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Town Square

More funding cuts may loom for Pleasanton school district

Original post made on Sep 28, 2011

With state revenues about $600 million less than conservative estimates for July and August, the Pleasanton school board learned Tuesday night that it may be facing some mid-year cuts.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 6:13 AM

Comments

Posted by shadowbozo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm

shadowbozo is a registered user.

Pleasanton Unified needs to do something like the following:

Web Link

If they did this, at least the proceeds go to fund programs that will be cut from this budget.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Considering the district's past performance regarding money, I believe the obvious first step would be to stop wasting it.

Mike


Posted by Stop the waste, a resident of Parkside
on Sep 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Like that health liaison position. There are nurses and people at the schools. They said so at the board meeting last night. Stop the waste down size it people.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm

In a community like Pleasanton, known for its excellent schools, I think a parcel tax would be a good way to go. The tax needs to be big enough to cover the gap/shortfall and needs to be well explained to the public. I have been to many board meetings in the last two years, and I would say any amount of "waste" is a small fraction of the budget. Yes, the district should always be looking for ways to be more efficient, but that won't be near enough to close the gap. I can't speak to what the district was doing 10 or 15 years ago, but today I think they are doing a very good job of managing money.


Posted by Enough, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Reader,

Enough with the ballot box budgeting. The district has tried twice and failed both times while blowing 800K in the process. Times are tough for a lot of people; not just the school district. We dedicate tens of BILLIONS to K-12 every year. Maybe it's time to overhaul the entire school system.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Reader,

I would argue that the district should be seen as a continuum rather than as a series of separate administrations.


Mike


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

OK reader, how about a REALLY special parcel tax. You can pay it for all of us. Get serious, two times the money grab has failed because we are tired of S & C raises when there need to be pay cuts. The teachers are not even willing to freeze their pay, let alone take any cuts.
This district needs to spend only what they have. If that means laying off unnecessary people and getting more work out of others then so be it. Teachers and school districts are not immune to the economy any more than the rest of us.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2011 at 10:08 pm

"The district has tried twice and failed both times"

But it is getting closer each time. Three time's a charm. Remember, the overwhelming majority of voters favored the tax. In addition, Pleasanton's demographics are changing. More families with children are moving in.

"Maybe it's time to overhaul the entire school system."

Or maybe not. The school system in Pleasanton is excellent and it is achieving excellent results. If anything needs an overhaul, it is the national financial system that got us into this mess. A parcel tax can solve our local problem here in Pleasanton.

"This district needs to spend only what they have."

Says you. I say let's improve our already excellent schools and not let financial shenanigans in Washington and New York foul up our excellent schools.

Parcel tax three is on the way.

LET'S ROLL!!


Posted by Concerned parents, a resident of Valley Trails
on Sep 29, 2011 at 8:40 am

Just like the Government, the schools need to cut wasteful profjects. Childern at Hart in the 8th grade have to carry around a baby, learn how to empty garbage. In 6th grade, they have a program called Quest. Right now my son and I are working on making a book (which was provided by the school) on Life Skills. Book times number of students?? How much was spent on these books per student. This was taught at Donlon since he attended Kindergarten. In 5th grade he had to make a book on one of states. That was a great learning tool, but the school spent money on another book, which had to be decorated. Old fashion state report could have saved the school money. The quest program is a waste of the district's funds. In Quest they also have a couple of weeks of Spanish, German and French. How about a whole semester in Spanish or/and another language the children can use in California. Go to the elementary schools and see how many reading books are in the resourse rooms that are being unused. Every year they order more books because it is in the budget. So much waste, just like the Government.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 29, 2011 at 9:17 am

"Concerned parents" said: "Every year they order more books because it is in the budget. So much waste, just like the Government."

Sounds like you're being pretty nitpicky to me, "Concerned Parents". You're complaining because elementary schools libraries order new books every year? That's your example of "government waste"? Is that your best shot? Your other criticisms are equally inane.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 9:28 am

Well said Sam. There is a crowd that always says never ever raise anyone's taxes under any conditions. There are always these little anecdotes about unused supplies (last time there were people complaining about too many erasers and pencils ordered in the district office) that they use to justify their position. Thankfully, that crowd is getting smaller.


