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PUSD board endorses draft language for bond resolution; dollar amount pending

Original post made on Oct 24, 2019

The Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees approved the first reading of draft resolution language for a potential new local bond measure, though the final bond amount remains undecided.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 2:57 PM

Comments (115)

17 people like this
Posted by Nicki
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 24, 2019 at 12:01 pm

I read the article about the school district's proposed bond. Our district has a reserve fund of 27 million dollars, as stated at the last board meeting, and as seen on TV. Does it need it be that high? Do we need another bond with that amount in reserve?
There were over 300 hundred teachers expressing their displeasure with the district, because they haven't had a reasonable raise in a few years, and were asking for more counselors and support staff.
I am NOT a teacher, but am concerned with education in our district, and have heard that surrounding districts are attracting good teachers, because they give them better health benefits, have lower class sizes and are starting to match our salaries, if not SURPASS them.
To keep our very high standard of excellence in education, here in Pleasanton, I would say to whoever is NOT addressing the demands of the teachers, and who may be risking a future strike: “Get off your backside, negotiate with the teachers.”
I want, very much, to KEEP my school district, excellent.


11 people like this
Posted by Fifty Years Here
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 24, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Fifty Years Here is a registered user.

Our schools look like hell, we can't mow the grass, and now our teachers are under-paid? Where does the money go?


5 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 24, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t raises get applied to all union members, actively teaching and retired collecting pension?

If true, it’s an iceberg effect, a small raise to the working population has a huge financial liability as it applies to non actively teaching individuals.

Again, please fact check me, but if true, this is a union problem to adress, not a funding problem.

To topic, I love that a bond initiative comes before the number requested. Tells a lot.


13 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 24, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sigh. The health benefit story is long and falls on the backs of prior teachers. In 1988, teachers rolled the amount of their benefits onto their salary schedule. The teaching staff at the time were aging toward retirement and wanted that $10,000 in their salaries to increase their retirement benefits. What today’s teachers don’t like to talk about is that with every raise since 1988, the value of that original $10,000 has increased as well. When I last calculated a couple years ago, the value of the $10,000 had pretty well matched the CPIU—meaning teachers were not losing money on benefits. Add to that the fact that only about 40% of teachers are the primary health providers for themselves/families. The other 60% take that money as salary. There also should be many questions about what kind of plans and providers are used. There should be plans similar to the direction of other organizations where premiums are lower and deductibles are higher.

Teachers can strike only under very rare circumstances. We have seen many communities where teachers say their raises are to benefit students. Sorry, that is just not true. When raises are given, it increases the cost of all salaries and increases the impact of pension costs the district must cover. To meet the obligations of the salary and pension increases, raises ultimately cost us other services which are cut to stay within budget, such as the counselors they actually need; programs; and people who mow the lawns lose their jobs. We should be clear that those cuts hurt students.

Next, the $27MM reserve is for the next recession when the state will most surely reduce what they provide to the district. In that case, the reserve can help to continue current programs (general fund dollars). It is not used to build or upgrade facilities. A bond, on the other hand, pays to upgrade and build new facilities. It cannot be used for salaries or program.

PP, I’m not sure where you heard that retired teachers are getting PUSD raises, if that is what you meant. Active teachers get their salary. If raises are negotiated, they are added to their salaries. Retired teachers collect their pensions from the STRS system. STRS may give COLAs, but they have nothing to do with what raise a district has given to current teachers.

Can we do better for our teachers? Should we? Perhaps. But I think it has to be tied to more solid give backs—longer time before tenure can be reached and better/faster/easier ways to weed out underperforming teachers. I would love to pay our best and most deserving teachers more. They deserve it.

For the bond—absolutely not.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 24, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Kathleen,
Yes I was referring to salary increments (coa) or other that not only benefit the active working population of teachers now, but also flow through those actively collecting pensions now. Perhaps you can confirm / correct that. Do salary adjustments apply in active teachers and active pensions? Or are they separate / unrelated increases?

I do agree/understand that any raise today plays through that specific individual into their retirement “tomorrow”


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 24, 2019 at 5:33 pm

.......on tenure, there should be none below the college level.


11 people like this
Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2019 at 7:01 pm

Kathleen, I always appreciate your wealth of information from years of experience. Thank you.

We have lived in Pleasanton for 40+ years. Pleasanton teachers have been highly paid for a long time, especially due to them attaching the benefit dollars to their salary many years ago. If I remember correctly, Kathleen calculated out (on a separate thread) what the initial 10K has done to salaries over time, with each raise, and this will definitely make for a much better retirement for these folks as well So much so, that from what I understand... districts are no longer able to do what Pleasanton did due to the increased pension for these people.

I always find it frustrating to hear that Pleasanton teachers don't get benefits. When they signed their contracts, over the past 30 years, they knew they would not get benefits.

Districts that pay money towards benefits have a cap. When teachers get a raise in those districts, the raise does not increase the benefit dollars, unless it is negotiated. So, like Kathleen has stated on this thread and others, the original 10K is worth a lot more now, and with each raise the money continues to grow.

Pleasanton teachers also get more preps than some other districts, and are very quick to protect them. It might be time to look at some of these types of costs before figuring out how to fund another raise with additional taxpayer dollars. I don't think bond money should be used to help fund salaries.

Will I vote for ANOTHER bond so quickly after the last one? Absolutely NOT!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 25, 2019 at 12:09 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

PP, increasing current teachers salaries adds to the portion the district is required to contribute to STRS (employees pay a percentage into STRS as well). In recent years, this has been crippling the district’s ability to add counselors or anything else.

STRS pays retired teachers and any cost of living adjustment is determined and paid from their funds. The state can determine and increase the portion of contributions to the STRS fund required from the districts. The state does not determine what teachers contribute (that is negotiated). This also happens with PERS, which covers non-teaching positions. So our city government is being caught in the same funding crunch. Here are the contributions predicted in June 2019 (sorry if the spacing doesn’t hold).

Statutory Benefit Rates
FY17/18. FY18/19. FY19/20 FY20/21 FY21/22
STRS 14.430% 16.280% 18.130% 19.100% 19.100%
PERS 15.531% 18.062% 20.000% 22.700% 23.700%

At that meeting, staff projected the 2020-2021 budget would contribute nearly $16MM to STRS. PERS was projected to cost an additional $5MM. That’s $21MM if the prediction still holds. You can find this information and more at the district’s link: Web Link

Karen, there is conversation in the district about rolling benefits off the salary schedule again. I imagine that means staff would maintain their current salaries and benefits would be a **new** and very expensive hit to the budget. There are many concerns with any plan going forward. Will more than 40% of staff opt back into benefits? How much will staff be required to contribute to those costs? Will the plans be a more reasonable choice than what is offered currently (higher deductible plans)? What will we lose (what cuts will be made) to cover this additional expense? If this did happen, all staff members, regardless of their job performance, would be receiving a $25,000 ish raise (the current value of that original $10,000; that’s a guesstimate from what I charted a couple years ago). So, yes, tangible give backs, like longer times to achieve tenure, are a must in my mind.

Unmowed lawns are one visible piece of evidence that services are being cut to provide salary increases. I am sure there is evidence in classrooms as well (trash not picked up as off, less cleaning provided). And the lack of counselors, etc. It’s other people’s money though, so there is little incentive to see the impact to taxpayers. And taxpayers who are not parents don’t always know what is happening in the schools.


14 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 6:13 am

Bonds cannot pay teachers salaries. That’s what parcel taxes are for.
Bonds need 55; parcel tax 66 in order to pass.

Raises now do not change current retired teachers pensions.

If you are offered a raise less than inflation, you are losing money. Inflation is currently low, but the standard government number doesn’t include health care inflation. My HDHP premium rose 10% for next year. PUSD’s teacher raises need to consider health care inflation in the base salary because it isn’t included in the base salary like other districts.


11 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 6:20 am

Kathleen

Consider this: if health care inflation has been significantly higher than the standard government inflation rate, would you want to pay it out lump sum 30 years ago, or continue to pay for healthcare benefit yourself.

I’m scratching my head on your claim that it was a bad deal for the district. It seems like that was the deal of the century for the district. Basically, your view is not correct.


14 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 6:26 am

Consider this:

California teachers don’t get federal Social Security. Even if they pay into it with other jobs. Admins get SS plus Calprs. Teachers only get Calstrs.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 25, 2019 at 10:21 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, teachers can collect social security if they work enough quarters(I don’t have that number handy).

If teachers are not changing their plans, like every company and other districts, those higher premiums are their own fault. High end plans are not sustainable and my understanding is the PUSD have the highest premium plan through PERS.

