I cannot believe the selfishness of the people in this city Around Town, posted by Linda, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on May 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm
I thought this was a city that prided itself as a community of character. When all the surrounding cities in the Tri-Valley have stepped up to support education when the state has made drastic cuts for the past 3 years, our city can't be bothered. Livermore, Dublin, and San Ramon all have parcel taxes and learning funds. But not here. For all the people who can't see beyond themselves, you may not feel it right away, but this will have an affect on our schools, our children, our community, your future and YOUR PROPERTY VALUE. This city and the selfish people disgust me.
Posted by Don't blame you Linda, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on May 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm
I don't blame you Linda, for being disgusted. This community is full of spoiled, self-centered people. I am constantly speaking to my children about how this city is in a bubble and expects more from its civic employees.
Posted by Joanne, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on May 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm
If the measure had been written correctly giving the money to the schools and the kids directly I believe it would have passed. Now we have wasted another $350,000 or so which could have helped the kids. I wonder if we can get the money back from our consultants?
Posted by Realistic, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on May 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm
It is important to note that over 13,000 people in this community voted for this measure, v. only a little over 7,000 who voted against it. Let's not characterize the entire community as selfish - instead realize the difficulty of obtaining a 2/3 majority on anything.
Posted by Lessismore, a member of the Mohr Elementary School community, on May 3, 2011 at 9:48 pm
This is a sad day for Pleasanton.
I am not in-favor of any new taxes, but I did support E. Money we control local. For the few people who vote No I hope you enjoy the decline in "YOUR PROPERTY VALUE". We are looking at and increase of 600 to 800 new low income students moving in to PUSD over the next few years. As we watch a decline in our school and there API scores why pay more for a home in Pleasanton when you get more value in San Ramon or the same in Livermore or Dublin.
Posted by new measure on the way, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm
It got a lot closer this time and a third try will do it.
Measure G -- 62%
Measure E -- 65%
New Measure -- 67% est
There are already people taking the necessary steps to get another measure on the ballot. Remember, many communities have taken three tries to get a parcel tax passed. We are almost there. One important factor that improved the numbers this time was increased outreach to the community. That convinced a greater number of people to vote yes. We will need to be spending more money on getting the message out in the coming parcel tax ballot. Above all, don't be discouraged. This was a good result. The next one will get passed.
Posted by P-town Mom, a member of the Valley View Elementary School community, on May 4, 2011 at 8:17 am
Whoever is upset that the Measure did not pass should write thier own checks to the school district if they are so concerned. If they don't like it, then move to Livermore or Dublin or San Ramon if you want to pay more taxes!!
Posted by Cindy, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 8:41 am
Next time a tax initiative, really 3 times? The problem I have is the tax is not in proportion to land value. My question is, why would I be in favor of a tax that taxes lesser valued property at a higher rate than a bigger more expensive home in the city?
Posted by JRT, a resident of the Canyon Meadows neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 10:03 am
Low income means mom's and dad's don't spend time to help kids in homeworks. Kids go less prepared to school every day which lower the average classroom grade. High qualified teachers moved to better paid job . Results: the same as "not too far low income communities" where dad's don't care, mom's don't car, teacher's don't care.
But I do believe is School District can trim spending in other areas like frequency in building maintanance, landscaping maintanance,energy efficient option, an call out parents for skills that could be donated and avoid that bill. There're parent's who are willing to donate hrs in benefit of a classroom,science class, art class,etc if asked
Posted by nancy s., a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 10:14 am
It is hard to fathom that these people who spend $5/day (approx $1300/yr)to buy a Starbucks every weekeday, or that buy their frickin spolied teenager, that barely can keep a C average, a $40K car, can't fork out $98/year (.26 cents/day) to support their local school system. Yet it will be these same people who [removed] and moan about the school system when their child is 25 years old and still living at home because they can't make it in the real world.
Posted by pRes, a resident of the Canyon Oaks neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 11:44 am
I voted NO on E. $98/year is not much money for 4 years. I voted NO because of too much marketing and trying to convince the people that it is the ONLY way to increase/maintain PUSD school standard. In my opinion, $90k excluding heath benefits is good salary for teachers and by paying higher salary to the teachers won't improve the education standard.
All said, I am now more committed to volunteer more hours at local school and see if I can be of any help in more direct way.
