent are flat out ridiculous, merely an attempt to stir up panic and drama to manipulate us into supporting that silly tax."

Good job Scott Walsh, you have made many great points!


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 1:32 pm

So, Cathie Feiler, it sounds like you are fine with this type of behavior so long as it is your position that is being propagandized. Freedom of speech and all of that, just leave my kids out of it!


Posted by Amador dad, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 2:09 pm

> If you don't care enough to do that then shut up. You are making the rest of us look bad.<

Nice COMMUNITY OF CHARACTER!!!

You make yourself look bad.

Bill Coupe? PLEASE. He more worried about his *** and the liability that surrounds it.




Posted by Parent, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Dr. Casey is entitled to everything he received as part of his recruitment package. He is NOT responsible for this crisis and anyone who says/infers that he is is WRONG! Stop blaming and start looking for solutions. It is simple math. District has not received 9+million. A parcel tax will raise 43% of that and will save some programs (none will be used for administrators salaries) , the other 57% will go. Vote for it or not, up to you, but please stop with comments that imply John Casey is not honest, hardworking or trying to find a solution to this problem.


Posted by George Martin, a resident of California Somerset
on Mar 13, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Interesting comments today. How many of you had classes of 20:1 when you were in elementary school? Seems by the comments, everyone here is very well educated. If I remember correctly, the district gets money from the state to fund CSR, what happens if the state pulls this money? Will the parcel tax have to be changed so that more money from the tax goes to CSR? Then does that mean that counselors are now going to be cut again? Thank you Valerie Arkin for trying to find other solutions, I am sorry no other board members are listening. Freezing everyones salary would save about 1.5 to 2 million, of course that means that Dr. Casey should not get his annual perks either. Taking away the above average retirement benefits from the top administrators and others will save another $500,000 to 1,000,000 depending on when they retire. Remember the new business person even admited that the retirement incentives for teachers and administrators were under estimated thus causing almost a million deficit for this year alone. Mis-management or just mistakes? Mistakes that cost people jobs, hurt the kids, and cost the taxpayers more money.


Posted by A Concerned Taxpayer, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Parent:

Perhaps Mr Casey is not at fault; however, if the entire community asked to pay, then should not he also show some moral support for the rest of his staff by giving up a little?

We demanded of the bank CEOs and Car manufacurer CEOs to cut back, why not our school district CEO. Is this really different?

In this new age of wealth redistribution please understand that the reciprocal needs to hold true as well; namely crisis redistribution. We all share the crisis. Exec's aren't excluded.


Posted by A Concerend Taxpayer, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Good George,

"Mis-management or just mistakes? Mistakes that cost people jobs, hurt the kids, and cost the taxpayers more money."

Government as usual. Those who mismanage or make mistakes just move the problem to the taxpayer, and we get to pay for the "corrective actions."

If I make a mistake or have a lapse of judgment either I loose my job or my company looses customers, or worse.

Why is government never accountable? Continually making the citizen pay for the mistakes and mis-judgements of government?

Maybe this whole issue, and the passion being put into the discussion is just a sign the this might have been the "straw that broke the camels back". At least locally here in town.


Posted by Amador Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm


My child, like many other teens, is a facebook user. While she'd prefer that only other teens asked to be her "friend" and have access to her facebook profile and comments, there are teachers who log onto Facebook, find their students and request to be "friends."
There's no tactful way for a student to deny a teacher this request.
My daughter came home very upset because her teacher made an emotional plea to all students of voting age to vote for the parcel tax to save his job. She likes her teacher. She says he's a very nice guy. She doesn't want him to get into trouble for the way he's feeling.
He followed up his in class plea with a message on facebook which was sent to all his friends, including his students. I won't provide the details of the message because they are very identifying, but will simply say it was a very emotional plea.
I feel for this teacher as I do for every teacher who may lose his or her job, as I do for all my friends who have lost their jobs. I've been laid off a job myself and I know how difficult that is, financially and emotionally.
But I don't like emotional blackmail, and I don't like teachers using class time to promote their personal viewpoints.
I've talked with my daughter about the parcel tax and my reasons for not supporting it. Having spent hundreds of hours volunteering and donated thousands of dollars to PUSD during my daughter's school years, she knows this is not a decision I made lightly or without doing research.
I do want this teacher to stop playing emotional games with the students, and as tempted as I am to name him, I won't out of respect for my daughter's wishes.
But I hope he reads these blogs and realizes that as difficult as it may be, he needs to keep his emotions in check, and his political beliefs out of the classroom.
Amador Dad, thanks for your comments. Are You Kidding's shut up comment didn't bother me - there are many others who use this blog to be blatantly rude or lash out in name calling. That kind of behavior just makes me discount whatever they have to say.


