Private school parents Support Measure E Schools & Kids, posted by Nancy Johnson, a resident of the Pheasant Ridge neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2011 at 9:44 pm
Even though I pay $15,000+ each to send my children to private school (here in Pleasanton), myself and other Carden West parents are still YES on Measure E residents and voters.
Each child deserves the chance to learn, children falling behind need reading assistance early-on, libraries open up a world of possibilities to kids, and great teachers can motivate all kids to do their best.
Pleasanton is our home because of the parks, families and community. Just $98 a year for Measure E, for just 4 years, with public accountability, is a small price to pay to keep Pleasanton Unified School District's API scores high - which help all of our homes' re-sale values, and helps the children in the community (and families who might not have the option of choosing private school for their kids).
Private school Pleasanton parents / voters / homeowners Support Measure E!
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:10 am
I'm happy to see that people see the importance to Pleasanton of supporting a top-flight school program regardless of whether they have children in school or not. The overall quality of our community and our high property values are directly linked to the quality of our schools, and that should be a concern to everyone living in Pleasanton.
Posted by Jacob, a resident of the Ridgeview Commons neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:28 am
It is refreshing to see a post that is informed by an overall sense of what is good for the community. We also have a child in private school, and we intend to vote Yes on the parcel tax E. Strong schools promotes a high quality of community life for everyone.
Posted by local, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:31 am
I agree a great school system is needed and money for programs. What I do not agree with is giving out raises which will eat up all of the Measure E money. Stop the raises and I would support the tax. I know there will be little if any money available for school programs after the raises eat the money up.
When money is coming in from the state again to pay for raises, I am in favor of giving out raises but until that happens, there should not be raises given out.
Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:39 am
Thanks "local", good to read a post from someone other than a teacher advocating for their S & C. Little if any money for programs??? The truth is that there will not even be enough money next year to pay for their raises. This tax is not for the kids and not for the schools, it is for the teachers and their raises. That's it, nothing else will be left.
Posted by Yes on Measure E, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:10 am
I know that actually reading a bill before taking a position on it is likely to be deemed "elitist" by those who'd rather react to it on gut instinct. After all, that's how its done in the "don't blink, don't think, just shoot" crowd. But those of us who want a more literate and educated citizenry, and who have actually taken the time to read the bill will be voting for it. In case you are interested in actually knowing what the bill contains, I'd suggest reading the sample ballot which contains the actual bill language, particularly lines 32-36 where it says: "Under no circumstances shall any proceeds of the...parcel tax be used for administrators' salaries or benefits and no parcal tax revenue will be used to increase salaries or benefits for employees."
Posted by Accountability, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:29 am
In any business, all items being purchased are clearly identified before approving an expenditure. Why has this measure not clearly identified these educational programs that the parcel tax will save? I agree with other statements above, that our education system needs community support to improve results, maximizing our home values. Exhibiting accountibility for parcel tax expenditures is not too much to ask given the current economic environment.
Posted by concerned parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:29 am
I do have children in the schools and I'm grateful for people like Nancy who understand the importance of education to our community and to society. My household will definitely be voting yes on E. And if you're worried about the tax being for "the teachers", I'd just have to say that I've been very impressed with the teachers my children have had in PUSD. I hope they keep up the good work.
Posted by Maybe?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:41 am
According to 'Accountability' I must not be a very good businessman. My budget each year is established around a general set of goals, complete with a great deal of discretionary flexibility. This has always worked well for me, as the business I now own has been thriving for many years now. I've read the E Measure, and its stated goals seem perfectly fine.
I wonder what kind of business acumen 'Accountability' has shown? Any credibility there? Hello?
I and many neighbors I've spoken to are enthusiastic supporters of Measure E. It's for the kids. Let's not jeopardize their education becausel someone wants to score piddling political points.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:49 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
How much money of the parcel tax will go to saving reading specialists, which are a crucial component towards reaching the goal of obtaining a literate and educated citizenry? Please, don't shoot or blink, just think.
This isn't about how one feels about public education. It is about ensuring that funds are put where they will be the most effective. The district's hands should be tied when it comes to how much of the parcel tax money they must spend on reading specialists. Reading is one of the most important skills of learning and the district should not be allowed to cut reading specialists just because a bunch of State legislators can't get their priorities straight.
Posted by b, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:08 am
Thank you for this post, Nancy. You clearly understand what is at stake, and you've articulated it nicely.
To the other posters: I generally disagree with your characterization of this parcel tax as supporting raises. But even if it did, that's possibly the best investment we could make. Our teachers are what make this school district great, and paying premium salaries and handing out generous raises will ensure that we continue to attract and retain the best and brightest teachers. Let them focus on teaching, not worrying about whether their pay is going to be cut.
Posted by concerned parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:56 am
You said "The district's hands should be tied when it comes to how much of the parcel tax money they must spend on reading specialists." But some other voter might say something else is more important to that voter than reading specialists. For me, I'd rather the district set the priorities on what they will fund. I think their track record is quite good, and we have an excellent school district. They are specialists in education. They've certainly earned my trust.