Posted by Not Fooled, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm
PUSD can't fool 66.7% of the voters in Pleasanton (yet). Voters were willing to consider taxing property owners if they saw some real indications by the PUSD to get salaries and benefits under control and to cut non-classroom staff such as "counselors" and more administrators.
The dishonest and illegal actions with refinancing an earlier bond also did not give voters any confidence.
Lastly, the promotion of the measure to seniors based on them being able to file for an exemption was just plain dishonest. State law allows the exemption, but using this as a sales gimmick is shameful.
Posted by Income Correlation, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm
Although it is politically incorrect to say so, there is a strong correlation between household income level and student scores. This doesn't necessarily mean that poorer families produce "stupid" children. It does mean that 600-800 low income children will almost certainly lower the average school scores in Pleasanton. You can thank your Leftist judges and politicians, including Governor Brown, for the mandate that Pleasanton provide its "share" of such housing. Adding $98 to the taxes paid by property owners would not have fixed this situation.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm
"You can thank your Leftist judges and politicians, including Governor Brown, for the mandate that Pleasanton provide its "share" of such housing."
Yes, Brown was behind it, but he was just joining the Habitat for Humanity and a Pleasanton resident:
"Brown's motion, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, joins the suit filed in 2006 by Urban Habitat and Pleasanton resident Sandra De Gregorio that challenged the city's Measure GG, the voter-approved housing cap and growth management program that voters approved in 1996."
That said, low income students do not necessarily score poorly on tests and viceversa. I know a very successful, high income well off couple whose kids struggle in school, and I also know someone who can be considered low income, whose kids score high on the tests. It is about how much you value education.
While I am disappointed that E did not pass, I do not think that will have an impact on test scores.
Posted by Bill Carman, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm
I am ashamed of the 7,000 plus residence of this city that voted against a tiny added tax designed to improve the education of our children. Given the right wing activism in this country, I should not be surprised but I thought we were a progressive community. Apparently, part of it is selfish and mean spriited.
Posted by Left Behind, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm
I was what you might call a upper classed white collared worker and I made enuough to move to Pleasanton. My kids were upper classed just like me., And they had all problms with they're teachers. To many affirmative action types that favors the low incomed kids. Its all part of a Communist plot to hurt the upper classed people by bringing them DOWN.
Four reasons of free markets I lost my job. Thats' life. But I cant' understand this intitlement mentality. Why do teachers desert to make more money then me?
Posted by Mike, a member of the Walnut Grove Elementary School community, on May 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm
I'm ashamed of the 58 million how voted for Obama. I'm ashamed of the millions who voted for Jerry Brown. I'm especially ashamed of the 14,000 Pleasanton residents who voted for Prop E. The blind following ignorant followed
by the usefull idiots who voted for the blind and ignorant.
Posted by answer to parent question, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm
Last year, the state legislature had to vote to permit the school year to be shortened, and only 5 days could be removed from the 180-day calendar. After that, the district negotiated with the union for furlough days. The agreement was for 3 school days to be furloughed, plus two teacher work days when students did not attend school.
The same process would have to be followed this year: state legislature first, then negotiations. The tentative agreements for next year with APT and with CSEA both specify that contract negotiations will automatically reopen if the district experiences a reduction to the Base Revenue Limit that is greater than $399. In about two weeks, the governor is expected to release his all-cuts budget, and it is quite possible that the cuts will be deeper than that.
Posted by Dont Tread ON Me, a resident of the Mission Park neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm
They can cut all the days they want to. Doesnt' bother me any. My three kids are graduated all ready so why should I care? I agree about the socialism thing. If parents can't afford to send their kids to a descent school they shouldn't have any. Public education is just a socialist agenda put into place by one of the commie Kennedy brothers. We can all stand proud today. We beat back the Commies, the corrupt unions and the super greedy teachers. God Bless America!!!
Posted by Lee, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm
All 3 of us in this house voted for the parcel tax. As it didn't make it, we have decided to send a check for $294 to cover our part. Anyone else out there want to do this? We could raise a chunk of money this way and ask that it be spent in the classrooms!
Posted by Dr. Suess, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm
Lee tells us "All 3 of us in this house voted for the parcel tax. As it didn't make it, we have decided to send a check for $294 to cover our part. Anyone else out there want to do this? We could raise a chunk of money this way and ask that it be spent in the classrooms!"
Iam telling you Lee to not be a sucker. The union has instructed teadchers to take your money and put it in union slush funds for travel to exotic places.
