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Am I the only one that will say NO to any parcel tax?

Original post made by Jason on Feb 15, 2011

Headline says it all...

Comments (68)

Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Come join the Pleasanton Educated Voters Coalition at Web Link .


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I'll probably be voting yes. If you read these forums, you'll have already read my reasons.


Posted by Diana, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I believe the majority of voters will say no again and always as long as the money goes to pay increases. They are playing a game of hide-the-pea when they say that the tax will not be a salary tax. They are wasting much needed money on another money grab.

We are also overdue to challenge PUSD's unfunded pension liability.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm

"I believe the majority of voters will say no again and always as long as the money goes to pay increases."

Correction -- The majority of voters (62%) said yes to the last time. I think more will this time.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Maybe we need to say:
A super-minority of voters will say no again.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

"Correction -- The majority of voters (62%) said yes to the last time."

And it still did not pass. Luckily, we still require a 2/3 majority even though some, including a recently elected board member, were in favor of lowering that to a simple majority. I was among the yes votes last time, and so was my spouse. We are both voting no this time around because it is ridiculous to see raises at the same time programs are being cut. Last year, valuable programs were cancelled, but raises were given.

" I think more will this time."

I don't think so. That is probably why PUSD is doing a mail-in ballot, to try what other districts successfully did: pass the tax because many did not even know about the vote. I hope we can spread the word and make sure every resident of Pleasanton knows about the mail-in vote, knows to look out for something that could look like junk mail, to make sure they vote on this tax.

It will be interesting to see what percentage of voters actually cast a vote. If too few, perhaps prop 218 can be applied, and the vote overturned as it happened with the Santa Clara Open Space authority mail-in vote that the court ruled was in violation of voter rights as per prop 218 (prop 218 also applies to school districts)


Posted by Pepe, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I don't know about 62%. 5 in my household voted yes last time and 5 will vote no this next time. You guys should talk to your neighbors to get some level of the feel for this in the city. I have spoken with mine and out of 10 households around us, 8 are now solidly against a tax of any kind right now.


Posted by Sal, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Pepe,

You say "I have spoken with mine and out of 10 households around us, 8 are now solidly against a tax of any kind right now"

Just wondering, do you live on Tea Party Avenue?


Posted by Drexl, a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm

"Tea Party Avenue"? Silly, you think all conservatives are against taxes? Conservatism is not against taxes; it is against taxes to pay for wasteful spending. As for the schools; I will vote "yes," I contributed to the CORE fund, and wanted the tax to pass last time. No, this tax should not be a simple majority; anyhow, even if 100% of the money goes to pay salary increases, I still vote yes, contractually, they need to get a raise;if no money for raise, then teacher lay offs and higher student/teacher ratio; which I do not want.

My liberal friends; you are very friendly with Unions; are you still? If yes, then please pay for this union, and pass this damn tax; then everyone can just shut up about it.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Undecided right now, but a definite yes if S&C frozen and if nothing new is inserted to take it's financial place.

I can not join the campaigning for it in its current form as I'd ethically feel wrong phoning and telling people who aren't knowledgable about this, particularly senior citizens, that the money is going to the classroom and not towards raises as I still can't see how that is truthful in the bigger picture.

From the people I know, about 50% who were for it last year still are and about 50% are not. I don't know if this matters as the broader population surveyed seem to be for it, so maybe lowering the cost has made a difference in many people's minds.


Posted by Liberal Democrat will vote No, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Tea Party? Are you kidding? In this economic downtown, I'll be voting no for this parcel tax.

Schools should be funded equally.


Posted by embarrassing, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm

The school district has suffered cuts after cuts for the last number of years. Teachers have taken cuts and increased class size which harms the educational process. The exponential cost of this will be seen in a few years when kids who normally would have been helped have fallen through the cracks. It is very difficult to recover content missed in a single grade and if it is reading, math or writing the consequences follow the student all through school. EVEN if the parcel tax went to teachers' salaries, they are the ones that deliver the product to our children who are our greatest assets.

I am voting yes and I no longer have children in schools. My kids received a wonderful education. I want your children to have one also. We all will benefit.


Posted by Neil, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Im voting no.

Anyone can come up with a believable excuse why the tax is a good idea or needed.

