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Rally brings in more than $13,500 for Pleasanton schools

Original post made on Jun 26, 2009

Dozens of families and school employees gathered at the "I Love Pleasanton Schools" rally Thursday night at Amador Valley High School. The fundraising event raised $13,598 for schools, according to Pleasanton Partners in Education director Debi Covello, bringing the total collected to just over $170,000.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 26, 2009, 4:16 PM

Comments (42)

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 26, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Actually, they've raised a large amount of money in a pretty short time early on, which is a good sign. It's more than double the Measure G campaign war chest. They should start a subscription service so that people can donate 64 cents a day and therefore spread the donation out over time.


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Posted by Diana
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 27, 2009 at 7:14 am

Dozens of families is not a large number I guess that is why there is not a picture of the crowd.

The superintendent is not instilling confidence in the community with their continued irresponsible spending. Kudos to Arkin and Hintzke for challenging the choice to hire back district office positions before teaching and school site positions. It would be be nice to see the other trustees grow backbone.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jun 27, 2009 at 7:22 am

Interesting that the Pro measure G rally's were better attended. It seems that is because (like the board meetings) they were stacked with teachers and staff that only wanted others to pay them. The teachers union needs to step up. At least the administrators are giving token concessions.


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Posted by no more teacher raises
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2009 at 8:36 am

Let's see about the math . . . . . $233 per year times 4 years is $932. Divide that into $13,598 and you get . . . . . less than 15 people willing to put their money where their mouths are.
Strange that they, and all of the teachers and administrative staff, were MORE than willing to put MY money into the pot. Where's their money?


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Posted by no more teacher raises
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 8:56 am

Have you even been to school. Even Rush Limbaugh could do better math than that. It is $170,000 raised so far, and it has just started.

Why not move somewhere where people are a little less educated. You may feel more welcome there.


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Posted by PW
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 9:48 am

Very sad people - you have community members trying to raise money for community schools. The Pleasanton Weekly's contribution - sad bloggers who do nothing more than sit home and take shots. Congratulations to those of you willing to support our community in a positive way - even those who choose not to contribute but do so with class. Shame on you to those of you who are have such sad lives that you feel the need to belittle others.

Pleasanton Weekly - Gina & Jeb - please read your blog and analyze if an unmonitored blog really helps make our community a better place. How can you contribute in a more positive manner to help our community come together? I, for one, feel that your blog has done little more than serve as a forum to divide our town - a place for people to take shots at community members, a forum to ridicule. I enjoy your paper and feel that it fairly represents Pleasanton. I am embarrassed that your blog represents our town; I hope that you are as well and will take the necessary steps to monitor for appropriateness or close it down. Our community deserves better.


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Posted by Nailed It
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 27, 2009 at 10:41 am

Wow, finally, PW nailed it. Thanks for voicing a concern that so many have. Will the Pleasanton Weekly listen?


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Posted by teachers who paid
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

Hello Ed and No more teacher raises,
I am a teacher, I was at the rally along with many of my fellow colleagues. I made my donation of the parcel tax plus my give back days. My fellow teachers also had checkbooks in hand. Were you there, have you donated yet? This is a positive movement, what is your motivation?


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Posted by no more teacher raises
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2009 at 11:43 am

I still say that $170,000 is less than a mere pittance. The Alameda voter site says that 10,995 people voted to pay a tax of $932. If those 10,995 people really meant it they could pony up the $932. Over 10 million dollars in one fell swoop. Clearly they wanted to TALK about paying up but they are less than interested in DOING anything about it.
The Yes on G people seem to be less than honorable about wanting to pay for services. The teachers and administrators have proven to be unwilling to even freeze pay, let alone take cuts. Casey wants to re-hire people simply for the purpose of allowing them to get maximum retirement credits and pay -- and who will be paying for that?
Without CUTS in spending there cannot be balance in this budget. Until that happens, my wallet is closed. For those who did pay, keep watching to see where the money goes. It is a certainty that Casey has his own best interest at heart, not yours.


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Posted by Yo more teacher raises
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 11:57 am

The donations continue to come in and many more will contribute.

The private sector is dishing out massive raises and the teachers have frozen their pay.

Web Link

Pleasanton is an up and coming town that could soon be challenging the likes Cupertino and Palo Alto if we all work together. Already we have the ethnic diversity that draws in some of the communities who value education the most. Our API scores are going up and will continue.

