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Town Square

Pleasanton school district, banking on furlough days, restores programs and jobs

Original post made on Jun 7, 2012

The Pleasanton School District is apparently banking on furlough days to balance its budget for the upcoming school year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 7, 2012, 7:32 AM

Comments

Posted by where to start?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm

So while committing $380k to teacher training (which would have paid for keeping 5 or so teacher or classified jobs) and offering a new assistant superintendent pay that is the same as Jerry Brown's salary, the district is cutting class offerings, raising class sizes, cutting reading programs, cutting IT and library hours. Nice.


Posted by Dysfunctional school district, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm

But it is worse than that. The PUSD bloated budget bureaucracy defies description. Next time you see them yakking about 'Sacramento' not giving them enough money, consider this.

PUSD school bureaucrats, including many district office and individual school principals, make more than the California Attorney General Kamala Harris and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who each have a salary of $151,127 a year. Their salaries are being cut that is being cut to $143,571 a year.

Not only that, but PUSD salaries are far greater than California Assembly and Senate members elected by the people of the State of California, who make $95,291 a year. They are being cut about $5000 per year.

While everyone else is getting their pay cut 5%, PUSD salaries creep up year to year with step and column, and pay keeps going up.

Don't believe me? Take a look at Web Link





Posted by Nomad, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

What? Prop 98 is meaningless? Who dares speak the truth!


Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Don't forget the vacation time at the district. If you factor the value of that, their salaries are much greater that those compared above.

And correct, step and column guarantees automatic raises for many staff members. Last I checked it cost the district $1.5M per year additional. In the last four years the district has paid a total of $15M just to pay for the automatic step and column raises. That would have more than paid for all of the cuts they are implementing.


Posted by parent, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jun 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

What does the staggered schedule look like for K-3? How does that change day care needs for parents? The on-site care facilities are already at capacity and have huge waiting lists.


Posted by steven, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

We can eleviate the whole mess by giving vowchers to parents so they can home school there own kids. Just like my mam and pappy did for me in Nebraska. Permenent ferlows for union teachers who shouldnt be making more then me is what should be put in there christmas stockings.


Posted by Dysfunctional school district, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 7, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Once again Grant touts the overpaid so-called wise 'experts' on how to fund the schools --- "Board Member Chris Grant said the experts, not the school board, should decide how to allocate money for reading."

With all these wonderful 'experts' at 4665 Bernal Avenue, including those experts that were the ones that figured out how to allocate money for visa fraud:

"We still process the conventional way of registration, by call TVU with your credit card information or E-mail your credit card details for process. There are a $50 fee charge for manually registration. We will process your credit card, E-mail you official invoice and receipt with your credit card receipt. We will create you a TVU account and manually put the courses your registered into your account. To make payment by check, please make check payable to : Tri-Valley University, and Mail the Check to:

Registrar Office
Tri-Valley University
4665 Bernal Ave
Pleasanton CA 94566"

from Web Link

no wonder no one has no confidence in public school officials like Grant anymore.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 7, 2012 at 10:52 pm

We shouldnt put our faith in experts because they are elitists who think they know more than us. I never ride an elevator unless I know it was assembled by nonexperts. Same thing with flying. Who needs experts when anyone can fly a plane? With schools, the least expert are probably the best judges because their minds aren't cluttered with elite ideas. Too wit: most smart Americans believe in creationism. But the elitest geniuses have staged a coop dey ta and now we have Darwin forced down everyone's throats.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 5:49 am

So "Dan," aren't the experts who want money to put "a 'district-wide, centrally located' reading program" in place . . . the same experts that put Barton in place? Was Barton successful for the students? Is it what parents have supported?


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 8, 2012 at 9:30 am

One incompitant airline pilot means we should fire them all and let the people fly the plane. Such is Kathleen Ruggsisluggle's reasoning, and I agree with her and the other geniuses. Down with experts. They are what is wrong with America.


Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 8, 2012 at 9:48 am

"Dan", following your comments on trusting the experts, why do we need a local school district staff? We have "experts" in Sacramento at the Department of Education. We should have them make all the decisions. You make a very good argument in why we should fire the complete district staff.


