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Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - August 5, 2011


Gold star for governor

Dear Editor,

Full marks to Gov. Brown for signing AB114 into law last week! For those of you unfamiliar with the bill, AB114 suspends the rights of school districts to lay off teachers this August. Districts have been instructed to build their budgets based on the same funding levels as last year. If the state revenues come in lower than projected, districts can either choose to take out loans or they can try to negotiate unpaid furlough days with their employee groups, thereby reducing the school year by up to 12 days. AB114 would not reverse lay-offs already carried out this spring or prevent lay-offs next August.

Critics of AB114 claim that the California Teachers Association, which backed AB114, is simply protecting members' jobs. However, California now trails 48 other states in the ratio of students to teachers, resulting in some of the largest class sizes in the country. Gov. Brown values public education, understands the importance of class size reduction, and is determined to provide a one-year period of stability against the emotional upheaval of teacher lay-offs that has plagued our students for the last three years.

Fiscal responsibility is important, but protecting our students by keeping their class sizes low is just as important. Ironically, the people who are most vehemently opposed to AB 114 are the same people who selfishly argued against the extension of the temporary taxes that would have provided billions more in state funding for our schools. I give Gov. Brown a gold star.

Trevor Knaggs, President, Association of Pleasanton Teachers


Posted by registered user, Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Mr. Knaggs, how many teachers do you think PUSD could hire with the money they spend on interest for COPs and TRANs?

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

There shouldn’t be a “but” after “fiscal responsibility is important.” And how do you protect students by cutting twelve days of learning? Oh, and Governor Brown, like any other governor faced with budget balancing woes, will cut CSR as soon as it’s a choice between that program and some other competing interest in the budget. After all, CSR has never been fully funded, nor has the recent leniency allowing larger class sizes been rolled back to 20:1.

Telling comment that those in favor of balanced budgets or living within our means are "selfish.” I wonder how teachers feel about losing twelve days of pay (let alone twelve days of class time with all the same expectations) and having to pay those increased taxes.

Posted by Holly, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

KR & S, our district's Pinkerton girls, sound pretty shrill.

Posted by Diana, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm

KR & S, our district's voices of reason!

Posted by Nomad, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm

AB114 is a statist and power consolidating measure further damaging California's fragile K-12 education system. It dramatically reduces local control of budgets, eliminates the requirement for 3 year financial plans and suspends the transparency and fiscal oversight role of counties. If the state will dictate the level of staffing and budgeting principles, along with all other existing mandates as defined in the Education Code, then what is the point of having district offices? Let's eliminate all the local district offices and consolidate them at the county level.

Trevor, your praise of the Governor doesn't surprise me at all. You have been a constant water carrier for higher taxes and legislative actions to protect union teacher jobs. You are a reason why the voices for 'Starving the Beast' continue to grow louder by the day.

Ironically, the people who are most vehemently supportive of AB 114 are the same people who selfishly demanded increased taxes from the working population that would have provided billions more in state funding in order to protect your jobs. Sorry, but you didn't get your increased taxes (thank goodness). So, you, the teachers unions and the Governor passed legislation to give you job protection for a year, regardless of whether there are the funds to pay you. That is insanity and worthy of a big fat zero score. There's no gold star for you, the democratic legislators who concocted this hair-brained measure, or the Governor.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

Knaggs once again solidifies himself as Pleasanton's most outrageous union hack. A gold star for the governor? This governor is bought and paid for by unions, so it is no surprise that he is doing the bidding of his bosses at our state's ultimate peril. The Teacher's Union cares not about the health of our state or city, just don't cut their pay, benefits, or ridiculous pensions even though there is no possible way we can pay for it. By the way, stop whining about losing the vote to raise the parcel tax. Everyone knows that more money does not mean higher quality education. I cringe at the fact that Knaggs helps shape the minds of our youth....the entitlement generation on steriods is about to arrive. I hope I see him in your school hall someday...I have seen snakes, rats, but never a weasel in the wild.

Posted by unreal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Where were you, Mr Knaggs, when this community was working on saving CSR this year when the state budget was looking scary? Did you offer a furlough day or two to help out?? No you didn't. How can you say here that you support CSR when you were so unwilling to help out when the chips were down?

Posted by Gov sit down on CNN, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2011 at 9:03 am

Jerry was on CNN, State of the Union, in sit down interview with Candy Crowley yesterday, Sun morning. He was really talking tough about all the cuts he was in the process of making. ...U probably could catch it on CNN web site,

Posted by Flippin, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2011 at 9:18 am

Anybody that want's to give Gov. Moonbeam a gold star had a serious thinking deficiency. Get real!