Posted by phil, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:11 am

i love it! sam - reader and lets roll i am on your team. same old tired commentors putting down pleasanton schools. these school are thriving and putting their best foots foward regardless of the economy. to the old tired posters - quit booing and start cheering. the community and our schools are alive and well. join em!


Posted by Lee, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:58 am

We need to be able to finance what we want in our schools, regardless of the amount of money "taken" from our budget mid-year. I say we need the parcel tax to stay stable and more in control of what our priorities are for our schools.

Let's try this vote again!


Posted by The Money Pit, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm

As long as the Ptown Unified SD continues to spend millions a year for lawyers and consultants to sue/countersue/defend lawsuits and continues to fall back on flimsy legal advice as justifications for skirting the law, money meant to be spent on students will continue to be spent on their lawyers and consultants.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

The parcel tax approach cannot work until the district administration and board takes a long stark look at the problems beyond just this school year and addresses them before it is too late. I have been watching the meeting of September 13 where community members (Brososky, Ayala, Testa) raise valid questions about other refinancings (Certificates of Participation--COPs) that could erode the general fund. These debts are being paid as interest only. A parcel tax that is specific as to what it will directly support is the only way I can see enough community support being gathered in the interim.


Posted by The Money Pit, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Well said, Ms. Ruegsegger. Having the Ptown Unified SD base their ability to repay the COP debt based on phantom development tracts on p. 10 of Web Link doesn't exactly inspire confidence.


Posted by Marie, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Hopefully the district is monitoring expenses and using staff reduction expenses in the classrooms and not on overtime and substitutes for non-teachers. I called the district to ask a question and got a clerical sub filling in for someone on vacation. That raised a red flag for me.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm

More nitpicking, anecdotes, and stuff from way in the past. Let's get this done. Ignore the naysayers and negativity. I'll say it again.

LET'S ROLL!!


Posted by informed parent, a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Concerned parents, the Quest program at Hart is about teaching life skills/focusing on community service, NOT foreign language. Take a few minutes and get aquainted with your child's school, and you would find out that in 6th grade students have a Wheel of classes lasting 6 weeks. One of those classes is Quest, and another is Foreign language. Yes, they are introduced to both Spanish and French, in an effort to help students make a more informed decision when choosing an elective in 7th grade.
In regards to the books you feel are a waste of money, the district does NOT purchase those books. Parent 'donations' are collected, and in many cases, teachers end up purchasing those books with their own funds because of a shortfall of funds. It is too bad that you are misinformed and so quick to judge. I'm sure most teachers would encourage you to educate yourself a little about your child's education; you might be pleasantly surprised at what you will see!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 30, 2011 at 9:39 am

A reader, that "stuff from way in the past" is about to bite back in the future. Ignoring it will not make it go away.


Posted by Concerned resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I am extremely concerned that these advisory committees are being run by Brososky, Ayala, and Testa. The lies and misinformation from two of these individuals is what we should be observing- especially for their participation in the derailing of the parcel tax elections. One has been invited into the classrooms and schools repeatedly and refuses, yet continues to shed misinformation about them. Their attempts to run this city according to their personal agenda is getting old, now to see them going after the schools- I will be watching their every word and so should you.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Concerned resident, The committee was chaired by Beth Limesand and the consultant. Other committee members included Jack Dove (member of the disbanded bond oversight committee), Jan Batcheller, Anne Fox, Kay Ayala, Julie Testa, and me. Steve Brozosky attended, but was not on the committee. I strongly suggest you view the Board of Education meeting of September 13. Web Link
A lot of information validating the original concerns is provided by the consultant.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

"is about to bite back in the future"

How?

" based on phantom development tracts "

Please explain. I don't see anything that looks like a "phantom" on that page.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

a reader, Only the interest on the Certificates of Participation debt is being paid (I believe the district actually looked at borrowing from the City at one point to meet their payments). Others know more about the COPs than I do, but I believe the payments are due in 2025 and the ability to make the payments is based on adding 3,000 housing units in Pleasanton. You can watch the public comments section of the September 13 (linked above) to see the questions about the COPs.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2011 at 11:16 am

"and the ability to make the payments is based on adding 3,000 housing units in Pleasanton."