For those of you who want to drag your feet and live in the past, why not just vote with your feet. Pleasanton won't go backward. Look around. Pleasanton is changing for the better.


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Posted by teachers who paid
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm

For some, nothing will ever be good enough. What you fail to mention in all of your calculations is the million cut from the PUSD budget this year. It was announced at the last school board meeting.


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Posted by teachers who paid
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm

my mistake, I meant millions (plural)


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm

How many teachers needed to be laid off to pay for the automatic salary increases of the teachers who remain? 20? 25?


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Posted by No more inaccuracies
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jun 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm

"The teachers and administrators have proven to be unwilling to even freeze pay, let alone take cuts." Wrong.

No more inaccuracies - all administrators voted to give up three days (cuts) and car allowances (except portion from Supe & 3 Asst' Supe). Please be more accurate in your statements. You are correct in Pleasanton teacher union leadership did not even allow teachers to vote for a reduction to save programs.


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Posted by Thank you PW
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jun 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Well said. I hope that editors read and reflect about your statements. It would be easy to say, if you don't like it, don't read it. At times, this blog feels like an auto accident; you don't want to look but you just can't help it. Yes, the PW blog is a sad reflection of Pleasanton.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Teachers offered up two days along with G, and many teachers would have paid for G too, since they live and own in Pleasanton. Since G didn't pass just before school was out, there was no time to go back to the table and negotiate any more give-back days.

Please don't say we didn't offer concessions, because we did. And every pink-slipped out-of-work teacher offered up with their job. I'm sorry this sacrifice isn't enough for some of you.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Julie is a registered user.

no more teacher raises: I understand the point you are trying to make, but still - people voted to pay that $932 over the course of 4 years and not in one lump sum. And, as some have pointed out - more donations will likely roll in. If you are expecting to see 10,9995 x 233, I wouldn't hold my breath.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Julie is a registered user.

no more teacher raises: I understand the point you are trying to make, but still - people voted to pay that $932 over the course of 4 years and not in one lump sum. And, as some have pointed out - more donations will likely roll in. If you are expecting to see 10,995 x 233, I wouldn't hold my breath.


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Posted by no more teacher raises
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2009 at 5:39 pm

The teachers have NOT frozen their pay. We are still on the hook for something like 15 million dollars in raises in the next 4 years. They have NOT given back days without pay, that was contingent on the passage of Measure G.
Julie, I agree that people will not pay the entire $932 up front. If every "yes on G" voter even paid $233 it would be more than 2.5 million.
These economic times do not warrant automatic raises, not for anyone. The links to financial sites showing raises in other sectors are not relevant. We are dealing with PUSD teachers and PUSD administrators who all need to take some cuts. Giving back 25% of a completely unnecessary car allowance is not even a drop in the bucket.


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Posted by Yo no more teacher raises
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm

The link is relevant because it shows that top talent will leave if not well compensated. That is why the private sector is showering their workers with pay increases, by as much as 50% at Citi. They're swimming in money. It is across the board there (except for the very top were a considerable portion of the pay is special compensation).

Wages are up for the country as a whole.

"Average weekly earnings rose by 1.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, from May 2008 to May 2009. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased by 2.8 percent."

Web Link

These economic times warrant raises, and people are getting them.


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Posted by teachers who paid
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 9:24 pm

No more teacher raises,

Please find some facts about Step and Column increases. I am still paying over $15,000 for earning my masters to move myself across the columns. Having teachers who are current and continuing their education is crucial in keeping PUSD performing in the top 10% in the state. These units can not be paid for by the district and must be on our own time.
Out of the 30 steps I will take over my career, I will only move 15 times. The rest of the time is a "freeze" period. I have been in a freeze for three years now. For the past two years, and also for next year, we have received no COLA increases to the schedule. In that time, the cost of my medical benefits increased, causing me to take a pay cut.

Step and Column is a system that has been in place in education for years, it is a part of our contract that can't be changed without negotiations. You can read about the complexity of these negotiations at Web Link


My salary has been frozen, my benefit costs have increased causing a reduction in pay, yet I went to that rally and paid not only for the parcel tax, but also donated my 2 days of "give back." I was not alone, many of my colleagues did the same. We work hard for the success that PUSD continuously shows, what are you doing to help? What is your motivation for your postings?


