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by George Peters, Foothill High School,
on Mar 4, 2008
The next board meeting is Tuesday, March 11th. Come to the meeting and tell the board why. Hopefully the board will discuss it with the public and not say it is not on the agenda, like they do with other topics to avoid conflict.
Is PUSD also cutting like Alameda is? Just curious- haven't heard anything about our schools, other than the large cuts state wide which I assume would affect the schools here.
The School Board is not only cutting coaches, but also Reading Teachers. Why not cut administrators? A comment was made at the board meeting to compare Pleasanton to San Ramon, has that been done? How many students does San Ramon have and how many District Office people do they have compared to Pleasanton. The big question is will the board listen to the community at the next meeting, or will they say it is done. Are these issues on the agenda for further review? Please school board do not be like other Districts who hide behind rules. Pleasanton is a District of Character and that includes the board. Write to your board member !
What are you kidding...?
The Board voted 4 to 1 to move forward on a parcel tax. They did not respond to the input shared on the PW threads.
Steve Brozosky was the only board member that was not fully committed to the parcel tax. He tried hard, made strong points and was dismissed.
Two brave parents made comments questioning the parcel tax. Good effort Joan, great job John! The board acted as though they had not heard John at all. John was well spoken and his comments followed the theme of these threads... he was ignored.
Do not be played for a chump. Do not get trapped into the question of which programs should get cut. Give direction to restructure and find cuts that do not touch the kids or get an outside professional to come in and show PUSD how it would be done in the real world.
If you do not have kids in the schools you can be a voice where many of us can not.
Pointing to other communities parcel taxes is a Red Herring.
Even with San Ramon's parcel tax revenue, San Ramon has far fewer dollars per student than Pleasanton does. And San Ramon's administrators did not take their raises.
PUSD has far more money, from ADA state dollars, to work with than most districts.
They are playing hide the pea by talking about emotional cuts. Don't participate in those discussions, it only divides parents, pitting one important program against another.
Bring in someone to make unbiased cuts starting at the administrative level.
Everyone is right. Do not pit programs against each other for kids. Start cutting at the District Office. What people cuts have been done at that level? The business person said during the meeting something about the district getting very little money in a program called cat...., yet the district has a director of that program ...why? This is just one example of fat!! Peter makes a good point - look at San Ramons web site and Pleasantons web site, compare number of district administrators.
Administration is top heavy, but then who cares about sports?
LINDA- no I'm not. I do not have children in school in Pleasanton
They are not cutting coachs, just the stipends they are paid. The district will move to a pay to play model (like other school districts). Pleasanton kids have been pretty lucky to pay little or nothing to play sports. They will now either need to raise more booster money to fund programs, or charge players to play.
The more I learn about the self-serving antics of some of our community leaders, the more disillusioned I become! How can we even consider cutting programs when our own Superintendent has taken a significant salary increase? Why is Pleasanton not taking admirable, more civic-minded steps as San Ramon has already done? They gave back raises to the administrators and froze other upcoming raises so that they would not have to lay off teachers or cut programs. Pleasanton will not continue to enjoy its good reputation unless our leaders begin using more integrity in the decisions they are making.
As far as sports are concerned, may other districts require students to pay if they play sports. The Booster clubs provide sport scholarships to students who cannot afford the fees. Perhaps that is one concession the community might be willing to consider to save the academic programs and teachers.
Mark your calenders and start sending email:
Special Board Meeting, Budget Hearing,
April 14, 2008 (Monday), 5:00 p.m. Open Session.
District Office Board Room, 4665 Bernal Avenue,
PToWN94566, a member of the Walnut Grove Elementary School community,
I am sorry. Yes PUSD has suggested making many cuts. Their choice of cuts has been the subject of several news articles and three PW bloggs.
This is the district site that lists the proposed cuts. There have been some changes but I don't see the changes reflected yet.
Many of us are skeptical of their choice of cuts since they seem to be intended to manipulate the community to approve a parcel tax.
O wow, some of those cuts are ridiculous! My nephew is starting in the fall so it'll be interesting to see where things lead to. I feel bad for some of the other cities, but from what it looks like it's hitting home as well!
You could suggest to the board that instead of cutting coaches' stipends, the district eliminates the following:
1) Public Information Department employees and expenses:
2) Roll back raises for all administrators
3) Do without the superintendent's and others' car and meal stipends
These are just a few examples of simple and all too obvious cuts that the superintendent has failed to notice - which makes me question if he really is competent to run this district.
Bring in an independent consultant to look at the expenses and suggest reasonable, intelligent cuts away from the classroom/students.
We are comparable to San Ramon in most ways demographics and test scores.
Our board members say we need a parcel tax because our neighbors have one.
My point is that even without a parcel tax we have more revenue than they do.
Pleasanton total revenue( Fed, state, local) is $9,113, 114% of average for Ca. districts.
San Ramon total revenue( Fed, state, local) is $7,361, 92% of average for Ca. districts.
Our kids will not do without if we hold the district accountable. They must make responsible cuts or we should demand someone be brought in that can make unbiased recommendations.
I used ED-DATA. Put in district zip code, scroll to the bottom then click on the dollar sign to see financial reports, then click on revenue source.
Having a child in sports I can say that I do not mind if they cut the stipends as many of the sports teams are politically structured and there is a definite "favoritism" that occurs. It's not always what you know -but who you know that happens on the field/court. Many Pleasanton parents pay big dollars for outside coaching and club teams. I think there is a definite advantage to their children playing sports in the schools and they should be willing to pay for it like other school districts do. Many of the students who are GIVEN the opportunity to play varsity sports have their path paved for college entrance and scholarships. This must be worth something to these kids and they should be willing to supplement the cost just as they would for outside coaching, tutoring or club teams. I do not think another parcel tax is warranted. I also feel strongly that before academic programs of any kind are cut that housecleaning needs to occur at the district office and the administrative staff. There are also ways to alleviate jobs through productivity and technology that isn't even being considered because it would cut these "perfect" summer free jobs. Let's get creative at the PUSD headquarters. I'm sure you'll come up with something besides teachers and programs. If not, I volunteer to help slice appropriate overhead!
I agree with Linda regarding the comparison between San Ramon and Pleasanton. And the extra "kicker" is that San Ramon has better test scores than Pleasanton! We need to cut the "extra" fluff in our schools and focus back on basics. Also, I agree with Foothill mom about the sports programs. Parents that have children participating should be willing to pay or fund raise for these activities just like they would for any other extracurricular activity that benefits their child. So many parents at Foothill take advantage of the education and sports programs but do nothing to supplement the cost or the work involved. As Foothill's demographics are changing - this is becoming more apparent. No on another parcel tax.
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