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Happy Furlough Days!

Original post made by Unpaid Furlough days = 5 day weekend on May 27, 2010

Summer vacation starts early in Pleasanton. What a joke.
Pay cuts do not equal time off from the job. You can slice it anyway you want...time off from work should be unpaid, right? And they have the nerve to ask for $150 again today.

Unions = bad news for PUSD kids, period.

Comments (64)

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on May 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Have you ever been happy? At peace with your inner most self? Ever able to say all is one?


Posted by what?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2010 at 6:07 pm

"You can slice it anyway you want...time off from work should be unpaid, right"

You've never heard of paid vacation? Have you ever worked before? Every company I've ever worked for offered paid vacation time. Maybe you're a younger person and haven't yet worked a real job?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 27, 2010 at 10:12 pm

My Formula: Teachers=Salary Exempt Employees=No OT Pay=Have to work on Furlough Days for the kids.


Posted by Thomas Paineful, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 28, 2010 at 12:27 am

DYNAMITE THE PUSD SCHOOLS!

Parcel taxes? Pleasantonians can't afford that. Everywhere I go in Pleasanton, I see extreme poverty, bread lines, soup kitchens, blighted, crumbling homes, roving gangs...I tell you, there is NO social problem that cannot be solved with the application of a suitable amount of dynamite.


Posted by Devon, a resident of Birdland
on May 28, 2010 at 12:31 am

I think it's great we have a 5 day weekend. My kids are excited about the time off and so am I.


Posted by ccwc, a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 28, 2010 at 8:23 am

Wow Thomas - where the hell are you in Pleasanton that you see EXTREME POVERTY? BREAD LINES? SOUP KITCHENS?? ETC.....you must be thinking of another town - Pleasanton has none of what you've mentioned. My goodness!!!


Posted by Teacher, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 28, 2010 at 8:33 am

Looking at my check this month, I noticed it was smaller. Why? Because I voted to save my fellow teachers and the essential programs that make learning in this district accessible for students. Oh, and I brought home 95 essays to grade over my "vacation."


Posted by jill, a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on May 28, 2010 at 8:35 am

He was joking!


Posted by Amy, a resident of Del Prado
on May 28, 2010 at 8:41 am

I feel so lucky as a parent here in Pleasanton to have such GREAT teachers! I am glad that so many people are helping save our schools. It is not just the kids that lose when shcools start to break down. People move to Pleasanton for the schools, if they start to go down hill so do our home prices. I am glad that our teachers care and I know it can't be easy, so that you TEACHERS!!!!!!!


Posted by teacherwannabe, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on May 28, 2010 at 8:49 am

Teachers do not want furlough days. EVERY teacher I have spoken to is working on grading projects and tests and homework these days off. Even if they weren't, they aren't getting any money....spend a week in a classroom and see how little money they get for what they do. A $200/year parcel tax was a small pittance to pay compared to what Pleasantonians spend their money on. But just the word "tax" seems to mean "evil" these days.
So, here we are....no money, no school days, no jobs...but no tax either. Good for us, Pleasanton. We reap what we sow.


Posted by SteveP, a resident of Parkside
on May 28, 2010 at 8:50 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Enjoy your weekend off...oh, and the entire summer, as well.
The rest of us will be working to pay taxes that get funneled back to the unions. But, there's probably nothing the teachers can do to fix that situation.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Birdland
on May 28, 2010 at 8:50 am

I have lived in P-Town 39 years and this is the first bill that we have not passed in support of our school district. We have taken good care of our teachers over the years and yet the first time we say no, the past is forgotten and the complaints and whining begins.
Our teachers make great $$ and continue to get raises even when the rest of the working population hasn't had a raise in a few years due to the economy. Sure wish we had a public soapbox we could stand on to share our diminishing lack of income like our teachers. They seem to think they are the only ones sacrificing and suffering here.
And the poor teacher that had to bring work home this holiday weekend... You're not the lone ranger...my husband brings home work all the time so why should you be any different? You also have more time off work than most any other profession, so give us all a break and step up to the plate like the rest of us and let's pull together until the problems with our economy are solved...which may be a long time under this administration.


Posted by You're late for class, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

You really think I'm not working already this morning? 33 report cards x 25 min. each= 13.75 hours. You do the math- this is after school hours work that will be done on my "vacation" days.

If I worked the way you criticize the difference in the classroom would be significant. The lack of knowledge about what is done outside of the school hours is apparent. If this off hours work was not being done, yes it would be bad news for PUSD kids, but that's not how we work here, and it shows in the quality of schools we have.


Posted by You're late for class, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 9:02 am

Oh Steve, thank you reminding me, that my second job will begin once school is over. And I have an interview today, for a third job. With a pay cut and the cost of living in Pleasanton, plus my spouse is out of work, I will need to find a new way to stay in our home and not live off the taxpayers.

