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PUSD Fundraiser

Original post made by Pleasanton Parent on Mar 15, 2010

Does anybody know how much a tech support specialist and a librarian make? Do they get benefits?

The letter sent by PUSD states that for elementary schools, the goal is to raise $399,375 and if that is accomplished it would fund:
4 hours of tech support and 3 additional hours library per day per site and $5,000 for student support

(Looks like very little for student support, with most going for the salary of the tech and library specialists)

For middle schools the goal is $229,689 and if that is accomplished it would fund:
4 hours tech support and 2.5 hous additional library assistant per day per site, and $40,000 per site for student or non-personnel tech support


Does anybody know how much PUSD pays for a librarian and a tech support specialist? Are they trying to give more hours to these people?

(for high schools there is also a breakdown)

Comments (72)

Posted by To Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Why don't we just do away with library services and computers, so that our children grow up to be illiterate? And you get the added bonus of not having to pay for a librarian and technical staff!

I've had it with these liberals trying to educate my children! Hands off--these are my kids and I want them to be dumb as a skunk. By the way, my conservative views are in line with the lower IQ of conservatives. Why should my kids be any different?


Posted by a parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm

After reading the fundraiser notification, I was left with the impression that the $150/student requested by the June deadline was to replace the cost of the school supply requested during walk-through registration in August. After researching the fundraiser a bit closer, I realized the donation is separate and we will still be asked to donate additional funds during the 10/11 registration process.


Posted by Pleasanton parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm

"Why don't we just do away with library services and computers, so that our children grow up to be illiterate? And you get the added bonus of not having to pay for a librarian and technical staff!"

Not hiring a tech and library assistant does not meant we would do away with computers or libraries!

My children even know how to program web pages and have been going to the library since they were toddlers and now how to research on their own. (and no, they did not learn those skills at school but at home and through enrichment classes outside of school)

All I am asking is how much we pay for tech and library assistants. The amount seemed excessive for what it is. The letter makes it sound like we do have tech and library assistants but they want to add more hours. I just want clarification to what my money would be used for. Also, last year if I understood correctly, they moved the PIO to handle some tech stuff.

Does anyone know what the money is being used for? Ie, do we have no librarian and the money is to have one part time or do we have a librarian with limited hours and the money is to add hours? Are we moving some of the admin to tech?

By the way, this is yet another example of the unions putting themselves first (giving raises in the form of step and column at the expense of librarians)


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm

"After reading the fundraiser notification, I was left with the impression that the $150/student requested by the June deadline was to replace the cost of the school supply requested during walk-through registration in August. After researching the fundraiser a bit closer, I realized the donation is separate and we will still be asked to donate additional funds during the 10/11 registration process."

A friend who is very involved with the PTA said that no, PTAs will still be collecting the donation during walk thru registration in the fall.


Posted by debbie, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I'm sorry but the letter through the post is a bit of a cheek! You don't stipulate the amount you want, you ask for any donation, and you will more likely get people to write a cheque. I'm fed up of paying high taxes, people asking for donations and living in a house that's gone down so much in value that it make me feel quite sick! I'd like a donation too, for all the over paid taxes that our government has taken off us for years.


Posted by lisa, a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Pleasanton Mom for Truth, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Our family values the request being made and will be sending in our check promptly. The loss of state revenue to our schools impacts our kids, and we are committed to minimizing that impact. It sounds like some people on this board are frustrated by their tax rate, being asked for donations, and their decreased home value, but this is all a factor of the nationwide economic crisis and frankly, to lash out at the schools in response to a specific request for funding is troubling. I would love to see more school funding generated this way so that we are less dependent on the unstable funding at the state level.


Posted by True Patriot, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by To True Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm

If government is only perfect if it is setup the same way as when the Founders first created it then:

1) Slavery would be a legal institution
2) Women would not be able to vote
3) There would be no popular vote for the Senate

Go be a true patriot and brush up on your civics


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

True Patriot wrote: "Did you know that "public" school teaching used to be an all voluntary thing. Teachers did not work for salaries."

Right, they did not work for a salary, but they didn't volunteer either. The community provided room and board. Over time that wasn't practical and compensation systems changed. I think the time has come again for the system to change as the decades we've had with the salary schedule has revealed its weaknesses.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Maybe it's time for all Americans to consider having smaller families.

As fun as it is to have children, they are going to suffer if there are too many and the economy can't handle the overload...just sayin '


Posted by Bill, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I apologize if this question has been asked before, but why aren't we taking advantage of school volunteers for things like library support and computer techs? With all the highly educated parents in this area, these positions would be easy to cover for zero cost.

