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Where the $9.7 million estimate for cuts came from

Original post made by Sandy on May 13, 2009

Last night at the school board meeting, around 9:35 or 9:40 pm, Luz Cazares provided a recap of why the cabinet and board decided in February that they needed to plan for cuts of $9.7 million from the district budget. Since Luz is the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for the PUSD, and her numbers differ somewhat from Stacey's, I thought I'd put up this summary.

So, where did the estimate of $9.7 million in cuts come from?

$5.6 million that the state had allocated to the district in September was cut in February.

$2 million comes from increasing costs of utilities, other resources, and (yes) step-and-column.

$1.3 million comes from increasing costs of special education programs.

$0.8 million comes from lost revenue from declining lottery revenues and decreasing facilities use fees.

Add those up, and you have the total of $9.7 million.

Comments (55)

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Sandy, Need to point out that the step and column you note as an afterthought is about $1.5 million of the $2 million you listed.

The $1.3 million of spec ed costs (and I'd like to see what created this increase) will be covered by the $2.5 from the federal government. Then there is $4.2 million from the feds, a match for other cuts made. That's $6.7 million in relief to the general fund--$2.2 million more than the parcel tax would have provided . . . no parcel tax needed for 09-10.

That leaves us a year to cut the budget everywhere possible and then determine if a tax is needed going forward.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

These numbers don't differ. The point of my post was to show that only $5.6MM of the budget deficit are from actual State cuts while the rest are increases in mostly employee compensation.

$5.6MM in actual cuts to revenue limit/categorical programs. (covered by federal money)
$1.3MM in increased requirement for special ed. (covered by federal money)

The only mistake I made was to include current year "rollover" costs (rollover costs include raises) in the total when in fact the district already made layoffs to cover that $2MM. So in reality the cuts from the State are $5.6MM and the increased costs are $4.8MM from 2008-2010.

Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 13, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Bottom line is that everything else is covered except teacher raises. If you vote for G you are voting to tax yourselves (and everyone else) in order to pay MORE raises to the teachers.
In this economy they are lucky to be employed. They are killing the goose that laid them their golden eggs with the incessant demands for step and column and COLAs. Enough already.


Posted by A teacher against G, a resident of Downtown
on May 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I teach in the PUSD. No raises now, not with my neighbors and relatives losing jobs. Measure G is the wrong approach, at the wrong time.

Please vote No on G.

Posted by ptwon resident, a resident of Country Fair
on May 13, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Freeze a COLA - fine.

Step and column is negotiated item. Nobody was complaining about how unfair this was and how teacher's shouldn't have this security before. Now that private sector folks are taking a hit, they have to take everyone else down with them.

Posted by 4theKids, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2009 at 8:49 am

Measure G will save 86 jobs. None being administrators, in fact, $2.1 Million will be cut from administration starting July 1.

Middle School Assistant Principals – Eliminate 3 FTE
Elementary Assistant Principals - Eliminate 3.5 FTE
This would leave 1 FTE to support special education needs
Assistant Director Student Nutrition Services $90,000
Director of Architectural Planning $96,000
Coordinator of Data Processing $120,000
Coordinator of Categorical Programs $120,000
Coordinator of Vocational Education $120,000
Director of Education Services 1 FTE $120,000
Public Information Office Position $100,000
Director of Human Resources 1 FTE $120,000
Director of Assessment and Program Evaluation $120,000
Assistant Director of Special Education $100,000
Coordinator M&O 2 FTE $240,000

The teachers it does save, are the most junior teachers and lowest on the pay scale. A yes vote on measure G is really a vote to keep these junior and very bright teachers employed and keep K-3 Class sizes small, not a general Step and Column increase. Year over year, less PUSD monies will go to teachers in general, because there will be less teachers employed here in PUSD.

Posted by John Adams, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 14, 2009 at 9:05 am

ptown resident, clue in. Teacher salaries/raises come from taxes. Taxes come from taxpayers, many of whom work in the private sector.