Posted by Kathy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm
You are all forgetting one thing. Teachers making more money does not "a better teacher make ". I was told by people who still had young children that Pleasanton has become a snobbish town and no longer have family values and now I know this is truefrom reading these comments. I voted no and will not defend myself to anyone. I raised 4 children in Pleasanton with 30 children in the classroom and my children are all making more than many of you and are very successful. Also shame on the people who try to say that low income children are not smart enough for Pleasanton schools. Shame on you!
Posted by Hanna, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm
You need to chill out Kathy. No bodies saying blue collared children arent' smart enough. Its just that there parents plant different values in them. Face it, most of them just want to be hip-hopper stars or anything where they can still be lazy. Now I really like what you say about overpaid teachers. Been overpaid probley makes them lazy.
Posted by Anne, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm
I agree with Nancy. There is a line out the door on most mornings at Starbucks, yet 98 bucks a year is too much? Come on people, think ahead. I bet most, if not all, have had at least one "special" dinner this year worth 98 dollars, or more. Aren't our kids worth that?
Posted by Jeff, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm
I bathe in all of your liberal crocodile tears. Boohoo. Is there anything that the solution isn't to tax us more. Thank heavens for the 2/3 rule. Otherwise the 13,000 socialist robots would dig into my wallet yet again.
Posted by Malia, a resident of the Laguna Oaks neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm
Thank you, residence, for your passion. A few statements are misleading. Teacher don't get full medical benefits, they either pay for them out of their salary or take their spouses employer benefits. Many teachers pay upwards to 1,400. a month (for full family medical)that comes out of their salary (something that many more do now due to spouses being out of work -- the economy). All employees must have dental through the District (taken out of posted salary, too.)
Let's keep being passionate and positive about what we can do for our community and it's GREAT schools!
Posted by Union Question, a resident of the Canyon Meadows neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm
"Can the School District make the decision to shorten the school year by 10 days, or is this an item that needs to be negotiated with APT?"
It is my understanding that the district can reduce the school year by 5 days without negotiating. I think this would explain why the classified staff agreed to 5 furlough days with the expectation that the teachers will be taking 5 days as well. It's hard to blame teachers for wanting to protect their income just as it's hard to blame taxpayers from wanting to protect theirs.
We are just in a tough spot right now and when things get tough it brings out both the best and the worst of human nature. I hope we can resolve this and stop disrespecting on both sides of the argument.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm
I'm surprised that people still think the defeat of Measure E has anything to do with the $98.00 cost. Can't you see it's the PRINCIPLE of the situation that people are voting against. They aren't voting against individual teachers. They aren't voting against a tax. They're voting against a union system that promotes mediocrity and rewards bad behavior. Take the power and mandatory participation out of the equation, stop rewards based on seniority and bumping into a new job every time pink slips come out, stop protection of poor performance and you will see that respect and value will be put back into our education system. Right now EVERYTHING is broken. People don't put value on broken items, companies or education systems. It's not a money problem - it is a societal and unionization problem. Also, the parents of school age children need to financially support their schools and it's programs. This used to happen in Pleasanton. However, our new demographic does not seem to want to support the system and programs that THEIR children are using. Parents will pay for new cars, fancy SAT programs and Coach purses.....
but they won't donate or support the public education system. They will instead drain it of it's resources. The parcel tax is done. Let's see how creative current parents can get to support what we don't have money for. What is the priority - what is important to keep - if it's that important to you to have it for the children.....ante up. There always seems to be money for materialism for our kids....let's show them that the priority in the family is their education. Pick what you would like to pay for and designate a check for it. Our Pleasanton school district used to have parents that shared in the support of our schools for THEIR children - I don't think that's currently true. Everyone expects others to do it.
Posted by WW, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on May 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm
LREsident is right. It wasnt' about the money. It was the principal of the matter. Our teachers are mediocre and are gulty of bad behavior. Everything is broken. Teachers can't teach, and coaches won't coach. Were second rate across the floor. Its because of the union. Parrots are afraid to donate because the union gobbles up everything.
