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PUSD and Union Negotiation Process

Original post made by Tony E. on Jun 27, 2009

At the June 22nd school board meeting, attorney Laurie Juengert gave a presentation on the union negotiation process. It was very informative and offered insights into the complexities of this issue. It starts about a quarter of the way into the web cast but is well worth the wait.

Here's the link. Web Link

Thanks!

Tony

Comments (38)

Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

Thank you Tony for reminding us to educate ourselves about the many issues that people are questioning during this budget crisis. This is a crucial piece to understanding how schools work.


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2009 at 5:37 am

Tony:

What difference does this make? On another post, they said that yesterday, the board voted to bring back some management positions. So no money for programs or bring teachers back, but plenty to bring back administration.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 30, 2009 at 12:38 pm

It makes a difference to understand how union - district negotiations will work over the next 12 months. Attending the presentation helped me make sense of why the board can do some things next year that they could not do this past spring.

Definitely worth watching the presentation. Thanks for posting the link, Tony.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:48 pm

This helps us to understand the process. Many teachers want to be involved in being part of the solution- but the union is blocking them.


Posted by Tony E., a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 1, 2009 at 7:23 am

Tony E. is a registered user.

Concerned. My post to the video was to offer an educational resource so people might gain knowledge about the the union negotiation process with PUSD employees. I've read many times here the question "Why can't the teachers take a 5% - 10% immediate pay cut to save some of their own". My hope was this video might shed light on this.

In terms of Monday night's vote to bring back administrators, I defer to the same philosophy: know all available facts before rushing to judgment. If the conclusion to that process is that individual participation and action is required, so be it. This is a good time for action.

Please keep in mind that PUSD has laid-off 16 managers / administrators which comprises a significant 31% reduction of force. That tells me they have, what, 39 administrators / managers left to run a district with 14,800 students and 600 remaining teachers? (I think I'm right with this post-layoff number - it starts to blur after a while). I've lost track of their Classified staff population. They brought back 30 teaching positions as soon as they could with California's new CSR flexibility.

What I saw last night was this:

::: Hire back 1.5 FTE of Middle School Vice Principals

These 1 full time and one 1/2 time positions are being funded by the concessions made by the management last February. My personal feeling is that VP's are critical to the function of a school. I only wish we could bring back our elementary Vice Principals.

::: Rescind the elimination of Coordinator 1, Information Services
::: Rescind the elimination of Coordinator, Career and Technical Education

Each one of these two positions is a revenue generating position. The Coordinator of IS brings in $180K in revenue for the district at a labor cost of $134K. The Coordinator of Career & Tech Education brings in approx. $230K revenue for a labor cost of $130K. This makes sense to me to keep these or the district would stand to loose $146K in revenue.

::: Modify the release date of Coordinator 2, Child Nutrition to Sept 1 (instead of Oct 30) when the position would disappear
::: Modify the release date of Director, Architectural Planning and Management to Sept 30 when the position would disappear
::: Modify the release date of Coordinator 2, Transportation to November 1 when the position would disappear

The two arguments for the extensions were that they're needed for continuity in work transition and that these people are retiring and have a greater benefit at stake if the separation date is delayed. The board split on this for good reason in my opinion. Compassion for years of service isn't exactly in the mainstream of corporate America. The leadership here has that compassion. However, these are tough times. I wouldn't presume to guess what my decision would be unless I were sitting in one of their chairs. The Transportation position was of note as this person plans for special education student routes and needs for which a smooth transition is critical.

::: Create a combined position of Management Assistant/Coordinator 2, Technology

I'll borrow from a post from Sandy as she said it well: "The elimination of the public information officer position entirely would have meant that no one person at the district office would be focused on addressing questions from the public, and would slow down every other administrator's ability to do their job in a timely manner. Reassigning that person some responsibilities for coordinating Zangle, the new software that lets kids and parents keep track of their homework assignments and grades, helps to ensure that software can continue to be used this year. Students, teachers, and parents all benefit directly from that."

I think what concerns me is the potential impact on fundraising as word goes out that "PUSD hired back managers!" instead of teachers. Believe me, I want programs and teachers back too. However, I don't know of an organization so monolithic as to have one and only one department. Teachers are critical but so are administrators. What I've never heard from the community is what the right blend is. We're clear that as community we want to cut away from the classroom right? But how many administrators / managers is acceptable? 5? 25? None?
How many custodians, facilities, technologists, HR, curriculum or accounting people to serve 14,800 kids and their families?