No one is trying to take anyone down. If the private sector goes down, EVERYTHING follows, and that's the point.

Many CA cities (recently San Jose) have figured out that NOBODY needs to be laid off if employees just forego raises.

It's a ray of hope that Pleasanton's teacher contract is up for renegotiation next year.

Posted by Knowledge will set you free, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 14, 2009 at 9:16 am

John Adams, you are right on the mark. It simply amazes me how little people understand about how our government and economic system work.

Taxpayers and taxes and fees from businesses fund government functions, including all compensations and benefits government employees receive. Businesses pass on, in one form or another, all tax related costs to customers.

Posted by Point a finger and three point back, a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 14, 2009 at 9:25 am

I wish we would all hold our elected representatives accountable.

For all of you who have year-over-year elected tax and spenders and voted for bond measure-after-bond measure and countless well intended (or not) dubious social welfare programs via our direct-democracy experiment called the ballot initiative process, I urge you to take a stop, take a look in the mirror and repeat after me: "I am directly responsible for this mess".

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

Stacey is a registered user.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who rarely voted yes on a bond measure and initiatives.

But anyway, 4theKids forgets that the federal stimulus dollars are already saving teaching jobs. Measure G pays for the raises.

Posted by Maren, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 14, 2009 at 9:38 am

I hope you will consider running for the School Board!

Posted by me too, a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 14, 2009 at 11:53 am

I hope STACY runs for school board, too. Then she can come up with REAL solutions instead of spending all day commenting on every forum on the PW and taking facts and making them her own. GO STACY GO!!!

Posted by Ptown resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Stacy has come up with solutions and also provided valuable and verifiable information on the parcel tax discussion and other issues.
She obviously cares about the Pleasanton community.
If she chose to run for any Pleasanton office, she would certainly have my vote.
Unlike "me too," she contributes real discussion, not derogatory remarks.
Me too - you've chosen your name well. It's a name for a follower, not a leader.

Posted by lmao, a resident of Castlewood
on May 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Don't you have to provide your real name in order to run for public office? And get out from behind a computer?

Yes, "me too" you are a follower rather than a leader. Shame on you. Apparently, to be a leader in our town, you need to sit on a computer all day vigilantly watching over a blog, posting the same numbers and arguments over and over again, and responding personally to almost every post that does not support your opinion. That is true leadership!

Posted by Enough already, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Maybe the criticism of Stacey as a person is because she isn't supporting Me too's opinion.
For all any of us know, Stacey may very well be out in the community volunteering. Or maybe she's her own boss and can schedule her time in the way that works best for her. Maybe her name isn't even Stacey!
At least she cares enough to have a discussion.
The people who only chime in to criticize others such as Me too add nothing to the discussion.
Enough already with the personal criticisms and let's get back to the topic!

Posted by Fed Up!, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Doesn't anyone else see that the budget problems arise from a "culture"....the culture that proliferates in the PUSD. It's one of a strong UNION mentality....whether it be the teacher's union or the classified staff union. We're going to continue to do things the same old way regardless of what is costs the taxpayer. I've worked with these employees for years and it's only getting worse. I'm only going to do as much as I have to per my contract. I'm not going to the "think outside the box" and I'm going to stay as long as I want because I have total job security regardless of my performance. There's no critical thinking skills in play here. No one is looking at a smarter way to work. There's no creativity or good old fashion hard work being implemented. Teachers are not available to help their students before, during or after school - even though they all get a prep period. There's no strong management in play to run the school like the business it is. Regardless of what you think....the PUSD is in the business of educating our children and they should be held responsible for that as well as efficiently running their business for the taxpayers. There is so much that could be done in a positive, constructive and wonderful way BUT it is not meant to be when you have the UNION mentality behind your actions. Sadly, Measure G is not going to fix anything.....and for that I'm disappointed. Vote NO on measure G.