Similarly, my son is busy - like many seniors - fulfilling his community service requirements. Why do we pay for janitorial staff when students could do this kind of work as community service? It works great in Japan, and the students quickly learn not to trash the school since they would just have to turn around and clean it up.


Posted by Pleasanton Mom for Truth, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm

"True" Patriot,
Thanks for the laughs.


Posted by I like Bill's idea, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by To Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm

No, seriously. I think education is overrated. I think we should eliminate library and computers altogether. The community would be happy that there are no salaries to pay.

Our kids will be happy without books, scratching in the dirt. So what if their poor education leaves them unable to find good jobs? I hear that manufacturing jobs are coming back to the US now. My kids will be fine laboring in a factory. Well, they may never be able to buy a house or a car or food, for that matter, but I don't mind supporting them for the rest of my life.


Posted by To all the lousy ideas, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 7:49 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Pleasanton Mom for Truth, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

We shouldn't be asking for volunteers to educate our kids. To assist education professionals, sure. But not to take over the positions. For one thing, volunteer commitments can't always take first place - what about the day when the volunteer has a time conflict? Sorry, but education is worth paying professionals to do.
Besides, if you have spent any time involved in the schools, you see there are the parents who volunteer and the parents who can't/don't. The need for volunteers is always present, and is still not completely satisfied.
And no, I'm not a teacher or administrator.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:06 pm

you're full of it if you think I'm going to volunteer...are you nuts?


Posted by True Patriot, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:17 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:04 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by To Huh?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 10:56 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:35 am

A quick question, having only just seen this letter, is any of this need the direct result of having borrowed from the corpus of the "technology/Sycamore fund"? The district was supposed to use the interest from the sale of the Sycamore land to fund technology. I don't recall if it purchased only hardware/software or if it also funded staff time. Anyone know? I'll send the question to the district as well.


Posted by Lee, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

Parents as teachers? They don't have time. They have jobs, or are looking for them. They don't have the training or interest. Using the people in jails to work around the schools..as janitors? Not a bad idea, as long as they are adequately supervised. Then the contracts with the janitorial services can be dropped. Saves money, gives the people in jail something to do that is community service!

Tech support and library jobs? Teachers need the tech support, but the library jobs could probably be dropped as most students in middle school and highschool can do their own library research. Elementary school may still need them. Or use volunteers for library jobs.


Posted by lnmart, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:59 am

What I think is great about the district asking for donations is that it is completely VOLUNTARY, unlike the tax increase that was proposed previously. Those who find that this is a good use of their families finances will contribute, and those who object to spending their families finances in this manner are not obligated to contribute. There is no need for hostility or sarcasm, just do what you feel like doing and let others act according to their conscience and financial status.


Posted by Amador parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:02 am

Pretty obvious most of the posters in this thread did not attend any of the school board meetings when the tech and library staff stood up and told us what they do for all the students in this district! You sit at your keyboard and bla bla bla and have no idea what you are talking about. We need our tech specialists and library aides to assist our students and staff at our schools. It's not just the students that use the computers every staff person uses them! Library aides order and distribute the text books at our sites. All of these positions are part of the team that works for our students in PUSD, get a clue and be educated before you start the complaining.
And yes the parent groups at the schools will still ask for donations, they are part of the support of our schools but do not benefit from the current CORE fundraising campaign.
Next year if you don't want your students to have textbooks in a timely manner, don't care if the bulbs in the projectors work and could care less about communication in a timely manner that all uses technology then don't donate but don't complain either. One more thing No where did anything say the fundraiser was do take away any monies asked for at walk thru registration. Read the imformation sent to you and attend the meetings, get informed.


Posted by Hybrid Owner, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

The computer tech takes care of all of the equipment at a particular location. This entails setting up new computers(hardware and software), transferring of date between computers, fixing problems, repairs (which includes running back and forth to various computer stores), purchase of new systems when applicable, training staff & students, AND includes maintenance, set up, and operation of all of the AV equipment as well (DVD, Video, projectors, sound systems). The techs maintain equipment for the entire school (office, classrooms, & lab). At one particular elementary school here in town, there are over 200 computers + AV equipment, and there is one computer tech who works part-time. This is a necessary job for the continued functionality of our schools. If we have no techs, who is going to maintain this equipment and keep them up and running? Are the teachers going to stop teaching in the middle of a class to fix a problem and take away the students instruction time? Or just cancel the lessons that require this technology? I am adjusting my budget to accomodate a donation. It is a necessity.


