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Town Square

PUSD and Fiscal Excellence? Repeating Failed Mission, Vision and Goals

Original post made by Nomad, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2011

PUSD is set to approve 2011-12 Goals at the 10/25 Board meeting (Web Link) and (either explicitly or ignorantly) refuses to set measurable goals for reserves, expense reduction, and specific structural expense changes to ensure solvency. Instead, they list 'strategies' that are weak and ineffectual.
Clearly, PUSD is not committed to doing the hard work to change their expense structure that repeatedly throws them into panic/crisis mode every time the state sneezes and the annual budget cycle comes around. (Specific recommendations here Web Link)
This lack of fiscal leadership and abdication of fiduciary responsibility is a big FAIL.
In light of the 10/14 board retreat where a consultant advised them on 'moral imperatives', how can this board and superintendent not see the moral imperative to fix the structural fiscal deficiencies, so they CAN provide the resources to deliver quality education to our children?
PUSD has a moral imperative to fix the source of the problem that consumes much mental, physical and financial resource every year.
If they don't get it soon, and get it fast, we are all doomed to another cycle of woe, uncertainty and angst.
Wake up, PUSD. The power to change is in your hands. It is your responsibility. You are accountable to the community for the $100M+ you spend every year. Sadly, you seem to want to FAIL again.

Comments

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Posted by not surprised
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 22, 2011 at 10:03 am

what? an inefficient, ineffective government program? i am shocked! (not).

government schools will never improved unless the parasitic unions are severely weakened or eliminated.

hey, democrats are all in-favor of "choice"... right? (as in killing babies).

what about "choice" regarding tax dollars going to either government schools or private schools?


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Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

To "not surprised",

People move to Pleasanton because the "government schools" are excellent the API and SAT scores are all at the top of the range. The majority of parents in Pleasanton choose to send their children to the public schools, though they have the money and ability to send their children to private schools.

From your post it sounds like your only experience with Pleasanton schools is what you here on Rush Limbaugh. You should get to know your community and learn about our excellent schools. Lay off the talk radio.


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Posted by not surprised
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

dear steve,
i understand that people move to Pleasanton because of the supposed "good school system" (compared to other government schools in CA).

my wife and I are among the people who chose Pleasanton because of its "good schools." we moved here from the midwest and could have located anywhere in the Bay Area. yet we chose Pleasanton.

our child went to a PUSD elementary school through 5th grade. the teacher quality was ok...acceptable. but because our child was bullied immensely and had a low self-esteem largely because of this, we yanked our child out and now have our child in private school. upon entering the 6th grade, she was immediately one full-year behind the other kids who had gone to this private school k-5.

our child is now thriving in this private school. yes, it is expensive...but our child is worth it. yanking our child out of the PUSD system was the rigbht decision in our case.

so...don't tell me about the PUSD "excellent" schools, stevie. stick it.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

Steve, the schools won't stay excellent if PUSD can't get and keep their financial house in order. There really isn't room for more cuts and perhaps not quite enough will to pass a parcel tax if long-term planning is poor.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I think it was back in the fourth grade that we had a term-long bookkeeping project, during which we "earned" a certain amount of money that we had to balance against certain "expenses", the details of which escape me.

At the end, we got to use what we had left to buy the remains of another project, something to do with California history if memory serves.

Of course we were graded on this, but the part I remember most was that the "poor" kids, those who had failed to balance their budgets and who were fined for that failure, didn't have enough to buy the adobe-brick missions and other cool stuff that we "balanced-budget" kids could afford.

I chuckle now to think that we were being asked to do something that the very people responsible for putting that project in the curriculum are so utterly incapable of doing. I can't remember their names anymore, but maybe it was the "poor" kids who grew up to be school board members.

Mike


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm

How funny that not surprised chose to bully Steve.


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Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

not surprised,

I haven't heard that "stevie" taunt since something like eighth grade. I don't believe your story for a second. It is far more likely that you are yourself a bully (you have proved that by what you posted), and it seems more likely to me that you in fact were removed from school because of your own behavioral problems. This is most likely the source of your hostility and frustration. I hope sincerely hope that you lay off the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity because it seems to make you combative and disagreeable. I hope you learn to deal with your anger in a more constructive way.


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Posted by steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger,

While I agree that getting PUSD finances in order is important, I don't think the situation is as dire as some people would have us believe. Even if we had to go to class sizes of 30 for K-3, we would still have excellent schools.