My understanding is that the number of housing units added by then is likely in that range or greater. That sounds like a good assumption.

"Only the interest on the Certificates of Participation debt is being paid"

I don't know that that is necessarily a bad thing, if it is well planned. Interest rates are quite low on many kinds of debts. This may be a good opportunity for PUSD.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

The questions I have are what kind of housing is being added and what revenues would be generated if they aren't single family homes or if they are mostly affordable homes? We have seen many examples of the problems created by kicking the can down the road, so I don't see how this is a good opportunity for PUSD or taxpayers or, more importantly, for students who may be entering our schools at a low point if the general fund is being diverted to making the payments.


Posted by Fernwood Ct, a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Reader, looking at the diagram, the Merritt property is most definitely a phantom development tract near Foothill High. Ha ha ha. 85 houses will not be built there next year as the District says. Zoom into the diagram. It was referended over ten years ago with Measure P (I know, I collected hundreds of signatures), Mr. Merritt sued the City about "prezoning" and lost then placed an 8 foot high steel fence around the property as retaliation. I know because I live down the street.

Talk to the neighbors bordering Martin Avenue on the east side too or anyone in the Mohr neighborhood. They are all having a good laugh because the PUSD claims 50 houses would soon be built, guess where, inside the hallowed depths of an abandoned quarry pit that is now a reservoir right next to Mohr school! Hilarious!


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm

"Talk to the neighbors bordering Martin Avenue on the east side too or anyone in the Mohr neighborhood. They are all having a good laugh because the PUSD claims 50 houses would soon be built, guess where, inside the hallowed depths of an abandoned quarry pit that is now a reservoir right next to Mohr school! Hilarious!"

But I lived for five years in a development in an abandoned quarry pit in Pleasanton. Are you saying it won't be developed in the expected time frame, or won't be developed at all? Are we talking about large amounts of expected taxes or rounding errors?

"so I don't see how this is a good opportunity for PUSD or taxpayers or, more importantly, for students who may be entering our schools at a low point if the general fund is being diverted to making the payments."

It sounds like good opportunity to refinance the debt at a lower interest rate and use the money in the class rooms and hire the best teachers.

Supplement that with a substantial partial tax, and we can get k-3 and ninth grade class size below 20 to something like 15 perhaps.

I'm all citizens coming forward to help show the district innovative ways to use debt effectively to fund our schools. Let's be sure the focus of what we are doing is providing solutions and not just trying to find fault. Together we can get this done. As I said before.

LET'S ROLL!


Posted by Fernwood Ct, a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

At all. Unless the water agency allows 50 houseboats to float around on the water reservoir.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm

A reader, Let me correct that escalated payments on the COPs begin in 2015, not 2025--that makes the road the can is rolling down pretty short. So there isn't likely to be 3,000 new homes, of any size, in 4 years, and if they were all built, we are back to the issue of where the students will find space to attend school. You assume the interest rates were lower (don't know if that is the case) and that there then were excess funds to spend in the classroom. I'd like to suggest that the interest only payments are being made because there are no excess funds to spend anywhere, including for the COP debt.

It's unfortunate that the current governance team is paying the price of previous administration's faulty judgement, but unless a new parcel tax attempt, substantial or otherwise, has specific language as to what programs/personnel will be supported, I don't think it will pass. Community members are now educated about past practice.


Posted by tim, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm

only a fool votes to raise their own taxes


Posted by Joe, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm

"A lot of information validating the original concerns is provided by the consultant." I couldn't agree with Concerned Resident more. Testa, Ayala, and Brozosky are ax grinders (Testa in particular) who always, from the sidelines, have an opinion. Testa, if she is so continually concerned should run for School Board. Anything with their fingerprints on it should be viewed with a boulder of salt. Secondly, the "original concerns" are provided by the consultant is nothing more than the transparent act of hiring a mouthpiece. Sorry, this is the same old group who profess to have the public interest at heart but are constantly jumping in when they want to prove a point. The comment "one has been invited into the classrooms and schools repeatedly and refuses, yet continues to shed misinformation about them"-no surprise there. The majority of the community has no idea of the impact of the continual cuts have had in the schools -it's easier to harp and point fingers about the past than have constructive, open-minded, discussions about the future. Ain't politics at the local level grand....