I said bonds pay for facilities. I said STRS pays any COLAs.

It was a bad deal for teachers caused by more senior teachers years ago. They padded their retirement at the expense of the future.

Think I’ve covered your concerns.


14 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 10:52 am

"It was a bad deal for teachers" -- That's not what you said before, but I like the change. I agree, the "deal" benefited certain teachers a long time ago, but now it can be looked at as a universally bad deal and does need to be part of the conversation when comparing salaries to other districts. It is total compensation that matters and the benefits are not on the published teacher rates when you compare districts.

Teachers are not overpaid. Every year they have to perform more with less and asking them to accept a raise that doesn't cover inflation is a slap in the face. Teachers are the ones who advocate for more counselors because it helps their day to day when they have to deal with more and more students with advancing needs. Higher teacher pay attracts better teachers and directly benefits students. That is indisputable.

I understand the reticence for another bond due to unbelievable bad district management of bond money, but that is short sided. Students/teachers directly suffer from bad facilities. Just tour district campuses and compare them to the surrounding districts. They don't call it AMIDUMP for nothing. We need the money.

"High end plans are not sustainable " -- not sure where you are going with that paragraph. Very few have high end plans anymore. My plan is the cheapest HDHP Kaiser. It went up 10% for next year.


4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 25, 2019 at 2:59 pm

Anon / Kathleen,
Thank you for raise / coa clarity.

Anon,
To your own statement, poor fiscal management doesn’t get rewarded with more money to mismanage.
What’s needed is fiscal clarity and responsible investment, not just expense spending. And definitely not two associated groups coming to the public trying to put their hand in front of the others to get theirs


3 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 5:50 pm

Pleasanton Parent -

Yeah, I don't see it (new bond money) as a "reward" for the district. The bond builds better facilities. Students benefit. The community benefits if the schools look nice and modern. Your home value benefits.

The district has made poor facilities decisions for what, 30 years? So we as a community aren't going to pass a bond to "punish" the district operations department? That just doesn't resonate with me and doesn't make sense. If you want good facilities management you need to be prepared to pay those people probably 2-3X what they currently make to be competitive with the private sector. You have to be pretty accepting of bad management practices because their pay isn't competitive.


6 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 25, 2019 at 10:52 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, it is still a bad deal for the district. They cannot afford to pull teachers out of the current arrangement. If they do it, much will be cut and students and teachers will suffer. If you have a plan, I’d like to hear it.

I don’t think teachers are overpaid. I’d love to pay our best teacher more—people who go above and beyond deserve better. But the system doesn’t allow any kind of reward. Mediocre or worse, better, best—everyone collects the same pay check. It’s ludicrous. Making blanket assertions about things being indisputable is tough to defend. There are teachers who do more harm than good and with learning being a stepladder, it hurts students for longer than just the year they are in that subject or classroom.

The district is being greedy trying for another bond. They believe they can market it as “a tax extension.” They cannot. One bond retires. A new bond is a new tax.

The district has barely used the $270MM we just gave them, and so far they have not used it for anything that has really improved schools. Not one inch of additional space of classroom has been built, with over 200 elementary students overflowed to other schools across town. That hurts students. Lydiksen didn’t need to be first on the list of priorities; it didn’t need to be a new school either. And so teachers and students have been crammed into the same non-functional spaces for three years. That is definitely shortsighted.

And it hasn’t been 30 years of bad facilities. One superintendent abandoned regular maintenance in favor of raises for staff—and himself. And then he retired. Yes, good managers cost money, but there is $270MM on the table already. Talk to me when something tangible has been built. We don’t need a new bond now. We can consider it in a few years when, and if, anything has been accomplished. Absolutely a money grab.

As to benefits, what is your premium per year? You don’t actually have to tell me. But if it’s within range of the CPIU and you add in the salary raises since 1988 (again a value today of around $25K give or take), you are whole in that sense. If you are getting it through PERS, the last I heard was their premiums are the highest. There are firms that negotiate with plan providers. I don’t know who is representing PERS or PUSD in that regard. It would be great to find solutions that pay teachers well and provide minimum benefits (more if you care to purchase). There should be some compromise to reach that goal—tenure after 5 full years and easier/faster/cheaper ways to remove bad teachers. I don’t see that happening because it appears the union leadership (perhaps with the support of teachers) can only ask for more. And they do it while sacrificing future teachers and their PERS brothers—without batting an eyelash.


1 person likes this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Kathleen,

Performance pay is something that seems like a good idea, but it will lead to many issues especially in the K-5 environment. How do you assess teacher performance? Student test scores? That doesn't work. Cheating (Atlanta) at worst and teaching to the test at best. If you unleash a competitive environment in education, you will see many interesting consequences. Performance pay systems that the private sector use wouldn't really work in education.

That said, bad teachers persist and I think everyone would like the Union to take some leadership on this issue with some changes. There aren't any easy answers. You don't address this issue during wage negotiation. Especially if the opener from the district is essentially no raise. You attach these values like "only ask for more" to teachers salary negotiation. You are familiar with inflation, right? You always need more just to stay even.

I obviously can defend the statement that higher pay gives you higher quality on average in just about any job. If teachers were paid a similar wage as doctors (Finland, etc.) you are arguing that teacher quality wouldn't be any better?

30 years was an obvious exaggeration in order to prove a point. How long does one hold a grudge with a bond "no" vote due to bad fiscal management? So wait, you are a yes vote for a bond "in a few years"? What will change in your reasoning in a few years? That doesn't make sense. The facilities need the money. Sooner is better. Totally agree with Lydiksen; that was something you take care of after you have addressed the over enrollment.


3 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 27, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Not a grudge, anon. It’s a money grab and too soon. Lydiksen is a perfect example of current irresponsibility with money already in hand. You can’t take $270MM, most of it unspent, and what was spent done with poor priorities, and say trust me with $120-390MM more. You can’t manage that many projects all at the same time. They can’t manage with what they have now.

The problem with paying the best more is not an inability to find a practical and fair way to do it; it’s the unwillingness to find a way. Besides, most bad teachers bomb out by 5 years, so with a longer time to get tenure (first day of sixth year) and with easier/faster ways to remove those lacking skills, you keep the cream of crop and everyone is paid better. You attract every skill level of teacher with better pay; it’s not a guarantee to only recruit the best. Someone performs poorly in district B; B gives them a great referral to unload them; now they are a new district’s problem. There have to be changes to the system, not just the salary schedule.


8 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Increasing pay doesn’t necessarily create better teachers.

Doctors go to school far longer than other working professionals, and are so accountable for the outcome of their actions they carry malpractice insurance. They also work a full yr.

If you want to raise the requirements, expectations, and accountability of becoming a teacher to that of a medical doctor I’m all for it. I’ll pay.

It would likely kill the union too,. That’s an absolute win for all.

But just doubling the salary of a 2nd grade teacher isn’t going to make that teacher any better


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Sorry, conflating too many things in one post.

Probably a waste of time to compare current pay to doctor level of compensation. Obviously if you had a Finnish model where teachers were compensated at premium levels, the requirements and competition to be a teacher would be very much higher. We will never see it in this country.

When they negotiate this go around and maybe get 3-4% (annualized) "raise" it isn't going to raise teacher quality. It will keep the current status quo. But if they only get 0-2%, then it will gradually erode the quality of teachers entering the pipeline and some will leave.

Lemme look at the surrounding districts. That is the comparison to make. If Pleasanton is lower, the other districts will get higher quality of teachers. Period. Pleasanton's daily rate for subs is ridiculously low...


7 people like this
Posted by Teachers do not collect SS
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 27, 2019 at 4:57 pm

Teachers do not get social security. It's simply not true and I've included a link below. And while Pleasanton used to be the district everyone wanted to teach in, it no longer is. Brentwood matches years, something that increases a teacher's salary. Livermore is also matching years up to a point, which is why many Amador teachers are now employed at Granada Hill. Our HR cannot find anyone to fill teaching positions and there are many unqualified individuals in charge of our kids. Teachers are constantly asked to teach through their prep (they get paid) because PUSD cannot attract any substitutes.

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 27, 2019 at 5:22 pm

Wait....wait.....wait.....teachers are being asked to teach during hours they are paid to do so?

Insane.

.......come talk to me when you’re averaging 60-70hr work weeks.


5 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2019 at 5:59 pm

67,496 PUSD starting
110,682 PUSD Highest (20 year plus 75 credits)

64,858 Dublin starting
111,828 Dublin Highest (24 year plus 75 credits)

Dublin kicks in for health care, so PUSD teachers are paid less.