Posted by Learn to Write, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 8:41 am
WW you need to learn to use spell and grammar checkers, or go back to school and take a remedial English class. Oh but wait, there probably won't be any funding for such a thing. Too bad. You could use some help.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 9:08 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
This election has certainly shown that it isn't the amount of the tax that is the issue, but I don't think _that's_ the principle. Supporters of a PUSD parcel tax simply didn't understand the message they were sending, that they were asking for a new tax to make-up budget cuts while raises are still being given. In a normal economy and job market, parcel taxes are written with the goal of supplementing, not replacing. Those pass easily because no one cares about labor cost structures when there's no budget cuts. There is a clear understanding that the tax goes to extras and not swallowed up by automatically increasing labor costs. That wasn't the case with Measure E.
Posted by Don, a resident of the Ironwood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 9:19 am
As a senior citizen, I will tell you what I heard a lot of seniors say. Not that I agree but this shows how they think on some of these matters. First of all you must realize that we came from a time when teachers did not have assistants in their classrooms. Some of us remember the large classes we had during the War years, double sessions if the school was crowded & the teachers did just fine. They were a dedicated group of teachers, who were not paid in excess. They loved their jobs and made it without all the extra help they get these days.
Posted by P-town Mom of 3, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 9:33 am
For all those in favor of passing this measure, just write your check to PUSD - write it for as much as you want! Let those who are passionate about contributing, contribute. For those unable to or unwilling to donate ... just don't. This is the most fair way to do it! No guilt for those who don't contribute and no restrictions for those who want to contribute.
Posted by I Can Believe, a resident of the Walnut Hills neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 9:45 am
I CAnnot believe all the do-gooders here who think they can taken other people money and use it to pay for teacher vacations and lifestyles. Pay the money yourself. Pass a parcel tax on yourself every year. Why should I pay for your groceries when I don't sit at the liberal table and eat oyesters and keesh? Why should I pay for air traffic comptrollers when I don't fly. Let the fliers pay. You talk about safety in the workplace? Pay for it yourself. I'm at home all day. It is socialism that is tearing this country down.
Posted by Former E Supporter, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 10:07 am
ONce upon a time in la-la liberal land I swallowed up the union lairs and supported measure e. But then I understood. Stacy is right as rain. Just like the measure said, it was all about teacher raises and vacations. It was their in black and white.
We stayed strong and sent a pwerful message to the liberal leftist who are trying to make us pay for kids that aren't mine. Measure F is for Failure. Hey Teach YOU FLUNK!!!
Posted by Citizen too, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 10:17 am
Why should homeowners pay an additional tax - we pay enough on our property taxes - there are plenty of renters who have children attending our schools - let everyone share in the cost of funding programs at our schools if it's for the good of the community.
Posted by Renter, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 10:26 am
Yeah Citizen to that's what I was thinking. Why didn't the parcel tax tax me? My family could afford it. I've got plenty to give, but I won't give a red cent until I get a full apology from PUSD for leaving my family out of the residence loop. It was the same thing with them getting old people to pay double the amount on everybody else. And teacher unions. They have to go.
Posted by WOW, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 10:36 am
I am so tired of hearing this is a problem with overspending. The revenue has been cut. When this happens in the private sector people loose jobs because whatever they do to make money is no longer being done. You produce something, no one buys it and you stop producing the item. For schools it is just the opposite. When the budget gets cut, one must work harder for the same outcome. Time gets cut (furlough days) sections get cut (affects requirements) and class size goes up and still teachers are asked to produce at the same rate, or no, actually at a better rate because the state mandates that to meet API the school has to get everyone to the median score. The higher the school score the higher the median and the more difficult it is to maintain. Now couple that with a public who thinks that teachers should only get paid if they produce, while making it harder to produce, thereby perpetuating the cycle. ("I would be happy to pay you if only you did a better job, but I am now going to make your job exponentially harder because you have not done a good enough job.")
Pleasenton did not overspend, they worked within a substantially cut budget and then had the budget cut again. That will happen next year too. Last year the furlough days were placed on Friday's and Monday's giving the impression that the teachers were given extended weekends. The work to get students ready for STAR testing, AP testing or just ready for the next grade still had to be completed with less student contact time. If the furloughs had been placed in the center of the week or away from already scheduled breaks, parents would have had to deal with what to do with their child while at work. I don't know the cost of day care but I bet that $98 a year was far cheaper. The kids deserve better.
Now the state is talking about reducing the school year by 20 days. This is at a time when this country should be increasing the number of days that students are in school. We haven't done that because we don't want to pay teachers to do the job.