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 2, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Joe, Not sure what you mean by the consultant being a mouthpiece. The concerns were raised by community members, not the consultant. And the consultant was hired by the school district. If they were a hired mouthpiece for the district, why didn't they indicate the district never did anything improper?

The district is having financial difficulties, some of which are the lasting legacy of previous decisions. This current governance team is working to correct past practice and to add transparency on the financial side. It will rebuild necessary trust. These are all steps toward making a parcel tax possible. Anger toward either the current district team or the original community messengers is unproductive.


Posted by As the world turns, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

You have to admit, PUSD does engage in some "interesting" fund raising approaches that puzzle the average citizen, e.g. PUSD raises funds by entering into multiple contracts with developers and custom home builders requiring them to pay higher fees than mandated by the state, enters into a pseudo financial arrangement with a well known set of two developers to build a school bypassing State public contract bidding laws, starts raiding city funds, and locates a sham university admissions office on school district property that is subsequently raided by the Dept of Justice with allegations of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering... Web Link

Sounds like a soap opera to me!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Raiding city funds? Locates a sham university on school district property? TVU was located at 405 Boulder Ct. near Quarry Lane--how is that PUSD property? Can you please provide more verifiable information please?


Posted by As the world turns, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm

City funds - Call the city and ask how much the district has paid and not paid for Vineyard and Neal School infrastructure. The school district was supposed to be on the hook for 40% of the costs Web Link


TVU - See p. 5 of Board agenda for the agreement for the Tri-Valley University admissions office to be located at the Administrative Offices of the Pleasanton Unified School district Web Link

and the Yellow Pages

Web Link

At the time the Federal search warrants were served, the TVU website had a picture of their building on the PUSD headquarters with the description:

"While some of TVU's interior office is still under construction, We still have our Tri-Valley University's Administrative Office at: 4645 Bernal Ave Building 700, Pleasanton CA 94566, inside the campus of Pleasanton Unified School District, sharing many facilities with PUSD. "





Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 3, 2011 at 7:40 am

As . . . First, thank you for the links.

The city claimed the district owed $4 million for the realignment of Vineyard Avenue. That was the sham (opinion, but I worked at the DO when this was happening). Perhaps that is the COP the district still struggles to pay, so I don't know that the city isn't being repaid.

TVU, most unfortunate. I could make a lot of comments, but they wouldn't add anything.


Posted by Alright Already, a resident of Ironwood
on Oct 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger, go run a campaign or start a website. Define someone who hijacks threads. I sincerely try and read my community's opinions and get the same people who just bury others in information repetitively.

I love Pleasanton because of the ability to have open conversations about pressing issues such as our schools. I am beyond tired of internet demagogues masquerading as experts. Dear lord, I would even take comments by Stacy over this tired old element. I think some people have a google search tool for "parcel tax" on this website.


Posted by The Money Pit, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Alright Already, from your post, it sounds like you are involved in running political campaigns or are a politician. You say you are tired of "internet demagogues masquerading as experts." But could it be actual jealousy that is the root of your anger? Sounds like those who you refer to as "demagogues" have quite a handle on all the details and are in fact the experts.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

AA, don't understand your issue. I was responding to questions/others. You won't see me on other threads so much; others, who post often on those threads, know more about those topics. Seems balanced enough.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm

The community has confidence in the school district's ability to manage its money. Of course there is a small group of people who will always find fault, no matter how small. Support is building. The time for a parcel tax is now.


Posted by The Money Pit, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm

The Ptown Unified SD can't even repay its Sycamore Fund loans to itself so how can the community find confidence in its ability to manage its money. Even Bill James, the former superintendent, said it can't get its act together. The Sycamore Fund was never intended to be an ATM.

And no wonder Signature Properties sued them. They probably thought that they would never get repaid any of the money advanced to Ptown Unified for the construction of Neal.

If Ptown Unified SD can't even repay itself, any third party is way down on the list.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

Money, The financial problems are many, but they were not created by this superintendent or even most of the current board. This governance team is paying the price for the sins of the past team.

