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Giants' celebration costly to PUSD

Original post made on Nov 8, 2012

Celebrating the San Francisco Giants' victory in the World Series will cost the Pleasanton School District more than $13,000 unless parents come up with the cash to pay for the day they took their kids out of school.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 8, 2012, 7:21 AM

Comments (65)

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Posted by interesting
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 7:48 am

I see, so how much do "teacher workdays" cost?


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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

No parent of any kid in this district should be let off the hook for this money. You people have the nerve to demand that I pay a parcel tax so that your precious kids can have the best of everything at my expense.
If the PUSD does not have the balls to make these parents reimburse the district -- the TAXPAYERS -- for these funds then let the PUSD figure out how to get by with a shrinking budget.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:45 am

What about when teachers are absent? They have to get paid AND pay for a substitute teacher - and the cost of the substitute teacher is higher than the money lost for a student absence.

Teacher absences cost a lot more money than student's absences. And yes, plenty of teachers are absent, sometimes for weeks at a time, and many do so for elective (not medical) reasons.

I do not think it is appropriate to ask parents to pay the district when a student is sick, and if the district wants to do that, then charge the teachers the price of the sub when they are absent.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:55 am

I wonder if the parents who allowed their kids to skip school for the Giants parade are the same parents who voted to increase taxes for education.


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Posted by Eve
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

Sorry "taxpayer", but the district, by law, the district cannot require that anyone pays for anything.

It's good this topic came up, though, because many parents are unaware of what our schools lose through absences, justified or not, so this article just may alert people to what the cost is for an absence, beyond their child just falling a day or two behind.

As for the comments about teacher sick days, that's reaching far in a weak attempt to make a point and is completely illogical. Imagine in a regular business: You're out sick and someone at work takes over some of your responsibilities for the day and your employer sends you a bill for that?


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Posted by get real
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

Get real...it's one day. Teachers miss time and stick unqualified substitutes (babysitters) in the classroom who cannot interpret the curriculum. Do parents and students demand that the school district make them whole based on teacher absences, for whatever reason (drug arrests, domestic disputes, union activities, etc.)?


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Posted by Rod Roloff
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

Our school board and administrators are starting to lose touch with reality. Complaining that high school kids took off to the parade where one of their own (Crawford) was a main part is just short sighted and idiotic.
If the school administration had any foresight, they could have offered the option to the kids who were going to do a "research" report/class. Then they would not have been absent and the school would not have lost money.

Look at next week (Nov 12-16)and see how many absences there will be.
With no school Monday or Friday and minimum days on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday a large number of families will pull their children from school for a family vacation.

This is smart of the families as the studenst will only about 9 hours of class time total for the week.

The Pleasanton School Administration will see it as a high absentee rate and a loss of money. Will they realize that it was all due to the administrations OWN actions?


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Posted by Get real
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:05 am

Get real- let's pretend the schools are like a regular business??????
Don't even start comparing, imagining- talk about illogical Eve!


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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Val Vista
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:15 am

What is the difference of the kids taking off to go to the parade and the kids at Hart middle school watching the parade on T.V. during class time?


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Posted by Vic
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

This is such B.S. more money, more money, I voted for prop. 30 to save our schools not for a fun day at the Giants parade, parents you should have the dignity and respect for us who no logner have kids in school but continue to pay and pay for educating your kids. Time to pay up, have the school district figure out how much the 13,000. comes out to per kid and write your check to re-imburse your share for your day at the parade. This is greedy sick behavior I'm 83 and live on a fixed income but I still voter for education, show some class and write your check.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:40 am

Why not have the students that are SUSPECTED of attending the Giants celebration submit an extra credit paper describing the event in lieu of a reimbursement charge. We could end up with some kids who discover they have a talent for reporting and a director of student services who realizes he's got some pretty sharp kids in his district.


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Posted by member
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:05 am

I have been hearing the school adminstrators and teachers whine about not having enough money for 33yrs now. Their so called solution is to propose that we pass bonds, add more parcel taxes,sales taxes, donate, give, give, give. Oh, not to mention the state lottery was suppose to "fix" our schools' money problems. Hmmm...how's that working out???

Yet, even when this is accomplished it is never enough.

Then we hear we are rank 47th in the U.S. for spending per child and we have fallen drastically behind other countries in educating our youth. In a "real business" if you were to spend more money and not obtain better results, year after year after year you would file for bankruptcy and be forced to close your doors long ago.

I think the problem just might be that having enough money isn't the problem maybe just maybe it is how it is being used? Just a thought.

Get it together!