Posted by Fed up is a troll, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 14, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Fed up. You sound like a Republican. We've all had enough of that mentality. The George Bush recession is making us all poor. You don't run a public school like a business because it isn't a business. We all know what happens when business isn't regulated by government. Can you say Bear Stearns, Country Wide Financial, AIG? Bank Bailouts. Republicans helping their rich friends and making the rest of us poor. Thank god the Union is looking out for our teachers. Kids are the future.

Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

Fed up,

you are correct and in another sense I believe a financial decision should take place for each of these initiatives including a pay back analysis as well as a need analysis. I had to laugh when I read the above statement about the school system being run like a business. Everything is run like a business whether you realize it or not. Follow the money and you would find the answer to why each and every decision is made. We need to shake things up and do it with your vote. We need term limits and new blood in office each and everytime.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Don't think Measure G is a republican/democrat issue. Obama is printing cash and giving it away too. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." The Who

At least in Measure G we have a local issue and a better shot at stopping the spend and tax mentality of all legislating bodies. And this really is, "Ooops, we spent all the money, and we forgot about saving some for economic uncertainty; how 'bout a parcel tax for just four years . . ."

"Won't get fooled again!" (Title of the song quote used above) Vote No

Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

Kathleen please read my statement above. we need to access actual needs, cut costs to meet those needs, and develop a gap analysis and then develop an intelligent course of action.

By the way, Schwarzenner or however you spell his name just announced that California is going to need to file for bankrupcy because spending is out of control and taxes are the highest in the nation.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Well, yes--I've been saying that. And the federal money buys time to do this without a parcel tax. I was responding to Fed up is a troll (you and I posted at the same time).

The Governator is posturing for the campaign. I do know real numbers are a long way off, as are the solutions.

Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Einstein is a registered user.


ha ha ha! yes we did post at the same time and said basically the same thing. One thought is there a possibility to combine district offices between Livermore and Pleasanton in order to reduce administrative redundancy and reduce cost? In addition, there could be some significant leveling up of teachers capability in not only Pleasanton but also Livermore. The real upside is that the kids would benefit. I realize that there are differences in compensation but that could be resolved.

Posted by Joined at the hip, a resident of Oak Hill
on May 14, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I would not want to have PUSD join with Livermore. Dublin, however, is interesting, since it's a one high school school district. Dublin may be a better match.

Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

Maybe Dublin would be better to join up with but maybe in the future Livermore as well. Remember all the kids from Dublin used to go to Amador before Dublin High School was built. That said can you imagine the amount of cost and waste that would be eliminated? Less administrators, less overhead costs, lower insurance costs by economy of scale, less vehicles, less cell phones, less buildings, less PG and E bills, less internet fees. Good all the way around and one thing not measured and that is it would create competition.

Posted by Jason, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 14, 2009 at 8:36 pm

50% of the Federal stimulus money is restricted to special ed. These funds will not resolve the budget problems. Regarding Livermore, they already implemented a parcel tax as did San Ramon.

Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

The parcel tax thing is like spitting in the ocean meaning it will not even be felt. Pleasanton will spend more on education even after Livermore and San Ramon. Would you want your kids to go to Livermore or San Ramon schools because they have a little parcel tax? I suspect not. We need real evaluation and correction in spending before considering any type of parcel tax otherwise we just kick the ball down the hall for someone else to deal with it.

Posted by school efficiencies, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Ok, here is something to think about. There are State Standards that every school district in California has to teach to. So why does each district have a curriculum development department, with multiple Director level positions? We are all teaching to the same standard which is pretty specific.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Jason, That's not true. Special Ed already encroaches on the general fund, so any money received eases the same amount in the general fund so it can then be spent elsewhere.

Einstein and Joined, I don't think merging districts is a good idea. There was an overlap with Dublin before and unification in 1988 made each into separate K-12 districts. All you need to do is look at Los Angeles. They have multiple superintendents, essentially overseeing what would otherwise be smaller districts and then one head honcho superintendent.