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Posted by Are u Watching?
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm

At the 6/22 meeting the board did vote in a balanced budget that includes a 3% reserve, which is the state recommendation. The board also approved a new reduced management salary schedule. Hopefully the state does not hand down anymore cuts to education - then it is back to the drawing board and possibly more layoffs if the state budget comes in before August 15th. Which is the last day districts can give layoffs if the district recieved 2% or less than the the previous year from the state.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm

"The link is relevant because it shows that top talent will leave if not well compensated. "

LA school district is laying off thousands of teachers. I doubt that ptown teachers would leave if their salary is cut a bit. There will be plenty of unemployed young teachers looking for work.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm

"At the 6/22 meeting the board did vote in a balanced budget that includes a 3% reserve, which is the state recommendation. The board also approved a new reduced management salary schedule. "

Yes, but that budget included the administrative positions Casey proposed to re-hire with the money freed up by the furlough days. The board will either vote yes to re-hire those admin positions (3 of those just for the retirement benefits and temporary) or NO in which case the budget must be adjusted.

I hope the board stands up to Casey and rejects his proposal to re-hire the administrators. The fundraising going on is for programs, but the fact that the superintendent can find money to re-hire management but not to re-instate a program is simply not a good thing.


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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Resident,

I encourage you to come to the board meeting tomorrow night and express your opinion to the board members. Together, we may be able to sway enough votes to make a difference.


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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I think the point is that the teachers union is unwilling to make ANY concessions to save their own peers. While I don't support the manipulation of the administrative positions I do respect that the administrators are willing to give something up to support their peers.
Our efforts should be on putting pressure on the Pleasanton teachers union that only wants to demand that everyone else must give them what they want indifferent to what everyone else is suffering through.


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Posted by J.T.O.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2009 at 8:58 am

PW...great comments! However, it's interesting to read the short-sightedness of some. (Not even certain they have kids in the district.) One position proposed to be approved tonight is the PIO position. Actually, if you are truly studying the proposals, you will notice it reflects a blend of two positions (40% to be PIO). At the end of all that, there will show 15 F.T. administrative position lay-offs. That's a lot at one time. If PIO were to go, guess who would be the first to complain...or sue....the district if there was a communication problem that resulted in "trauma".....you, the nay-sayers.
Given the state has stripped us ...and for a couple of years now...monies (can you say, "millions?") that should have been ours to use, I feel the district has done wonderfully well so far so that the children, teachers, and parents haven't had to feel the pinch....yet. With Measure G failing (so embarrassing given the other cities around approved theirs), and with the cuts that will be felt, hold on as "you ain't seen nothin' yet". Let's hope the state doesn't screw us...again.... after the 15th of August!
I, personally, am saddened that the teacher union reps did not allow the teachers to vote on whether they wish to see a temporary reduction in pay to keep their fellow peers on board. Then again, I hate unions and they are way too powerful yet useless in today's society. I wish the district could over-ride the union. Just don't be mad at all the teachers; just the reps.
As for the nay-sayers, pluck your eyes out of the bark of the tree so you can see the forest. It really gives you a better sense of full awareness; which, ironically, helps one make better decisions as life presents itself.


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Posted by Yes, I have kids!
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 29, 2009 at 11:51 am


JTO,
"With Measure G failing (so embarrassing given the other cities around approved theirs),"
Is it your posit that the "nay-sayers" are dull, negative and litigious people who hate to open their checkbooks?
Could it be that intelligent people looked at the proposal and just didn't go for it-for good reasons? Are all P-town residents obligated to vote "yes" on any measure the district puts out-just because we live here?
Wow, wouldn't that be good news for PUSD (and bad news for the tax payers)?
For me (yes I have kids!) I just didn't feel there was enough time and effort put into deciding WHAT to cover with Measure G, poor language to MAKE sure those chosen accommodations happened, and not enough good will shown by the teachers union and administration.

I was laid off through no fault of my own and would have been very happy to have had the option to "give back" some portion of my paycheck to keep my job and health benefits. PUSD, the union, and Save Pleasanton Schools were simply NOT listening and responding to voters like me. That's why the measure lost.

To now see that Dr. Casey is attempting to bring back admin positions (when good teachers have been laid off)-while PERSONALLY soliciting donations for student program expenses makes me ill-not stupid! I cannot support that.
I will have to look for a way to donate directly to a program I like without going through PUSD. At least I will feel good about the money spent.


