News


School fundraising efforts planned

PUSD hoping to save programs with outside revenue

Pleasanton schools saw $11 million in cuts in the current year and is projecting about $8 million in cuts for the 2010-11 school year.

Despite concessions from teachers and management, totaling just over $4.8 million, Pleasanton Unified School District is still looking for alternative revenue sources to save programs.

In order to identify the priorities of parents at each grade level, the district put out surveys asking how they would be impacted if particular programs or positions were not funded in the next year.

Responses from about 1,780 parents showed the highest priorities were science, physical education and class-size reduction. About 580 middle school parents favored athletics, extracurriculars and site funds, while about 740 high school parents favored athletics, extracurriculars, counseling, site funds and seven periods.

The survey was created before the contract agreement was made, which ended up funding current class-size reduction levels, elementary PE, science and vocal music specialists, elementary reading specialists, current counseling levels and restoring the Barton reading program.

At the board's special budget workshop meeting Tuesday evening, trustees decided to move forward with a fundraising campaign that would be a joint effort by PUSD, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) and parents. After a meeting with these groups as well as school principals, they have come up with an initial goal of items to fund at each level.

In order to keep things fair between the sites, the board discussed the idea of an equitable base that all schools would need to reach before funding extras.

While details are still being discussed between parties, the district said they plan to send out a single letter to parents outlining the goals and needs of the district. There is also the possibility for a fundraising event.

Last year, the summer "I Love Pleasanton Schools" fundraiser sought to raise $2.8 million after the parcel tax Measure G failed. While the effort fell short of its goal, they raised $463,379 and put it towards counselors, elementary strings and band, and reading specialists.

As for another source of income, parent Barbara Kirk is heading up the committee to research for another possible try at a parcel tax. The next stop is holding a privately-funded information gathering workshop today. Not open to the public, the goal is to learn from Wise Campaigns -- a group from San Ramon who has experience passing the parcel tax there -- and learn what it would take to pass a parcel tax and is it something that can be agreed upon.

While it's not planned to be a part of the upcoming November election, Kirk said the issue will probably carry into next year.

"It will take the community to support and get behind it," she said. "The schools really need the help right now. The numbers could still change. It's something that should be on everyone's mind moving forward in next year or so."

Outlined fundraising goals

Elementary school level

* Four hours technology specialist per day, per site -- $202,500

* Five hours library assistant per day, per site (2 hours district-funded, 3 donation-funded) -- $152,000

* Student support programs (determined by each school) -- open

Middle school level

* Four hours technology specialist per day, per site -- $67,500

* Support for technology (purchase of hardware and software) -- open

* Six hours library assistant per day, per site (3.5 hours district-funded, 2.5 donation-funded) -- $42,188

* Student support programs (determined by each school) -- open

High school level

* Support for technology (purchase of hardware and software) -- open

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

Oh of course they're not going to put the parcel tax on the ballot of a normal election. No, they'll wait for a special election where they can stack the vote and thwart the will of the majority of voters. Chicanery much?

Special elections should have special rules, where at least forty percent of the voters must turn out for it to be legitimate. That's not too much to ask, is it?


Like this comment
Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 5, 2010 at 11:55 am

So, you're unhappy that they're not planning to put anything on the ballot in November of this year -- eight months from now. Isn't there a regular May ballot coming up in 2011? That would be fourteen months from now.

There was a May ballot in 2009, and many complained that PUSD waited until June.

What about an all-mail ballot? Then anyone who wanted to vote would have a several-week-long window in which to send in their ballot, rather than a single day on which to turn out.

When would it be fair to put something on the ballot in Pleasanton, other than "never again"?


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm

"When would it be fair to put something on the ballot in Pleasanton, other than "never again"?"
How about "when hell freezes over?"
Sorry, couldn't resist, you made it too easy Sandy.



Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I just said it sandy. No special elections basically. You're not that naive. You know the unions use special elections in hopes of low turnout so they can stack the vote. If they're not going to do that anymore, then no problem there


Like this comment
Posted by still can't believe
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Author writes: " learn what it would take to pass a parcel tax and is it something that can be agreed upon."

You have to have a "special" meeting behind closed doors to figure out how to steal more $$$ from the folks in Pleasanton???? Interesting to say the least. You must think the people of Plesanton are stupid???

And to Sandy:
"When would it be fair to put something on the ballot in Pleasanton, other than "never again"?"

May I ask, when would it be fair (0verused word. whine whine) to stop stealing private property (AKA as earned income)??? Daniel Webster said: "The power to tax is the power to destroy."

So to answer your question: Yea..."never again" sounds about right for me!

