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Here we go again, Parcel Tax part 2

Original post made by Rat Turd on Aug 24, 2010

The Pleasanton School Board voted to contract with a survey group to consider the possibility of going forward with another pass at a Parcel Tax. Can hardly wait until the next election to vote these bums out. They never look to reduce cost, the only look to steal more taxpayers money.

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Comments (52)

Posted by Cindy, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Pretty sneaky if you ask me. We just get fleeced signing up for this and signing up for that and then they want more money for teacher and administrator salaries and pensions. I voted yes last time but will vote no this time.

Posted by Just the facts, a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm

How can you say they never looked to reduce costs?!!! There are cuts, cuts, cuts to all the schools in our district. Pay attention to the facts.

Posted by $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I know what you mean about not controlling costs or reducing costs. How about going out and hiring another superintendent when we have Luz? How many people work at the district per teacher? What are the pension plans? How about doing away with sports, band, drama, etc and focus on core classes. Our teachers make way to much money for the amount of time they work per year. Cell phones, car allowances, lunches, etc. way to much for a town our size. Why can"t we have maintenance crews with Livermore and Dublin? Lots of waste and I agree that more needs to be cut and our school board needs to be replaced with people who actually know how to run a business and not a bunch of pretenders.

Posted by you get what you pay for, a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Aug 24, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Exactly what the name says. You all want Private School Educations (and home values) for K-Mart prices. Get a life. There are already serious changes taking place on campus. If you would take time to stop watching Tea Bag central, FOX News, you would see how these changes are impacting teaching and learning.

Posted by Art Graham, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm

I think these comments of "the only look to steal more taxpayers money" are just way off the mark. I've been looking at what this school district has been doing and it seems to me they have taken plenty of steps to reduce cost, including raising K-3 class sizes, freezing many salaries, and laying off support staff.

I don't know how familiar you are with the Pleasanton school district, but has a very good reputation that is well deserved. It made all the difference in my children's education. When you say you want to "throw the bums out", which of the three school board candidates will you be voting for? I like what I'm hearing from Sandy Piderit, but I'd like to hear more from the other candidates.

It is our community. If you don't like what is going on with something, I suggest you get involved. It can be a lot more constructive than just venting on these forums.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Tea [Party members] will continue to promote the idea that education funding is a waste of taxpayer money. Just look at their leadership, who want to dismantle the Department of Education. What do they care? Their children are grown or about to leave the school system. Of course, the real drain to taxpayer money is currently social security and medicare, in which they are typically averse to any cuts there.

The tea party mentality will be the downfall of America, by taking much away from the future generation so that tea [party members] can have their golden parachute retirements. America is reducing education funding while countries such as China are increasing theirs.

The fact is, Pleasanton is on par with the likes of Hayward when it comes to LOCAL funding for schools. I see the future of Pleasanton, and it looks bleak.

Posted by half a billion dollar schools?, a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Aug 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm

California education spending waste has become a national news story. An example that just hit the press a week ago is the $578 million dollar school in LA (Los Angeles Unified School District, which is facing a $640 million dollar budget crisis and shortfall). Yes, that is right, one school cost $578 million.

Web Link

The developers and the architects and the building industry trade groups and their unions are the ones benefiting from these boondoogles---do kids really need to get educated in overly lavish, palace-like buildings?

A side effect of this is that public schools are no longer in the business of educating children, but building buildings and having ongoing capital improvement projects. Educating kids? That's way down the list.

By the way, by way of comparison, the Walt Disney Concert Hall located near LA cost half that amount.

Meanwhile, school districts like PUSD where the motto used to be "Kids Come First" somehow turn to "Building on the past, Planning for the future."

So the motto for PUSD has morphed to something sounding like some development conglomerate.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:22 am

I will not support a parcel tax until I feel the district has streamlined its spending. At a minimum, this will require sitting down again with the teacher's union and coming to terms with the current economic environment, and long term sustainability of our schools. I will not accept furlough days, or additoinal closure days as concessions either. You want my money? Prove to me you've put everything on the table for evaluation first, then come to me (the taxpayer) as a last resort.