Since when have teachers not felt the crunch of the economy? When were we rolling in the wealth during the economic good times? I've had the second job for ten years to be able to afford to live in a tiny house in this town.

Is this what you hope for your fellow community members? More pain? Great character shown here.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Birdland
on May 28, 2010 at 9:13 am

Dear You're late for class...
At least you have the extra time off your "day job" to have another job.
A suggestion: I found out this week that renting a bedroom in a home is costing $600 these days... why not rent out one or two in your home to make ends meet? I would have never thought of this myself but my daughter (who has a college degree) has been out of work since August and has been reduced to this. The people she is living with can keep their home and she pays less for rent. Not as much privacy, but hopefully this will be a temporary situation for both parties.. the renters and the rentee.


Posted by SteveP, a resident of Parkside
on May 28, 2010 at 9:18 am

SteveP is a registered user.

You're late: Quit feeling sorry for yourself. We're all in the same boat, so if you're looking for sympathy (character?) you are barking up the wrong tree. To the previous posters point, the bad economy impacts all of us; we just don't have the bully pulpit that the union offers you. Our issues don't get aired by the media because the rest of us are not part of 'organized labor'.
I work long hours and bring work home, too, but it comes with the territory, just like teachers bring home work. If that doesn't suit you, maybe it's time for a change in lifestyle. Otherwise, like the rest of us, suck it up and keep working. The time spent complaining could be better spent and does nothing to support your position.


Posted by @ You're late for class, a resident of Birdland
on May 28, 2010 at 9:33 am

Please don't pay any attention to those trolls who have no appreciation for the work you do. Most of the people in this community have the utmost respect for your profession and truly appreciate everything teachers have done for our children and our community. There are always trolls justifying their existence by inflicting psychological and emotional pain on others. The best thing to do is to just ignore them. Surely, as a teacher, you must remember "sticks and stones..."

As for the trolls who think teachers are the blame for worldly problems, I have a suggestion for you: Blame Canada!

Please also consider exercising your right to move out of Pleasanton.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Birdland
on May 28, 2010 at 9:51 am

Late for class

To whom were you speaking in your last response? It made no sense to me.

I offered a suggestion for spending more time with your family and having more income to make your mortgage and no response was made to that suggestion.

Do you just like to complain and be a bitter negative person or do you truly want to remain in Pleasanton yourself and make ends meet?

You can choose to live outside our fair city if you're that unhappy with it and us. So did you pay the "voluntarily parcel tax" when the district asked? If you live in Pleasanton, you would have been asked to pay as well as receive.

It doesn't seem like you're open to possible solutions but instead choose to continue to blame others for the life you live.


Posted by Angela, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 28, 2010 at 9:59 am

Wow! I'm surprised so many in this community have such harsh words for them. Our teachers do an amazing job for the kids in this community. Spend even an hour in an elementary classroom and see if it's something you could do all day! They are not compensated nearly enough for what they do. They are heroes and should be treated as such. On behalf of all of those who do appreciate our teachers, thank you for all that you do.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on May 28, 2010 at 10:01 am

esteffannieP...you just keep working so that my SS check keeps rolling in...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

most likely, by the time you retire, all that money that was taken out of your checks ended up in my pocket, nothing left for you!

now get back to work...I mean it!


Posted by huh?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 10:47 am

Cholo
It's because of mean and ignorant comments like yours that folks like you who live in Livermore are called Livermorons.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

You're late for class and other educators,

I, for one, appreciate the job that you and all teachers do. But let me pose some metrics to you that I quickly threw together and that I'd like you and/or other like minded individuals to comment on.

According to the PUSD school calendar, teachers will work:
1. 177 out of 210 school calendar days.
This equates to 33 days off during the normal school calendar year. Summer vacation adds 53 days so lets say that the average teacher is in the classroom 177 out of 263 days. (86 days away from the class)
2. Given that elementary educators teach 6.6 hours per day (this number includes recess and lunch periods, so real classroom time is less) that still leaves approx. 1.4 to 2 hours per day just to get to 8 hours a day.

What I'd like to know from you and/or others is this: Why exactly, are you complaining about grading papers on your own time given the above metrics?

Like probably the majority in Pleasanton, I work in Silicon Valley. I work sometimes at least 10 hours per day for weeks on end with 12-14 hours thrown in. I do that as an "exempt" employee, meaning I don't get overtime. Heck, most often I'll work from home AFTER my 10 hour days, weekends too. I also work 241 out of 263 days a year, almost 4 full months more than the average educator.

Do I like it, well, sometimes yes! My job is stimulating and its my chosen profession. Sometimes, I don't like it but hey, that's life.

