Town Square

Post a New Topic

Budget, layoffs on school board agenda for tonight

Original post made on Apr 26, 2011

The budget and more layoffs are among the topics set for discussion at tonight's school board meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 6:40 AM

Comments (17)

Posted by Rita, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

If you are going to change the language not requiring seniors to apply each year then mail me another ballot because I already voted. You people are just trying to take from the older people and it is clearly wrong, wrong, and wrong. I predict this issue if passed will be challenged and lose in court.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm

"Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Bill Faraghan will discuss the latest set of pink slips to be sent out..."

I guess that is assistant HR superintendent, Pleasanton Unified School Dist. Faraghan, William: District Office $174,334 $4,800 $179,134 $0 $16,302 $0 $0 $6,091 $201,527 Web Link

Total compensation of 201K? Pensionable income of 179K? So if the pensions cost increases by 15.1% of payroll his compensation will increase by $27,409, bringing his total compensation to 228,409 dollars. Does he actually work a full year? Doesn't matter really -that is one heck of an HR pay package. I guess it only takes another 10% of compensation to surpass a quarter million dollars annually.

How can that be justified?


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

BTW, if this guy retires in 10 years the taxpayers will be paying toward his pension for an additional 20 years, or until 2041. That is money that will pay for past services at the expense of future students (and current students). The CalSTRS pension plan is in such bad shape that the CalSTRS board has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to lobby for increased contribution rates (from taxpayers). Now they are so concerned that taxpayers will become angry about the additional expenses they are balking at their own plan to increase the pension contribution. The problem with that is they are back loading Billions in debt and delaying the inevitable which only increases the cost to taxpayers.

Here is what the LAO says about CalSTRS (teacher's retirement pension fund):

"In the final analysis, the system's unfunded liabilities as of its June 30, 2009 valuation--$40.5 billion--will require far larger additional payments from the state (taxpayers), school districts (taxpayers), and/or teachers (doubtful) than those required by Section 22955(b) in 2011-12 and future years. As of that valuation, actuaries determined that the system needed contributions equal to an additional 13.9 percent of teacher payroll--over $3.8 billion per year--from some source, beginning immediately, to retire its unfunded liabilities over 30 years, thereby preventing additional intergenerational transfers of teachers' compensation costs. (The TRB's decision to lower its assumed average annual rate of investment return to 7.75 percent in December 2010 will affect these calculations in future valuations. In this recent board agenda item, actuaries estimated this would increase the additional funding need from 13.9 percent of payroll to 15.1 percent. At that time, CalSTRS staff had recommended instead a drop in the assumed investment return rate to 7.5 percent, which would have increased the estimate of additional funding need even further to 16.8 percent of payroll.)"

The unfunded liability has grown to over 54 Billion using the flawed assumptions of CalSTRS. The real unfunded liability is probably almost double that number. And, therefore, the additional pension contribution of 15.1% is grossly understated.

I don't know how this district thinks they can increase compensation, which increases pension liabilities, and still maintain a balanced budget going forward. Using 8 million in parcel tax revenue to fund a cumulative 15 million in raises is beyond irresponsible. What happens when the parcel tax expires, the increased compensation is still part of payroll costs (in union contracts this is really a fixed cost), and pension costs increase by 15% of payroll.

For those that don't think this creates an unsustainable structural deficit, I just don't know how to get through to you.


Posted by Community Servant, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Arnold,
Did you know there are always volunteer positions open with Red Cross? Something to do with your extra time.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

"BTW, if this guy retires in 10 years the taxpayers will be paying toward his pension for an additional 20 years, or until 2041. That is money that will pay for past services at the expense of future students (and current students). "

So what do you want? You want to take away his retirement pension? What else do you want? Well, let's see, the starting salary of a Pleasanton teacher is about $55K. You probably want to reduce that as well. Well, OK, sounds good. As you say, more money for future and current students! Then let's decrease or eliminate raises. Sounds good - more money for students! How about requiring them to pay their own health costs - oh, wait, we already do that, never mind. Anyway, look at all the money we can save by paying teachers below-market wages, limiting raises and cost-of-living to a minimum, taking away retirement benefits, taking away any medical or dental package, etc., etc.. You're a genius, Arnold!

Now all you have to do is find talented teachers and school administrators who are willing to work under such terms and the problem is solved!


