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The Actual Cuts to PUSD

Original post made by Stacey, Amberwood/Wood Meadows, on May 12, 2009

I posted this buried in another thread, but I think the numbers are useful to see published so a new thread is probably best for this information. These numbers are the actual cuts made by the State for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. These amounts figure into how much PUSD receives from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which CA is using to restore the cuts.

Numbers taken from Web Link

For 2008-2009, PUSD's revenue limit was reduced by $210 ADA for a total of $3MM. Categorical programs were reduced by 15.4% for $1.1MM.

For 2009-2010, PUSD's revenue limit was reduced by $83 per ADA for a total of $1.2MM. Categorical programs are reduced by 4.5% for $0.3MM.

Add them up...

Revenue limit: $3MM + $1.2MM = $4.2MM (wow! same amount received by PUSD for revenue limit cuts from State Fiscal Stabilization Fund)

Categorical programs: $1.1MM + $0.3MM = $1.4MM (who wants to bet with me that this is the amount PUSD will receive in June from State Fiscal Stabilization Fund?)

But wait just a minute! The shortfall is $9.7MM over two years! These numbers don't add up, you say? Well that's because we forgot to throw in the step and column increases! The State isn't providing a COLA increase to the revenue limit to pay for these this year and probably next. $1.5MM for this year. $1.5MM for next year. Now we're up to the shortfall!

(Note that in the weblink there's slight increases in costs to categorical programs funded normally by State COLA too which I didn't add in above. The document doesn't list the categorical increase for 2009-2010.)

Comments (32)

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 12, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The State didn't fund COLA this year. Neither are the Feds going to fund raises. What message is being sent here?

PUSD wants to cut programs in order to pay for raises. The unions could go a long way towards gaining much respect from the community if they concede these raises during these tough economic times.

Let's have a real COLA. Freeze all raises when there's no COLA from the State.


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Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 13, 2009 at 8:20 am

The message being sent here is that the Feds are covering the shortfall to preserve jobs, but will not be funding pay raises. Pay raises have been frozen by the state.

The district is asking the community to increase our property taxes to fund pay raises. It's very simple.


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Posted by John F.
a resident of Downtown
on May 13, 2009 at 8:20 am

Unions are the root of the problem. They will "burn the building" as they line their pockets - look no further than Chrysler, GM, our former U.S. steel industry, etc, etc.


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Posted by Hellen
a resident of Downtown
on May 13, 2009 at 8:24 am

And our superintendant and our school board kow tow to the unions. Sad and pathetic. Whatever happened to real leadership - true statesmanship? Budget reform is needed now!


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Posted by Community of Character
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2009 at 8:29 am

Union protects our teachers so they can focus on teaching our children. The existence of the union is a blessing to our schools and our community.

Support our children, our schools, and our community.

Vote YES on G!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 10:07 am

Stacey is a registered user.

CoC,

Thanks again for the comedy relief! Unions a blessing to our community... you can't buy that kind of material!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 10:29 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The true cuts by the State for 2008-2010 amount to $5.6MM. This amount will most likely be wholly restored by federal money. We'll know in June.

Special ed funding requirements have increased by $1.3MM. The feds gave us $2.5MM.

What's left? PUSD isn't getting COLA increases from the State. That's not a true cut like the $5.6MM is. So PUSD cuts programs in order to fund raises that normally get paid for by State COLA.

Freeze wage increases during years of no State COLA.


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Posted by Economics 201
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 13, 2009 at 10:37 am

What do unions protect our teachers from (are they voiceless, lost, helpless souls)? How do unions protect them?

Please read the works of Adam Smith. Learn the value of "the invisible hand".

In economics, "the invisible hand" fosters self-regulation of the marketplace. In a free market, an individual pursuing his/her own self-interest tends to also promote the good of his/her community as a whole through a principle Smith called "the invisible hand." He argued that each individual maximizing revenue for him/herself maximizes the total revenue of society as a whole. Source: Wikipedia


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Posted by Potential striker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2009 at 11:27 am

Economics 201: Thank you. I will check that out.

Please see:
Web Link


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link "Wage freeze to avoid most layoffs is worth a try"

"On Thursday the mayor said that "most of these layoffs" could be avoided if all city workers agreed to forego any increase in compensation, including automatic step increases for experience and the like. In urging city unions to accept "true zeros," Reed noted that he hasn't accepted a raise or a car allowance since he took office in 2007, and the city manager, attorney, clerk and auditor all have agreed to 3.75 percent pay cuts for next year. "


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on May 13, 2009 at 11:43 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

By definition, unions exist to help the members. The teacher's union can bleat all they want about education and the kids, but the reality is that they are ADVERSARIES to responsible fiscal planning by insisting (as is their charter) on more money and benefits for their members.

