Wrong Tax, Wrong Time Rally and March Schools & Kids, posted by No on G!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 1, 2009 at 9:30 pm
I am calling on all of us that have investigated all of the issues, have educated ourselves on Measure G, and have firmly decided against this parcel tax without emotion to rally for the cause. Because we do not have a funding source, does not mean we do not have a voice!
While funds have been raised to create and pay for the "Yes on G" yard signs, we will quietly and steadily march toward the goal of June 2nd to defeat this parcel tax.
I would like help from those who have come to their decision to not vote for Measure G to meet for a Rally and walk to the school district to let our voices, not our yards, be heard.
Posted by Agree with Joe, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 10:49 am
Agree with sentiment expressed by No on G! but wonder if poster is for real.
Those opposed to the tax have already said that spending thousands of dollars on Measure G is money that should go to the schools. They are against wasting money.
Let the SPS people put up their expensive signs, ads and flyers. All it means is that they know how to waste money. If the parcel tax was the slam dunk they claim it is, SPS wouldn't need to run their advertising campaign.
Best way for PUSD to get its act together is for voters to vote NO on June 2nd.
Posted by never a parcel tax, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 10:56 am
If you go to the farmer's market you will find the "give pay raises to the teachers" booth at the corner of Main, outside the art gallery. Another booth is at the end in the park. I went by and asked for a couple of yard signs, walked to the nearest dumpster and threw them in. If all of you were to go downtown and get one sign imagine what that would cost them. But hey, they could have given the money to the schools.
Until the teachers and administrators take a pay CUT I will never consider a parcel tax.
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm
I love the idea, but the reality is many of us who feel Measure G is wrong feel if the teachers find out who we are our children may bear the consequences. That is something no parent wants. I also think it speaks volumes to the type of campaign the SPS and teacher's union is running.
I do think it is important to inform people about why measure G is fiscally wrong. I'm taking the following approach and I encourage others to do the same. For every home that has a "Yes on G" sign in the front yard write an anonymous letter to that neighbor asking them to consider the following information prior to casting their vote (include reasons why you feel G is wrong and encourage that neighbor to consider the information you've provided prior to voting). The tone of the letter should be friendly, non-confrontational, and informative. It should stick to facts and avoid any type of language that can be "spun" as personal attacks. My letters will include a "plea" that at a minimum the household call or contact the PUSD and ask them to justify the S&C increases. I am closing my letters with a statement that says while I may disagree with my neighbors support of measure G I respect their decision to support it, and only ask they consider the counter opinion prior to voting.
In addition to sending this letter to the neighbor with the "Yes on G" sign in their yard, I will send a similar letter to the neighbors on each side of them.
The SPS and district are running an emotional campaign, it is important not to fall into the obvious traps one may want to when expressing an opposing viewpoint. It is also important to stay focused on the issue at hand - measure G. Calling for a complete reform of the state educational system or an end to the union will only water down the desired effect. Stay precise and on point.
The SPS has failed to reasonably explain why S&C increases should be maintained if the parcel tax passes. This is a weak point, focus on it. Defeating measure G will not take a lot, that is why the SPS is taking a shotgun approach to their campaign. They are trying to get those opposed to G to go after all the reasons they've presented in support of G. The reality is, we only need to focus on one or two.
Posted by Jennifer Cohn, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on May 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm
I must admit that I'm hesitant to post on this site after my last experience, but I feel compelled to address the following statement and similar ones I've seen posted here:
"...many of us who feel Measure G is wrong feel if the teachers find out who we are our children may bear the consequences"
I've read this and similar statements on this site over and over again, and I believe they are a mischaracterization of our teachers. I, myself, have students in my classes whose parents have been very vocal against the parcel tax. That has not changed my opinion of, nor my affection for those students ONE BIT. To insinuate over and over again as I have seen people on this site do, that teachers will somehow sabotage a child's academic success because that child's parents are not in favor of Measure G is nothing more than fear mongering (which is somewhat ironic, because I've seen the "no" side repeatedly accuse G supporters of being motivated by fear on this site). It attacks our professionalism as teachers and our character as human beings.