I think the other thing that concerns me is this notion that PUSD is frequently guilty until proven innocent. How did that come to be? I've watched them increase our API sequentially year after year from the mid 800's 6 years ago to the 900's now. I've seen first hand the quality education my kids are getting in this district. I've personally attended nearly every board meeting this year and am convinced they're all trying to do the right thing. Was last night the perfect solution that met all our individual expectations? Of course not. Was the board divided? Yes, as they should have been. But how in the world do you please every stakeholder in this kind of budget situation?

Hope this helps.

Tony


Posted by Amber, a resident of Valley Trails
on Jul 1, 2009 at 8:56 am

Why can't special need's kids' parents take their kids to school like I take mine?


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

Amber--

I'm fairly certain that the district has to comply with federal or state regulations on that one (I'm not sure which). So the district would get in trouble, legally, if they stopped paying for special ed kids whose parents request transportation.

Tony--

thanks for your notes on the meeting. I think there are still more than 600 teachers left (I remember 850) but it does begin to blur after a 3-and-a-half hour meeting!

You asked "how in the world do you please every stakeholder in this kind of budget situation?"

You're right, they can't. Not with $10 million cut from the budget.

I do hope the district will be able to bring back more teachers by early August, and the more money is donated from the community, the more teachers they can bring back. I am donating, because I do believe the board has good intentions, and their split votes last night proved that they do not all simply rubber-stamp everything the superintendent recommends. The board members do their homework.


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Tony- thank you for pointing out the facts in a clear and factual way. I wish you would post your last message above on a site of its own. The points you made about PUSD being guilty until proven innocent is one that has frustrated me since the Measure G campaign and I am concerned about future posts effecting the fund-raising efforts in much the same way. It is so important for the community to be educated on many of the facts you posted and you are doing a great job of explaining it in realistic terms.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 2, 2009 at 9:50 am

Tony - "Compassion for years of service". Is it fair to say that you have less compassion for the hundreds of elementary kids who no longer have a band program? You have less compassion for kids who no longer have a dedicated arts program?

Should we give more money to those who already have lifelong retirement income and benefits in the bank, or keep a music teacher employed? or a VAPA specialist?

As for the other argument that there is more work to complete. PUSD put those positions on the cut list in March. There was sufficient time to complete that work before June 30. PUSD should have been planning for this eventuality. PUSD administration must not have understood the depth of the CA budget fiasco, and believed Measure G would pass. There is a saying..."Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part".

As for being 'guilty until proven innocent'. If excellence (including fiscal excellence) is what citizens are looking for in public education, then this debate is not about guilt or innocence. It's about whether we keep getting better at what we do, and whether elected public officials are making the best decisions possible.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 2, 2009 at 10:14 am

Get Educated - Why are you concerned about 'future posts effecting the fund-raising efforts'? Why not use the fund raising drive to increase the level of community participation? The Yes on G team in their last e-mail to their distribution list, said that if more of their supporters had actually voted, they would have won. If I were you, I would want as many people as possible participating in the debate, wrestling with the issues and deciding for themselves if/how they want to support the schools. You just need to be ready to handle your side of the debate and be tolerant of differing views.


Posted by Parent AND taxpayer, a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 2, 2009 at 11:24 am

Thank you Tony for that detailed summary of the discussion the other night especially since the meetng is not available online. I appreciate it and reading your conclusions.
But I agree with what Dark Corners just said. The district put several of those positions on the cut list for the fiscal year. This has been planned since March. Plenty of time to 'wrap things up.' It looks to me that cabinet was always planning to bring those 3 people back one way or another.
I can't help but feel betrayed in a way. District officials have told us twice what the priorities are; CSR, reading specialists, elementary music, etc. But they seem to have just changed those priorities on us!
Yes they brought back some teachers by changing class sizes. But for the $200,000+ in positions that I believe are unwarranted, we could bring back 3 reading specialists! Or make sure the elementary music programs continue. But those things are priorities for the community, not the board, so district officials expect us to foot the bill which will only leave money in the general fund to spend as they wish.