Here is why.........


....I pay my property taxes, state, federal taxes ,local, sales tax, gas tax,

Then there are.....


Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CA License Tax
Cigarette Tax (although I did quit)
Dog License Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax (increasing my Omega 3's)
Food Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Hunting License Tax (yea I sport a gun)
Inheritance Tax
Interest Expense (tax on the money)
RS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax (just once for me)
Medicare Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Bridge Booth Taxes
Sales Taxes
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Trailer Registration (to haul my wood)
Tax Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers’ Compensation Tax

and the list goes on and on........



Like this comment
Posted by What is the money for
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm

If I understood the article correctly, the fundraising will not be trying to get money for items the community supported (according to the article). Instead, they are getting money for some site funds like libraries.

So what will a parcel tax be for? I am curious, will it be only to finance the items that will be funded with the so called concessions for one year? What about the other items the community said were valued? (again as per the article)


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Still can't believe...you forgot the tax on the tax, and it does happen in the guise of the "right of way tax" which we pay twice: once on our property taxes and once more to comcast.
"The only difference between a taxman and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." (Mark Twain)


Like this comment
Posted by What is the money for
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Forgot to include the portions from the PW article:

"Responses from about 1,780 parents showed the highest priorities were science, physical education and class-size reduction. About 580 middle school parents favored athletics, extracurriculars and site funds, while about 740 high school parents favored athletics, extracurriculars, counseling, site funds and seven periods."

"Outlined fundraising goals
Elementary school level
* Four hours technology specialist per day, per site -- $202,500
* Five hours library assistant per day, per site (2 hours district-funded, 3 donation-funded) -- $152,000
* Student support programs (determined by each school) -- open

Middle school level
* Four hours technology specialist per day, per site -- $67,500
* Support for technology (purchase of hardware and software) -- open
* Six hours library assistant per day, per site (3.5 hours district-funded, 2.5 donation-funded) -- $42,188
* Student support programs (determined by each school) -- open

High school level
* Support for technology (purchase of hardware and software) -- open"


It looks like the bulk of the fundraising will again go to elementary schools, just like the bulk of the money from concessions went to save elementary programs (CSR, science and music specialists, PE...)

Does this mean all the efforts will be geared towards keeping elementaries the way they are even if it is done at the expense of the upper grades?

Does anyone know?


Like this comment
Posted by Alex
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Those taxes are pertain to specific services provided, no? Are they supposed to provide them for free?

Separate the ideology of "no taxes" and instead ask the specific question do I want "x" service? Do you want strong public schools in Pleasanton (the biggest driver of real estate prices)? If you don't, that's a valid position to hold and we can have an honest debate on that issue. But please don't hide behind the veil of an ideology.


Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Public schools are not the biggest driver of property prices. That's a unionist usurper lie. That's a correlational fallacy. You unionists probably don't even know what that means


Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I think each level is fundraising for itself, so elementary parents would fund elementary needs and same with middle and high school. So if your kids are in high school, your contribution will go to high school.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

"Don't fire...." Also known as the "logical fallacy" and I believe the Unions do know what it means because it has been in their arsenal of lies, half truths, and convulted logic for years. Anyone can come to a logical consclusion if they start with a lie as their initial premise.


Like this comment
Posted by still cant believe
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Alex says:

Those taxes are pertain to specific services provided, no? Are they supposed to provide them for free?

Separate the ideology of "no taxes" and instead ask the specific question do I want "x" service? Do you want strong public schools in Pleasanton (the biggest driver of real estate prices)? If you don't, that's a valid position to hold and we can have an honest debate on that issue. But please don't hide behind the veil of an ideology.
______________________________________________________________________

Really? Really?? (and quit w/ the real estate argument. Get real. People are leaving CA by the thousands)

I am not hiding behind a "veil". I openly identified what we are TOLD to surrender ($$) and was most open in saying NO MORE.

The only "ideology" I see are in your ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of a group(s) under the umbrella of "services"

Saying the additional money I want to TAKE from you is for the children, police, environment, property values, etc does NOT make it OK.

That's an ideologue.

That's what CA does w/ about every Bond (AKA =TAX) parcel tax they propose

The California voters haven't figured this out yet but they are starting and I am confident the people of Plesanton are ahead of the curve.

Color me as wanting something for "free?''is a good way to "hide behind the veil" of a runaway bureaucracy that STEALS private property and never knows when enough is enough!


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm

After Mission Accomplished, I don't how many billion $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ were spent killing fellow Americans/enemy forces but may be that money could have been used to fund our schools...just sayin'

I still don't understand why Americans chose to go to war instead of funding education?