I guess my real point is I'm not very sympathetic to the cries I hear from your profession when comparing hours (time spent) working and the amount of money that you make (although I don't think your were complaining about it, but some do). Face it, there is no comparison and you know it.
And btw, go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how hi-tech workers have fared in wages since 2000 and tell me what you think before you or anyone else talks about raises for teachers.

Finally, I'm sure that you work more than the PUSD calendar indicates so please, correct my numbers at will.

Respectfully,

Dan


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 11:54 am

Yes, please leave our teachers alone, they are not the issue. The saying goes "It starts at home" so guess what our kids our doing this wknd (Today and Tues)- we are "home schooling" there are a tremendous amount of projects - speeches, poems and extra credit activities to be done and completed. I shared with my children that the teachers are most likely working too, they all agreed to take the furlough days to help the budget constraints. The strength of this community is the partnership between school and home.

The students and teachers are feeling the pinch in school. I am finding the majority of the teachers are maintaining a professional attitude, can't help but share a comment my son's middle school teacher shared. "Don't ask me any more questions about the speech, since the district has cut our pay, I have am at my limit", now what is up with that???? At the middle school level???


Posted by momoftwo, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm

to parent: I have also heard my daughter commenting on a teacher's constant bemoaning of the budget cuts/furlough days, etc. In her frustration she said "The student's aren't responsible for any of this mess - couldn't he just shut up about it and keep teaching us math!????" This was at Amador. I agreed with her completely.


Posted by Grading Papers, a resident of Avignon
on May 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm

There was a post where teachers are spending their time grading papers. Here's a thought. If you are the ones assigning the papers in the first place, then you should reconsider the assignment. If you are asked to take a furlough then make your assignment fit the bill. One of my teachers gave us as an assignment the task of grading another student's paper. She looked at the results later, but now that I think about it, she may have been playing hooky. Maybe teachers should learn to adapt.


Posted by Devon, a resident of Birdland
on May 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Dan: Silicon Valley professionals like us do work a lot as exempt employees but our $200K/year plus our millions of dollars in stock option compensations far exceed the amount teachers can make in their lifetime. Even an average programmer makes $120K/year in SV.

If you think teaching is such an appealing and lucrative job, why don't you quit your SV job, earn your teaching credentials, and become a teacher? Perhaps you feel you can't live off of that $80K per year salary and dealing with 33 kids on a daily basis...WOW!

In my view, teachers are not making half as much as they deserve.


Posted by Smokin7.3, a resident of Downtown
on May 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Our teachers make starting, with a BA/BA & Credential, $60,371 a year. That includes summer off, every single govt holiday you can imagine, and AMPLE benefits.

I think teachers complain too much. I had a teacher say to me "I work hard, i got here at 8 this morning and didnt leave till 3!"

Oh yeah, well i sit in your class, leave at 3, and go to work from 3 to 7, for minimum wage. 11Hrs a day, making $32 Do i complain nearly as much as a teacher? No.

Yes teaching is not easy. But a teacher has to do as much work, only as they give out. Complaining about grading essays? Well dont give them. You wont have to read them.

I sure wish i had an entire summer off, and get paid for it. and $60K a year isnt bad either. Enough to thrive in pleasanton? probably not. But if you dont think you get paid enough, find a different career. In the real world, when real people working real private sector jobs are facing pay cuts, you just grit your teeth and get through it. If the pay decreases so much that its below what you need to live, GET A NEW JOB.


Posted by hm, a resident of Golden Eagle
on May 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I think everyone complaining about how much time teachers get off are probably just jealous that they don't get the summer off. IF you think teaching is so easy then quit your job and become a teacher. I HIGHLY doubt you will sit behind your computer then and talk about how easy teachers have it.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Birdland
on May 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Isn't it interesting that when the private sector speaks out the teachers don't respond. I think they enjoy complaining and acting like they have it so bad. If they work in P-town but can't afford to live here, then they should move to a town they can afford and commute like the rest of the population. If they don't feel like they make what they deserve, then they should find a school district that pays more... I think that would be a difficult task. We pay a good wage and expect our kids to get a good education. Giving less work to the students so the teachers have less to do is ridiculous. They have a job to do and they should do it the best they know how. Complaining to the students and shortchanging them in the classroom is unacceptable.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Being a teacher is an EASY job. They should never complain. But they do.


Posted by To Rick, a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on May 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Get off your butt and become a teachr then, if it's so easy. I gurantee you will be singing a different tune.

To teachers-DO NOT grade papers over this weekend. I know you already work long hours and go above and beyond.


Posted by homeowner, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm

For a different comparison, my husband worked for a big company, the same one for over 15 years, always promoted, always worked hard and became a senior manager.

