Where did all of the Yes on Measure G Supporters go? Schools & Kids, posted by Cathy, a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, on Jul 20, 2009 at 9:11 pm
We are only 4 weeks away from the deadline of August 14th to raise $2.8 million to save four critical programs in the Pleasanton school district: class size reduction, elementary band and strings, counselors and reading specialists. We have raised $252,000 thanks to the generosity of many Pleasanton residents and the volunteer efforts of many, many parents, businesses and community members. Quite frankly, I am disappointed that we haven’t raised more. 10,995 Pleasanton residents voted in favor of Measure G, and were willing to pay $233 per household to support our schools. If you voted yes on Measure G, we need your support now more than ever – we only have four more weeks to raise over $2 million dollars. PLEASE consider donating to either PPIE (to save CSR, counselors and reading specialists) or PSEE (to save elementary band and strings) as soon as possible.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm
My intent is not to be rude but rather point out that out of the 10,995 who voted for G only approximately 992 at $254 have made the donation. The facts are rough math. If you need 2.8 million dollars and 10,995 voted for the initiative then that comes to about 254 per voter and if you only have $254,000 raised then only about 992 of the 10,995 have made the average donation. Obviously some more and some less but nonetheless the average is about that. I just find it hard to believe that the money is going to be raised.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:10 pm
I already told you my intent and if you do not believe it that is on you not me as my side of the street is clean. I hope people do give if that is their intent and if they choose not to give that is their right as well. By the way, I am not at all interested in suggestions from someone who is a hater and says nasty things such as what you wrote.
Posted by Be Positive, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm
Actually, I contributed after seeing how PUSD "trimmed the fat" to the tune of $12 million dollars, 30% of the district administration, and many teachers. (Just as many cried for last spring.) Our high achieving schools are a product of a successful school district. Thank you to those who are working so hard to offset the continuing cuts in education from Sacramento.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 11:12 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
It would be interesting if PUSD or someone could collect the data on how much has been received by individual schools so far. I don't think what PPIE and PSEE have collected so far is the total amount this community has contributed.
Even some NO on G people donated.
Dark Corners, I love the name you picked for yourself.
Posted by not rude at all, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Jul 20, 2009 at 11:17 pm
To Dark Corners: this is one reason of those against G, the board didn't have the energy, foresight, gravitas if you will, to propose renegotiating colas/raises/salaries. So they passed a very short sighted budget which means more deep cuts next time around. Just more of kick the can down the road.
Posted by Already donated, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 11:25 pm
Here are my thoughts on the matter: I think those who supported G without any hesitation probably already donated (OK, I did!); those who supported G but had some reservations are probably waiting till the last minute to see how much has been donated; those who supported G but are financially strapped are probably not going to donate enough; and then there are those who voted for G but would not have been financially liable. This last group is made up of renters and seniors, both of which wouldn't have had to pay a dime if Measure G passed but wanted to maintain the quality of Pleasanton's schools.
I personally know of people in all these groups, and that has been my experience. I believe we need to have more support from the community and local businesses.
Posted by Don, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 11:34 pm
PATHETIC! All the folks living in Ruby hills and other multi million dollar homes around here and the Median Income in Pleasanton is OVER 100,000 a year and only $225,000 has been raised? Something is going on here?
Posted by Better accountability, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Jul 21, 2009 at 12:13 am
I had my checkbook ready weeks ago. But now I'm glad I waited because I do not donate to any charity that I don't believe handles funds well. This spring with the parcel tax discussion I started looking more closely how PUSD spends our tax money. Watching the board meeting at the end of June, I did not agree with their reasoning on some of the admin positions. Some people are of the opinion that PUSD has been very well managed but I do not agree. And that is the bottom line why I won't be making a donation.
