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Is PUSD serious about a parcel tax?

Original post made by Parcel tax?, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Dec 7, 2010

I had dinner with some friends tonight and one said that it is almost a sure thing that PUSD will try to pass a parcel tax. She is actively involved with her school's PTA.

One of our friends, also at the get together, is currently having a hard time with her child's school: arbitrary rules and grading, administrators who have been less than forthcoming, and said she would personally vote NO on a tax even though in the past supported measure G and donated to CORE, the PTA.

Her views were shared by almost everyone else.

Who is PUSD talking to when they say that surveys indicate a parcel tax may be successful? Or is it just a rumor that they may try a parcel tax again?



Comments (56)

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Posted by That isn't true
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

Because Pleasanton is a traditional values community, and PUSD is responsive to that, what they are actually looking in to is a reverse parcel tax. Every property owner will receive a payment from PUSD, a tax rebate with the ultimate goal of eliminating public funding for schools. The program is to be phased in over a number of years (yet to be determined). Programs will be cut and assets sold as the tax rebates are increased. Eventually the schools will be closed and home schooling and private schools will prevail, providing the best education for Pleasanton's children. Vouchers were explored but found to be ineffective in Pleasanton, due to parent's mistaken perceptions.


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Posted by kt
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 7, 2010 at 8:52 am

Perhaps if less women in this town would spend time eating out with friends, shopping, getting 'spa' treatments, and instead attend some PTA meetings or communicate face to face with their children's teachers - they might be more informed and inclined to support the teachers, rather than rely on 'chatter at the gym'!Starting blogs like this is counterproductive, and do nothing to help improve an already desperate situation.
Teachers are for the most part unaware of the district's plans to pursue a parcel tax, since most of them are working during the day to ensure your children get a good, solid education!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 7, 2010 at 10:51 am

Stacey is a registered user.

To be more informed, people should pursue information from a variety of sources. Limiting information-gathering to PTA meetings and face-to-face communication with your child's teacher or dinners with friends can be one-sided and presents a distorted picture.


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Posted by Glenn Wohltmann
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Parcel Tax?

Please see the piece I wrote on the PUSD's parcel tax survey. You can read it here: Web Link


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Posted by Parcel tax?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Thank you Glenn, I had not read that article.

Now that I read it, I hope PUSD trustees do not make a decision based on just that survey of only 400 people.

I think the survey needs to include not just likely voters, but likely voters who have kids in PUSD, who had donated to CORE, who supported measure G and who are now not too happy with what is going on.

A good survey will include a variety of people, and whether the administration believes it or not, parents talk to each other and their families and friends, and have the ability to influence many about voting yes or no.

400 people surveyed is not enough to make the decision to move forward with a parcel tax.


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Posted by That isn't true
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Everyone I'm talking to says they're going the other way with this. Aren't you taxed enough already? Wouldn't you like to get some of that back? Do we want to keep throwing money at our failed schools?

What really pushed my family past the edge was when they found out that evolution was being taught in PUSD. If you don't know what that is, just google Ben Stein. They tell our children that we all came from monkeys, and the world is millions of years old! Pleasanton has never been about that. Finally the administration has seen the error of their ways and seek to return our hard earned money back!


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Posted by Please
a resident of Foothill Place
on Dec 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Those of you who think the schools in this district are not serving your students need to either enroll your child in a private institution or start a charter school. Try taking action instead of complaining behind anonymous posts. You are cowards.


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Posted by To That Isn't True
a resident of Castlewood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 8:28 pm

You are incredibly ignorant. Try looking up the California State Standards. I'm sure you will find everything your child is taught in class, listed in the standards.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Apparently PUSD only thinks that "no means no" if they like the outcome of the taxpayer funded vote or taxpayer funded, leading question survey.


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Posted by Yet Another Teacher
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Pleasanton voters will never pass a parcel tax of any amount. It's a waste of time and money to pursue one.

