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PUSD Parcel Tax heading towards Feb 1, 2011 board vote

Original post made by PEVCatVC on Dec 17, 2010

At the 12/14/10 PUSD school board meeting Superintendent Ahmadi provided an update on the district's work and plans on the parcel tax. An updated survey, informational mailings and community outreach are ongoing as the board prepares for a vote on 2/1/11 at a special school board meeting budget workshop.
See video (1:28) here Web Link
With so many unknowns (CA 2011-12 budget proposal on 1/10/11, Governor-elect Brown's fiscal warning to the Education community, PUSD ongoing contract negotations with CSEA/APT/Management, mid-year CA budget cuts, PUSD expense reduction proposals not shared with the public, how can PUSD determine what amount of parcel tax revenue is needed? Or is the goal just to get some tax revenue going in the midst of all this uncertainty?

Comments (55)

Posted by unclehomerr.., a resident of Downtown
on Dec 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Camel's nose under the tent. Little now.. lots more later!

Just say NO!

unclehomerr..
MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Posted by cosmic-charlie, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 18, 2010 at 5:54 am

cosmic-charlie is a registered user.

I thought we'd put that mangy dog to rest last year. According to their reasoning, their inability to live within their means we all have to suffer and bail them out with our pocket books.

No new taxes, read my lips, no new taxes. You want more money? I propose a one to one scenario where the school board finds one dollar in savings for every one dollar they want to pry from my pocket book.

Nimrods, all of them.

Oh yeah, Merry Christmas!


Posted by Val, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 18, 2010 at 8:28 am

The problem with cost cutting is that the district has already done that. The revenue is millions less than it was a couple of years ago. All programs have been affected. Yet, children continue to come through the doors. All neighboring districts continue to support their communities by approving parcel taxes. Pleasanton is being left behind. Watch the property values plummet as Pleasanton becomes known as the community that doesn't support their schools (too late - ask any realtor - that's already happening). Come on, people! There is a new Supt. and a new Board. Listen and learn with an open mind about today's issues affecting our school district.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2010 at 8:45 am

"The problem with cost cutting is that the district has already done that."

Really? Last I hear, we still have step and column, admin got raises and their perks continue, etc. How can you say they already went through cutting costs? Just ask Casey about the nice package he got on his way out.

The way they cut costs was not good. It was a bandaid and not a good one: furlough days hurt the students, eliminating the 7 period hurt the students.

Let's have true cost cutting: across the board paycut, or getting rid of perks, or rolling back salaries, or stopping step and column until the recession is over, need I go on?

No parcel tax, especially if Bowser is anywhere near the campaign


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2010 at 8:49 am

"All neighboring districts continue to support their communities by approving parcel taxes"

And look what Cupertino and San Ramon did with their parcel taxes: used the money for the programs for one year and then the next, they used it for COLA and the programs it was supposed to save were eliminated anyway.

Just ask anyone with kids in San Ramon. Even the parcel tax organizers were disappointed and spoke to the press about it. They were lied to, and they did not like how the money for certain programs was now going to be used for... you got it: teacher raises, aka, union-mandated increases

And Cupertino? Same thing. Didn't you read the news? The residents had to raise 3 million just to keep the programs the tax was supposed to save.


Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 18, 2010 at 9:32 am

"The problem with cost cutting is that the district has already done that."

What rock do you live under? Step and column is a RAISE not a CUT!

CUT the money for everyone, every simgle person!, then come back and tell us how you plan to spend the money. Or just put another tax on the ballot and watch it die.


Posted by frustrated, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2010 at 10:18 am

Step and column raises and unfunded pensions are set in stone.

You will not get one cent until you address the core issues facing PUSD. The Board? They work for the teachers so disregard any recomendations they make.

They will blow 600k on two referrendums an go 0 for 2.
What they won't do is pound on the table and demand concessions from the overpaid teachers.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

Step and Column is NOT set in stone.
See report Web Link by School Services of California advising districts on options and considerations for freezing S&C.
Permanent reductions in the expense cost structure is what is required, not one-time band-aids that are ripped off every year and then re-applied in different places.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Thanks for the document DCOT.

So it IS POSSIBLE to freeze step and column. Why hasn't PUSD done that? Why are they talking about a parcel tax before doing what many in the community have asked for years - to freeze step and column, at least until the recession is over and the budget starts looking better?