I think the current administration is trying to claw their way back; it will be a long process to get back to healthy. It took some measure of courage to open up the books to a consultant and citizens' committee. Let's hope more thorough financial reports, ethics training, and transparency will be the new culture of the organization.


Posted by Homeschool, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:36 am

Homeschool your children if you do not like how the PUSD is managing the money or how teachers are teaching their classes. Most of you think you could do it better, so do it. Quit your whining. PUSD is trying to do their best with what they have and trying to please everyone isn't possible. Get off these forums and make a difference. Go out to the board meetings and voice your concerns/ideas. Go out to the schools and volunteer time at them. Put your name in when it comes to school board election time.

I am sick of all the complaining.


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:49 am

Dear Homeschool,
I whole-heartedy agree with you.
In fact, I submit that with the resources available today, homeschooling can be a much better option than government-schooling. There are several homeschooling communities in the Bay Area to help any parent as well.

Give your kids a much better chance to succeed and yank them from government-schools.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 5, 2011 at 10:11 am

Homeschool, Homeschooling isn't an answer for most; making the best of what taxpayers pour into public schools each year is the right thing to do.

The concerns (complaining/whining) have been raised and ignored for years _at_ board meetings. Those raising the concerns had their kids in the system, volunteered, and donated. Some even served on the school board already. Some are still volunteering and donating whether their kids are in the schools or not. Some were asked and served on the recent citizens' committee.

For most it is because we value public education and the education of the children in the community.


Posted by The Money Pit, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

Part of the problem is that the public are heard, but are never actually listened to, and are ignored. The only people they listen to are the army of consultants and lawyers running around being paid by them to tell them what they want to hear, which the consultants and lawyers will gladly do so that they can continue to get paid to defend and fight lawsuits and obtain huge fees.

How things would have been different if the district listened in 2004?

Web Link


Wood told the trustees Tuesday that it appeared the district had outside representation in crafting the agreement between PUSD and the developers and that it was their attorney's responsibility to make sure the district had a clearly enforceable position.

"Given the recent ruling by Judge Ronald Sabraw that the contract was illegal for failing to follow the rules that apply to districts, it appears your lawyers failed in this responsibility," Wood said in the statement.

"It is clear that the district is losing in the litigation," he continued. "You need to analyze the worst case scenario. Assuming that you lose, what will it cost you to try all issues to the end, including appeals and malicious prosecution claims."


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

Money, Don't think either of us could realistically predict what would be different had the Board listened then--other than the district might have saved the money spent on the lawsuits. I think the point that bad decisions were made, repeatedly, by a governance team no longer in place already has been made. The public has learned the truth; maybe the new governance team has as well. My guess is there are plenty of us watching, and this governance team now has the opportunity to change the culture.


Posted by Dems, a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I bet most of the bloggers above voted for the democrats and Arnold who have created this economic disaster of reduced tax revenue. Pretty easy to predict. Force business out of the state and there goes the tax revenue. Keep voting anti business officials and this is what happens


Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Why not have the parents with the children in school donate money to the school systems, the more kids you have the more you donate. Let those parents call it tuition.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Common, Parents do donate, as do others, but we all have a stake in public education; first, our tax dollars; secondly in our future as these young people take over the roles of leadership. Too important to turn our backs.


Posted by ???, a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Ms. Ruegsegger,
It sounds as if you are very close-minded. Why do you assume that "we all have a stake in public education" ??? What is wrong with the alternatives of private education or home schooling? I will refuse to send my child to "government schools" period!

If we were talking about services such as the US Post Office, would you say that we MUST use it and not UPS or FedEx???

I have read many of your posts and you are smarter than your latest post on this topic. Public schooling is not the only alternative.



Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Questioning, Not at all close minded and not against homeschooling or private school alternatives. But, if you are a taxpayer, you have a stake in the public education institution--at least financially. And eventually, the kids we put through these institutions (not everyone can do homeschooling or private school) will be our leaders.

From what I could find, USPS does not receive tax dollars; regardless, it doesn't prevent the options to use UPS or FedEx or just email.


