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Pleasanton teachers agree to a 2-day layoff if parcel tax passes

Original post made on Mar 30, 2009

Officials from the Association of Pleasanton Teachers announced on Sunday that their members have voted by a two-thirds majority to ratify a tentative agreement negotiated with the Pleasanton Unified School District on a Memorandum of Understanding that would reduce the teacher work year by two days next year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 30, 2009, 7:59 AM

Comments (34)

Posted by Katie, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Mar 30, 2009 at 8:38 am

Since the teachers do not share in the profits of their successes like they do in the private sector, the fact that they are willing to give up $$ in the down-times speaks volumes. I will be voting YES!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:09 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Sure they shared in profits, just not like they do in the private sector. If you look up how California calculates school COLA, basing it on the entire GDPSL price deflator which includes the high prices for non-durable goods like gas and construction costs (construction being funded by bonds, not the district's General Fund), the State gave out COLAs that were rather high in the past few years. The PUSD passed that on.

It is unclear in this article which non-management certified positions this generosity is meant to restore. It only says that the money is supposed to be used to restore positions not being restored by the parcel tax. And it only seems to be for the next school year. What about for the next four years? Is this supposed to be their concept of "shared sacrifice"?

Posted by Qwerty, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:11 am

I am against the parcel tax no matter what.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:14 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It almost comes across like extortion, "Pass the parcel tax otherwise we won't make any concessions." I wonder what Plan B is.

Posted by George, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:32 am

Two days - let me see - 2 WHOLE DAYS !

WOW - I don't have a job right now and you are willing to give up two entire days - WHOOP de doodle !

You get almost full pay when you retire and I get bupkiss!!! Let me say it AGAIN - WHOOP de DOODLE !!!

Why do we put up with this attitude from our teachers????

Posted by Tom, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:36 am

This must be the deal that teachers only had an hour or so to review before voting on it.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:38 am

This is good. I was against the parcel tax a while back and even posted several times with arguments against it. However, I have done a lot of research and followed up on what the district and board are doing. I am convinced that the administration and board are doing their best to keep cuts away from the classroom. This news about the teachers' union is refreshing, because now we see that even the unions are willing to make things work and adjust during this budget crisis.

When you read about districts like Livermore (last week's "The Independent"), and see how much waste they have in the wrong things, you really value the leadership here in Pleasanton. I believe Pleasanton values the right things and is doing its best to make sure the quality of education stays high.

Two YES votes on the parcel tax from our house!

Posted by jack, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 30, 2009 at 10:36 am

jack is a registered user.

We have very good schools, we have a wonderful community, and as a result we maintain very strong property values compared to other suburban communities in Northern California. Take the credit, or give the credit where you want, but the fact remains the "Pleasanton Formula" has been a successful one. Our school system is a key component within that successful formula. Does a parcel tax stink? Sure it does. Is anybody excited about sending more money to government? Heck no! This one is not black or white, it's very much gray... My bottom line: The schools have served this community well for the 40 or so years I've been in Pleasanton, they have a track record, it's not perfect, but it's very solid. Financially, these are unprecendented times. It's a four year deal. I'm not giving the school system my vote, rather, I believe they've earned it...

Posted by djohns, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 30, 2009 at 11:54 am

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I agree with Stacey this smacks of extortion.

The Union needs to look around and see that the reality is 5-10% across the board reductions has become the standard to avoid loosing jobs.
I think it is unfortunate that the Union is so willing to throw their newer, vulnerable members in the river so easily.

The climate is right for Union reform!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Every parent I've talked to about the school budget issue has always expressed their fear regarding the loss of Class Size Reduction and never mentions any other program on the parcel tax list. It only costs the district around $2MM to fund the district portion of CSR and keep around 186 teaching jobs. The district can easily come up with the funds to keep CSR without a parcel tax, yet they put CSR, the program most dear to the hearts of most parents, on the chopping block in order to get a parcel tax passed. Taxpayers and parents alike should be angry at this manipulation.

Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Mar 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm

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Stacey, there I was ready to jump to the defense of the teachers and you come up with a really good point...DARN YOU!

I still support the parcel tax, but you make a really good point!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Hrm, I don't see anything I wrote as anti-teacher. I'm more anti-self-serving-public-systems.