"You get what you pay for" - no, I don't. You know when I do get what I pay for - when I pay for private tutoring, make a direct donation to the classroom, etc. I do not "get what I pay for" when I am taxed.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:35 am

Pleasanton Parent, based on your history on these forums you are a Tea [Party member] and you won't support schools no matter what. No amount of cuts will satisfy you unless you don't have to contribute a dime.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:37 am

I will NOT vote for a parcel tax.....again. How many ways do we have to say NO? Paying for a consultant to conduct another survey is a prime example of wasting money. That money could buy a number of needed items in the school district and instead we are wasting it with another survey. Until the teachers union becomes more about students than unions and more about the health of our schools versus their political gain.....until teachers give 100% performance - I will continue to vote NO. The other consideration is where were all the YES on a parcel tax parents when it came donation time at the local schools??? I believe the YES votes on the parcel tax at the polls were seniors and apartment renters who were exempt from the tax anyway. If you want to provide resources to the schools - DONATE - but stop taxing. By the way, I do volunteer and contribute donations directly to the school for specific purpose but do not want another general tax that allows money to be used for open spending.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 1:38 am

More tea party lies. Again.

If you REALLY volunteer in school, you would know that parent volunteers DO NOT (and SHOULD NOT) replace teachers. And donations to the PTA or to a school DO NOT go towards things that really matter such as class size reductions, hiring new teachers, per-pupil spending, etc, which I believe is under the jurisdiction of the school district and the state DOE.

Posted by Tea [party member]?, a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:33 am

Quit referring to people who disagree with the parcel tax as tea [party members]. They are just older people who don't see the value in the parcel tax and are on more fixed incomes. Most of the people who agree with the tax are not right wing liberals so don't refer to the other side as tea [party members]. Keeping schools funded right should make economic sense to everyone. Part of what keeps our housing values up is the high quality of the schools. Funding Sports/Extra Curricular Programs keeps the kids busy and off the street. I understand it makes things tough to pay it but even in the short term it should make sense to everyone.

Posted by Pleasantonian, a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

NO MORE TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE MONEY TO THE SCHOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Posted by Patriot, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

Well Ms. Ahmadi here we go. This is the ugly under belly of Pleasanton. This forum brings out the folks who are unwilling to serve on committees, run for office or are generally sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots. They refuse to acknowledge the draconian cuts to the schools over the past few years. Teachers laid off, classes eliminated, days shortened, furlough goes on and on.

Parents have stepped up and paid for extra curricular activities that have made Pleasanton one of the best places in the country to raise a family. And yet it's not enough for these folks. They believe that all government is bad and wasteful, especially the PUSD and teachers. However don't touch our entitlement programs such as social security and medicare. These are sacrosanct since it benefits them.

Ms Ahmadi hopefully you have thicker skin than John Casey. It eventually took it's toll and he retired to beautiful Brentwood. Those of us who are really interested in constructive movement during these awful times, are rooting for you. Good luck.

Posted by Art Graham, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:51 am


You talk about the " health of our schools " as if our schools were unhealthy. Do you have any experience with our school system? The system in PUSD is generally excellent when it comes to educating our children. I should know. Several years ago we moved from a different school system which was really not functioning well. The schools here have helped my children's academic achievement tremendously.

It sounds like you are already involved with the district. Does what I said square with what you have seen? I plan to attend upcoming school board meetings. Maybe we can meet at one of these to discuss these matters?

Posted by Liz, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:56 am

I rarely post on here, because of all the negativity and lack of viable suggestions. There always seems to be a number of myths circulating about the school board, school district and teachers. Firstly, the support staff to teacher ratio has been cut as far as it can go without affecting the running of the schools. What parents don't take into consideration, in a school district this size there is a certain amount of "behind the scenes" work that needs to be done to provide the education we want for our children.