My checkbook just slammed shut!


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Two of the three positions that the district brought back for the 09/010 school year pay for themselves. They are not pulling from the general fund and if cut, the revenue could not be used in the general fund. The third position is paid for by Administration concessions, again not coming from the general fund. They chose to give back in order to run the district office as effectively as possible. They cut 33% of personnel and were able to bring back teachers, counselors, reading specialists and funding for Barton reading. You can find details of this from the board packet or the taping of the meeting from the 29th.

I believe Tony's point was, by stating only the line-"PUSD hired back managers!" you are not getting the whole story. I want my colleagues hired back desperately, but I also know how crucial the support from the district office is and without many of those jobs, classrooms will be affected in ways that the community will not directly see.

As you stated, I need to be open to differing opinions, many need to be open to district rationals and be able to compromise as we are having to do with $10 million less in our budget.


Posted by Hi Amber, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Hi Amber,

To serve the needs of children with special needs, districts create classrooms to serve children with special similar needs and ages, to be placed together. We are in the Tri-Valley SELPA, which includes Dublin, Livermore, Pleas, Sunol and Mt. House. A student from any of these cities can be placed into a special ed class in any of these communities with an appropriate program. That is what transportation is for. It is more cost effective than having a class for 1-2 kids in each district with similar needs vs. not transporting them to receive the services they are entitled to under the law.

Hope this helps


Posted by Tony E., a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Tony E. is a registered user.

A quick note: I greatly appreciate the texture and depth of this dialogue on both sides.

Tony


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 2, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Get Educated - Can you help me understand how "...position is paid for by Administration concessions...not coming from the general fund." Weren't the administration salaries paid for from the general fund to begin with? If there is an administration giveback, doesn't it go back into the general fund? Or is there some separate fund from which adminstration salaries/positions come from?

Thanks.


Posted by Perfect, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2009 at 2:40 pm

DCoT

S/he can't. They don't know what they are talking about. They are in lock-step and can't think outside of the little box they live in. It's called an ideology and when based on false premises it is what eventually ruins a person.

Here is our vibrant example.


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm

There isn't a different fund which admins are paid. When Administration and faculty first offered concessions, they were set to cover those items on the cut list that were not covered by measure G. There were clear items that the parcel tax would have paid for, but many more that we felt were still crucial to save. I see it as the Administration is still following through with their concessions as they publicly stated a few months ago.


Posted by justwondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm

If two of the admin. positions that were brought back pay for themselves, why were they cut in the first place? Just wondering as something doesn't make sense or I've missed some info along the way.


Posted by Parent AND taxpayer, a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Questions for 'Get Educated"--Do you have any explanation for why those 2 positions that pay for themselves were on the cut list in the first place? I would really like to understand why jobs that bring in more than they cost would ever be on the chopping block. Was it just so the DO could say, hey we're cutting all that we can by eliminating 33% of our administrators? That is about the only explanation I can see because of course we, the public, didn't know for these past months that they didn't cost us anything! Of course, I don't have a problem with keeping them and doubt anyone would.

The extensions to match retirements is another story. They have had 4 months to prepare and transition so be done with it. For the $100k that is costing they could more than pay to keep the elementary band teacher. He's a young guy with a family so being out of a job entirely will hurt him a lot more than others not getting a few bucks more on their retirement. And the PIO, whether you call it that or not, is another story too.
And yes, each and every one of us in entitled to our opinion. But that doesn't mean I have to agree with or like what the board decided. They've changed the game plan with these decisions. And while I had my checkbook ready, I held off until this past meeting and I'm glad I did. This really shows me what the real priorities are in PUSD.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 2, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Tony - Having watched Ms Juengert's presentation and the board/community/superintendent discussion for the third time, I still don't see the answer to the question you posed: "Why can't the teachers take a 5% - 10% immediate pay cut to save some of their own".

Ms. Juengert said many districts are doing re-openers, MOUs and side letters especially in these budget challenged times. Trustee Grant and Ms. Juengert say that PUSD management/labor relations are great. If the APT can put a $700,000+, two-work-day reduction (contingent on the parcel tax passing) on the table with ease, then what is so hard about the APT putting a salary rollback on the table as well?

