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Confused parcel tax voter...Please help

Original post made by Confused Voter on May 30, 2009

I'm reading the campaign ad on page 2 of the recent PW where it says:

Feb 2009 Budget Act <$9.7 M>
Governor's May Budget Revise <$6.8 M>
One-Time Federal Stimulus $8.1 M
MORE Cuts to OUR schools <$8.4 M>

If I recall, the original $9.7M deficit was the reason PUSD created the parcel tax. Then if the governor's revise takes another $6.8M, and the Federal money gives $8.1, doesn't that mean that the deficit has been reduced to $8.4? Which would mean less cuts to our schools.

Then why does the ad say "MORE Cuts to OUR schools"? Why does the ad say "Measure G needed NOW more than ever"?

As I see it, the deficit has been reduced by $1.3M and the parcel tax is now less needed.

Can someone explain?

Comments (20)

Posted by unclehomerr.., a resident of Downtown
on May 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm

When in doubt... vote NO. They can always try again.

Vote Yes, and the money's gone.. never to return and never to be accounted for!


Posted by parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 30, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Must be that "new math".

I agree with unclehomerr, vote NO when in doubt. While they talk about an oversight committee, something that is required by state law and not doing because they are nice people, you can be certain those on the committee are those who worked for the tax. You ain't going to see the people who have been questioning the finances of the district being allowed on this committee.

Posted by Be accurate and truthful, a resident of Birdland
on May 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I read an article that listed the latest cuts the Governor is suggesting.
One area he is NOT suggesting any additional cuts is K-12 education.

Posted by No way, a resident of Downtown
on May 30, 2009 at 2:44 pm

You're not confused, but you are trying to confuse the issue.

Posted by Confused Voter, a resident of Country Fair
on May 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Well, if I'm not confused, then are the Yes on G people confused and sending misleading messages?

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

I doubt the yes on g people are confused, but they are sending emotional messages and precious little else.

It will be interesting to see the final rundown on how much was raised and spent on this campaign (and from whom), like the 1-4 page ads that did little more than pat each other on the back for being members of the measure g club and all the slicks sent in the mail (we got three).

Posted by Still waiting, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm

We're far from confused Kathleen.

This is the timeline and this is for real:

February 19: State Budget cut 11.4 billion from education; the impact to PUSD was 9.7 million in cuts.

May 8 - CDE announces 8.1 million in ARRA and SFSF federal money to restore the cuts from 2008-2009

Web Link

May 14 - Governor S. announces May revise and that the state has a new 21.3 billion problem and that he's cutting 5.4 billion more in education if the state propositions fail; the impact to PUSD was a new 6.8 million in cuts.

Web Link

May 27 - Governor S announces we really have a 24.3 billion problem and that he's cutting 680 million - 1 billion to education; impact to PUSD is 2.2 million

Web Link

Web Link

The math:

9.7 + 6.8 + 2.2 = 18.7 million in cuts


8.1 million ARRA and SFSF federal money


10.6 PUSD deficit for 2008 - 2010

We desperately need Measure G if we're going to save this school system which is so critical to the health of this city.

Posted by other options, a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on May 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm

There are other options, including freezing step & column which over four years saves the district $15 million dollars.

That is an option voters will want to see the district make before cutting programs or jobs.

It is an option that Jeff Bowser has chosen to ignore. According to the bio Bowser prepared for his unsuccessful run for the school board, Bowser is married to a PUSD teacher.

Posted by Still waiting, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2009 at 7:26 pm

@ other options

Step and column accounts for 1.5 million 2009-2010 according to the Measure G opposition. OK.

10.6 million remaining deficit - $1.5 eliminated S&C = a remaining 9.1 million deficit.

This number might get higher if Governor S. cannot borrow 5.6 billion in RAWs to address the 24.3 billion state deficit.

Jeff's right about the potential for school closure.

Pointing out an unsuccessful bid to serve as a school board member and being married to a PUSD teacher has nothing to do with this stark math. Why does the opposition to G keep failing to mentioning the math? It appears no where in your rhetoric or your blog posts or your web site. This isn't emotional. This is well documented.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 30, 2009 at 7:43 pm

"Surprisingly spared the ax — so far, anyway — were the state's battered K-12 schools." Web Link

However, this is simple math, the parcel tax was $4.5 million optimistically (don't know that calculations have included the potential for exemptions and county fees). There is $8.1 million from the feds, flexibility on categorical fund spending, and the potential for more federal funding--all more than the parcel tax would provide the first year. That gives us a year to figure out the right answers, to get at systemic problems to make cuts away from the classroom, and then to determine whether a parcel tax is needed and for how much and with very specific language, including no raises for the life of the tax.