Posted by Steven, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:05 am
It is interesting how all these posts are placed on these forums, almost like the advertisements on the Jim Carrey movie "The Truman Show"!
When the economy was going gangbusters, and everyone's home increased in value, and people were buying homes like crazy, the property taxes income that Pleasanton was taking in went through the roof as well.
What happened to ALL that money? Government organizations do not have a good record being good stewards of taxpayer money.
They do not budget well, or spend well. Why? Because they can always extend their hand out to the taxpayers and get some more!
When the economy is doing well, not a lot of people (taxpayers) pay attention to it. But with the economy the way it is, the taxpayers are noticing it. Then the news comes to light about school salaries, pensions, bond refinancing (really? what a bad deal for the taxpayer!!!), letting go of young teachers so that senior teachers can have their promised raises (rather than everyone take a pay cut, hey this is what happens in private business), step and column, unions and ridgid rules. What a twisted web have we weaved!
Everyone, everyone is hurting. Even in a well to do town like Pleasanton. With job losses, homes losing value, all kinds of uncertainty, and the school district cannot balance its budget. So they keep asking for more and more money!!
I cannot support neasure E, and I don't know where some of you found your "enthusiastic" neighbors, but mine won't support it either!!
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:06 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
The district is cutting reading specialists so they already set their priorities. I think what you write is true that every voter will say something else is more important. That's why it is so important for the district to educate the public as to which programs are truly important. Cutting reading specialists seems to say that they are not so important. Can you find any education expert who would agree that reading specialists are not important?
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:23 am
Dear Nancy Johnson, I appreciate your blind support for our schools. Education & Disclosure: Carden West School Web Link is Pre-K to 8th grade; so the Parents have children that will be going into Pleasanton Schools. The Economy is so bad for many that struggle to survive perhaps by not making their loan payments, credit cards, bills, eckcetera. Don't worry about real estate values, I work out of town you may not have a clue how bad it is in other communities. People sacrifice to get into Pleasanton. We need to learn how to live within our means. Some say the government is out of money so when is enough enough.
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:39 am
Thanks for all the nice comments about the value of public education. But I see some of the commentators are once again insisting on the false equivalency between budgeting for government services and budgeting for a business.
If I own a business and I lose 10% of my customers, I can cut back by laying off staff. Fewer customers = less staff to serve them.
Public schools don't have that option. We have to take all of the children who enroll in school and serve them as best we can. At Hart Middle School, we have the same number of students as we did before the layoffs, but with fewer teachers and classified staff to serve them.
That's how government services work, and it's quite different from the private sector.
As for sequestering any money raised from a parcel tax for one purpose and only that purpose, that is a foolish way to budget. The parcel tax is supposed to last for four years, and in that time, the staffing levels required to best serve the children of our community may change. There is also the considerable uncertainty of funding from the state from year to year, which means that PUSD needs to be as flexible as it can in shifting funds from program to program. W
What if the state, for example, gives PUSD significant funds but earmarks them ONLY for reading specialists? If the parcel tax money is also earmarked ONLY for reading specialists, PUSD would then have a surplus of money in one program while other areas are starved of operating funds.
Those of you who say this is an issue of trust are quite right. Either you trust Ms. Ahmadi's administration to use the parcel tax money wisely, or you do not. It's an investment of $98 annually in the future of Pleasanton, and give PUSD's standing as one of the state's best school districts, I'd say it's a reasonable risk.
Posted by Steven, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm
Yes, if a business loses 10% of its customers, they can cut staff. If the number of children goes up, then class sizes can increase. It's OK!
My age group went to school where 30 and 35 students per classroom was the norm. There were no computers, maybe some calculators, if you could afford them!! If you wanted to do a presentation, there was no Powerpoint, just color paper and boards.
And yet our age group created the personal computer, the cell phone, the World Wide Web, graphical user interfaces, etc etc etc.
The kids will be alright with some increased class sizes, some less reading specialists, or some less sports programs. It will be fine.
If we have this conversation 30 years from now, we will marvel at the innovations that today's kids will bring to our world.
Posted by concerned parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm
"Cutting reading specialists seems to say that they are not so important. Can you find any education expert who would agree that reading specialists are not important?"
No, but many factors go in to that decision. Maybe they thought they already had enough specialists even with the cuts and needed to balance that against the other programs that would need to be cut. The bottom line for me is that they are doing a great job. I'm a strong yes on E. Most of the people I talked to in my neighborhood over the weekend were also voting for measure E.
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm
The geniuses who invented all of those lovely devices were the products of Ivy League educations, exclusive private schools, and (in the case of Steven Jobs and Bill Gates), were college dropouts (although Gates dropped out of Harvard!)