The only future PUSD has one is of a long, slow, but inevitable decline. The physical facilities are already falling apart due to lack of custodians and maintenance personnel; some schools in PUSD are in danger of losing their campuswide Internet because they haven't got the money to replace ageing servers and switches; class sizes at the high schools and middle schools are frustrating and burning out teachers.

And it's all the fault of the greedy teachers, I know, who refuse to let the wise voters of Pleasanton dissolve their union and cut their salaries in half. I'm one of those terrorists who are deliberately destroying the future of Pleasanton's kids!

Pardon me, it's time for me to go polish my Ferrari :)


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 11:11 pm

For those of you complaining about paying $98/year to maintain our schools, please read the following. If anything, we should be throwing MORE money at our schools.

"WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States has fallen from top of the class to average in world education rankings, said a report Tuesday that warned of US economic losses from the trend.
The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.
In Canada, 15-year-olds are more than one school year ahead of their US peers in math and more than half a school year ahead in reading and science, said the report released hours after President Barack Obama urged Americans not to rein in education spending, even in a tough economy.
The OECD report also noted that investment in education is paid back many times over.
Boosting US scores for reading, math and science by 25 points over the next 20 years would result in a gain of 41 trillion dollars for the United States economy over the lifetime of the generation born in 2010, the OECD said.
"Bringing the United States up to the average performance of Finland, the best-performing education system among OECD countries, could result in gains in the order of 103 trillion dollars," said the report.
[Signs that the U.S. is Losing Influence]
"This is not to say that efforts should not be directed towards mitigating the short-term effects of the economic recession, but it is to say that long-term issues should not be neglected," it said.
The first step towards helping the United States climb back up the education rankings to the top of the class would be to convince Americans "to make the choices needed to show that (they) value education more than other areas of national interest," the report said.
Currently, 18 percent of US 15-year-olds do not reach an OECD-set level of of reading proficiency, compared to 10 percent in China-Shanghai and Hong Kong, which are compared with countries because of the size of their populations, said the report.
The United States has also fallen behind in the percentage of 15-year-olds who are enrolled in school, ranking third from bottom of the OECD countries, above only Mexico and Turkey.
Only eight OECD countries have a lower high school graduation rate than the United States, and in college education, the United States slipped from second to 13th between 1995 and 2008 -- not because US college graduation rates declined, but because they rose so much faster in other OECD countries.
"These developments will be amplified over the coming decades as countries such as China and India raise their educational output at an ever-increasing pace," the report said, stressing the need for Americans to invest in education.


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Posted by just a parent
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Dec 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I support all the parents who have kids pay "obligate donation" the school. I know Saratoga school did that, they basically receive calls everyday and brain wash the kids that each family need to donate $600 - $800 to their school each year to support the class. That's why their resources is so rich, class ratio is still very low (1 to 20). That also make Saratoga area one of the most desire housing community in bay area (major reason is because the school has good score) - that kind of guarantee your house value too.

I can understand why some are not supporting tax as they are living in a tight budget. But for families who have kids in the school should know it is only for benefits of their kids.

vivian


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Please do explain how paying for the ongoing cost of raises by passing a parcel tax solves any of the problems listed in your article.


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Posted by barry51
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2010 at 3:25 am

Here is some free educational help:

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Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Dec 8, 2010 at 8:48 am

SteveP is a registered user.

One more time: more money does not necessarily = better education or better results. Where does this lazy attitude stop? This notion is pervasive throughout inept govt bureaucracies. When you filed your Calif. state tax return last year, did you think to yourself, 'I'm glad I'm paying nearly the highest taxes in the country for the great services and infrastructure being provided by our state legislature and the public employee unions'?


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Posted by That isn't true
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 9:23 am

Exactly SteveP,

That is why district is looking to return the people's hard earned money back the people who earned it, not the ones who are stealing it. The less we spend on "education", the better. I'm no kin to the monkey.