12 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 27, 2019 at 7:05 pm

No new bonds or existing bond extensions until We get everything that was promised to us on measure I1, there has to be a full accounting of where all the taxpayers money is going ?? All I’ve seen so far is a bunch of soon to be useless Chromebooks and some security fencing. PUSD it’s way past time to start performing and get your hands out of my pocket!!


5 people like this
Posted by Anonymous teacher
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2019 at 7:07 pm

PP,
OK, I'm putting in about 60ish hours per week. What do you want to talk about?


3 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2019 at 7:16 pm

San Ramon Valley:

52,947 Starting
100,163 Max

But, they kick in 1,888 per month (family) for health care or 22,656 per year.
So,
~76k Starting
~123k Max


1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 27, 2019 at 7:22 pm

Anonymous teacher, 52 weeks per year?

And even if not, do you think you’re the exception or the rule? By no means do I think all teachers are created equal (even though the union approaches pay that way). I’d be the first to support base pay plus performance pay for outstanding teachers.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 27, 2019 at 11:57 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

SS, I know teachers who collect SS because they had 40 quarters in other jobs where they paid into SS. It may be rare, but not impossible. Otherwise, obviously, you can’t collect if you don’t contribute. I don’t know why teachers don’t pay into SS; classified staff does. Was there a trade off?

Anon, so a delta of $9K to start and $12K at max between SRVUSD and PUSD including health care. You don’t say what Dublin chips in for benefits. I don’t know what health plans are provided in comparison either. $9-12K isn’t chump change, certainly. I don’t see how we give raises big enough to cover that delta or where we get funds to provide benefits separately again. Either would cost millions we don’t have. Even a stipend of $22,656 to only 40% of teachers who currently take benefits is problematic—still expensive and 60% are essentially cheated (although right now 60% have the advantage because they get their benefits from a spouse and their salary is whole).

All to say, the problems are obvious, but I haven’t heard union leadership provide solutions . . . affordable solutions.


4 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 6:28 am

Kathleen -
Yeah, teachers might be able to get a tiny SS benefit from another job, but it will be so small that it isn't worth talking about. The major issue is that SS is secured at the Federal level (Feds control the money supply so it can't really go bankrupt). CalSTRS is state, and states can go bust. It dates back to the 50's. Why teachers got hosed and not CalPRS as well is odd. The other issue is survivor benefits... ie, none.

The overall story for teachers is that their jobs become gradually more difficult every year and then people hammer them because of the following fallacies: "summer off", "working from 8-3", "tenure for bad teachers", "union", etc. Then they try and negotiate for more benefits, salary, support, etc and "money grab", "greedy", gets thrown at them because everyone has an opinion on teachers that is rooted from that one bad teacher I had in middle school (LOL). And all they are going to get is a raise that will barely cover COL inflation.


6 people like this
Posted by Anony
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 9:40 am

Anon,

I don’t think anyone here is saying teachers don’t deserve raises and their salaries.

People are saying that we CAN’T AFFORD to give raises at the EXPENSE of our children and aging, broken facilities.

Look, we are a family of four in a two-bedroom apartment. Do we need an extra bedroom? Definitely! Can we afford the increase in rent? No! Guess what? we cram ourselves into a too-small place in order to exist here.

We all make sacrifices to live here. By passing this bond, You are asking EVERYONE BUT YOURSELVES to make sacrifices so that you can live comfortably here in the Bay Area.

Yes, Im sorry but it’s selfish. You really should be thinking the other way around: you went into teaching, I presume, so that you can shape the next generation of kids. It’s called PUBLIC SERVICE and you are beholden to serve the public. We are already sacrificing our retirement money to support your retirement, so we have to move away in order to afford retirement while you get to stay here and enjoy the culture and weather.

Sorry, I don’t have any more money to give you. I’m voting no.


8 people like this
Posted by To Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 28, 2019 at 10:12 am

I'm currently working 60 - 70 hours as a teacher. What would you like to talk about?

Prep is used to prepare for the next weeks and grade papers. That's what we are getting paid to do. Not teach during our prep because our HR Department is unable to do their job.


3 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 10:24 am

Anony,

You are missing many points.

A) "EXPENSE of our children and aging, broken facilities." The bond vote doesn't effect teacher salaries. The bond repairs broken facilities. So your "no" vote is at the expense of our children.
B) "We are already sacrificing our retirement money to support your retirement" -- nope. Teachers pay into CalSTRS at a pretty high rate.
C) PUSD has about a 21 mil reserve fund. School funding for next year looks pretty positive at this point.
D) I'm not a teacher.


2 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Anony -

"Look, we are a family of four in a two-bedroom apartment. "
As renters you are the least impacted by a bond. You don't pay it directly.


4 people like this
Posted by Anony
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 2:52 pm

Anon,

I believe you are missing my point here.

To address point A: The teachers union keep voting themselves COL increases at the EXPENSE of our students and infrastructure. They are using any surplus money to pay themselves instead of infrastructure improvements.

Point B: who do you think pays teacher salaries? That money they are putting into their retirement fund comes from the taxes that the public pays.

I am still voting no. That money I save could pay for tutoring for my kid, since every year--without fail--my kids get teachers who don't teach, who make the kids grade each other's papers, who make kids take group quizzes so that if one kid screws up every kid in the group gets penalized, and I could go on. I used to be supportive of the school district. Not anymore.


9 people like this
Posted by Hourly Pay Rate
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 28, 2019 at 6:51 pm

I think you all should be looking at the hourly pay rate for teachers.

In many cases, they are doing quite well, even exceptional.

While people would like to ignore that teachers get "the summer off", that is the reality of the job unless schools go to year round.

I would love to make my annual salary and work 25% fewer hours (take the summer off) than everyone else in the real world. But of course that will never happen for me and it should not happen for teachers.

Also, many people in the real world work the 60-70 hours mentioned above. In the high tech world, there are really no jobs that require just 40 hrs a week. Would I like it to be different, sure would. Will it happen? - not unless I change professions.

The same goes for teachers - if you don't like the reality of the profession you have gone into, then change to something else.


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 29, 2019 at 12:46 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, I’m not sure why you think teachers’ jobs are getting more difficult. I don’t think their jobs are easy, surely. But while the union will ask for more support, they will cannibalize that support and classified staff to increase the salary schedule.

Money grab and greedy referred to the bond and the district/board, not teachers. It is too soon; they haven’t accomplished anything of note with the $270MM they already have. They can’t manage all the projects at the same time; they can’t manage projects now. They can wait.

At this point, a no vote on the bond is sending a message to pushy staff/consultants and a board that can’t see they are being pushed. The list of wants, as usual, is mostly vague. This happened with two attempts at parcel taxes—they insisted on not being specific and they ended up getting exactly no money. You’d think someone would learn the lesson.

Raises do impact infrastructure. As I said above, one superintendent managed to provide three years of raises, largely at the expense of maintenance. The wood beams at PMS are a disaster specifically because that person would not allow, literally, the purchase of the required protective coating.

Social Security may not go bankrupt, but incomes could be taxed at a higher rate or benefits could be reduced or the eligibility age increased in order to keep it solvent.

The district’s reserve is there for the next recession to maintain programs, not to give raises. It is one time money and cannot/should not be used to pay what will be an ongoing expense.

Year round school, in the current sense, is just 180 instructional days peppered around the calendar (six weeks on; two weeks off is one example). It is not more instructional days.

No to the bond. Not now. Come back when all our students are in their neighborhood schools.


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Posted by Just asking
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 5:47 am

If you dont pay into ss you dont get to collect as. That's pretty simple to understand. The super of the pusd works a little over 8 months out of the year as do teachers. If you want more more get a full time job, which teaching g is not by any metrics you choose to use.
I have never met a teacher who actually works 60-70 hours a week for the whole year. Teachers in Pleasanton start at a little over $ 8,000 per month work time.
The funny part is then they complain about all the extra time they out in while expecting parents and coaches to donate their time. I dont think teaching g should be a get rich job. Adults choose their profession.
Aaron Becker is a San ramon teacher who had a child die in his class and was back in the job immediately and is still teaching. If you cant clean house on that then your system is broken as are most public schools they dont deserve any more money till all bad teachers are held accountable. If you want more money work more than 8 months a year simple as that


7 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 6:06 am

All I want is for people to have logically consistent arguments. You can't simultaneously want better teachers and then argue that they need less/same pay.