I am almost certain that Bowser will NOT vote for that, as it would affect him directly. Freezing teachers' step and column means his wife too which means his own family income goes down. Now that is a true conflict of interest.

And also: roll back the negotiations Casey did on behalf of his then "cabinet" - they got a nice contract done and finalized before he left and before the board was able to even talk about the budget and how much less money it would have.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm

No point in debating this. A noisy minority will defeat any parcel tax, no matter the damage it does to Pleasanton schools and the long-term health of Pleasanton's community. At least that's true in the present situation, where the opposition to ALL taxes in Pleasanton is well-funded and organized, while support (which is both broad and deep for a parcel tax) is loosely organized.

This minority opposing the parcel tax, many of whom are Tea Partiers or identify with that movement, see ALL taxes as theft. The majority of us view taxes, as Justice Holmes once wrote, as the "price we pay for a civilized society". This is an ideological divide that cannot be bridged through debate or discussion; one side or the other must enforce its views upon the other side.

It's come to my attention that there is a plan among the Tea Partiers that's been in the works for some time.

The plan has three stages:

First, starve the school district of funds during this prolonged financial crisis (the one caused by the manipulation of the global financial system by greedy Wall Street bankers and financiers);

Second, declare the district bankrupt and shred the union contract. Convert PUSD into a "charter district". We are moving much closer to this and much faster than I had thought possible.

Third, hire some highly-paid "consultants" to "manage" the district at double the salaries of the current administrators (some of the Tea Partiers make their living doing this, tho' they'll not reveal that fact) while cutting the salaries of teachers in half and taking away all of their professional independence. Teachers will serve at the pleasure of the parents and can and will be fired if they don't do exactly as the parents say--for example, giving Johnny an A+ that he didn't earn.

Now that Pleasanton has lost its lawsuit to keep affordable housing out of the city, the TPers view the ability to control enrollment in PUSD as more essential than ever to keep certain minorities, such as Latinos and African-Americans, out of PUSD schools (Asians are the "good minority" so they're welcome as long as Asian students don't become the majority and so long as they continue to boost the district's test scores). Once PUSD becomes a charter district, PUSD can pay surrounding districts such as Livermore and San Ramon to take the new low-income residents (thereby keeping the schools mostly white and avoiding the need to build new schools to accommodate the increased student population).

The plan appears to be moving right along. The majority of Pleasantonians have no clue and that's also part of the plan. The Tea Partiers are trying, as the right-wing strategist Grover Norquist once said, to "shrink the size of government so it can be drowned in a bathtub". The fact that some of the Tea Party activists will enrich themselves in the process (at the expense of the taxpayers!) is just one of those many happy coincidences in life, I'm sure.

The majority of Pleasantonians can either counter-organize or let the Tea Party plan run its course, tho' the latter choice will have disastrous long-term consequences for the stability of the community and its property values, not to mention the deleterious effects on the education of Pleasanton's youth. So far, I've not seen anyone who has the courage to stand up to the bullying tactics of the Tea Partiers. Judging by the nastiness we experienced during the last parcel tax debate, this time around should be as gentle as wolves and lambs.

Oh and by the way...Merry Christmas!


Posted by wow, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm

wow YAT - do you have any proof at all for what you just stated?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

YAT wrote: "hire some highly-paid "consultants" to "manage" the district at double the salaries of the current administrators"

The district already does that, from the practice of paying "retired" administrators as consultants to the exorbitant consultant fees paid for the bond refunding.

YAT wrote: "avoiding the need to build new schools to accommodate the increased student population"

The district already does that too.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2010 at 6:43 pm

"while support (which is both broad and deep for a parcel tax) is loosely organized."

Measure G was fairly well organized, TV time and all. Even I voted for G.

It was a good thing it did not pass, though, because after what I saw, I realized that students do not come first as they claim here, what comes first is teachers raises, admin perks, Casey even hired back one of his buddies just so retirement amounts would not be affected! - and he did so with the consent of the board. (watch the board meeting).

YAT: Someone asked you on another post if you were really a teacher, since you posted frequently during school hours:
Web Link

It looks like you have too little work during the school day. And you complain about why we the taxpayers feel you get too much money for not enough work? Maybe it is true that you are not a teacher but a librarian? I seem to remember some librarian, from Foothill I think? who had opinions similar to yours.