I would like to know where they should cut more staff? ... maybe get rid of more counsellors and the last vice-principals at the middle schools - there are none at elementary, 1 at middle schools and 2 at high schools. Amador has over 2,600 students and THREE people to manage dicipline this year!!! How would you feel to have that ratio for our police?!

Because of confidentiality, parent volunteers cannot pick up office staff work that involves private information (or would you like your private information given to any parent who volunteers.

You guys all complained about walk-thru registration and waits...even online SOMEBODY has to process the information. SOMEONE has to be available to answer all your calls etc.

For the poster who complained about sports etc....parents whose children are in those activities have been paying for them for 3 years now. District does not pay even the salary of the coaches. Band is the exception since it is a class.

The school board has a new superintendent. Instead of tearing her apart at the beginning, why don't you wait and see what she can do. And any of you who "diss" the schools bother to volunteer your time (not just money) to fill in the holes left by the cuts? I know volunteers who work full-time and find the time to help. Have any of you actually gone down to the school district and asked for a copy of the PUSD budget?! and seen where the money goes...or are you all going by the bits and pieces given by news reports, and misinformation passed on these boards?

Stop complaining and be part of the solution!!!! This is still a democracy and when you sit on your duff and complain while others work it does nothing to change what you complain about.

Posted by AL, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:59 am

I feel the Tea Party mentality will be very destructive to our community and our schools. When they aren't busy hating Muslims and Latinos, they are ensuring that our public schools and home values go downhill in the future. They would rather listen to a moron like Glenn Beck than help our schools during a difficult period. I can't think of a more bigoted, selfish, ignorant, and shortsighted group of citizens.

Posted by SS a Benefit?, a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:03 am

However don't touch our entitlement programs such as social security and medicare. These are sacrosanct since it benefits them

Social Security is not a benefit. It is something everyone who works pays into. The government has to decided to use the money in any way they see fit. If it was a pension fund and it was used that would be embezzelment. Whoever said the above is nuts.

Posted by Scott, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:11 am

Well Said Patriot!

One dumb post on here said lets take away sports, band, drama etc. Why punish our kids? These programs should never be cut. They are the only reason some kids stay in school. Worst idea ever!!!!!

I was at registration the other day and when it came to the "donation" per student not one person in front of me or for at least 5 people behind me said yes and paid the fee. They all said no.

I think the days of free public schools are long gone. If we want schools like De La Salle we need to pay for it. We can go to all private schools and the parents would have to pay but when no one will move here because of it and your home value drops because of it you will still be pissed.

Pay up or shut up!

Posted by Cutting Programs Again, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:19 am

To the poster $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$'s comments:

"How about doing away with sports, band, drama, etc and focus on core classes." Do you not realize that without these types of programs you mentioned the schools would drastically reduce the chances for the students to get into college. Colleges are looking at and accepting well rounded teens that not only have good core grades but have a sport or instrument, volunteer work etc..there is much more that just the few core classes that these kids need to learn to make it in the world.

"Our teachers make way to much money for the amount of time they work per year." My son was an 8th grader at Hart last year and I had teachers responding to emails at 8 and 9 at night. Granted no all teachers but i beleive that generally the teachers are working a lot harder and not getting paid enough. We are talking about the children that will someday run this country and all its businesses...i think these teachers across the country should make a lot more, either in base salary or in benefits

Posted by Jimbo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:27 am

"When they aren't busy hating Muslims and Latinos, they are ensuring that our public schools and home values go downhill in the future."

Good one Al. You are one sharp cookie. Did you stay up all night thinking that one up?

I have no problem with GOOD teachers getting paid what they deserve. What I have a problem with is the Teachers Union's disproportionate power to get unrealistic, gold plated pension and health benefits we can no longer afford. All public unions, including the CTA, are going to have to move from defined benefit retirement plans guaranteed by taxpayers that we simply can't afford, and towards defined contribution plans like the rest of the working population.