The people who said that they would support the parcel tax if teachers would freeze salaries are being disengenuious and naive. Those people would not support a tax under any condition.
The founders believes that our democracy depended on a well educated population. It is the cornerstone of our democracy. We behave as if education is a right because we mandate school attendance. We are short changing ourselves on a national level.
Please don't tell me that you are overtaxed compared to years ago. Please check this out. When Reagan was governor over $6 per 100 went to state taxes. Now it is just over $5 per 100. Unless you use creative math, that is a decrease in taxes not increase.
Finally, it is embarrassing that a community as affluent as Pleasanton can't pass a parcel tax. We turned down by about 1%, the equivalent of about 27 cents a day. Those realtors in the city who campaigned against the tax, please don't use our good schools as a selling point for the homes you have listed because you are doing it on the backs of the teachers that you and a vocal minority trashed.
Posted by Impressed NOT, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 10:45 am
WOW is a typical liberal. He too cheap to donate himself so he spents all kinds of money to get me too. OBambi does the same thing. Why should I have to pay for your kids' broken leg? See what I mean. Go pay for it yourself. If you cant afford the leg, don't have the children. But don't force me to pay. Thats unconsitutional.
Posted by Impressed NOT, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 11:03 am
Dear hmmmm You can call me names all you want. Thats what you libs are good at. Instad of talking about the issues you ask abunch of silly questions. Shoudn't you be back in the class room spoon feeding you're Cuben view? CAstro would love tohave you.
Posted by Learn to Write, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 11:36 am
Geez...I cannot believe how inarticulate most of these posts are!
If they were my only point of reference, I would have to surmise that Pleasanton is filled with a lot of wealthy, right-wing, short-sighted, individuals who never learned to spell or write properly.
You should be thankful that your children are attending our blue-ribbon schools, learning how to write, spell, and express themselves better than you do. You've got their underpaid, under appreciated, and dedicated teachers to thank for that!
Posted by Impressed NOT, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm
You liberal elistists think your sooooo superior. We won you lost get over it. I hope your proud of yourself for all you bothering me at home with your Phone Ins. How much of my money did you smart peopel spent to call me all the time? Educate your own or dont have any.
Posted by Supporter of the Classroom & Teachers, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm
I am one of those that voted NO on E. I choose to support the teachers and classrooms of my choice by writing a personal check (way more than the E measure asked for) and donating it directly to the school and teacher of my choice. Having had 2 children graduate from the Pls. school district I feel that many of the BEST teachers are the first to go when there are budget cuts. Let's get it right and put in place a system that fires the BAD teachers and rewards the GREAT teachers! Isn't that how successful businesses do it??? For those of you who vote yes on E write a check to your favorite school - but your money where your mouth is!
Posted by Amy, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm
Another measure is not the way to go. My husband and I were yes on the last 2 but I no longer believe it is the way to go any longer and the more effort we put into it the less class it appears we have. I am willing to pay for my 3 and I would expect everyone else would feel the same way. As you are aware the union would not allow the last initiative to exclude step and column increases nor would they allow it in the future so I think that kills any measure. Let donate for our own kids.
Posted by Me Too, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Yes our household voted YES! on the last two measures. But Amy is right all the way. They were classless efforts, and now we're holey embarassed that we voted that way. The classy thing to do is to have them put in language that says the money will not be used to fund teacher raises. Until the Parcel Tax people show a bit more class, Measure F will be a Measure Flunk for us.
We also like SCAT (Supprt Classrooms and Teachers). Like he says "butt your money where your mouth is!"
Posted by Sal, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm
The anti-parcel tax group provides a “last stand” mentality for conservative, long time residents who are troubled by the recent diversification of our community and our school district. A lot of their motivation is the result of genuine spite for a changing community. They want the 1980s, homogeneous, Reagan-era Pleasanton. History will not be on their side.
Posted by concerned parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm
" As you are aware the union would not allow the last initiative to exclude step and column increases nor would they allow it in the future"
And I fully supported that decision and encouraged PUSD to do it. It would be foolish to be the only district to freeze step and column. It would be a major factor in the deciding where to work for a young, highly qualified teachers. Highly qualified teachers would not pick Pleasanton.
Yes, I have already donated more than the parcel tax costs and will donate more in the future. I will also be one of the people working on the Measure F campaign. Many other districts have needed multiple attempts to pass parcel taxes. It will be no different in Pleasanton. The effort is already underway.
