Republicans for Measure G Schools & Kids, posted by YES ON G!, a member of the Foothill High School community, on May 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm
Why would I, a Republican, support Measure G? It is a new tax. Smaller government and no new taxes are the Republican mantra, so why do I support Measure G, and why now? Well, first because Measure G is a good tax. It is a local tax. It can only be used by the schools in Pleasanton and not re-directed for other purposes. Further, Measure G will:
Keep class sizes small in the critical early years and in ninth grade English and math classes.
Provide effective reading and math support programs.
Ensure our libraries continue to support student achievement.
Keep counselors in our schools to support students.
Maintain the effective technology instruction our students need to compete in a global economy.
Retain our highly valued elementary music programs.
Keep our schools clean and safe.
An educated electorate is critical to a functioning Republic like the USA. Measure G provides the funds to sustain our excellent Pleasanton schools. It lets us stand up to Sacramento and Washington and say that it stops with our kids. We won't let their irresponsible behavior wreck our schools and deny our children the quality education they deserve. It is for the kids. It is for our community. It is for our future.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 23, 2009 at 5:03 pm
Yes on G: Well the part about it's a local tax is correct.
The ballot language DOES NOT guarantee: CSR at any grade, reading and math programs, library time, counselors, technology instruction, music, or even keeping schools clean and safe (totally undefined, by the way). In fact, none of the slick pro G advertisements repeat the ballot language.
It states: "To preserve educational quality and protect Pleasanton schools from severe state budget cuts, KEEP CLASS SIZES SMALL, MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL reading and math support programs, libraries, counselors, technology instruction, music, and safe, clean schools with no proceeds used for administrators' salaries, shall the Pleasanton Unified School District be authorized to levy an annual $233 parcel tax for four years, with guaranteed audits, senior and disabled exemptions, an independent citizens' oversight committee and all funds benefitting our Pleasanton students?"
Posted by Read the ballot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm
to Yes on G
-point out specifics in the ballot that define "keep class sizes small."
Does that mean 20 kids in a class, 25, 30?
-point out specifics in the ballot that guarantee PUSD will retain elementary music programs
-point out specifics in the ballot that define what are "essential reading and math support programs." e.g. does PUSD consider the Barton Reading program essential?
Measure G is so non-specific, it promises much, but guarantees nothing except that actual funds from Measure G will not be used for administrators' salaries, but this doesn't mean there won't be any raises for administrators. It only means that money for raises will be taken from another area, like General Funds.
The vagueness of the ballot language is disturbing to many people who realize that the things they value (like CSR, Barton, no reduction in counselors or library hours, etc.) aren't guaranteed.
The PUSD and School Board should use the time the federal stimulus funds gives them to go back to the drawing board. They need to cut the extras that have nothing to do with our children's education, determine all revenue sources, and then, if it's needed, create a new ballot that specifically addresses what parents in the community value.
The PUSD and the School Board have a good idea of what parents value. Parents and teachers spoke up at numerous meetings to tell the School Board what they believed was important to keep.
So why is the ballot language so vague? It would have been easy enough to include language stating that Measure G would insure that 2008-09 staffing levels for counselors, technology specialists, etc. would be retained. It would have been easy enough to state that music programs currently in schools would be retained, and current library hours would be kept.
Trying to hold the PUSD to any of the promises of the Measure G ballot language will be like trying to catch a cloud.
I'm voting No on G because I am pro-kids, pro-teachers and pro-community, and I think we all deserve real guarantees that what we value is what we will get from a parcel tax.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." - G.K. Chesterton
Posted by is there a choice?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 24, 2009 at 8:52 am
I'm also a Republican and I also support G. Why? Because I feel I don't have a choice. PUSD is threatening to hurt my children by eliminating educational programs instead of taking pay cuts and other belt-tightening. As a result, I have to vote yes so my children can continue to get the minimal education they current receive. That pretty much sums it up.
Posted by Read the ballot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 24, 2009 at 9:41 am
To - Is there a choice?
There is a choice. You say "PUSD is threatening to hurt my children..." Their threats are as empty as the promises they are making on the ballot.
The Board of Trustees and the PUSD work for us.
Voting No on G will force both to do what they have been asked to do - cut all the unnecessary expenses, evaluate where the PUSD stands financially, and then, and only if it's necessary, put a parcel tax measure on the ballot that provides solid guarantees to the community that the tax will pay for what the community wants.
How are you going to feel a year or so from now if the parcel tax passes, and the PUSD increases K-3 class sizes to 30 children per class and tells the community that they only promised to keep class sizes small, but 30 is small compared to what other districts have?
How are you going to feel a year or so from now if elementary school music programs are cut and the PUSD says it only promised to keep essential programs, and they have decided elementary school music programs are not essential?
How are the parents who have children in the Barton Reading program going to feel when the program is eliminated and the PUSD reminds voters they only promised to keep essential reading programs?