Posted by Lee, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

My kids went through the district from middle school through highschool. There are years of little money and years of enough money. I am for the parcel tax. This way the district has a subsidy from the families that have chosen to live here, and that money can be used to fill in when the state is broke, like it is now. In good years that money can be used for extras.

We chose to live here. We are all aware that many families come here for the schools. So we need to support them, or put our kids in private schools and pay for it. You can't have top grade public schools without putting in extra doesn't work that way either!~

Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 10:04 am

Step and column goes or the parcel tax will never pass. Teachers have taken their entitlement mentality way too far.

Posted by Grandma without kids at home, a resident of Danbury Park
on Aug 25, 2010 at 10:20 am

I want to be in complete understanding. Two 3rd party groups will poll 400 people to see if they agree to the Parcel Tax. Well, save your money honey. The answer is NO! Save the school $$ and put it toward a teacher's salary.

Posted by Very involved with our schools, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Aug 25, 2010 at 10:37 am

Pleasanton has amazing schools and if we want our children to continue having the best schools then we ALL must contribute. If that means voting YES for a school parcel tax then that is what we must do! A NO vote will ultimately affect all of Pleasanton by a drop in property values. So you can look it like this either we contribute now to keep what we have or pay later to bring our programs back and our property values up. I dont know about you but I'm not willing to risk our most precious asset (our children)for a few pennies a day! The budget crisis is very real and we must stand up and vote Yes so that our children and their children will continue to have a great education. So that we may keep all of our amazing teachers and faculty that we have in place now. Lets not wait until our education system is in shambles to wake up and smell the coffee!!!
Lets show our teachers that we care about them and that they are the best and they dont need to take anymore unpaid days off to help keep other programs going. We are a community who has always been about families and education. Lets not turn our backs now!!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 11:10 am

I'll vote NO again...Here's why:
My son just started Kinder this week and boy...I'm amazed by how bad/inefficient the public school system operates.

1)The registration package contains lots of paper w/ duplicate info.

2)Misprinted dates on multiple info sheets. NO one proofread them before sending them out.

WHAT A WASTE OF PAPER and the quality of work is just bad! I don't see this type of work & waste in a corporate environment.

Posted by Bruce, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 25, 2010 at 11:22 am

Am I the only other Californian besides Gov Arnie with enough common sense to realize that we don't need to pay any more taxes. The State has one of the highest tax rates in the country. It is a matter of how we spend our money. Until we overhaul the election process and eliminate bribes (campaign contributions, I beleive in calling a spada a spade) will we ever have good government. Whenever we have campaign reform, all it does is allow more Unions and special interests to buy more benefits for themselves at the expense of educating our children.

Back in the seventies congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to punish corporations who were bribing foreign governments in order to get special priveliges. Now, we call that Foreign aid where the government does the bribing after a corporation bribes our congressmen to give foreign aid.. I think it is time for a Domestic Corrupt Practices Act and prevent any special interest from buying a vote in the assembly. Until that happens, we will never have good government, good schools or a good economy.

I could go on for days but I am against the parcel tax or any opther tax until we fix the problen because it isn't more money.

Posted by Vote NO, a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I'll vote "NO" again.

Posted by Art Graham, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm

To Resident,

I don't know what you are suggesting, but it sounds like you want to send your children to private schools because there are too many misprints on forms and too much paper being used. You are sending you child to Pleasanton Public schools but won't support a parcel tax because of this? Doesn't that sound like a minor issue to you? Do you care about class sizes for your elementary school child? That is the kind of thing a parcel tax can help with. Your child is very lucky to be attending public schools here in Pleasanton. My family has had experience with another school district and we really appreciate what we have here.

