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Original post made by Parent of 3, Castlewood Heights, on May 9, 2011

I agree with another post that said the same people keep donating over and over.....I am one of those. I donate because I have 3 kids in schools in Pleasanton and feel it is my duty.

I would like PUSD to set up a fund similiar to other districts where your donation goes to your school at registration. The same amount is asked of every family. My neice and nephew go to school in Danville and my sisters pays $400.00 per child at registration PLUS a parcel tax. She has no problem doing this because she wants her kids to get a good education. She knows the amount and plans for it. It is her children..........she finds a away to tuck the money away and does fit....just does it.

I think the problem with donating to this all district CORE fund only is that it's the same people over and over........let's look around and do what other districts are doing... I get that some families cannot afford that but many can and choose not do it. If we want our kids to get services then maybe the parents need to step up instead of asking hte community at large since clearly it is not a priority to them.

Comments (11)

Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I totally agree w/ post above. I could really get on board w/ this idea. I obviously would have concerns w/ families that can't pay this. The other concern, I must admit, is w/ the additional influx of students that are planned w/ the low income housing. Additional burden for us who are paying. Does Danville have to deal w/ this? Or Alamo? I just want to understand since the idea on the surface sounds very good. But not sure if workable since obviously low income houseing is going to bring on broad many families who cant pay.

Posted by Teresa
a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I totally agree with this as well. I believe that it is all of San Ramon Valley Unified as Danville is in that school district. So all schools in San Ramon, Danville, Alamo do this. For families that can't pay......of course it isn't required as we have free public education. I know many schools offer payment "installments" if you will so they can pay throughout the year if needed or if that helps some families budget for it. I know my daughters friend's school they ask for 500.00 (plus they pay a parcel tax). They are very clear with what it funds for that specific school. I think it varies per school as they have 22 elementary schools.

I am totally on board with this......playing devil's advocate---since I know someone else will soon on here--- I know that the socioeconomic levels at all schools are not equal and in the past PUSD has always wanted "Equal" services at all schools. However in San Ramon Valley Unifed they have moved past this philosophy and found a solution doing this with the addition of a parcel -- This gives ALL schools some programs vs cutting all services at all schools. I VOTE for this way of thinking.....

Posted by Toni, teacher and parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 10, 2011 at 8:13 am

We have tried this for the last 10 years at all levels, and the only level that seems to receive the greater donations is the elementary level.

If it is not mandated (illegal as we are a public school system) it is difficult to collect. Thus, the continued fund raising...

Posted by Steve
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on May 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Since I pay $7600 per year in property taxes on a $680,000 house, and 55% ($4180) goes to schools (according to Web Link do I get any credit? Or do I have to contribute more?

How much more is sufficient for me to be a good person?

If your taxes are less than mine, will you make up the difference?

I think we all pay what we can. When we get into what's fair, it gets ugly fast. I think we need to vote out the state politicians that overspend our money, reduce our state spending, get out of government funded charity, help our local schools, and stop trying to tell people what they need to spend on schools to be a decent neighbor.

It's like gift giving isn't it? I always say that you shouldn't give a gift if you expect one in return. You give because you want to. It's the same with charity. Stop being so ugly about it.

Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I too have been part of districts that recommend a one time donation (it was $350 in our case). No one calls, collects or publishes who gives what. However, my experience is that if you "suggest" a donation of $75 as PMS did a few years back, that is what you'll get. If you ask for more, you get more. The same people who will write a $75 check will usually also write a $350 check. A smaller or larger donation is always elcome, but people who give, will usually give the suggested amount. Those that can't afford to donate or just don't believe they should have to, well,, they won't give either amount.

Posted by Jimmy the Jet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

The $4180 sounds like a lot. With about 9900 school in California that comes out to about $.42 per school.
The problem with a donation is that it is a donation. You can't run a school on funds that you hope to get. It is funny that the above have used SVSD as an example. You know they have a Parcel tax right? And they ask for money.