He was suddenly asked to leave because of the economy and found a new job after 8 months that pays much less than the previous one, about $110k (about 30% less than he used to make), so currently a bit less than the high end of Pleasanton teachers, but only a tiny % pension contribution from his company these days, our own expensive contribution to healthcare, no job security.

We live in Pleasanton and my husband leaves for work at about 7am and gets back around 7/8pm and of course works weekends etc and nights and travels for work. He gets 10 paid holiday days a year and works all the time.

We're supportive of the educational system and the teachers of Pleasanton and contribute in full to everything we're asked and more.

I don't want to undermine teachers as I think they do a great job, but also think that something has to give as the pensions and early retirements are going to kill our economy and wreck our children's future.

I'm very grateful that the furlough days saved important programs, but I don't think that the situation should be talked about to the kids at school in a negative way.

Not all of us work in high tech jobs paying 200k or more a year with all the extras and we still pay our way to support our kids at different levels in the school system. We contributed about $1000 per kid this year and we really can't afford it, but we do it for the kids. It's a two way street.


Posted by You're late for class, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Isn't it interesting to see that the "private sector" hears a teacher's **explanation** of what the job really entails as a complaint. Yet when "private sector" Dan explains his long hours it's somehow not complaining. He feels the need to say his job is harder than mine so I should stop whining? How is that measured exactly, by his "perception" of the job or calculated hours his child is in school?

The point I was making has completely been missed and brushed off as whining. I'm done explaining the job that I love doing to those who are so anxious to say I am not working as hard as they are and should suffer more like they are. If you really believe that teaching is only about the 6.6 hours spent in front of students, then you are clearly not understanding the profession. I don't have a problem lesson planning, grading and doing report cards for many more hours than Dan "calculated", it is a part of the job. You post false information about my profession and you only hear my *** explanation*** of what I actually do outside of school hours as a complaint, then I guess that is your issue.

Its clear you will hear and believe what you want. Either that or you're just mean, as my students would say.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on May 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Given the mean spirited comments that are made on this blog huh...get lost!

As long as chumps like you and steffyP keep working and allowing for money to be taken out of your checks, seniors like this one will continue to laugh all the way to the BANKY!

Like I said chump...get your butt ready and report for work...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

off with you...


Posted by reasonable, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I agree with homeowner.

I LOVE our teachers and wish they could be paid more.

But let's have a quick economics lesson: Income minus expenses must be > $0.

District income = taxes
District expense = teachers

Economy down means businesses have less income, pay less taxes.
Homes foreclosed, less in property taxes

Less taxes means less money for schools and teachers. Not because we are mean, disrespectful or don't value teachers. It is simply dollars and cents.

The only way to keep teacher pay high is to tax our lower incomes at higher rates. So, the pain in the economy will have to spread to teachers as well.

I applaud the fact that the union realized this and agreed to furlough days but resent the constant reminders (on the school sign, for example) that these are NON-PAID FURLOUGH DAYS!!!!

We know! However, as one who is squeezing the last dimes out of our own budgets due to our own reduced income, bouts of unemployment, etc., and are still trying to make our $150 donation to the schools, I am tired of being made to feel guilty.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Devon,

My point is that teachers work SIGNIFICANTLY less hours, period. Additionally, I never indicated that I thought teaching to be either "appealing" or "lucrative". I was pointing out the overwhelming disparity between the two in terms of time spent at work.

I had intentionally left out salaries because if you really want to go down that hole, then teachers actually look ok even by Bay Area standards, especially given these economic times AND the time that they're actually working.
Oh, and by the way, you never looked at the BLS statistics on high tech salaries. You'll find that your $200k number isn't even close to the average hi-tech salary. But don't let those facts get in the way of your argument.

Respectfully,

Dan


Posted by Sirena, a resident of Val Vista
on May 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm

If the city of Pleasanton can afford to rent the statues down town then they can pay the teachers. I forgot what the total price was, but it was something ridulous.....


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Devon
while I may not not agree with all of Dans points,he's right about the money. I don't know anyone that makes the kind of money you're talking about -


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 28, 2010 at 5:35 pm

You're late for class,

Ok, I'll take your word that you weren't complaining about having to work on your holiday.

But I'll take exception for your writing that I was complaining regarding the long hours I work. I specifically wrote: "Do I like it, well, sometimes yes! My job is stimulating and its my chosen profession. Sometimes, I don't like it but hey, that's life." Now if you are a teacher, then what about that sentence qualifies as whining, exactly?

You wrote "How is that measured exactly, by his "perception" of the job or calculated hours his child is in school?"

Well, you must have missed where I asked "Finally, I'm sure that you work more than the PUSD calendar indicates so please, correct my numbers at will."

I never accused you or any other teachers as not working harder then anyone. I used the PUSD website to calculate the number of days and my child's school time to calculate hours.