Posted by Annie, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm

It is too bad that all the PTA's got talked into this as an emotional issue. We had some good people on our PTA's, but now I wonder. Think about this, if the parcel tax does not pass, then the administration says that town as spoken - larger class sizes. If the parcel tax does pass then the administration has been bailed out by the taxpayers and class size says the same for now. Yes the kids education is at stake, or so they want you to believe. However is the standard of excellent teaching going to change? Will teachers have to work harder? Will the caliber of students change coming into the district? Teachers will still have programs to help those small number of students in need of extra help, they may change the format a little bit, but overall PUSD is a great district because of the quality of teachers, not the size of the classroom.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm

"Has this happen or are you just stirring it up? "

It actually happened. Pink shirts worn by teachers at school, talks about layoffs with the students. It is true, and I do not think it is appropriate. Has anyone called the teachers' children when they were laid off? This is no different. My children go to school to learn, and that's it. Teachers need to keep their political activities out of the classroom. Go to the board meetings wearing pink, talking about the situation, but keep your active role outside of the classroom.


Posted by Amador Student, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Keep in mind that students are very concerned about our teacher's jobs. One of friend is may lose her favorite teacher who she was planning to TA for next year. Another's mom may lose her job. Also, we are may lose our Comp Civics team, and we might not be able to have our national winning team next year. Students are wearing pink because they care about the programs that they are invested in, and care about their teachers.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm

The Amador student has just made the point of this thread............emotional blackmail!


Posted by Amador Teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Wearing pink today was a statewide show of support for education. Not related to the parcel tax at all in any way. I am a teacher at Amador who received a pink slip and who lives in Pleasanton and who will not support the parcel tax. I vote against all tax increases no matter the cause. I still donned pink today because I believe we pay more than a fair share of taxes to enable our schools to be more than adequately funded. I know the mismanagement is at the state level. Our school district is actually incredibly efficient and well run. Yes you can pick on this or that error in management but overall very well run.

Our employees all of them management, certificated and classified are amazing people and I do not want to see one of them out of work. But I also feel that by not voting for the parcel tax it may be a hard lesson learned. Maybe then people will really start to put some pressure on Sacramento to get this problem solved. Yes it is sad that teachers will lose their jobs but at the end of the day it's just a job. Jobs come and go. I may be that because I am not a parent I am just not that invested in the quality of the education. Minus ten million we can still operate and we will still be giving 110%. The quality of the education will suffer though. You are fooling yourselves if you think that it will not.

To the parent of the Facebook child. Like some of the others I would encourage you to talk to the teacher. It is highly inappropriate for teachers to "friend" students on a social networking site.

That's my two cents. Back to work for me now!


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Well said, Amador teacher. As I stated, the issue was not the wearing of pink, but the actual phrase "I got a pink slip" printed on the shirt. In addition, telling my child, "all we need is $233 from each family and we are good to go." That is unprofessional. Just wearing pink to support other teachers- not a problem with me.


Posted by Amador Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Thank you Amador teacher.
The teacher in question is such a nice guy, I'm not afraid to talk to him...but I promised my daughter I wouldn't say anything to him....she is so upset by his situation, and he's not the only one. She was so lucky this year to get a number of very energetic, creative and truly dedicated teachers. And every one of those received a pink slip!
It's so discouraging that our educational system rewards based on seniority, not merit. Amador will suffer by losing these great teachers.
I keep praying to win the lottery so I can send it to the district with the stipulation that it can only be used to retain these wonderful teachers.
Have a wonderful weekend!


Posted by Just a Mom, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm

To Amador Parent,

The teacher who has let the kids know he will not have a job next year if they do not support this parcel tax is a social science teacher who my daughter loves. I told her I don't want to see this man lose his job, but I expect a better appropriation of funds and compromise on the part of the union and board. If we all have to pitch in, so should the union. Mr. Casey does need to make concessions and not expect the community to compensate for any misappropriation of funds. He may be educated, but fiscally responsible is another.

Can anyone tell me...do the board members earn a salary for their positions? I am still learning.