I understand that this is a controversial Measure and that its very existence is offensive to some of you. I just ask you to give teachers a little more credit when it comes to doing our jobs. We became teachers because we care about kids. We enjoy watching them grow and get satisfaction from contributing to that process. That does not change when a student's parents express a different perspective on how to address a problem in our community.
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 3:19 pm
Jennifer Cohn - "I've read this and similar statements on this site over and over again, and I believe they are a mischaracterization of our teachers"
Ah....kind of like how measure G supporters mischaracterize those opposed to G as anti-child? And the fear mongering you speak of wouldn't be the same fear mongering being used on parents when they ask what the impact of the measure not passing are?
Posted by Also a parent, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm
I have been reading the arguments against the Parcel tax. They include, but are not limited to:
the teachers don't deserved step and column raises
the administrators have spent too much on cell phones and travel bills
we'd have the money if the solar panel and Neal School debacles didn't happen
administrators were given unsustainable raises
I know I didn't include all of them. Here's what I keep coming back to:
How does voting "no" HELP kids? All of the reasons for voting "no" seem money motivated. If someone could convincingly argue how voting no really would benefit the education of kids in our community, then they wouldn't be labeled "anti-kid" and even people who support the parcel tax would consider voting "no" (after all, no want WANTS to pay more in taxes).
I know one rebuttal to this would be that the system needs to break in order for there to be reform. Unfortunately, I don't want the system to break while my 2 kids are in the system.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Unfortunately not everyone will be professional in this matter like yourself. All it takes is one to ruin the party for everyone and some feel that it isn't worth the risk. Please don't take the suggestion personally.
Posted by Another teacher, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm
Stacey, how can we NOT take it personally? It is a slap in the face. I respect people on both sides, as long as they are civil about it, and I respect all who want to post anonymously (as I have), but as Jennifer said, "It attacks our professionalism and character." How can we not take this personal?
Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 5:50 pm
"To insinuate over and over again as I have seen people on this site do, that teachers will somehow sabotage a child's academic success because that child's parents are not in favor of Measure G is nothing more than fear mongering."
I'm not a teacher here. Still, as a parent, I respect any parent's right to vote as they choose, and I would never treat any of my daughter's friends differently because of the way they vote on this measure. I certainly hope that the same is true of anti-G voters.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm
Jennifer - I don't know you so I can't determine if you might have been around the last time the teacher's union went on strike. It was, to say the least, nearly as ugly as any teamster's action I saw growing up. An effigy of the superintendent was burned on Main St. Teachers marched and chanted and moaned in front of board member's homes (scaring the children who attended their schools) at all hours even when the board member wasn't there. They left scathing letters for teachers who crossed the picket line.
So, when people say they fear what might be done . . . they do have reason to feel that way. We've already seen worse. I personally have faith that those working with my grandchild would not do anything to disrupt the education of the children in their care. I am watchful nonetheless. But please don't discount that parental emotion.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 6:39 pm
Sandy, I think you know those of us against this measure are not anti-child or anti-teacher. This is about fiscal mismanagement and getting the train back on the track to the benefit of children, teachers, and taxpayers.
Posted by nameless, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 7:00 pm
Also a parent - you ask how does a NO vote help kids? And that money seems to be the motivation behind the NO votes...
Well..in these times it *is* about the money. The main breadwinner in our house has taken a 25% paycut PLUS must take 5 furlough days (unpaid) each quarter. The threat of a layoff still looms over our home. I have had to get a job working evenings/weekends - but still we would be *thrilled* to be making the same as we made last year! How does this economic downturn affect kids? Well, in our houshold I can say things are definitely worse. With parents working opposite shifts for less money the stress has increased five-fold. Our retirement funds are down 50%. And they want us to support a tax that will be added to our liability as homeowners?! So teachers can get their union-negotiated S & C increases?
Saying "I don't want the system to break while my 2 kids are in the system" is just as self-serving as a retiree saying "I don't have kids in school anymore, so I'll vote no", in my opinion.
