REMINDER TO VOTE NO ON MEASURE E Schools & Kids, posted by Not another PUSD tax, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2011 at 10:24 am
If you do not vote on Measure E, you will be paying the extra tax. The pro-tax campaign is heavily financed and they have been targeting those who they expect will support paying an extra tax. Your NO vote is needed to not have this additional PUSD tax.
So if you have not voted yet, Vote No on Measure E and mail your ballot in right away. Do not wait until the last day as postmarks do not count.
Posted by jill, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2011 at 11:39 am
"Educate Me", I see you are totally confused and that is why you probably picked your name.
If you are in favor of improving the school district and having them fix their structural financial issues you must Vote No on Measure E. Remember that this additional tax will not even cover the raises the district will be giving out during the tax period. We we give another tax and increase salaries more during this period, we are making it worse for the future in tring to fix it.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2011 at 1:32 pm
Again, this gets down to simple economics. Please read my post from Thursday April 21, coped below, and then decide.
Yes on E - Simple Economics - What's the ROI on a $392 investment?
Putting aside the debate on school funding entirely, and looking at Measure E from a personal economic standpoint only, I believe it to be a good investment.
Home values are based in part on the value buyers place on the community - whether the community that they're buying into serves to be beneficial or detrimental to their investment. I believe that if Measure E passes, the Pleasanton community will be seen by potential home buyers as an even better place to live, and in which to invest. A community which invests in its schools is simply a good place in which to live.
Let's put some numbers around this. The parcel tax is $98 per year for four years, for a total investment of $392. Do I think that the value of my home will increase by at least that amount - $392 - on top of whatever other increase will occur over those four years? I do. In fact, I believe that my $392 will show a greater return on investment.
Accordingly, I have voted Yes on E and encourage all of you in the community to do the same.
There are other benefits to Measure E that are being debated elsewhere. In my opinion they alone are well worth the $392 investment, and would be worth my Yes vote.
Posted by c'mon already!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm
The schools have been doing an excellent job. The parcel tax provides the schools some added support in these difficult times. We don't want our kids using atrocious grammar a la Jill; our schools are not reducible to the simplistic kinds of analogy employed by money madness. These kinds of arguments are meant to appeal to small minds who share that in common with these NO posters. Three voted Yes on Measure E in our house.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm
We already voted, YES on E. Two YES votes from our house. And yes, we disagree with the outrageous pension problem, we do not like what we see on the database released by the mercury news about public employees cost of employment, but that is for the state and federal government to fix. Vote no on the tax initiatives and lobby Sacramento and Washington for reform, but please support our schools.
If you have not sent your ballot in, please Vote YES on E. Support our students.
Posted by long time parent, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm
"do not like what we see on the database released by the mercury news about public employees cost of employment, but that is for the state and federal government to fix."
The state and federal government have little to do with our cost of employment. The salaries and raises are controlled by the district.
"The Vote No on E people seem to be purposely misleading me. I asked which way I should vote to improve the cause of a child's education in Pleasanton, and they tell me to vote No on E."
Since you name is "Educate me", it seems that you still do not get it. It is the pro-tax people that are misleading you. They keep saying the no money will be used for raises but at the same time are giving out salary increases of $1,500,000 per year and saying the are not raises. When somebody works an additional year doing the same job and receives more salary for showing up, they received a raise. Only in government can in increase in salary not be a raise. No different that the district receiving $3,200,000 in federal funds to pay for teachers next year but they say that is not income.
Anyway, I am glad the local papers have given us a way to see the actual pay of government employees that we pay for from our taxes. Plus the database of pensions where we see retirees from our district receiving up to $178,120 per year. These public database are helpful to the public to see what is going on. Especially since we cannot get a straight answer from the government employees.
Posted by What?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm
"The salaries and raises are controlled by the district."
Yes but the pension policies are not, and that goes to the heart of the problem. Further, with things like step and column, it would be counter-productive for PUSD to be the only quality school district to freeze step and column.
Posted by Educate Me, a resident of the Avila neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm
Good point, a teacher receives a slight raise just for showing up for another year.
However, a teacher learns a lot more in the classroom each than a corporate behind-the-desk drone, that in good times can manage 10 -15% increases.
I would much prefer a teacher with at least 5-10 years of experience, rather than a novice neophyte teaching my child each school year. However, that is your choice, if you prefer teacher turn-over vote No on E.