Posted by Amador Teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 8:31 pm

I still think it would be worthwhile and respectful for you to talk to your daughter's teacher. Not attack him or threaten him, but let him know that you feel this is inappropriate and that you do support him. It will help him grow as an educator. It's hard in this job sometimes to see the boundaries as high school kids, in general, are pretty needy. But they need from us, just as they need from you, very clear lines to be drawn. We can still be effective educators without endangering our professionalism. Please talk to him, it will help in the long run.


Posted by a Thankful Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 9:56 pm

To the Teacher's in Pleasanton:

I respect your right to free speech by wearing pink. My children's school was covered in pink- from teachers, to parent volunteers, to the students. This statement is coming from those closest to what is at stake. They are the ones who really know the reality of the 9 million in cuts from the state. The further away from involvement in the schools, the further away from this reality.


I imagine it has been a very long week, with hours of report cards you all did on your personal time and pink slips. I hope you know that although some feel that since they are going through hard times, so should you- there are many of us who support the schools because unlike many businesses in the private sector, we have the opportunity help this shortfall, to save what we value. That will be money well spent.


Posted by gloom and doom..., a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm

$9 Million in cuts from the state is a number PUSD and the board pulled out of their a**. The final numbers are not yet available and they have no clue what the final budget would look like until after the parcel tax election.

Please...can't we get some real leadership in this town?


NO ON MEASURE G!

NO ON PARCEL TAX!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:24 pm

How does wearing pink on a single day get the message to our State legislators that they need to reform California's education system? This budget crisis has exposed the ugly truth of how broken that system is. What are the PTA organizations in Pleasanton and the unions doing to put pressure on the legislators? Who is forming the Save California's Schools campaign?


Posted by Liz, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Board members receive a small stipend of $500 per month which does not compensate their time. In essence it is a volunteer position.

The constant assertions that "it is a fact that there is a 9mil cut from the state" reinforces how foolish the pro-parcel tax group is. They can not understand that not only do we not know what the budget will be yet but the biggest piece of that number is from future raises not cuts.

As said above: "$9 Million in cuts from the state is a number PUSD and the board pulled out of their a**. The final numbers are not yet available and they have no clue what the final budget would look like until after the parcel tax election."

We can save every teacher job without a parcel tax!

It is irresponsible to spend $250,000 on a failed special election, as well as $80,000 in community resources for the campaign.



Posted by wearing pink in the begining, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 13, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Wearing pink is only the begining! I get that teachers are upset about the potential of loosing their jobs. The problems is that the kids are suffering because the teachers aren't engaged at this point. Many of them suddenly cranked up the work on the kids, increased the intensity of tests, started grading old work. Their standards have increased dramatically. Expectations are not consistent with what has been going on all year. Great for the kids in the long run but how about the juniors that are getting ready to apply for college. My daughter was hit with one of the most difficult tests she has ever had because the teacher just decided to up the expectations....without any warning. The teacher said that she suddenly had to make sure that everyone was prepared for spanish 3. My other daughter is suddenly being graded on things that she has never been graded on before. They are actually pulling out old work that the kids weren't expecting to get credit on. Both kids are well aware of the teachers feelings on the parcel tax...the teachers haven't gone out of their way to hide their feelings. Obviously, the teachers are trying to make sure that they are worth staying employeed. It is created a tremendous amount of stress on these high school kids. I am all for holding the kids responsible but to switch gears on the students and to suddenly change what the expectations only shows that some of the teachers weren't teaching what they should have been in the first place. To expect the kids to jump in to help the teacher out now is exactly why we should be in suppport in teacher merit pay instead of some automatic pay schedule based on tenure. Pleasanton has been a fabulous place to raise kids but I have seen a dramatic decline in the quality of teaching in some of the core classes in the high school. More and more kids talk about how much they watch movies and screw around in class, etc. Suddenly these teachers are stepping up the work and the kids haven't been primed for it. Maybe these lay offs will increase the quality of our teachers??? Maybe they will have to be the best of the best to stay employed...or atleast care about getting let go. The worst is yet to come, I can't imagine what it will be like when my children are stuck in classes that have teachers that have received pink slips. How much will the teacher really care about insuring that the kids receive the education they need and insure that the students are treated fairly. We are in for a very bumpy road ahead!