"The teachers union keep voting themselves COL increases at the EXPENSE of our students and infrastructure. " -- Teachers don't vote themselves raises. The union negotiates with the district and the board votes on it. You vote for the board.

"Also, many people in the real world work the 60-70 hours mentioned above" Can I follow you around all 60 hours of your work week to observe how productive you are? Taking an hour lunch? Watercooler talking? Zoning out in meetings? Coding for 70 hours straight; maybe in your 20's... Teachers work beyond 8-3. But during that 8-3 they are constantly in front of their "customers". It's a hard job that deserves respect even if you have had a bad experience with a teacher(s). I have probably learned more from bad teachers than good ones. How many bad bosses have you had?

Why are we comparing to tech? Stock options, signing bonus, competitive wages, competitive environment, 401k, excellent benefits....

Facebook Interns make $8000 per month. WeWork CEO of a bankrupt company is going to bring down 185 million. Average wage for big tech is 200,000. You are putting in big hours (especially in a startup) for a potential big payout.

The average CalSTRS retiree can presently expect to receive a $51,500 pension for having worked a 30 year career. Remember, no Social Security.

The pent up angst geared toward teachers is part of the problem.




4 people like this
Posted by Just asking
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 6:43 am

If you want more money choose a different profession. To compare open market salaries to public service LoL
Salaries is a joke work full time if you want full time pay. Dont go into public service if you dont like it.
Find a different job if you want. Not everyone is a CEO their are alot of people working and not making that money so what's your point. I know of plenty of people who donate their time to kids for no pay. Let's compare teacher pay to those who donate and dont get paid. Hmmmm looks different from their side.
I dont think we should pay teachers to indoctrinate students. Ever worked in a public schoo? I have. Let me put it this way. We are not getting g our money's worth from our public schools.
If fact they are filling tje students heads with garbage about climate change or however you want to phrase it without having all the facts. They push their own deluded agenda into the students. That's why you have people like AOC and Swalwell etc.
Sucker born every minute are you one?


4 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 7:02 am

Just Asking,
"If fact they are filling tje students heads with garbage about climate change or however you want to phrase it without having all the facts. "

My work here is done.


2 people like this
Posted by Anony
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 7:21 am

Anon,

Yes, SOME private sector jobs make more money than teaching, but other than tech jobs what other careers make six figures or close to it?

Public sector jobs have a perk that more than makes up for the lower pay: PENSIONS and TENURE.

My work here is done.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 7:38 am

You are inconsistent in your own post: First paragraph you argue that no one else is making a teacher's level of salary besides tech workers, then in the second you say that public sector jobs (including teachers) have "lower pay".


"Yes, SOME private sector jobs make more money than teaching, but other than tech jobs what other careers make six figures or close to it? "
Go to salary.com. It is too long to list here.

"Public sector jobs have a perk that more than makes up for the lower pay: PENSIONS and TENURE." Yawn. I have tried to point out that teachers pensions aren't that great.... You are lumping them in with other public sector employees that have better pensions and are allowed to have pension plus SS and in some cases can "spike" their pensions with OT... Again, teachers can't do that.


2 people like this
Posted by Anony
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 7:47 am

Sorry I should say STEM jobs, which includes doctors.

Pardon me for not thinking things through 100% as I am trying to get my kids ready for school while going to work at one of two Minimum Wage jobs so that my family can make ends meet!!!

Of course, I can be laid off at any moment and I don’t get benefits. Tell me again how private sector jobs are better than public sector jobs????


3 people like this
Posted by Hourly Pay Rate
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 29, 2019 at 7:58 am

Anon - You may want to educate yourself a little about Silicon Valley.

Not all of us work for Google, Facebook, etc. Not all of us get options, etc.

Yes, please do follow me around for a day. You can start work at 6am for a call with Europe and expect to have a call with Asia at 9pm. And spend the rest of you day in meetings (where you can't zone out) and working on solutions to technical problems that arrive one after another.

Oh, and you $50K pension? Not many tech companies pay pensions, they don't pay for your retiree medical, etc.

Unless you invest a significant amount of your own money into a 401K, you get to live off social security that is much less than your pension.

As an educator, you certainly are ignorant of the "real world".

Open your eyes and look around - you may find your teaching job is not so bad after all.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 29, 2019 at 8:16 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

“ Teachers don't vote themselves raises.” Teachers have to vote to ratify/accept what was negotiated. They do so before the board votes to accept.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 8:19 am

Kathleen,

"Anon, I’m not sure why you think teachers’ jobs are getting more difficult."
Just one example: The percentage of students with advanced needs that are in regular classrooms has been rising and is at a surprising level not seen in the past. We are asking regular teachers to be special ed level teachers in a mixed classroom with 24 students. Teaching in that environment is difficult and it is expensive for the district.

The reason you want to pass a bond now is because if/when another downturn hits, you might not be able to pass one. Most believe another recession is right around the corner. Do to cough, cough, Prop 13, you need to constantly pass bonds to pay for infrastructure because the baseline funding is never going to be enough for new/upgraded buildings. And if you want to say renovate a gym that is decades old get ready for a big bill when you have to build everything to today's code: ADA + earthquake. Again, I have no love for district management of bond money. But, our facilities are really bad. We need enough money to fund a lot of projects.

Parcel tax. Isn't it obvious what that would have paid for? We found out, after the downturn: Reading specialists, Counseling, and the big one: CSR for K-3. We still haven't recovered from those cuts. Ironically, you need to try and pass a parcel tax before you need it.

"Raises do impact infrastructure." Ok, what you need to say is that teacher salaries do "compete" (not the best word) with infrastructure maintenance budget. That is true. But, if you are in charge, teacher quality would probably trump maintenance in terms of what you really care about. Rather than one example, the thing to do would be to compare surrounding districts maintenance budgets to see if PUSD is really shortchanging it. Our buildings are old and older stuff needs more money. Another reason for the bond... Spend bond money so that your maintenance can be lower (newer stuff). That is also why you drop in solar panels... Other districts have figured this out. It is odd that it has taken PUSD so long to put in solar in the parking lots.


6 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 8:37 am

"As an educator, you certainly are ignorant of the "real world"."
--I'm not an educator and I work in the real world. I have been at work at 5am and stayed till 8pm. I'm not special. What I don't understand is the hate directed toward teachers and their pay. It isn't really logical to complain that teachers make too much money and then say that the majority of teachers are terrible.

Now, if you want to say that I don't have kids in PUSD so I don't want to pay for good public education.... Roll with that.

My initial statement was "why are we comparing teachers to tech workers?" I was highlighting the reasons (including salary) why it wasn't a good comparison. Also it isn't a good comparison to minimum wage jobs.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 29, 2019 at 10:16 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, classroom makeup has changed, but class sizes are smaller. The need for support staff is real, but we can’t afford it because we are giving raises instead (cannibalism). PUSD staff/consultants at the time of the parcel taxes were asked, repeatedly, to list specifics—Barton Reading, X counselors at high schools, K-3 classes of X:1—tangible items the community could support continuously. In their misbelief that they were smarter, they refused. Another case of greed—wanting the ability to change where the funds actually got spent. Never make a promise you have no intention of keeping. You haven’t recovered from the cuts because you are deciding to give raises instead. That’s fine, but you aren’t getting anything in return for those raises, and again, you continue to cannibalize—not putting programs back or adding support staff because of decisions you made.

I wasn’t here when Prop 13 passed; as usual in CA, the wrong answer to a real problem.

For the bond, they can wait; and if that means waiting until the next upturn in the economy, so be it. It’s their own fault really. The district has not proven the ability to manage what they were given—wrong priorities, no classroom space added, 7,000 Chromebooks when many students didn’t need them, fencing (I was fine with laptops for teachers—even though there is a tech fund—Sycamore—they should have been able to use)—low hanging fruit when so many other things needed immediate work. And, frankly, the years of not keeping up with the maintenance reserves for actual maintenance of facilities created a need for bond dollars to be spent on it instead.

”Drop in solar panels”—another example of a mismanaged project. Do you have lighting yet?

For the rest of your comment about maintenance—just get new stuff?—admit to what created the problem. Then put aside maintenance funds, because we aren’t going to just keep buying you new stuff because you didn’t take care of it.

And what happens when the economy does hit a downturn? You are asking your community to cover your backsides—very richly—in advance—while everyone will still have to pay for the money grab you want to make now. Nope!


7 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 11:08 am

Hourly Pay Rate,

You see what I did there? All I had to do was mention that you might be zoning out in a meeting (being critical about your work) and you immediately unleashed a torrent. Obviously, I have no idea about your work.

