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Frustrated by School Funding? Control what you can.

Original post made by Dan Copenhagen on May 29, 2009

The news was grim at Tuesday's Pleasanton School Board meeting. The budget shortfall has now grown from 9.7M to an estimated 18.6M. Even with federal stimulus, the district will likely need to make additional cuts. Due to California labor laws for education, this means more young and energetic teachers may be lost. The quality of our schools will change. After hearing this news almost daily, it's easy to get frustrated by the whole situation. However, the key to reducing frustration is to take action and focus on what we can control. Pleasanton residents have one outcome we can influence right now: Passage of a parcel tax. Is it a perfect or complete solution? No. Do we need to reform our state government and funding for education? Yes. Do the labor unions (including teachers) need to step forward with additional salary concessions? Yes. But we can't immediately control these issues, and funding for our schools is needed TODAY. We can put good money directly into our local schools & community by passing Measure G on June 2. We each have a choice. We can remain in frustration, or we can take some control of our future. Let's move forward with positive action.

Dan Copenhagen

Comments (11)

Posted by LOL!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 29, 2009 at 11:25 am

Woohoo! I'm sooooooooooooooo motivated to vote yes on G now. Thanks Dan!

What a joker! Vote No on G and force the union into concession and PUSD administrators to curb their wasteful spending.

That, my friend, is the key to solving the budget shortfall. Otherwise, PUSD will be back asking for another parcel tax a few years down the road. We need a long term solution and not a short term patch.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Dan -

"Due to California labor laws for education, this means more young and energetic teachers may be lost. The quality of our schools will change."

Measure G does nothing to fix this, yet you've identified it as an issue.


"However, the key to reducing frustration is to take action and focus on what we can control."

I agree. That is why I voted no on G


"Pleasanton residents have one outcome we can influence right now: Passage of a parcel tax. Is it a perfect or complete solution? No."

Then why would you vote / support it?


"Do we need to reform our state government and funding for education? Yes. Do the labor unions (including teachers) need to step forward with additional salary concessions? Yes."

Then lets focus on that.


"But we can't immediately control these issues, and funding for our schools is needed TODAY."

Sure we can, by voting no on G we force these issues to be addressed.


"We each have a choice. We can remain in frustration, or we can take some control of our future. Let's move forward with positive action. "

I agree. This is an excellent call for No votes on G.


Posted by No on G, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Pleasanton Parent,

I think I found my new best friend!

Oh, how I am thrilled with your logic and facts!!!

Keep up the GREAT posts!

You are getting people to really think and listen!

Thank you! :)


Posted by lost my vote, a resident of Country Fair
on May 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Two things:

1. The ads for Measure G state that the parcel tax won't be used for administrative salaries, but is conspicuously silent about teachers salaries. Why? Because almost all of the parcel tax will go to teacher's salaries. Not to the kids or their programs.

2. The teacher's union is glaringly silent in this debate. Why? Because they might have to give up something.

As my clients loose their jobs, their savings and their homes it is impossible to support a 'temporary' tax that does nothing except support union members who feel that they are entitled.


Posted by What's fair, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2009 at 10:18 pm

How about we do this: Seniors can apply for exemption as well as anyone that is currently un-employed due to the present economy or have been forced to take a salary/pay cut of more than 10 percent to retain their employment.

If S&C increases are fair for PUSD employees, why wouldn't this be fair for those facing hard times.


Posted by No on G, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2009 at 10:23 pm

What's Fair.

Good idea.

Maybe this can go into the modified language of the next measure, since this one will need a complete overhaul, like a 66 Mustang in Newsome's neighborhood, once it fails Tuesday.

I would say, anyone that applies for an exemption shouldn't be allowed to vote for it since they won't be paying. You either apply for it prior to the election and nullify your vote, or you pay if it passes.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 30, 2009 at 10:34 pm

What's fair: means testing would certainly be the right thing to do (there are seniors that can afford the tax, others that cannot), but it isn't allowed. In the words of George Will, fair is a four letter word.


Posted by What's fair, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Fair enough.

You play, you pay - if necessary.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 30, 2009 at 11:38 pm

While I agree with Dan C.'s comments I get to a different conclusion. Yes, more concessions are needed but NO, I will not vote for the parcel tax. Spending on all levels has to be brought under control to be in line with revenue. We have to get out of the opposite mindset.


Posted by Russell, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 31, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Kathleen

I think George Will was commenting with regard to social security and medicare. This is a little off the subject of Measure G, but do you have any opinions on what to do about fixing those programs? Means testing sounds good to me, as does changing the formula for COLA for social security. Looking at a Pareto chart of government spending aggregated for all levels, social security and medicare just leap out as by far the largest chunk of spending and growth. In California, the average tax payer pays about four times as much on these two programs as they do on education, by my calculation.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 31, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I like that George said it was one four letter word not allowed to be used in his house. I'm probably among a small group who thinks you should let people invest their own money for retirement. But phasing out the programs is going to take time and the will. That would be a better legacy for our grandkids.


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