Posted by djohns, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm

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Supporters of the parcel tax want to paint anyone that questions the parcel tax as teacher haters. Almost without exception no one wants to see teachers lose jobs.
The teachers should be angry at district for making them pawns in this campaign. Board member Arkin's proposal showed that no teachers needed to lose jobs. The district needs to create panic to get support for the PT.
With nonessential cuts and reasonable concessions no teacher would lose their job.
Everyone should be angry with PUSD's manipulation and deceit.

Posted by ptown resident, a resident of Walnut Hills
on Mar 30, 2009 at 4:52 pm

ptown resident is a registered user.

Stacey: Maybe I missed it, but I never saw you call it extortion when people in the community posted on here that they'd only vote for the parcel tax if the union agreed to a pay cut. Seems like 2 sides of the same coin to me.

A couple thoughts on this teacher concession:

1) Although I am happy that the teachers are willing to "share the pain", ( the loss of pay they will experience in one year is equitable to the parcel tax over 4 years) don't think it's the right thing for us to have expected. Teachers, like police, firefighters, and the military, should not have to pay for public services from their own salaries. If we want their services, we should be willing to pay for them. After all, 60% of the teachers in our district don't even live in Pleasanton and probably pay parcel taxes in their own communities.
2) Pleasanton IS the only community who has asked teachers to "share the pain" and take pay cuts in order to keep programs. Livermore, San Ramon, Dublin all passed a parcel tax without asking for a thing from teachers.
3) I think it's pretty smart that they tied it to the parcel tax. If I was a teacher, I'd be thinking "why should I pay for programs out of my own wallet when the community doesn't value them enough to support them financially? This MOU guarantees that the financial burden will be spread or the programs will cease to exist.

Posted by jack, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 30, 2009 at 5:04 pm

jack is a registered user.

Why all the anger, name-calling, and finger-pointing? California has made large reductions in school funding. This simple fact has left Dr. Casey and the Board with only two options: 1) Do the best you can with the money you do have. or 2) Ask for more money. They have opted for #2. This does not make them bad people. They are simply trying to maintain the standards and meet the expectations Pleasanton has always held for its schools. The parcel tax is the best, and perhaps the easiest, way they can figure out how to do that...

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ptown resident,

I think you really miss the point. There's a big difference between this MOU between two legal entities and flippant comments made anonymously on this website. I don't think I need to explain the details.

Posted by Sensibly Save Our Schools, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 30, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Sensibly Save Our Schools is a registered user.

So PUSD strong armed the teachers union into giving up two work days! Why should the teachers, many for whom this pay loss is a burden, give up pay? Administrators should take a pay cut, not teachers!
Or PUSD could cut back on the number of cell phones they hand out to employees - which amounts to $150K per year.
Or PUSD could cut back on the gasoline allowance they hand out to employees - wihch amounts to $120K per year.
Djohns is so right! Both Valerie Arkin and members of the Budget Advisory Committee have offered PUSD solutions on how they can balance the budget without dismissing any teachers, or cutting any of the programs parents have said are important.
But PUSD hasn't given these suggestions any consideration. They would prefer to squeeze money out of the Pleasanton taxpayers, money which they will use to support the programs specified in the parcel tax language, but which will then free up funds in the general fund, which could then be used to hire back district employees, or give them raises.
How are teachers who have given up some of their income going to feel if the parcel tax passes, and PUSD gives raises to administrators? But that's exactly what can happen because the parcel tax language was written very loosely to give PUSD the ability to spend money in whatever way they see fit.
To the good teachers of Pleasanton of which there are many: those of us who are against the parcel tax are FOR YOU! We believe that in order to provide our children with the best quality education possible, we should have the best teachers possible. We are incredibly disappointed that PUSD hasn't negotiated with the teachers' union an agreement whereby the best teachers are the ones who are retained! So many of the teachers who've joined PUSD in the last few years are excellent. They are dedicated, hardworking, creative in their approache to teaching - and so many of them are the ones who received pink slips. We feel the practice of ranking seniority over performance is unfair - to our students and to the good teachers.
How do those of you (teachers) who know you not only work harder, but are more dedicated to your profession tolerate the fact that a teacher in another classroom who simply shows up, cranks out the same old curriculum year after year and makes virtually no effort to work with students on an individual basis makes substantially more money and doesn't have to deal with job uncertainty year after year?
How do you tolerate this unfairness?
I realize there are good, and even excellent teachers who have been teaching for many years and they most certainly deserve to earn top wages, But so do the excellent teachers who have worked only a few years.
Teachers give students grades based on performance - just showing up to class isn't enough. Don't teachers deserve the same consideration?
No to the parcel tax, and no to putting the burden of taking a pay cut solely on the teachers. If PUSD chooses to ignore the other options available to balance the budget, PUSD should require all its staff to take a pay cut, and not expect only the teachers to "share" the burden. It's just another grossly unfair way to treat our teachers.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Teachers will be sacrificing between $652.00 and $1059.00 in salary in the concession depending on their position on the salary scale."

