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I am a Democrat and a Teacher but am voting No on G

Original post made by Teacher, Pleasanton Middle School, on May 23, 2009

I have seen how the economy has affected families in Pleasanton. This year has been real hard on many families. I have heard from some parents who were embarrassed to admit they could not make donations to the class. They wanted to help but finances were so tight. I have also heard from some former and current students about their parents loosing their jobs. One who is loosing their home because they could not make the last tax payment. My heart goes out to them.

I did contact my union representative and suggested that we hold off on step and column raises and I suggested we even take a 5% pay cut. I am a teacher but will admit that we are the highest paid school district in the area. However, when times are tough, I am willing to make a sacrifice. I have been teaching long enough so I will not be laid off. The union representative point blank told me that the union's job was to get the maximum amount of pay and benefits for the teachers so they were not willing to discuss a pay freeze or a pay cut; especially with a parcel tax possibility to pay for them.

It is also a common discussion in the lunch room about our superintendent who has a $200,000 interest free loan that does not have to be paid back until 18 months after he leaves the district, plus his $1000 per month automobile allowance. He is making over $200,000 per year so he is not underpaid. I believe our superintendent and his staff can make some sacrifices. I know many teachers who would be willing to freeze the step and column raises and even take a pay cut so that we can save the newer teachers.

I see the pain in the community as a result of the economy. While the $233 per year might seem like nothing to many of you, this is a real challenge for many in our community. That is why I am voting No on Measure G.

Comments (11)

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Posted by Mom2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Do you teach elementary, middle, or high school? Just curious, because the elementary schools will lose the most if Measure G doesn't pass. Besides 9th grade class size reduction, some interventions, and counselors who were only added recently, the high schools aren't going to be cut to the degree as the elementary schools. And truly, you are a teacher, and you don't see the need to maintain CSR K-3, 9th, reading specialists at the elementary level, Barton, librarians, the strings and music program at the elementary level, technology specialists at the elementary level, and counselors. The parcel will not save any administrators' positions. If you teach K-3, you don't think having 33 in your class will make it more difficult for children to reach the current standards? Even if Dr. Casey paid back his loan and there were additional cuts at the district level, students will miss out on the programs they have benefitted from over the past 10+ years.

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Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown
on May 23, 2009 at 8:18 pm

His interest free loan is not $200,000 but rather $400,000 and he should resign as we cannot afford that level of waste and the waste is him.

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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2009 at 9:06 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Great post "Teacher"! I am studying to be a teacher, will be one in about a year and it's been interesting to see this side of the career. I fully agree with you that there are citizens of Pleasanton that could not afford this 60 something cent a day parcel tax. This alone should speak miles to all the people of Pleasanton.

For Mom2: Wouldn't you think that the secondary teachers in Pleasanton are concerned for the younger students, especially since these children will grow into adolescents and eventually attend the high schools? From all the threaded discussions on here, you'd think that parents would also be worried about the secondary schools since "if Measure G fails we would be producing deviant teens and adults"- I don't know what thread this came from, but there have been many similar posts about this issue, which I do disagree with. It also seems very judgmental to state that "Teacher" doesn't see the need to have CSR K-3; you're speaking to a teacher, don't forget, so they probably have more of an understanding about these issues more so than the average parent.

I would also like to point out a few things about certain programs that may get cut. While they are important to have in a school they are not a necessity. If a library is open minimally or closed all together, it looks like the parent(s) can step in and go to the public library or the one in Dublin (as another threaded discussion has offered). If the technology lab closes down, the parents can purchase their own educational, interactive software (surely the supporters of measure G can afford a couple hundred dollars to buy math, reading, and science software since they can afford the 200 something dollars a year). If a child wants to learn an instrument, the parents can sign them up for private or group lessons. Bottom line is that if measure G fails, this isn't the end of having great schools. Money doesn't buy character development or provide great study habits.

Phil I agree with you as well about the PUSD superintendent should resign. I was researching how much other districts pay their VP, Principals, and SI- I was shocked at home much more PUSD makes. Towns not far from our own make significantly less but it seems that many parents equate high salary with competent teachers

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Posted by Thank you
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2009 at 9:52 pm


Thank you for your sincere honesty and support for the families in this community. I wish there was a way to know who you my opinion you have earned a little classroom budget BONUS next year! :)

Thank you for voting No on G!

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

PToWN94566 wrote: "Bottom line is that if measure G fails, this isn't the end of having great schools. Money doesn't buy character development or provide great study habits."

The sun will still rise in the sky, the earth will still turn, and the schools and parents will still be there. Let's put some perspective on this... :)

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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2009 at 10:57 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Exactly Stacey! After reading other threads for the past few weeks, it seems as if supporters of Measure G act like our school system in Pleasanton will crumble down this coming August if it fails- highly unlikely. Some teachers may loose their job- we all know that- but education will continue.

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Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on May 24, 2009 at 9:40 am

Great thread!
The union has the power to ensure almost no lost jobs through negotiating step and column. Our superintendent needs to lead the administration in making some serious concessions as well.

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Posted by Where
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on May 24, 2009 at 10:57 am

Doubt you could even tell us where the "lunch room" is.

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Posted by Thank you too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I also want to thank the teacher who posted this thread.

@ Where - congrats - you've proven that the Yes on G people will cast stones at anyone, even the teachers they claim to support, if they don't agree with you. Nice.

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Posted by fake
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm

As I said on the other post, I'd take this with a grain of salt. "Teacher" is probably not a teacher at all, and may very well be the same person as "Thank You", "Thank you, too" and "Diana". This site is about 90% propaganda.

Pleasanton94566: My advice is stay in school, as there will most likely be no teaching jobs for you when you get out in a year - especially if Measure G does NOT pass.

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Posted by Thank you too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm

"fake" may very well be "yes on G", "where," and "mom2."
If you think this blog is 90% propaganda, why bother to read it or post on it?
As for teachers looking for jobs in Pleasanton - many have tried to get jobs here for years because the pay is better, there's a supportive active parent community and Pleasanton is a great place to live. The difficulties in getting a job here have existed for years and have nothing to do with G.

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