PPIE to fund four instructional coaches' salaries in light of layoffs

School district coaches among dozens of employees affected by funding lag

A Pleasanton schools fundraising organization announced Monday it intends to allocate part of its annual giving fund for the salaries of four instructional coaches that would otherwise be laid off.

Pleasanton Unified School District sent out notices in mid-March to dozens of employees who will be laid off next school year after $3.7 million in one-time funding from the state wasn't renewed.

Susan Hayes, executive director of Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation, announced the intention to dedicate $360,000 from its current fundraising campaign to pay for the four salaries.

"The coaching program has been shown to strengthen teaching skills across the board," she announced at Monday night's joint city and school board public meeting.

The funding lag meant 25.9 permanent full-time equivalent positions and 53.4 temporary full-time equivalent spots had to be eliminated since those dollars were fueling those positions.

However, district staff noted it regularly releases all of its temporary employees at the end of the school year and will regularly rehire some of them.

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16 people like this
Posted by PPIE Rocks
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2016 at 9:34 am

Way to go, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education. All the hard work of the PPIE volunteers and the fundraising support from Pleasanton parents and families continues to pay off in the great education our community provides. This just adds to the legacy of great things PPIE has done for the students and faculty of the district over it's 30 year history, not to mention the boost it gives to real estate values and making Pleasanton a desirable place to live, work, and raise a family.

10 people like this
Posted by Silas
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Mar 15, 2016 at 9:23 pm

At the Board Meeting last spring, the Instructional Coaches presented on all the work they do. It is indeed impressive. Thank you PPIE for your support.

I wonder why our district is laying off the coaches, though, when San Ramon Unified isn't? How are they able to afford such additional help? It would be nice if the Board or the Cabinet could explain this situation. In addition to the Instructional Coaches, the District is also laying off a number of Vice Principals and Classified Staff.

I'm sure the District will maintain that the funds it was using were one-time funds. That is understandable, however, I still wonder how other districts are able to maintain their services without the layoffs...again, not just the Coaches but classified as well.

I applaud PPIE's help but truly question whether this donation is covering up financial mismanagement on the part of the District and the Board who approves the district's budgets?

9 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:38 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The most likely answer is that San Ramon has a parcel tax.

12 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:46 pm

Silas, San Ramon passed a parcel tax in 2009 and then renewed in 2015. Pleasanton is somehow expected to do the same things yet with much less money? This affects our schools ,community, and real estate values greatly.

That being said, thank you PPIE and the people who work tirelessly and fundraise for them. They do great stuff!

1 person likes this
Posted by Thankful!!
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 16, 2016 at 10:47 am

Thank you PPIE! I can personally attest to how invaluable the instructional coaches are. The videos and other support tools provided for parents have made it so much easier for me to support my 4th grader during homework time.

13 people like this
Posted by HMS Parent
a resident of Foothill Place
on Mar 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm

My best friend lives in Danville (San Ramon Valley School District) and she mentioned that she pays a $492/yr parcel tax, which is more than 4x the one that the Pleasanton residents voted down.
I do agree that our School Board really needs more accountability for spending (let's not even get into how much $ was spent/wasted to 'revisit' the calendar to make parents who didn't like it feel better about the decision), but we can not expect to have the same services of other school districts if we do not want to pay a parcel tax.
We either have to accept less services for our students, or find a way to pass a parcel tax in a district filled with angry residents who refuse to give any more money to the schools.

1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 16, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Who are the four instructional couches, that will remain employed?

1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 17, 2016 at 9:17 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

I love how the only solution is more money, nothing on the what could we do away with to allocate those funds more effectively?

What are we spending money on that could be removed, reduced, etc to better allocate the funds we have?

How can we generate revenue with the assets the school district has during summer months?

Let's support education sustainably and with meaningful solutions.

Im tired of being told I don't care about education if I don't support a parcel tax after I already donate to ppie, to all the "optional" donations at registration, etc. I'm happy to donate directly to my kids classrooms because I don't think teachers should buy materials for teaching....but it's always more, more, more.

1 person likes this
Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Lessismore is a registered user.

I would like to know the opinion of the teachers about this program. I understand not all in PUSD think this was an excellent program to save. Many feel the money could have been used to keep or bring back some other programs.

I would also like to know if one of the jobs saved was that of a past board member of PPIE. If so would not be getting any more money from me.

3 people like this
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2016 at 5:50 pm

I too wonder if instructional coaches are the best use of very generous donations to PPIE by the community. Not in any way throwing stones at PPIE but just wondering how they determined instructional coaches is the best use of the money vs technology or whatever else.

2 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 18, 2016 at 10:16 pm

I can tell you that teachers have not been asked for feedback about instructional coaches. At least those of us in secondary. If you want to assess the effectiveness of a program, you need to ask the people you are supposed to be 'coaching'.
Elementary receives the lions share of coaches. It's probably time to do comprehensive evaluation of exactly how effective they are and how much they benefit the instruction of the children.

4 people like this
Posted by Dark Father
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 18, 2016 at 10:19 pm

Forgive me if I assume too much here, but I feel like Lessismore and justwondering believe PPIE made a mistake by choosing to allocate some funds toward instructional coaches.

Try doing a little research. See if you can find what research says is the best way to improve student achievement. I'll give you a hint. It's not technology. The best bang for your buck comes from improving instruction in the classroom. We want teachers who are lifelong learners and who demonstrate a passion for learning to their students.

I try to model that as a parent, and I like it when my kids' teachers do it as well. My kids have come home and talked about the cool things they're doing in class because the teachers went to a training or had a coach in the room. They're excited, and that makes me excited.

Thank you, PPIE, for being informed and making a decision that's in the best interest of our students.

Like this comment
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 19, 2016 at 10:36 am

Sam and HMS,

San Ramon's parcel tax is $144 dollars per year and it was put in place after significant cost reduction in San Ramon. It can only be used for the classrooms and seniors are exempt from the tax.

Like this comment
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2016 at 11:11 am

DF, I am not suggesting that PPIE made a mistake. What I'm wondering is how it was determined to use the funds for the instructional coaches vs other needs in the district? Did they go to the school board and ask? Was it based on the supt. recommendation (who sits on the PPIE board)? That's all.

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

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