When has the teachers union EVER said, we'll take less money to protect programs for the kids?!?!? Bueller...? Bueller...?


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Posted by Nancy K.
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 13, 2009 at 11:52 am

Parent of Two,

Excellent point: When has the teachers union EVER said, we'll take less money to protect programs for the kids?


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Posted by Parent of Four
a resident of Country Fair
on May 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm

When??? You ask...In April, the Teachers Union voted by a two-thirds (about 70%) majority to eliminate the 2 Staff Development days in good faith next school year. Thus saving the district about a million dolllars to "protect programs for the kids"


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

But the District still has to make cuts to pay for the raises that amount to more than the amount of the 2 days.


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Posted by A PUSD Parent for Real Reform
a resident of Avila
on May 13, 2009 at 12:58 pm

The elimination of two staff development days is a very small gesture. Interesting that about 30% of the union members didn't want to give back this token. Keep in mind, the teachers will still be paid, they will just be in the classroom, teaching their students. Substitute teachers lose class room opportunities. The net result, a better classroom learning environment, since students will be with their regular teacher and not a substitute.


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Posted by 2xparent
a resident of Birdland
on May 13, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Forget getting rid of step and column. I just don't see that happening (and I don't think I want to balance this budget on the teacher's backs. Parents/Community doesn't want a parcel tax, fine). Balance the budget without cutting salaries and without the parcel tax.

Let's start cutting un-needed administrative perks (car allowances, etc) and programs.


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Posted by sd
a resident of Golden Eagle
on May 13, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Parent of Two said

"hen has the teachers union EVER said, we'll take less money to protect programs for the kids?!?!?"

I'm sorry but when did it become the TEACHER'S responsibility to take a pay cut to protect programs that YOUR kids are a part of????? Teachers provide a service to the community. It is absolutely NOT their responsibility to take a pay cut when there aren't enough funds to support the programs that the kids in Pleasanton luckily get to take advantage of. Would you ever ask a police officer or a fireman to take a pay cut??????? NO! You wouldn't but they also provide a service to the public. Why is a teacher any different????

Teachers have given up 2 days pay. Stop asking them to give up even more. They have to deal with a lot of bratty kids and obnoxious parents on a daily basis...pay them more!


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Posted by sd
a resident of Golden Eagle
on May 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm

PUSD Parent

Can you please explain your logic on how substitutes have anything to do with the 2 staff development days that the teachers voted on getting rid of???


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Posted by John,
a resident of Birdland
on May 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I think that teachers, firemen, and policemen should all take cuts not in salary but all need to transistion over to a retirement at age 62 and also an undefined pension plan like the rest of us have.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

sd,

Why is it ok for union employees to get raises and ask us to cut programs for kids to pay for these raises? Freezing increases are NOT cuts.


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on May 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

sd,
If your kids are bratty, or you're obnoxious, then YOU should pay the teachers more. I've volunteered at the school, chaperoned field trips, donated extra money and resources when asked. The "cut" is contingent on the parcel tax passing, so it isn't a concession, it's extortion.

And my kids are getting straight A's and are above the district mean for test scores, so my kids are clearly bringing up the curve, and I'm doing my job for the community.

All I said was that UNIONS don't benefit society. They were never intended to. They benefit and protect (to a fault) their members. Don't pretend that the UNION is a benevolent, kid-centric group when it's just a money-grubbing selfish educational monopoly.


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Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Walnut Hills
on May 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I think it all comes back to being competitive for the best and brightest teachers - and encouraging them to stay in our district.

In the past, people would go to districts like Oakland, Antioch, Richmond and even San Ramon to get experience. Then, they would take that experience and move to Pleasanton. Who wouldn't want to do the same job but get more money and deal with fewer social (i.e. gang) problems? This put Pleasanton in a good position to pick the best possible teachers from the applicant pool.

There are many indicators that PUSD has been a successful school district by following this philosophy (test scores, awards, news articles, etc.), but we have been slipping as a competitive employer relative to some of our neighbors.

Now to those of you who assert that the budget be balance using a 10% pay cut, think about what that does to us as a competitive employer? Will good teachers still be lining up to work here? The parent community might still be as supportive as ever, but can they teach their kids AP Statistics, Chemistry and English? Yes, good teachers are necessary no matter how great the parents are; likewise, supportive parents make a teacher's job much easier. As a community, don't we want the best teachers we can get?