Do you want to help premature babies? Say yes to this small tax.
Do you want to reduce crime? Say yes to this small tax.
Do you want to fund emergency services? Say yes to this small tax.

They never suggest that they could reduce spending to fund these projects. Its always a small tax.

Its time to say NO. We're taxed enough. We will not raise the spoiled kid's allowance who chooses to spend his money on videogames...


Posted by Graham, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Do you know the phone banks have started already for this parcel tax? This is like the Oak Grove developers. News flash---if I get a phone call to vote Yes on ANYTHING, I'll be voting NO.

The SARC reports say API scores are up so the students get an A+.

The Administration gets an F on being able to effectively manage a budget.

Also, I listen to the School Board meetings and am fed up with the word "Sacramento" being used every 30 seconds. At the end of the meeting, the board members say every other sentence that they've visited "Sacramento" or something or other. Actually a better use of your time is printing out your spreadsheets and learning what line items to cut or reduce from your operating expenditures.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm

"They never suggest that they could reduce spending"

Neil, they have reduced spending. Class sizes have risen. Teachers were fired. Programs were cut.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm

"they have reduced spending. Class sizes have risen. Teachers were fired. Programs were cut."

Yes, the reduced spending the wrong way. Even though class sizes went up, teachers were fired and programs were cut, raises were still given! How does that make sense? Even for you, concerned parent, who are OK with raises, tell me how you can look at the students/parents in the eye and tell them: hey guys, we just cut programs, fired good teachers, increased class size, but we gave some nice raises to those teachers we kept on board - aren't we the smart ones?. Do that and see what kind of response you get.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Resident,

I have already said, many times that the amount of the parcel tax is not enough in my opinion. To me, the ideal situation would be a parcel tax that could prevent layoffs and keep step and column.


Posted by Liberal Democrat will vote No, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm

No automatic raises are given in the private sector. Raises are performance based when economic times are good.

Step and column need to go. Raises that are automatic based on seniority alone are obsolete. So are car allowance perks for administrators.


Posted by Mark, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Pleasanton residents can easily afford to keep the government spending at peak levels with no layoffs or programs cut. Those they say they cant are lying.

Additionally, Pleasanton residents are among the smartest people in the nation as well. They know when they are being scammed by people who are supposed to serve the public...

Good luck with the next attempt at the parcel tax...


Posted by Steve, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm

There's 41 peopel in my household who all voted "yes" last time. But not this time. I surveyed my block and 653 peopel who voted "yes" last time will vote "no" this time. I'm liberal too but I don't want my money going towards premature babies. I support our teachers and I've given til it hurts. But they need to live within their means. Most of them are losers anyway, and should have entered competitive feilds like sales.


Posted by Steve's caretaker, a resident of Mariposa Ranch
on Feb 15, 2011 at 6:40 pm

(Post makes no sense and has been removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff.)


Posted by Steve, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Blech. Don't like this stuff. I've got to get to the next Pleasanton Educated Voters Coalition, we're all meeting in the phone booth down by the Arco in 20 minutes.


Posted by test, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Test. Is this working?

Please remove.


Posted by pondering the vote, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 16, 2011 at 7:17 am

Think this is simple politics.

If you are a liberal democrat, this is a good way to improve school for all, and paying taxes is no sin.

If you are a conservative, this is an investment in school scores and your home value, plus you may have kids in school so you might directly benefit as well. Would be silly not to bite the lip and vote yes

If you are in between, it is approx. half-way between $0 and the previous parcel tax proposal (last year), so really not much to dislike

So Vote Yes!


Posted by Diana, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 16, 2011 at 7:38 am

I am glad to see many people are no longer arguing that this is a salary tax they are instead trying to justify a salary tax. A salary tax can not be justified while cutting programs for our kids.

Vote NO salary tax!


Posted by optimistic mom, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:05 am

No, you're not the only one, Jason. I was at the phone bank last night and spoke to 30+ YES voters and 2 no voters. So no, you're not the majority, either.

The measure text says very clearly that NO parcel tax proceeds will be used for administrator salaries, nor for salary or benefit increases for any employees. The revenues are designated for specific purposes. The most important ones, in my eyes, are retaining science and reading specialists, among those purposes.