The world is a more complex place now. Students have many distractions (cell phones, for example!) that detract from learning. Family life is fractured, so there is less support at home as both parents work outside the home and children try to cope with living in single-parent households.
On top of that, more and more students in California and PUSD speak English as a second language, which is one more hurdle to learning (on the plus side, in the long run it's an advantage for people to be bilingual or multilingual).
I could go on and on, but comparing today's schools with those of a previous generation "in the good old days" reminds me of my Dad's stories about the one-room schoolhouse, walking 20 miles to school in a snowstorm while fighting off packs of wolves, etc. It's apples and oranges.
(P.S.--Please don't tell me students shouldn't be allowed to have their cell phones on during the school day. I agree, and school policy states they shouldn't, but we teachers fight a constant battle with parents who INSIST that they have the "right" to call their children at ANY TIME, even during class time. And no, we are not allowed to confiscate the phones.)
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm
@Steven:"My age group went to school where 30 and 35 students per classroom was the norm. There were no computers, maybe some calculators, if you could afford them!! If you wanted to do a presentation, there was no Powerpoint, just color paper and boards. And yet our age group created the personal computer, the cell phone, the World Wide Web..."
So what's your point? That our students would perform better if we made class sizes larger and had them do without computers, calculators, audiovisual equipment, etc.? Or are you saying that class size, computers, calculators, etc. don't matter?
I'm a professional (a physicist), and I admit I went to some horrible schools in Florida and Georgia. Yeah, things turned out well and I got a Ph.D. from an Ivy League university. But make no mistake: Things turned out well DESPITE the fact that I went to some bad schools, not because I went to some bad schools.
So, yes, the earlier generation did some pretty great things (e.g., the PC, the cell phone) DESPITE large class sizes and many of the modern tools that teachers and students take for granted today. But I suggest to you that this earlier generation might have done even more things if they had been given even greater educational advantages and resources.
Posted by hmmmm, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm
@Steven who states
"Indeed we can provide a good education DESPITE larger class sizes."
That about sums up why I and members of my household are strong supporters of Measure E. It's unbelievable that there are people out there who care not about the quality of P-Town's education. As he states: 'it is in the final analysis about the money'. No, Steven, I think you're woefully wrong. You may think you're right, but most of us, in the final analysis, care about quality education. I wish Steven and others would stay away from our kids.
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm
The nice person that started this thread doesnt understand the difference between being able to afford the tax and the principle behind the tax. $98 is not a challenge for them, but if it were, lets say $1,098, then they might have a different opinion. $1,098 is closer to what the school really needs without making any uncomfortable cuts, but they know nobody would agree to pay that much. Pleasanton is the richest city of its size in the country, whose residents could easily afford $1,098 to save the school system from having to tighten their belts. But the people who designed the tax probably calculated that voters would relate $98 more to the cost of a something "good/cheap" like daily Starbucks, or car-washes rather than to something "bad/unpleasant/expensive" like auto-insurance. The tax is not related to what money they actually need to make a true difference. The consultants merely invented a pallatable number that would likely pass...
The principle we need to remember is that we are taxed enough and cost cutting needs to happen at all levels in this state and country. Sugar coating taxes by making them small (yet frequent) or saying that it will ensure Pleasanton as a top school system are propaganda designed to keep the public sector from making cuts in the face of falling revenues.
Anyway, sorry to be wordy... But I think this tax will probably pass because it was well engineered to sucker Pleasanton's gullible voting population. People like the original poster to this thread will vote yes because they believe they are helping. This is similar behavior to the people who send money to television preachers. You dont send much money, just a small amount that you wont miss because you believe it will help...
Posted by Arthur, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm
I'm more than happy to pay the tax because every little bit does help. I think the school district has cut far enough already and it is time for me to do my part. As to being "taxed enough", I'm paying much lower taxes today than I did thirty years ago. If you want to think I'm gullible, that is okay with me. Yes, I can afford to pay the tax and I'll also donate to the schools to help make up what the tax won't cover. I'm voting yes on E.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm
Ahem, Joe. Please tell me that you're not a product of Pleasanton schools because or, if you did, please reassure me by telling me that you flunked your civic class. This is a democracy. We decide the course of community actions on the basis of majority votes. I'm sure that there are some government programs that you support but that I and others oppose. Would you say that you are "forcing" your beliefs on others when others have to pay taxes on government programs that you support but they oppose? Of course not. But when the popular vote goes the other way, you cry "foul" like a petulant little child and say that others are "forcing" their beliefs on you. Grow up.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
District budgets frequently contain restricted funds as well as unrestricted funds. The State and Feds typically restrict funds because they want to ensure that the funds go towards their intended purposes and not get negotiated away into salaries and benefits. I recognize that there's a balance to be struck between restricted uses and flexibility. Finding the balance requires regular assessments, something California has been lacking with regards to categoricals and mandates. I see little foolishness in asking for parcel tax funds to be restricted. It would ensure that reading specialists are not cut in another year. I can't see how the need for reading specialists would be much less in the next four years.