Flip it. This thread has people just unloading on teachers for having the audacity to negotiate a COL level "raise" of a few percent. The majority of people have no idea the working conditions teachers face and just roll out summer off, union, tenure, etc.

My purpose is to elaborate on things that most people aren't aware of:
teachers don't get SS
teachers salary vs other districts
PUSD teachers don't get a health care subsidy

This isn't about my job is harder than yours... It should be about how do we maximize the education potential of our community within the confines of the current system. I don't believe the answer is "No" to everything.



6 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 11:40 am

Kathleen,

Your phrases are just very personal... Kinda like you were wronged by the district/teachers somehow. "money grab", "cover your backsides—very richly—in advance", "No", "Nope".... It is odd.

Do you know what inflation is? You need a raise every year just to stay the same. "cannibalism" please.

Just look around. Compared to the surrounding districts:
PUSD teacher Total Compensation is less
Facilities are in worse condition
Eventually I will look at the maintenance budget...
etc, etc.

All of these issues can only be solved with more funding. If you say 'NO' because you don't like district management, none of these issues are going to improve. You are comfortable with no improvement for 10 more years. In 10 years, district management isn't going to be better because the "no" vote showed them! As I said before, for management of facility funding to be better you need to boost the salary of that manager by 2X which can't happen.

Enjoy your no vote. But education in the community with suffer.


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Posted by Hourly Pay Rate
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 29, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Anon -

Boy, you sure showed me........NOT

BTW - I case you are wondering - I'm on a vacation day today - not zoning out in a meeting.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 29, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, it isn’t personal at all—and don’t conflate my feelings about this bond with teachers. I have repeatedly stated I would pay our best teachers more. In the latter case, I just think it should take longer to get tenure and it should be easier to move people out of teaching if they are failing. Also not odd. You have $270MM. Produce something tangible and then, and only then, I will happily support the next bond. I supported the last three.

What would you call it when you give a raise you cannot afford that causes the loss of jobs and program to cover that ongoing expense? I’ll use your descriptor if cannibalism is not comfortable for you.

Again, this isn’t personal—the no is because you haven’t earned it, because there is a history of mismanaging funding, of making fatal errors in setting priorities, in not addressing the biggest need, a new school. The suffering is self inflicted.

1. Total compensation is less because that was the deal the union cut.
2. Facilities are worse because raises were given during a recession and maintenance funding was abandoned.
3. Teachers don’t get a health care subsidy—see #1.
4. Teachers don’t pay social security, so they cannot collect (unless they work enough quarters in a job where they do contribute). “State workers were left out of the original Social Security Act in 1935, initially because of concerns whether the federal government could tax state and local governments. Later when states were given the opportunity to extend coverage to public sector workers in the 1950s, most states chose to extend coverage. A handful of states, however, chose not to. Instead, these states bet they could provide better benefits through their state pension plans alone . . .” Web Link
5. Other districts are compensated at a higher rate—see #1. Maybe the union leaders in those districts were smarter. Dublin in particular, who was impacted by our vote to unify, did not opt into the “Pleasanton Plan” to roll $10,000 onto the salary schedule.
6. No improvement for 10 years—you have $270MM. That is a substantial amount of money. How long will it take to spend it and actually have classrooms for the TK-5 students (some 200 or more) you are overflowing to non-neighborhood schools?
7. Need to pay 2X more—then pay it. It’s clearly crucial to getting things accomplished. Without the right person in place, we will continue to see botched starts, surprisingly high bids, no light bulbs, kindergartners escaping through sloppy fencing, the new elementary school placed on a current campus (I will agree it’s the only solution we have at this point) . . . How is it you have funding for a new Public Information Officer? Where is that funding coming from? Why is that position somehow becoming the priority?

Do you really think you can continue to blunder through $270MM and get more? Do you really think you can start your marketing as “just a renewal” at $120MM and actually decide now that it can be nearly $400MM? Do you believe that doing this sooner than you actually need the money because the economy might dip isn’t a money grab? Do you think adding exponentially to a homeowner’s taxes won’t have an impact on that homeowner, especially if that turndown in the economy occurs? You clearly have very little respect for this community.


7 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Teachers:

Yeah, but here is where you are anti-teacher: because you state that COL teacher raises in the last 10 years are why we aren't back to CSR 20:1 and why the facilities are substandard.

The former: We aren't back to CSR 20:1 because the elementary schools are full. You need additional classrooms for 20:1. They don't have them. Interesting side note on 20:1. The original research for CSR stated that 18:1 was ideal and even if you go over just a bit (20:1), then you don't get quite the benefit. Some districts went to 18:1, but most chose 20:1 because the math is easier.

Latter: Our facilitates are bad partially because of not enough maintenance, but mostly because they are old. Amador is close to 100 years old. How old is that gym? Better maintenance would help, but you can't put lipstick on a pig. To make you claim, crunch some numbers and look up the budgets for facility maintenance in surrounding districts. You would be better off looking at the 5-9mill the district blows on new books and learning systems.

Yep, our district is poorly managed. You want outrage, look at superintendents pensions. They get pension + SS + health. Look at the legal fees blown on Vranish, firing the last super, not building the school with the Ruby hill funds. And on and on and on.

And yet the district's school performance is still quite high. Who is performing this miracle.

They start with a T and end with an S.

Support them.


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Posted by Just asking
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 9:05 pm

Anon how long have you worked in any school district. My guess none. Or should I say nun to make you feel smart and better than anyone else. LoL
My work is done here lmao. Are you voting got Bernie or hunter. I mean Joe.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 29, 2019 at 10:26 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, broken system, from Sacramento to any district.

CSR is best at 16:1; we will never get there (18:1 either). The rest of your statement isn’t true. 20:1, or more like 24:1 in most districts, isn’t a mathematical choice. If staff can’t figure out that math, I’m certainly not giving you millions. It is a space choice; they’ve known a school was needed for years. Portables were chosen instead (no money for operating costs was the excuse).

There are structures in the world much older than our schools. Neglect created the crisis. “blows on books”? You know the district is supposed to educate children, right?

If superintendents get SS, it’s because they made the required contributions. No outrage there. Legal fees fighting special ed needs costs far more than any other legal debacles—and the district loses often. Ruby money wasn’t ever going to build Neal—Signature was. A particular superintendent (the same superintendent, mind you) blew that.

Who is performing this miracle? Students are succeeding, but it is a combination of great parents with higher education levels themselves (and the ability to pay for expensive tutoring), very dedicated teachers, and students who work hard to get top grades—many who get tutored to guarantee top/better grades. The district takes all the credit touting test scores, graduation rates, and college acceptance percentages. They shouldn’t take, and don’t deserve, singular credit. On the other hand, there is a learning gap—students who struggle, parents who can’t afford tutoring. It is embarrassing this gap persists in most districts. I don’t blame teachers for that; fixing it involves more than they can accomplish (I am not saying they are incapable; it’s about programs).

I am not, however, giving additional bond dollars at this time because the district might build a new gym at Amador in some distant future. The district knew about that gym and made Lydiksen the first priority instead, even though a teacher addressed the board about that need. The district has cashed in about $140MM in the bonding we allowed. Not much has been spent; none of it to add capacity; and there’s still $130MM more on the table. It is not time for a new bond. It would be putting our money in your piggy bank.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2019 at 11:54 am

Just for clarification: I'm not a teacher nor do I work in education.

Kathleen:
"Do you think adding exponentially to a homeowner’s taxes " -- google exponentially. Taxes don't rise exponentially.

You are just all over the map. You state that your ideal scenario would be for the district to add capacity so that the 200 kids are at their home school and would like to reduce portables and overcrowding district wide. Ok.

To accomplish this the district would need:
A) Build a new elementary school. Maybe two. ~60-120m ?
B) Reboundary.
C) Acquire land on North side. Not sure on this $$$$.
D) Very soon build another M.S. Land + Facility. $$$$$$.
E) Build another H.S. East side development? Huge money and the east side devlopment isn't ready yet.

I suspect that the reticence by the district to add significant capacity at E.S. level is because they are currently full at M.S. and H.S. Amador is at 2750? They don't have the land or the money to accomplish what they need. Schools in high performing districts fill to capacity.

So... Back to you. You are saying "no" to any new bonds. How are you going to accomplish your stated goals? Your goals need crazy money beyond just building one new E.S. If you are saying no to new bond money than you can not achieve your goals. So what are your goals again? I'm confused.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 30, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Exponentially:
1. (with reference to an increase) more and more rapidly.