OK wait, PW, is this "sacrifice" before or after step and column increases?

Posted by LCG, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm

LCG is a registered user.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Pleasanton Teachers! If any of you can still bear to read these boards, please know that you are appreciated. I fully expected to see the teachers come forward with help in this difficult situation, even though the citizens of Pleasanton are the ones who benefit from their services. Now it is our turn to give, too.

We are asked to give $233 per parcel during the 2009-2010 school year. Teachers are asked to give at least $652 each.

At minimum, this means teachers will give:
• 2.8 times more than what each parcel will pay in 2009-2010
• 3.8 times more if the teacher also owns a home in Pleasanton
• 5.6 times more if two teachers share a household
• 6.6 times more if two teachers share a home they own in Pleasanton

"Extortion"? No way! Extortion would be the teachers saying, "Pass the parcel tax or we will make sure your children do not receive an education." The teachers obviously understand the critical decision before this community. I have spoken to many who would give more, but already this is more than enough. This offer is so clearly what was meant by the phrase "shared sacrifice." Tying this concession to the passage of the parcel tax offers the community the challenge to join the teachers in taking responsibility for our children's future. This is an answer to all the people who questioned the 3 staff development days the teachers get. I know it will not be enough for some, but that is honestly no surprise. For those who said they were waiting for the teachers' union to give something, here you go.

Thanks, again, teachers. Two proud YES votes from this parcel.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

What are the real numbers of the sacrifice? Look at the 2008/2009 salary schedule: Web Link

This "sacrifice" will be different for everyone depending upon where they are on the schedule. For example, if a teacher is supposed to make the jump from step 4 to step 5 on column 1 for the 2009/2010 school year (assuming the schedule remains the same), they aren't taking a pay cut of $652, they're going to make $195 (where otherwise they'd make $847). It looks like mostly 1-3 year teachers and those who've maxed out the steps are the ones who would truly be making a sacrifice.

So, the question then becomes how many teachers are going to be getting similar step increases and are eligible for column increases and what do the numbers REALLY look like? Whether a teacher is going to be making more money or taking a pay cut appears to be highly sensitive to their location on the salary schedule. This is why really becomes difficult for the public to truly comprehend what kind of sacrifice this is when not given all the details. The summary in the article about teachers "sacrificing between $652.00 and $1059.00 in salary" is highly misleading.

Posted by djohns, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 30, 2009 at 10:07 pm

djohns is a registered user.

Pleasanton teachers make as much as $1059.00 in two days, that's impressive.

The step&column raises account for 6 MILLION of the districts projected shortfall over the term of the parcel tax. The teacher's concession is $760,000 over the term of the parcel tax.

The overly inflated and unsustainable raises over the last six years have left the district with no rainy day reserves. The CONTINUED raises create the majority of the shortfall.

The union has the ability to prevent some of our best teachers from losing their jobs but this small concession is not going to do it.

Yes the administration needs to do more, starting with reversing the raises that they snuck through, then taking a 5% reduction.

Many of us have taken much greater income reductions, I will not support a tax to pay raises at a time when no one should be receiving raises.

I will continue to hope the administrators and Union will make realistic efforts to save the jobs of their peers.

No Parcel Tax

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 31, 2009 at 8:16 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Silly me, the answer is staring me right in the face. PUSD says in one of their Budget FAQ answers that it costs them $2MM to "roll over" the budget due to step and column. So simply subtract $760,000 from $2MM to understand this "sacrifice". Again, individual results may vary according to location on the salary schedule.

Posted by Dominic Di Blasio, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 31, 2009 at 8:31 am

Dominic Di Blasio is a registered user.

The parcel tax is another con job designed to squeeze more out of naive citizens...the real problem here is the power of the teacher's union and poor CA government elected officials decision making... We should address the short-term school district short falls with a series of community fund raisers and eliminate a few more administrators that do nothing to "add to" classroom education...more tax never solves the problem of not enough money for schools, we have been there and done that! In CA we keep electing folks that support the unions---guess what, the decline of the quality of education in our country coincides with the rise of the now powerful teacher's union...Let's start electing officials that will run government more like a business rather than a nanny state always feeding on taxing us more...As far as sacrifice goes, we should be asking Knaggs to resign and give his salary to his areas school district, now that would be a sacrifice.