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Posted by Testy Tessy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

Parents that let their kids miss school, or encourage their kids to miss school, to attend a Giants parade are meatballs. Their priorities are totally screwed up. Probably more than a few of these meatballs are the ones that bitch like hell about paying $53 but have a $50,000 boat, a $300,000 motorhome, and take thier kids out of school for two weeks to go on vacation.

I raised a number of children, and now have grandchildren in school, and I am not a teacher. I can tell you the #1 problem with schools today is not the teachers. The top 4 problems with schools today are (in order):
1) Parents that are either clueless or uninvolved; or to the other extreme, helicopter parents.
2) Administrators - Most school administrators are former teachers that could't cut it as teachers, and haven't actually taught a class in decades. Have you ever noticed the number of school administrators at Starbucks at 8:30 in the morning? Have you ever noticed how many of them are not in their offices at all in the summer when they are supposed to be working?
3) School Boards - Uninvolved parents elect other meatballs to the school board (that's not nearly as big a problem in Pleasanton as it is in some surrounding school districts)
4) Schools being controlled by bureaucrating loons in Sacramento. Schools were much better when they were locally governed.

So those of you that equate taking your kids out of school to being the same as a teacher being absent with the flu are MEATBALLS!


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Posted by Stop Whining PUSD
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

Well said, Rod Roloff...

My high school student went to the parade. It was a unique opportunity. I also feel no need to 'reimburse' PUSD. I rarely take my kids out of school; at most they miss 2-3 days/year as compared to many of their friends who miss several weeks every year.

- Two days after the parade, 100% of PUSD students did not attend school because it was a teacher work day. The teacher's parking lot was at best 50% full as compared to a regular day at my student's high school. A lotta hookey played that day.

- The district doesn't plan for 100% attendance across the 180 day calendar. This will be a nothing more than a blip on the radar in the end. So it's not truly a "cost to the district."

- My student will miss at least 6 times more school this year, often needlessly, to attend sports tournaments or participate in school programs all with the school's blessing.

- More learning took place that day getting to/from the parade than often takes place in the classroom, especially during no school November, the days before holiday breaks, testing days (PSAT, exit exam, AP exams, etc). Those days turn into movie and party days for those not involved in testing.

- The same whine was poured on Ptown 3 years ago. We all knew it was a possibility after the first 1-2 WS games this year. Maybe a little planning and out of the box thinking next time PUSD?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

"Imagine in a regular business: You're out sick and someone at work takes over some of your responsibilities for the day and your employer sends you a bill for that? "

Yes, please send this to the district, because you see, the only reason I mentioned teacher absences is because PUSD is attempting to collect money from parents when a student is out SICK.

A child's work is to study and go to school, so being sick and therefore absent from school should not penalize his/her parents by making them pay. If the district insists on such an absurd idea, then by all means, let's charge EVERYONE who calls in sich (not just students)

I wonder what civil rights organizations have to say about the "charge a student when h/she is out sick" nonsense.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

" This is greedy sick behavior I'm 83 and live on a fixed income but I still voter for education, show some class and write your check."

Well, it is easy to vote for a tax that will probably NOT affect you. The sales tax is minimal, but the income tax is real for some of us (not for those on fixed incomes below 250K). So you are not really paying for education, and my guess is, your property taxes are pretty low too thanks to propp. 13. It is probably the other way around: we parents of school age kids are financing your services, through high income and property taxes.

I voted no on prop 30, but thanks to the unions spending tons of money to pass it, it went through, and it is people like you Vic, who will be minimally affected (one cent for every 4 dollars in sales tax is a laughable amount) that made sure it passed. Easy to vote what to do with others' money.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:58 am

Parents will continue to involve their children in activities that promote family,community interest...as they should. I'm sure there was more value in attending parade,regardless of Crawford being a hometown product. 1st time Bart users...supporting something,outside themselves,that's educational.


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Posted by Confused
a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

OK - I might have this wrong but we as parents are being asked to pay $53 for an unnecessary absence (per day) but kids that go on an extended vacation (to India or China for example)for a week or more are not asked because it's considered an "independent study" and they get assignments in advance. When our kids miss a day, they are still required to make up the work, so what is the difference?

I've actually paid this fee once and I got the impression I was the only one doing it. Further, I've actually asked my child to lie and say they were sick (and I called him in sick) instead of saying we were visiting someone in SoCal.


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Posted by jay
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm

As posted above, it is against the law for the district to require a parent to pay for missed days; for any reason.

Maybe the district should get rid of car allowances for everybody and this will free up some money.

I think the bigger issue is that the public does not feel their tax dollars are being fully utilized. That creates a disincentive for a parent to contribute for a missed day. "The district does not care about my tax dollars so why should I care about a lost day?"

