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Support Our Children Now!

Original post made by Jerry Shelly, Amador Valley High School, on May 1, 2009

From reading the negative press on Measure G it is very obvious to me that these negative individuals have not taught in the classroom, were once involved in the system and had a bad experience or are just unhappy and not to fond of children. It is a simple problem to address. The state level has cut funding to all schools, not just the Pleasanton District. If you stop being negative and follow the news or drive around other communities you will find that the poor state budget has hindered all districts and forcing them to make drastic decisions to make deep cuts. During my thirty-four tenure in this district I have seen these threatening times come and go, but never in a time when the country is suffering as a whole. The times have make many upset, stressed and angry, but many of the individuals who are against Measure G have had children in this fine school system and had their say and way for years. Most of the people against the measure do not feel the fear or pain of the 300 employees plus who have received layoff notices. These notices are changing life styles and causing undo stress in the lives of good teachers who deserve more. Important programs will be cut and many children will suffer. How can any of the opposition dare to say that putting thirty plus young children in one room will not have a negative impact on learning. Teachers will not get raises or more money, only jobs will be saved. Surrounding districts have passed measures like G and some have passed numerous such funding programs. Brentwood has passed six such measures adding to over four hundred dollars to tax bills, yet no one complains. No one complains because they all pull together to make children come first. No need to throw stones, our politicians are doing that for us. Vote on Measure G to help our schools or not, but stop making up things to destroy it. You community figure heads who make up things to make public gains need to find something else to do to pass the time. Lets all grow up and keep the great system we have worked so long to build.

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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 1, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Jerry, We know each other well. I have nothing but respect for you as the principal at Walnut Grove when there were 1,100 students and a very old facility. You were amazing at Harvest Park as well. All in years when there were students at 30:1 K-3 and 36:1 4-6. I also remember how you fought for kids in the face of opposing positions at the district level, and, I believe, went back to teaching because of it before you retired.

My kids' experience, much of it with you and stellar teachers who have since retired, was amazing despite what now would be considered inconceivable conditions. Our children wanted to come back to Pleasanton after our time in Texas because of their experiences with educators like you. There are no bad experiences and plenty of battles like unification that we fought together with other amazing parents.

I wonder why you would think I don't like children with three of my own and a grandchild I couldn't adore more--and I'm the oldest of eleven and have many, many nieces and nephews, and a sister in education and a great deal of friends who teach or serve in other capacities.

There truly are communities facing many genuine problems and I hope their communities are working for the best solutions for their student populations . . . there are districts like Poway that have given up five days to save jobs. These, however, are not Pleasanton, and people we both know and respect agree that this once fiscally sound district has been run into the ground.

Precisely because you have seen this before, you know that without a strong reserve to plan for times like this the district gambled and lost. You also know that pink slips were sent out to create another layer of disquiet in the community as some of the newest teachers are threatened. And you know that I still work in K-12 education, so I very much care about all of it and the friends we share in common and what is happening to them and their children who are now young teachers.

As a community member, taxpayer, and voter, I am still allowed to have my say. Then, I spoke for our schools and our children . . . today I speak for my grandchild. I have nothing to gain by being publicly against this tax. It was a difficult choice.

Jerry, I will stand by your side to fight for the right parcel tax once we know where district funding has gone, what can be cut without loss of CSR (and it can be done), and time to discern what the community values and will pay for. This isn't that time or that tax.

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

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