Posted by maybe maybe, a resident of the Canyon Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 8:54 am
Too bad on the Measure G 'voting day' people couldn't have just been asked for the check instead of the vote. If people would have been asked for the money as a vote instead of the promisary note that was the yes vote there would have been even less 'yeses'. People might be thinking 'if they(everyone in P-Town) aren't chipping in either am I.' Oh and those laid off teachers might be saying "I don't have the money now", like many others were saying and getting the 'It's only a few pennies a day responce."
Posted by Get a clue, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 10:51 am
Not sure when you will all get the picture. Many of the people who voted yes live in the same household and therefore would not each be paying the $233 per year. Also, people were voting to pay $932 per household, not per person, over a 4 year span, not in one payment. It is possible people don't have that much to put out at one time. For those who keep asking for each person who voted yes to individually pay $932 are asking people to do something other than what they voted for. It is time to stop the mantra of "If everyone who voted yes would pay we would have all the money" because it is not even a rational one.
Posted by m, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 1:04 pm
The votes were tallied ... the measure failed. Now you're asking why don't people give anyway. Well, it might be because there is not enough support for the cause, that is, the mismanagement of the system of education. You may call it greed, others may call it common sense ... but at some point the facts are the facts. You got more money that you would have from the election ... why aren't you satisfied???
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm
PUSD is facing a budget shortfall in the range of $6-$9 million (I don't have more concrete numbers given the unresolved state budget crisis. All of the "waste" you are referring to (teacher raises) amount to a very small percentage of this. Even if they did cut the waste, where is the rest of the money going to come from?
To address those of you who think Pleasanton's teachers are overpaid: According to a survey by the PUSD Human Resource department, the salaries of Pleasanton teachers were compared with those in Livermore, Dublin, and San Ramon who also have benefits “on the schedule” (no benefits paid over and above salary). The comparison was done with both starting salaries and those at the highest end of the schedule and accounted for the difference in days worked. For beginning teachers, Pleasanton was the second highest (2nd out of 4). For the high end of the schedule, Pleasanton was second lowest (3rd out of 4).
By denying Pleasanton's schools money from fundraisers, you are essentially cutting off their air supply.
I am not trying to be inflammatory, but I just want to know given that there will be less money coming in from the state government, how do you propose PUSD can save the programs that are being cut (CSR, counselors, elementary band, laid-off teachers, library and technical staff)?
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm
I should also add that Dublin, San Ramon, and Livermore all have parcel taxes. Now that Measure G has failed and assuming the fundraiser will too, PUSD will have the smallest operating budget of all these cities.
So not only will Pleasanton have the worst class-size ratio in the Tri-Valley, it will also have the worst administrative staff per student ratio. Essentially, by denying our schools funds from parcel taxes and fundraisers, we have doomed the schools to being the worst district in the area. I am one who believes the punishment should fit the crime, but I really don't think PUSD has commited anything criminal.
Posted by Ferdie, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 2:38 pm
No one is being stopped from donating money if they have the money to donate and feel comfortable. What people are recoiling about is trying to take money from people who do not want to donate or any many cases in todays economy cannot afford to donate. How would you feel if you had no job and someone had their hand in your pocket trying to get your rent money or food money to support schools when you do not even have any children?
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm
There is no expectation that people who have no children in the school system have to donate. Neither is there expectation that people who cannot afford to donate should either. I was aiming my remarks at people who can afford to donate, but choose not to because of their perception that the budget crisis is solely the fault of PUSD's mismanagement.
What I don't understand is how people perceive a fundraiser to be a tax? I guess I don't understand the backlash against something that is voluntary.
From my perspective, the expectation should be that those who support the schools and can donate--should. I believe the person who started this thread was well meaning, but misguided, and those of you who can't afford to donate shouldn't feel pressured to.
Posted by Ferdie, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm
who is saying a donation is a tax? You mean that someone is saying you can be taxed on the donation? Seems odd to me as you should be able to donate to whatever you want should you deem it necessary. In reading the thread it appears to me that most who voted for the prop are not donating.