Ms. Juengert's presentation left me thinking that any negotiation is possible, it just takes committed parties. Or are things not as rosy as Trustee Grant says?


Posted by Very Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2009 at 9:52 pm

DCoT,

You are right on The Money.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Tony E wrote: "They brought back 30 teaching positions as soon as they could with California's new CSR flexibility."

I'd like to disagree with you on this statement. They were not brought back "as soon as they could". The CSR flexibility was a part of the Feb. 20th California budget. They only brought positions back after June 2nd.

DCoT wrote: "Trustee Grant and Ms. Juengert say that PUSD management/labor relations are great."

That's nice. What about management/public taxpayer relations? To whom do Trustees have a fiduciary responsibility here?


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 2, 2009 at 11:14 pm

It is possible for the district and the union to negotiate out of the regular contract cycle. I too wonder whether there is another MOU process underway -- but it doesn't seem likely, given that teachers are writing here that they have not heard anything from APT.

Then again -- in February, the union was called together very quickly to vote on the proposed MOU regarding the reduction of professional development days. Perhaps something will happen soon?

What I don't know is how a teacher or group of teachers could initiate such a process from within the union. Since I'm not a member, I'm not likely to find out. Trevor Knaggs, the APT president, has been absent from the most recent board meetings, as far as I know. Perhaps teachers who would like to see the union discussing concessions that would not be dependent on the parcel tax could email him, or other APT leaders?

Their emails are on the APT website, here: Web Link


Posted by Practical Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2009 at 12:08 am

I want to back up what Stacey said as true. The district cabinet knew full well about the changes allowed to CSR BEFORE the March cuts, BEFORE the March parcel tax decision and BEFORE 250 pink slips were handed out March 15. Adjustments were not made at that time so that the ensuing panic by parents would fuel the parcel tax campaign. I feel sorry that so many terrific teachers were used as pawns in that game.


Posted by Carl, a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 3, 2009 at 5:43 am

Sandy - One way teachers can take action is for a large group of them to opt out of paying their union fees/dues/tax. That will get APT's attention.


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2009 at 10:40 am

"They were not brought back "as soon as they could" - I have to disagree with you here. Staffing 9 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 4 high schools can not happen over night.

The CSR flexibility did not open up enough funds to cover all the costs to the program. The number of teachers hired back depended on the June 2 election, retirement notifications, teacher transfers, leaves of absence, grade level changes, enrollment numbers, formation of combination classes. You can not do the staffing until all of these factors are addressed.

These are annual issues for those who are temporary and probationary status, not a "scam" like it is insinuated here. Giving out more pink slips than were needed is not a scare tactic, but a legal requirement if teachers are potentially going to be released. We have been clearly notified that more lay offs can occur up until August 15th, depending on the State budget. Without the March 15 notification that would not be possible, potentially causing an even greater fiscal issue. (This is happening is some districts now)


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 3, 2009 at 11:57 am

Stacey, Practical Parent --

I think Get Educated makes some good points. "The CSR flexibility did not open up enough funds to cover all the costs to the program."

I emailed Luz Cazares asking her to clarify when the state announced the changes in the penalty system for going above 20.49 students in CSR grades. My recollection is that the state announced THAT there would be flexibility around CSR early in the spring, but the details of HOW the revised penalty system would work were not available till May.

Similarly, the rules about how the federal stimulus funds could be used were not available for quite some time after the district first learned that they would eventually receive some stimulus funds.

There was also the issue of providing hearings for all those who received pink slips in March. This was a district requirement, but there were difficulties with the court in getting these done before May 15. The court extended the district's deadline for doing this until June 5, I believe. I don't think it would have been fair to begin reinstating some people while others were still awaiting their hearing. The outcome of the hearing could change where an employee ranked on the seniority list which determines who is brought back first.

It is unfortunate that teachers with few years of experience have to go through this layoff-reinstatement process every year. However, it's something that happened throughout the state, not just in PUSD, and not just this year.