The fact is the idea that when a local (or state or federal) government agency decides that the way to balance a budget is to go to the taxpayers for more $, thay do not learn how to create or work within a budget. If only my spouse and I could go to our employers and say "we don't have enough money - we need more"! The reality is that those in power with that mindset are the cause of these types of problems.
Not everyone in P-town is rich. $233 annually IS a lot of money to some of us. And $233 won't even begin to fix the huge budget issues the district faces over the next few years - it's a bandaid on a gaping wound...
Try to look at the situation and remove the emotional element. No on G folks are not the "bad guys" here....
Posted by No on G!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 9:59 pm
Agree with Joe:
I am glad you posted your agreement with me; I am real and I am really against Measure G. I contacted the parcel tax website to see if they would lead it, as well.
I think if we let fear worry us too much, we'd be foolish. I can say with certainty, that if your child has a consistent academic record and you appear at a No on G Rally and then your child's classroom situation changes, we'd all have grounds for a lawsuit. And we'd win. I'm also a realist and while it "could" happen, the teacher would know they would be reported, so I'm not too concerned about who sees us at a Rally.
I understand that on May 12, 2009, there is a Regular Board of Trustees Meeting in the District Office Board Room (4665 Bernal
Avenue, 5:00 p.m. Closed Session, 7:00 p.m. Open Session) and I think that we should meet outside of the Board meeting there with signs of protest against the measure. I think we should be a beaming bright light of virtue and do nothing to show we are any way in opposition to any teachers or personnel, as happened in Kathleen's experience during a union strike, so we may openly show the District and Board, and entire community, just how many of us do not support this parcel tax.
I will be there with my sign of dissent and I hope you will join me and my family. I just have too much optimism and faith in this community to think that "Anonymous" (the second poster above) is even close to being right. And I also have faith in the teachers of this district that there would not be any reprecussions to my children who are completely innocent in this entire mess.
I do plan on voting no, but I also want this district to realize that at least some of us in this community cannot be taken advantage of, and I think that a peaceful and honest depicition will say a great deal in combination with a vote.
May 12th 6PM, bring your sign. June 2nd, Vote No on G.
Posted by never a parcel tax, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 3, 2009 at 8:22 am
to the teachers -- what you should take as a personal issue is that most of us are FED UP with your sacred S & C raises and the colas. If you insist on getting those raises then I will say that you are foolish, irresponsible and greedy. And yes, please take that personally.
The economy does not warrant your raises. Period. Give them up or be prepared to lose this battle.
I would be at the meeting on the 12th except for the need to be working my third job. I am not the recipient of constant raises, my industry has cut wages and benefits. My job is not tenured, allowing me to perform to the lowest possible standards without consequence. In order to keep my home I have had to take on additional jobs. Teachers need to take cuts, administrators need to take cuts, then and only then can you come to us in good conscience and ask for more money. Until then,
Posted by Pete, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 3, 2009 at 10:27 am
Lay Off, it is not personal but that said it is about them getting raises when many in the private sector are getting layed off, reduced pay, and/or hours. As Joe Biden said it is time to step up and be american and sacrifice and now that goes for the teachers and possibly they should get together with their union and together reduce their pay by 10% for the benefit of the kids.
Posted by Hmm, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on May 3, 2009 at 10:28 am
Lay off and other teachers,
I think "never a parcel tax" is just one of those people who is frustrated and angry about his or her own situation, and that venom has come out in a post against teachers.
Most reasonable people, whether they support this tax or not, recognize that people who pursue a career in teaching are not highly motivated by money/greed. They also recognize that teachers in this district have not been performing to the "lowest possible standard". Quite the opposite is true and there is plenty of evidence (test scores, Newsweek and US News articles, Blue Ribbon status, Competition Civics...) to back that up.
Keep your chin up. Many in the community support and appreciate what you do! See that post as the exception and not the rule in the parent community.
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 3, 2009 at 10:10 pm
"Is your response to Jennifer really "two wrongs make a right?". I think that brings us all down to the lowest common denominator"
Ha ha...no, the statement was meant to shed a little light on how those that support G treat those that oppose it - IMO.