I have written the governor before with a suggestion to look at cutting out county offices of education though. It could cut a cost for the state. Hmmm, maybe it's time to email that thought again.

Posted by federal money, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Jason, the reason that San Ramon and Livermore require a parcel tax is they receive much less money per student from the State than Pleasanton. You can go to the ed data database and see that. You are wrong on 50% of the federal money is limited to special ed. There is only one category for special ed funding from the federal package but a majority is non-special education; it is intended to prevent teachers from being layed off. Please go to the California Department of Education website and look at the facts before you make statements like this up.

Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Somehow, people think if you throw money at a problem, the problem goes away, without ever thinking where the money comes from. People who have been laid off from their work surely don't want to pay extra money to maintain the salary status quo of a school district, even if they have kids in school there. As has been alluded to previously, maybe it's time for a combined school district, ala the Pleasanton/Livermore Fire district. I bet the world will not come to an end no matter what happens and thoughts outside the box may provide solutions.

Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Einstein is a registered user.


Maybe not a perfect idea but an idea and I bet if we only had money for one district we could make it work and I believe it will come to that in the future. Pick the highest standard and teach to it. One disrict office for two high schools sems pretty lame and expensive. I work for Toyota and we have 12 companies in North America with one headquarters in Cincinnati and all HR, Accounting and Finance, IT, etc.are centralized covering over 70,000 employees and it works fine and creates competition amongst the different companies to get better.

Posted by Donna Adkins, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Dear Fed Up -

Just to clarify. I am an elementary third grade teacher. In elementary school we can not use our "preps" to tutor as our students are going to classes that are required to meet state standards - yes there are PE standards, music standards and science standards at all grade levels. I do tutor students at recess if they want me to, however many younger students need this break and keeping them in is viewed as a punishment. As far as being available after school - I am there every day and before school as well. I have helped students after school, but many families don't want their children to stay as they have carpools, sports etc. If a parent or student asked for help, I would certainly give it although I could not offer it as a "service".

My daughter attends Amador. If she contacted a teacher in advance she was always able to schedule a meeting with them. Many teachers attend meetings during their "prep". Some of these meetings are mandatory, especially for students that have individual education plans. As in business, issues with individual teachers should be discussed with them and then if unresolved taken to administration. That's what I have done, it isn't a "fun" process, but it isn't any different than handling any other business problem.

I regularly work at least 10 hours a day. First I teach from 8:00 until 3:00 - during my prep and lunch I grade papers, get ready for centers, answer communications, etc. I can't do that any other time of the day as I am working with students. After school I work in my classroom usually until 5:30 - again planning lessons, grading papers, looking for that book my student misplaced, as well as collaborating with colleagues to share strategies (I think "business people" do this as well).

After I am "done" with work, I check on my 87 year old Mom who is in board and care, fix some sort of meal for my family, help my own kids with homework, drive to sports etc, and then I log on the computer again, answer email, look for more lesson strategies, check out books to read to my class etc. I clean my house in the summer - Thank goodness the cats like crunchy food! Yes, occasionally I do watch "House" on TV - I also read before bed. I am thankful every day that I live and work in this community and that I have great kids and a great husband. (I always have to say that because otherwise this job would have killed my family life.)

I LOVE my job - I give it my all. I can think of very few teachers who don't put in the time (yes, there may be one or two just as in any business there are a few team members who could step up a bit) Not all teachers are "raking" in the big bucks. Teachers that have been in the profession the longest are paid the most - so when you are talking about freezing what you consider a "raise" you are actually talking about freezing the salary of those teachers that are paid the least anyway. The teachers that make the most would not be affected by a salary "freeze" because their salary only goes up with COLA and that hasn't happened for a few years and certainly won't happen this year. The Union does negotiate our contract and many teachers have asked for a "freeze" of step and column. However, the union votes on this. It isn't my decision.