Posted by Art Graham, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm

To "no more teacher raises",

I don't understand this mentality either. We haven't frozen all salaries at my company. Sure, we've made cuts, but to permanently freeze salaries is rarely wise payroll policy. If I understand correctly, last year under the step and column system roughly half of teachers received no raise at all and the others received raises in the 2% - 3% range. That sounds reasonable to me, given the excellent performance the district has achieved.

Posted by justanopinion, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I am already paying almost $900 a year to the School district on top of my property taxes. How many more tax increases (bonds, assessments or whatever you want to call them) does the school district think we can pay? The unemployment rate is growing, families are struggling (yes, even here in Pleasanton)and many families are tapped out. It's time for the school district to quit whining and learn to live within it's current budget. Perhaps now that John Casey is gone, the school district will learn to live within it's financial means. Parents, if you feel your child needs "special attention", take responsibility and pay for it yourself. We are in a serious economic downturn and we certainly need a change.

Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm

To Art Graham -- my company has not frozen salaries for executive management either but they have CUT wages for the rest of us by nearly 50% and have laid off 20% of the work force. The teachers were not even willing to give up raises for ONE SINGLE YEAR let alone take pay cuts. So I say again, NO parcel tax until the teachers lose the entitlement mentality.
Do I care about property values (if I even believed the gloom and doom about how they will drop through the floor)? Not one bit. I own my home and never plan to sell it. Drop to zero, I don't care and that would never motivate me to vote for more teacher raises at taxpayer expense.

Posted by Art Graham, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

To "no more teacher raises",

You said " teachers were not even willing to give up raises for ONE SINGLE YEAR".

But as I said above, if my understanding is correct, about 50% of teachers did have their salaries frozen in the last year, so I believe you are mistaken.

Furthermore, if you look at salaries at large, statistically are PUSD teachers aren't doing any better than the average worker. In light of the excellent performance the school district turns in on a consistent basis, I think their compensation is quite reasonable.

Posted by reform needed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm

The inherent problem here is that each and every year it will cost more to run the district....whether we are talking about step & column, COLAs or whatnot. Districts *cannot* put aside money during the flush times to help cover the lean years (this is *asinine* - one year a principal here in town was giving out "birthday pencils" to use up one-time discretionary funds...) This is a HUGE problem as there is no backup plan for lean times except to threaten huge cuts and get a community all emotional....These budget regulations MUST be changed to allow districts to save money for the inevitable "rainy day".

Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Just one more "resident" here that will be voting (and campaigning) to defeat new a tax to fund raises.

Posted by Anonymous Teacher, a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I think that teachers' salaries should not only be frozen but cut 20% at least and as much as 40%. Anybody can teach kids; it's the easiest job in the world.

I also think we need fewer teachers--I'd say fire 25% of the teaching staff at each school and increase class sizes to a minimum of 40-50 kids per teacher. If they can't handle that many kids, the unemployment rate is high, and I'm sure there will be plenty ready to take their jobs. If we get rid of requiring these so-called "teaching certificates" and just hire people right out of college with no experience, we can save even more money.

Also, Pleasanton has few fires and even less crime, so I think we should cut the pay of the firefighters and police officers by at least 40% and lay off 40%-50% of these departments.

There are also too many streetlights in Pleasanton. We should shut 75% of them off. Cars have headlights for a reason.

There are lots more cuts we can make (for example, not every pothole needs to be filled; people can just drive around them) but those will get us started down the road towards our New Society.