Anyway, Pleasanton has an extremely high attendance rate. Way more than other districts. So we should not be complaining when items like this happen. I am sure the district wastes more than $13,000 and the public is not demandingthe district employees to cough that $13K from their paychecks so why should the parents do the same?


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Posted by Get a refund
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

This is ludicrous.

Instead of asking parents for money, maybe the superintendent can return that super huge flat screen monster TV she just bought for over $10,000 for their 'situation board room.'


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Posted by JF
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Nov 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

You must be kidding... take it out of the big fat cats in main office . Who pays when take sick days? Give me a break


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Posted by Diana
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Nov 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Balderdash!!
Teachers cost the district far more when they take days off, last I heard over$150 a day. They are not sick days they are very often personal days, teachers take them because they are entitled to them (union remember). My kids had perfect attendance year after year but their teachers sure did not. Administrators take every day they are entitled to also, fortunately it does not cost the district more because they are not missed : )

Brandon you made us PROUD!


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Posted by Dear Kevin
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

You seem to have conveniently forgotten that the parade took place on Halloween. That means distracting costumes, parades, parties and trunk or treat events all day and very little school work getting done. My student learned more that day going to the parade.


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Posted by MOM
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

This is ridiculous.
This is an issue of how the state reimburses the schools, I guess.
Quite whining at the parents and direct your attention to Sacramento.

My son was ill last year SEVERAL days (yes, a serious life threatening illness including a hospitalization) and I was NEVER asked to reimburse the district) and I should not be.

This is the third state I've had kids in ... for over 17 years and I've never heard of this before.

Kids will need days off school, just like adults have situations where they need days off work. It is called LIFE.... get over it already.


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Posted by Give me a break
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Give me a break! I can't believe people are actually supporting this ridiculous policy. With all of the property and state income taxes I pay, I think I have the right to determine out what is best for my child. If the teacher, with her class of 30+ students and incentives only to teach to the lowest common denominator (re: see how some of our schools with 900+ APIs are 'failing' in the eyes of the regulators), actually had something to challenge the top-half of our students, more of us might feel the need to not miss class.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I don't think parents who took their kids to the parade were doing anything wrong. Sometimes you have to balance the pros and cons. I think a day spent with family is just as important as a day spent in school (especially when that day is *Halloween*). Time flies, we have to take opportunities for family time, special occasions, etc. when we can. The money crisis occurring all over CA & the U.S. has nothing to do with parents who want to spend a day with their child celebrating a very special event. Years ago I took my then first grader out of school for a week to go to Disneyland because her father had to attend a conference in Anaheim. I didn't think twice about it and when friends criticized I told them that school is not the "end all"...kids can learn valuable lessons with their parents as well. I was not going to waste such an opportunity. Good for those who thought outside the box and took a day off together to celebrate the Giants!


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I love the concept: "Let's compromise and do what benefits me the most!"

If a teacher is out, he or she is paid because we feel, and rightly so, that everyone gets sick once in a while and that we should absorb the cost in the name of compassion. Of course, we all know that a certain percentage of those "sick" days are taken for reasons other than sickness.

Yet, the district asks parents to pay for a child that misses a day for any reason at all because such abscesses mean the loss of revenue.

So let's compromise: You pay for our teachers' sick days and you pay for your kids' absences.

Mike


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

the day after the parade was not a teacher workday. 2 days after the parade was a staff development. the parking lot was half full because students typically park in these lots at high schools as well. also, teachers can't "play hooky" on a staff development day without having a day's pay docked. also, i have never known--in 16 years of teaching--a teacher take a few weeks off for elective reasons. taking a day off usually involves going into school at 6:30 AM to leave lesson plans and seating charts and instructions on the board. the next day involves disciplining students for the previous day's misbehavior. i know very few, if any, teachers who casually take days off for these reasons. i do, however, know that many of us get sick from sitting in a petri dish of a classroom all day where the flu, colds, pink eye, diarrhea, and all variety of germs are floating around and being coughed onto tests and homework assignments.


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Posted by A parent
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Pound sand, PUSD.


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Posted by GET-A-GRIP
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm

How about we just send all our kids to private school and then, there would be no more pubic schools needed in the area. This would equal unemployment and folks will just end up leaving. (Not like people are already leaving CA as it is by the bus full.) Did it really hurt? The students that did go to the parade will remeber this day more so than siting in class and for most, this will be a once in a life time experience that they will be able to share with thei grand-children...To those complaining,not like you didn't skip out on school once or twice! As to prop 30, I understand what it states it will do, however, someone needs to be responsible for what we already pay for in taxes and create a balance budget. Lets see what 30 does for our schools. Let's see RESULTS!!!!!!!