Again, please enlighten me because I really DO want to know how much time it takes for a teacher to do what he/she has to do to be able to teach.

One last question: do you unfavorably judge your students for challenging something you say as quick as you do an adult?

Interesting to know the answer to that. Questioning authority and all that...

ps. You sure you weren't complaining...just a little? :)

Respectfully,

Dan


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm

John,

The data was based on numbers calculated from the PUSD website calendar and my childs school day. No magic there.

If the average teacher works more, I'd sure like to know how much.

But come on, ~86 days off?? I admit I AM a bit envious. :)

Respectfully,


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Sixty three percent of PUSD teachers make between $80,000 and $98,000 for the "school year". One hundred percent of the administrators make more than $100,000. If you think that represents under compensation, you are frankly out of touch with the current economy.


Posted by letsgo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm

"Oh yeah, well i sit in your class, leave at 3, and go to work from 3 to 7, for minimum wage. 11Hrs a day, making $32 Do i complain nearly as much as a teacher? No."

Hmmm, sure sounds like you are doing a LOT of complaining.


Posted by letsgo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm

"Isn't it interesting that when the private sector speaks out the teachers don't respond. I think they enjoy complaining and acting like they have it so bad. If they work in P-town but can't afford to live here, then they should move to a town they can afford and commute like the rest of the population."

But all I heard were complaints that teachers should take a pay cut, because EVERYBODY in the Bay area (private sector) has. Doesn't make sense, if you have to take a pay cut in the Bay area, move somewhere that will pay you more.


Posted by letsgo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm

My work is the private sector does not involve long hours. I get my job done because I work efficiently. I can work from various location if necessary. I do have to (or get to) travel sometimes, but hey I get frequent flier miles. Yes, I've had to work some long days, but if anybody is working 16 hours a day on a regular basis they are either stupid or believe that is the path to the golden paycheck.

Everyone chooses their career path. If you are upset by the extremely high pay and time off for teachers then be a teacher - stop posting here, go finish that college degree, then the teacher certification program, then your unpaid student teaching and just do it. Stop your whining.

This thread started by someone wanting to rip on teachers for getting an unpaid day off, so I can see why some teachers might be upset.


Posted by reasonable, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm

My beef is not with teachers work ethic or quality -- they do a great job, it is hard, and yes, they work long hours preparing lessons and grading work. I know several teachers and I know this is true.

But please stop the fuss about the "NON PAID FURLOUGH DAYS". And right where all the kids and parents are SURE to see and hear about it! Why not deal with reality (we are in a recession folks!!) and enjoy the long weekend. Make some lemons out of lemonade if you must!

There are many parents dealing with reduced income (ours is down 40% over the last few years), unemployment, etc. They put on a game face and pretend nothing is wrong, even when they are in a MUCH worse financial situation than these teachers!

So when teachers fuss about their 2% pay cut, or insist on getting raises in this environment.... my sympathy is stretched WAY thin. Nobody goes into teaching to get rich. They chose teaching over better-paid careers because they like the work, like the summers off, or like the pension. Now they are upset because they are not totally immune from the recession. HELLO??


Posted by Resident, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 28, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Furlough days are nothing more than publicity as they are not a salary reduction for work performed - they are an unpaid vacation day. It is not what is happening in private industry - which is a salary reduction for work performed. Also, the furlough days don't have a bearing on their retirement either. This state is in deep trouble and it will only get worse. The retirement programs of public officials is going to bankrupt everything. We cannot afford to do it. I know two people who are retired and making more money not working than they made working in retirement. This is a problem.

Also, isn't it interesting that the parcel tax didn't pass by such a small margin and yet we can't even get parents of the students at the high schools to donate 150.00. I really believe that many that voted in favor of the parcel tax last time around were the ones that wouldn't be paying the tax anyway. Grandparents, apartment renters.......The parcel tax was twice what the schools are asking in donations and they can't get the money. Come on parents of current students.......where is the money. You want great schools, you don't want to volunteer, you drive big fancy cars and live in huge houses.....donate the 150.00 for the sake of our community schools and for YOUR own kids.


Posted by Diva, a resident of Birdland
on May 29, 2010 at 1:24 am

"I know two people who are retired and making more money not working than they made working in retirement."

Is that why there are so many principals retiring this year? securing their pensions?


Posted by Holly Sanders, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on May 29, 2010 at 8:57 am

Teachers - I'm sorry you can't win with trying to explain your job and what it entails, and you seem to be stuck in the middle here. I thank you for the furlough days, that I know have lowered your paycheck, and just push out of your mind the negative folks out there and remember the many of us that support and thank you!


Posted by for the kids, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Wow, I'm very glad I don't teach in Pleasanton! Educating children is a community endeavor and times like these require more collaborative problem solving rather than bickering. The negative comments regarding what teachers do, the hours that they work and the compensation they receive, show a complete misunderstanding of and lack of regard for the work teachers do every day.