The district has cut $19.4 million out of its budget over the last 3 years. That's over 10 percent of the annual budget! They eliminated 30 percent of the administrative positions. They have found savings to cut away from the classroom, and continue to look, but administrative costs are a very small portion of the budget.

LOL@Steve, the phone booth at ARCO!


Posted by Glen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

"... Class sizes have risen. Teachers were fired. Programs were cut."

Yet pay rates continue to go up each year. And now there is a tax proposal that will barly fund the raises this year plus the cost of the election.

I'll be saying no, as will the other four votes in my home.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:24 am

"The measure text says very clearly that NO parcel tax proceeds will be used for administrator salaries, nor for salary or benefit increases for any employees."

This is a lie. The money will be indirectly used for salary increases, aka, step and column. PUSD will take money from programs to pay for salary increases, then they will take the money from the tax to replace the money they took from the programs. Did you explain this concept to the 30+ yes people you spoke to?

A person who posts a lot, "concerned parent," has said that in his/her observations, people want the tax even if it goes to salary increases, so why is PUSD having to tell half truths on the ballot? Why not say it like it is? That the reason programs were cut was because they gave raises, and the tax is to replace the money that was taken out for raises.

Add two more to the 2 no votes you talked to last night (mine and my spouse's). Maybe the phone bank is selectively picking those who will say yes, so they know to look for the ballot in the mail. Remember that prop 218 ensures that a tax can be challeged if voter rights were in violation (like the mail in ballot of the Santa Clara Open Space Authority). If PUSD is so sure of the support for this tax, let everyone know about it, let them know that something in the mail will come in and it will be about a tax, that they should not dismiss it as junk mail.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:32 am

Stacey is a registered user.

pondering the vote wrote: "this is an investment in school scores and your home value"

If only it were that simple, people would be throwing wads of money at the schools! Then explain why there are districts like Washington DC with the lowest performing schools and the largest per pupil amounts of money in the nation?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

"To me, the ideal situation would be a parcel tax that could prevent layoffs and keep step and column."

But that is not the situation, concerned parent. You know very well that the tax is for 98 dollars, and that amount is enough for raises and to pay for the election. No money left for programs.

The programs that were cut last year would not come back with this parcel tax, and yet the teachers would get a raise once again. If the tax passes, it will be that money used for raises, and if not, more programs will be cut.

Knowing that, how can you be all for raises? Raises are a problem even in school districts with parcel taxes. Look at Cupertino, whose community supported a parcel tax, and it kept programs for one year. The year after, the money was not enough even for raises, so the community had to raise 3 million to keep programs from being cut further. This year, again raises are given and programs are about to be cut (they already announced that class size in elementary is going up to 30). Cupertino's parcel tax only fooled the community and delayed the inevitable, and it is all because they did not address the root problem: raises.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

To 'optimistic mom' - Please explain how PUSD will not use this new parcel tax revenue for salary and benefits.
With CORE (community fundraiser) last year, they created a budget where they laid off technology specialists, library assistants, and used those funds to pay for salary increases and more longevity bonuses. Then they held the CORE campaign to pay for those laid off positions. They then could (hardly) claim that CORE funds went only for those positions.
As with all accounting tricks, what PUSD won't tell you about this charade, is that they allocated funds for raises FIRST, laid off positions SECOND, and then put their hand out for your additional funds.
With the new parcel tax, PUSD is playing the same budget shell game to fool you. I challenge you to learn the facts about how PUSD budget money is fungible.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

Stacey,

"If only it were that simple, people would be throwing wads of money at the schools! Then explain why there are districts like Washington DC with the lowest performing schools and the largest per pupil amounts of money in the nation?"

It isn't that simple. Throwing money at broken, minimally functioning districts like the ones in Washington DC is not the same thing at all as throwing money at high performing districts like PUSD.

Will you be supporting this parcel tax?


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:35 am

Resident,

You said:

"Knowing that, how can you be all for raises? Raises are a problem even in school districts with parcel taxes. Look at Cupertino, whose community supported a parcel tax, and it kept programs for one year. "

"To Attract and retain highly-qualified teachers" is a stated goal of Measure E. Keeping step and column raises goes to that goal, both here and in Cupertino.