A. They have $35MM and will build a “new school” at Donlon. $30MM to rebuild Lydiksen.
B. No current plan to change boundaries.
C. See A.
D. Highly likely a TK-8 school if East side is built.
E. No plan for any high school.

I am saying no to this bond at this time. There is plenty of work and funding to do what they committed to so far. There is also time to prove they can deliver on promises. Then a new bond. Sorry you are confused. I am not.


2 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 5:51 am

Taxes can not rise exponentially. Local school bonds are capped by the state. It may feel like they go up and up but they can not follow an exponential function. You are basing your no vote on feelings. You were "lied to", "promises were broken", etc. I don't think the district has even laid out the plan yet for the new bond. You should be required (you wanted to be on the school board, right?) to hear the plan before you declare "no".


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 31, 2019 at 7:37 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The district has a wish list, called the Facilities Master Plan. Every school listed everything they wanted. It adds up to around $800+MM more than the $270MM we just gave them. See Page 15: Web Link

It was noted during the first bond discussion that the $270MM would cost taxpayers (with interest) nearly $500MM. What will another $400MM actually cost us? And another $400MM after that? Those are dramatic increases that will last well beyond 30 years.

You ignore that those increases can have increasingly negative impacts on families if there is a downturn in the economy that you are also using as an excuse to go for this next bond now.

You ignore the addition of a PIO position to district staff rather than adding 2X to get a construction manager.

You ignore that little has been accomplished to add capacity.

No new high school (beyond any funding they can raise); no boundary changes (too unpopular); no real certainty regarding middle schools, except a hope regarding a TK-8; little concern for having accountability/tangible accomplishments for the $270MM. Your comments boil down to “just give them the money.”

I am basing my no vote on facts, not feelings. I served on the board once. I did try again. A good person won. I have kept up with what the board is voting on. Are you?


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 8:53 am

Wow. Interest is charged on bonds? Really. You totally shouldn't purchase that house because of the interest. Just buy it outright, duh!

Well aware of the FMP. It supports the argument that they need money which is obvious by just walking around and looking at the old facilities.

Yep, I support the bond money so that we can start addressing the needs of the facilities.

I don't agree with all of the districts decisions, but I accept the fact that mistakes and incompetence are part of the system that we have. I could attack those decisions and use it to as an excuse to save some money for my family which probably won't benefit from the new facilities directly...

Or..

I could realize that education has been underfunded in this district for a long time. Cough, Cough, prop 13. Bonds and Parcel taxes are required in Revenue Limit districts to properly fund public education. I support public education even when my kids will be out of it. What do you support?

Efficiency, Accountability? Very important. Very difficult to execute in a school district. Definitely strive and demand those things, but at the end of the day with that same attitude you would have voted "no" for every bond, tax, etc in the past 30 years. We know what the parcel tax failure cost us... 10+ years without CSR. We know what bond failures will cost us. Overflow, Overcrowding, etc.

If we were a community where the bond passage was a given, the district could better plan more efficiently.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 31, 2019 at 10:31 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, You realize most districts, cities, and counties have fought having to disclose the full cost of bonds precisely because many taxpayers don’t realize the actual/real impact of what they are voting for. Web Link

“I accept that mistakes and incompetence are part of the system” “Efficiency, Accountability? Very important. Very difficult to execute in a school district.” Absolutely incorrect! I can’t believe you believe that is acceptable. There are many districts managing bonds, parcel taxes, construction, and proper maintenance of their facilities. .

“my family which probably won't benefit from the new facilities directly” This community supported two bonds where the majority of our children lived through the construction and never benefitted from the end result. We have current kindergartners who will not benefit from either Donlon or Lydiksen. Yet their families and this community supported the last bond as well.

This district and then board(s) had an excellent reputation, and I supported unification and two bonds (1988-1997). The parcel taxes failures were self-inflicted. No one is to blame other than those who were in power at the time. Parcel taxes were NOT going to cover facility needs . . . “Overflow, overcrowding.” A decision was made to save operating costs and to place portables on current campuses instead. That cost hundreds of thousands ($200K if I recall correctly) for many more than 10 years. And we still have them and children are still overflowed and campuses are overcrowded.

“If we were a community where the bond passage was a given, the district could better plan more efficiently.” WE ARE that community. We gave $270MM and the priorities have been wrong from the first penny they received.

The district absolutely does not need the money now. You cannot say a bond has to pass now because it won’t pass during a recession, and ignore the impact any recession will have on very people you are taking the money from. “Give me your money now so we don’t have to worry. Sorry about the fact that you will have to worry.” Ludicrous.

The district absolutely cannot manage more projects than they currently have planned. They are having a hard time showing they can handle the projects they already have.

Continue to ignore the facts; try to make this about feelings; wholeheartedly endorse mediocrity as a standard operating procedure. Everyone here is working hard for what they earn; they are held accountable. I don’t think this community will accept less from the district in exchange for their money.

Let the district right the ship and prove themselves capable/accountable/efficient with the money still on the table.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Good plan. You will teach them accountability. You will show them how to be efficient. That's exactly how it works. Your no vote will transform the district.

You believe that overcrowding and overflowing can be eliminated with the bond money they already have. How did you get to that "fact"? Do you not care about overcrowding at H.S.? M.S? Amador is at a record I believe, 2750. Adding capacity at E.S. and M.S. will overcrowd H.S. more.

The primary issue is that they didn't ask for enough money the first time around...


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 31, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Gonna say this again, there is NO plan for a high school and barely a plan for a TK-8 school. That is not my fault. I know AVHS is well beyond capacity. So is Foothill. But you are clearly not understanding public K-12 education. “Adding capacity at E.S. and M.S. will overcrowd H.S. more.” Good heavens, no; that isn’t how it works.

Adding elementary capacity is to address students who are already here and who can foreseeably be predicted in coming years as housing is added. Read the demographer’s report. Web Link Public schools MUST take these children when they arrive in our community—they cannot be turned away. We are not luring students into elementary and thus creating a crisis in middle and high schools.

I got to that fact by doing the homework, by showing up at board meetings with spreadsheets proving the need for an elementary school, by presenting my case repeatedly, and then by getting the board to agree to carve out $35MM for a new elementary. THAT is how we are getting anything at all to address overcrowding at the elementary level.

They didn’t have capacity to ask for more money. They didn’t have support for more money either.

People don’t get promotions because they meant to do a better job. To earn that job, they will have to prove themselves capable of handling it, capable of meeting the goals; capable of delivering the desired outcomes. The district hasn’t earned the next bond. I will support it when they do.


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Posted by Fifty Years Here
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 31, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Fifty Years Here is a registered user.

I'm with Kathleen...
Anon, all your arguments make perfect sense, but they are not applicable to anything PUSD has done the past 25 years...
They've been given money and they've wasted it. They've extorted land, built nothing, then squandered it. They've passed a bond to build and modernize, and bought Chromebooks...


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 5:51 pm

Yep I found you odd and was confused by you Kathleen, but now I have perfect clarity.

I'm doing this because I want PUSD to be a high performing district with the students working in nice facilities. I didn't understand your goals, but I think I got it. You are in "it" for you. The Kathleen Ruegsegger School Board member Brand. You get to perform a slight pivot a be the "fiscally responsible", "accountability", candidate. I've seen that member before.

You might make it... You never know who will run against you. I hope there will be a better candidate. At best you will be mediocre, at worst a pariah. The exponential point was a test. Will she actual look into what an exponential function is? Will she correct herself? If you don't already know teachers salaries from surrounding districts and understand Total Compensation, SS, etc. etc and ran for School Board, then you are behind the curve.


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Posted by Ptown parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Some good points but really missing the real problem. This community should not give another penny to this school district without doing some looking in to the HR director and the incredibly dysfunctional running of the entire department. Yet they keep hiring more in HR and getting raises.

Im wondering how they cant even process substitute applications, the basics of their job! How many more applications for subs are sitting in that office without processing currently! Yet they are all set to blame the teachers for being absent now I hear. Not a sub problem...youre right JH...its a hiring problem, youre the problem and looking to place blame on everyone but your department. Real people have put in applications without a word from the district, real people have moved on to other districts because PUSD's HR would rather make it look like a teacher absence problem than their lack of ability to do their job. This is a small town, the horror stories from dealing with HR are spreading fast.

And our 'selfie' Superintendent! What a joke- he is responsible for the unbelievable mess HR, but you wont find him at work. He's off traveling to China and who knows where else, seriously, is he ever at work? Oh, but there are the photos! Everyone knows from his social media, he is all about just making sure he has his face at a school site once in awhile. And what about his raises?