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

"Casey even hired back one of his buddies just so retirement amounts ..."

But Casey is gone and we have two new board members. I'm likely to support a new parcel tax, but I'll have to see exactly what the measure says.

"Even the parcel tax organizers were disappointed and spoke to the press about it. "

Please provide links with the interviews. I'd be interested in what they said.

"Step and Column is NOT set in stone."

I'm not sure I have a problem with step and column being preserved. I don't know if we really want to be the only district to freeze step and column while all the others do not. I don't think that would be a wise decision, do you? Teaches are still being hired even in this downturn. New position come up when teachers retire or quit (yes both happened this year at my younger son's school). I don't think we want to give the best teachers that kind of incentive to go teach in San Ramon, Cupertino, or elsewhere. Do you think that is prudent? I mean we would be the only district to have frozen step and column. I think I read that you proposed some sort of "cuts only" solution to the budget shortfall. Don't you think we would be giving these new teachers who we a hiring incentive to teach in other districts?


Posted by unclehomerr.., a resident of Downtown
on Dec 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm


Sheesch!!! I wish you people would post before you hit the sauce!

It'd be a heckova lot easier to follow what you are saying.. rather than guessing what your typo's meant.


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm

No parcel tax till Hell freezes over. Do not waste any more time and money. Live within the revenues by taking cuts in salaries,pensions and medical benefits. Cut out administrators. Parcel tax is just a red herring. It will never pass.


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 8:56 am

I was asking if we really want to be the only district that freezes step and column? New teachers are still being hired. I don't think we need to give them more incentive to go to Cupertino, San Ramon, or other top districts do we?


Posted by davis, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:52 am

If you can afford to donate and think it a wise investment, please do so. If you can't affords it or think it unwise at this time, then don't. However a parcel tax forces everyone into the same boat.


Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

DRATS, foiled again! If it weren't for that meddling Y.A.T. all our devious plans for converting the present state of entitlement based public sector funding to a merit, performance and fiscally accountable model could have been implemented but now our "Tea Party" cover has apparently has been blown and we'll have to figure out a new angle on how to push our evil agenda of world domination.

We have nurtured three plus generations of earmark and entitlement babies, cutting them off cold-turkey is not going to work but sooner or later the free lunch of the governments funding of every horse & buggy whip, 8-Track tape manufacturer (failing auto industry, et. al.) and other obsolete, under performing and entitlement based entity gonna have to come to a screeching halt.

...oh yeah, Merry Christmas!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

"I was asking if we really want to be the only district that freezes step and column? "

Would you prefer to be like San Ramon? A district that successfully passed the parcel tax, used the money for what it said it would for one year and now in 2010 they are back to cutting programs even with the parcel tax? They are using the tax money for step and column.

Someone has to lead: step and column must be frozen, and if PUSD is the only smart one, then I say: go for it.

Teachers are plenty, and teaching jobs in the good school districts are not. With so many teacher layoffs in the past and about to come this school year, I don't think we will have too few teachers. With so many unemployed (9%?) professionals, we might see more going into teaching (some of my friends with master's are now finishing their teaching credential and plan to switch to teaching from the private sector)

Read about San Ramon in 2010:

Web Link

and back in 2009:

Web Link

Sorry, but I won't go for a 4 year parcel tax that will "solve" the problem for one year, and the next the programs will be cut anyway. WHy? Because the teachers' union get priority: their precious step and column, their benefits must be funded(or so they say and demand) even if that means cuts to programs, at the expense of the quality of education for our kids.

NO to the parcel tax until true solutions are implemented!


Posted by Mom of Four, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I've had kids in Cupertino schools and still have friends there. The teachers aren't any better in Cupertino. What makes the scores high in that District are the parents who push their kids hard and send them to after-school and weekend "schools" where the kids spend much of their free time studying. Teaching these kids is not an uphill hike but it can be a challenge for the teachers to deal with some parents, so this is not necessarily a teacher's first job choice compared to Pleasanton.


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I followed those links, but couldn't find quotes from supporters of the parcel tax in San Ramon who were disappointed. Do you mean in the comments section? That could be anyone, right? Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place.

"With so many unemployed (9%?) professionals,"

I thought it was closer to 5% with college degrees.