Cupertino is looking to the community to raise still more money for their excellent schools. I hope we do the same here.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Don't mislead people to believe that their property values will increase as a result of the parcel tax.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:42 am

Stacey is a registered user.

concerned parent,

Do you know the total size of the PUSD budget in 2007? And what's the total size of the budget today?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:59 am

""To Attract and retain highly-qualified teachers" is a stated goal of Measure E. Keeping step and column raises goes to that goal, both here and in Cupertino."

We already went through this. The system in place does not support keeping and rewarding only the excellent teachers. There are some really bad ones too in PUSD, that get to stay and get raises based on years worked, not performance. The tax money would go for raises, whether a teacher is good or bad. An entire forum was deleted last night, but in there, there were other posts besides mine which spoke of the need of students for tutoring services. PMS is an example of how not all students do well with just the instruction in school.

It is semantics.

Concerned parent: if PUSD is so sure of the support for this tax, why are they lying? Did you see the post above from someone who worked the phone banks and claims that no money will go for raisees? You know very well that the money will indirectly go for raises, so why the need to lie if PUSD is so certain of the support for this tax, and you are so sure that people will vote for a tax to finance raises? Why the need for half truths and wording that mislead people?


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

To 'optimistic mom' - Do you know how your phone list was determined? Was it a list of all the people who supported the losing parcel tax last time? Was it the list the parcel tax consultant TBWB provided based on the PUSD funded survey that showed Democratic women would be most likely to vote yes? Was it a list of all Democrats, since the Democrat party has endorsed this new tax (hardly surprising, isn't it)? Was it a list of all the people who donated $80,000 for the last failed parcel tax measure? Trying to drum up money for this next go around to pay for mailers, PW ads, yard signs and more?


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

"Concerned parent: if PUSD is so sure of the support for this tax, why are they lying? Did you see the post above from someone who worked the phone banks and claims that no money will go for raisees? You know very well that the money will indirectly go for raises, so why the need to lie if PUSD is so certain of the support for this tax, and you are so sure that people will vote for a tax to finance raises? Why the need for half truths and wording that mislead people?"

I don't think there is anything half true or misleading. Those step and column raises were scheduled long before any talk of a parcel tax.

Also, on another forum you said:

" I do not know your circumstances, but statistically speaking, many PUSD students are in remedial type classes"

I requested that you provide the source for those statistics. Where did find them? Where can I verify them?


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:05 am

"Do you know the total size of the PUSD budget in 2007? And what's the total size of the budget today?"

Please provide links if you have them, and remember to adjust them both for the number of students and required costs (such as electricity). I remember at a presentation given by the school where they showed a drop in the money from 2007 to 2009, or it could have been from 2006 to 2009.

Will you be supporting this parcel tax? I'll be doing volunteer work on it. I'd like to meet you personally to discuss some of this, if possible.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

"" I do not know your circumstances, but statistically speaking, many PUSD students are in remedial type classes"

I requested that you provide the source for those statistics. Where did find them? Where can I verify them?"

I replied to you in the forum that was deleted. I do not have the statistics as there is no information on the PUSD website. I know from talking to other parents. You can obtain percentages, I suppose, from the district if they are willing to give them.

I do know that many students are in AVID classes beginning in 8th grade, these are students who struggle and are placed in this program to get extra help.

There are also students in the Math I - Math IV sequence for those who are not proficient in Math when they enter high school. One of my child's classmates from middle school ended up in that program, and there were quite a few sections of it. Basically, instead of moving on to Algebra II or Geometry in 9th grade, students who are behind take that sequence of Math (approved by the universities) so they can have the equivalent of the required Algebra/Geometry/Algebra2. The sequence Math I - Math IV is remedial Math, and many students are enrolled in it. Students who get outside tutoring help do not need this sequence of Math. If teachers were that great, no student would be in need of tutoring or remedial classes.

And even if the PW does not want the community talking about it: PMS is on probation because certain group of students did not score well on the tests. These students are the ones thanks to whom PMS gets Title I funding, and therefore cannot afford to hire private tutors as do other kids in PUSD. They are stuck with the learning, or lack of, that is taught in school (not enough obviously, or they would have scored well).