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Posted by chrisine
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm

How many of these parents take their kids out of school for doc appoinments, and vacations? there are many more teachers workdays now then in the past and there is no excuse to make an appointment during school hours. Vacations? that is why we have no school in summer and we have spring and winter breaks.

So what's the difference-charge the parents whose kids didn't come to school that day-don't take it out on everyone else.


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Posted by Fed up with Unions providing privileges for teachers
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Seriously? I'm suppose to pay when my kid isn't in school. I have two children Foothill HS. Both of them went to school on the day of the parade. Both of them had one of their teachers miss school that day to GO TO THE PARADE!!! Do you believe it? The Math teacher told his class he was going and joked with them about how much fun he was going to have. This particular teacher gets paid over $100,000 a year, because I looked it up on line as public record. As a teacher, doesn't he get plenty of holidays, summers off, 2 weeks at Christmas, Spring Break? If he's sick, by all means, stay home, but don't make the taxpayers pay over $100 for a sub while my kids shows up and you go to SF for the day. In that same classroom, my daughter watched all the play off games that were played during the day and a few of the games against the cardinals before the WS. I complained to the administration that they spent days with the TV on in math class, but they did nothing to stop this teacher. Until we get rid of unions that keep teachers like this protected and employed, I'm not paying a dime when my kid misses school for any reason.


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Posted by MOM
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm

To teacher who says:

"i do, however, know that many of us get sick from sitting in a petri dish of a classroom all day where the flu, colds, pink eye, diarrhea, and all variety of germs are floating around and being coughed onto tests and homework assignments".

Duh! Of course parents are sending their kids to school when they are sick... the district wants to charge us $53 to keep them home when they are sick. We are already paying for doctor's appointments and medication. We don't want to pay the school too.



To Christine who says
"How many of these parents take their kids out of school for doc appoinments, and vacations? there are many more teachers workdays now then in the past and there is no excuse to make an appointment during school hours. Vacations? that is why we have no school in summer and we have spring and winter breaks."

Some doctors (ie., specialists) have very limited appointments and you have to take what they have. They don't wait for openings on the next teacher work day. Some kids need checkups for life threatenting conditions every three months.
Families plan events like weddings. Families experience loss and tragedy. People get the flu. These don't happen around scheduled time off school. Not everyone takes off to go to Disneyland, geeze.
Lighten up Chris....LIFE happens!

My understanding is that this is an issue because the state reimburses the schools for each student that attends each day. Is that correct? What happens if a student misses a partial day? If this is true... what a backwards system!


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Posted by Truth
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Typical liberals...think of what those kids learned in SF at the parade...gay pride, illegal imigration issues, diversity, cost for parking, bums on the street with the smell of urine in the air....now the school wants money. Hey PUSD pound sand! Why don't you make the Village Idiots stay more than 4 hours a day and actually earn your daily cash the government leaves on your night stand as it rolls off you. Your all money grubbing whores.


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Posted by Amador Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm

You want transparency in PUSD, yet when informed of the enormous lost of real revenue the district absorbs annually (over 2 million last yr) you become defensive.

You want all the "fat" trimmed from the district budget, yet a suggested solution to an enormous drain of revenue is met with outrage and refusal.

I'm baffled that you think it's wrong for a teacher to have a day of professional development, yet complain about the quality of education.

It's wrong for teachers to stay home when they are sick, yet acceptable for kids to have a free day once in awhile.

You want quality talent teaching here, yet don't believe they deserve the right to care for their own family, needs or "life" as you do. Do you not believe they need to make appointments for specialists, have life threatening issues to deal with?

PUSD does not allow students to come to school until they are fever free for 24 hrs- they never stated kids should come to school sick. They even said they understood the motivation to go to the parade, they know "life happens".

I hope you educate yourselves on the ADA rules enforced by the state which greatly affect the funding of our schools, since you will not tolerate hearing it from our school personnel.

Your hypocrisy negates the rationale of your complaints, ending with you all sounding like you just got caught breaking the rules and sent to the principal's office. Teachers are saints for staying positive educating our children on top of enduring this brand of parenting.


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Posted by MOM
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm

To Amador Parent

For the record, I don't know who you are referring to when you say 'you'
but I did not say or imply or believe that teachers should not have sick days. Of course they need sick days and days to care for their families when they need to. Of course they need development days... people are asking 'What happens on teacher work days' are being silly... those are not instructional days. I assume the policy addresses instructional days and the number of those days is set by the state. Otherwise.. schools would be in session all year to get the money.