Also a parent -
"the teachers don't deserved step and column raises"
That in fact is not my opinion. My opinion is not that teachers don't deserve them, my position is that if the community is being told there is no money for our school programs and are asking us to fund them through an additional parcel tax, then there shouldn't be any money for raises or S&C increases at this time. Once state funding returns to its previous levels (if it does) and the community is no longer being asked for additional tax dollars then the district can pay S&C increases. I just take serious issue that our children's education is being cut before raises are.
"I guess you can have your cake and eat it too! ;)"
Are you sure you're not refering to the district with this comment?
Posted by LNM, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 8:46 am
I am opposed to the parcel tax; however, I've been reluctant to state my opinion on this issue around town for fear of being accused of being anti child, or anti teacher. I've had 3 children graduate the PUSD and the 4th graduates this year. I also have one grandchild who attends grammer school in the PUSD. Although I've been reluctant to voice my opinion openly, I don't feel that teachers will take retributive measures against children of those who opposed the parcel tax. My vote is private. I don't put signs in my yard in favor of, or opposed to political opinions, but that doesn't mean I don't vote. The Vote YES signs may be the only signs we're seeing in residents yards; however, that doesn't mean that the "Vote NO" voters aren't out there... in ABUNDANCE. I hope this measure will be defeated.
Posted by Julia Wong, a resident of the Laguna Vista neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 8:59 am
Those of you that are bashing teachers need a wake-up call, and its a call that all parents need to pay heed. Teaching as a profession has got to the point where it sucks. The amount of grief that teachers now have to suffer at the hands of school administrators and parents is becoming intolerable. Discipline in the schools is collapsing and administrators fail to deal with it, thus teachers are forced to deal with unruly students - not only in high schools, not only in middle schools, but in grade schools. Parents firing of flame-out e-mails to teachers has become routine. Parents who get 5%/year raises in thier own jobs routinely bitch about teachers getting 1%/year raises.
Helicopter parents, dialed-out parents, drugged-out parents, haven't-got-a-clue parents, my-child-is-smart-you-must-be-a-lousy-teacher parents, what-do-you-mean-my-child-has-not-been-doing-thier-homework parents, are becoming an overwhelming burden to teachers. One of the top loonisms now is the claim that kids are required to work too hard, meanwhile children from schools in Asian and European countries work harder and put in many more hours per year. The wake-up call is just around the bend.
Baby-boomer teachers are stating to retire in droves, and there are not going to be nearly enough teachers to fill the gap. Young folks are avoiding the teaching profession because they can see that the profession sucks. The rate of new-teacher drop-outs is staggering because after a few years they learn (drum roll here) THE PROFESSION SUCKS. So, if you think teachers are overpaid now, wait a few years. You are either going to be paying a lot more for teachers, or your kids are going to be attending classes with 50 kids/class (maybe more), homework is not graded, tests are all multiple choice and there will be NO after school help (you get to pay for private tutors).
In case you are wondering, I am NOT a teacher.
Now if you want to do something that really helps, fire the slugs in state legislature and get familiar with how much of your taxes go to pay for the cost of illegal immigration.
Posted by LNM, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 9:12 am
You write that "Teaching as a profession has got to the point where it sucks." Unfortunately WORK in any occupation can SUCK. I don't work with children, but believe me my job has a great deal of stress involved; however, I firmly believe that if a persons job "sucks" then they are free to choose another career. That DOES NOT mean I feel that it's ok for parents to be irresponsible when it comes to the discipline of their children, but teaching is no different or noble than any other profession, it's a job, and sometimes jobs SUCK! If a teacher, or any worker in any profession is unhappy with the circumstances of their job, then seek a new one. NO ONE is forcing anyone to be a teacher, it's a choice, just like any other job is.
Regarding "step and column" raises, my raises are based on my performance, and the profitability of the company I work for. My company isn't guaranteed business, and I'm not guaranteed a raise. Why should any profession be guaranteed raises, and jobs protected to the point where even underperforming teachers can't be fired.
I admire and respect teachers, but not to the point where I feel that they deserve my tax dollars to guarantee that they receive raises, when the rest of us must take our hits with the economy.