"Teaching these kids is not an uphill hike but it can be a challenge for the teachers to deal with some parents, so this is not necessarily a teacher's first job choice compared to Pleasanton."

True, but I think being the only district with no step and column raises would tip the balance away from us. I do think it is something we have to worry about.


Posted by Thank you, resident, a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Thank you, resident for your your honest perspective of the situation. It reveals a lot about what many people think about education funding.

Sure there are many teachers in the education sector, but how many good ones are there who are able to help students perform (granted, with the assistance of parents) on many different measures? We have many now who are able to do that, but if we take away such incentives, then we risk making PUSD a second-tier district.

Also, you are short-sighted to think that a major problem is paying for step and column. Sure, that is an expense. And I'll grant you, it could be argued whether it is necessary in troubled economic times such as these. However, focussing on that is misdirection. The real problem is with state funding for education services.

Read this article: Web Link

And if you do read the article, you will see that Jerry Brown wants to give people what they pay for. That means far fewer services than they are used to getting. I support this even if it means that I lose my job.

Why? As a state, we deserve to have classes with 40 students. We deserve to have fewer counselors. We deserve to cut the successful music programs at our schools because the funding for our schools is so poor.

Until we deal with the lack of funding for schools at the state level, we deserve what we get.

As an aside, the paltry $98 for a parcel tax is a joke. That won't take care of the problem given how severe the problem really is. The district bungled the last effort and it seems that it is going to bungle this one as well. Parvin should not be led into this disaster waiting to happen.

Also, if we are to be leaders in any type of reform in PUSD, it shouldn't be with step and column but in having a discussion around seniority. As we lay off teachers this spring (and we will be), we will not be looking at their performance reviews but at their seniority. If any practice should be questioned, it is this one.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I'd much rather see a larger discussion around how compensation is structured in general so as to align it better with organizational goals. There's really no reason to have the step and column salary schedule and there's other districts experimenting with alternatives to it. The law doesn't require that exact type of schedule. There's been time to have such a discussion since the last parcel tax election failed.


Posted by Hmmmm, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:18 pm

(Also, if we are to be leaders in any type of reform in PUSD, it shouldn't be with step and column but in having a discussion around seniority. As we lay off teachers this spring (and we will be), we will not be looking at their performance reviews but at their seniority. If any practice should be questioned, it is this one.)

Maybe you and your union should actually address this issue before coming to taxpayers for more money? The reform you speak of will only come in one of two ways: the teachers will demand the union eliminate the seniority rule for the benefit of the students, or the taxpayers will eliminate additional funding which may lead to the teachers asking for the elimination of the seniority rule. And to say that raises aren't an issue is ignoring the obvious.

Quit crying wolf.


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm

" There's really no reason to have the step and column salary schedule and there's other districts experimenting with alternatives to it. "

Yes, but as far as I know, those are only horrible districts who don't have much to lose anyway. They can afford to take chances.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Since I haven't named any districts, we are most likely not talking about the same ones. Mindreading is a skill some claim to have. I wouldn't build an argument on data collected through it though.

As for affordability, PUSD's current salary schedule locks the district into rising costs whether they can be paid or not. A $98 parcel tax sure won't generate enough revenue to pay for the $2MM or so the automatic salary increases annually raise costs by.


Posted by to hmmmm, a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Dude, you'll see who's crying wolf come this spring.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

Don't ask for a Parcel Tax when there has not been and there still are not any positive solutions, with honest accountability. This Board is the same as the past. Who's kidding who? Just Say No Parcel Tax.
Merry Christmas


Posted by Cindy, a resident of Danbury Park
on Dec 21, 2010 at 9:26 am

Parcel tax again? Let me see if I have my facts straight. We defeated that once, right? The schools need money, right? Hiring a consultant to tell the school board they need money, is a waste of money, right? No apparent reining in on school board pay & perks to save some money, didn't happen, right? The school board decided the only way to save money was to cut the "Hands-on-School" teachers and increase class size, and cut some activities, right?
I must not see the big picture or maybe I do. It's the trickle-down mentality. Long live the Perks!


Posted by t-time, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 11:02 am

YAT's conspiracy theory above is interesting. I've never heard it, so I must be in the wrong TEA Party circle.

I guess it is now too radical in Pleasanton to promote Personal Liberty, Fiscal Responsibility, Free Markets and Government limits.