I teach in another district in our county - a community that values education and the teachers who, highly educated, work to provide the kind of environment kids need to grow and thrive a reality. Parcel tax - passed. Additional funding needed to maintain arts and classroom aides - done. Benefits - fully covered. Pleasanton teachers get paid and taxed on their salary and then "buy" the benefits they need for their family. Their salaries appear to be very high but when you subtract the benefits they must pay, they're actually far lower than others. I, for example, would make nearly $10,000 less if I were to work in Pleasanton. As a single mom, I already have to work in the summer to make ends meet. I'm not complaining - not at all. I'm happy to do what I do and it's easier to do it because I know what I do is valued.

Regarding work hours, teachers who are happy in their schools and community give far more than in those in which their work is belittled and undervalued. As morale declines, so will the quality of education children receive. As a teacher, there are the hours spent in the classroom with the children but there are also countless hours preparing lessons, researching best practices, loosing sleep over the child you struggle to reach, writing report cards... (hats off to the person who can do it in 25 min/kid! Most teachers I know spend 30-45min./report card) Quality takes time. It's exhausting. So really, we're talking about 10 hour days (not including extra meetings), plus at least a half day/weekend during the school year. In the summer, many teachers take classes to keep up with current practices, redesign curriculum, prep for the coming year. Some are lucky enough to afford a vacation.

The point is, tough times will either divide you or bring you together. What you choose to do will define your community. The question is, at the end of the day, what are you trying to do and why? If your answer is to provide the kind of quality education that Pleasanton has enjoyed for years, for your children, then you work together to find a way to do that well, taking care of the ones who do the work.


Posted by English teacher, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm

As a teacher, I estimate that about 50-60% of my job is the time spent with the kids in the classroom. The other 40-50% is time spent preparing for lessons, communicating with parents, attending meetings, grading essays, etc. I'm not sure why people think that when teachers aren't instructing, they're not working. I'd say that most teachers I know work between 50-60 hours a week. Yes, we do enjoy 10 weeks off for summer.

I have mixed feelings about the furlough days, but do know that 1.) my paychecks for approximately the next year and a half will be reduced, 2.) the days are saving the district more than 4 million dollars and 3.) if it makes you feel any better, many of us will be working on the days off, just not in the classroom.


Posted by Karen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 29, 2010 at 10:59 pm

To: For The Kids:

I've been in Illinos, Ohio, New York and New Jersey in the last 3 months and every newspaper I picked up and every TV news program I watched bemoaned education cuts in those communities and complained about the dire state of local school districts.

Soooo, I can't believe for a minute that Pleasanton is unique, even among other affluent communities. This is a nation-wide disaster.

On another note, I have 2 relatives who have been teachers for 25+ years. Both of them retired about 3-4 years ago and they are "double-dipping"...collecting retirement income AND getting ANOTHER teaching job at a charter school!!!!! Makes me crazy!!! If you are able to continue teaching (at whatever age) then go for it - teach - but don't charge the community TWICE for crying out loud. and they still have the summers off to travel and they are going to get another pension! Unbelieveable.

All the years I worked, I had 2 weeks off. I spent one week with my parents who were elderly and 3,000 miles away and ...I felt entitled to spend the other week unwinding with my family for goodness sake!!!(camping one year and a nice vacation the next) and my relative who was a teacher was annoyed that I didn't come back for his wedding!!!!!! ...sorry - I wasn't ready to spend my precious
ONE WEEK running errands for his wedding ...I had ONE FRICKIN' WEEK TO MYSELF!

The thing I am bothered by most about teachers' complaints is that they have 6 weeks off every summer (at a MINIMUM - it's probably closer to 7 or 8). And that doesn't include Christmas, and the various breaks.

Get real, teachers. You have never had a job with 10 working days off. Period.

And the rest of us work nights and weekends. So... go correct those papers and stop having kids swap papers with their "seat-mate" so that the kids correct each others papers!!!!! Not OK.

And... I have had 4 kids and I hardly ever ...EVER...saw them write an essay as an assignment. It was always "scantron" tests that were graded by computer. Is that perhaps why so many freshmen at California universities have to take remedial English ????????????????????????


More essays....fewer vacations (BTW - it would be great if English teachers knew the difference between "less and fewer".

Phew!! OK that was 20 years of frustration.

Teachers: The rest of us work as hard and probably harder.


Posted by hmm, a resident of Golden Eagle
on May 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

It is really unfortunate that there are people that see 1 teacher say or do something that might not be the most appropriate teaching practice, and then assume that EVERY teacher in the district must do the same thing because we all know, if 1 person is doing it, then obviously everyone else is. REALLY!?!?!!!?