What I said was of course students come to school sick when the district asks parents to pay when they are absent. Very few people adhere to the 24 hour rule as far I as know. Kids in high school can't stay home an extra day when they have already been sick.

The POLICY of paying per student per day (or whatever it is) is ridiculous. I don't understand where it comes from. It must be a state thing. This needs reformed in Sacramento. It's a silly policy. The state should pay for the number of students in the district. The districts cost don't change each day based on the number of students. It makes no sense. Other states do it different. One states funds for the number of students enrolled in a school 10 days into the school year. Another state funds based on the number of students the previous year (makes for a lag when a district is fast growing).

But to ask parents to pay incur a cost if their student is out is ridiculous. But we are in California... so I guess it makes sense by California standards.


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Posted by MOM
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

ADA? Americans with Disabilities act?

Been here two years and never heard of ADA (Average Daily Attendance) till now.
For being so upset with parents and it being so important and all, PUSD sure doesn't do a good job communicating about it with parents. Oh.. that is because they can't afford paper to send anything home to the parents. Instead the administration whines to the media.


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Posted by Eve
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Confused, you said "OK - I might have this wrong but we as parents are being asked to pay $53 for an unnecessary absence (per day) but kids that go on an extended vacation (to India or China for example)for a week or more are not asked because it's considered an "independent study" and they get assignments in advance. When our kids miss a day, they are still required to make up the work, so what is the difference?"

This is just FYI, but the major difference is the if you're planning to be out for five or more days the child, the parent, the teacher and maybe others are actually signing an agreement that the work will be completed upon return otherwise the state won't pay for the days the child was absent. This is all per state guidelines. It is considered independent study because the child is working on class work and regularly scheduled homework while they're out, versus playing catch up after they're back.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm

The fact that the PUSD is being short-changed by factors(Giants winning World Series) outside their(PUSD) own abilities to control...it would be safe to say...that maybe this article is primarily a reminder of how revenue comes...and goes, for operational purposes. Sorry to be so simplistic.


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Posted by Eve
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm

After sifting through a few rants about "typical liberals" and "gays" and "whores", I was able to read a lot of interesting viewpoints and ideas. I don't think attending the parade was a big huge deal however I do know a few parents have a very cavalier attitude about attendance at times, so maybe reminders like this article are good for those who don't know, or don't care, about elective absences.

On its own, I don't think it's a terrible idea for any district to suggest (as a whole, not to targeted individuals!) that parents make a donation if they're taking their kids out of school for an elective reason. If nothing else, it at least alerts parents that the school is actually losing money. Many parents haven't a clue how these things work, so if nothing else it educates them.

THAT BEING SAID, we are nickeled and dimed a lot throughout the year. Classroom donations of $30 per child (which I am happy to pay), $350 suggested donation per child donations to PPIE, $150 suggested donations to PTA per child. For three kids, that's $1600 before you've ever spent a dime on school pictures, yearbooks, book clubs, carnivals, etc etc etc. There is a bit of donor fatigue each fall and most families can't afford to write a blank cheek at the begging of every school year.

I think overall the district and the parents need to keep things in perspective and try to be reasonable but as someone else mentioned, communication is hugely lacking and I think our staggered schedule fiasco last spring in the 11th hour was a prime example.


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Posted by Eve
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Pete, you said exactly what I took ten times more words to say. Unfortunately many in internetland and real life would rather fight and blame and call names. Life doesn't have to be that convoluted. K.I.S.S. is usually the best way to go.


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Posted by Amador Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm

MOM,

The district has spent the last few years educating the community about ADA and the effects of unexcused absences on the budget. They have sent home written papers, posted the information on the district website, and remind the public as the situation presents itself- (usually around senior cut day).

Im not sure what more you would like them to do. It clearly states that this is not required, but it certainly is a viable solution for an annual 2 million reduction in PUSD's already stricken budget.

At what point do we start listening to what PUSD has been saying loud and clear rather than discounting their communication as whining? At what point do we as a community listen and work to understand the choices PUSD has been forced to make because of over 25 million dollar reduction to their budget and not discount the information as union greed? I commend this district for forging through not only budget issues, but also a sector of this community that is choosing to not HEAR what they are saying.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:37 am

Is the $2 million lost, based from the starting point...100% ADA? If so, that is a form of miscommunication based on an improbability. Amador Parent, you say, "At what point do we as a community listen and work to understand the choices PUSD has been forced to make"....most of us do work to understand! Basing information out of context is a huge problem. Have a great weekend!