Of course this is all the responsibility of the school board. You all want financial responsibility- ask the board why they approved the HR department to spend $15,000 for 4 days at Investigation Training! This is our district focus?

Those posting here...start doing your research on the real mess that is currently happening with the approval of our board and Superintendent. I agree with you...I wouldnt trust that leadership including the board to handle any of it.


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Posted by t
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 31, 2019 at 6:03 pm


"I wasn’t here when Prop 13 passed; as usual in CA, the wrong answer to a real problem" This statement proves you have no economic sensibility, knowledge of history or compassion to the people who were losing their houses due to run away property tax increases.

My two cents: No amount of money taken from the taxpayers will ever be enough money for anyone that works in the public school systems.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 6:06 pm

"you are clearly not understanding public K-12 education." hahaha That's classic. I've already lived out a similar scenario at another district. I've wasted my time in far too many school board meetings.

What is the first thing you do if you are moving to town and have a family? Research the school district and call them on availability. If you called PUSD for the last 10+ years they will tell you that your neighborhood school is impacted. There is an overflow waitlist. You either ride it out at another school across town, or you look at Dublin, SRV, etc. Because of slow growth and some bad district decisions (Ruby Hill), we have only added capacity slowly with portables where we can. The point is that we made the district difficult to move into. It capped our growth. If you build a new ES and/or TK-8 it will be full in 4 years. Then you will add portables. Probably need a re-boundary. Your lower grade capacity will spike. Then the wave will hit H.S. They are full already. If you can build another you might try like Dublin if you can pass a bond. If not, Amador and Foothill will be CRAZY.

If they go with a TK-8 on the east side I can tell you exactly how that will play out.

The sooner the district gets money, the better they can start to address the problems. They were surprised by the growth on the north side because the demographers assume lower numbers of school age children in condos. This is a mistake. The demand in the bay area for good schools far outstrips supply. Let me know when school attendance starts to fall off like the demographers predict. Maybe if H1B's all bail....


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 6:17 pm

Fifty Years Here -

Yeah, I wish the DO was better. But most districts aren't very good. Dig under the skin a bit and you will find massive issues. It is how the "system" is set up. They don't really control their budget and it can have wild swings. They feel like they can't plan because they don't control a lot of the variables.

Best case scenario you get a Super who worked his way up through the district and is really talented. Combine that with a good staff and a board that isn't outer limits and you have a shot. Super rare.

Voting a "Punitive" no against parcel taxes and bonds because of bad district performance just makes the district worse. Sorry, staff doesn't get better from a "no" vote.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 31, 2019 at 11:49 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, I am not running for the board; I did correct my terminology. I worked for superintendents/boards for 16 years. I absolutely understand total compensation, social security, and got quite the education about how education works. Great superintendents are not a rarity. This just is not a “starter” district. We have hired two superintendents who had no experience. One didn’t do well. The current one has an opportunity to do better. I hope he will.

The students at the elementary level are already here. The state took away the city’s housing cap, and the city had to allow additional growth. (And they have enjoyed the additional revenues growth is producing.) The district did use portables (much longer than 10 years) to address growth that occurred because of housing resales. The district was not at all prepared to address growth occurring because of new/additional housing and no housing cap.

Yes, Amador and Foothill are crazy already. There is, for a third or fourth time, no plan for a new high school. I’m not saying we don’t need new schools at 6-12. Read the demographer’s reports for a period of years. They indicate two elementary schools are needed (one now, one for the east side)—while using portables as permanent capacity (at staff direction, and not just current staff); they indicate no new middle or high school is necessary “if the district is satisfied with the current numbers” (paraphrasing there).

The TK-8 is a pipe dream at this point. We can hope the developer will donate land, maybe even build the school. There could be a land swap for Neal to accomplish it. Unknown how that will play out without all the people in the room: city, district, developers.

t, saying Prop 13 was the wrong answer does not mean an answer wasn’t needed. Corporate land owners got the better end of the deal. As this SF Chronicle article points out, we get a chance to vote in 2020, but even this solution is a mixed bag. Web Link

PP, I have been hearing about the HR debacle. I believe there is a three year contract in place (typical). That means a buyout, a slow process of not rolling the contract over every year, or a just as slow process of evaluating the person out.

Anon, Why would any district improve if you are prepared to be complacent about mediocre performance? There are communities with high expectations who have much better outcomes. All this district has to do is . . . Better. The last two bonds were nine years apart. The second bond succeeded because the improvements from the prior bond were obvious. The district has the time to get it right; no bond until they do.


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Posted by Just another person
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:04 am

If all these teachers go out and “get a real job” as many of you bitterly suggest, who is going to teach try to teach your kids while being disrespected by them and earning your contempt?


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 6:32 am

"Anon, I am not running for the board" Obviously not currently. So you aren't going to run for the board in the future?

Voting for the Bond and demanding better performance aren't mutually exclusive. You seem to think a no vote will increase DO performance. It will not. They will just shrug their shoulders and have to plan with less resources. Students suffer.

Give me a well run district... I will give you scandal. We haven't even broached Basic Aid districts. My last district was a total sht show. A board member was censured, terrible planning. But, that community passed multiple bonds and a parcel tax. A bond only needs 55%. If a community can't pass that they are really anti-education.

I know there is no plan for a HS... They have their blinders on or they totally understand what will happen when new capacity is added. Adding a new ES, or a super Donlon, will add students to K-8. Some of those students will be new, not just the overflowed ones. A new school is like a magnet for new students; just wait. The new students have to go somewhere. HS is full. It takes a few years for them to work their way up, but it is entirely predictable. As I said before, we have had an artificial cap on enrollment. The District makes it really hard for new students (non-K) with the overflow. Perversely, they unconsciously want attrition through bad experiences.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 1, 2019 at 10:50 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Nope. I had one four year term to give three years ago when I ran. I believe board members can stay too long and three of them have. My hope is that they will step down and allow three new people to bring new perspectives. Good people live here and are more than capable. I hope some will find the time to run and serve. I will support them if I can.

What I think is there is time. Nine years between the 1988 and 1997 bonds. Plenty of time to accomplish promised projects. Plenty of time to earn the next bond. Both bonds passed with overwhelming percentages as I recall. There is time. The district has not earned a new bond; they don’t need the money now; they can wait.

If expectations are low, that is what you will get. We claim to be one of the top districts on the backs of student scores, supportive parents, and dedicated teachers (and expensive tutoring). Shrugging shoulders is not an option. If a community doesn’t pass a bond (or a parcel tax), it is not because they are anti-education. This community has been more than generous—from families to businesses. The taxes fail because the district failed.

Adding a super Donlon addresses CURRENT growth. We needed that “school” years ago. Current housing is turning over. New housing is being built and many approvals are in the pipeline. Not adding that school means more and more students will be overflowed and the district will add more portables. It won’t stop the growth from moving through the rest of the system. There is no enrollment cap—artificial or otherwise.

“Perversely, they unconsciously want attrition through bad experiences.” No, no, no, no, no. Did I say that enough times? Each child brings thousands of dollars to the general fund. The district, the last time I checked, has not even put a moratorium on taking in students from other districts (inter-district transfers).

I served/worked in both revenue limit and basic aid districts. I worked with bad/good/great superintendents and board members. When high expectations are met, it is rewarded with community loyalty. I have high expectations.


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Posted by Hourly Pay Rate
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 1, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Anon / Kathleen -

You may want to clarify what you mean by "taxes".

Bond assessments are constant over time and do not increase. So your comment about the exponential function not applying is correct.

However, overall property taxes due increase as assessed values rise. Depending on whether you hit the Prop 13 limit on increased assessment or not, you could be seeing an exponential increase. Although given the rise in real estate, we are probably at the constant increase year to year due to hitting the Prop 13 max.


PS - I love the way Anon like to throw in his / her "tests" - are we sure this is not a teacher hiding behind "Anon". I have nothing against anonymous posters as using your real name puts you in the direct fire of all the "crazies" that post on this site.

To the Trump crazies - is it time yet to start blaming him for all this mess?


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 12:55 pm

HPR -

Nope, not a teacher. You should be able to tell that from my style. I didn't specify which tax because non of them rise exponentially in real terms. Maybe if we are in a hyper-inflation situation.... You are correct, a step function is appropriate.

I would never post non-anon. I've done that before. No thank you.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm

K -

So much goes right over your head.