To say that something about the way the process occurred here, this year, was done to "ensure panic" seems quite biased to me. There were a number of factors that affected the timeline, and making insinuations about the motives of the district or the board goes well beyond the public record.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 3, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Sandy, Practical Parent and Stacey are right about the information available to districts. There are many organizations (CALSSD, CSBA, School Services of California, Education Weekly, EdBrief, EdSource, ACSA, etc.) that are sending updates and information daily to districts. Caution was being suggested, but the likely outcome of the CSR flexibility was known, just like the amounts of money coming from the feds was known in advance. Part of planning is doing it well in advance and for multiple possibilities. The district could have spoken about the possibilities, but it wouldn't have served their purpose in getting the tax passed. Unnecessary panic was caused--intentional or otherwise.


Posted by Alison, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2009 at 2:41 pm

They had enough information to speculate how much money they would need generated for a parcel tax. Certainly this included the money they would need for each school, and for staffing, etc.

I think it is silly to get caught up in what they don't know, when they do know what their yearly operational budgets are.

Playing with the stimulus/changing state budget #'s isn't the issue, the issue is planning. They could do it "in the dark" when they tossed out what they thought they'd need.

Based on that alone, they should come up with a revenue source. The most obvious is staffing costs. The Board needs to be addressing that with the APT immediately. The DO is currently holding hands with APT and the Board seems to be embracing both.

Who is the bearer of the public's interest right now?

The right thing to do is to freeze salaries, bring back the other teachers both which will instill confidence in the community, and then continue the fundraisers.

Dr. Casey should also step aside since he has a no confidence vote.

As far as the Board, they still have a few short weeks to get their act together. I have lost almost all faith in Grant. Arkin and Hitzke are doing better, but Ott and the Out of town guest that sits on our Board need to also step aside if they can't do the right thing.


Posted by Practical Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Sandy, the changes to the CSR penalty schedule were pursuant to the Feb. budget. And I am not relying on my recollections; I have a copy of the schedule. Yes, the timeline was short for the March 15 deadline. However, you can check out Dublin and see that they increased class sizes at an early March meeting pursuant to the new schedule, demonstrating it was possible to make the calculations so thatfewerpink slips would have had to be issued.
It is my opinion and is therefore biased, that they didn't want to look at that option. I believe that they intentionally used the highly-charged emotions of that time frame to kick off the campaign for the parcel tax. As Kathleen states, they could have provided information about the CSR possibilities but they didn't because that would not have worked toward their goal of a tax.
Believe what you will about the timeline and the ensuing manipulations but that is how I piece it together and view it.

"Out of town guest!" Too funny!


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Again Kathleen, to insinuate that the district did not plan ahead and did so in order to cause panic is not true.

There were multiple staffing plans created for a variety of class size ratios well in advance at every school site. This was discussed with staff, with SSC and the PTA. The information was not hidden from the public. To say so is only continuing erroneous assumptions about PUSD.

As it turns out, because the parcel tax failed, massive changes had to be made to those plans. I believe you said in many posts that to plan without knowing the final budget was irresponsible, the district waited, used caution as you stated above, and completed staffing the same way it is done every year, only this time with a $10 million reduction to the budget.

I can appreciate your good ideas for helping solve the massive cuts to education that are occurring in California, but posting only part of the information, not specific to what actually took place in the district, has been and still is a major contributor to causing the panic you write about.


Posted by Question for Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Get Educated,
You wrote that there were multiple staffing plans created for a variety of class size rations and the information was shared with specific groups. Was the information posted on the PUSD website?
I heard through district employees that whether G passed or not, the school district was going to increase class sizes as long as there was no penalty or the district broke even because that would save money. But I also heard that the district did not want that information presented publicly because they were advertising Measure G as a way to retain CSR ratios.


Posted by Very Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Get Educated, do you work in the PUSD administration?

/////////

Since Luz Cazares is the Assistant Superintendant, Business Services and she has the following expertise (as posted on her LinkedIn account -Web Link ), shouldn't she be held to account, just like Dr. Casey?

AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Budget Development, Control and Analysis
Cost-Cutting and Revenue-Generating
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Procurement and Contract Management
Performance Management and Monitoring
Policy Research, Analysis and Design


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2009 at 7:33 pm

And where do you work "Very Concerned"?


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I wrote last week (above) that "I emailed Luz Cazares asking her to clarify when the state announced the changes in the penalty system for going above 20.49 students in CSR grades. My recollection is that the state announced THAT there would be flexibility around CSR early in the spring, but the details of HOW the revised penalty system would work were not available till May."