Home schools and Christians schools are the best.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

Public Education will need to be supplemented by the parents of the kids attending the school(s). I am a parent of two children in the PUSD - one middle schooler and one high schooler. I feel for the families of younger children in the district as I feel their education in this district will be done with less than my children received. I moved to Pleasanton for the great schools. In these tough times of budget cuts and decreased funding - I have no problem with a proposed parcel tax. Even if I did not have children in K-12 I would still be for it. Education is the basis of everything our children and our future holds! Schools should be everyone's main priority. We pay for our children's college education - we should begin to pay for the years leading up to college. If we have to start charging every family a certain dollar amount for them to attend school - I believe we should. There will always be people who can afford it and those who can't. For those who can't then that is where state or federal funding should come into play.

I am sick of seeing certain schools in the district benefit from a PTA/PFC that has the resources to raise $30,000+ each year through fundraisers or donations to fund technology or classrooms and others that don't have those funds suffer. There is no equity. I believe all the students should have the same advantages at whatever school they attend in the district. Why should Hearst have every room a "Smart Classroom" with all the technology and another school not get those benefits and are using computers and technology that is over 10 years old?

Charge each family - supply funds for those who can't afford it and let's get our schools back on track with the supplies and technology they need in order to succeed in this world and not fall further and further behind!


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Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 11:38 am

"That isn't true" -- the Tea Partiers continue the intellectual race to the bottom. Great idea, close all the schools. That'll help improve education.


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Posted by PEVCatSBUX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

PUSD is moving forward on the parcel tax. Even though the Board of Trustees took 'no formal action' after hearing the results of the survey (which shows declining support for a parcel tax), PUSD continues to pay the parcel tax consulting firm $6500 per month.
At the 8/23 board meeting, it was clearly stated that the consulting contract was a 'pay for services rendered' and that the Board would 'respect the data' and could cancel the contract if 'the data indicate that a parcel tax is unlikely'.
The decision to not take action, was actually a decision to pay for additional parcel tax consulting, and move forward towards a spring parcel tax measure.
In order to receive the tax funds for the 11-12 year, the parcel tax election needs to be held next spring, and given the timelines shown by the consultant Web Link the Board of Trustees will need to make a final decision in February.
Question is: Will the Board complete negotiations with CSEA (expiring contract on 6/30/11), with APT (1 year MOU expires 6/30/11) and with management, before deciding on a parcel tax? After all, how will PUSD know how much money it needs in additional local taxes, if they don't know what the expense structure will look like?
Or is this parcel tax an attempt to get some parcel tax revenue going (no matter how small, much like Fremont's $53 first parcel tax). Studies show that once a school parcel tax is in place, they are very difficult to vote down (remove) and in fact, it becomes easy to extend or increase.
I do hope the community can call out and ignore the sarcastic commenters (like above) and focus on how we can assist/support the school board in making good data driven and financially responsible decisions.


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Posted by PEVCatSBUX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 11:52 am

The survey of 400 voters has a +/- 5% margin of error. The $98 tax at 67% support was really a 62%-72% range. If the PUSD board wants to 'respect the data' (Trustee Arkin) and only spend money, resources, community good-will on a 'feasable' parcel tax, they will need to find the tax amount that would generate a support range that starts at 67%.
Would that be $50 to generate $1M per year? And take $500,000 (PUSD and local resources combined) to pull off a successful vote?


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Posted by That's not true
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

"PUSD is moving forward on the parcel tax."

How do you know that? Don't you want to get some of your hard-earned money back? Aren't you taxed enough already? Study after study shows that the less you spend on "education" (unions) the better the results. It is the same way with taxes. The lower the taxes, the higher the revenue. Ronald Reagan proved that.

Why keep throwing money at our failed schools when they resemble prisons more than places to learn. Haven't you read the papers? I don't have any children in these "schools" thank God, but I'm sure they are as bad as everyone says. About the only thing they do teach is Marxism and Godlessness. If you Googled Ben Stein you'd know that evolution leads to atheism/marxism.