Posted by the The, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:31 am

KR-Tech match must be spent on stuff (hardware and Software). It's considered capital and can't be spent on people.
A long view of this is to protect the equipment that has been invested in and use it. The "Techs" at the schools help to keep the water back. A few hours a day is not enough time to do the job. It's like the boy with his finger in the dike. I worked with a "Tech" at a school and she was great. As a parent on a Tech committee at a school I saw first hand the value n this job.


Posted by Amador Parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:47 am

To Pleasanton parent who started this thread : The clasified emplyees current salary schedule and range placements for classified positions are posted in the PUSD web site in the human resources section. Take a look, no one is getting rich in these positions, the value they have for our schools far outweighs the pay they get.


Posted by the The, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

I would be very concerned having volunteers do this job. The "Techs" have to be the admins. for the site. Loading software, updating software in labs and making sure that the web is safe to use. This is very important in an elementary school. With volunteers you would have too many hands in the pie. Password protected computers need to have 1 admin not lots. The investment is small.


Posted by SteveP, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

SteveP is a registered user.

So, to sum up: We can't ask for educational funding accountability, because to do so brings about reactions to the extreme, like "Why don't we just do away with library services and computers, so that our children grow up to be illiterate?"
The administrators always know best how to budget and spend, otherwise the schools would really be a mess.

Also, we can't consider volunteers since they are not part of the union...........


Posted by PleasantonMom, a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:23 am

So sad, in a area where the average income is 93,000. I would think you would be able to give up your Starbucks and give to the schools.


Posted by the The, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:37 am

Steve P.
"Also, we can't consider volunteers since they are not part of the union........."

Who said anything about unions?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

Stacey is a registered user.

the The wrote: "KR-Tech match must be spent on stuff (hardware and Software). It's considered capital and can't be spent on people. "

I think interest earned on the fund can be spent on operational expenses. It is only the original principal from the sale of capital that is required to be used on capital expenditures only. Also, any loans against the fund can also be used on operational expenses. But I'd look it up to be sure.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:47 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'll just repeat this person's post...

Posted by lnmart, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, 1 hour ago

What I think is great about the district asking for donations is that it is completely VOLUNTARY, unlike the tax increase that was proposed previously. Those who find that this is a good use of their families finances will contribute, and those who object to spending their families finances in this manner are not obligated to contribute. There is no need for hostility or sarcasm, just do what you feel like doing and let others act according to their conscience and financial status.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:11 am

To Pleasanton mom:
yes the average income is something like $93,000, but don't just assume everyone makes this much. In fact we make a lot less after taxes and medical premiums are taken out. I have always volunteered in my children's classrooms when they were in elementary school, and I think if most people just do what they can (maybe they can't make the full donation, but can give something). Granted there are people who have fancy cars, vacation homes, airplanes, and take great trips, and who are selfish and don't want to donate to the schools because they feel entitled to a free education because they pay their property taxes, I like to think that some people are decent and will pay the fees, and sometimes even give a bit more. I believe the donation is voluntary, and not mandatory.


Posted by You are kidding!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:13 am

"I would think you would be able to give up your Starbucks and give to the schools."

What for? So the employees of PUSD continue to get raises when there is a 12.5 percent unemployment? Sorry, but I would rather have my Starbucks than give the money to be used for someone else's Starbucks.


Posted by lnmart, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I agree with "Parent", just because the average income in Pleasanton is high, it shouldn't be assumed that everyone is making a high income. Pleasanton's reputation for being a high income community often invites criticism of those who choose not to financially support certain things such as donations to the school or higher taxes via ballot measures. Those who choose not to support are considered selfish or greedy, while those who do choose to support are considered to be generous. This type of reasoning is fallacious; it is a matter of personal conviction and financial position. We cannot tell another person what ethical prinicipals should apply to them, we can only apply our own morals and ethical principals to ourselves.


Posted by Agree with Lee, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

"Tech support and library jobs? Teachers need the tech support, but the library jobs could probably be dropped as most students in middle school and highschool can do their own library research. Elementary school may still need them. Or use volunteers for library jobs."

Agreed. Tech support is important at all levels, from students to teachers. Librarians on the other hand, are not needed in middle school and high school. Talk to any student in 6-12, and you will learn that they seldom interact with the librarian. Most do the research on their own, online or at the public library.

For elementary students, they can get this instruction from their main teacher. Most kids though, learn to use the library on their own - the Pleasanton library has a wonderful summer program and many kids go there and use the services. Maybe elementaries should have them, and elementary parents should finance them as the letter asks.