Not only am I against a parcel tax, which is just more Socialism, but we should cut property taxes every year until they are zero. People shouldn't have to pay property on their taxes, period. That's how Communist Russia got started.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Thank you Liz for your clarification. For the vast majority of 'No' votes and mud-slingers, she is right. Get involved and learn about the issues. My sister-in-law is a 2nd grade teacher near Fresno -makes about $45K per year, 35 kids per class, 2 special needs kids with no additional help, and buys her own supplies -guess where we are heading without enough financial support. The point of a parcel tax is to spread the cost evenly across the entire community and not rely on the same 10-15% of people to constantly contribute as the ENTIRE community benefits from good schools (and if you don't think that future property values will be disproportionately driven by having excellent schools, go look at the statistical surveys that show that exact correlation.) And Resident -didn't like the poor quality of the BTS packet you received? Mostly done by VOLUNTEERS not paid staff...why? Support staff have all had their hours reduced due to lack of money. My last and only post on this-too much hatred directed at the education community on this subject (unions-the big evil?- other?) I'm not sure why but the people I meet and interact with in the schools are hard-working, dedicated, and undeserving of the venom that so quickly appears on this site.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


I suggest you read up on the teacher compensation system most frequently used throughout schools, how it works, and the effect it has on the quality of schooling. Did you know, for example, that the difference between the highest paid and the lowest paid on the scale has shrunk over the years? We can talk all about how teachers aren't paid enough. Let's not ignore the role the current compensation system has played in creating that.

Another issue, the compensation system rewards for the acquisition of further educational units, yet that measurement has shown little effect on the quality of instruction a child receives. There's this whole cottage industry for teachers to get their Masters then Doctorate.

And there are now alternate compensation models emerging. I'd like to see this district look into those. As pointed out by a poster above, districts are not very good at putting away for rainy days. That means they need more flexibility in their control over compensation for these leaner years. Since California districts are pretty much at the mercy of the State's budget vagaries, that flexibility becomes even more important.

Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm

During the 2009 school year PUSD staffed seven hundred and twenty-two full time equivalent (FTE) teaching positions. Only one hundred and thirteen of these paid less than $75,000. Two hundred and twenty-five of them paid more than $90,000. All other teaching positions paid between $75,000 and $90,000.

Web Link

No one is asking for the moon here, but do you really think a raise is in order along with a new tax for the community? Looks like a pretty lucrative gig to me when you consider the actual time worked. No parcel tax. No means no.

Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Stacey said" Another issue, the compensation system rewards for the acquisition of further educational units, yet that measurement has shown little effect on the quality of instruction a child receives. There's this whole cottage industry for teachers to get their Masters then Doctorate."

I have to disagree with you on this Stacey, actually the greatest measure of success in the quality of education a child receives is how well trained, educated, and updated the instructor's skills are. I remember you writing to this point when debating the value of class size reduction and what is the better bang for the buck. Teacher compensation for educational units comes only after the teacher fully funds those university credits.

In contrast to the private sector, I have watched as my brother and husband earned their MBA, fully funded by the company, with a variety of bonuses and promotion offers when they completed it. The compensation in PUSD for a masters degree is $500, whereas in San Ramon it is $2000. I'm not saying to increase compensation, especially with the economy the way it is. I am saying to put it into perspective with what has been done already to reduce costs and cut back.

Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

To 'Get Educated' - A masters degree can take 30 to 60 credits to achieve. Teachers move across the columns with 30, 45, 60 and 75 units. You say a teacher gets $500 in compensation for a masters degree. Is that in addition to the thousands of additional compensation received as a teacher moves across a column?

Posted by Art Graham, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:28 pm

To Stacey,

Yes, I have looked at the the compensation system and I think it would be good to implement some of those ideas on improving the pay system. I would not require that change before I would support a parcel tax. I think you can do both.

Posted by Art Graham, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm

To resident,

"No one is asking for the moon here, but do you really think a raise is in order along with a new tax for the community?"

Yes, I do. I don't think an across the board wage freeze is a responsible move at all. If I understand correctly about 50% of teachers got no raise at all, and the rest got small raises on the order of 2% to 3%. Many more lost their jobs entirely. That fairly closely mirrors what is going on broadly.

" Looks like a pretty lucrative gig "

It doesn't look particulary lucrative to me, and when you consider the results teachers are delivering in this district, I think it is well deserved.

I don't think language like "No means no" advances the conversation or brings us any closer to an understanding. Do you attend community meetings? Maybe we could meet to discuss this personally?