Let me pose this question; If the parcel tax is approved and I lose my job, I'm on the hook for the taxes wether I'm working or not. How will I afford that? My tax dollars will be supporting automatic raises, even though I'm not afforded the same guarantee of raises, or even a job at all.
Posted by Ken in South Pleasanton, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 9:35 am
Marching is such a 'liberal' thing to do. The libs are able to gather such large crowds because they are able to pull on the vast 'government-supported' class who live off our taxes and have time to participate in the middle of the day in such events. Me? I'm voting NO on G and all the other tax measures on the May ballot to send a message that I'm fed up with the spend...spend...spend mentality of our current administrations. I'm also talking to everyone about these issues and am quite pleased with the response I'm getting from both sides of the political spectrum. I'll continue working and contributing while the other side throws money, typically other people's money, at a cause that only takes more of the other people's money to be wasted by incompetent bureaucrats! VOTE NO AS MANY TIMES AS LEGALLY POSSIBLE!
Posted by Opposing Views, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 9:46 am
Originally Posted by never a parcel tax, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 10:56 am
"If you go to the farmer's market you will find the "give pay raises to the teachers" booth at the corner of Main, outside the art gallery. Another booth is at the end in the park. I went by and asked for a couple of yard signs, walked to the nearest dumpster and threw them in. If all of you were to go downtown and get one sign imagine what that would cost them. But hey, they could have given the money to the schools."
It is truly sad to me that anyone would advocate taking signs and simply destroy them. I would say that regardless of which side a voter is on.
Everyone should recognize that every citizen has the right to express their view. I may not like it…you may not like it. But, we do live in an democracy….one in which I am very proud to call my home.
Vote Yes….vote No. Your choice. But, please do not advocate destruction of property that is being made available to those with an opposing view.
I am very proud to say I live in Pleasanton….and recently, very discouraged at the discourse shown on these forums.
Posted by John, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 10:04 am
Whenever you play with peoples money it becomes an emotional and personal thing. I am in support of the tax but think that many who oppose it have some good points. The reasons I support it may be different than others. Also not everyone opposes it for the same reason. I do not think that we should take jabs at each other for the difference. Teachers deserve a pay raise just like everyone else does but I think that they (just like everyone else) right now should be glad they even have a job. How can you watch your friends lose their jobs and expect a raise. I do not get one this year.
To: Never a parcel tax
Yeah wasting everyone's money right now is a real good idea. Your statement is just foolish. People like you are the reason this is such a personal thing. Show your support on June 2nd. Let your voice be heard that way. I am sure it will be more intelligent than your statements.
Posted by Carol Langer, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 10:32 am
Yes, I know pedestrians have the right of way. However, I wish people would pay more attention when they are walking in Shopping parking lots!
I know how careful and slowly I have to back up my car in parking lots, because usually no one ever stops to let you back out. Then we have the occasional shopper too busy talking on their cell phones and/or talking to someone else completely IGNORING my back up lights, then proceed to walk behind me. It's especially frustrating when they start yelling at me to be more careful because they are walking there.
Posted by Mrs. G. P. Keller, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 10:53 am
Well after a barrage of nasty personal attacks after my last posting I can only feel saddened that the Pro-Measure G folks have resorted to the name calling, guilt & fear mongering to belittle those in opposition to their viewpoint. The most common cry seems to be the "it's all for the children" plea & then of course the accusation that anybody who opposes this is by definition anti-child, anti-education & obviously a cruel, heartless individual.
I'm equally discouraged when people who have posted here extolling the active role that some parents have taken in their child's education are referred to as being the exception to the norm or that they are somehow more financially able to provide extra tutoring. As parents we would do ANYTHING within our means to provide for our children's education & I simply cannot fathom the thought that anyone could entrust their child to any public or even private school system & expect that all of their educational needs will be provided by the school itself. We all have a stake in the structuring of their study habits, help with material & supplementing core studies when we have ability to do so. To not take such an active role would be a disservice to their future.
In light of all the nastiness that the Pro Measure G people folks are spewing I am more inclined to put a "NO" sign in my front yard more than ever.