There are lots of reasons why special education costs are rising. Start by looking at the increase in Autism in California. These students require many interventions and some of them are expensive. That was the problem with NCLB -the rules were in place, but not the funding to back them. There are many kinds of students that need many kinds of interventions. You would have to change the laws on the National level to reduce expenditures in this area. Public schools have to serve ALL students - it's the law.

I earn every dollar I make - please don't lump all teachers into a big black pot. I think there's one Chrysler on the lot that's worth something, although some of us could use a new paint job, I am personally feeling a little frumpy!

Teachers didn't make the problems in California. 45% of our teachers live in Pleasanton. We will be sharing the burden by taking a salary reduction as well as shouldering the parcel tax. You do realize, that if we don't need to use the parcel tax for class size reduction that the $233 amount will go down. The parcel tax is categorical and will be overseen by a citizen oversight committee. Please vote for it, and then fix it so that next year it will be gone or "minimal". Not voting will only hurt kids at this point.

Education is the one industry where almost everyone has had an experience and therefore they think they know the job. You wouldn't want someone without a pilots license flying the plane - please don't try to assume you know my job if you aren't doing it now, today.

I don't read these commentaries often, I hope what I have written helps you think a bit. Please don't expect me to comment back to you again as I honestly don't look back.

Thanks for listening,


Posted by business is bad, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I had to laugh when Einstein said everything is run like a business. What, like the US Supreme Court? I don't think they are exactly a for profit organization. Let me guess, you want term limits for supreme court justices. Wonderful. I can just see where that will lead.

Look, people are fed up with all this free market, wealth creation, ownership society rubbish. Look where it got us. Just as soon Bush's wealthy friends get in the slightest bit of trouble, it is all out the window and he starts giving away tax money to those who need it the least and deserve it the least. At least Obama is trying to spread a little around to people who need it. Sure, he could be doing a lot better, but at least he spreads it around. With Bush it only went one way: UP.

Back to Measure G. It is a good tax. It is local. It is for a good cause. It isn't lining the pockets of wealthy bankers and crooks. It is education for our kids.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Country Fair
on May 14, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Business is bad,

you may not like it but when you step back and leave out your right wing hating ideals and think about it Einstein is right as it will all boil down to money and we are almost out so think about how you will fund this stuff.

Posted by Business is bad, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm


Don't get me wrong. I agree, we are in trouble. Bush and the Republican de-regulators in congress dug a deep hole for us. It is going to be bad for years. We need to education the future generation now more than ever. They are going to need it.

And I don't hate right wing ideals. I just think Republicans have no credibility. 3/4 trillion dollars of welfare for the wealthy all after 7 years of telling us not to worry that are wages weren't rising, trust the free market. Where was his trust? And congressional Republicans went right along. Disgusting.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Country Fair
on May 15, 2009 at 6:41 am

Business is Bad,

I believe you have some serious issues and you are saying that 48,000,000 americans have no crediability and at the same time claim not to be a hater? Hey Bush was not a good President but in reality has not had any power since about 3 years ago when the democrats gained control of the house and senate so this is on the democrats watch. We are in this together and 6,000,000 americans are now out of work and both democrats and republicans are hurting so let's quit the hate and get this fixed together without the hate.

Posted by Business is bad, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Why do you keep using the word hate? Where did I say anything hateful?

Issues? I have all kinds of issues with Republican leaders, not with Republican voters. I voted for George W. Bush in 2000 but not in 2004 or 2008. Would that make me a self-hater? I feel completely let down and abandoned by the Republican party. I don't think they stand for much of anything.

You say Bush had no power after Democrats got control of congress, but it was his administration and his treasury secretary that dreamed up the TARP bailouts and pushed them through congress. TARP came from the Bush administration. And it was the Republicans in congress who dismantled the regulations that had been protecting us for decades (some going back before the Great Depression), all the while telling us not to worry, that we should trust the free market.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Country Fair
on May 15, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Business is bad,

Hey I said Bush wasn't any good and yes he started the TARP stuff which is wrong and will prove to be a great big mistake. Obama is just piling on and using this crisis as a way to have his way with the nation. We will pay for this for years. We need business and tax reform period without big government. Honestly, maybe hate is the wrong word but you just seem so angry and are lashing out at everything without offering one solution other than, Bush is bad, business is bad, republicans are bad, etc. when you read up through this string the one who makes the most sense was Einstein's post and you said his made you laugh. Do you have any intelligent solutions or just want to play the filter bride?