Posted by Sensibly Save Our Schools, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 31, 2009 at 10:11 am

Sensibly Save Our Schools is a registered user.

My initial response to the parcel tax was emotional….save teacher jobs, save school programs, maintain property values – vote yes.
But after doing some research, I changed my mind and my vote will be No.
Both School Board Member Valerie Arkin and the Budget Advisory Committee have proposed budget cuts that do not eliminate actual teaching jobs or the programs (CSR, reading/math specialists, etc) parents have championed. And these cuts were proposed without imposing a parcel tax on Pleasanton taxpayers.
Additionally, PUSD's credibility is now an issue. Claims that they've made all the cuts they truly can just don't ring true when I discovered that we taxpayers are footing a $150K cell phone bill each year, and a $120K per year car allowance bill.
Their credibility is an issue when they initially claimed that the parcel tax measure will cost $100-$150K and be funded privately. Later they revised that claim to be $200K-$230K and stated it would be funded from educational reserves. Under pressure, PUSD has finally revised their Budget FAQs to reflect what the Alameda County Registrar of voters said – the true cost can be up to $300K. There's no mention that PUSD had the options of placing the measure on the May 19th ballot so the cost would be 20-30% less, or doing a mail in ballot which would also be substantially less. There's no mention of consultant fees PUSD is incurring related to the parcel tax.
On the Budget FAQs PUSD paints a pretty picture of the costs to install solar panels at PUSD schools. But there's no mention that due to a PUSD administrator's error, $100K of taxpayer money now must be spent to relocate the panels because PUSD didn't do its homework.
PUSD puts all the blame for its current budget crisis on the State and how PUSD couldn't possibly anticipate the cuts in State funding. But they anticipated it enough to put through a raise to administrators before engaging the public in parcel tax discussions.
PUSD had the option of retaining rainy day reserves – they chose not to and I have to ask why.
I believe that the answer is that PUSD and specifically Dr. Casey has always wanted a parcel tax . Neighboring school districts have one, and we're not keeping up with the Joneses if we don't. We haven't had to impose a parcel tax on our community because we have a large informed community supportive of its schools – a community where parents give and give generously of their time and money to support key programs.
A previous effort to impose a parcel tax on Pleasanton property owners failed a few years ago when an informed Pleasanton parent pointed out to the School Board that grant money to the tune of $8 million was available to PUSD – PUSD simply had to apply for it. They did and they got it.
Once again we have informed parents who are pointing out ways PUSD can maintain educational excellence in Pleasanton without a parcel tax. But PUSD has chosen to not listen to those parents…or a school board member…or the Budget Advisory Committee.
Securing a parcel tax may put Dr. Casey on par with his peers, but a feather in his cap is an arrow in our wallets. The prospect of CA sales tax reaching 10% and job losses and pay cuts is real for all of us. We may not be able to control those factors, but we can control what happens here in Pleasanton.
Ask your school board members for copies of the Budget Advisory Committee's and Valerie Arkin's proposed budget cuts recommendations. Ask your school board members and PUSD for copies of the cell phone bills and a list of those individuals who receive the $120K a year car allowances. Ask to see all the documentation related to meetings, conferences and travel. Ask to see who's being hired as a consultant, at what cost to the taxpayers, and why.
Ask your school board members to remember that they don't work for PUSD – they work for the Pleasanton taxpayers and we expect them to be good stewards of our hard earned money.
Once you clear away the clouds of emotional hype created by the district's professional consultants/advertising agency, you will see that like every other school district and every other business in this country, belt tightening measures are necessary. But it's possible to tighten our belts without laying off any teachers, without cutting out any of the programs we parents deem necessary, and still maintain an excellent educational program – without imposing a parcel tax on our community.

Posted by Sensibly Save our Schools, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 31, 2009 at 10:46 am

Sensibly Save our Schools is a registered user.