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Posted by Simple
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2012 at 8:18 am

Here's my guess. The kids whose parents don't make going to school a priority turn into the adult professionals who think sick days can be used as days off when you're not sick. My parents never took me out of school and I've been off from work about three days over the last ten years and it was because I was sick. I had a school ethic taught to me, that grew into a work ethic. My husband is the same and you can tell when you talk to people which adults live by the same work ethic.

So if you expect professionals not take fake sick days or to take vacations and long weekend on work days, don't let your kids take days off either when they are not sick.


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Posted by MOM
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 9, 2012 at 8:29 am

To Amador Parent

I don't know what you are talking about. I've NEVER heard of ADA until today. And I am on the email list at 2 schools and the PUSD email list.

Maybe they are communicating at your kids schools, but not at mine.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

I work in San Francisco (a couple of blocks off the route of the Giants parade, in fact) and there were certainly a lot of people on BART that day--I have a new-found empathy for caged chickens now (although to my knowledge, no one laid any eggs).

I would have preferred the parade to be scheduled on a Saturday, so that working folks could have seen it without missing a day of work and that students could have seen it without skipping school. A San Francisco police officer explained to me that the Mayor scheduled the parade on the same day as Hallowe'en to save the city money, because they could then combine the stepped-up police presence for Hallowe'en and the post-Hallowe'en party cleanup with the Giants parade--two birds with one stone and all that.

I taught in PUSD for 8 years and PUSD students are very motivated students who have a high attendance rate--much higher than any other school in which I've taught. A PUSD student missing a day of school is a rare event (but then again, so is a World Series victory parade, since this is only the second one in 2 years).

The students didn't miss much by not attending school on Hallowe'en. That's one of those days where there is not much learning going on, and it has always been that way, both when I was a student and later, a teacher.

I do think that it would be a nice gesture on the part of the students' families who skipped school to attend the parade if they contributed the lost ADA money to their respective schools, but the schools are not in a position to demand that they do so.

As for teachers' days off: as I recall, PUSD teachers do get 10 days of sick/personal leave a year. Most PUSD teachers retire with a lot of those days not used. One reason is that PUSD teachers are very dedicated to their profession, and taking a day off is a lot of work! You have to leave behind lesson plans and of course things pile up on that day you're gone...it takes several days to catch up from a single day off! That's why I didn't take the day off myself, and most teachers at my current school didn't, either (there were two teachers I know of out of 90+ who did).

As for substitute teachers being unqualified: what nonsense. Substitute teachers are often retired teachers or folks who are otherwise qualified to teach full-time, but choose not to do so for various reasons. I know for a fact that the teachers I worked with at Foothill High evaluated the effectiveness of their substitutes and reported to the administration if they had a substitute who DID just babysit and not actually teach. As Foothill High's librarian, I co-taught many research lessons with substitute teachers who brought classes to the library, and we conducted business as usual and made sure the students knew we expected them to learn whether or not their permanent teacher was present or absent. I enjoyed working with the substitute teachers and found that, with a few exceptions, they were very professional and highly competent. Substitute teaching is a very tough, underpaid job and that's why there's a chronic shortage of subs.

Long story short: more unhinged teacher-bashing in the P-Weekly by a bunch of nitwits hiding behind pseudonyms. Same as it ever was.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2012 at 8:44 am

"I taught in PUSD for 8 years"

I thought you were the LIBRARIAN at Foothill, not a teacher! My neighbor's son who went to FH when you were still there confirmed that: you were a librarian.


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Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Does that eman we can't bash 'daniel' if he was just a librarian and not really a teacher, as he claimed?
:)
My son is a senior at Foothill and has reported to us a number of 'substitutes' that just read a book during class and expected the students to keep themselves occupied with something suring classtime (theri smartphones, iPads, etc.) . It could be that he keeps finding the exceptions, but I wouldn't know because I'm not a 'teacher'.


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Posted by MOM
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

To Amador Parent
I just visited the PUSD website, clicked through to attendance information. There is nothing on there about it 'costing' the school district to keep your student home and I don't see it in the Foothill information either where the attendance info is highlighted. So I"m really confused where all this communication is that I'm choosing to ignore.

I share Daniel's frustration with the bashing of teachers on this website. I think the teachers are awesome in Pleasanton. (there are always a few exceptions like there aer in every school in every district. My issues are with the administration at the district level. Unfortunately the teachers get the mis-directed frustration.


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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

I don't take my kids out of school during the school year for vacation days. I pay premium airfare and hotel rates to go during school vacation. However, I've had to take them out of school the last couple of years for family funerals.
This year, my highschooler was sooo excited about the Giants, I let her go. can't only make exceptions for sad things, need to also make time in our lives for good things to celebrate and feel a part of, . . . balance.
I voted yes on 30 and 38.