This kind of talk may seem way too radical for YAT. However, the NEA (teacher's union) has some great recommended reading for their members...those who are teaching our kids. Web Link Perhaps YAT could write us a 1000 word report to help us understand how we have "misunderstood" the union's roll in this situation.

But YAT IS right on one statement, a small minority can defeat the parcel tax. Fortunately, we have a decent majority and the parcel tax will fail miserably when we explain how the financial problems experienced by the state, cities and schools is not a revenue problem...it is a spending problem.

The last election was different...the campaigns are over, but our citizen activists who walked Pleasanton 46+ precincts (multiple times) are still organized, in tact and ready respond. It will be a good refresher as we prepare for 2012.

A word of advice PUSD...Don't go the parcel tax route until you can show you have cut to the bone with the unions. It is their turn to sacrifice. Big sacrifice! The dialogue over he parcel tax this spring will be: "PUSD chose the unions over our kids, so pony up tax payer suckers!".

You can join the fight for fiscal sanity here: Web Link




Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 11:58 am

"Since I haven't named any districts, we are most likely not talking about the same ones. Mindreading is a skill some claim to have."

What a pleasant way to have a conversation. No Stacey, one does not have to mind read to realize that the school districts that have talked about these radical changes are the poorest performing districts.


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

"Fortunately, we have a decent majority ..."

What? Both the recent poll and the Measure G results showed that a clear majority (about 62%) favored a parcel tax. And by the way, I have attended a Pleasanton Tea party event, mainly because I didn't like seeing our government bail out failed Wall Street companies with my tax dollars, yet in many cases suffered no consequences. So, you can call me a tea party guy and I won't be offended, but I may well vote for or even campaign for a parcel tax


Posted by t-time, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Another,

Polling is a about how you ask the question. Elections are all about how you frame the debate.

I'll stipulate that I do not have data to confirm my "majority" comment and will revise it to state:

"Fortunately, I suspect we will have a decent majority and the parcel tax will fail miserably when we explain how the financial problems experienced by the state, cities and schools is not a revenue problem...it is a spending problem."

Regadless, I'll respect your vote however it may be. It's a tough issue.





Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Another resident wrote: "one does not have to mind read to realize that the school districts that have talked about these radical changes are the poorest performing districts."

Not true. What districts did you have in mind and what did you think I was talking about? I'm not talking about Michelle Rhee-styled pay reform in poor performing DC. I started a whole thread dedicated to this subject in the past here Web Link. I'd simply like to see the district have the conversation of better aligning employee compensation with organizational goals. The salary schedule has issues for both employer and employee (employer locked into raises it can't give some years which results in cuts to services, employees punished for having seniority that freezes one on the schedule, little respect given to teacher quality).


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"The single-salary schedule used in most places:

* Rewards only experience and graduate education courses, which have been found to be weakly or even negatively associated with student achievement
* Provides administrators no flexibility to respond to market forces
* Offers teachers no financial incentive to improve their instructional expertise and effectiveness
* Forces even the most effective teachers to wait many years to reach the higher rungs of the schedule, undermining recruitment and retention of talented college graduates.
"


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Alternative Teacher Compensation – A Primer" Web Link
"this policy primer is designed to provide baseline information about new forms of teacher pay that are emerging around the country, to support the local conversations and negotiations that will lead to the development of innovative compensation systems. It identifies reasons why teacher compensation is high on local, state, and federal policy agendas, describes some of the new pay programs that have been implemented, and offers an initial analysis of what we are learning from these various and diverse pay experiments."


Posted by joe, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Get some sense School Board. UNTIL PENSIONS AND SPENDING ARE ADDRESSED, NO NEW MONEY OR PARCEL TAX IS AVAILABLE. YOU OUR SUPPOSE TO BE REPRESENTING THE TAX PAYER.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 22, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Val - You said "Watch the property values plummet as Pleasanton becomes known as the community that doesn't support their schools (too late - ask any realtor - that's already happening)." That argument didn't work two years ago, and it won't work now.
Supporters of the June 2009 Measure G Parcel Tax used the 'protect property values' argument. PUSD Trustee Ott said at a school board meeting that property values would decline as a result of Measure G losing. Almost two years later, property values in Pleasanton remain almost the same, while across the state and nation most property values have significantly declined. Total sales in Pleasanton have increased.
To those of you crafting the pro-parcel tax arguments, be careful what you write. Make sure it's accurate and defendable.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Accurate and defendable for DCOT's facts? or wishes? That would mean no tax under any circumstance since he continues to change the "requirements" and even call $20 million in cuts to the district, not good enough.