Posted by Had enough, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 11:11 am
I have already reserved time on my calendar, complete with a pop-up reminder, to vote NO on G on June 2nd. I won't allow the school district's tactic to capitalize on apathy and confusion.
Teachers; don't be offended that parents are concerned about their children being harassed. You may be able to separate the student from the actions of the parents but not all of your colleagues will share that ability. The emotional accusations of "anti-child", anti-teacher", and "anti-education" (not to mention that my property value will plummet) from the Yes on G camp are rampant...although they should keep it up because they are angering more people every day.
Teachers and school administrators deserve raises just like workers in the private sector. However if you have picked followed the news recently you'll know that we are in challenging economic times and many, if not most, in the private sector have had salaries frozen or cut, and lost benefits....those are the lucky ones. Millions have lost their jobs. Companies are scrambling to cut costs wherever possible in order to stay solvent and government agencies must do the same.
Is anyone willing to argue that PUSD has made the all the painful cuts that are needed to stay afloat and to avoid the need to ask for more money? Other than the teacher pink slips (another emotional tool intended to upset students and parents) I am not convinced. It appears to me that PUSD has grown fat after years of money rolling in from the dot-com boom and projected revenues that never materialized.
I'll remain anonymous but will continue to volunteer many hours supporting the many terrific teachers and programs that we have in Pleasanton.
Posted by Teacher, a resident of the Golden Eagle neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm
I just wanted you to know that, as a teacher, I would NEVER EVER take out any of my frustrations/feelings about a "NO" vote on Measure G on a student. Although I disagree with your vote, that is why this is a great country- it is YOUR vote and your voice. I don't know of any other teachers that would do that either. If this community does not vote for a parcel tax, then unfortunately, our schools will suffer. But if the community if okay with that, then by all means, vote No and let your voice be heard.
Posted by LNM, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 1:34 pm
Teacher of Golden Eagle area,
I truly believe that most teachers feel like you do, and we probably have little to fear when it comes to retribution for our NO position.
What I don't agree with is that voting no on the parcel tax will make our schools suffer. We as residents and parents also need THAT money in order to take care of our families and residences. If the parcel tax does not pass, the school district will need to be more creative in allocating the money for education, which is exactly what the rest of us in the private sector do when there isn't enough money to pay for everything. We look at areas that can be trimmed and made leaner and more efficient. My own company has had a 40% reduction in sales, yet the taxpayer isn't coming to our aid, or the aid of my staff members who deserve raises, but aren't going to get any until things get better. I for one don't want to pay another penny in taxes, and I hope this ballot measure is defeated. Perhaps this will lead to the long overdue school voucher system, where parents can choose what schools to support with their tax dollars.
Posted by Alee, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm
It is good to see so many teachers saying they would not take out their frustrations on their students. I believe they are credible in these statements.
However, my daughters teacher is continually talking about Measure G and has even gone on to tell the students on several occasions that their parents need to "pay an extra $200 so I can keep my job." I don't think this is representative of all teachers in Pleasanton, but it is definitely unprofessional. It has actually made me turn totally unsympathetic to this particular teacher.
Posted by Julia Wong, a resident of the Laguna Vista neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm
You comment that if teachers don't like their jobs,then they are free to choose another career. That's the problem! Too many gifted individuals are making that exact choice. They either don't go into the profession in the first place, or far to many quit after less that five years. In a number of advanced countries, teaching is an honored profession, more highly regarded and more highly rewarded than doctors. The cream of the crop become teachers. In the U. S., its exceedingly difficult to find math and science teachers because people with math, science and engineering degrees can get much better compensation in industry. Some teachers in math and science have taken the lower compensation because of their love of teaching. But now, when they increasingly have to put up with unruly children, overbearing and/or tuned-out parents, and unsupportive administrations, more and more are saying, THIS PROFESSION SUCKS! As you say,they are free to leave, and they do. It's your kids and grandkids that are paying the price.