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Posted by That's not true
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Oh and if you think I'm not serious (above), just google "David Harmer abolish public schools" He's right and you are wrong.


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Posted by PEVCatSBUX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm

How do I know that? Because I attend/watch all the school board meetings? Because I talk to school board trustees and administration?
Because there is a quickly growing number of voters who are educating themselves about PUSD and the City of Pleasanton who will hold our elected officials accountable for the proper expenditure of taxpayer dollars?
To help us be better educated voters, can you point to the "Study after study shows that the less you spend on "education" (unions) the better the results."? I would be happy to read them.


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Posted by Mom of 3 in PUSD
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm

For those of you wondering about a majority and Pleasanton's Parcel Tax outlook I pulled this from a results page from 2009. A total of 62.7% of voters favored the parcel tax. This is a majority but didn't pass because of the 66.67% requirement. So in essence the minority voters won the day. Fair? I'll let you decide:

The Pleasanton Unified School District parcel tax, Measure G ballot proposition was on the June 2, 2009 ballot in Alameda County for voters in the Pleasanton Unified School District, where it was defeated.

The ballot question was, "To preserve educational quality and protect Pleasanton schools from severe state budget cuts, keep class sizes small, maintain essential reading and math support programs, libraries, counselors, technology instruction, music, and safe, clean schools with no proceeds for administrators'salaries, shall the Pleasanton Unified School District be authorized to levy an annual $233 parcel tax for four years, with guaranteed audits, senior and disabled exemptions, an independent citizens' oversight committee and all funds benefitting our Pleasanton students?"

Yes: 10,995 (62.7%)
No: 6,546 (37.3%) d (To pass, Measure G needed 66.67% of the vote.)
Following the defeat of Measure G, Jeff Bowser, chair of the Pleasonton PTA Council, joined a 2010 effort to qualify a statewide ballot proposition for the ballot that will enable parcel tax votes to pass with 55% of the vote, rather than 66.7% of the vote. He said of the 2010 effort, "It's a chance for us to take control of school funding locally. This initiative would allow local districts to do this with a lower threshold. Look at Measure G, had a 64 percent success, but needed 67. Clearly a majority of the voters approved it. The initiative would make it easier to implement the will of the voters."[1]


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Posted by I'm A Parent Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm

To: Just A Parent:

I raised two children in the Saratoga School District - I had 20 years there and the school system is not everything others may assume. My overwhelming experience there was that much of the education was done in after-school tutoring programs. Children came to school knowing the material even before it was presented by the classroom teacher, especially in math and science. Students entered the classroom already prepared by private schools, often of ethnic origin, which exclude non-ethnic students. This pre-preparation makes the classroom teachers's job easier - no doubt about that - except for dealing with well-educated parents who add significant stress for the teachers there.

The academic pressure was, at times, off the charts, and there were significant problems that arose with cheating that were nationally reported. Serious psychological situations also frequently occurred with students dealing with severe pressure and counselors were frantic to deal with those problems.

There has to be a happy medium and PUSD comes very close to that. We still need to work harder for the best situations for our students. Our kids generally do not come to class already having learned the material so we must focus on our teachers and classroom experience. I would like to pay the great teachers A LOT OF $$ and see if we can get more of them. For me, that means an end to tenure. I am, frankly, undecided about a parcel tax at this point.

In addition, there's more than math and science, exclusively. Without English grammar and writing skills, communicating ideas can become difficult.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm

"400 people surveyed is not enough to make the decision to move forward with a parcel tax."

I'm just wondering according to your statistical and probability analysis and what the sample size should be to retrieve significant results?


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Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:43 am

"That's not true" - Quite a judgement to make about something you've never experienced. My children have wonderful teachers and are doing just fine. But thank you for your concern.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Actually its little less than 400 (378 for a confidence level of 95%, confidence interval of 5 and a population of 25000 - the approximate number that voted in the last election).