Posted by Brandon, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2011 at 7:48 am
IF YOU READ THE SAMPLE BALLOT PHAMPHLET MAILED TO YOUR HOME THEN YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO SUMMARIZE THIS REDICULOUS TAX PROPOSAL WHICH SAYS:
IT SAYS THE FOLLOWING:
1. "Rather than freezing salaries, the District chose to eliminate 67 new, energetic teachers while handing out $9,000,000 in raises for administrators and employees."
2. "Salaries have NOT been frozen; in fact, they increase automatically every year. At least $15,000,000 in increases will be given out during the term of this tax."
3. "The District recently received an additional $3,400,000 from the Federal government towards next years budget."
Please Pleasanton residents READ THE FACTS about WHERE our tax dollars are being spent!
While the private sector tax payers continue to get hours cut, wages cut or frozen, OUR taxpayers continue to pay up to 80% of a teachers last year wage, EVERY YEAR FOR THEIR ENTIRE RETIREMENT. REDICULOUS AND ITS TIME THE TAXPAYERS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WITH SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS LOBBYING POLITICIANS TO BENEFIT PUBLIC UNION WORKERS!
WE are all in this together, its time to make public and private workers get salaries and benefits that are similar not one sided because of Unions paying politicians to benefit them!
Posted by Arthur, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2011 at 8:05 am
I did read the pamphlet and it didn't say what you're saying. Maybe you got confused and read a pamphlet from another district. That is easy to do. When you put quotes around a sentence, I take that to mean you are quoting word for word. I can't find those words anywhere in the ballot.
Salaries are not automatically increased every year. Some teachers are eligible for increases in a given year, some are not.
Pleasanton schools are excellent. I am happy to support our schools and our teachers. This is exactly where I want my tax dollars spent. I am voting for Measure E.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm
I am against the proposition.
As much as I support quality education, I realize that simply throwing more money into the pot is not the best way to motivate the district to make the changes it needs to solve its problems.
I also realize that what it does without the extra money will give us a clearer picture of its actual motives. Will it sacrifice pay to keep programs, or will it sacrifice programs to keep pay?
Actions still speak louder than words; and the rhetorical bait and switch of "I care about your children's education, so pay me more" isn't nearly as indicative of a desire for improvement as the more logically consistent "We have voted to freeze pay for the next contract period in accordance with our claim to value quality above all else".
Posted by Fact checker, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm
First, ballot arguments pro and con are political. It is rhetoric and no one fact checks anything before it published. It is fine to say that Pleasanton received a certain amount from the federal government and make it sound like a lot of money. It is one time money and the argument does not mention what percentage of the budget it might be. Please do your own homework.
No matter how much Pleasanton collects in property tax, the average daily attendance amount is the same unless the amount the state can afford goes down, which is currently the case. If you watched the school board meeting you would know that they are expecting a $400-$600 decrease per child. School districts can't save for a rainy day in the manner suggested. The money is to educate the students who attend now. When the state decreases the funding the number of students stay the same. The services decrease, most probably for the students who may need it the most.
Many of us were in classrooms with 30-35 students and did fine most of the time. That works for most students who are average to above average in ability and have no disrupting event in their lives, (like a divorce or a death) ever. It doesn't work well if you have special needs, either temporary or permanent or need any kind of individual attention. In reality all children need individual attention at some time while in school.
Finally, I find it particularly interesting that of the FIVE people who signed the ballot argument against, two can exempt themselves from the tax due to age and one has a child in school with special needs who requires a full time aide. This aide won't be cut because it is required by law. But some other child with a special need will go without next year if this parcel tax does not pass. All of the people signing the ballot have had children benefit form Pleasanton school. I find that the epitome of selfishness.
This is $98 per parcel for four years! $3.72 a day!!!!!!!
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Apr 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm
Stacey wrote: "I can't see how the need for reading specialists would be much less in the next four years."
I wrote (in an earlier comment): "What if the state, for example, gives PUSD significant funds but earmarks them ONLY for reading specialists? If the parcel tax money is also earmarked ONLY for reading specialists, PUSD would then have a surplus of money in one program while other areas are starved of operating funds."
Get it now? We don't know what's going to happen with funding this year, let alone four years from now. Other funds may come available that ARE earmarked for reading specialists, in which case it would be prudent fiscal management for PUSD to shift its existing funds into other worthy programs.
You want to restrict the parcel tax money to your own pet project(s) and don't trust the district. If you don't trust the district to use the money wisely, then don't vote for Measure E. It's as simple as that.
Posted by hey fact checker, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm
Fact Checker; an extra $3.72 per day doesn't seem to faze you. Is that the amount of extra money you have been donating to PUSD to help support them in these tough times? Have you even been giving them an extra 27 cents per day?