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Posted by simple
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Funerals are excused absences. Giants celebration - truancy. Lots of kids probably wanted to go, some parents said yes, some said no.

I think those who said no are the same ones who get annoyed when adults at work take a sick day to have a long weekend to go skiing etc. Balance for us is the weekend, summer and school breaks. There are plenty of these days and we're working / studying.

Those who are happy for the kids to take days off are probably also OK when adults do, so for them that is the correct balance.

Just a different in opinion and this probably is the disconnect.


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Posted by Get a refund
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Nov 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Parents taking children out to see a once in a lifetime celebration is not 'truancy.' The parents had a valid excuse...they chose to took the children out of school.

This is truancy --- maybe read the facts
Web Link


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

If everyone were focused on the same goal, everything would be fine.

Saving, or not wasting, money is an admirable goal; however, if the money "donated" by parents whose children are absent "for any reason at all" is merely scooped up and thrown at teachers who take a "sick day" for personal reasons, or if the money teachers save the district by going the extra mile and ignoring a headache, runny nose or broken ankle to teach on a Friday before a 3-day weekend is drained off by a parent who wants to get a jump on the traffic on his way to Napa, then you're going to lose good will and cooperation.

In my experience as a teacher, administrator and parent, though, there have always been enough people on either side of the larger issue whose first concern is their own convenience to negate any potential gain.

Mike


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm

The title of librarians in PUSD are "library media teachers", and rightly so. A school librarian in California is expected to be both a teacher and a librarian who administer the facility and collection (and supervises staff, if any).

The educational barriers to becoming a K-12 certified school librarian in California are higher than they are for becoming a classroom teacher.

First, you must be certified in a classroom subject area, and have teaching experience in that area (I hold dual classroom certification for English 7-12 and social studies).

Second, you must obtain a master's in library science in order to become certified as a library media teacher.

I have no knowledge of how my successor at Foothill approaches her job, but when I was there, I taught 184 separate lessons on the average each year (research skills, etc). That's one reason why library usage tripled during my eight-year stint as Foothill librarian.

My colleague at Amador High, Erik Scherer, who is still librarian there, taught as many if not more classes than I did.

So yes, Virginia, school librarians in California ARE teachers. And there is a shortage of K-12 school librarians, even in this dreadful job market, because you have to obtain extra education and job experience but you don't get paid any more than a classroom teacher.

By the way, there are only two certified school library media teachers in PUSD, one at Foothill and one at Amador. The other librarians are clerks who are not certified teachers.

p.s.--You can verify an individual's certification by going to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing's website.

I miss a lot of things about Pleasanton, but the idiocy and willful ignorance of the anonymous yahoos on the P-Weekly site sure isn't one of them.


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Posted by Mittens
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I'm a sanitation engineer, but some people choose to call me a garbage man. I guess it's all relative, right Daniel?
P.S.....who really cares if book jockeys call themselves teachers.....certainly not us anonymous yahoos......you can call yourself president for all I care.


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Posted by ML
a resident of Happy Valley
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

My daughter went to the parade and I make no apologies nor am I paying the district a dime. Crawford deserved his home crowd there to show support and to congratulate him. His sister has been my daughter's friend for years and his father has coached my daughter in softball. There is no way I would stop her from sharing this once in a lifetime moment with this family that has been a huge part of this community. My daughter goes to foothill with his sister and learned that many teachers sowed the parade during class time on TVs. So it seems it's totally fine for instruction time to be interrupted and used watching TV (which of course we are all told us a no no when our kids are home doing homework) but it's a sin to allow your child to support a family and a young man that accomplished something so amazing. I should add that one of my daughter's teachemrs also had the classroom TV o. For the earlier playoff games that were played during the day. I'm so thrilled to hear this is what's going in during class time.

By the way, for those of you who think I owe the district an explanation, I will thank you and the government to stay out of how I choose to raise my child. I have a right to used judgment to excuse absences and I chose to excuse this one without s second thought.

To the librarian, really, get over yourself. Not all teachers are good and some of the better ones we've had in 15 plus years in Pleasanton schools have been let go because of the damn unions that don't base contracts on performance. So you end up with teachers like some at foothill that turn on TVs during class time and steal it from our kids when the rest of us work regular jobs and know the meaning of a DVR because we would never get away with what some of these teachers do.