As for the step and column raises, I see them as a sort of merit pay/incentive program. Teaching is a profession where you get better with experience. It takes a few years of doing it to master classroom management and find the best, most effective ways of communicating the material.

Teaching is also a profession where continuing education should be encouraged. Is it so bad to have a pay structure that reimburses teachers for part of their continuing education expenses over time? Don't we want them to get their Master's degrees?

I don't love the idea of another tax, but I agree with SD above that balancing the budget by having teachers pay for programs (via cuts to their existing contracts - which includes a step and column freeze) is not the right solution. I am one of those people who moved here for the schools. I want my kids to have the best education possible. I think PUSD can give them that... if we just support them!

Ok, Stacey, I'm sure you'll be carving up my statements shortly. I won't be hovering over my computer to respond, though, so hopefully another will pick up where I left off...


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Posted by Bobby
a resident of Del Prado
on May 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Jennifer,

So you are saying why should a teacher spend their time trying to teach us black boys as we are all gang members when we can pay our dues in the black community, get a little experience, and then go to white land where we can be with our own and make some coin. Give me a break and just come out and say you are in it for the money and you want someone to pay for your advanced education. If you really wanted a challenge you would go to the intercity.....or gangland as you prefer.


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on May 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

I agree with most of Jennifer's points here, except for one major flaw. ALL school districts are cutting back, and the best teachers will always seek out the best teaching situation. I have a friend teaching in the Hayward school district who would LOVE to come to Pleasanton, even with the helicopter parents and the ultra-competitiveness of the test scores. Money is tight EVERYWHERE and Pleasanton has kept it's lead over almost all other East Bay cities. It's not like we're slipping downhill on the list.

Places like Hayward, Oakland, and Richmond are purgatory for teachers, where they put in their time until they can be considered elsewhere. Yeah, they can reach the occasional exceptional student and make a greater impact for one person in the less affluent areas, but would you rather work in a warzone?


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Posted by Bobby
a resident of Del Prado
on May 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Looks like parent of two is another little teacher racist, afterall with all the black folks in Hayward, Oakland, and Richmond you might reach that occasional exceptional student!.......Wow!


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on May 13, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

Wow, Bobby, way to read more into something than was intended. Race was never mentioned.

Check the test scores and crime rates. Or just ask a teacher where they'd rather be.


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Posted by Bobby
a resident of Del Prado
on May 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm

parent of two,

now what kind of people do you think mostly go to school in Hayward, Oakland, and Richmond? hmmmmmmmmm white and asian folks? naw you don't believe that no more than I do and you and I both know what you meant and you actually said it when you re read it from "one of our people's" viewpoint. Have a nice day and hope you raise those two kids of yours to be more color blind than yourself.


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on May 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

Bobby,

Same to you. Cheers.


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Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Walnut Hills
on May 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Bobby,

I agree that it is a sad situation that there are social inequities based on race that still exist in our country ( a topic for another thread maybe); however, I don't think it's racist for someone to take their skills and their work experience and use them to acquire the best possible work situation (higher pay, more parent support, safety from crime). You over simplify the issue by making it solely about race.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Why, when there's no COLA coming from the State, does the union make us cut programs for kids in order to fund raises?


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Posted by sd
a resident of Golden Eagle
on May 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Parent of Two:
Good for you for helping out teachers....fact is a lot of parents don't and those are usually the parents of the kids who are bratty and obnoxious. I don't have kids and I am certainly not obnoxious. Good for your kids. But who knows, your kids could be the bratty and obnoxious ones and you could be the "MY kid would NEVER disrupt the class because he/she is perfect" type of parent. Who knows? But your kids are not the point here. Teachers are giving up pay as long as parents agree to also give something up. It is so ridiculous to me that people keep putting this back on the teachers. Help them out whenever we can because of all the crap they have to go through in this district. They all love what they do but it comes with HUGE consequences (like said bratty and obnoxious kids/parents) so I really don't see how we can even ask them to give anything up.

Jennifer said it best. Teachers do come to Pleasanton because of what it is. We are basically getting rid of the competitiveness of this.


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Posted by guest
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2009 at 10:52 pm

You could pretty much sum this one up by the following:

No on G people don't want programs cut.
No on G don't want to pay to keep the programs.
So, let's just cut teacher's pay so we can keep all our programs.

This is exactly why unions are protecting their membership and why they won't re-negotiate step and column raises.

Hello --- the union is there to protect the teachers. That is why it is called a teacher's union.


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