Posted by WIden your Focus, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 8:44 am
"Educate me" - Teacher turnover is not the issue. Merit increases surely should be, though. There are many teacher that need to be turned over! Unfortunately, they are tenured, unlike the "behind the desk drone" and do not follow a merit pay system. Hmmm, maybe you should consider your own idea. However, you'd need to widen your views.
Posted by Teacher too, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:14 am
A strong and organized principal can fire an incompetent teacher. I don't believe there are a lot of incompetent teachers in Pleasanton because PUSD has been able to attract the best from other districts and colleges. I for see that changing as this community "appears" less supportive. Unfortunately, the negativity on this blog is getting out to the teacher candidates.
Posted by Widen Your Focus, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:23 am
Tsk, tsk, tsk. A teacher saying that a strong an organized principle can fire an incompetent teacher. Wonder which school you are thinking of. Both high schools in this town have had both excellent and so-so leadership. Even the excellent principle (in one case)refused to fire a teacher that had years of complaints against him. The principle felt that, with his retirement nearing, it was more effort than it was worth.
GREAT POINT! Now we are paying for this failed teacher's retirement, for what reason, again?!?
SHAME ON MANY for this situation and numerous ones like it. And shame on you, "Teacher", for thinking awful teachers get the boot.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:25 am
We disagree with excessive pensions. We disagree with automatic raises. We disagree with the tenure system. We disagree with the refinancing of the taxpayer's bond obligation without oversight. We disagree with a system that allows both sides of the negotiating table to benefit at the taxpayer's expense. We are tired of being used like an ATM machine by government special interest groups. Our net wealth and retirement funds are depleted. We will be working decades after government workers have retired with full benefits.
But many will vote yes anyway, because frankly, we naively think that a new tax will somehow help and we are just too weak to say no.
Posted by to Teacher Too, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 10:27 am
It is very difficult to fire an incompetent teacher. They are either tolerated with some "coaching" (and then hoping that people forget about this teacher), or convincing the teacher to move to another school in the district (to let another principal to deal with it).
Our current systems says that if you survive two years of teaching, you are qualified for life. Some years ago there was a ballot initiative to change this from 2 years to a longer number (I think it was 4 or 5) and the CTA shut it down. Further proof that the unions are not there for the welfare of our kids, only after the welfare of their members (teachers).
We do have some great teachers in our district and most of our teachers are good but there are some that have been there for some time, doing their time, waiting for retirement.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 11:08 am
I agree that pension reform is needed, but I don't agree that doing it at the cost of our children's education, not to mention property values, it the way to go about doing it. Vote YES on E for our children and our property values.
Posted by Nomad, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Brian - If you believe that a failed parcel tax will hurt property values, then why didn't Pleasanton property values plummet after the failed Measure G in 2009? According to Trustees Ott and Grant at the time, they predicted a collapse of home prices which clearly did not happen. That parcel tax was for $233, and this one is for $98, which if it does not pass, will have even less effect on PUSD. So, please, understand what really drives property values (hint: not school parcel taxes).
Posted by Les, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm
"Pleasanton property values plummet after the failed Measure G in 2009?"
They may have been harmed, but it is a gradual process, and only one factor. It is common sense that good schools effect property values. I don't know if Ott or Grant predicted an rapid collapse of property values. If did predict that, they were mistaken. I already voted for Measure E, as did my wife, and all the neighbors I talked to. Voting no on E won't force any kind of change on the way the district runs, any more than voting no on G changed it. Voting no on Measure E will only lead to more cuts that effect students.
Posted by Michael, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm
Like so many others who have voted Yes on Measure E, I am concerned about the value of my home. I do not know positively the extent to which failure of G contributed to depressed home values -- it probably did. I'm not willing to take such a gamble this time around. It doesn't take a genius to recognize the unarguable connection between quality education and high home values. By the same token, the kind of 'reasoning' exemplified by Nomad, with child-like hyperbolic references to 'plummeting' and/or 'collapsing' home prices shows a certain immaturity of thought. I urge others to join my neighbors and me by casting your vote for Yes on Measure E.
Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm
Michael - Maybe you should ask PUSD to see the video of the school board meetings before Measure G (and right after) to hear Ott and Grant's (as you call it) "child-like hyperbolic....immaturity of thought"
Posted by Really?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm
Nomad "If you believe that a failed parcel tax will hurt property values, then why didn't Pleasanton property values plummet after the failed Measure G in 2009?"
How quickly you forget! They didn't plummet because the teacher's union in PUSD plus administration and classified staffs all took pay cuts to save programs- specifically CSR- at 25:1. Their total contribution in one year gave back $4.5 million.