People keep talking about how all the teachers are complaining about their furlough days and how they are getting paid less now?? Um I don't see that happening anywhere. Teachers voluntarily chose to take furlough days and to receive smaller paychecks this month to help out the district and to help keep programs that your kids benefit from.

It is really unfortunate to see how many people feel that they can criticize someone else's profession when most of them have absolutely no idea how the profession actually works. They see 1 person complain and then assume everyone is exactly the same way. OR, they see some of the benefits of the job and think teachers should shut up about everything because of those benefits.

Education is grossly unappreciated around here. Hello people, do you not remember going through school yourself??!!? This is EDUCATION we're talking about here, not some uneccessary techie job or profession that could be here or not, and things would be exactly the same. Education is so important to everyone, including you and I. Don't forget that.


Posted by lisa, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Such misplaced anger...
get upset about people who are truly over paid...get upset about Chevron, or BP, or Halliburton, or child abuse.. AIG..Bernie Madoff.. get upset aboutthe tax breaks the rich have given the rich..get upset about things that make the world worse off.
I know of no overpaid teacher.


Posted by Thomas Paineful, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm

You know, there is no public education "crisis" that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives.

Dynamite the schools and sell the rubble for landfill.

Then homeschool the kids.

You'll save millions and can find another whipping boy for the global economic meltdown besides the teachers.

Why aren't any PWeekly bloggers mad at the Wall Street bankers? Never ever ever see anything posted against THEM.

Or against British Petroleum for, um...what did they do again? Oh right, pollute the entire Gulf of Mexico for the next twenty years. Come the hurricane season, it'll be raining oil on the Gulf Coast.

But everybody's mad at the teachers.

The teachers are lucky I'm not advocating dynamiting the schools with them still inside. Nope. I'm a nice guy, so my proposal is to wait until June 12th :)


Posted by THANK YOU TEACHERS!!!!, a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 31, 2010 at 10:21 pm

THANK YOU TEACHERS!!!!! Another school year has almost come to an end and yet again, I am amazed at your dedication to the education of Pleasanton children. I applaud my children's teachers and am so sorry you have to read the ignorant comments posted above.


Posted by Teacher, Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2010 at 8:32 am

1. PUSD teachers have a 177 day contract.
2. In reality, there are no paid holidays. Many teachers work a second job in the summer.
For instance, there is no compensation for not using vacation time, as in many professions because on the books, we don't have vacation pay.
3. There are no bonus, stock options, raises for performance, president club trips.....
4. There are no health benefits.
5. 8.5% of PUSD teachers' salaries goes into their STRS retirement account. We are NOT fully funded by tax payers. The retirement pay doesn't come near a firefighters' retirement.
Most teachers, like the rest of you, have a 403(B)/401 because we know our retirement won't be enough. We do live in the "real" world.
6. Teachers don't collect social security even if earning 40 quarters. This is "social security" offset. A teacher collecting retirement doesn't receive her late husband's social security for the same reason. Yet, women who never work do???
7. There is no overtime in teaching.
8. There is no tuition reimbursement. (Reason for salary schedule jumps, to encourage further eduction, but many of you want that gone too)
9. Health benefits do not continue after retirement like some public employees.
10. Communication with parents and students is always at night during "family time," yet our cell phones, laptops, and communication devices aren't provided by our employers.

And yes, we enjoy summers away from the physical classroom, but most of us read educational articles and books or the new novels we will introduce to our students, research, take classes, go to seminars, visit field trip spots, and prepare for the next year. Actually, the biggest problem with teaching is that we never stop thinking about our jobs. Ask any spouse of a teacher. We truly drive our spouses and family members crazy.

But, we love it! Learning is a passion which we try to pass on to our students.

Thank goodness, that until these blogs teachers were proud to teach in Pleasanton realizing we HAD a supportive community, terrific children, and a profession which brought many of us 30 or more years of fulfilling work. It's a shame that some of you have done more harm to morale than the state budget and NCLB.

I understand that the public, due to the recession, is angry about the salaries and benefits of public employees which to many of you on this blog are "stealing away" your taxes. Yet during the "boom" times in which many people in high-tech jobs thrived, I didn't sense people were mad at public employees, especially teachers.

In 26 years of teaching, I have never experienced such mean-spirited and displaced anger towards public employees, especially teachers who typically give and give to their students.

Luckily, many parents, especially those who volunteer in the classrooms, understand and appreciate the devotion the majority of teacher place towards their work, their students, and their communities.