Posted by Amador Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 7:42 am

To Just a Mom,
We are talking about the same teacher, and it sounds as if we had the same conversation with our daughters.
To Amador Teacher,
Wouldn't dream of threatening or attacking the teacher in question. Or any other. Have to keep my promise to my daughter to not say anything directly to the teacher. She's said he's so upset, she doesn't want me to add to that.
But as an Amador teacher, you've probably already figured out who the teacher is, and maybe a gentle heads up from a colleague would be helpful. I know there will be posters who will say I'm asking you to do my dirty work or something equally unpleasant, but my daughter is convinced that this teacher is so distraught, even a respectful request from a parent to keep politics out of the classroom would hurt him terribly. He is taking his pink slip very personally, and yes, I know it does affect him personally....but since layoffs are based on seniority, not merit, they are not an indication of the teacher's value to the school or to the students.
Many excellent teachers received pink slips.
How I wish the Pleasanton teachers weren't in a union, but could individually negotiate employment with the school district.


Posted by Carl, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 14, 2009 at 8:05 am

What a great teaching moment it provides parents! As a child's first and foremost teachers (yes, that's the Mom/Dad/Partner) it is their obligation to take these situations and explain how the world works. For the elementary child, you can explain how income and expenses work and what one has to do when income goes down or expenses go up. For the middle school child you can explain the concept of employment, careers, flexibility, the importance of having fundamental and specific marketable skills. You can also describe/model the range of emotional responses possible to life events and how to manage them (or not). For high schoolers, you can pull out your paystub and explain the concept of taxation. Or bring out your property tax bill and show all the specific taxes therein. Or discuss the concept of entitlement or fiscal responsibility. The possibile range of topics for discussion is great. Go for it!

My kids report that this situation is discussed broadly at their high school. Disappointing in the cases where it is over the top or unbalanced. But it opens the door for a great conversation about life.


Posted by Diana, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 14, 2009 at 8:37 am

My high school student and I have had several talks, we had a long one last night because of the DRAMA yesterday.

He knows we do not support the tax but he is very concerned about many of his teachers. He is already concerned about our own family economics, it is not reasonable for professionals to impose their personal situations on students. He has enough to worry about, grades, college, SATS, coaches, peers, girls, driving, getting a job, he does not need to take on his teachers burdens also but now he has.

He understands that we support the teachers and do not want to see anyone lose their jobs but feel the district and unions have not been responsible in the management of the budget situation. He wanted to share some of the things we have discussed in the classroom discussion but felt it would seem insensitive so the conversation remained one sided.

No teachers need lose their jobs the Board needs to put an end to the damage that is being done. Make responsible management decisions this is resolvable.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2009 at 8:41 am

Amador Parent wrote: "Have to keep my promise to my daughter to not say anything directly to the teacher. She's said he's so upset, she doesn't want me to add to that."

I hope to be frank without being rude. It sounds like you've made a promise you shouldn't keep. Which is in the better interest of your child? Why should you and your child feel responsible to protect the feelings of a grown-up adult who should know better? The teacher will never learn if no one shows him. Perhaps you can speak with her about why it is better to speak up.


Posted by Amador Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 9:22 am

Hi Stacey,
I hear you. But the open communication I have with my child is because she knows that when she asks me to respect her confidences, I do...well, except in cases where there's danger to a child - abuse, drinking and driving, etc. In those cases, she knows there's no way I could keep quiet, and no way she'd really want me to.
I don't want her to stop telling me what's going on in her life.
I believe that even if I did speak directly to the teacher, he's too upset to accept that it's his behavior, and his behavior only in this instance I'm criticizing, not him. I can't be confident that if I spoke with him, he'd keep our conversation confidential. Eventually, it would get around Amador that I talked with the teacher, and then other students who are sympathetic to this teacher's situation, would be angry with my child. So that's why I'm hoping the teacher will either recognize himself in these posts, or another teacher will and talk to him.
Stacey, you are not being rude. One of the reasons I enjoy reading your posts is that you are never rude, and even when someone directs a rude comment to you, you either ignore it, or respond with a little humor.


Posted by Amador Teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 14, 2009 at 9:25 am

Stacey,
The PTA and CTA actively push for school funding to be stabilized each and every year. While I know many of the readers of this blog are anti-union, the lobbying that those organizations do is the very reason I support them.

In the classroom we have so much on our plates, it is very difficult to expect us to actively campaign for funding as well. Although there are times we do have to do just that (fund raising).