Speaking of paying the price, if the quality of the Pleasanton schools takes a dive, Pleasanton will lose one of its big draws. So you might expected to lose a few hundred grand or so off the price of your house. What does that grab you purse strings?
Posted by Bernard, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm
Julia, only real estate people use that if you don't vote yes on G your property values will drop. They will not and Pleasanton will be fine and work to resolve the issues before them. In addition, with so much turmoil in the private sector it might be good for teaching as many people and good people have told me that they have had it with getting laid off and are going to get their credential so they can teach and have some stability.
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm
Julia Wong -
"Discipline in the schools is collapsing and administrators fail to deal with it, thus teachers are forced to deal with unruly students - not only in high schools, not only in middle schools, but in grade schools. Parents firing of flame-out e-mails to teachers has become routine. Helicopter parents, dialed-out parents, drugged-out parents, haven't-got-a-clue parents, my-child-is-smart-you-must-be-a-lousy-teacher parents, what-do-you-mean-my-child-has-not-been-doing-thier-homework parents, are becoming an overwhelming burden to teachers. One of the top loonisms now is the claim that kids are required to work too hard, meanwhile children from schools in Asian and European countries work harder and put in many more hours per year."
I personally believe a lot of this to be true. I think Pleasanton is probably a lot better about this than other districts because of the strong focus and importance put on education. None the less, nothing in measure G addresses the issues you've brought up.
"Baby-boomer teachers are stating to retire in droves, and there are not going to be nearly enough teachers to fill the gap. Young folks are avoiding the teaching profession because they can see that the profession sucks. The rate of new-teacher drop-outs is staggering because after a few years they learn (drum roll here) THE PROFESSION SUCKS."
I would get pretty fed up and discouraged with a system that routinely threatens to lay off the most recent hires regardless of skill while paying out raises to those that have been around.....just because they've been around. Again, what does Measure G do to fix this?
Posted by carol, a resident of the Walnut Hills neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm
1) I have a hard time believing that if we (for example) get rid of 20/1 while Livermore maintains it that our property values won't go down over time. I'm not saying it will happen overnight, but when we decided to move into our house we grappled with the fact that we could buy the same house on a bigger lot in Livermore and the schools were what made us still choose Pleasanton. As the gap between district performance closes, though, I think so will the gap between housing values. I'm not saying it as a form of propaganda. I just think it's basic economic principles at play.
2) "as many people and good people have told me that they have had it with getting laid off and are going to get their credential so they can teach and have some stability" . This doesn't make sense to me. I think the teachers who've received pink slips will tell you they have no stability in the teaching field either. Tell your friends not to do it unless it's for the love of the job. They'd be giving up income potential for perceived stability that doesn't exist unless you happen to get hired during the right stage of the economic cycle.
Posted by Bernard, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm
Carol, I have lived here since 1968 and I can assure you that our level of education never has nor never will get to the Livermore level and it has nothing to with the capability of our or their teachers but rather our parents have always been very engaged and that will continue. Our property values are not driven by our test scores now nor have they ever been. Most people I know who moved here did so because of the sense of community and what used to be more of a small town atmosphere.
On the second point I am a scientist and everyone I work with is an expert in math and/or science and an advanced degree is a requirement here so I would suspect they would be coveted by any district.
Posted by A parent and neighbor, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm
I am so disappointed in what I read here. This budget situation has nothing to do with our district mismanaging funds or Teachers getting raises. Don't you follow our State's budget mess? Our State has stripped us down over the past 3 years and because we were so fiscally responsible it didn't hurt. Now another 9 million is gone, do you really think cell phone bills and gas expenses is going to cover this? We need to become independent of the State for programs we have worked hard and are proud to keep. These are the programs that parents came to the budget meetings and don't want to lose. Have you been in a classroom lately? It's not like it was 10 years ago. I know my kids are older. Our community has become very diverse and many of our students don't speak English. Going to more then 20 students in K-3 will have a huge effect on your kids. Not having all counselors available to help your students get into the competitive colleges that you want them too will be huge. 65 Cents a day is a good way to say enough to our State. If you want to use your energy wisely write your legislature. We want to protect our own town. Stop bickering people and stop spreading things that are not true!! I thought we were better than this.