Posted by Foothill parent, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I agree, it is quite obvious that many of the posters did not go to any of the forums, do not go to thier shcools PTA or other meetings and just send their kids out the door every day and expect everyting to be ok because they pay taxes!! If they had taken the time to get informed by going to the meetings, they would know that the teachers and administration took unpaid leave to help bridge the $11 MILLION funding gap, bringing it down to down significantly. So now the district is asking for you as a PARENT to do your bit for YOUR child's education. Also, thanks for suggesting that volunteers do some of the work - however I am sure these "volunteers" don't live in your house otherwise you would know that the state does not allow this. Please, go to the meetings and get informed BEFORE you vent!


Posted by lnmart, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Teachers aren't the only ones in our community who have been asked or forced to take unpaid leave. City workers, State workers, and even those working for private industry have been required to take unpaid leave or furlough days in an effort to keep from losing their jobs altogether. My company has not mandated leave or furlough days, but I did have to cut my staff to meet the demands of a changing market. Teachers are not alone in their suffering, we're all in it together and many of us do not have union protection to fall back on. What makes it seem more important for teachers to be supported is that they are involved with our children. Unfortunately, so many in the community are having a difficult time that it's difficult to see the school districts, or teachers plight as being more significant than their own. Home is the primary place where children are taught and raised and the personal finances of the household is as important as the finances of the school district, and in this environment, some can only afford one or the other but not both. Hopefully those who can give will be compelled to do so.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Foothill parent,

Instead of amazing over how people didn't go to some forum or board meeting in order to get informed to the level that you feel is necessary, how about writing about how you feel that these items are important?


Posted by to Foothill parent, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:55 pm

So do you not see the problem here? Yes, teachers made a huge concession that helps with the problem, but OUR CHILDREN also have taken a hit with fewer days in school. Hellllloooo? I'm I the only one out here that has a problem with this....teachers furlough:kids not in school; No Open House:another hit for kids; teachers get out of Open House (yes, I know it's a lot of work, but isn't that the job you signed on for? We appreciate you, don't get me wrong!) And lastly no parent conferences next year unless requested: less time involved for teachers to prep for conferences and kids/parents once again 'pay the price.' You don't need to attend every meeting to see how concessions affect the Kids! Putting Kids First? hmmm PUSD?
Meanwhile here we sit in our over-priced houses while the realtors who sold them to us are retired in Hawaii...I'm not bitter :)
Smile, folks, we'll get this all figured out.


Posted by lnmart, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Foothill Parent.

I don't think the PUSD is to blame for any of this, but rather the unfortunate circumstance the State has put it in. Regarding the high price homes in Pleasanton and the realtors retiring in Hawaii, I don't recall my real estate agent doing anything I didn't ask her to do. She sold me my home at market value at the time I purchased it.
I can't tell if your "I'm not bitter" comment is sarcasm or serious, but you certainly sound bitter.


Posted by PUSD Teacher, a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm

"So do you not see the problem here?...............You don't need to attend every meeting to see how concessions affect the Kids! Putting Kids First? hmmm PUSD?
Yes, teachers put your kids first! What are your kids getting - CSR still at 25, music specialists, PE specialists, science specialists, counselors. If these specialists had been let go, your child's school day would have been shortened. I gave up my salary for your child! I am not getting a step and column increase this year. I haven't received a step and column increase for over 10 years. Some posters continue to think that every teacher is getting a raise. This is not so! I also buy my benefits through the District, so I'm hoping the $700+ monthly payment I make doesn't go up again this year. So please, instead of focussing on the negatives, think of the positives that your children will still have next year.


Posted by PUSD Teacher, a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm

My previous post was to Foothill parent or to anyone else with the same views.


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Librarians provide important services to students at every level.

They choose books to keep each school's collection up-to-date and aligned with state curriculum standards. Even when there's no money to buy new books, they repair the old ones that come back damaged, and remind students to return those that have been abandoned to the bottom layer of the backpack or the locker.

They make decisions about which online databases are most useful for the types of assignments that teachers make to students. They know search engine techniques that can save a student hours in locating the most up-to-date statistics on the economy and social trends.

The hours for librarians were cut back significantly in the current year's budget. Next year, schools might have only 2 hours per day of staffing.

I'll be donating to CORE, and I hope others will do so as well.