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Posted by JTO
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm

To 'Yes, I have kids'....
Remember the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child?" It's sound advise. I, too, do not want anymore taxes coming from my wallet but that statement was, and still is, for the state and feds. As a conservative, I strongly believe in letting local gov't take more control. Thus, my willingness to open my checkbook for $233/yr AND THEN attempt to knock some sense into the union(s). Better yet, abolish them. It is also my responsibility to be informed of local gov't through active participation.
Paying the small $233 amount per year is, in my opinion, short term 'pain' with long term gain....afterall, it's for the good of all in Ptown; not the state or the feds.


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Posted by Yes, I have kids!
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm

JTO,
You still don't get it. It's not the $233.00 itself it's how it was to spent. I still do not believe that Measure G as written would have done anything more than pay for teacher raises for the next four years. How on earth is that "for the good of all?"

Without clear language for the programs listed and an answer for how the Step and Column raises would be paid, I couldn't support it. I don't believe in magical endings only what's written in black and white.

Next time around they need to take the time to get it right.


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Posted by no more teacher raises - clearly clueless
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm

1) The 10K people voted for it - clearly they were ready to pay thier property taxes at the $233/Yr delta
2) This would have amounted to 2 $116.50 installments per year not a lump sum $932 -- this is a big difference
3) Most believe that the entire community should foot the bill for education
4) Busy lives have prevented soem who will donate, from doing so yet
5)Summer vacation, school is far from social conscience during summer unless your moving.
6) A tax helps with the discipline - good intentions, do not alway make for good action
7) Awareness, many not aware that fund has been established, folded up the tents after the election


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Posted by Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2009 at 1:51 pm

To: Yes, I have kids!,

Yoa asked "Is it your posit that the "nay-sayers" are dull, negative and litigious people who hate to open their checkbooks?" to JTO

My answer would be "Yes (although you like to through alot of quailifiers in there to draw the "no" answer: "dull", "negative", "litigeous" and "hate to open thier checkbooks".

I wouldn't say they are dull or litigeous, but the rest fits just fine.



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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

To: the poster known as "Me":

Your simple-minded characterization of No-on-G voters illustrates what many of us know: namely that the less educated (note your repeated misspelling of "litigeous" and "thier" [sic], and your lack of correct punctuation) tend to blindly vote according to a liberal agenda.

Throwing taxpayer money at a school board that has proven to be fiscally irresponsible was a fool's errand, and enough people saw through the "vote for the kids" rhetoric and voted down the measure.

To: Yo

I'm not sure what planet is seeing wages increasing... The only reason the AVERAGE pay is going up is that the low salaried employees are getting canned. If you have ten people in your company and the average salary is $50,000, and you lay off some admin making $32,000, your company average salary will jump to $52,000. That doesn't mean people are making more money, that simply means that the low man on the totem pole is getting whacked. Learn how to interpret statistics rather than simply repeating numbers that you don't understand.


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Posted by JTO
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2009 at 9:25 pm

To 'yes, I have kids'! (in school?): I spent a good hour methodically answering your concerns only to have my computer disconnect with the internet as I hit the 'submit' button. I am too upset to try it again. Maybe tomorrow as I wanted to show you how 'I get it'.

To Parent of Two (in school?): You wrote: "Throwing taxpayer money at a school board that has proven to be fiscally irresponsible was a fool's errand, and enough people saw through the "vote for the kids" rhetoric and voted down the measure".
I say, how uninformed you are as to what the board has had to do for the last 3 or so yrs. Each year the board must make decisions that allow the school to run smoothly while accommodating the demands set by the state and feds. For the last 3 or so yrs, the promised monies (millions) have been STRIPPED from PUSD; many times AFTER budgets were decided. That eventually even lead to using some of the reserve. Now, with little to work with..and a strong chance even less than so far promised... it's extremely tough to make decisions and be forced to stand by them, especially with the current budget woes at the state level. Let's hope the state doesn't change its mind after Aug 15 when it is mandated that the district make its final budget decisions on this date.
How can anyone make decisions without many of the facts? How do you fine tune your budget if you don't know how much you are going to make? Ask anyone in the private sector. It's not easy. No crystal ball works that well. Add salt to the wound, the district is mandated by the state to offer programs that are costly, yet unfunded, by the state!
You did not say how the board is fiscally irresponsible so I cannot shed light on specific concerns. I am curious though. Remember, schools must deal with unions and we all know how non-flexible they can be. PUSD is not a private business.
We all must also remember how enjoyable we have had it in our schools for quite some time now. I didn't hear any complaining back even a yr ago about budget concerns (I go back 30 yrs with many children having gone through the system). What made that all change? Perhaps your fiscal irresponsibilities should be addressed at the state level for the local district is doing all it can...responsibly....with what little they are getting.
Tonight, hopefully, you are at the board meeting listening about the 15 admin jobs that are being taken away while blending others to lower costs (if approved). This alone will cause stresses on the families of children that are in school next year. PIO (down to 40%, if approved) will be one that will be felt. Mark my words.
BTW, what would you do if you were on the board? I would like to know.