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

"So what do you want?"

I would like to see a sustainable PUSD budget that puts the kid's education first while balancing the needs of educators within the confines of their budget. Is that too much to ask? Put another way, I would like the district to be in better shape ten years from now than it is today.

Nonsense like this doesn't cut it:

"Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Bill Faraghan will discuss the latest set of pink slips to be sent out..."

I guess that is assistant HR superintendent, Pleasanton Unified School Dist. Faraghan, William: District Office $174,334 $4,800 $179,134 $0 $16,302 $0 $0 $6,091 $201,527 Web Link

Total compensation of 201K? Pensionable income of 179K? So if the pensions cost increases by 15.1% of payroll his compensation will increase by $27,409, bringing his total compensation to 228,409 dollars. Does he actually work a full year? Doesn't matter really -that is one heck of an HR pay package. I guess it only takes another 10% of compensation to surpass a quarter million dollars annually.


How can that be justified? How can you add 15% of payroll to the cost of every teacher and district employee without decreasing programs or laying off teachers? How can you increase compensation by 15 million over four years (ongoing), while the parcel tax brings in 8 million and expires after four years?


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Arnold said:"I would like to see a sustainable PUSD budget that puts the kid's education first while balancing the needs of educators within the confines of their budget. Is that too much to ask?"

Well, Arnold, I have some unpleasant news for you: Given the fact that many of the cities and communities surrounding Pleasanton have enacted parcel taxes to prop up their school budgets due to recent cuts, what you are asking may indeed be too much to ask. A number of surrounding communities took a good, hard look at their schools' budget problems and decided (with a popular vote enacted by a majority of its citizens), that a parcel tax was a necessary measure. I know that that's not what you want to hear. I know that you think that in your wisdom you thought of some wonderfully obvious solution that escaped everyone else. But the fact of the matter is that Pleasanton schools are hurting and need additional support.

Now given the fact that many surrounding cities and communities are supporting their schools with supplemental funding through parcel taxes, have you considered the consequences of a failure to pass a parcel tax on the quality of Pleasanton schools with respect to the quality of schools of surrounding communities which do have parcel taxes? It seems that your answer must fall into one of several categories: Either (1) you haven't thought about it, or (2) you thought about it but don't care, or (3) you think that Pleasanton schools are so great that they'll remain superior even without a parcel tax even if compared to excellent schools of surrounding communities which are being supported with parcel taxes by their citizens. In my opinion, all this means that you are either ignorant, self-centered, or delusional.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm

"Well, Arnold, I have some unpleasant news for you: Given the fact that many of the cities and communities surrounding Pleasanton have enacted parcel taxes to prop up their school budgets due to recent cuts, what you are asking may indeed be too much to ask. A number of surrounding communities took a good, hard look at their schools' budget problems and decided (with a popular vote enacted by a majority of its citizens), that a parcel tax was a necessary measure."

-Are they using that funding to increase compensation?


Posted by Gill, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

"Are they using that funding to increase compensation?"

Yes Arnold, by your definition of "using that funding to increase compensation" they are. All of them. All of the top performing districts are. Without exception. The best schools districts in the country, like Palo Alto Unified are doing that. None of them have frozen their scheduled raises.

Arnold, you need to get this through your head, because you don't understand it. Measure E does not "create a structural deficit." Measure reduces it, diminishes it, makes it smaller. PUSD will go ahead with scheduled raises with or without the passage of Measure E. If Measure E fails, the money going to pay those raises will still be spent. If measure E passes is will still be spent. If it passes, Measure E will save 8 Million dollars worth of programs for students over 4 years. It is not tied to salaries. It is as simple as that.


Posted by pRes, a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Sam, you keep talking about starting salary of $55k while most of all the teachers in the Pleasanton school are making more than $85k + Guaranteed Retirement benefits.

Web Link

It's all relevant whether $85k is decent money for teacher's hard work for 3/4 of the regular work-load.

I know you will stand up on your keyboard and will let everyone know that they deserve more than $100k+ and we shall give them 50% in retirement for next 30 years. You would also tell us that's the ONLY way, Pleasanton can hold the real estate value which you just bought piece of it.

Let me ask you one simple question:
Are you/your spouse anyway associated with the Union?