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm

That's not true - I'd like to see that information too. In my quick Google search, the first research I came across showed a significant decrease in science, math and social studies tests scores if funding was limited.

Obviously there is an optimum point of spending where less spending causes a reduction in quality and more spending fails to produce significant improvement. Just throwing money at a problem will not solve it, but just taking money away will not solve it either.


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Posted by That's not true
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Ok here it is with plenty of graphs and everything ... not that you would believe it anyway.

Web Link


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Posted by That's not true
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Another.

Web Link


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Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Three kinds of statistics:

1. Lies.
2. Damn lies.
And, 3. Statistics

Anything can be skewed any way one wants them to be.

By the way, Saratoga is a Basic Aid district, which means that they have ample money from local property taxes, and need no extra monies from the state for education. It's an enviable place to be. I know that a few years back, Saratoga had a 17% budget reserve, which is off the charts (I have no idea what it is now).


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Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 9, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I think that the trustees and top administrators should be held liable for the cost of the election if it does not pass. That might make people think about making Sacramento do their job of funding education instead of inflated union salaries and benefits.


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Posted by borderline
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I read the whole survey when it came out. It sounded very borderline as to whether a parcel tax would pass. Seemed dependent on no salary increases, which is a structural issue that could take a while to resolve if the board even wants to go this direction.

I can see why the people who did the survey would like to look at it on the bright side though if it's true that "PUSD continues to pay the parcel tax consulting firm $6500 per month". I could have given every conclusion in the report for free. I hope if we do this it is well designed as I'd like to support it, but it will have to be honest to make it through. There is a big danger of wasting a lot of money on something that will fail if it's not.


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Posted by I won't
a resident of Avila
on Dec 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I won't pay a parcel tax until I see some reform in this district. Remove bad teachers and get serious about education. Our kids have some really great teachers and those teachers get burnt out because they have to do twice the work of a bad teacher. The good teachers are not supported by administration who refuses to get rid of the dead weight. When that starts happening I will pay them whatever they want but I will not pay for these tenured half-wits to have a job for life and no responsibility to actually educate.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 2:27 pm

That's Not True - Your quote was "Study after study shows that the less you spend on "education" (unions) the better the results."

I could not find anywhere in your link that supports that. Yes, there is lots of information that shows that an increase in spending has not yielded significant improvement. This is completely different then the statement you are trying to support.

And by the way, I do believe the information in your link


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Posted by restedmom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Will the PUSD be taking public input at tomorrow's meeting? I want to let them know how the last thing we need is more taxes. If schools really are a priority for the state and PUSD, I'm not seeing it reflected via aggressive cutting in non-essential costs. I've had enough of this parcel tax crud!


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I'm not completely against the idea of a parcel tax, but it seems like putting this thing to ballot is a stupid idea. First, the survey shows that 62.5% support (I'm guessing there's a 4-5% margin of error) - which means all the stars would have to align just right for this thing to pass. Second - its $98 which won't really bring back anything especially since there is nothing even close to a consensus of what programs we should have or bring back. It almost seems like the district wants to pass some sort of parcel tax no matter what. maybe if we lower it to $5 it will pass and then they can be all excited that a parcel tax passed.

Parcel taxes can serve a purpose; however, I don't think this current proposal has a specific purpose and I don't think it will really serve anyone.


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Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 9:17 pm

" I don't think this current proposal has a specific purpose and I don't think it will really serve anyone."

I'll have to wait and see what the district says. My guess is that they come forward with some kind of plan for what it will pay for. If the put the right sort of controls on how it can be spend, I can see voting for it.


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Posted by Shoot_The_Messengers
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Shoot_The_Messengers is a registered user.

I went to the public forums on the budget...about a year ago. What's the delta wrt the PUSD budget situation compared to last year?

What has materially changed since last year that requires the PUSD now, once again consider such a drastic option as a parcel tax? The atmosphere last year was decidedly negative on a parcel tax, and seems even more so this year.