Posted by ???, a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Excuse me...the USPS "doesn't use tax dollars??? It lost $8.5 billion last year! Where do you think that money comes from??? Certainly not from the sale of stamps! Of course it comes from taxpayers...and China loans!

There is absolutely NOTHING our Federal Government does, except for national defense that is effective and efficient. Especially Public Schooling!!!

And you said "not everyone can do homeschooling or private school" Yes, private schooling can be expensive currently but if there were more choices thru the exercise of the free market, the price would drop and the quality would increase. That is the way the free market works...at least in theory...until the Government intervenes with choking regulations, not to mention the parasitic teachers unions dramatically reducing the quality of education.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm

"There is absolutely NOTHING our Federal Government does, except for national defense that is effective and efficient. "

Ah yes, let's privatize the court system. Who needs a government supreme court when the free market provides greater efficiency?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Questioning, I said from what I could find--USPS site says 0. No matter.

I didn't claim government is effective or efficient; in fact, I'd be hard pressed to argue in favor of how taxpayer dollars are spent. You can go through all the education blogs on PW--I'm in favor of charter schools and magnet schools and changes in what we have now.

None of that changes the fact that taxpayers have a stake in K-12 education and the impact it will have on the future via the students of today. That's always been the case.


Posted by Lessismore, a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

We can thank Mr Brown. His little thank you to the teachers union last year will tie PUSD hands. They will have no options but to cut needed programs and the people who just happen to clean the school.

I support PUSD and the teaching profession. But teachers you should be ashamed of what YOUR union. They are not the only reason for the current problem, but please tell one thing the union has done to improve education in CA


Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm

The assumption has always been, everyone should support school funding because in the future we all benefit. I believe that is true, except that support should not be equal for all. It should be based on the family size. In other words, a parcel tax should be prorated on benefit received. No children families should pay the least, and families with the largest number of kids should pay the most. Most parcel tax proposals allow seniors to opt out. Just carry that to the next step and prorate a parcel tax on benefit received.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 6, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Common Sense, Two things: first I don't believe your suggestion is possible/legal. Second, if you could have those receiving the most benefit pay more, how do you account for what those families already donate and volunteer? Those contributions are equally important and could dry up if that kind of parcel tax passed.


Posted by Andrew M., a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Oct 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Please...just let me remind you all.

Measure G - $233 parcel tax = FAILED
Measure E - $98 parcel tax = FAILED

I'm not a betting man but I'd gladly wager a buck or two that the next, focus group designed, acceptable amount of parcel tax (again, my bet this time it'll be $46.21 per household) will once again, fail. Not because the of the greed, disdain for the educational system, loathing of the children that are our future or simple economic hardship but simply because we all know that the funds collected will inevitability end up in the black hole of which is the PUSD.

If you REALLY want to have a realistic fiscal impact on the operating budget of the PUSD then come on out & tell us that it will cost the homeowners/taxpayers $470-$590+ per household that the district realistically needs to actually make a dent in their budget deficit. Oh, you think that will be too much for the voting populous to stomach? Well reconvene your little focus groups, generate a nice round, happy figure of say...$37 as a parcel tax & then go nuts buying a few new pencils with all those proceeds guys. In the real world it won't make an iota of difference but if it makes you feel good about finally bilking the citizens of Pleasanton for a few measly dollars to further your agenda but accomplish nothing, you go right ahead.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I agree. A parcel tax closer to $400 would be better. It would be good to push class sizes for K-3 back to 20 or even smaller, and that is what it would cost. Better public relations efforts by the district could go a long way.


Posted by As the world turns, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 9, 2011 at 8:53 pm

And 6 months after the Federal raid on 21 May 2010 on Web Link

This was posted:

"Using an office in a public school. Illegal, see separation of religion and stat" really laugh!
To clarify, We are located inside the Pleasanton Unified School District, - the official US government agency control all education system in the city, from Kindergarder ( 5 year old students) to adult educaiton( 50 years old). We are lucky and proud to have our adm office inside PUSD ( we are very much regulated and very safe too). Even though we have our brand new building for Admision and classroom, our key Administration Office will be still always located inside PUSD. We are proudly to have mutual support of our comunity at Pleasanton in Tri-Valley!