Posted by Bernard, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 6:36 pm
A Parent and Neighbor, do you really think that 233 is going to do it by giving teachers a raise. The only way to fix this mess is to vote out these guys in Sscramento who have created this mess by chasing all of the business out of the state and thus all of the tax revenue. Now they are working on chasing the rich boomers out with their tax and social welfare programs which are not affordable. We cannot tax our way out of this mess and it is going to get worse when all of these tax initiatives go down in flames in June. Do you realize that our state budget deficit has grown to 50 billion now? Now we have the other states complaining that their tax revenue is being sent to California by the federal government to reward poor fiscal management and social excesses. Why do we have children in school who cannot speak english?
Posted by Indano, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm
Special needs students: 95K/yr/each child and with no money from the gov't to support this but is required by law. How many do we have in Ptown? Is it necessary to 'mainstream' them?
65% of PUSD teachers voted in favor of 'donating' money via their salaries to keep special needs staff employed next year.
EL's: takes away too much time from the teacher trying to educate thus all students are suffering; ergo... less learning/yr for each student. How will it be when the K-3's are up to 25-30 students/classroom? How much does this cost and do we get any help from the gov't? (Answer to the latter is: NO).
Teacher raises: administration(s) can't change that because it's law. How do we get rid of unions....all of them?
233/yr x 4= 932 is nothing when you decide to vent your anger at the state/feds by not paying taxes to them...and voting them out! OINK OINK
Problem with all this? If you vote 'no' on all of these Props, the lawmakers will have full control (as the Dems would like it) to raise taxes without our input. And they will. Meanwhile, your local gov't (PUSD) has indicated massive amounts of reductions ..thanks to the horrible way our state and fed gov't spends our money... that no one seems to recognize. If you're looking to blame someone, go state level or better but PUSD has done wonders with little help from the state. Remember, there are many requirements the state mandates but are not supported financially and it gets worse each year.
Finally, TEACHERS...you rock! Especially now when so many parents think their darlings can do no wrong and it's your fault or the fault of the administration. Discipline? What's that? However, you'd rock a whole lot more if you got rid of the union...as I believe most of you would like to do, if allowed.
Ptown: of the 27 yrs I've been here, it's shameful to see how we've evolved.
Vote 'YES' on Measure G for it is NOT going to teacher raises!
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 10:04 pm
I don't disagree with you that involved parents contribute to high test scores and good schools. But don't you think good schools and high test scores also ATTRACT parents who value education (AKA engaged parents). It's a cycle where each side feeds the other.
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 11:20 pm
A parent and neighbor, "budget situation has nothing to do with our district mismanaging funds or Teachers getting raises"
How can you say that when the S&C increases are projected at $15m over the next four years and the parcel tax is trying to raise $18m?
Indano, "Teacher raises: administration(s) can't change that because it's law. How do we get rid of unions....all of them?....Vote 'YES' on Measure G for it is NOT going to teacher raises!"
Sure they can, so long as both sides are willing to step up to the table and neotiate. There is no law preventing an agreed upon freeze of S&C increases. $18m in parcel tax funds, $15m in S&C increases. If its not going to "raises" where is that money coming from?
Posted by Bernard, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, on May 5, 2009 at 6:54 am
Resident, it is kind of like the chicken and the egg thing and one feeds off of the energy of the other. Back in the day, Amador was the only high school in the area other than Livermore High. All Pleasanton kids went there as well as all of the kids from Dublin and unincorporated areas as well. As such, the parents had a significant vested interest in making it a successful high school in all areas and they were by the parents demanding excellence not only of their children but also of their educators. I do believe people move to our town for education but not the only reason as they also move here for the culture, small town atmosphere, safety, low crime, affordability, commute, family etc. Do we have problems? Sure we do like traffic and do we have problems with the mayor not sharing the same vision as us and not having a good grounding in what makes us different but we will resolve these issues. I am only pointing out that the problem is far bigger than the parcel tax and the statewide meltdown which will get far worse has to be taken on at our city level with thought filled far reaching solutions.