Posted by Cathy, a member of the Lydiksen Elementary School community, on Jul 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Concerned and others - thanks for all of the interesting and (mostly) positive comments - I just want to clarify that I do realize that not everyone has the means to donate to this fundraiser. I was merely expressing my disappointment that we had SO many people in favor of Measure G, and yet we have had a very slow start to this fundraiser. I was certainly not expecting all 10,995 yes votes to donate ... I do realize that the $233 parcel tax was per household, not per person, and economic circumstances may prevent many from donating. I also want to give HUGE kudos to the many parents & community members who have come up with such creative ways to raise money for this cause!! From online auctions to dinner parties to garage and bake sales .... truly a great example of a community coming together for a great cause!!
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Concerned wrote: "According to a survey by the PUSD Human Resource department, the salaries of Pleasanton teachers were compared with those in Livermore, Dublin, and San Ramon who also have benefits “on the schedule” (no benefits paid over and above salary)."
Dublin, Livermore, and San Ramon do not have benefits "on the schedule". Please re-read the PUSD website's FAQ on this subject. They present TWO DIFFERENT "studies". One was comparing Pleasanton with other (only four?) districts with salaries "on the schedule". That is highly misleading because it needs to be compared with ALL CA districts with benefits "on the schedule". The second one compared Pleasanton salaries with surrounding districts who have benefits "off the schedule". Again, it was all highly misleading.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
One more thing, PUSD's website doesn't name the other districts with salaries "on the schedule" with which PUSD was being compared. They could be basic aid districts that operate on property taxes alone because the district is filthy rich, for all we know.
Posted by Hey Stacey, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 9:08 pm
I'm wondering how much have you given? Have you volunteered in classrooms? Have you donated your time tutoring kids after school? It can be very rewarding. I hope you give if a try if you haven't already.
Posted by Contributed $295 today, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm
After seeing the kind of sacrifice and fiscal discipline exercised by the PUSD, I'm giving them a vote of confidence with my hard earned money. On top of that, they are the one school district in the area that held out the longest without a parcel tax, yet maintained academic excellence.
Posted by Contributing, too!, a member of the Walnut Grove Elementary School community, on Jul 21, 2009 at 9:53 pm
I'm contributing,too! Our kids deserve it! If you can't do the $189.00 or original parcel tax amount of $233., do what you can and only IF you can. Add to that, there are some great fundraisers that are underway thanks to some great local businesses and hard working community members! Papa Murphy's in Pleasanton is donating 35% of its purchases tomorrow night (7/22)to "I Love Pleasanton Schools!"
Posted by Bad news, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 10:45 pm
Unfortunately, the news from Sacramento does not look good for all schools in California. $6 Billion more to be cut from education. The fallout from this will be coming soon. Teachers were warned that further layoffs could come as late as August 15th, and this news can not be good. The fundraising is crucial at this time. It doesn't have to be hundreds of dollars. Find a box at many locations around town and put $10 in it. Every bit will add up to be a lot!
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 10:52 pm
You say: "One more thing, PUSD's website doesn't name the other districts with salaries "on the schedule" with which PUSD was being compared."
It says "three surrounding districts". "Surrounding" is pretty self-explanatory. If you are implying that PUSD actually was comparing itself to a school district, like, say, Palo Alto, and calling it "surrounding," I believe you are the one who is being misleading.
And besides, Pleasanton's teacher salaries weren't even the highest, so how can you say our teachers are overpaid?
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2009 at 12:02 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I didn't say our teachers were overpaid. That was your "straw man" argument you used to introduce the subject of teacher compensation at PUSD.
Sure the FAQ says "three surrounding districts", but it also says "who also have benefits on the schedule". Dublin, Livermore, and San Ramon do not have benefits on the schedule so the comparison done by PUSD was made with other, unknown, and surrounding districts; probably Palo Alto, yes! That's why it is misleading, intentionally or not. It would have been much more self-explanatory if PUSD named the actual districts.