How are parents going to feel when their high school student can't get a required college recommendation letter submitted in time because there are not enough counselors on staff to handle all the requests? It is only in the last couple years that the high schools have increased the number of counselors and that was in response to parents saying there was a real need. How are parents going to feel when the PUSD said they never promised to keep the counseling staff level in future years at least as high as they are now?
Is there a choice? - Your post recognizes that the PUSD is trying to hold our children's education hostage. A No vote on G is the first step towards insuring our children's education is what we, the parents want for them. When G fails, we have the opportunity to talk to the PUSD and the Trustees and tell them that what we, the ones who pay their salaries or elected them to their positions again want from them - fiscal responsibility, and if it's necessary, a parcel tax that guarantees the programs and services we as a community value.
You care about your children's education and you're concerned about their future. I understand that and feel the same way.
But I have no confidence that Measure G is going to give our children the education we value. It is a lot of promises, but no specific guarantees.
Posted by Yes on G, a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, on May 24, 2009 at 11:00 am
Let's see San Ramon can support a parcel tax, keep class size at 20 in K-3, and, in Pleasanton, we just know better. It is time for us to support the students of our community. "Keep" is the key. Let's keep what we have.
Posted by Read the ballot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 24, 2009 at 12:44 pm
The person who posts as Yes on G has not once responded to any specific questions other posters have asked. She cannot point to anything specific in the ballot language that guarantees anything because it's not there.
Posted by No on G, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm
I am literally sitting with the Sample ballot here at my desk that includes the measure outline. I am waiting for Yes on G to make one factual claim that can be backed up by the ballot. I'm waiting...
I think the mob-mentality has set it for the G proponents. It sounds good, feels good, so they are all jumping on the "for our kids" bandwagon, but there is not one logical, factual rationale for this Measure.
Thanks, Read the ballot, for the reminder of past non-responses by that poster. I'll put the ballot away until June 2 when I will gladly vote NO on G.
Posted by Ken in South Pleasanton, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 25, 2009 at 9:20 am
To "is there a choice"
Get a backbone. If I told you I was going to break the windows on your BMW if you didn't let me drive it, would you let me drive it? If you let our elected and appointed officials blackmail you with threats just to get your vote you might as well not even waste the time to go to the polling booth. Stand up to these threats and hold them accountable to perform the job duties THEY CAMPAIGNED FOR! If they are not up to the task, VOTE THEM OUT AT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY. Stop being a coward and stop being bullied by the unions that represent teachers, state workers, police, and fire. VOTE NO ON G AND REGAIN CONTROL OF THOSE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT US. What a woos you are.
Posted by come on, a resident of the Canyon Oaks neighborhood, on May 25, 2009 at 11:17 am
Is there a choice- "the minimal education they receive".. Are you kidding me? Take a short drive over to Oakland and you'll see what a "minimal" education is. You have no idea how good these kids have it here... no clue.
Science Specialists and labs 2X a week in elementary school, music and p.e. specialists (and FYI- PE is not just go play kickball anymore), Band, Strings, DARE, Tobacco Education, VAPA (Art Specialists), computer lab teachers, librarians, Intervention programs (before and after school), a school counselor on campus 3X a week.. AND THIS IS JUST AT THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL! And so much of this will not be here if Measure G does not pass...
I'd say this is much more than a "minimal education"....think before you 'write' next time.
Posted by Claudette McDermott, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 25, 2009 at 11:30 am
I'm voting Yes on G and hope enough of the city does too. There has been cuts so we need to back up our schools to keep it ranking in the top statewide. It takes money to keep quality in our schools and students. Simple.
Posted by Not Right Now, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on May 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm
I really dug deep to find it in myself to vote for Measure G. I adore my children's teachers and it kills me that many of them will not return next year.
However, I could not get past the undefined ballot language that gave freedom to the PUSD to FUTURE DEFINE what "keep class sizes small" means. Is this 22:1, 25:1, 27:1?? I also couldn't believe the District spent $300K on a special election......!
Yes, we need to back up our schools, not with a Parcel Tax, but by: Volunteering in the class, donating classroom supplies, working with our children outside of class to reinforce learning and supporting our valued teachers. All of this can be done without the Parcel Tax, right now. We've been given some time by the Fed's to find a way to cut the budget and keep the teachers. The decision of Measure G was just too quick.
With all do respect....Not So Simple to just tack on $233/parcel.
Posted by No on G, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 25, 2009 at 2:05 pm
It amazes me that proponents of G believe there is a direct correlation between money and performance.
Sure money can buy nice technology labs, air conditioned school sites, etc, but if the parents are not dedicated to their children's success and the teachers are not diligent at their job, then all the money in the world will not solve the problem. Look at the Washington D.C. school system for example: The most money per child in the country and they are still failing.
The teachers in this community get paid well. They get paid well - do you see that? A salary freeze will not change that or their ability to teach. If it does, then I don't want those teachers in our district anyway.
I value teaching character and education to our children. I won't sell one for the other.