I say no parcel tax and take the district back down to the legal minimum requirements from the state. The extra days that were cut this year, were just that-extras, the 7th period- was extra, the specialists- extra, 20:1- extra (as long as we go back to preCSR standards/assessment requirements) Teachers are preparing for this, looking at neighboring districts for jobs (they are hiring and anxious to take a PUSD teacher, just spoke to a principal in SR who shared this) Being ranked 12th in the state isn't what really matters, cut the extras, they won't matter.

Yet, DCOT, be careful of what you then complain/campaign for. I find it terribly ironic that you now complain that the extras have been cut! Be careful what you wish for.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

"(they are hiring and anxious to take a PUSD teacher, just spoke to a principal in SR who shared this)"

What a bunch of nonsense! Have you not heard that SR is laying off? That's right, the parcel tax money is not enough, the raises take it all, so they are laying off, and not just teachers.

Stop the fairy tales: the reality is that teachers will be plenty, this time next year there will be many of them unemployed and happy to just be subsitute teaching.

As for the 7 period: that is not coming back even if PUSD were to pass a parcel tax, even if the district misleads people, the truth is: the 7 period is gone and won't be coming back even if parcel taxes pass or donations are given.

NO to a parcel tax until fiscally responsible decisions are made!


Posted by anon, a resident of another community
on Dec 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm

"NO to a parcel tax until fiscally responsible decisions are made!"

Do you really expect the teachers union to stand for that?


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Dublin is hiring as well, building new schools- many from Pleasanton got hired there this year. Over the next five years hundreds of retiring baby boomers will open up many positions in this valley. My school alone has many retiring, and not just teachers.

Area credential programs have put their programs on hold, not enough applying to become teachers this semester so they are holding off classes. It's all over the news and a reality that those of us IN the profession know first hand about. Web Link

Oh believe me, we know what schools have openings, who is retiring, and when. You may think PUSD is an extremely desirable place to teach (an opinion from outside the classroom) but that sentiment is not the norm anymore. The community's attitude towards the schools, teachers, and the district has become well known. You are fooling yourself to think that doesn't matter to educators.

And BTW, 7th period is an extra, you yourself are calling for fiscal responsibility- no more extras!


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 10:57 pm

"Almost two years later, property values in Pleasanton remain almost the same"

Aren't they down about 5% to 10%? I'm not saying that has anything to do with the failure of Measure G, but I'm not quite sure where you get your numbers. Do you work in Real Estate?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Really:

You must be living in a different planet. Many teachers are unemployed and many more will be soon. You speak about Dublin? Read on:
Web Link

"no more extras! "

That's right, I gave up on it a year ago. In SR, the community was fooled into thinking the "extras" would be funded by the parcel tax. Boy were they wrong: the parcel tax passed, kept the "extras" for a year and then "bye extras, money to be used for teacher raises."

But since you say no more extras in PUSD (which is already the case, 7 period is gone), why on earth would you expect me to donate or vote yes on a parcel tax? To keep only the basics with inflated salaries that keep going up even as the budget crisis continues? What you call "extras" were taken away so that the teachers could get EXTRA salary (aka step and column)

The problem is that even with the "extras" gone, we still do not have fiscally sound solutions: we still have step and column, and this year the salaries are going up again - where is the money going to come from? They continue to cut programs and things that hurt the students but they refuse to stop the raises! And Bowser on the board can only makes things worse


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

To 'Really?' -
I guess you have nothing to add about Pleasanton property values relative to the claims made by the pro-parcel tax supporters?
It seems you want to talk about all the harm done to the students by the cuts to programs, educational offerings, class sections and increased staffing levels, but don't want to talk about how the teachers and staff pay rates have stayed the same or increased. That's good, I appreciate it.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

To 'Another Resident' - Housing statistics are here:
Web Link
Go for it.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 23, 2010 at 9:10 am

To 'Really?' - Please help me with the stats in the article about the teacher pipeline in the article you referred to. It says:
"The number of Californians seeking to become teachers has plummeted by 45 percent over a seven year period -- even as student enrollments are projected to rise by 230,000 over the next decade and as many as 100,000 teachers are expected to retire.
Teaching is clearly becoming a less and less desirable profession for Californians. The number of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs has declined from 77,705 in 2001-02 to 42,245 in 2008-09, according to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Those dismal figures are paralleled by an ever smaller number of teachers getting their teaching credentials in California -- from 24,149 in 2004-05 to 17,797 in 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available."
It says that 100,000 teachers will retire in the next decade. That's 10,000 per year. And 17,797 received credentials in 08-09. Doesn't that mean there is still an oversupply of teachers in the pipeline?