Posted by Historian, a resident of the Canyon Oaks neighborhood, on May 6, 2011 at 2:16 am
Sal says history won't be on our side. That's what John Lenin and Leo Trotsky said about the capitalists. Where are we now. Huh? We can't here you. Consider this another strong stand against the forces of socialist teachers and their union dictatorship vangards.
Posted by concerned parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm
I'm not confusing anything. I wasn't talking about No Child Left Behind. By highly qualified I meant, for instance, a teacher who had a very high college GPA and a minor in a subject area that may be hard to find, such as chemistry, physics, or mathematics. If I had all those qualifications, and was choosing between job offers in a top district with frozen step and column and one without, I would be far more inclined to choose the one without.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm
“By highly qualified I meant, for instance, a teacher who had a very high college GPA and a minor in a subject area that may be hard to find, such as chemistry, physics, or mathematics. If I had all those qualifications, and was choosing between job offers in a top district with frozen step and column and one without, I would be far more inclined to choose the one without.”
What percentage of teachers are you talking about? Would union rules allow these teachers to receive additional pay within the confines of the budget? Would the teachers you are referring to want to transfer to another district that offered step & column increases without the revenue to support the contract (not if they were smart)? Would these teachers be the first to be let go when their new district figured out that their expenses exceeded revenue and they needed to make cuts, because the contract they approved was unsustainable? You say, “ If I had all those qualifications, and was choosing between job offers in a top district with frozen step and column and one without, I would be far more inclined to choose the one without.” Can you see how shortsighted that approach is?
Measure E only funds teacher’s raises. Your plan reminds of the thinking (?) that has led many cities finances to the edge. One of the common themes cited by elected officials for their cities financial demise was the perceived need to increase compensation and also offer the 3@50 pension benefit because "everybody else" was doing it. Now everybody recognizes this as a huge mistake that is leading to a reduction in city services across the board (even in Pleasanton). They're now claiming that the "follow the leader" approach of increasing costs beyond revenue was flawed, and the pension system is unsustainable. Meanwhile, the public employee unions claim that it's just a bump in the road - nothing to worry about. That's really all you are doing.
I think the NO on E voters have done an excellent job of protecting a sustainable education for our students, as precarious as it is given the looming pension issue. I’m sure the unions don’t share my view because it was never about the kids or education. “It is all about the kids” is more of a marketing slogan than anything of substance.
The bubble money is gone, the “new normal” is here, and everyone needs to operate with a sustainable budget. Measure E would have created a nightmare in the not to distant future. I suspect we will see that nightmare play out in many bay area districts as their parcel taxes get close to expiration and the pension costs increase by over 15% of payroll. Then we will see a plethora of school boards throwing their collective arms in the air while claiming “we didn’t see this coming“, while passing out pink slips in front of news cameras, and asking for additional parcel tax funding that amounts to several hundred dollars per year. The CTA will blame the whole thing on “overpaid administrators” while ignoring their own complicity. It is a trend in the making.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 6, 2011 at 8:35 pm
"I suspect we will see that nightmare play out in many bay area districts as their parcel taxes get close to expiration and the pension costs increase by over 15% of payroll."
Here is more on this topic:
Math, not politics, spurs pension reform:
"There is big news on the pension reform front: Public employee unions with 1.5 million members and retirees have launched a concerted effort to depict reform efforts as actually being a plot by “corporate interests and right-wing factions” to punish public employees by exaggerating the underfunding of their retirement benefits.
The unions should be involved in this debate because they have a great deal at stake, too. But the statements of their new group – the Californians for Health Care and Retirement Security – focus only on state government underfunding when the immediate crisis is at the local government level, where pension costs often consume one-fifth or more of operating budgets...
This level of public concern is appropriate, given the basic math of the pension crisis."
This article speaks more to the pension issue facing city/state government, but it might as well be speaking to the pension issues facing special districts/school districts.
"These decisions have had and will have dire consequences, as everyone in California government from Gov. Jerry Brown on down now acknowledges....If the unions want to play a constructive role in the pension reform debate, this is one more fact they need to acknowledge. This crisis is not contrived. It is real."
Posted by Lifer, a resident of the Rosepointe neighborhood, on May 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm
When this school district shows fiscal responsibility I'll pitch in and when my kids benefit from just one of the programs that the money would go to I'll pitch in and when the union stops giving pay raises I'll pitch in.