Posted by Simeon, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2011 at 8:48 pm
What gets me is that there are people in the community who want to gamble with kids' educations. Mike, for example, is going to vote agains the measureE because he wants to find out what Pleasanton teachers' motives are? Doesn't this seem to be a little bit cheesey? It doesn't seem like he's thinking so much about the kids in Pleasanton, only wants to play a game of chicken to find out players' motives. My son is in a private school and I know what his teachers' motives are. I doubt the public school teachers have different movites. I don't like the idea of playing roulette with my kid's future. The stakes are too high. The community needs the parcel tax.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm
Close the Department of Education and we'll save 100 billion dollars. If the CTA believes in the children why don't they give the district money? It's because they don't care about anything except themselves and the Demonrats. If you vote yes then you are the problem. You can't keep throwing money at the problem and expect a different outcome. [Portion removed because it was inappropriate.] Don't be a part of the problem and vote no. By the way, for those who have signs on their lawns you are telling everyone your ignorance just like those who still have Obama/Biden stickers on their car.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2011 at 11:12 pm
I agree with "objection". You're way off-base, Mike. You put up a post in which you vilify others as "Demonrats" and then you're surprised with the negative response that your post gets? I happen to be in favor of Measure E but I'm always willing to listen to intelligent comments or points raised by the other side. Do you really think that you're impressing me or any other thinking voter with your crude, potty-mouthed rant?
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 9:34 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I see the PW is still not cleaning up their blog. Take for example the word "creep" being used by a Measure E supporter to describe another poster no less than 5 times in another thread that still remains. Jane, perhaps you are right about John Stuart Mill.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 9:55 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
The LAO is projecting annual state budget deficits in the $20B range for the four years. What's the likelihood of becoming flush with categorical funds from the State? Maybe that's the case in normal circumstances, which is what the fine-print text about "less other government funds" is for.
Also, the State already gives some categorical funds for reading intervention. Not enough, is it? It's one of those "flexed" categoricals, which means the district is allowed discretion to use the funds for something else (which they probably did) and the likelihood that it will be "unflexed" remains low given that Brown states he will push for more local control of funds (to me this means they will finally do an assessment of the programs and create larger block grants, or even make some more fundamental school funding change like funding that follows the student).
When voters approve bonds, they approve a list of projects. Measure E doesn't have the kind of list of programs that Measure G had, where a dollar amount was spelled out for each program (or at least not one that can be easily found). Measure G wasn't tied to those specific programs in the ballot language, but at least the district published a list of what they planned to save in year one.
Posted by Jane, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 10:19 am
I'll tell you what, Stacey. If you find calling someone a creep to be on a par with Mike's post, then your moral values may not be too far removed from those of Mike (who I too believe is a creep). I think it is important to let someone know when they are acting like a creep. Mike's post more than qualifies. Have you even read the post? Can you tell us how that post and its poster do not deserve to be called out as a clear indicator of moral and intellectual deficit? I realize you are a staunch opponent of Measure E, which of course is your right. But this ill-chosen need to jump to the defense of one of your allies seems to indicate that you're aligning yourself with politics over morality. Others have argued effectively that opposition to Measure E is exactly that: putting politics over concerns for our children. Your defense of Mike may be an unfortunate example of such. It's good that PW has allowed the post to remain. It is there for us all to judge.
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Apr 3, 2011 at 10:33 am
Maybe Brown will make funding more flexible, maybe he won't. Maybe the federal government will make funding more flexible, maybe it won't. Maybe funding from the state and federal government will increase, maybe it won't....
Point is, when levels of funding overall and levels of funding for particular programs are so unpredictable, PUSD should seek to be as flexible as possible so that it can spend the money raised from the Measure E parcel tax as effectively and wisely as possible.
You can argue against that all day, but do it without me. You either think that allowing Superintendent Ahmadi a wide range of discretion to spend the Measure E money is a good idea, or you don't. You either trust PUSD with your $98 a year or you don't.
I'm heartened to see so many people reminding us that PUSD really is one of the success stories of public education in California. It's a great school district and we're now at the point of putting the many mistakes of the Casey Administration behind us.
At this point, I've noticed that the opponents of Measure E seem to have set of moving goalposts. They will support Measure E but only if the unions are dissolved, the funds are strictly categorized, tenure is abolished, step and column are frozen, and all teachers are forced to eat broccoli with every meal. On and on it goes.
Ok, we get it. You're against a parcel tax under any circumstances. That's your right, so vote against the parcel tax. The majority of the community voted for Measure G and a majority will vote for Measure E, so they clearly don't agree with your assessment of PUSD as a failing, untrustworthy district.
Question is, will the two-thirds requirement cause Measure E to fail? Probably, but that's why this undemocratic (with a small "d") law exists in the first place: to starve local and state government of the funds it requires for its essential operations. But that's another (although related) discussion....
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 11:12 am
I think that most people posting here don't see Measure E as being a partisan issue at all. Most people from both the right and the left seem to be coming together on this issue and making their decisions on what they think is best for Pleasanton.