Tell me how many times is this community going to come to the teachers to pay for their children's education? Is this an annual thing, for how long? Once the election is over, will you now be asking the local police department to pay for the protection they provide? The fire department to pay for their costs to save your life?
Posted by Social Agenda, a resident of another community, on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm
Pleasanton is certainly earning a deserved reputation in the Bay Area, while Berkeley might be home to wacko liberals, Pleasanton is becoming know as home to wacko conservatives. Hate taxes so much, they will eat their own children.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm
"Pleasanton is certainly earning a deserved reputation in the Bay Area, while Berkeley might be home to wacko liberals, Pleasanton is becoming know as home to wacko conservatives. Hate taxes so much, they will eat their own children."
Maybe the educated population understands that the unions don't really care about education.
"Tell me how many times is this community going to come to the teachers to pay for their children's education? Is this an annual thing, for how long? Once the election is over, will you now be asking the local police department to pay for the protection they provide? The fire department to pay for their costs to save your life?"
Maybe the community is at the point where they want the city to justify the very generous public employee compensation and benefits that the unions, city management, and council have been approving over the past decade. It seems to me that the relationship between the union campaign donors, city management, and elected officials has become much too cozy.
Posted by Michael, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm
Well, Arnold, you want my thoughts? It strikes me that 'Social Agenda's' comments are right on the mark. I see evidence of right-wing ideologues like yourself so dead set on punishing teachers, that you'll gladly sacrifice our children's education to do it.
Posted by Jacob, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2011 at 8:45 am
I thought we were talking about PUSD and Measure E. What's next? Will you be bringing Obama into your reasons for opposing Measure E. Were you the one who was concerned about Obama's birth certificate?
Posted by Fifth PUSD Tax is not a charm, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm
PUSD has had decades to get its act together, but has failed.
The word "financial restraint" is not in PUSD's vocabulary. Almost half of PUSD's certificated budget goes to spending over $100,000 per person a year to pay 279 outlandish salaries that are higher than surrounding districts.
Check out the Contra Costa Times salary database for yourself.
Posted by Enough, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:59 am
Freeze step and column increases for four years and I'll happily vote for measure E. $10,000 salary average over EVERY district in Nor Cal (published by Diablo Magazine) including top districts like Acalanes and San Ramon. The entire nation is taking pay CUTS and our teachers cannot take a pay freeze? And by the way, furlow days does not equal a pay cut. Pay cut means working the same hours for less pay. Furlow days is not a concession - just hurts the kids. The Union is to blame on this one.
Posted by John, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:19 am
"The entire nation is taking pay CUTS "
Not if you work in software or engineering. I haven't seen it so good since the dot com days. We're getting emergency bonuses and raises across the board in my company just to keep any more people from jumping ship. My wife works in health care, and she says it is good there too.
Posted by javadoc, a resident of Dublin, on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:04 am javadoc is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
A couple things strike me about this entire issue, which will mercifully soon be over.
The way that the tax supporters frame the issue, it is an "investment" and is "for the good of the children." The investment angle makes me wary, because the tax is deemed necessary to prevent a negative. The tax is essentially maintaining the status quo, not bettering the system relative to a stable baseline (the tax is filling a hole in funding). Thus, the fear is that "if we don't pay up, bad things will happen to us." That sounds more like a protection racket than an investment.
Of course teachers can leave if they feel they are not being compensated properly. If raises were frozen across the board for four years, do you really think that the highest-paid and longest-serving teachers would up and run? Where would they go? Would it be worth losing tenure and other seniority perqs that had accumulated?
Am I to believe that it is impossible for teachers and a school to make do with less? Does it really harm the education? If you say yes, then I would like to discuss why it (supposedly) causes irreparable harm to the students, and why no one can think of ways to make it work.
Throughout this all there seems to be a fatalistic resignation to step and column raises in the short term. "They're going to happen no matter what." Why is it OK to go through extraordinary measures to modify one thing that is going to happen - existing funding - while it is not OK to try to modify something else that is "going to happen" - step and column raises?
As long as the school funding mechanism is as flaky and volatile as it is now, and people refuse to stand their ground and fight back against the teachers' unions, this cycle of repeated parcel tax requests will NEVER end. NEVER. You are a piggy bank to be raided.
What I see is a healthy cycle that has reached an "increase efficiency" stage. When times are good people tend to focus on growth. Eventually the growth slows and it comes time to look at things to see what is really important, and where there is waste or duplication, flabbiness in the structure. During that time you find things that "flew under the radar" when times were good and you weren't paying as much attention to every detail.