Being a teacher is the most difficult job to describe or equate to any other. At any given time I am a CEO, my employees are your kids. I am a peace - keeper, a role model, a planner, a janitor, a mom or dad, a nurse, a psychologist, a developer of curriculum, a purchaser, an artist, a web site designer... this list could go on for some time.
It would be nearly impossible to write a job description for all that I do. I do invite any of you to come and hang out with us and see what it's really like. All of it.

The main idea I am trying to convey is that the job is very hard and very stressful yet most of us do not complain. We knew it would be this way and some of us thrive in this line of work. Working to ensure adequate funding and working to ensure that my pay is secure and my benefits are affordable is just another thing to put on my already crowded plate. In that respect I see the union as a necessary evil.

I just want to do the important work that I love to do and I need to be able to feed my family. As I stated before, I am against increasing all taxes. I do know that the quality of education in this town for your kids will suffer if the funding is not adequate. This is not a veiled threat, it does not even mean that I think the parcel tax is the answer. But you can not get the level of education you have been receiving for free.

You can blame mismanagement all you would like from the inside, I can tell you that this is not the case and I am extremely fiscally critical and conservative.

The money needs to come from some where. For some of you it will be easier to write the $233 check every year. For others it may be that you are planning to get involved in some other way perhaps at the state level. For any of you with children in these schools to do nothing is not an option. Your schools will suffer. As for me, I will remain employed in this field and do not lose a minute of sleep about that. The difference is that I already have my education. Your kids have but one chance, one experience in high school.

I could care less if you vote yea or nea on the parcel tax, but please do something.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 9:36 am

"Also, we are may lose our Comp Civics team, and we might not be able to have our national winning team next year. "

I do not see that in the list of cuts. Can you please post where you got this information from?

I respect your view, Amanador Student. However, I disagree. People across the nation are going through changes, and they deal with it, without burdening someone else's children.

Teachers need to keep our children out of this. I have told my children to ignore the talks from their teachers - it is not good when as a parent I have to say that to them. Teachers are wrong on this. How does it help anyway? Go march in front of the governor's office, go tell him your situation, because saying this to our kids does not help you and it stresses them out.


Posted by Ceasar, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

PUSD wastes money then floats a parcel tax

Example: Letting two teachers share one position. Wastefull becuase they
both get full beneifits.

Example 2: Instead of eliminating a HR position (there are currently 3)
Casey accepts reducing the 3 HR directors tohours. Once again, more expensive than just having two HR directors. Benefits for 3 instead of 2.

PUSD's priority appears to be the teachers adminsitrators.
IT SHOULD BE THE STUDENTS


Posted by Just a Mom, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 14, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Dearest Ellen,

When teachers bring their political influence into the classroom to underage children, it is a scare tactic and might I say that your use of the word "slander" is quite a passive aggressive scare tactic. Don't try to initimate me or others on this blog. My my, let's just say it doesn't work on me. I showed my daughter the figures, plain and simple. I suggest you check your bully-ish behavior at the door and allow those of us who disagree to express our free speech entitlements. And I also expect you to stay out of my family's business. Your dramatics reflect your need to control this ongoing diaglogue in a fashion that meets your unconscious unsresolved needs. I am responsible for controlling the chaos in my world and I expect you to control the chaos in your world.


Posted by Jason, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I strongly support the parcel tax and will be voting for it. I am doing this solely to preserve the quality of education in Pleasanton. Not to be callous, but many people are losing their jobs or having their compensation and/or benefits reduced at the jobs they keep. The issue needs to be about educating children in our community not job preservation. Also, I respect someone's choice to vote against the parcel tax but please be honest enough to acknowledge that by voting against this, you aren't willing to pay about $.64 per day for class size reduction, school counselors and reading programs.


Posted by Smarter than Ceasar, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Ceasar,
Your examples of waste are moot as no employee in PUSD "gets" any benefits. They are entirely and wholly paid for by the employee.


Posted by Disagree w/B, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Smarter than Ceasar--They are paid by the employee because the expense was agreed, by all parties, to be rolled onto the salary schedule. That was $10,000 many years ago. That $10,000 has grown with every raise. Rolling it onto the schedule made it possible for higher retirement calculations (highest years of pay). Benefits that you can opt out of (with evidence of coverage) and keep every penny of that original $10,000. Anyone else getting $10,000 if they opt out of benefits?

And, yes, the costs for benefits have increased, maybe even more than the amounts of the raises, but most of us are still trying to figure out what benefits cost the $1500-$1800 per month that keeps getting quoted. It's either door to door Cadillac service or bad negotiating with insurers (even with a small pool).