Posted by nightowl, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Sam, like pRes, I also have a question:

Do you put sugar in your coffee in the morning? Enquiring minds such as me an' pRes need to know.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm

pRes said: "Let me ask you one simple question: Are you/your spouse anyway associated with the Union?"

A bit of a silly question isn't it pRes since you wouldn't believe my answer anyway? Well, OK, since you asked me so nicely I'll answer: No, I'm a scientist and my wife is a language teacher (whoa! Sit down! She teaches part-time at a private school, not a public school, and she doesn't belong to a union.) By the way, she makes a bit more at the private school than she would make teaching at a public school which kind of defeats the argument that public school teachers are overpaid, doesn't it?

Back to the $85K salary figure, yes, I believe that the median teacher salary was stated somewhere in these posts as being around there. Your point? Remember that these are people in a career field that requires a BA at the minimum and, in order to attain this median salary, have many years of experience in the field. By what measure do you consider them to be overpaid? I gave you one reference data point by telling you that my wife makes more teaching at a private school than she would at a public school. Admittedly, not a very scientific analysis but it's still more evidence than you've provided for the claim that teachers are overpaid.

I know you would love to have excellent teachers working at Pleasanton schools for $55K without any raises or medical or retirement benefits. That would be great, wouldn't it? OK, now let me bring you back to Earth. If you want attract quality people into being teachers for our schools - and I write this with the full realization that many people voting "no" couldn't care less about teacher quality and would be willing to hire any bozo willing to work as a teacher for minimum wage - then you have to pay the quality people a salary which is competitive with other career options for people with college degrees.

I think that there are a number of people here (perhaps even yourself) who view teaching as a menial job of minimal skill which deserves little more than a minimum wage with no medical or retirement benefits. If that's your view of teaching, then anything above minimum wage is viewed as wasteful extravagance. I think that that's a silly, ignorant view. But then there are many silly, ignorant people around, aren't there?

(nightowl, I like sugar in my tea. Not a coffee drinker.)


Posted by nightowl, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:00 am

Hey, Sam, thanks. (And I think many of your responses on this and other threads are absolutely brilliant: clear, insightful, keenly analytical, measured, and to the point.)


Posted by pRes, a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Apr 28, 2011 at 8:18 am

Sam,

I bet your wife is making less than PUSD teachers when you consider GUARANTEED PENSION of school teacher. I am also (very) sure that she (you) would jump to the FIRST opportunity she can find to take PUSD job so you/her can reduce the work-load and preparation time that private school mandates.

Now, I (we) all understand where you are coming from. No point of arguing anymore. Thanks for disclosing your interest. If you EXPECT BA degree with few years of experience to fetch $100k+ salary plus Guaranteed retirement then PLEASE PLEASE WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!


Posted by translator, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

pRes opines: "Now, I (we) all understand where you are coming from. No point of arguing anymore."

I think pRes meant to say "No point in arguing anymore. You've answered my question in a satisfactory manner, and put me in my place. My tea party graffiti clearly is not working here, so I'll spread the graffiti on other threads."


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Wow, pRes! You were making such a grand effort at debating intelligently and then you had to ruin it all by torpedoing yourself. I'll let you post stand as-is without further comment.


Posted by pRes, a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:04 am

Sam, if you are following news, Palo Alto residents are going to oppose extra $96/parcel tax this year. They are already paying $450 but it is NOT sufficient to solve the problems. They are realizing that throwing money is not going to solve the education problem.

Pleasanton teachers salary are quite competitive so STOP crying about it. Please do NOT mention $55k as a salary. It is a good starting salary in any field unless you have 12+4+4+3/4 years of education.

Someone mentioned that even before PUSD exists, schools of Pleasanton were good. America has to wake up soon. Parents have to be more involved with the kids and we have to vote to KILL this union business. Pure waste of money.

Sam, I know you want 50% Guaranteed Bonus for rest of the life once your wife joins PUSD. But I would suggest that you start saving your money rather than relying on tax payers one.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

DSRSD's Kohnen Scholarship on Hold
By Roz Rogoff | 0 comments | 746 views

Fifty Ways to Craze Your Donors
By Tom Cushing | 0 comments | 642 views

Be a sport: Send us your youth sports news, scores and photos
By Gina Channell-Allen | 0 comments | 393 views

When Adult Children Go Off to College: Keeping Your Eye on The Law
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 242 views