"I don't think there is anything half true or misleading. Those step and column raises were scheduled long before any talk of a parcel tax. "

Of course they are misleading. They are trying to make the community believe that no money is going to be used towards raises, and they are lying. They are going (have not done so since budget has not been finalized and negotiations are ongoing) to take money from certain programs and use that money for RAISES. Then they are going to use the tax money to replace the money used for raises. One thing you forget is that step and column is more each year, so next year, they may not have enough money even for step and column from the tax (Cupertino went through that).

"Start afresh" has a good explanation above about what was done with money raised through CORE. They cancelled tech specialists in order to give raises, then they raised money to reinstate tech specialists.

If you are so sure that PUSD is not lying, suggest that they tell the truth on the ballot. Have them say that PUSD gave raises as per the contract, and in order to afford the raises, they had to take the money from valuable student programs. And the parcel tax is meant to replace the money used for raises. Have that, and then if the tax passes you can truly say that the community supports raises. The way the ballot is worded now, is misleading and the people like "optimistic mom" are telling half truths to people when they talk to them on the phone. Obviously, someone out there knows that the community will vote no on the tax if they knew the truth (that raises were given with the money from student programs and the tax is meant to replace that money - any smart individual would figure out that yes, the tax is being used indirectly for raises)


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

"They are stuck with the learning, or lack of, that is taught in school (not enough obviously, or they would have scored well)."

I don't think you can make that conclusion. It could easily be that these students' English skills and preparation were so poor that they needed remedial help. They are clearly a very small number of students as that article made clear.

" If teachers were that great, no student would be in need of tutoring or remedial classes."

I just don't agree with that. Students come from many different backgrounds and have many different levels of ability.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

"I just don't agree with that. Students come from many different backgrounds and have many different levels of ability."

But there are many students in need of help, and that can't be explained by background and levels of ability alone. The demographics in Pleasanton indicate that students should not need remedial classes, yet many do. There are some students lucky enough to end up with good teachers and do not need help outside of school (one of my children had an excellent teacher one year and it was good to see all the learning done in school), but not all students get assigned to good teachers, and not all students have parents who can tutor them. Many students have to rely on tutoring services, and unfortunately, there are students who are not able to afford such services and therefore end up falling behind more and more each year and end up needing remedial classes.

"They are clearly a very small number of students as that article made clear."

If the number of students is so small, why are they failing? They should be able to receive appropriate instruction, after all that is the purpose of Title I funds. No, students fall behind because of bad teaching. I know you disagree, but I have seen in with my own kids, who are great students but there have been years when we have had to be the math tutor because the teacher they ended up with was clueless. And yes, there are times when the teacher was so great that no help from us was needed and the learning was done in school.

It is a gamble each year: you may or may not end up with a good teacher. FHS now has a policy to discourage switching teachers, and AVHS made it hard for students to do so this year. Why do you think that is? Because students know who are good teachers and try to get into those classes, so they can avoid the outside help they will need if stuck with one of the known bad teachers. Same with elementary: parents request teachers and others request to not be placed with certain teachers.


Posted by not so much, a resident of Charter Oaks
on Feb 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Actually the policy of not switching teachers has more to do with all the kids that switch classes to be in classes with their friends. The vast majority of students switching classes was because of this, NOT because of bad teachers. I am definitely not saying that class switching because of teachers didn't happen because it does, but I wanted to clarify your point with the actual truth. The new policy is MUCH better and requires students to try and wait it out before just assuming anything.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Feb 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I got the call last night. I gave them my no vote and my husband's. To the mom that says kids don't change classes for teachers, they change for friends: That is definitely not true at Foothill. There are clearly teachers that are the easy A and teachers that don't like to give A's. The kids know that. My child's regular (not honors) English teacher only gave 2 A's last semester. Thankfully my child received one of them. Should that be the grading structure in a regular class? How do you justify that. Either the kids aren't prepared to enter the class or the teacher is not able to articulate her expectations.


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Why a parcel tax? Why punish people for owning properties in P-town? Why not pass a parents tax? child tax? drive to school tax? We need to tax the same people who use those services. Those people who choose to have children. There is no free lunch so fork up or shut up. Your children are your problem, not mine.