Congratulations again to the Crawford family. I was thrilled when I watch the coverage of the parade THAT NIGHT AGTER WORK and the reporter mentioned all the folks there from Pleasanton specifically.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

The district we used to live in employed classified staff as librarians, and no, they were not considered teachers. Those positions were the first to be targeted during budget cuts because as classified staff, only a 30 day notice was required.

I have kids, and sorry Daniel, but most students do not consider you a teacher. You were just the librarian at FH.

As for the parade, my kids did not attend, but I see nothing wrong with the kids who did. And parents should not be charged. After all, even a teacher at FH went to the parade and told the students about it! And across the district, schools held parades and rallies and watched TV instead of having class, so really, PUSD has no right to complain about student absences.

Besides, there was a teacher "workday" two days later. If the district really cared, perhaps that teacher day would have been on Halloween instead of the friday after.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

"Long story short: more unhinged teacher-bashing in the P-Weekly by a bunch of nitwits hiding behind pseudonyms. Same as it ever was."

I know, I already wrote that in my first comment.

But some things bear repeating.


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Posted by susan
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 10, 2012 at 1:00 am

Dear Pleasanton School district-you have names of all the kids or teachers that skipped the day of the parade?--Make them pay-please don't us others who send our kids to school (though they were pissed off for not being about to go the parade).
Why make everyone else suffer-especially residents that don't have kids in town. charge ONLY the ones that skipped. I wanted to go along with my daughter but she went to school and I went to work.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2012 at 6:36 am

"District policy has for some time been to ask for parents to pay if a child is absent for any reason."

This is a bad policy since public education is free and no student can be charged. I think civil rights organizations would have issues if a parent is asked to reimburse the district when the student is absent.

Why can't PUSD and other school districts, with the help of our very powerful teachers' union (hey, they defeated prop 32 by spending around 20 million) try to change the way districts are given ADA funds?

It cost the same to run a school whether all students are present or some are not, so why shouldn't schools receive the same amount of money regardless of students' absences?

Now we have a majority of democrats in Sacramento, and with the passage of prop 30 and failure of prop 32, we have been reminded of just how powerful unions are in CA. So.... stop harassing parents about reimbursing absences and start lobbying your buddies in Sacramento!!!!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 10, 2012 at 8:09 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Resident said: "Why can't PUSD and other school districts, with the help of our very powerful teachers' union (hey, they defeated prop 32 by spending around 20 million) try to change the way districts are given ADA funds?"

Good question. We all pay taxes to support schools. Why would any parent who already paid to send their child(ren) to public school pay again because the child(ren) are out for any reason?

There used to be excused absences and districts still received their allotted funding. However, Sacramento decided there is no such thing as an excused absence. How much money do districts lose statewide each day due to absences, and what is Sacramento doing with the reclaimed funds? Should funding be based on the total number of students registered (and only adjusted for students who move in or out of the district)?


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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Nov 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Mr. Bradford:

Your attitude and childish name calling is appalling. I hope such immaturity does not reflect on a majority of those entrusted and paid well with handsome benefits in Pleasanton. My child is enrolled at FHS and if you are still there, he wi be advised to steer clear of you given the general disdain you seem to have for those who you are supposed to work for. If you are still a PUSD employees (not a teacher as you are trying to claim) I hope the district will take action to coach you up or out or provide counseling for whatever issues you have causing you to believe you can behave in this manner. There is no room in our schools for attitudes like your especially in a role involving the development and daily interaction with our children.

One more piece of advice..... If we parents are such intolerable "nitwits", resign.


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Posted by Get a refund
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Nov 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I agree with Resident. Going to public school is free. You can't charge people for being absent because going to public school is free.

But continuing on a theme of reimbursement, why can't PUSD reimburse the state and federal government for the $100 million or so it cost taxpayers for the state and federal government to conduct audio and video electronic surveillance within the District's buildings for a two year sting investigation, most of it occurring on the PUSD main headquarters (see this map of the campus -- Web Link )


Why did the administrators who allowed TVU to work on its public campus have no 'put on adminstrative leave' or any action against anyone who processed the paperwork to allow a completely fake university to operate there? What will be the tab of the civil lawsuits against PUSD once the criminal trial is completed for the 35 criminal counts? Certainly more than $13,000. At least $13 million at least.


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Posted by A parent
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

MOM said "There is nothing on there about it 'costing' the school district to keep your student home and I don't see it in the Foothill information either where the attendance info is highlighted. So I"m really confused where all this communication is that I'm choosing to ignore."

The district sees your child as a source of revenue...not as a customer to whom they are to provide a service.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here is a paper regarding ADA funding for schools from the Public Policy Institute of California: Web Link It's complicated, and perhaps, unnecessarily so.


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