Posted by Still Smarter, a resident of Avila
on Mar 14, 2009 at 6:19 pm

So let's just say the average benefits package is $1500 monthly - my hubby pays $1680 to cover all of us. That means you can take 18,000 off of each salary at any given step and column. And you cannot simply opt out. You have to show proof of insurance provided by a spouse. So you can not shop around to get it cheaper on your own.

Do you all know how much your companies pay to the insurers for your coverage? I checked with my sister who is in HR at a successful high tech company in the South Bay and she said that's about what they pay.

Do you think the teachers have time to figure the health care fiasco out too? Maybe they will save the world while they are at it!


Posted by Gary, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Dear Jason: I am voting against the parcel tax and thank you for respecting that. I acknowledge that by voting against this, I am NOT (for real emphasis) willing to pay about $.64 per day for class size reduction, school counselors and reading programs.


Posted by Disagree w/B, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Still Smarter: I said you had to prove coverage. The National Coalition on Health Care is the nation's largest non-profit, non-partisan alliance working to improve America's health care. " The annual premium that a health insurer charges an employer for a health plan covering a family of four averaged $12,700 in 2008." Web Link So, $15-$18,000 seems out of line.

To be clear, teachers aren't negotiating this alone and I won't ask them to save the world. The unions/district does that. What they could do is bring in a consultant who knows how to negotiate. They exist and they are good at it.

The point is, I still don't know what you get for $1680 (no need for you to explain that) or what PUSD employees get for $1800. If it is a no holes barred plan and that's what they want; their money, their choice. If it's that much and it's a cafeteria plan or a donut plan, again, it seems out of line.


Posted by Action speaks louder, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 9:27 pm

No the problem is, Disagree w/B you continually quote "facts" with your own spin. It has been said plain and clear over and over and you really can not accept anyone's viewpoint but your own.

Teachers do not have a choice about their benefits, whether it was poorly negotiated or not. They must pay for them out of their salary or prove that their spouse has them. Regardless of who does this, that is their right, not a reason to vote against a parcel tax.

As health care costs have risen and the teachers gave up their COLA increase in order to save elementary science teachers last year, they have lost salary.

I didn't hear your comments last year when the district was able to cut 2 million due to shortfalls from the state and the city didn't have to do a thing, the schools took the cut, the teachers made concessions, and we were still able to balance our budget with the state required reserve still in tact.

You want to change the system, yet where have you been? We have not heard from any of you about education reform until you were asked for the first time to VOTE on a parcel tax. I hope to see you at all future board meetings and heading the committee on education reform, you and many others have an obvious passion for it with many ideas, so where are you?


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Stop blackmailing the kids. Make the union and the administrators face up to the issue by taking pay cuts .Private sector 401Ks are down 30 to 50%, the true unemployment rate is around 15% and we are fiddling while Pleasanton burns. Next year the state cuts are going to be even more as the true budget deficit is well over $20 billion. The more you jack up sales and income taxes the less you will get as people buy less and high income people leave the state and businesses shut down. Face the music like adults, share the pain in a fair way and quit pressuring the kids. That is the surest to turn off the parents.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Amador Parent,

I appreciate your response, wish you well, and am glad you understand my humor (it doesn't come across very well sometimes in writing.) I too hope this teacher is reading these blogs and recognizes himself. I think we all understand that this is an emotionally trying issue for those affected by the cuts and sometimes that stress can drive us to actions we'd not normally think we'd perform. Teachers aren't the only people facing a possible future of unemployment. But it is quite unprofessional to be going at such lengths as using Facebook to impress upon the first-time voters like that and it needs to be called out. It is contrary to the "Integrity" element of CoC. I held a job once that gave me access to credit card numbers, money wires, and personal email. It would have been an extreme violation of trust both to my company and to customers to abuse my special position for my personal gain. This teacher seems to be violating such trust. He's in an equally special position and has a captive audience and it seems like he's trying to exploit that for his own benefit.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Amador Teacher,

I assume you're responding to my question about wearing pink. The problem I have with unions doing the lobbying is that the laws get created to the benefit of the union instead of the students. They'll game the system. I think the teachers' union likes the status quo even though there's problems with it (and I mean at the State level). To me it is not only about the stability of school funding, but how the funding is structured.


Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Julie is a registered user.