Posted by to Foothill parent, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm

to Teacher...don't get me wrong, I said you are appreciated. However, a paycut is when you work the same number of hours and get paid less...maybe YOU will work the same number of hours, I don't know. My point is that students will be taught five less days. If teachers and others took a paycut like those of us in the private sector have taken this past year, we could still have the same number of days at school and keep the specialists (your co-workers). Many companies have employees taking paycuts to save their fellow worker's jobs...that's a true paycut in my opinion. Not, I'll work fewer days and get paid less.....That's what I'm FOCUSING on! And Yes, I support Pleasanton Schools and volunteer and donate, but this is how I see the whole concession discussion. Sorry if that offends; it's my opinion. P.S. We also pay a huge amount for insurance for our family. Most companies do not pay it for you any longer.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm

"Yes, teachers put your kids first! What are your kids getting - CSR still at 25, music specialists, PE specialists, science specialists, counselors."

Really? High school students will not have 7 period anymore. How can you say teachers put students first? You got high school teachers to make concessions but that was really a student concession.

Teachers agreed to get rid of the 7 period which hurts students and sure they kept music and pe specialists but that benefits the teachers because of the prep period. Elementary students could have had music, pe and science taught by their main teacher but that would have meant MORE work, no prep periods, so teachers found it easy to do away with the 7 period in high school. Putting students first? Nonsense, if you had you would have taken a true paycut and had a freeze on step and column. Paycut btw is when you work the same and get paid less. When you work less and get paid less that is not a paycut, that is a day off without pay.


Posted by Please explain, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:13 pm

"So please, instead of focussing on the negatives, think of the positives that your children will still have next year."

Those without kids in elementary cannot see positives. High schools lost the 7 period, please explain how that is positive.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm

"Most companies do not pay it for you any longer."

Not true, look at the statistics. Over 70% pay.

And please "pay cut" is two words.


Posted by No donations unless they...., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm

"I'll be donating to CORE, and I hope others will do so as well."

I will donate to CORE whenL

- they freeze step and column, no raises for anyone

- post online the assistant superintendents' contracts recently renewed, and I see that all the unreasonable perks are gone (including car allowances)

- PUSD gets rid of so much staff. Even now, schools have more clerks than needed, the PIO is still around, we have two part time directors of HR, the list goes on

I am a parent in PUSD and will not donate until I see fiscally sound practices, and trust me, I am not alone. We will see in June how many donate and how much is raised - if the ILPS campaign is any indication, I think this year may be the same or even worse/


Posted by teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Please explain-" Those without kids in elementary cannot see positives. High schools lost the 7 period, please explain how that is positive."

The bulk of the $11 million in cuts hit the elementary schools this current school year. You may not see this since you don't have kids in elementary, but understand that just because you are not seeing these cuts, doesn't mean they didn't happen already, and many are working much harder with less in order to cover this shortfall. Why would it be equitable for only one level to continue to shoulder the cuts?


Posted by PUSD Teacher, a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2010 at 6:55 am

@Foothill parent
"If teachers and others took a paycut like those of us in the private sector....that's a true paycut in my opinion....."
I know many people working in the private sector who have had to take furlough days this year, and they are having their work days cut and not getting paid. This is the same way we are doing it. Everytime a poster posts that "this is the way the private sector does it" is not totally true. It's too bad your company chose to do a pay cut in that way. I work many days that I don't get paid for. All you need to do is drive by an elementary school 2 to 3 weeks before school starts.


Posted by To PUSD teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2010 at 7:03 am

"This is the same way we are doing it."

The difference is that if a private sector employee had to take a furlough day and it coincided with an important client meeting, that employee would go to work without pay. When the dot com problem first happened, we had to take a few days off over Christmas without holiday but the release date was not changed, so we all worked from home to get it done.

Teachers taking days off means STUDENTS NOT in school, it means your "clients" are not getting what they need.

That is the difference. Teachers are not taking a paycut. They are taking days off without pay, it is that simple.


Posted by To PUSD Teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2010 at 7:08 am

"This is the same way we are doing it."

The difference is that if a private sector employee had to take a furlough day and it coincided with an important client meeting, that employee would go to work without pay. When the dot com problem first happened, we had to take a few days off over the Christmas holiday without pay but the software release date was not changed, so we all worked from home to get it done - and we did it without complaining. After all, we do not have a union boss to negotiate for us, we either want the job and do what is needed or quit/be laid off.

Teachers taking days off means STUDENTS NOT in school, it means your "clients" are not getting what they need. And their job not getting done somehow does not affect their employment because the union is there protecting them.

That is the difference. Teachers are not taking a paycut. They are taking days off without pay, it is that simple.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 17, 2010 at 7:13 am

PUSD Teacher, Thank you for the extra time you use to prepare. Furlough days, however, are a choice that protects teacher retirement calculations and hurts kids. I don't know that the private sector equivalent hurts kids or customers either. It's a calculated risk a business takes and can reverse if the customer has a need.