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Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2010 at 9:37 am

"The atmosphere last year was decidedly negative on a parcel tax, and seems even more so this year."

I wouldn't say that. A lot of the people I've talked to say they are happy that new leadership is in place. It looks like they are doing a more thorough job this time also. Some people last year complained that the parcel tax was a knee-jerk reaction and wasn't well planned. I don't think that will be the case this time around, but we'll have to see.


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Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

" I don't think this current proposal has a specific purpose"

I haven't seen the current proposal. I thought it was still being put together.


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Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

@Mom of Three in PUSD - Mr. Bowser's effort to pass an initiative could not gain the required signatures to be put on the ballot and therefore died. The PUSD Board of Trustees voted to support the effort as did CTA. Clearly the voters of CA are not interested in rolling back taxpayer protections.


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Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm

PEVCatSBUX above suggests that PUSD could (should?) complete negotations will all employee groups before determining how much a parcel tax needs to be. They also refer to the APT agreement which can be found here Web Link
It's interesting to see that the $4.5M referenced above includes $1M savings from the prior school year. In order for PUSD to generate the same savings this year (via the PUSD and APT negotations currently underway) will PUSD have to add more furlough days to this year's calendar? Or find expense reductions in other areas?
It's also interesting to note the estimates for teacher position eliminations at the high school level (5.6 FTE due to 7th period day and 6.3 due to staffing ratio increases). If I recall, the number of teacher positions eliminated at both high schools was much more. Worth looking into....
Looking at the agenda of tonight's PUSD Board meeting, I don't see anything related to next year's budget. If I recall, last year, budget planning was well underway with proposals being offered/sunshined. I hope PUSD is going to have an open process for budget solutions before deciding whether a parcel tax is necessary.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 6:43 am

"I wouldn't say that. A lot of the people I've talked to say they are happy that new leadership is in place. It looks like they are doing a more thorough job this time also. Some people last year complained that the parcel tax was a knee-jerk reaction and wasn't well planned. I don't think that will be the case this time around, but we'll have to see."

And a lot of people I know are not happy with the current leadership, specifically Bowser. They are happy to not have Kernan and Ott anymore, but that is about it.

A parcel tax this year, imo and that of others I know, will be only to keep what was "saved" this year through "sacrifices" of teachers (furlough days).

However, remember that what was kept this year was done at the expense of HIGH SCHOOL students. I personally had donated a lot of money the year before: to try to save CSR, for elementary music, etc. When they targeted the high schools to save everything else, I decided to stop supporting any donation efforts.

I voted YES on G. Want to guess what my vote will be if they try for a parcel tax again? I will vote NO, and so will my spouse and all our friends who supported G. Why? We all have high school kids who were affected with the "giving back" of teachers. The so called "giving back" was nothing more than selfish teacher negotiations. Keep the union happy at the expense of students and competent young teachers.

Why not get rid of step and column instead or take a TRUE paycut? (furlough days were NOT a paycut. Not working and not getting paid for not working is NOT a paycut.)


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Posted by the anti-resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Resident, you're an idiot. If a lot of people "are not happy with the current leadership, specifically Bowser," then how did he get elected? Remember, it wasn't even that close. I think it would be safer to say a lot of people are happy that the guy they voted for won. If a lot of people are unhappy, they should have voted, or even better, run. You have all the answers, why didn't you run? Because it's easier to stand on your soap box and belittle other people's sacrifices?

A true pay-cut? Seriously? I'm not unemployed right now, I'm just on unpaid vacation. Your semantics make little sense. Do the teachers have less money in their wallets this year? Yes. Did they do it voluntarily? Mostly. That's a pay-cut. Plus, my kids' teachers aren't "not working." They actually seem to be working harder because they have to teach the same stuff to the students in less time.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

""are not happy with the current leadership, specifically Bowser," then how did he get elected? Remember, it wasn't even that close."