My H.S. student did come home asking me to support a parcel tax as requested by her pink-slipped teacher. I tried to explain to my daughter that me paying a parcel tax did not ensure that her beloved teacher would keep her job. This teacher talked about having to move back in with her parents! I don't have a problem with an open ended discussion with h.s. aged students, but I don't think teachers should be crying to their students about the consequences they face being laid off.

I am still on the fence regarding this parcel tax, but did try to offer another view to my daughter. I let her know MY side - e.g. how $233/year might not sound like very much, but did she know that every year since we've lived here those taxes have gone up and up and up? That essentially her father and I would have less money to pay such a tax because *everything* seems to be going up already: sales tax, income tax, vehicle license fees, etc. etc. etc. I feel very badly that people are losing their jobs. I know firsthand what that feels like as my husband & I went through it in 2001 and who knows - we could face it again at anytime in this climate. I may need that $233 to keep my own family afloat! I also explained to her that many people have discussed how the district has mismanaged their money and how did she feel about giving more money to people who have done that? I wasn't trying to change her mind, simply offering another side. Teachers who have received pink slips: I feel *terrible* for you, but please do not burden my already emotional teenager with your personal problems! You are still on the payroll NOW, so please continue to do the amazing work you do. And, best of luck to you - I hope that the pink slip does not turn into an actual lay off.


Posted by Linda, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2009 at 12:03 am

My FHS student also reported to me a very similar story as noted above, specifically about having to move back in with her parents if the tax was not supported. I too found it distressing (and very unprofessional) that the personal issues of this pink slipped teacher were even discussed. It is not OK to discuss her living arrangements w/ my daughter regardless.

My daughter was smart enough to discern that that the tax debate was about educational choices not living arrangements because, like Julie, we too had discussed the nature of recent increases both at a state and federal level so of course this local tax was also discussed. But none the less, she got sucked in emotionally by this teacher's plea of support, underlined w/somehow my daughter feeling guilty where she may have to live if it does not pass. And I object to that completely.

Do I have empathy for this teacher's job? Yes? do I have empathy for the students who like her and benefit from her teaching? Yes Do I have empathy about her having to move in w/ her parents?

And it is here that I disagree respectfully w/ Julie. I do not think it is OK, even w/ a h.s. student, to discuss this issue, even if open ended since the teacher cannot help but have a personal bias in that discussion. Thus it ceases to be a discussion. It is now unfair persuasion. And despite the "youthfulness" of this teacher, lets not forget she is that students superior in the classroom.

In my job, that would be considered coersion and would not be allowed.

What happened to " I am not able to discuss this issue w/ you " response.


Posted by KGB, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 15, 2009 at 1:26 am

Disagree w/B: Would do consider doing us the honor in spearheading the opposition against this senseless parcel tax and perhaps get your arguments onto the ballot?

I've been out talking to neighbors and most people in my neighborhood are against this tax. I think we'll have enough support to defeat it but we would benefit from your leadership.


Posted by Practical Lessons, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm

This topic along with competitive sports IMHO may provide the best real life lessons any of our kids learn the entire time in the school system. As long as it is objective, these are great practical lessons. This is EXACTLY what happens in the real world and kids are hearing it on the news every day! Having discussions about how and why this is happening should benefit everyone down the road.


Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Julie is a registered user.

I do agree with you "Practical Lessons", but the point is that the teachers are not necessarily engaging students in "objective, practical lessons". Telling my daughter to tell her parents to support a parcel tax because she got a pink slip and may have to move back in with her parents is definitely not objective! I definitely see your point on this Linda.


Posted by Amador Student, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Posted by Amador Teacher, "Parents... Rest assured that your children are not mistreated and brainwashed... These are semi-adult people with thoughts and ideas and feelings."

Umm, that's total bs! We absolutely are a captive audience being force fed propaganda from our teachers! And your "Semi-adults" comment sounds like something a teacher would say after getting caught dating one of his students. It seems like 80% of teachers wore pink, but if that amount were getting laid off the school would collapse. So it seems more like a mob effort to manipulate us kids to go home and convince our parents to see your side. Luckily my parents have taught me everything I need to know about California's millionaire unionized teachers who get results close to the bottom of all states in the US. My dad says it's no different from how the UAW helped wrecked this country, but that they at least are not manipulating kids for the benefit of their careers.

Sincerely,

Semi-Adult


Posted by Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm

I agree with Amador Student.