In addition, that these concessions were made with the trade off being open houses, outdoor education, conferences, professional development, and not adding lost instructional minutes back into the school year tells me that the best interests of children really aren't part of these decisions. It feels like a gotcha (my opinion). Following that with a letter asking for $150 per student, well it's astonishing.

I will send that money, by the way, but directly to the principal.


Posted by To PUSD teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2010 at 7:13 am

"I work many days that I don't get paid for. All you need to do is drive by an elementary school 2 to 3 weeks before school starts."

But you also get plenty of time off. You get paid for only 10 months worth of work, many holidays off (holidays we do not get in the private sector), the entire week of Thanksgiving off.

And many teachers especially in elementary school are "out of the office" by 4, no later than 5. You don't see that in the private sector.


Posted by Understand?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2010 at 7:26 am

"The bulk of the $11 million in cuts hit the elementary schools this current school year. You may not see this since you don't have kids in elementary, but understand that just because you are not seeing these cuts, doesn't mean they didn't happen already, and many are working much harder with less in order to cover this shortfall. Why would it be equitable for only one level to continue to shoulder the cuts?"

I have kids in elementary and kids in high school. I can tell you, that having been through elementary we know that Music, PE and Science specialists are simply NOT needed. The "Music" is a joke (they were plucking most of the year for instrumental music, we all knew that private lessons were the way to go and Instrumental music in elementary was a joke). The other "music" of just singing is nice but not required and can be done by the main teacher. Same with PE and Science specalists.

By the way teacher, many were concerned about property values. What do you think people look at? Do you think people will buy a house in a place with good elementaries and not so good high schools?

The cuts made at the high school level were final. When you cut PE in elementary you are not really cutting PE, you are cutting the extra teacher that does PE, the main teacher can still do PE.

Spreading the cuts equally would have been something like: keep CSR in elementary (which was done), increase Class size in high schools (which was done) - after that though, it is not fair to cut a high school program (7 period) to subsidize elementary programs (like PE)

The cost of 7 period: 442K
The cost of all the elementary programs (Music, PE, Science): 930K
The cost of CSR in elementary: close to 2 million

Elementaries came ahead not because of students but because of PREP periods.


Posted by PUSD Teacher, a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm

@To PUSD Teacher
"The difference is that if a private sector employee had to take a furlough day, and it coincided with an important client meeting, that employee would go to work without pay..."
There is no difference! I have spent numerous weekends at school preparing report cards, getting ready for parent conferences, correcting papers, planning, and putting up bulletin boards. This is part of my job. There is no time to do it during the regular school day because you are busy teaching. When do you think this work gets done? It gets done at home or on the weekends. So if you see a teacher go home at 4 or 5, please remember they are probably taking home work with them. Didn't you say that you sometimes work from home? Well so do teachers!
The difference is we do not get comp time, bonuses, matching stock options and all the other perks the private sector may get.

"Teachers taking time off means STUDENTS NOT in school, it means your "clients" are not getting what they need. And their job not getting done somehow does not affect their employment because the union is there protecting them."

Your child is NOT my "client". He/she is my student and I already give enough of my time freely to his/her education. I'm also very proud to be a member of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers and CTA. It was our CTA rep, after looking at the district's finances, agreed they were in bad shape and needed our help. The teachers stepped up. Unfortunately, you aren't happy with our concessions. I'm not either! I'd rather be working those 8 days, but I will not work those days for free.

"But you also get plenty of time off. You get paid for only 10 months worth of work, many holidays we do not get in the private sector, the entire week of Thanksgiving off."

You're right we get paid for 10 months of work,and we don't get paid for the holidays. So, why should I work on the days I don't get paid for? That would be pretty stupid. Don't you think? But those 10 months of work, end up with many weekends and nights getting everything done for my students, which I am happy to do, so that I am prepared. I would be very happy if the school year was extended 2 months. This way I wouldn't have to teach summer school. But, if the state can't even offer the proper funding for a 10 month school year, how could they pay for a 12 month school year?

There is no way you are going to be happy with the concessions the teachers have made. I am done with explaining my perspective. I am just happy to know that most parents do not feel as you do.


Posted by PUSD Teacher, a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm

@Understand

"When you cut PE in elementary you are not really cutting PE, you are cutting the extra teacher that does PE, the main teacher can still do PE."

This remark only goes to show you have no idea what is being taught in PE at the elementary level. It also shows you weren't at the board meeting when the PE teachers presented their curriculum. I am the main teacher, and I'll tell you I could not offer the same program that the specialists offer. Just the set up time alone for the different activities, when do you think that would happen? If we didn't have the specialists there would be a lot of kickball going on!