Posted by Mary, a resident of Country Fair
on May 15, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Business is bad,

should have read "jilted bride".

Posted by Business is bad, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 15, 2009 at 4:47 pm

"should have read "jilted bride"."


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 15, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I run a company.

It is successful because:
1. We provide a needed service at an extremely high level of quality.
2. We do not use our resources frivolously.

While public schools cannot and should not be expected to be run as private businesses are, they can be expected to function within their budgets by using their resources wisely.

Posted by Food for thought, a resident of Downtown
on May 15, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Do not combine school districts.
Combine PUSD within the City managment.
A great deal of money would be saved by joining the two and becoming a charter city.

Posted by parent, a resident of Valley Trails
on May 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm

While I agree with a lot of what Donna, elementary school teacher, says above, there is one thing that needs to be corrected. She says, "You do realize, that if we don't need to use the parcel tax for class size reduction that the $233 amount will go down. The parcel tax is categorical and will be overseen by a citizen oversight committee. Please vote for it, and then fix it so that next year it will be gone or "minimal"."

That is not correct. The only provision in the parcel tax to lower it is if the state passes some type of law that says the state will not fund something that a local parcel tax funds. I give the chance of this provision being exercised at almost zero. This provision was put in the tax measure to confuse people, like Donna, into thinking that the district could lower the tax. There were actually discussions at the Board level about the ability to lower the tax and it turns out they cannot do that since the tax was voted on by the people. The only way to increase, decrease, or cancel the tax is through another vote.

Also, Donna, although you state you will not be looking at the blogs, the people who do not support this tax DO support the teachers. Are they concerned about passing a tax that will fund raises? Yes. That is because those who are paying the tax are generally not getting raises. They are typically getting pay freezes, pay cuts, or layoffs. Teachers are important but so are other professions that are not receiving raises. It seems the district and the parcel tax committee is trying to paint those who do not support the parcel tax as not supporting the teachers. Many of those who have posted in these blogs who do not support the tax have been volunteering in the classrooms, raising funds, and volunteering at the schools, and definitely support the teachers and the schools. I resent the fact that anybody who does not support a tax increase is labeled as not supporting a program (teachers, firemen, police, etc.).

Posted by Jason, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 16, 2009 at 9:00 am

Kathleen and Federal Money,
I didn't make up the statement regarding special ed and I'm not wrong. From the Contra Costa Times (Robert Jordan 5/13/09) "Pleasanton expects to receive $4.2 million in federal State Fiscal Stabilization Funds for general budget needs and $2.1 million that must be used for special education."

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 16, 2009 at 10:26 am

Jason, I didn't say you made it up. I'll try to explain this again. I think there is $5 million in special education encroachment on the general fund--the amount the district has to pay for special education that is not covered by the feds or the state year to year. So, now that the feds are giving us $2.5 in additional funds for special education (and it was revised up recently from $2.1)--that is $2.5 million that does not have to be taken out of the general fund. In turn that means there is $2.5 million that would have been spent on special education that now can be spent on things like CSR.

Posted by Max, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 16, 2009 at 10:28 am

But I do suggest you check your math. $2.1 is not 50% of the total 6.3 as you stated above. Plus even if it has to be used for special ed, doesn't that just free up other money for the general fund.
I am amused how some people think that the right hand can't spend what is in the left pocket! No administrator salary increases from the parcel tax...that just means they can come from general funds instead!

Posted by Max, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

My last comments were in response to Jason, not Kathleen as she is explaining in better detail how I understand things. It just leaves more in the general fund.

Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 16, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I went to the Pleasanton school district website to gather information to make an informative decision. I found several of the pdf's are not available to download. Things like Adminstrator contacts and current budgets. Hopefully, someone can correct this situation. I did find tho checking back on older items that the current Superintendent makes more money than Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Posted by Penelope, a resident of another community
on May 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Way to go Donna. I am also a teacher for Pleasanton. I work more than the required 6 1/2 hours a day. I spend at least one day a weekend working in my classroom. Yes, I do help children before, during, and after school. However, parents make the decision whether or not they want us to spend time with their child. It seems sleeping in and after school sports takes precidence over school work. We are all taking a finacial "hit" and the ones that will suffer if Measure G does not pass is your own child or children. Please-regardless of what our government has done-don't hurt our furture-vote for Measure G.

Posted by Tammy, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 16, 2009 at 6:52 pm

This tax is not about the kids it is about PUSD continuing to give raises. PUSD is willing to cut programs in order to pay for raises.

The Feds are covering the state 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.

No on G!

Posted by IMHO, a resident of Birdland
on May 16, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Donna and Penelope: You are not going to win the argument on G by saying how hard you work. Do you honestly think because you work hard and long hours makes it OK to tax people who are working equally hard for their money? Many like you, also have senior care giving family responsibilities. That's life. I work long hours, never get my lunch beak, and usually work about 90-2hrs over every night just to keep up and that is without pay. I too am in a union (nurses union that cares little about patient care I might add much like yours cares little about the "children" ) Trying to get anyone in management to "authorize" nurses overtime is not worth the effort. Yet I stay for the "sick" (you stay for the "children") and basically volunteer my time and energies. Hearing your arguments only reinforces that the 5 of us in this household (my senior mother) did the right thing voting NO on G. I urge other to do the same.

Posted by Penelope, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2009 at 11:31 am

IMHO-Congratulations. I would want you to be my nurse. I value the fact that you stay to help the sick and not worry about the money. Our problem today is our government. When only the poor took the tax hits, the middle and upper middle income earners just kept sending and enjoying the good times. Now that the tax hits are affecting everyone, we have suddenly decided to pooint fingers everywhere. No of us want our hard earned money taxed. However, the children are the ones that pay the price with larger class sizes, less counselors, less custodians, etc.... It is not about working harder-everyone does-it is about providing a service which should be compensated. Take the sports pro's-why do they need such large paychecks, pro wrestlersand we know what kind of sport that is-why????? People who make a difference in people's lives-much like you and me-should bve compensated for human lives. The government made a mess of things but don;t hurt our children.

Rememberthis is just my opinion-I value others-but this does help to let people know that there are always two sides-maybe more-

Posted by Penelope, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2009 at 11:33 am

I apologize for the typos-one screaming child and a hungry dog moived my fingers a bit quickly!

Posted by Penelope, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2009 at 11:33 am

See-it happened again. I am proud to be normal. We do make mistakes.

Posted by parent, a resident of Valley Trails
on May 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm

When are people going to realize that our taxes cannot take care of every single person who needs it. Especially in this state where a good amount of people do not pay taxes. If you read the state reports you will find that the reason we are in this serious mess is we collect almost all of our taxes from the top wage-earners. When the stock market is down and people are getting layed off, and businesses are closing, those top wage-earners are not making as much money and the state is in trouble as we have all of our eggs in so few baskets.

No matter what program you cut, somebody will be affected. No matter which program you add, somebody will be helped. We have to find the proper balance and we do not have this now as we cannot afford it. Personally I would wish to donate more to my favorite charities but I can't because my income is down and my 401(k) retirement has to be rebuilt.

Perhaps instead of cutting all the services back a specific percentage, we should look at how the budget was done five or six years ago and use that. Some programs will be cut in funding. Other programs will be cut completely. The problem is we added all these new programs when times were good with no way of paying for them when times were not so good. We have these tax and spent politicians we keep electing who love to spend our money, without looking for sustainability.

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