On the other hand, there seem to be a few here who want to cast the issue of Measure E as a part of grand "good-versus-evil" partisan battle on a national scale, with little evidence that they're giving a second of thought about what is best for Pleasanton itself.
I have to leave those who want to wage some grand partisan battle to themselves. I love Pleasanton and I just want what's best for our community, which is why I'll be voting YES for E.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Yes, I did read the post. That's why I posted an observation on this thread that the PW has yet to clean up their blog. Then I presented another example of it in another thread.
What looks like moving goalposts are perhaps just the way you interpret a wide range of differing opinions and ideas and try to consolidate them into a single label. People oppose and support things for different reasons. Not everyone who opposes Measure E is for Rhee-styled test-based performance pay just like not everyone who supports Measure E is for S&C or even unions. Your confusion is understandable. Binary opposition is a primal world-view. Then there's the quote about politics making strange bedfellows.
Posted by Reality, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm
Stacey writes-"I see the PW is still not cleaning up their blog. Take for example the word "creep" being used by a Measure E supporter to describe another poster no less than 5 times in another thread that still remains."
Yes Measure G supporters, just add some big vocab and it will be acceptable..."Your confusion is understandable. Binary opposition is a primal world-view."
As we draw closer to the mail in ballots arrive, the "moving target" is just desperate attempts to advocate CUTS for our children's education. Watch, these are the same ones who complain when programs are cut (7th period) or services decline (D.O) Just read through the complaints- they tell a loud clear story of what the cuts have already done to this district.
Posted by Logic 101, offered in conjunction with early moral education, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 11:12 pm
Fact: (1) An opponent of Measure E, Mike, calls all democrats 'demonrats', and then supplements his name-calling with sick, pornographic references to what democrats do.
Fact: (2) A supporter of Measure E ('objector to Mike') reads Mike's sick, pornographic statements and calls Mike a creep.
Fact: (3) The supporter of Measure E ('objector to Mike') does not call all opponents of Measure E creeps, only Mike, who was responsible for the name-calling and sick, pornographic references.
Fact: (4) Another opponent of Measure E, Stacey, jumps into the fray and attempts to use logic to draw equivalence between Mike the creep and the poster who called him a creep.
Fact: (5) No logical person would draw equivalence between Mike the creep and the person who labelled him a creep.
Fact: (6) There is in fact no equivalence to be drawn between Mike the creep and the poster who called him a creep. When someone sees someone engaging in an intentional criminal act, that someone has every moral right to call the one engaging in the criminal act a criminal. When someone sees someone intentionally posting in a sick, pornographic manner, they have every moral right to label the action and its agent as sick and pornographic. (I'll leave it to readers to read or re-read Mike's sick post and come to his defense; for I think the claim, "Mike's post was sick and pornographic," is unarguable. Only perhaps(?)Stacey might be willing to do so; for as she states, "politics makes for strange bedfellows.")
Conclusion: Frankly I do not know what to think of Stacey's misapplication of logic. Nor will I pass judgment on the moral frame of mind that might have motivated the misapplication.
Posted by Francisco D'Ancona, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 7:56 am
Logic? Stacey don' need no steenkin' logic! Why think clearly when you can Google? Don't be fooled by the smokescreen, Logic 101; Stacey's not so much engaged in an exchange of ideas here as in hurting our schools and community. What motivates such behavior? Some have suggested she has an economic interest at stake, while others believe she's fulfilling some sort of emotional/psychological need to be better than others (teachers, other posters, etc.). Naturally she denies both. Anonymously, of course. The only thing we can be certain of is that nothing will make her stop posting obsessively day in and day out or honestly self-evaluate her compulsive posting in any meaningful perspective. Best to just let it go and ignore her.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"When someone sees someone engaging in an intentional criminal act, that someone has every moral right to call the one engaging in the criminal act a criminal. "
That's a really poor analogy. When you see a crime being committed, you have a moral imperative to report the crime, not go out and commit crimes yourself, which is what you're doing with your name-calling.
When I see name-calling, I now hit the "report objectionable content" link no matter who is doing it. PW is taking a really long time to clean it up. They haven't touched the "creep" name-calling in the other thread after 4 days. Either they condone the name-calling or they are following Jane's suggestion about John Stuart Mill.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
The bottom line is that the outright labeling of other posters as creeps should not be welcome here. In Pleasanton, we discourage our children from that kind of behavior. They do a much better job than the adults around here.
Posted by Jane, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm
"That's a really poor analogy. When you see a crime being committed, you have a moral imperative to report the crime, not go out and commit crimes yourself, which is what you're doing with your name-calling."
Jane, with that reasoning, I've just lost all respect for you. You think calling someone a creep is a crime? You think calling someone a creep is even remotely comparable to the filth that came out of Mike's pen? You seem to think that 4 X 'creep' is comparable to Mike's filth. Frankly, that's one of the creepiest things I've ever heard.