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...maybe EStevaP can esplain it?


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm

A motivation for holding the ParcelTax2 vote in 2011 is so the initiative to lower the local education special taxes approval requirement to 55% (which is targeted for the Nov 2010 ballot) can get in place first. Otherwise, if they hold the ParcelTax2 vote this Nov, they'll need the 66.7% approval rate. Of course, the parcel tax 2 supporters won't come out and say this directly.
Coming soon......
Watch Jeff Bowser strong arm the PUSD Board into supporting/endorsing the initiative. He used a recent school board meeting to pass around signature gathering papers which sets a precedent that any signature gathering group can come during the public comments segment of a board meeting and hand out papers for signatures to the attendees.


Like this comment
Posted by What is the money for
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

"So if your kids are in high school, your contribution will go to high school."

But seven period is not in the fundraising goals. It is actually very vague about high schools. It looks like the elementaries will need the most funding, especially after the concession money is no longer there.

How can we designate our money for specific programs/grade levels?


Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm

"A motivation for holding the ParcelTax2 vote in 2011 is so the initiative to lower the local education special taxes approval requirement to 55% (which is targeted for the Nov 2010 ballot) can get in place first. Otherwise, if they hold the ParcelTax2 vote this Nov, they'll need the 66.7% approval rate. Of course, the parcel tax 2 supporters won't come out and say this directly."

I'll come out and say it. That sounds like a good idea.

Dark Corners can we count on your strong support of a parcel tax initiative? I think you agree that our teachers are underpaid for the heroic work they do, and the fantastic job they have done for our community. We need to continue attract the brightest and the best to be teachers.


Like this comment
Posted by shadowbozo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm

shadowbozo is a registered user.

I can't believe I'm going to say this but I agree with Cholo. Why does the US provide aid to any foriegn country? Why are we fighting their wars?

We should just keep all the money here in the US. Kick the UN out of New York and stop funding them as well.

I really like that idea. We could solve all the money issues.

Great idea Cholo!

I'm not kidding here either. God help me.


Like this comment
Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm

If for whatever reason the vote required to drop tax increases goes to 55% you will see an exodus of wealth leaving the state like never before and it will be over for California for those of us who grew up there in the 70's.


Like this comment
Posted by Don't fire til you see the whites of their eyes
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Like the unions care about this state. But I actually think the majority is going to become more politically efficacious, meaning they will keep up to date on all ballot initiatives, they will definitely make sure to vote more, and thus the unions will have screwed themselves, because they won't be able to stack elections anymore. A key variable that they relied on for their chicanery has changed. The unions have pressed into being more conscious of local politics. There's a new, edified culture in these parts. Remember, the 2/3 rule was not intended to make it so 2/3 of the voting populous had to vote in a tax. It was done so that it would be harder for unions to stack a vote in surreptitious elections. As long as they can't do these stealth initiatives, meaning we stay aware of their maneuvering and make sure to vote, they will find that there is indeed far more than 45%, and indeed 2/3 or more of the voters who are against them. Keep aware and vote... And the unions lose


Like this comment
Posted by still can't believe
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2010 at 8:28 pm


Rat Turd is absolutely correct.

I think you are already seeing a big exodus of the middle class right now. Once the wealthier professionals and even more businesses are gone, things here will only get worse. Think about who you are going to have left here in this city and state?

Plesanton is already feeling it.

Once everyone who earns decent money is gone, who are you going to fleece and steal from then? Will you put forth yet another parcel tax because revenue is down and schools are hurting???

Money from taxing is just never enough with some people. The goal to pass a parcel tax has become simply that: a goal and destroy whatever gets in the way. Its like some have no peripheral vision to see whats going on around them. And the heck to staying within the budget. There is more money (taxes) where that came from, yes? NO there is not.

Like Daniel Webster said: "the power to tax is the power to destroy."






Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm

To 'a reader' - Last I checked you said there was no parcel tax.
Regardless, PUSD and APT have signed a three year contract and a 1 year MOU that continues escalating the cost of labor in the face of shrinking revenues. The MOU is causing teacher layoffs in order to pay for the 2010-11 salary increases. PUSD has no fiscally responsible long-term financial plan in place that I am aware of. The community should deny a long-term parcel tax in the absence of that plan.
As the saying goes. Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part.


Like this comment
Posted by Parent volunteer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Deficit for the 2010- 2011 school year= $8 million
Teacher and Administration concessions= $4.8 million

Let's see DCOT, you were the one preaching "shared sacrifice"
I am not at all surprised to hear your complaints.I predicted you would change your tune no matter what was done.