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Posted by Yo Parent of Two
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I don't know what kind of "fuzzy math" you're practicing, but I posted facts, and you tried to twist them into some kind of black is white and white is black thing. Do you have any proof of your wild claim that wages are actually going down by going up? Show us a link. I published the link from BLS and the link showing large financial institutions are dishing out raises. Where is your proof?


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2009 at 5:43 am

On another post, someone said that yesterday at the board meeting, they approved the re-hiring of management.

Will the Pleasanton Weekly report this fact? Because the community needs to know, and I know many will not donate knowing that there is money to hire administrators back.

By donating, you are freeing up more dollars so administration can continue with their status quo.


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Posted by Yo Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:13 am

And I responded there. What makes you think you know so much about their jobs that they didn't need this position? I'm happy with the status quo. We have a great school district. I'm not so greedy that I want to take everything out on the children.

There are other communities where people aren't as focused on education. Don't you think you'd be happier in one of those places.


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Posted by JTO
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:15 am

To Concerned: Go to the board meetings or watch from the comfort of your home or go online to read the explanations to the decisions that are made and the why's and how's that go with it. Remember, the Measure did not pass yet these decisions were made. The reason being prioritizing needs for service. The district deleted MORE THAN 15 FT positions but then redesigned some of the more necessary ones (PIO as an example) by blending them together. It's now where one person will be doing the work of 2 or more people for the same salary they earned previously. PIO is no longer a FT position but will be only a 40% position. So, in this case, what we used to enjoy (and take for granted) will now be less valued. It will not be as thorough as before. Things may even slip through cracks. I cannot imagine who will be the first to complain. hmmm.
Just because you and I don't trust the state (or the feds for me) doesn't mean the district is in that same boat. They are very dedicated to this school. They truly do care. Take a look around to see the results! But to fully answer your question(s) I strongly suggest you do as I suggested in the beginning of this blog.


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 30, 2009 at 11:10 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

Yo,

Apparently you don't understand basic statistics (or you do understand statistics, and are deliberately using misleading statistics). I checked your BLS figures, and the AVERAGE pay rate is going up while the unemployment rate is also going up. That means that companies are ELIMINATING low paying jobs, thus raising the average rate of pay. If you check teacher salaries, you'll see that the AVERAGE pay rate has probably jumped since the layoffs were announced since they canned all the low-tenure, low-pay teachers and kept the veterans.

That doesn't mean that any one person is "getting a raise" or that industries are spending more. If you change the composition of the population being measured, you change the average.


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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 30, 2009 at 11:18 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

JTO,

You're right that many of the economic woes can be traced to the state level, but the district could have done many things to mitigate the risk. After all, it's not like the State of California has a stellar history of money management.

Why didn't they pull the teacher's union (or better yet, the rank and file) into the budget discussions? Why waste money on a separate ballot measure ($300K)? Why not shift responsibility for some programs to the students who use them (pay-for-play)? Why not cut perks before cutting personnel?

If your kid wasted money the way the district wastes money, you wouldn't just hand him a blank check, would you? You'd ask for a firm budget with luxuries cut out, wouldn't you?


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Posted by Lou
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I voted for the Parcel Tax, but I think it lost because many voters believed the teachers did not contribute enough to the solution. This school district's financial difficulties will continue until everyone contributes to the solution.

I think the teachers in Pleasanton are excellent. However, they don't understand what's going on in the private sector and how the economy has affected the voters. As a rule of thumb, salaries are flat or down, medical benefit costs have gone up, and there is high unemployment.

Pensions are a privilege, not a right and if you you look at the lifetime value of a teacher's salary, pension, and benefits package it is better than most of the voters in Pleasanton.

It's time for the teachers union to make significant, voluntary contributions to the solution or there will likely be more layoffs and the problems will compound for everyone.


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Posted by Here, here!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Lou,

Excellent post.

I particularly agree with your comment: "It's time for the teachers union to make significant, voluntary contributions to the solution or there will likely be more layoffs and the problems will compound for everyone."

The key word was SIGNIFICANT.


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