As I tell my students, "Be Kind"





Posted by Enough Already!!!, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm

OMG!!! Okay...everyone's job is better than someone else's. We all get into a certain profession for whatever reason. Let's stop complaining and comparing. Everyone works hard for their money. Everyone is working for retirement. We as a society need to make sure that our future and our children's future is protected. If you don't like unions...vote for different officials...if you don't like teachers and think they don't work hard enough for their money...homeschool your children...if you think that the SV programmer makes too much money and works too many hours then don't buy any computers or computer products.

We are all contributing members of society. We need to stand up for what we believe in, but cutting down people's professions is not the way to do it.

Reform is the way...the way to do that is to elect the people to office that will help resolve that problem.

Now shut up and get back to work!!!!


Posted by Karen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I voted every election but one in the past 36+ years. (That one I missed was just not do-able because of personal circumstances.) None of that voting on my part did anything to improve education.

Unions are more powerful than voters. It's true. There are so many distortions and half-truths during elections and rarely are there candidates who are not beholden to special interests and unions. The average voter cannot discern who is earnest and truthful and who is backed by a special interest.

If I could go back and do it over again, knowing what I know now, I would have homeschooled my kids. They are all academically successful now but I feel that I homeschooled them every night anyway. I felt like I carried a huge weight on my shoulders every night - doing homework with them on material that wasn't taught in class during the day. They weren't slackers - they were good kids - their teachers liked them. My comments here would come as a surprise to their teachers.

I am so glad that those days are over but I also can't help but think that my children have this ahead of them when they become parents. I don't envy them those late nights of parental teaching. I just hope they don't ask me to help.... :-(

This is in response to Enough Already and Teacher Too. I volunteered ALOT in the classroom. You know me.

1. Teach the multiplication tables. (Not all all parents are
capable of doing this and no child - even very bright ones-
can proceed in math without having rote knowledge of
multiplication.)
2. Be there at school for students until 5 p.m. You have a
professional position.
3. Don't have kids grade each others' papers.
4. Post grades in 7 days.
5. Eliminate busy-work.
6. Answer parents in 24 hours.

That's a start.

There should be minumum standards of conduct, such as these, that should be posted by the school district for all professional teaching positions.





Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2010 at 9:29 pm

"If I could go back and do it over again, knowing what I know now, I would have homeschooled my kids. They are all academically successful now but I feel that I homeschooled them every night anyway. I felt like I carried a huge weight on my shoulders every night - doing homework with them on material that wasn't taught in class during the day. They weren't slackers - they were good kids - their teachers liked them. My comments here would come as a surprise to their teachers. "

What a bunch of rubbish. I don't know if you even live around here, or what you have to gain by writing this nonsense, but if anything you said is true, then it would apply to the education system in Pleasanton as it existed more than a decade ago, not today. Get a grip. Weren't you the one that was fabricating statistics on another thread about remedial English in UC schools for Pleasanton grads? Didn't you lump PUSD in with all other public schools? They're all the same to you? Stop trolling this site and do something responsible with your life for a change.


Posted by Karen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2010 at 10:03 pm

To Patriot:

-I've lived in Pleasanton for 12 years.
-My youngest child graduated from high school last year.
-I know Pleasanton kids who don't test into UC or SCU English
classes when they arrive in the Fall of their Freshman year.
- I have done responsible things with my life.

I am not trolling this site.


Posted by Karen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Sorry..CSU..


Posted by Maja7, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Since when have we all become such complainers? With the unemployment rate in California the highest in the country...shouldn't we just be happy to have a job! Stop complaining about teachers' summer vacation....if you want that, become a teacher. Stop complaining about how you take courses to stay current on your teaching methods. That's part of continuing education.....Just stop complaining. If you are unhappy in your job, get a new one. If you are unhappy living in California or Pleasanton....MOVE!!

Goodness, no wonder our children are going soft! It's our fault. Just do what you have to do to put food on the family table, clothe your family and live LIFE. Stop complaining. It's not getting you anywhere. We live in a country where we have incredible possibilities; we live in an affluent community envied by others. By complaining and being snarky with each other, you are just being a drag. Get over yourself. Find a bigger or better purpose for your life.


Posted by To Karen, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Volunteering as a parent in a classroom is one thing, teaching is totally different. Get a credential and implement your above suggestions. I'll give you 2 years before you quit.

I love how you make the assumption that homework was given on information that wasn't taught in class. You honestly would believe your 12 year old child over a professional who has been in the field several years? Are you kidding me? It is absolutely ridiculous that you think your children were not responsible for at least some of their confusion in school.

Stop being a helicopter parent.


Posted by Nice but, a resident of Avila
on Jun 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I think it's fine to not get paid to not work. It will be interesting to see how the smaller number of educational days affects test scores and college acceptance rates. I suspect not at all. A lot of wasted time happens in the schools and these little days off are not even going to be noticed. I hope they never give the days back. Fair pay for a fair day of work. No work, no pay. I think some teachers would even agree with that one.


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