Posted by Jane, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm
In fact, with Stacey's latest episode in 'moral' reasoning, she's now placed herself on the level of Steve/UncleH/Start Afresh/Bill/Joe/Mike and the other sick pseudonyms he uses.
Some weeks back, within the context of the Giffords shooting, she made the claim that standing up and denouncing the violence at the base of much right-wing rhetoric was akin to, in her words, putting a Free Tibet sign on a car bumper. She went on to suggest all the violent rhetoric was about consumers, not morality.
Then recently she offered a disgusting defense of those suggesting current Pleasanton Board members were criminals -- and who were doing so without evidence.
More recently still, she drew a moral equivalence between Michelle Rhee's fraudulent practices and the journalist who condemned Rhee, stating that they were both on the same level moral playing field. The empty-headedness of such claims is, well, pretty creepy.
And now she expresses an inability to differentiate between violent-laced pornographic references a la Mike and someone calling Mike a creep. I'm happy her call for censorship of others' views on this site went nowhere, not only because the attempt was ill-conceived and wrong-headed, but because her moral standards are enough to frighten any decent human being. Creepy frightening.
Her penchant for quantitative data in the service of a right-wing ideology not only shows a lack of grasp of a broader, qualitative perspective, but also illuminates the fabric of deficient moral reasoning, such that it is. It is not a pretty picture. It shows that Stacey is no less creepy that is Steve. As she states, "politics makes for strange bedfellows". Indeed. But there's nothing strange about two creeps being of the same moral pod. Steve, here's your intellectual mentor, exposed in all her moral deficiency. Enjoy one another!
Posted by Veteran of these trenches, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm
You are right. Stacey is who she is. She's a quantoid, as you mentioned, and has trouble with big picture kinds of issues. But she's just part of the woodwork here, and you've got to expect the outlandish positions she takes. Every day. I take them with a big yawn. I've thought for a long time that her and Steve are joined at the hip.
"Posted by Jane, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 12, 2010 at 6:15 am
Having lived in two other communities that have Weekly Forum, I have been discouraged at the nastiness and political discord here on the Pleasanton Weekly.
The very same topics and issues are discussed on several other Weekly forums and there is not a fraction of the anger and hate, the attacks and political fighting on these other township forums.
To me Pleasanton is a charming town and the schools are wonderful, however the political climate and the intensity of some with an all out destructive agenda is just beyond pale.
Most are "educated" here in Pleasanton and take great pride in the influence, or perceived affluence within the community.
People talk with skill and penmanship here, however do not display the same "educated" values and conduct that they would surely display at work, at church or in a college level debate.
This is sad and too bad because I observe that there is a very small core group on these forums and that most of the community tkaes one look at Weekly forums and concludes that civil and meaningful discussion is much better had elsewhere and that time is better spend elsewhere."
Since when is name-calling ever an "educated" value or conduct? I'll leave this one up to John Stuart Mill. Try to register on this site sometime.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Jane wrote: "More recently still, she drew a moral equivalence between Michelle Rhee's fraudulent practices and the journalist who condemned Rhee, stating that they were both on the same level moral playing field. "
By the way, could you please remind me of where I supposedly posted this? Thanks!
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Oh yea, and don't forget to point out where someone stated that the current Board members were criminals. And I have to admit that I missed your denouncement of violent left-wing rhetoric when the protests in Wisconsin were going on.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Oh yes, I'm such the right-wing ideologue; voting for Obama, Hillary, Brown, arguing for universal health care, gay marriage rights, etc. If you don't understand the proverb, "Politics makes strange bedfellows", I can't help you.
Posted by Reality, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm
Oh this one is going to keep her up all night Jane! Just wait, soon the post about attacking the writer to avoid the point will be up!
Sorry Stacey- you can dish it better and more arrogantly than anyone here, but you really cant take it- amazing that you are never wrong.
Yet all of the facts you present about the schools are from Google- not actually from inside our classrooms. It is clear as day, by the distortions you present, twist around, and then say "who me" For such a seemingly educated person, you sure dont seem to get or value the education system here in Pleasanton.
I personally trust the teachers and administrators- they have proven success, gave back millions in pay cuts, pay daily for basic supplies out of their pocket for years with NO RAISES-basically everything the community has demanded (talk about moving targets, get it?) SO now when they say they have cut to the bone- I will believe them any day over someone who simply quotes from the internet or Fox news.
I will be not only voting YES for measure E but working for the CORE campaign and donating since this parcel tax will in no way cover the massive cuts coming this summer from the state level once again.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I'm sorry, I just don't equate demanding better fiscal management of a public agency with the work that goes on inside the classroom or schools. The two are not tied in my mind as it is in others minds. Teachers are not responsible for the way the district is managed. They're not the ones running the schools/district.