So much for your end of the bargaign. Typical response.


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm

To 'parent volunteer' -

8 days of not working spread over 2 years = $2.88 million
Teacher layoffs for 2010-11 (from 'concessions') = $2.56 million
Amount of teacher raises in 2010-11 = ~$1.5 million
Cumulative teacher raises by 2011-12 = ~$4.5 million
Cumulative teacher raises at end of 3 year contract = ~$9.0 million

What was the 'bargain' you think was agreed to?
When PUSD and APT have a long-term 4 year fiscally responsible plan in place, then a 4 year parcel tax will get the community's support. The tune has remained the same, thank-you.


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm

One of the verses:

(Web Link)


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm

To 'parent volunteer' -
You ask your kid to do their homework and in return the kid will get ice cream. You get to the end of the night and the homework wasn't done, would you give them the ice cream anyways?
The PUSD Board and APT had a chance to negotiate a three year contract that controlled expenses. They didn't. No sign waving, counting layoffs as 'concessions', or ingnoring the true cost of three years of salary increases changes the fact that in 12 months this 'wonderful partnership between PUSD and the union' puts PUSD in a higher cost structure. PUSD & APT havn't changed their tune, either.
If that means I'm still 'complaining', so be it. Just as the parent is holding the kid accountable for not doing homework so the taxpayers need to hold PUSD accountable for its decisions.


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 5, 2010 at 11:28 pm

The good news is several of the trustees said there is more work to be done. Hopefully that means starting now, the PUSD Board can get the contract re-negotiated for the length of the parcel tax so all cards are on the table for voter consideration.


Like this comment
Posted by high school parent
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 6, 2010 at 7:07 am

I heard from the school district that they may still have 7th period for the ones in band but no one else...does that sound right?


Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2010 at 7:18 am

" Last I checked you said there was no parcel tax. "

You should check more often. There is a group actively working to put a parcel tax on a future ballot. If you spent as much time getting involved with your local community as you do going to tea parties and listening to Rush Limbaugh, maybe you could be part of the solution.

"Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part."

This community (like all communities) has an emergency that came from a recession, not any kind of planning. Stop making assumptions about people.


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 6, 2010 at 9:48 am

To 'a reader' - If you only knew what I do in the community...

As for 'planning', what do you call a three year contract with yearly increases in salary without a way to pay for it? It's not an assumption. It's a fact.

Back to the original posting. I'm all in favor of fundraising to help our schools. My favorite is PSEE which has started their's. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

a reader, Sorry in advance. Couldn't let this one go. You say "going to tea parties and listening to Rush" and then say "stop making assumptions about people." Perhaps the irony was intended.

And the "not any kind of planning" actually is what started the problem--local and state. The economy was going to take a dip; it can be planned for in advance. Yes, this has been an exceptional one, but better to have planned for its eventuality. It's like an old movie, you can hit the brakes in time, even if they fail, and still manage to stop a bit short (but alive) rather than hit the brakes too late, find they do fail, and be dangling on the edge of the abyss.


Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

To Kathleen,

Yes, I meant that to sound ironic because I am frequently attacked on these boards with that kind of stereotyping.

"The economy was going to take a dip; it can be planned for in advance."

But nothing even approaching the magnitude of this dip could have been realistically planned for. The origins of this crisis are in the derivatives markets on Wall Street. The markets are opaque. No one knew the extent of the leverage because the financial instruments that led to all the trouble were not traded on any sort of public exchange, so governments, let alone school districts, could not have planned for this severe a downturn. People have estimated the size of the market for credit default swaps alone to be in the $50 trillion dollar range. Look at consensus economic opinions (right and left) from 2004 - 2006 and see how many predicted a credit crisis of this size and $725 Billion US Treasury bank bailout and $1+ Trillion Federal Reserve bailout of the investment banking industry.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 7, 2010 at 8:55 am

a reader, I acknowledged this was an exceptional time. But the best CBOs and Superintendents know enrollment will stagnate (they usually have five year predictions from demographers), they know state funding will ebb, and they plan for it. Certainly PUSD could have done better and the impact would have been less. If you have reserves, concessions, fundraising . . . it is so much easier to say to the community, we've done all we can and need your help. Maybe the answer would still be no. No way to run that experiment yet.

And a lot of those who will say no under any circumstances will do so exactly because of what you point out. We are all going to pay heavily and at every level for the bail outs; it's difficult to imagine paying even more. And then there are those pesky lifetime benefits that PUSD has not negotiated out and has nothing put aside for that future commitment.

But, I'll say it again, I have high hopes for the new people that will become the governance team.


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

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