School fundraising efforts taking off

Kickoff rally to be held Thursday at Amador Valley High School

While the Pleasanton Unified School District may be strapped for cash along with other school districts across the state, it seems to have an abundance of people willing to donate to the schools.

Pleasanton's two educational foundations has joined the district to put together the I Love Pleasanton Schools campaign to raise money for programs that could have been supported if a parcel tax had passed.

The effort began June 15 and will kickoff publicly with a rally from 6 to 7:30 p.m. June 25 at Amador Valley High School's quad, located at 1155 Santa Rita Road. The event will include music, food, local dignitaries and an opportunity for residents to donate to either Pleasanton Partners in Education (PPIE) or Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment (PSEE).

Debi Covello, executive director of PPIE, said the donations keep rising by the hour, with both foundations receiving "over $100,000 thus far." PPSE President and Chairwoman Denise Watkins said that in addition to the PSEE base donation of $35,000, people have also donated about $20,000 since the effort began.

Donations of about $8,000 have been dropped off to the school district offices. Carol Fernandez, administrative assistant for the PUSD superintendent, said people can drop off checks at the district offices, located at 4665 Bernal Ave.

Funds designated for PPIE are said to support class-size reduction, reading specialist and counselors, with donations to PSEE going towards the elementary strings and band programs. The goal of the I Love Pleasanton Schools campaign is to raise $2.8 million, which would bring class sizes in kindergarten through third grade and ninth grade English and math to a ratio of 20 students per teacher (currently 25:1), as well as improving counseling rations to 2008-09 levels.

Ron Hyde, retired superior court judge and PPIE board member, said at a recent board meeting that every penny donated to the fundraising effort would go towards Pleasanton schools.

The campaign will end Aug. 15, in time for the school district to renew contracts with some teachers and staff who have already received notices of final layoff notices.

To donate to PPIE visit or mail a check to PPIE, 333 Division St., Pleasanton, CA, 94566. Donations to PSEE can be made at or by mailing a check to PSEE, 351 Virginia Way, Pleasanton, CA 94566.

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Like this comment
Posted by vv parent
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jun 19, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Count me in ... I think this is a much better way to go than any parcel tax. Why didn't our board of trustees and superintendent think of this before spending thousands on a ballot initiative. Sounds like we need some change from the top down.

Like this comment
Posted by What's Sad
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 20, 2009 at 12:12 am that the fundraising can't save specific teacher's who are the heart of programs.

I realize that there are many talented people out there, but as parents we know some of the gems we are losing.

Like this comment
Posted by And What Sadder
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2009 at 9:16 am the dead wood of teachers who should have retired by now because their heart is no longer in it or their skills are shot. We all know who they are but nothing can be done about it. So much for tenure.

Seems this is another item that could be re-evaluated (similar to merit-pay) that would save our best teachers.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 20, 2009 at 11:08 am

I'll be giving to both organizations as well as volunteering. What worries me is that there may not be enough awareness of this funding drive. The article says "over $100,000 thus far.", but that is tiny compared to the expected shortfall. I think we should all be getting the word out that our schools need our support.

Like this comment
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 21, 2009 at 11:49 am

Just wondering if families of summer school attendees are being asked to contribute to offset the extra expense their child is creating for PUSD. I found it ironic that one of my students just quit trying in my class because his mom signed him up early for 2 classes in summer school (the mentality was "why bother writing this paper and studying for the final exam when I can just make up the class in summer school?"); Meanwhile this same family was lobbying hard against Measure G with rhetoric about government waste and fiscal responsibility.

Like this comment
Posted by Megan
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 23, 2009 at 12:43 pm

This is the way things should continue forever in Pleasanton. Now, if you want teacher changes having a large check in your hands is sure one way to get those changes required. Put as many strings on the money as possible. We don't want another bail-out snafu where there is no accountability.

By the way "Teacher": You are certainly now exhibiting good behavioral habits by knocking a student's mentality (which I doubt you really understood unless you're a mind reader) and the way their parents voted. It is America and they have a right to think and vote the way they want. Maybe it's teachers like you who should be placed on permanent sabbatical for not being nice.

Like this comment
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm


I didn't have to be a mind reader because the student explained his mentality to me. Also, I became aware of the parents' vote because an e-mail with the dad's name on it was forwarded to me. By attacking me personally for "not being nice" you are doing exactly what you were trying to criticize me for.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 23, 2009 at 3:58 pm

I don't think people should have to pay to change classes, but if a student at the high school level doesn't pass a class the first time because of a lack of effort, why should taxpayers pick up the tab for the do-over? I agree that parents should share the financial burden in this instance.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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