Posted by Jane, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm
Sorry, Stacey old girl, but I was not posting back in October of 2010. My posts on this forum began with the shooting of Rep. Giffords sometime in January of this year. Nice try though. But your response does speak to the issue. Instead of entering into the moral dimensions of arguments, you immediately go off looking for some kind of numerical equivalence. "You say I'm immoral, but I'll find a post on the internet that shows YOU to be immoral." Who else does that? Oh, I know, Steve. You are no different from him, and I am quite serious in stating that. I am not here using hyperbole or any other rhetorical trope. Only calling the cards as I see them; and one of the red queens seems to be lacking in an important area of life.
It seems you're not willing to argue with me about sick, gutter-mouth Mike. You're not willing to defend your incredibly weak and disappointing attempt to draw a moral equivalence between Mike and a person who would call Mike a creep.
I couldn't care less who you have voted for, and honestly, I don't believe anything you say anyway. You've proven time and again your moral bankruptcy, as I think you'll say anything to score a point. You need to be called out for displaying time and again on these pages a conspicuous deficiency of morals. It's shameful. You need to hear it, and I'm glad others are reading it.
Posted by Reality, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 12:14 am
Stacey with your last statement, you have said it all for me. Of all the Google researchers- you are still blaming the budget shortfalls on the district administration? You sound like the birthers now! Have you not seen what is going on in districts all over this State?
The district has cut to the bare bones, $20 million in two years. Now please tell me how that does not affect the work that goes on in the classrooms? The classrooms are the district- they follow the district policies, the district standards and curriculum, and share the district successes with the many innovative programs that are currently in place.
Yet they are threatened to be cut even further due to efforts of people like yourself who continue to repeat a catch phrase meant to cause distrust of a district that is SUCCESSFUL.
What is your goal? What is it you plan to "win" by getting Measure E to fail and watching more cuts to our children's education- improvement in the classroom? How you don't see the two intertwined is a problem.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 10:13 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Perhaps you should register for an account so you won't be mistaken for someone else? I don't need to engage in a debate about Mike because I was not defending him. Naming and shaming other posters has little to do with the salient points of a budget issue.
Being prepared for budget shortfalls is part of fiscal responsibility, especially for school districts because they historically have had to deal with budget shortfalls caused by State-level issues. The district hired extra counselors without identifying the ongoing funds for them. They hired tech specialists with one-time teacher givebacks, again not from ongoing funds. Around that time prior to the 2008 crash they also reduced the target amount for the reserve fund, putting the district on a less-sure footing to absorb budget shortfalls. They sued over an indefensible contract and then sued their former attorney after they lost. Now they are letting those buildings that were built/refurbished with the bond money fall into disrepair as they keep deferring maintenance, making it more expensive to repair in the future. How are those decisions the State's fault? If the situation is so dire, they'd stop cutting valuable programs and start budgeting based on that which produces the most value towards the classrooms (teaching jobs vs. car allowances, which produces more value?).
Posted by comment, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 10:23 am
"Being prepared for budget shortfalls is part of fiscal responsibility, especially for school districts because they historically have had to deal with budget shortfalls caused by State-level issues. "
There hasn't been a recession like this since before World War Two. No one could have predicted a downturn of this magnitude.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 10:43 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
How does that negate preparation? The district was poorly prepared for ANY downturn. Wasn't classroom budgets cut after the dotcom bust and then never restored, thereby leaving things already stretched thin?
Posted by Francisco D'Ancona, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 10:49 am
Stacey, Pleasanton Unified has had a policy of maintaining a "rainy day" budget twice the size of what they've been required to. This is not poor preparation by any measure.
You seem to LOVE playing Monday-morning quarterback, and that's fine, but your accusations of incompetence and poor fiscal management irreparably damage your ethos in the eyes of those of us who actually know the facts and can see the bigger picture.
However, I'd be happy to tell you you're completely right and perfect if that would guarantee that you would go away and leave the conversation to us grown-ups.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 11:17 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
What I listed was not accusations, but history. What the district is required to have by the State is not enough to absorb the vagaries of State funding and you should know that if you can see the big picture. The district did well during the cuts due to the dotcom bust because of the large reserve. Then they removed that policy.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 11:27 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Sorry, forgot a mention of how they've been borrowing out of the Sycamore Fund for ongoing costs, essentially generating their own budget cuts for the technology stuff the interest from that fund was supposed to pay for, and increasing their General Fund debt because the State requires they pay themselves interest when they borrow like that. Good for Arkin and Hintzke to stand up and protect that fund's principal from ongoing expenditures. Paying for the one-time Hearst mold repair was an acceptable use. Borrowing to pay for ongoing costs is not.
Posted by S&P Agrees, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm
Bond outlook is stable, but reserves are not sufficient.
In December, the S&P downgraded PUSD's GO Bond and COP rating (GO Bonds from AA- to A+ and COPs were cut to A) citing, "a 'volatile' financial performance over the last several years. Reserves in and outside the general fund have fallen to levels 'we consider only adequate,' S&P said."