Here's her answer:

"The Budget Act was signed into law on 2/20 and the CA Dept of Education (CDE) released implementation guidelines on 4/17."

So I was wrong -- the district had the final instructions about the revised penalty system in mid-April. It would appear that they could have shared this information before June 2, but chose not to do so.


Posted by Practical Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Sandy, I think that there must have been preliminary information released much earlier than that. The PDF spreadsheet that I have was created March 9th and is titled "Class Size Reduction Penalties, as of February 2009 Budget Act."
It lists 3,944 students in grades K-3 broken down by grade level. At 20:1, 199 FTE teachers are required. At 24.94 students in a class, 160 teachers are required and a cost savings of $1,559,736 to be had.
That is how I read the schedule anyway.
Now I have not seen an updated version of that spreadsheet as of the 4/17 but I don't think this early schedule could have been off by much. We were told at the beginning of discussions that CSR at 20:1 in the elementary grades cost $1.6M. And in the latest discussions of going to 25, the district said that was the break-even point.
So I am going to stand by what I wrote earlier that the district had this information and didn't share it with the public until after the parcel tax vote. AND they had it prior to the March 15 mass layoff date.
Now we can see that only about 25% of the teachers who received pink slips are actually losing their jobs. I hate to see that as much as anyone. But I believe that the events and the timeline were strategically manipulated to position for passing the parcel tax. And that I don't like.
To Get Educated, you stated, "There were multiple staffing plans created for a variety of class size ratios well in advance at every school site. This was discussed with staff, with SSC and the PTA. The information was not hidden from the public. To say so is only continuing erroneous assumptions about PUSD."
I am not a staff member so would not have been in on any discussions if they occurred. And most site councils are made up of about a dozen members I believe, not exactly a large body of people. But I did attend every PTA meeting this spring at multiple schools. While I don't have knowledge about discussions at all schools as Get Educated seems to have, I can say that this information was never discussed at any of the school meetings I attended. I will continue to disagree that this information was public all along. But you will probably just accuse me anyway of only providing partial information.

Now what is my motivation? My agenda? Nothing. As you can deduce, I am a parent of multiple kids in PUSD. Of course, I want them to get the best education that they can. Why would I want to do anything to sabbotage that for them?
Our family's finances have nothing to do with my questions to the district because we are neither selfish or stingy as many claim. I do however; expect full disclosure from PUSD officials as well as honesty and responsibility with taxpayers' money. If I, or others, see things and ask questions, that does not mean there is a hidden agenda as some seem to think.


Posted by Privatize, a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:26 pm

To Practical Parent:

"Now what is my motivation? My agenda? Nothing. As you can deduce, I am a parent of multiple kids in PUSD. Of course, I want them to get the best education that they can. Why would I want to do anything to sabbotage that for them? "

And therein lies the problem. If you want your children to get the best education that they can, what on earth are you doing putting them in public schools. The worst private school (or home school) is better than the best public school. They are all equally bad. Public schools are legalized child abuse. Is that what you want for your children? It is a never ending spiral of apathy, violence, drugs, and teachers who can't teach basic reading and writing.

If you spent half your energy getting a voucher system in place, or setting up a home school or church school instead of attending PTA meetings and blogging, you could make a real difference. If you hate Obama and everything he stands for as much as I do, you'll go and do the right thing.


Posted by Sandra, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm

"Now we can see that only about 25% of the teachers who received pink slips are actually losing their jobs. I hate to see that as much as anyone. But I believe that the events and the timeline were strategically manipulated to position for passing the parcel tax. And that I don't like."

Do you realize the number of teachers that receive this notice every year regardless of this budget mess? This is how the system works for temporary and probationary teachers. It is a year long contract that expires in March and they need to be rehired if there is a position available. I went through this for 5 years in a row in the 90's. There is still the possibility of layoffs until August 15th depending on the State budget. If notification is not given (pink slips), the district is in greater trouble like I am hearing from other districts in the state who didn't give out enough notices. Thank goodness the district was able to bring back more teachers, I just worry because it was due to one time money that won't be there for the 10/11 school year. Hopefully the State will get it together and pay the district the money it owes them to fund education.


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