Teachers know they hold all of the cards in a teacher/student interaction. They use the "let them be adults" card when it works for them, they know if we try to advocate as equals it is seen as disrespectful.
I would have liked to engaged in two way dialog on this subject but know I would have been labeled as disrespectful.
I don't want my teachers to lose their jobs but there is another side of the discussion that can not happen in class.

Respectfully,
Disrespectful Semi-adult


Posted by i'm educated, a resident of another community
on Mar 15, 2009 at 5:17 pm

The quality of education in the PUSD is at risk of deteriorating. School districts that are robustly funded from the community in which they are located tend to be highly ranked. CA simply does not give enough money to schools, so it is up to the community to provide supplemental money for enrichment programs and small class sizes. Should the parcel tax fail, this *quality* that Pleasanton has grown accustomed to will deteriorate. Plain and simple. And when that happens HOME VALUES WILL DEPRECIATE. So, whether or not you have children and whether or not they're still in school, you ALL share something in common-- you are property owners. And during a time when everyone in this country is watching their assets decline in value, it is ALARMING to me that some of you wouldn't want to do what you can to preserve the value you have currently in your home (a value directly correlated to the success of PUSD).

$233 a year for 4 years IS NOT A LOT OF MONEY. I repeat-- THIS IS NOT A LOT OF MONEY. If you find that your lifestyle would be seriously hindered by $233 a year then I strongly urge you to reevaluate your spending habits. This very small amount would help preserve what PUSD has built. Without it, it is highly probable that home buyers will stop looking in Pleasanton altogether and will instead buy real estate elsewhere b/c the word on the street will be that PUSD no longer offers the same quality education they once did. Pleasanton-- do you want to be the ONLY district in the East Bay Area who decided 20:1 wasn't important? RISKY... VERY VERY RISKY. I predict home values to take a nose dive should 20:1 go away.

YES YES YES ON PARCEL TAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by Lee, a resident of Beratlis Place
on Mar 15, 2009 at 5:37 pm

i'm educated,

You are so uninformed it is not even worth trying........ go ahead and vote yes there will more than enough critical thinking residents voting no to prevent a 2/3 majority.


Posted by Teacher, a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 15, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Semi-adult students,

Your arguments are well thought out and very age appropriate. It is difficult for you to see the complexity of the situation as you are coming from and extremely limited experience in life.

You are not a captive audience in school. I went through public school and was exposed to many viewpoints. Some I agreed with and some not. This is the beauty of a public education in my opinion. Not once in my entire educational experience, high school or college, did I ever feel I could not propose an opposing viewpoint if I felt it necessary.

Part of your ignorance is your age. You are the ultimate captive audience when living in a home and community of privilege with your parents who "have taught (you) everything (you) need to know about California's millionaire unionized teachers".

I am so glad that your dad also provided you with some background on why education is unionized and about the historical abuse of low wage earners in our country. Oh wait! He didn't did he?

Anyway, the point is you are free to speak your mind in a respectful way to any person of authority. Your failure to do so is only a result of a perceived threat which does not actually exist.

I am exceedingly liberal when it comes to social issues, some of the students I have enjoyed the most are students who are super conservative when it comes to matters that mean the most to me. I do still like them. I will still teach them to the best of my ability.

You are wrong about educators and the viewpoint you give is baseless. Wearing pink was not about the parcel tax, just about education in general and if you do not agree, that's fine! I do not agree with you about many, many, many things. That's part of what makes this country so fine.


Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Julie is a registered user.

I'm sorry, but the teenagers ARE a "captive audience" - my daughter is definitely at the mercy of having to listen to anything her teacher says. The alternative is...cutting class!! Good for you that you were always able to propose an opposing viewpoint to your teachers. My daughter has been disrespected by teachers simply asking a math question - do you seriously think that experience creates a desire for her to "oppose a teacher's viewpoint"? Personally, if I were one of the teenagers posting, I would not appreciate your condescending tone. Thank you Amador and Foothill students for posting.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm

As Julie points out teachers condescending tone makes the student's point.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2009 at 9:40 pm

i'm educated wrote: "If you find that your lifestyle would be seriously hindered by $233 a year then I strongly urge you to reevaluate your spending habits. This very small amount would help preserve what PUSD has built."

This sounds reasonable, yet it is a statement made from a position of someone who seems to be able to afford the tax. I, for one, will not make such an assumption about the rest of my neighbors in Pleasanton.


Posted by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Mar 15, 2009 at 9:43 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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