There are plenty of good arguments about school funding, for and against. Do not dismiss the opposition, regardless of which side you are on.
Posted by John, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:16 am
Where to begin with this. So many misconceptions.
"If raises were frozen across the board for four years, do you really think that the highest-paid and longest-serving teachers would up and run?"
The longest serving, highest paid teachers already have their wages frozen. They have gone all the way across the schedule. A freeze won't affect them in any way.
"this cycle of repeated parcel tax requests will NEVER end"
Pleasanton has never passed a parcel tax before, and has only once before requested one, and that was in response to the great recession.
"Of course teachers can leave if they feel they are not being compensated properly."
That isn't the point. It is the new teachers that we hire who will be affected. They will be choosing between a district with step and column frozen, and all the other districts without step and column frozen. If I were a young, highly qualified teacher looking for a job it would certainly by a factor in my decision on where to work. We don't operate in a vacuum here.
Posted by javadoc, a resident of Dublin, on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:52 am javadoc is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Fair points. So the best teachers (presumably - highest-paid and longest-serving) are staying put. That is a good base.
The way that schools are funded changes over time. The nature of union-negotiated pay and benefits changes over time. Absent any significant pushback from taxpayers and stakeholders, and a change to the school funding mechanism, I do think that these monetary showdowns are here to stay. Past history is not necessarily a good predictor of future results. I suspect that the parcel tax will pass this time, which will embolden the union(s), especially given that taxes have passed in neighboring jurisdictions.
Pay will factor into the new hires for sure. I would be less concerned about the effect on new hires than I would on tenured faculty. How much better is one entry-level teacher than another? Are there so few of them that Pleasanton will have no good candidates to choose from after San Ramon gobbles them all up? Does the step and column freeze matter more than the chance to learn the trade from a panel of excellent, stationary elder faculty?
Do you believe there will be a measurable decrease in the quality of Pleasanton's schools if the parcel tax fails? Why?
Posted by John, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm
"Do you believe there will be a measurable decrease in the quality of Pleasanton's schools if the parcel tax fails? Why?"
Ultimately, I think it will. If it fails, probably a number of reading specialists will be let go. Class sizes in K-3 would increase more than they otherwise would. Small things like this will happen. It won't be a huge decrease, but I think there will be an effect.
Posted by Ipee Alot, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm
I WOULD LOVE to vote NO on this and I am a homeowner and a register voter in Pleasanton, yet I never received my ballot in the mail-where can I get one? I don't think it's fair to make homeowners pay the extra ammount if they are no longer using the school system. heck I NEVER used the P-town school system-I kept mine in Livermore and they turned out fine. what about renters that have kids in school-make them pay-damn some renters have 6 kids in school-charge them.
All because I put down Ruby Hills as my neighborhood-doesn't mean I live there. there are little shacks nearby the country club
Posted by Yes on E, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm
Yes on E because voting no will not end pension or other problems but it WILL impact the quality of education our children are getting. Find other, effective ways to fight the pension problem without impacting the future of our children
Posted by Rita, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm
This whole event was very fortunate for our family. Two of my older kids who live at home and had not registered when out and did it at our request so that we could add another couple no votes from our household. We also got the grandparents who live in town to vote no as well as soon as we told them about the teachers union trying to trick seniors by having to file for the annual exemption.
Posted by mittany, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm
You here from my husband a lot, but our homeskooled kids who live at home have now reached there mid-20s and are set to garduate with highest decrees. No smokers in are house, and nobody goes pulling pants down on those skanty klaad runners. We overheared some of are neighbors talking at the KFC about hows all the Pleasant teachers are communists who belive in Naturals election. Its all over town. The word is out their. People of Pleasanton SAVE your children from the teacher commies WHO want TO corupt are children. They dont' even work a full day, and they take ekzotic vacations on there ferlow days.
Posted by TeaPartyProud, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm
To: Joseph Smith Jr.
Join I and others in protesting the rediculous deadline that has been INSTALLED in order to confuse us NO!!! Voters. I was at the lawndromat the other day and herd that others were confused themselfs. WE intned to not VOTE until we get a formel apology from PISD -- thats' Pleasant INDOCTRENATION School District. PISd did not give us suffitient time to discuss this matter in a intellgent matter on posts LIKE this. Four NO!!! votes from my niehgbor havent' been sent, and I and 7 other homerr-schooled from my house themself will not give PSID the satisfaction they crave. Something smells funny, its' not me, Im' out of hear, and see you all in the court.