Posted by Agree with Steve
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on May 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Steve is right all the way. What are we paying taxes for? Jimmy, Steve is paying 42 cents to every school in this state and you don't think that is enough? His kids might only go to one or a few schools here in town(Steve might not even have kids in school). Steve will a pay 42 cents to every school in California for every year he owns that house plus the extra from the annual property tax increase.

Steve is paying a lot more than people who live in an apartment. Why should people with fewer or no children subsidize those with more? Why should seniors or people who rent be able to vote in a school parcel tax election when they can be or are not actually paying the tax? When you rent an apartment and a parcel tax goes through, does the landlord raise the rent the exact same amount for that same purpose?

If some people had their way, we'd donate so much, pay our taxes, and eventually get little or nothing in return. Pretty soon private school would look like a bargain. The state loves it when people vote these taxes in, just like cities love gated communities the maintain their own private roads.

Posted by Capitalist Freedom Fighter
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on May 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Until people come to recognize that PU-blic Education is socialist, they'll always have the state sucking them dry. Steve's point is so right on! He shouldn't have to pay anything. Let people who have kids pay their own way. If they don't have the money to pay for their own kids' educations, then they shouldn't have kids. Not being able to send kids to school isn't such a bad thing. We've got illegals working the fields who make a darned good living. Kick the illegals out and let the kids of free-rider parents take their jobs. Its basic dog eat dog philosophy in a real Capitalist society. The strong survive and the weak get laid off and die. Good riddance to the weak, is what I vote. Socialism is our greatest enemy. Its what our parasite teachers are spoon feeding the kids. Its a plot to elevate the weak and pull down those of us who are strong and superior. Wake UP Pleasanton!

Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm

PUSD talked about these donations at one point but the district decided they did not want to support fundraising at the schools. The reason? The district wants control. If you donate to your school like San Ramon, the local school site gets to decide how to spend the money. That completely scares the district office. San Ramon raises a ton of money this way and is quite successful. It is voluntary but strongly encouraged. Each school gets to decide how to use the money that their own school raises. Some schools mike like CSR at certain grades, others want reading assistants, others librarians, other technology. The school committees have a strong incentive to do a good job. If they do not do a good job, donations will be down the next year.

I believe most people would donate much more if they know it went to their school where there kids are at. All of the schools would end up raising much more than a central fundraising.

Our district should learn from San Ramon and implement a program like this. It will take the parents pushing since the district office does not want to give up any control. They would rather go down with the Titanic. Their excuse is that every school might not get the same amount of donations and it would not be fair. Using that attitude, we should not be allowing donations or parcel taxes and have every school in California paid the same per student.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm

The problem with the volunteer donation idea is that some will always give and some will never give. As the demographics in Pleasanton change - so is the support to the schools. The new demographic want EVERYTHING for free because it's public education and that just isn't realistic. It never has been in Pleasanton. Parents/families have always supported the schools through donations and volunteerism. That's what made them great! I don't propose that I have a solution - but I'm tired of the quick "I CAN'T afford it" when really it's that "I DON"T" want to afford it. The same people that say can't drive beautiful cars, their kids drive beautiful cars, they have all kinds of private tutoring and extra-curricular coaches and classes.....These folks just choose not to support the programs that allow all kids to benefit. It's become such a competitive environment that a segment of the population doesn't want others to have the same opportunity. Unless it's a mandatory fee....the same folks will continue to pay and the same folks will take the free ride with no guilt. This will eventually have great impact on our schools. This demographic will bleed the system dry and when the API/test scores decline -they'll move on to the next school district.

Posted by Hoss
a resident of Ponderosa
on May 11, 2011 at 12:07 am

Resident hits the nail right on the head. With all the free loading, uppity, lazy, nonworking demographic coming in, well, there goes the neighborhood. How does one expect a wealthy city like Pleasanton to take care of its own when there's the socialist I Want Everything For Free mob always agitating for more ... and more ... and more ... and more. Like termites they will chew their way through the traditional good will of P-Towners before moving on to the next school district.

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