The option of a community pledge drive instead of a property tax was raised with the School Board and ignored.
This option would have allowed the Pleasanton community, as a whole, to come together to support education in Pleasanton.
I believe many community members would gladly have given much more than $233 to avoid a parcel tax (and its accompanying expenses) to provide the district with adequate funding for the next year and give PUSD time to really address their fiscal spending, and get more information regarding state and federal funding and their impact on PUSD.
Imposing taxes on Pleasanton families should have been a final resort. It should only have been suggested when all realistic efforts to manage the budget, secure grants, negotiate with unions, and community fundraise had been taken.
Instead, a parcel tax is PUSD's first response to a budget crisis PUSD administrators helped create. It's a campaign created to evoke an emotional response with Pleasanton taxpayers and create divisions in our community.
It's a campaign that relies on creating the impression that anyone who questions the need for a parcel tax gets labeled as anti-teacher, anti-education, anti-community.
It's no different from advertising campaigns that create a buzz that the public can't possibly live without a product and once they've created that buzz, they "sell" the product.
PUSD had the option of asking a very generous, very supportive community to come together in support of quality education - PUSD chose not to take it.
Jack, as you mentioned, PUSD has the option to do the best they can with the funds they have - there would be no argument against the parcel tax if PUSD was doing this.
Ptown resident, Fremont Unified School District parents have requested a 2% reduction for all FUSD employees and a freeze on salary raises, benefits and additional hiring.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Mar 31, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Kate is a registered user.

I think it's very honorable for the teachers to give up pay to support our poor economic times. Nobody cared about teachers salaries back in 1995 when 30 year olds were making millions of dollars, building megamansion homes and retiring. I'm amazed that some of these posts think the teachers should do more! If this parcel tax does not pass, the ones affected are the children who will get less of an education, the parents who may have to spend additional money on outside services and ultimately our community who will be seen as not supporting education.

Posted by Sensibly Save Our Schools, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 31, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Sensibly Save Our Schools is a registered user.

The point is that the teachers shouldn't have to give up any portion of their salaries or their jobs when there are other solutions available.
They shouldn't be put through this emotional wringer and they shouldn't be used as pawns to force taxes on Pleasanton families.
Love A Good Teacher - Vote NO on the parcel tax.

Posted by amador parent dan, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 1, 2009 at 12:12 am

amador parent dan is a registered user.

As a 15 year resident of Pleasanton, I feel compelled to share my thoughts regarding the proposed parcel tax. I am the owner of a relatively new small business, and I have a daughter that is a freshman at Amador Valley and a son who is a 5th grader at Fairlands. Like many people I am disgusted by government waste and the huge corporate bailouts. I certainly feel I pay my fair share in taxes, and although I am registered as an independent I have usually been more aligned with the Republican Party when it comes to tax policies and government spending. No one in my family is a teacher or a school administrator. Yet, I strongly support the proposed parcel tax. Let me try to explain why I think paying even more money is a good idea.

First, I firmly believe that the parcel tax is (if it is possible to use the following oxymoron) a "good tax." The money will be used by our own schools – it literally stays in Pleasanton. This is not federal or state tax money that will be used for nebulous (and questionable purposes) such as paying for junkets or bonuses at AIG. I have heard the arguments that our schools need to be run like businesses, when, in fact, many corporations have been managed incompetently and unethically with disastrous results. Pleasanton schools have a sterling reputation; the two high schools are among the top rated public schools in the country. That certainly is an indication of a well managed enterprise. I am very proud of our schools, and my children are fortunate they have the opportunity to be educated in Pleasanton. I am not an advocate of "throwing money" at a problem, and I don't believe there is necessarily a correlation between increased spending and improved education. But let's be honest: the Pleasanton schools have done an admirable job, and we need to trust and believe in the people who have delivered proven results.

Sadly, the parcel tax is not designed to improve the Pleasanton schools; the goal is simply to maintain the high quality of education in our community. The university system in California has already announced that it will likely cut enrollment in future years significantly. The competition to get accepted to quality colleges will become even fiercer. Other communities (Livermore, Dublin, etc.) have and will make the commitment to their children to keep them competitive. We need to make that same commitment. It makes absolutely no sense to cut school services and programs at the same moment that the bar is being raised for our children.

Other valid and legitimate arguments in favor of the parcel tax have already been stated. The effect of schools on property values can hardly be overstated. My wife and I relocated to Pleasanton because of the public school system. It is a harsh reality that if my house was located in Dublin it would be worth significantly less (and it is not because of the particularly balmy climate south of I-580). Ironically, newer and younger families in Pleasanton who bought their houses more recently will truly be hurt by losing the smaller classroom sizes. Yet, these are the same families that already pay significantly more property taxes. My children undoubtedly benefited from smaller class sizes. The rest of us need to ensure the younger generation realizes that same benefit.