Posted by citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Zounds! Get a load of Jerry! Now there's an intelligent comment if I've ever read one. Perfect candidate for the PEV cabal. Yet, he'll be the first to complain about the rising costs to imprison an ever increasing population of inmates, and he'll voice the complaint without having the slightest awareness of how ridiculous he sounds. Hey, Jerry, I've got some friends you might want to meet. Ever hear of steve or resident or two cents? Bird(s) of a feather.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 17, 2011 at 8:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Concerned parent,

Look it up ed-data. Electricity costs do not account for millions and PUSD's enrollment has been relatively stable.

The point is that you're misleading people to believe that their property values will increase if they pass the parcel tax (and decrease if they don't) when their property values have actually decreased (slightly) all during a period of time when PUSD's revenue has been getting larger.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 8:30 am

"The point is that you're misleading people to believe that their property values will increase if they pass the parcel tax (and decrease if they don't) when their property values have actually decreased (slightly) all during a period of time when PUSD's revenue has been getting larger."

I was only repeating what I remember hearing at an information meeting where they presented a drop in revenue for PUSD. If I made a mistake, I'll be happy to correct it. Please provide any links that you used to research this.

Will you be supporting the current parcel tax proposal? I'd like to meet with you to get your input if I can. The more information we can get, the better.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 8:34 am

"The point is that you're misleading people to believe that their property values will increase if they pass the parcel tax "

Did I say that they would? That must have been a different "concerned parent".


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 9:05 am

Stacey,

That ed-data site only has information up until the 2008/2009 school year, when there were no cuts. 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 both saw cuts. Here is a link.

"For example, the PUSD budget was cut: $11.2 million in 2009/2010 and $8.2 million in 2010/2011"

Web Link


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 17, 2011 at 9:09 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Not exactly. You were responding to my response to another poster who did, claiming that somehow the link between property values and school quality and money was different.

I donate my money directly to the schools. I am not interested in supporting a parcel tax that is structured as a single amount per parcel. It goes against my beliefs of what constitutes fair taxation. Nor am I interested in the vague language that translates into no accountability. Measure E claims to set up an independent oversight committee. Will they be independent of the school board? These are the same issues I had with Measure G.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

" It goes against my beliefs of what constitutes fair taxation."

Don't you think we have an overly progressive tax system as it is? I think something like 40% of people don't pay any federal or state income tax at all. As you know, proposition 13 does not allow a parcel tax to be tied to the value of a home. I don't there would be any legal or practical way of making a parcel tax less regressive. It is a problem with proposition 13.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I've written to you before on this matter. Prop. 13 does not restrict one to a regressive parcel tax.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm

"I've written to you before on this matter. Prop. 13 does not restrict one to a regressive parcel tax."

I didn't understand what you wrote. Maybe you could show me an example of such a parcel tax?


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

To 'concerned parent' - Alameda USD has a parcel tax based on square footage. However, to get business support, they placed a cap on the total amount which then makes it a regressive tax.
Web Link and Web Link
Alameda has its own problems with this parcel tax Web Link and it is becoming clearer that PUSD and the unions have embarked on a similar strategy of withholding information and constructing false choice arguments to instill fear into the voters to pass the new tax.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Berkeley and Albany both have per square footage parcel taxes. They also do it on a split roll, which isn't something I would necessarily agree with. Alameda also has this kind of parcel tax and the reason they were challenged is because of the split roll and the cap. The businesses that are against propose a non-split roll per square footage tax with no cap. The cap was making it regressive. The split roll presents the possibility of a violation of the uniformity rule.

Waaay back before Measure G when John Casey spoke at a budget forum, he said that the per square footage parcel tax is usually easier to pass because it is seen as more fair and that it tends to raise more revenue than the flat amount. He also said that it means more work on the district's part to figure out the rate.


Posted by AVID Rocks, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Dear Resident,

The AVID program is NOT a remedial program. It is a college prep program for kids in the middle. The middle is defined as a 2.0-3.5, which is a big range. The idea being that there are a lot of programs for the honors set and the low performing kids but not for the majority of kids which are in this middle. The AVID kids have committed to attending a 4 year college upon graduating high school and want extra opportunities like organization, study skills, college field trips, tutoring, etc. Frankly, all students could benefit from a program like AVID. And it works!