"By the way teacher, many were concerned about property values. What do you think people look at? Do you think people will buy a house in a place with good elementaries and not so good high schools?"

By the way Understand, do you think people will buy a house in a place with good high schools and not so good elementaries? You left yourself wide open for that one!
Our high schools were great before 7 period days, and they will be great after, especially the marching bands and music.

"...it is not fair to cut a high school program (7 period) to subsidize elementary programs (like PE)."

Unfortunately, cuts have to be made and high school and elementary are all funded out of the same pot. The number of students affected with losing specialists in elementary are far more than the number of high school students taking a 7th period. In this case, the board made the right decision. These are hard times, and hopefully, they won't last long.


Posted by Understand?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2010 at 11:00 am

"By the way Understand, do you think people will buy a house in a place with good high schools and not so good elementaries? You left yourself wide open for that one!"

Actually, yes. Most people will look for good high schools. As parents, we know that we can make up deficiencies in the elementary curriulum. In high school however, that gets more challenging. Not everyone can teach AP Calculus, or Chemistry, etc. Anyone knows the k-5 curriculum, and when kids are young (elementary age), it is easier to teach them to make up deficiencies.

And again, Music in elementary is a joke, ask any parent and they all know that if their child is to learn an instrument it must be done through private instruction. Singing? Can be done with the main teacher. And if I understood, a teacher posted a while back that they did Science and the specialist only did the lab. So why keep a costly science specialist? You are wrong, teacher. Btw, the specialists for elementary cost almost a million whereas the 7 period is about half that much. You will have a hard time enlisting the support of many for fundraising and potential parcel taxes. And yes, many of us have kids in elementary and do not appreciate the cuts to our high school kids - we know what is needed. The "concessions" are only for one year, so better rally up elementary parents (don't count on me) for next year's money for specialists.

"Unfortunately, cuts have to be made and high school and elementary are all funded out of the same pot. The number of students affected with losing specialists in elementary are far more than the number of high school students taking a 7th period. In this case, the board made the right decision. These are hard times, and hopefully, they won't last long."

Again, if they get rid of the specialists, PE will still be part of elementary, and so will Science. There is no way the 7 period can be continued with the teachers who remain employed.

I know what goes on in elementary P.E. And I heard the "my job is important" presentations. But I know it is all nonsense and a good main teacher could take care of it.


Posted by To Understand, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I filled out the survey, indicating that I would like to keep the specialists. So did all of the parents I spoke to. The decision to keep the specialists is based on the survey responses. What makes you an authority on the issue?

I never had music or PE taught by my main teacher in elementary school, and my school was not the best school in town. You will find it standard at the majority of schools that PE is taught by a dedicated teacher. Please find me a *good* school district comparable to PUSD that has its main teachers teach PE, then maybe you can convince me your argument is valid and not just anger directed at teachers.


Posted by To PUSD Teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm

don't be so sure that "most parents feel the same way." Some parents haven't a clue what's going on. And others are so busy with their nose up the teacher's you-know-what so that little Johnny or Susie gets into the best college by having the best grades. But parents are tired and stressed about their jobs too...and NO we don't all get stock options and other perks in the private sector. Believe it or not, some of us here work for very little and even less when a pay cut comes around; but yet I'm working the same number of days, if not more, to keep my job and my company in business. That's the problem as I see it...I get that furlough days bring money back into the budget...but at whose expense? the Kids, again...fewer days, no open house, etc. etc. There are many ways to work for less money...but no work (furlough) for less money...doesn't compute. I understand that teachers work hours other than the school day (well most of them). Most people at a similar salary level do work outside the 'normal' work day. So tired of that one being held over our heads! WE GET IT! So we bow down to your feet for taking time off without pay...because that's what it really is, plain and simple!


Posted by Understand?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2010 at 7:24 pm

"I filled out the survey, indicating that I would like to keep the specialists. So did all of the parents I spoke to. The decision to keep the specialists is based on the survey responses."

I filled out the surveys too and trust me, I did not select the specialists as important. Why not have PUSD post the surveys online so that we can see the responses? They were anonymous so no one's identity will be compromised.

The only way to know whether the programs covered by concessions, as well as the items the fundraiser seeks to cover, are truly what the majority of the people who filled out the survey asked for, is to see the actual surveys.

We cannot take the word of PUSD. We know how they play with words. Let's see the surveys.


Posted by Understand?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm

"Please find me a *good* school district comparable to PUSD that has its main teachers teach PE, then maybe you can convince me your argument is valid and not just anger directed at teachers."