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Posted by Tucson
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Oct 23, 2011 at 6:14 am

Some bozo above says the following: "hey, democrats are all in-favor of "choice"... right? (as in killing babies). what about "choice" regarding tax dollars going to either government schools or private schools?"

Comparing a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body with 'choosing' tax dollars for public or private schools. Now there's an example of powerful thinking for you! How about another, should we execute criminals, or should I buy cherry-flavored instead of mint-flavored chewing gum. Hold on! Don't expect me to walk and chew gum at the same time!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 23, 2011 at 6:39 am

Steve, Don't disagree with you about class sizes. Most (not all) of the schools were great at 30:1 and when Walnut Grove had over 1,000 kids. Long-term board members, superintendents, and business officials know the state budget woes are cyclical (party and spend when we're flush, slash and burn when the party is over). I don't know that PUSD's situation is dire, but history will repeat itself if plans aren't in place to get back to fiscal health long into the future.


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Posted by R. Spade
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Another comment on the fiscal (ir)responsibility of the PUSD. I noticed on the agenda an appointment of another PIO in Closed Session. (Web Link) Wasn't this job recently eliminated due to budget concerns? Couldn't these dollars be used for class size reduction or to keep our libraries open? Pleasanton residents through CORE funding support the libraries and school technology for this school year only. What happens next year when CORE doesn't raise enough money to support these programs? Maybe this will be the PIO's first assignment - to take photos of our overcrowded classrooms and closed libraries in hopes of generating interest in another parcel tax?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm

This is a job hat most districts in the state have jettisoned. It is not a crucial job for student benefit.


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Posted by R. Spade
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm

As Kathleen says, the job is not crucial for student benefit, yet the district is going to use valuable fiscal resources that could go to other programs. And why is this discussed in Closed Session? What happened to cuts away from the classroom? Just seems to me the money could be better used elsewhere.


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Posted by To John
a resident of Avignon
on Oct 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Great comment, John. Not surprised definitely learned some bullying techniques from his daughter's elementary school.


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Posted by not surprised
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I learned how to bully in Chicago innercity government schools...same as where Obama learned his ACORN bullying techniques. I am very good at it when I want to be...both psychologically and physically.

As mentioned, that is one of the reasons why I've yanked my child out of government schools. And yes, I am telling the truth Steve. Girls can be especially mean to other girls in the late grades and middle school years.

Sorry if I came across as too bold. However, when it comes to my child, I am passionately defensive.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Not Surprised,

Passion may explain behavior, but it doesn't excuse it.
Additionally, because your defense of your daughter is subjective, it may be based on a mistaken understanding of the facts.

Always best to leave passion out of the discussion.

Mike


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Posted by Sheila
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm

The Pleasanton community is funding district jobs through CORE. Why doesn't the district use it's resources to bring back "pinked" employees instead of adding to it's already overcrowded management team?


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Fiscal responsibility lays within the hands of the Board and the Superintendent. I believe they may still be making some questionable decisions; those being: 1) considering filling the management assistant position (I.e. the public information officer) 2) all the Board attending a conference in San Diego (cost of travel, hotels, meals, and conference fees must be a substantial amount), and 3) the superintendent had presented a request to the Board to boost up an employees classification (salary) at a special board meeting in August. Someone rightfully pulled this off the agenda before the Board took action and it did not go thru. It is still amazing that it was even thought to be presented. PUSD, please wake up!


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Posted by Vinny
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Oct 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I have come to accept that PUSD agenda is as folows in this order:
1] Transfer wealth from taxpayers to teachers and administrators.
2] Maintain the politcal institutions that maintain the status quo.
3] Educate the kids

Rather than become frustrated and rant and rave, I have come to accept it. They win.


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Posted by not surprised
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm

vinny,
i agree with your conclusions, except for one minor wording. Number three should read...

3. Indoctrinate the kids...(i.e. to our leftwing ideology and agenda. make them dislike America and its successes. especially make them anti-capitalists and pro-socialists, pro-unions, good freedom-hating democrats).


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Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 26, 2011 at 8:45 am

From last nights vote it seems the district has used the CORE money to pay for a consultant to produce a facility needs study. I wonder how many of those who donated to CORE are happy about that?


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Sycamore Place
on Dec 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Very disappointed in Supt. Ahmadi; Supt. Casey in a dress. The new PIO is supposed to be 20 % PIO and the rest Tech. She was hired from Fremont and never introduced to staff or public. She only does PIO, cronyism, remember Casey anybody?? Spend money on buddies? We don't have money for PIO's while people are getting laid off and classified have furlough days. While they keep asking the public for parcel taxes.