Former AVID High School Coordinator


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Thanks Stacey and SA,

I see what you mean in those cases. Too bad they can't just tie it to the appraised value of the house, like some of the other taxes we pay.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm

"The middle is defined as a 2.0-3.5, which is a big range. "

The parents I know do not consider AVID a program for the "middle" but for those who are struggling. The kids I know in the program are C students. I consider a 2.0 an unacceptable GPA. Most kids I know of in the program are in the 2.0 or lower GPA range.

Most parents and students I have talked to consider AVID a remedial program, just like the Math I - IV sequence in HS.

I know that schools try to make it seem like it is a good thing, and they announce the names as if it were a good thing, but students know better.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm

""The middle is defined as a 2.0-3.5, which is a big range. "

Also, a 3.5 GPA in HS is not considered a good one by top universities, considering that it is a weighed GPA and the average acceptable GPA is 4.3.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 11:06 pm

""The middle is defined as a 2.0-3.5, which is a big range. "

One last thing: while a 3.5 GPA may be oK for middle school, once in HS that is not such a good one if the student (AVID or not) is taking AP classes. Getting a C in a class is not a good thing, yet that gives the student taking an AP class 3 points (the equivalent of a B in a regular class)

So if a student takes two AP classes and gets a B and a C, his/her GPA would be 3.5... and you don't think this student is in need of help? yikes!


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 11:35 pm

"So if a student takes two AP classes and gets a B and a C, his/her GPA would be 3.5... and you don't think this student is in need of help? yikes!"

OK, I'm thoroughly confused. Do you think a student taking AP classes that gets a B and C needs help or they don't need help?


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Let's sum it up this way - the state is basically broke. We can't pay teachers nothing to work, so programs have to be cut. If you want the best you are going to have to pay for private school or move to a district that has more money (which usually means big parcel taxes, but not always). Its really that simple. The parcel tax will not bring back anything. It probably won't pass anyway, and its so little that there is not much benefit and any benefit will quickly disappear as the state budget continues to decline.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2011 at 8:43 am

"Do you think a student taking AP classes that gets a B and C needs help or they don't need help? "

I think they do need help, and in fact, if my child was making a C in an AP class, I would either help/get help for my child or suggest that my child takes the regular class instead.

I mentioned AP classes because if you go to the AVID website, they make it look like their students take rigorous classes, including AP classes. Yet they say that to qualify for the program you have to be in the lower GPA range of 2.0 - 3.5, and that they have even D students join the program.

My point is that AVID is a remedial program, even if they try to present it as something different.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2011 at 8:48 am

"The parcel tax will not bring back anything. "

Exactly. At 98 per parcel, the only thing the parcel tax would do is get enough money for raises and the cost of the election. Nothing is coming back. Raises are a problem, and until they are addressed, education will continue to suffer.

I hope Wisconsin is successful in their effors to reform unions. Did you see the article? Teachers stopped teaching as a way to protest the efforts to make union employees stop being able to bargain collectively, pay more for their pensions, etc.


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2011 at 8:52 am

Resident - well, I respectfully, but completely disagree with your assessment of AP classes. If a student is challenged in an AP class and works to learn and gets a C, I think that is much more beneficial then someone who takes a non-AP class and breezes through without having to do much of anything. However, I do think that most students should only be taking AP classes in areas that they enjoy instead of trying to boost their GPA. Ah, if only......


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2011 at 8:58 am

AVID is not necessarily remedial. It is a support class that can be (and is) done very well at some schools and can be (and is) done very poorly at others. True, it is generally not something for the top students, but it is also not for the bottom students it is directed at college bound students.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2011 at 10:54 am

Some backgroung about AVID, from the AVID website:

"During its 30-year history, AVID has demonstrated success by preparing elementary and secondary students, mostly underserved from families without a college-going tradition."

"There are hard truths to which AVID can bring hope: Only half of our college students receive a degree and 30% of entering freshmen enroll in remedial coursework. "

Web Link

"AVID targets students in the academic middle - B, C, and even D students - who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. "

Web Link

Me Too: AVID looks remedial to me. And yes, we have different standards although I respect yours. A grade of C is not acceptable for me, and imo, a kid struggling in an AP class (ie, getting a C) needs to get help or transfer to a more appropriate class they can handle.


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