Like I said before: a lot of people are NOT happy with Bowser. There were about 7200 people (I was one of them) not voting for him.

"A true pay-cut? Seriously? I'm not unemployed right now, I'm just on unpaid vacation. Your semantics make little sense."

The teachers' "paycut" meant: students not in school, therefore parents also either paying a babysitter or taking time off from work. It also meant: no more 7 day period, which was bad for students.

You can insult all you want, but the reality does not change: NOT everyone likes Bowser, and I am glad the board is looking into conflict of interest AND the teachers DID NOT take a paycut. A paycut is when you work for less, NOT when you take "UNPAID VACATION"


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Posted by the anti-resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm

From dictionary.com:

pay cut

noun
the act of reducing a salary

Is the teachers' salary less? Has it been reduced? Do you really think they're working less? Using caps doesn't make you right. Wanting something doesn't make you right, either.

I didn't say everyone likes Bowser. However, apparently more voters like him enough to vote for him. And the way I understand it, the teachers didn't come up with the idea to get rid of the 7 period day. I could be wrong about this, but I don't think I am.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Want to reference dictionary.com? Try "salary" :

"a fixed compensation periodically paid to a person for regular work or services. "

Key: PAID for WORK

and "furlough" :

"a usually temporary layoff from work: Many plant workers have been forced to go on furlough. "

Key: LAYOFF from WORK - it does not mean that someone "works" for no pay.

Teachers did not work, they did not get paid, it is that simple.

"Do you really think they're working less?"

YES, all those furlough days the teachers DID NOT work, and students DID NOT go to school. Teachers did NOT get paid because they did NOT work.


And you are wrong: it was the teachers' union who agreed to the 7 period deal since it was a way to keep step and column, etc, and still keep most of what THEY valued (CSR to some degree in the lower grades, science specialists which is a "period" for the main elementary teachers, etc)


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Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Resident- are you employed by PUSD? Do you receive a paycheck from the district, because I'm wondering how you know my salary has not been reduced. What a sad statement that you feel the need to disregard the loss of income my family has experienced. With no COLA increases for years, frozen on step and column, increased costs for health benefits that are out of my pocket, and a reduced salary that I VOTED for in order to save programs for your children and you have the gall to say its not real? You insult me and my family. Why would I ever vote for a MOU again with this mentality in the community!


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Posted by concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm

to get educated: "frozen on step and column". Genuine question - has step and column been frozen? I didn't know that.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2010 at 6:24 am

"are you employed by PUSD? Do you receive a paycheck from the district, because I'm wondering how you know my salary has not been reduced"

I do not work for PUSD, I work for the private sector.

How do I know? I have not seen your paycheck, and I am sure it is smaller this year that last year, BUT it is not because your took a paycut, it is because your WORKED LESS and therefore got PAID LESS.

The argument that your salary took a cut is nonsense. You are EARNING LESS because you are WORKING LESS.

"that I VOTED for in order to save programs for your children "

You did NOT save programs for my children...just ask my high school child.

And ask all my children: they are not in school all those furlough days you call "sacrifice" - you do NOT work those days and they do NOT go to school. Fine with us, but do NOT call yourself a good person for "Making a sacrifice" - you just took unpaid vacation. A true paycut would have been if those furlough days were taken during the Thanksgiving break: kids were already not attending school during that time for years, but you were getting paid, all you had to do is make those furlough days, now that would have been a TRUE PAYCUT


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:01 am

Get educated:

This is how I explained the whole concept to my younger child when this child came home from school all stressed out about something the teacher said to the students in class:

Let x be the amount of days worked by teachers in 2009-2010

Let's assume teachers make 20 dollars per day worked

Problem to solve:

1) What is the teachers' salary in 2009-2010?

2) If teachers work 5 days less in 2010-2011 (than what they worked the previous year 2009-2010), what would their salary be?

2) did teachers earn less in 2010-11 and why?