Posted by where to start?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:07 am

The board represent us, the voters and parents of the community. Parents communicate to the board members regarding their concerns and priorities. The board is responsible for representing these views at the meetings, not rubber stamping things.


Posted by Why Do They Hate Barton?, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:34 am

Why the Barton hate from certain members on the board? For a year and a half, I tutored one child who started in the 9%, and when we ended a few weeks ago, he was in the 75% for both reading AND comprehension. I tutored another child for only 9 months, with very similar results. This child was in the 6%, and ended up in the 50%, after only 9 months. Yes, I was a volunteer, meaning I was paid nothing. Gee, where the heck else will those kinds of results come from? It's very clear they have a axe to grin with Barton. So be it, but the kids will suffer, nicely done. I am going to vote against ever parcel tax, state tax and measure that comes across the ballot. I am sickened and disgusted. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem, and obviously the money doesn't go to the classroom. And by the way, special ed rooms ARE classrooms, in case anyone would like to split hairs with me.


Posted by Dysfunctional school district, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

They hate Barton because many school district personnel:

-- are jealous of the parents getting phenomenal improvements in reading for children because they hate successful programs where the actual work is done by non-union parents, without a teaching credential, that volunteer
-- they only want parents' money and financial contributions
-- they don't want parents in the schools because they feel they are outsiders (aren't the card carrying union type)
-- they want full power and control of the children
-- they are angry at the community


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Uh, Dan, Barton is successful. Parents support it. The experts put it in place.


Posted by disappointed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

And in this entire meeting, they did not discuss the fact or inform the community that they were cutting an hour from the 1-3rd grade school schedule while also raising class sizes. How convenient. Did the experts say this would be a good idea too?


Posted by Really?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm

@ Disappointed:
"they did not discuss the fact or inform the community that they were cutting an hour from the 1-3rd grade"

Can you confirm the day is going to be shortened? Will this be in the form of early birds/late birds, or shortened another way?


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

Early birds / late birds. They will have a different schedule than 4-5th grade. The letter gives the example of one group attending from 8:15 - 2:10 including the same number of recess minutes as this year. So we are losing 40 instructional minutes in 1-3rd grade next year.


Posted by Dysfunctional school district, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm

How many signatures does it take to recall the board?


Posted by really?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

@ Disappointed,
Ok, thanks. I remember that being mentioned in a previous meeting. I hope we can choose whether we do early, or late, because late birds won't be feasible for us.


Posted by disappointed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Don't know. Don't even know if the administration told them about this change. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say they didn't know, in which case they might be able to do something about this. Feel free to chime in here board members. Something needs to change now.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I spoke with a teacher a few weeks ago before a Barton session, and that teacher has no idea what will happen next year, does not know what will be taught, how many kids in the class, and says they are being kept in the dark about everything.


Posted by disappointed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm

30-1 is the class size. I have no idea how they are going to teach what they need to teach in the time they are given with the bigger class sizes. It was hard enough before. This latest move is a killer for education.


Posted by really?, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

@ Disappointed - The teacher I spoke with said it could be higher. Yikes.


Posted by disappointed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Yikes indeed. We can't change the CSR decision much because it's a cost issue. Losing the 40 minutes proves zero cost savings.

Staggered reading and 15-1 is great if the day stays the same for the students - the union will not allow this. It is not OK to lose 40 instructional minutes from the day for what will be a small benefit of 45 minutes of a smaller class size in a reading class that has a variety of ability levels.


Posted by Tired of the whining, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Class size is 30:1. It can go as high as 33. Staggered time is worth it. Yes, kids will be at a variety of levels, however, teachers in each grade level will work together to meet all the kids needs. Embrace this change. It will be challenging at first, but if we all work together it will be a huge benefit to the kids. Yes, Pleasanton teachers have a nice salary, but we also pay for our own medical and have to pay for our own dental. Bringing back SDR (training for teachers where they can get paid for units) is a positive step forward. So many of you complain about how bad the teachers are in Pleasanton. Wouldn't you want motivation for the teachers to become better (even though we have A LOT of really great teachers)? I could go on forever. Before you spout off at the mouth get some perspective.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Fire them all. The Bored. The staff. The socalled teachers. Incompitents all of them.