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 23, 2010 at 9:17 am

To 'Really' - And then on page 8 of the CFTL report Web Link it says "The drop in the number of novice teachers is even more dramatic."
Duh. Think union seniority rules might be the cause of this? What would the pipeline look like if layoffs were determined by the quality of the teacher? Do you think more people would be in teacher credential programs if they knew that they would be evaluated on their merits and not on how many years they've been working?
You think PUSD is not a desirable place to work anymore? The community would love to see a report from PUSD on the ratio of applicants to job postings over the past 5 years. Or, since you seem to be in the know, why don't you back up your claim?


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2010 at 10:54 am

DCOT,

Don't those numbers show a 13% drop in ASP from NOV 2008 to NOV 2010? I know that ASP doesn't take into account a lot of other factors like neighborhood and size and quality of home, but that is even higher than the I thought it was.


Posted by anti-resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2010 at 11:14 am

Resident, you're reading minds and predicting the future again. Do you have some sort of personal grudge against Bowser? Do you know something about him that the more than 40% of voters who elected him don't? Why is it impossible in your mind that he ran for the board to try to help the district through a difficult time? I'd be willing to bet, without the benefit of your psychic abilities, that he spent more time and money on his campaign than his wife stands to make from increases in salary for many years.

How do you know the 7 period day will not come back? What if parcel tax language specifically stated the funds were to be used to reinstate it? Would you vote for it then?

Since you didn't answer me on the other thread, why didn't you run for the board? What are your solutions? You love to say that we should get rid of step and column, but what do you propose instead? I read the link that Stacey provided about alternative methods of compensation, and one thing I took from it is that they all required more money, at least at the start. How would you propose we pay for your system?

DCOT, you seem to be taking a very short-term view of the data provided. Currently, yes, there is probably still an oversupply of teachers in the pipeline. However, you can't assume that all of the students who earned credentials will actually go into the profession, and you can't assume they'll all end up teaching in California. I think the point of the article is that if the current trend of declining enrollment in credential programs continues, the real pain will be felt a few years down the road.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm

DCOT, The lack of teachers in our very near future is nothing new- from 2007 Web Link "Harvard's economist at the Graduate School of Education, Richard J. Murnane, conducted a study on the teaching workforce of the future. The results of that study were not promising. "It's not that you don't have some terrifically talented people going into teaching. You do. The issue is that you don't have enough. And many are the most likely to leave teaching, because they have lots of other opportunities," says Murnane. Web Link

Again, teacher attrition rates are nothing new- from 2005 Web Link Over half of all new teachers leave the job within the first five years, when they find out the 8-3 workday and summers off is not the actual work load and time required to be an effective teacher.

And do reread my posts, I said no to a parcel tax, why should I be responsible for your property values when its not an issue to you. You're the one who speaks of harm to the students, with cuts of extras, then insist the district make cuts. I've been dealing with the $20 million in cuts and it is a new norm that we have to adapt to. Less. That's what these posters are asking for, so that's what we'll have.


Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2010 at 7:50 am

Did you look at the numbers you sent me? I'm still trying to understand your point.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 29, 2010 at 10:34 am

The point remains that property values are not 'plummeting' as Val claims nor as measure G supporters predicted. Between Jun 2009 when Measure G lost, and Nov 2010, median sell price, average sale price and price per square foot have increased slightly. Supporters of the possible next school parcel tax need to be careful with any 'protects property values' claims.
Variability of sales data from month to month is high, so other statistical analysis may be helpful. You can do it yourself if you know how, or use zillow or trulia to model the data.


Posted by Nomad, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

A heads up that the next school board meeting is this Tuesday, 1/11 Web Link . Given that Governor Brown's 'be seated' budget is expected to be released on Monday, this should be the start of heightened public debate.


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