Posted by Still waiting, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Yes, that was from Tuesday the 27th. Ancient news as far as the state budget is concerned. This is from yesterday the 29th's newly announced cuts from Governor S.

"His $680 million cut to K-14 schools would come on top of an already-proposed $5.4 billion reduction, for a total of $6.1 billion through June 2010. Schwarzenegger also would take from education $315 million in transit funds that pay for school buses that serve students."

Web Link

Posted by parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 30, 2009 at 8:01 pm

"Still waiting" is forgetting the rest of the ARRA funds that have not announced yet what the amounts will be to our district. The first half of the ARRA funds have been announced meaning there is another half to go. We are talking about millions of dollars here.

Posted by Still waiting, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2009 at 8:10 pm

No, I didn't forget

ARRA = 2.5 million in two equal parts of 1.25 million each
SFSF part 1 = 4.2 million
SFSF part 2 = 1.4 million

Total = 8.1 million which I mention above

This is the complete one-time federal stimulus money.

Posted by No on G, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Still waiting.

You said "This is the complete one-time federal stimulus money."

I would like to add to that statement in regards to the 8.1MM (ARRA and SFSF) that this isn't the one-time monies, but rather this is the federal stimulus money up to this point, just from ARRA and SFSF. You, me, or anyone else in the world today has any idea what the future economy will look like. We may very well be able to get more funding from the feds. Obama seems to really like California. I'm sure he'll consider helping us out.

Measure G is simply not an all or nothing argument.

We have the funds, with a surplus, to pay back this school year and to pay for next year as well.

Measure G is a bad idea at this point in time because as you pointed out, the bar keeps moving. We might need less than $233 annually, 4 years aggregate. BUT what if we need more? Wouldn't it be a bummer if we did and the community was livid with asking for more at that time? I think it is best to wait.

We need to not only actually get the federal monies in place so as to slow the bleeding, but we also need to have time to methodically go through all of the spending at the district. This indeed needs to happen item by item, measuring the non-educational cuts and see what comes from the state and the feds in more time.

Once we have our feet under us, and have taken slow, deep breaths, we can look at the numbers then. If we need money - we can look at a special tax levy on the citizens of the community then.

A desperate plea, as is characterized in your posts, is most certainly the red flag to NOT make a choice in support. Making decisions before we have all the information, like this district did in a panic in February and March to put this measure on the ballot, is most certainly not in the best interest of anyone.

I know you want to win at the ballot next week with Measure G, but in Pleasanton, we ALL want the kids and schools to win and that is why I am convinced even all the more, including by your posts in particular, that we indeed need to take a step back and find out what really is behind the rush to levy a new tax. That is the real problem to fix.


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on May 30, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Do you think Julie Testa will be asked/chosen to serve on the "Oversight Committee"?:)

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 30, 2009 at 10:26 pm

The news on Monday will be something different again (maybe rosier, maybe not) because nothing is resolved. The voters already sent a message to the state to find another way, one that looks for systemic changes first. The message for Measure G, I hope, will be the same here on Tuesday.

Posted by Kent and Annie, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 31, 2009 at 11:10 am

I am reposting this from another thread:

An integral infrastructure of our society- our schools, are crumbling down due to the unfortunate economic tragedy that has befallen our nation. Schools, universities, state colleges, private and public ALL OVER are commonly undergoing hardships. And no, it's not because they were managed by Dr. Casey, or because they are part of the CTA, or because of the Board.

There are many other causes and advocacies my family and I can participate in. We choose to save our neighborhood schools because our schools need us now more than ever.

My friends and I, our whole block and our church group are all voting YES on Measure G.

YES on Measure G!

YES on Measure G!

YES on Measure G!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 31, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Kent and Allie: The opposition is presenting facts. It's an intelligent community, so I don't think anyone is blinded; they're just making choices based on the information.

Posted by Heh, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Now Kathleen, let's be fair....

Posted by Duh, a resident of the Apperson Ridge neighborhood, 4 hours ago

I will be voting no on measure G simply because I could care less about public education.

I don't care about people who can not afford to educate their children, they should be compelled to get better jobs so they can afford private school. I am personally in favor of creating as much of an "us and them" situation as possible since I am guaranteed an education for my kids. It will make their lives that much easier, less competition.


Some of the anti G posts, including yours, are quite reasonable and lucid. Others, like the one above, for yourself.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 31, 2009 at 6:09 pm

:o) Never hurts to be gracious.

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