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Get Educated,

Yes, I do believe that teacher quality plays a big role in student achievement. But what I'm referring to above is that there is little correlation between teacher quality and the number of additional educational units they have acquired.

Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:14 pm

I agree with that statement Stacey, it depends on what kinds of training/courses the teacher is taking. That said, knowing some of the programs that many teachers are currently in, you would be impressed with the caliber of the training. We are fortunate to have teachers in this district who seek out quality education opportunities to improve their craft. (Columbia, St. Mary's, etc.) I think this should be encouraged even more in order to improve the quality of our schools.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Check this out:

"A Quality Teacher in Every Classroom: Creating a Teacher Evaluation System that Works for California" Web Link

Posted by curious..., a resident of Birdland
on Aug 26, 2010 at 6:27 am

For those who keep whining about teacher raises: Where do you think the money that teachers receive for their salary comes from (not the local community; it comes from the county and state), and where do the teachers spend most of their money? In Pleasanton and the tri-valley area. The money teachers make is spent on local restaurants, shopping, scholls, etc. Let's cut teacher salaries and see what happens to the local economy.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 26, 2010 at 7:46 am

Stacey is a registered user.


It is kind of a weak argument. How many teachers are employed, how much money do they spend on average locally, and what percentage of the total local economy is that?

Posted by Parcel Tax Supporter, a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 26, 2010 at 8:57 am

To Anoymous Teacher - Funny!

I moved here 15 years ago so my (at the time) toddler and infant sons would get the opportunity to attend award winning schools. That is the main reason my husband and I moved here. Society goes through up times and down times in the economy. I firmly believe that it is the citizen's of a community that should come together to support that community. I believe P-Town residents love their town and don't want to see the schools continue to deteriorate. My kids are in the final stretch of their PUSD career. They have excelled and had great teachers. I have donated countless hours of time, money and energy into the schools they have attended. Why? Because I know that an education is important.

I believe the citizens of P-Town should pass a parcel tax to continue to provide a quality school system that keeps our property values from plummeting even further. This is our town and we should invest in it. I believe teachers have one of the most important jobs on the planet - educating our future. If Alameda County decided to build another prison on the Staples Ranch site I am sure no one would hesitate at providing funds and time to see that that did not happen. We should take that same attitude and pour that into making sure our school district remains at the top and provide it with the money and tools it needs to stay on top.

Posted by shadowbozo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2010 at 9:37 am

shadowbozo is a registered user.

I have no problem with teachers getting paid their worth. People have to remember that teachers only work 8 months out of the year. If I could keep my current salary and only work 2/3 of the year that would be great.

At my company, we haven't gotten any raises for over two years now. I'm just happy to be employed in this bad economy.

I will be voting NO on any attempt for a parcel tax!

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2010 at 8:58 am

I will not vote for another tax to support our schools until we are able to broom out incompetent teachers...and there are some! We had a Math teacher who started the class each day by telling the kids to start on the next assignment without any instruction on how to do it, and were not allowed to ask questions. He would then sit there and eat his sandwich and read the paper. There was no way to remove this teacher, even though the administration knew the situation. Instead, we either had to survive or go through the painful process of transferring out.

There's still much to be done before I want to give more tax money!

Posted by Emperors new clothes, a resident of California Reflections
on Aug 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

The State said there is no money for raises in this economy. The state did not give money for raises.

PUSD staff still wanted raises, so they cut student programs to use that money for their continued raises.

PUSD then tells the community if you want your student programs back you must give us more money.

More days off for PUSD employees (work 180 days, get 185 days a year off) is not a salary freeze and does not restore the deficit that the raises cause in the budget.

Until salaries are backed up to the point when the state called for a salary freeze, then PUSD truly freezes all salaries for the life of the tax, (administrators also) this is a salary tax!

Do Not Believe that the Emperor has new clothes! NO SALARY TAX!

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