Here's the link to the two PUSD FAQs talking about salaries:
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2009 at 9:40 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Now we're just talking past each other instead of engaging in lively debate. I guess it is hard to refute that since Dublin, Livermore, and San Ramon do not have benefits on the schedule, they are not the "three surrounding districts" referenced in the PUSD FAQ.
Posted by To Stacey, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2009 at 8:40 am
"It matters not whether I've donated or volunteered or not. That's not your reasons for asking."
You may not think your money or volunteering matter, but they can mean a lot to the kids you help.
It can be a wonderful thing to see help a young person learn. If you've seen a kid who was struggling with math finally "get it", it can be a great experience for both the kid and the tutor. Kids need tutors and volunteers now more than before. It would be a great time to step foward and help. If you can't help monetarily, volunteering your time is a great alternative.
If you can afford to make a donation and volunteer your time, that is even better. I'm hoping to hear that have done what you can. Our children need it. This is about the kids, nothing else.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2009 at 9:18 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
OK... let me put it another way because apparently my message was not understood.
It doesn't matter TO YOU at all what I've done. All you're interested in is finding ways to try to embarrass or shame me. So I'll just keep you guessing instead. Or better yet, I'll just tell you that I'm not going to do any of those things because of YOU. Why should I do anything just to PLEASE YOU? I guess the kids lose out now because of YOU.
Posted by toomuchtalk, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2009 at 10:05 am
It is too bad that so many adults haven't gotten past the middle school mentality. What great role models! Regardless of who anybody wants to blame, it is the kids who will suffer. Maybe everyone should worry about themselves and do what they think is best and let others do what they can and what they think is best.
Posted by Dontate now, a member of the Valley View Elementary School community, on Jul 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm
I teach in this district and have donated 5x the $233 (those of you who will berate me for having this money - my spouse makes great money at a stable job) to this effort. I am attending every fund-raiser possible and I will be contributing more to my classroom this year than ever.
I know so many people in the community appreciate what I do and I am thankful for that but I would do the same regardless of appreciation.
Please get your friends and neighbors together and attend each and every fund-raiser you can. Not only because can we use the money to enhance and improve education for your kids but to teach your kids about being a contributing member of a community. To get to know the people who come out and do great things. Pleasanton has changed so much since I moved here 13 years ago, it's big and I am starting to feel like we don't know eachother.
Please take some time to go to one of the fun events planned. It will help in so many ways.
Posted by To toomuchtalk, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2009 at 9:37 pm
I'm hoping to get the word out that our kids need us now more than before. Some people may not realize it, but volunteers can help fill the gaps left by budget cuts. This is about the children and nothing else. They are our future. If you can't give monetarily, volunteering your time can also help and be very rewarding. We are a community. The choices we make matter.
Posted by Parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm
I agree with you. The fundraising efforts are terrific, but I had hoped they would have brought in more by now.
But since the June ballot, at least a dozen people I know have either been laid off or had salary reductions and right now are trying to conserve money until they can get another job, or their salaries are restored. They are helping by volunteering whenever they can, but just can't afford to give actual money right now. It could be the economy which is affecting fundraising efforts, not lack of support.
I hope that those who are able to help the schools contribute - whether they donate directly to a school, or to PPIE or PSEE. I also hope they will not be too critical towards those who don't contribute. There are people who voted yes on G, who at that time never expected to be in a situation where every single dollar they earned, they would need just to cover their living expenses and bills.
They support education, and when they are able, will contribute to the schools, but please everyone, try to be kind. A lot of people are so stressed worrying about whether or not they will be able to keep their homes, or pay for their kid to go to college. Please don't make them feel worse and thanks to those who have contributed either with a donation, or attending a fundraising event.
Posted by Parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2009 at 11:43 am
To - To Parent,
No, don't think Cathy is making anyone feel worse, was just agreeing with her and commenting that in the last month or so, more people are experiencing financial difficulties and that may be why the fundraising isn't bringing in as much as was hoped.
Some of the people I know who are unable to contribute were among the loudest Yes on G supporters - and now are feeling badly that they're unable to contribute.