I recognize that educated and well reasoned people may disagree with me. I know many of those people truly care about Pleasanton. I am, however, ashamed and embarrassed for the people who have denigrated the extraordinary and generous pledge made by the Pleasanton teachers to give up two days pay. Our children and our community are fortunate to be served by such loyal and devoted educators. It is time for the parents and the community as a whole to step up and do our part and maintain the standard of excellence in education that makes Pleasanton such a great place to live.

Posted by djohns, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 1, 2009 at 1:17 am

djohns is a registered user.

The step&column raises account for 6 MILLION of the districts projected shortfall over the term of the parcel tax. The teacher's concession is $760,000 over the term of the parcel tax.

The CONTINUED raises create the majority of the shortfall.

I will not support a tax to pay raises at a time when no one should be receiving raises.

I will continue to hope the administrators and Union will make realistic efforts to save the jobs of their peers.

No Parcel Tax

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:04 am

Stacey is a registered user.

amador parent dan wrote: "we need to trust and believe in the people who have delivered proven results."

You mean the same people who...

- Have allowed the Measure B bond oversight committee to get away with not watching what's been going on with our millions for the last four-five years? Measure G also requires an oversight committee, but with this poor track record, can property owners really afford to "trust and believe" that the next $4.6MM will be handled any differently?
- Were too busy "delivering" that it required a parent to do their job for them in order to show them that State money that was available?
- Wasted nearly $100K to relocate FHS solar panels to correct an avoidable mistake?
- Have decided to nearly DOUBLE the cost of running an election because they didn't want to put Measure G on a cheaper mail-in ballot or the same ballot as the coming State election (this is a common parcel tax manipulation tactic) and that the funds will probably come from what precious little reserves the District has remaining?
- Wasted our money on indefensible lawsuits for the past SEVEN years and are STILL going at it by suing their own lawyers! To add insult to injury, they even got the City of Pleasanton to waste money on putting in then pulling out traffic circles for the phantom Neal school they never wanted to build in the first place.

Some may feel that this is an opportune time to reward mediocrity. I, for one, do not.

Posted by kickingit, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm

kickingit is a registered user.

Teachers give up pay! Wow!..But get two days off..So, the kids suffer. If they really want to be part of the budget solution they all need to take a pay cut and still work the same hours and until the budget it fixed! I suggest 2% across the board. This cut should be applied to help stop the need to lay off teachers!

Posted by kickingit, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm

kickingit is a registered user.

The school board needs to stop losing money on court battles! 7 million that we know of! This would have been a great help this year with the budget problems!

Posted by Sensibly Save Our Schools, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 1, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Sensibly Save Our Schools is a registered user.

Amador Parent Dan,
Like so many other parents, you sound like one with a true concern for the educational system in Pleasanton. It's always a pleasure to have a discussion with someone willing to listen and treat others with respect.
Please Dan, contact PUSD and ask to see the records relating to costs the district has incurred for consultant fees, perks to administrators (car alowances + district issued gasoline credit cards) and cell phone bill records.
That's just for starters. I initially favored the parcel tax until I started doing some research and I'm appalled at the lack of fiscal responsibility that has been demonstrated by PUSD. Few people have questioned PUSD about its spending because there always seemed to be enough money, but now that concerned taxpayers are doing some checking, we're realizing that this budget crisis is not simply due to the State's budget cuts but could have been averted with proper financial management.
As Stacey mentioned, PUSD wasted money for seven years on an indefensible lawsuit. The time School Board members had to devote to this lawsuit was also wasted, and may very well have prevented them from being able to monitor PUSD spending as closely as they would have liked to have done.
In any case, you sound like a person who would like to make a decision based on having all the facts, and I urge you to seek them.
As for those who denigrate teachers on this blog - I know many people who are not in favor of the parcel tax, but every single one of them is very supportive of the teachers and the fine job so many PUSD teachers do.
I suspect the anti-teacher comments being made on this blog may be coming from those who want readers like you to believe they are being made by parcel tax opponents.
But I, and many other parcel tax opponents are Pro-teachers, Pro-kids, Pro-Quality Education and Pro-Fiscal Responsiblity.
Enjoy the beautiful day!

Posted by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Apr 3, 2009 at 7:50 am

Jeb Bing is a registered user.

Just a reminder that we are restricting all posts related to the June 2 parcel tax measure to registered users of the Pleasanton Weekly Town Square forum. We have found that this keeps the conversations more civil and focused without any restriction on what posters say or the opinions they express.

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