Posted by Dysfunctional school district, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm

They have cut the instructional minutes per student, are paying the teachers the same amount so that they can cheat the children out of an education.

What you have here is an incompetent administration who has not thought of the logistics involved in getting children to school and picking them up.

What if a parent has a student in the 1-3 grade and also 4-5 and also middle school?

So do they have to make 3 trips to school (2 at the same elementary school) and middle school? And what about pickup?

Obviously, the superintendent is an amateur who has not thought through the issues.


Posted by KeithB, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Class action lawsuit

why? meetings are a waste of time (and so is a occupy movement in this case)

What we (we = concerned citizens) want return to normalcy.

return to normalcy = max 25 students per class and no change in school time.

What happens if we do nothing? They will continue to walk all over us and the children/future leaders will suffer.


Posted by Cut the kids, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Yes, but "where" don't you know "training" teachers is the 'unions' number one answer to everything....They want to keep 'BAD' forever....just give'em more 'training' !. better to cut KIDS programs, reading classes, science classes, add more administrators to the top, than have unions PAY for the training...just cut it from kids ! ! ! REMEMBER teacher's union is for, by, and about 'teachers'. SCARE us about kids 'cuts' after money has been used to bring teachers up to snuff.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 10, 2012 at 8:23 am

Cut, staff development is important, particularly with all the changes to curriculum and expectations for outcomes. The district may have lousy priorities, but training is not one of them. No corporation makes changes without training at their expense.


Posted by Bitsy, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Barton is such an important part of the education plan for the kids who need a little extra help I saw how some of the board members acted towards Barton and I will not be voting for those few again and I will encourage my neighbors and friends also. Barton can go away but let's not reduce the music program!!! We can have both but unfortunately like some of the other comments before mine there are people who I guess take offense at extra help for the "chosen few" who need it the most. But if their kids needed help???I'm just sayin"


Posted by Tired of the whining, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Instructional minutes will not be lost. Again, get your facts straight! There is no way legally we can just shorten the day and not make up for it. The minutes will stay the same with adjustments made to where we make them up, etc. Why all the hate against teachers? Why the general impression teachers are so "bad"? We teachers would love to have any of you complaining citizens spend a week with us doing our job. Actually a day is all we would need to show you that this is one of the hardest professions.


Posted by wrong, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm

45 minutes of schooltime is being cut, so unless teachers weren't using school time educating our children this year, instructional minutes are being cut. The schools and district have confirmed it's legal. The concerns have nothing to do with the excellent teachers who just found out too. This decsion will save no money. Therefore it's worth talking about to get the decision changed.


Posted by Dysfunctional school district, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm

8000 instructional minutes will be lost for Grades 1 - 3 by these sneaky bureaucrats. Also whoever is paying for the crossing guards will have to pay quadruple the existing cost because they will be on duty 4 times as long.

The board meeting schedule did not even post on its meeting calendar there WAS EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE a June 5th meeting until after June 5th meeting actually happened. The calendar they have on their website just added a June 5th meeting after it happened. What devious and evil people.

It used to be all Grade 1 - 3 students arrived at 8:15 and left at 2:55. Under the surprise note, 45 minutes will be lost per day because they will be divided into two groups.

Group A students will arrive at 8:15, but be dismissed at 2:10.

Do the math. That means they'll lose 45 minutes of instructional time (2:55 PM - 2:10 = 45 minutes).

Group B students will arrive 45 minutes later during the morning at 9:00, but will be dismissed at 2:55.

Do the math. That means they'll lose 45 minutes of instructional time
(8:00 - 8:15 = 45 minutes)

Email the Board President at laursen.joan@gmail.com and cc the rest of the Board at jeff.pusd@gmail.com, valerie@arkinhome.com, ChrisMGrant@gmail.com, hintzke@gmail.com here Web Link and email the city council at citycouncil@ci.pleasanton.ca.us