It isn't just the bankruptcy of "other" cities we need to concern ourselves with. While city pension's issues make headlines what's being ignored is the pension crisis about to consume the scarce resources of the PUSD, and school districts everywhere in California.
Wait until the Pleasanton Unified School District gets honest about the pension crisis bearing down on our school district. If School Board candidates aren't aware of the issue they shouldn't be elected. If school administrators fail to respond to questions regarding the coming CalSTRS pension issues they should be challenged.
It will be so Budget Ugggly school officials will have a difficult time claiming ignorance. When the CalSTRS (teacher's retirement system) pension tsunami hits it will hit all districts extremely hard because districts can't afford the additional cost of 16% of payroll - PARENTS BEWARE. The teachers unions will claim they didn't see it coming and produce videos of young children in tears and teachers claiming all they ever wanted to do was teach.
In the meantime the problem is completely ignored amongst school district administrators while hoping Governor Jerry Brown can get his tax proposal passed - allowing for additional time before actually confronting either the teachers union, the pension problem, or the reality of the "new norm".
The clock is ticking … and people better start paying attention to the root cause or they will be blindsided into making poor decisions based on glossy campaign fliers and politically motivated endorsements. The California Teachers Unions are the most powerful unions in the state and they are very good at manipulation, in many forms, with the end game being they get what they want at all cost - and they spend millions to get that result.
It would serve current and future students well if we start paying attention to decisions made by school boards, the proposed tax increases that "claim" to benefit childhood education, and admit that the current system, under the current control, is heading in the wrong direction.
While the PUSD has performed well based on state averages they are only average when compared to like cities with similar demographics. But the district has also been less than honorable in their dealings with the public. Transparency isn't the PUSD's strong suit; far from it.
My point is that while the PUSD may continue to maintain their ranking compared to other districts in the state what we are about to see is the lowering of the tide that will bring the entire California school system to a lower level. We can't continue to fall in national & global rankings but the pension issue is sure to force a continuation of that trend.
Time to pay attention to who is running for the school board. We can no longer rely on the teacher's union endorsement; in fact we should challenge the teacher's union endorsement. The same argument applies to endorsements from the Mayor or a Council member. People need to consider that those endorsements have strings attached that aren't visible to the general public. We can't afford to accept glossy fliers and union endorsed candidates as the best choice going forward.
Time to put our critical thinking skills and civic duty to the test while setting an example for the next generation (current students). We can even incorporate this topic into a civics lesson.
The so called free California education is paid for by every taxpayer including those that do not have children, those that no longer have children in the system, and those with children in the PUSD. It is important that all of us continue to push the district to be cost effective, proficient, and fiscally responsible.