I will do that if you find me a good school district comparable to PUSD that has bad high schools. The woman who spoke at a board meeting who said she went to Stanford but grew up in Livermore and proposed to punish the high schools said that we do not need AP classes! For someone who went to Stanford that woman is not too smart. Parents look for good high schools and AP classes are an indicator of that. Does everyone need AP classes to get into college? No, but if we are talking property values, AP classes and good high schools do matter.

In fact, there is a reason that lady lives in Pleasanton and not in Livermore (after all, she grew up in Livermore and said she did just fine with the lack of AP classes, so why be in Pleasanton? Oh yeah, better HIGH SCHOOLS)


Posted by like Indiana Jones, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

"Why not have PUSD post the surveys online so that we can see the responses? They were anonymous so no one's identity will be compromised."

The surveys were insidiously kept hidden in a dark secret place never to been or read. PUSD was clever in choosing their hiding place until I finally cracked the secret code and found it....

HERE!

Web Link

Front page of the district site, fourth block of text down called "Survey results ".

Those evil district people.


Posted by Understand?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:10 am

"The surveys were insidiously kept hidden in a dark secret place never to been or read. PUSD was clever in choosing their hiding place until I finally cracked the secret code and found it....
HERE!"

Where? The only thing posted online are the results, ie, someone from PUSD went through the SURVEYS and released percentages.

Look at my post again. I am asking PUSD to post the ACTUAL SURVEYS. That is the only way to really find out what people selected as priorities.


Posted by like Indiana Jones, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:20 am

"Where? The only thing posted online are the results, ie, someone from PUSD went through the SURVEYS and released percentages.

Look at my post again. I am asking PUSD to post the ACTUAL SURVEYS. That is the only way to really find out what people selected as priorities"

The district obviously pulled a report from their third-party online survey tool, zoomerang, which breaks down the number of responses per question and then calculates the percentage of responses, again, per question. Pretty straight forward stuff. I would be amazed if zoomerang allows you to print each individual survey. And even if it does, I'm confident the district would be damned on this forum for taking the time to look up each survey, convert it to a pdf and then post. That's why reports were invented.


Posted by Understand?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:35 am

"That's why reports were invented."

But when the same people releasing those reports have not been completely forthcoming with the community, the reports should not replace the actual surveys. PUSD has not been accurate about the true deficit. They have combined less revenue with pay raises and come up with a "this is how much we are not getting from the state these days."

It would not take that long to release the surveys. They were taken online, so the information is already there. No one is asking for a PDF file. Keep the surveys online, simply allow the community access to them.


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

Thanks, "Indiana", for pointing the way to the survey results as summarized by Zoomerang. I'm going another step in that process, reordering the survey questions according to the percentage of parents who indicated that cuts in a particular program would have a significant impact on their elementary child's education:

In elementary:
66% small class sizes
64% science specialists
54% PE specialist
44% current length of the school day
38% reading intervention
35% days in school year
34% site-based funds
30% technology support
29% library hours
23% music specialist
20% band and strings
20% GATE
18% counseling services
14% summer school for at-risk students
11% elementary vice principals
11% before/after school programs for students needing extra help
10% VAPA coordinators
9% summer school enrichment

Almost 2000 parents of elementary school students responded to the survey. Nine of the top ten items parents identified as having a significant impact on their children's education are being supported either in current plans for next year's district budget, or in current fundraising. It seems like parent feedback is being taken into account quite effectively.


Posted by To Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2010 at 11:31 am

It looks like Counseling services are at the bottom of the list, yet they are funded with the concessions.

Look at the other grade levels, Sandy. The community wishes were not taken into account. CSR in 9th grade was funded but not 7 period. Post the results if you wish.

By the way, you need to look not just at the "Significant Impact" - add the significant and moderate and compare to the additon of "little" or no impact. In CSR 9th grade, it is a wash, so the program does not look that important.

You need to post entire facts, Sandy, not just portions.


Posted by To Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2010 at 11:36 am

"30% technology support

29% library hours "

That means 70% of people did NOT think it was SIGNIFICANT for tech support, and 71% did NOT think library hours were SIGNIFICANT yet they are both chosen to be what is funded with CORE.

"18% counseling services"

That means 82% did NOT think Counselors in elementary were SIGNIFICANT yet they are funded with concessions.

The surveys were a waste of time for all who took the time to give feedback.

It looks like PUSD already knew what would be funded through concessions and fundraising, and they pretended it was the community's wishes. (We all knew CSR was important for k-3 even before the surveys which by the way were not even looked at until after they decided what the concessions would fund. Likewise, the lack of support for Counselors in elementary has not changed, yet the district is funding it)


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