Answer to 1: salary = 20x

Answer to 2: Since teachers worked 5 days less in 2010-11, the number of days worked is x-5. Thus the salary = 20 (x-5)

Answer to 3: Teachers worked less days in 2010-11 than in 2009-10, and therefore, teachers earned less in 2010-11 than in 2009-10


Just for fun, let x=100, compute the salary for teachers for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

2009-10: salary = 20x = 20(100) = 2000
2010-11: salary = 20 (x-5) = 20 (100-5) = 1900

In 2009-10, teachers worked 100 days and earned 2000
In 2010-11, teachers worked 95 days and earned 1900

So simple! Less days worked, less money earned!!!!

My child understood the concept, I hope you can too. Stop calling it a paycut. You worked less and therefore earned less.

And btw, the small numbers I used was to make it simple for my child, not because I believe the teachers earn too little or work only 100 days.



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Posted by the anti-resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:58 am

Resident, do you even read what other people write? I didn't say the teachers didn't agree to getting rid of the 7 period day, I said they didn't come up with the idea. And from talking to teachers I know, which I'm guessing you never do, the idea of saving step and column that the community so likes to lambaste teachers for came from the district office, not the teachers. I like to ask questions and get real information instead of making assumptions, like you apparently do.

You've convinced me on the pay-cut thing. Yes, teachers have less money in their pockets, but that's an illusion. I can picture them now, saying, "My job is almost perfect. If only I had less time with the kids to teach my content, oh, and also got paid less money. That would be great!"

It's no wonder no one wants to be a teacher anymore:

Web Link

You didn't answer my question, though. Since you have all the answers and are so into calling for sacrifices from other people, why didn't you run for the school board? You're willing to criticize Bowser for things he hasn't even done yet, so as you can obviously see the future and read people's minds, I would definitely have voted for you.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Resident,

I don't think you explained that too clearly. It is clear from your example that teacher gets less pay. The difference between a furlough and a "real pay cut" is best illustrated by also using a variable for amount per hour.

x = 100
y = 20
salary 2009-2010 = yx
"real pay cut" = (y-5) x

$2000 = $20 per hour * 100 days
vs.
$1800 = $18 per hour * 100 days

What is being termed "real pay cut" is somewhat of a misnomer. Whether the reduction is made in work output (days worked) or in amount per hour, teacher takes home less money than before. The actual difference is seen in productivity (output per unit cost Web Link). When the amount per hour is reduced and the output stays the same, productivity increases. In other words, teachers are not "doing more with less". They're just doing less and getting paid less as a result.

This is the result of applying the principles of industrialized production to the job. That's why positions are always spoken of by "full-time equivalent" hours instead of actual positions. That's why the district can have 2-3 employees working what amounts to a single "full-time equivalent position". Both management and the unions treat their jobs this way. Teachers are not stamping out sheet metal on an assembly line yet they are 1) being paid this way and 2) being measured this way. Teachers are not treated as professionals because the job is not treated in such a manner. It's treated as an assembly line job that anyone can fill instead of a prestigious position where only the most qualified (top 10%) are able to even apply to a teacher certification program. Our society has to ask itself if that's the way to continue doing this?


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Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I appreciate your logic Stacey, arguing over what is "real" is only a distraction from the real work that needs to take place. I've been reading a lot of research based off of this article:
Web Link

Anti-resident- your link is another real concern- Here is another article on the subject. California's Teacher Supply Plummets Web Link
In the next five years, the number of retirements in PUSD will be numerous. The credential programs in area Universities are not filling their programs- no new teachers, who will take their place? What is the motivation lately?

Resident- you are looking out for the best interest of your own children, I can see that. But understand that PUSD has to look out for the good of all children, and whether you understand or agree with the choices that have been made, know that they have been made with the interest of ALL students in mind. It is unfortunate that the school days were cut, but these were extras, added to help create a district that is above the norm. The same with 7th period. If this community wants the extras to remain, then they need to consider how this will be funded.


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