There has been an artificial cap on enrollment. That cap is called parental annoyance. There is space left it the district and yes, they have to accept you. But, parents have a choice. If I have a choice to move into the north side and the schools are full, am I going to drive 30 min to Vintage Hill? Nope, I'm going to Dublin. Yep, the district gets ~8k per kid so they will accept transfers.... Where they have space that doesn't cost them anything. Once you add a super Donlon, it will be filled in a few years. Then portables. Then overflow again. The demand in the Bay Area exceeds supply.

I suspect that a lot of the parental angst on this thread is partially caused by the overcrowding at school sites. It effects everything but is kinda stealth. Again, teachers get the short end of the stick and have to deal with the consequences. Annoyed that you have to tutor? Maybe your teacher has to deal with one kid who is a threat to other students, 4 kids who shouldn't be at that grade level, and 1 crazy parent. This is out of 24:1 ratio. 20:1 was better, but you can't get back to that because some schools don't have the classrooms even with portables. When an ES is crazy big, you just have more crazy to deal with. There is only one principal. One really bad student can tie them up for a day.

We have time? 10 years? LOL. The FMP says that they need a ton of money... Walking around the district, you kinda have to agree. How about the Amador gym? Not essential? Not everyone is a jock? They had to turn away people at the homecoming dance because it was at fire code capacity. It was a Hot Yoga event in there. Terrible. What if we had an earthquake. Is that building staying up?



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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:38 pm

"Anon, Why would any district improve if you are prepared to be complacent about mediocre performance? "

If a district isn't going to improve because that is what good organizations and good people do, they aren't going to improve because Kathleen voted no on a bond.

If they don't have enough money to build and renovate infrastructure how are they going to get better doing those things? They will get worse or the next guy in 10 years will start over.

You had 10 years between bonds because you could get by with it before.... Slow growth was in effect and you could efficiently (from a $ standpoint) add portables.

You can't do that anymore.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Without even addressing growth or overflow, you could easily spend all of the current bond money and this new one on worthy projects. As you said, look at the 272 page FMP.

If you have high standards with a school district, you will be continuously disappointed and if you use that as a reason to vote no on needed projects, the students suffer, the teachers suffer, the parents suffer. The district has less work to do and can just shrug their shoulders and say that the community didn't want to fund the schools. Give me a single example where a no vote on a bond or parcel tax directly lead to a high performing DO. You can't because there is no link between the two.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 1, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Anon,
I disagree we can only limit solutions to the current constraints, when you are fiscally responsible with the money you have, by all means do whatever you want within your current constraints.
But when you come to me to fund something you can’t do without my money, then everything is on the table for discussion. I get to probe, challenge, constructively criticize the status quo and the “because that’s the way it is” answer doesn’t fly.

Again, I’d fully support higher pay for teachers, but that comes with a different performance and expectation measure.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 1, 2019 at 11:01 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

HPR, thanks for the clarification on taxes. I am pretty sure who anon is, but no need to go down that rabbit hole.

Anon, we are not going to have an agreement or even a compromise, clearly. Parental annoyance accounts for how many inter-districts transfers out of the district? Last time I checked, it was very few. Some choose parochial schools, If you don’t want to drive across town, you don’t want to drive to Dublin or Livermore or anywhere else unless you work in that community. There is no cap because we continue to accept inter-district transfers in. It’s a false narrative you are trying to create. There is not more support at schools because we can’t afford it (not explaining all that again). Larger schools have vice principals.

We don’t need ten years. We do need something tangible. Three years have blown by. What do you have to show for it? Nearly nothing. I would have done the Amador gym long before Lydiksen (again three years of nothing). Logical priorities matter.

Well, Kathleen is hoping enough people vote no, not just me. There is a message in failure. Improve. I am sure you didn’t get to whatever position you hold because you failed along the way and never learned/changed/improved. Portables, and spending years calling them permanent capacity, hid the problem of growth. Housing turns over; new families move in. It was hidden in plain sight. Build the Donlon “school”. We can talk about a bond in three to five years.

The current bond is earmarked already. There is $140MM bonded and largely unspent; $130MM still on the table. There is time. The money can stay in my piggy bank. It can move to your piggy bank in plenty of time for any new projects.

I will hold high expectations. We have them for teachers. We have them for students. I will not give DO staff and board members a pass on meeting those same expectations. I cannot reward their current inability to get their act together. These are smart people; there is no excuse.

I would support a parcel tax. PPIE works hard to fill that gap and have been successful. They fund specific functions. A parcel tax could have / should have done that too. Propose something. Otherwise, I support what PP said.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 7:45 am

"Anon, we are not going to have an agreement or even a compromise, clearly. " -- Oh, come on... We are almost there. You went from no bond for 10 years to a maybe in 3. In 30 more posts we will have worked it out. We also have you penned down for not running for SB again. This is productive!

You aren't seeing the cause of the growth. It isn't transfers. That is such a low # it doesn't really need to be talked about. I'm talking about NEW Pleasanton residents. Like if you have school age children you have a choice which city to move in at and where. Are you moving in to Pleasanton if the schools are full? Yeah, the vintage hills hood isn't going to dramatically grow because up there the housing caps enrollment and it is too long of a drive via residential streets from the other side of town. The north side is the new status quo. Stack and Pack Condos, townhomes, and zero-lot line homes. But, I can't move in with school age kids unless I want to drive across town. The growth on the north side was 100% predictable. But, they didn't. And we are behind the curve. That is the narrative.... You NEED to get them money earlier so we can have it in place before it reaches crises levels. Ideally, we start talking about the H.S. issues now so you can address it before the "crises".

One of the reasons we have had a delay is the Super turn over. We don't control that. Focus on what we can control as a community. A solid yes vote for needed facilities. Go ahead, demand high performance. Attend workshops. But "no" votes damage education directly. The don't punish the DO. A new Super will be around soon enough and had no part in the prior mis-management.

Read the full FMP. The need is there.



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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 7:54 am

PP -

"when you are fiscally responsible with the money you have, by all means do whatever you want within your current constraints." -- Schools will always have to come to the voters for new/renov facility bond money because of cough, cough prop 13. This is how it works in the current system. They will never be good enough (fiscally) for you because you have unrealistic expectations. They aren't a private company. They don't control their budget. They don't control their enrollment directly. They can't pay competitive total compensation. Too many variables beyond their control.

"Again, I’d fully support higher pay for teachers, but that comes with a different performance and expectation measure." - Great. But, keep in mind that after the dust has settled with the current negotiations, the teachers are only going to get a 2-3% bump with maybe a one time 1% bonus. This will barely COL increases and isn't really a "raise".

You want to change teacher tenure? Add some kind of a performance rating system? Great, then you would need to bump their salary way more than 2%; otherwise more teachers will bail.


4 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 2, 2019 at 9:00 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Governments should NEVER have "reserves".

Government provides NOTHING except administrative labor. Its budget is set based on common factors: manpower, supplies, building leases...etc.

"Reserves" are an overpayment by the tax-paying citizen. That check that most of you receive from State and Federal Governents is exactly the same thing: an overpayment of tax.

The money that the district has in "reserve" is OUR money. It is derived from property taxes and should be immediately payed back to the tax paying citizens.

If the district doesn't budget appropriately - and it clearly does not - then perhaps they should bring in someone that understands how.

I know, some of you will say things like," but what happens when we get into a recessions and the money dries up?"

To which I answer: layoffs and budget tightening. Just like the private sector.

This isn't hard.

Meanwhile, give the citizens back OUR MONEY.

Dan



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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 2, 2019 at 9:16 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

And for those lamenting the poor teachers. Pleasantons teachers are doing quite well.

1. They teach kids 5 hours per day. If there is any homework to correct they have the choice of doing that during their off-period or lunch or -gasp!- after school!

2. They get every major/minor holiday off, plus 3 weeks for Thanksgiving/Christmas

3. They get around 2.5 months off in the summer time.


Call me envious. I sometimes wish I hadn't picked a career in High Tech. I could have gone into teaching and made some pretty good coin by doing 1/3 less work, and way less quarterly pressure.

As an anecdote, I have a second cousin who lives in brentwood. He and his wife are teachers. They're constantly complaining that teachers don't get paid near enough. Meanwhile, he lives in a two story, 4000 sqft house, complete with Solar. Owns a ski boat, travel trailer, new cars...etc.

And the couple CONSTANTLY complain.

Stop the incessant whining about salaries and really look at the big picture here.

Dan


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

It's funny. I just read Tims latest blog regarding the States $533m tax surplus (over-budget) and I'm sitting here contemplating what this means politically and socially.

The democrats are always lamenting that there should be a minimum living wage. A good portion of democrats also advocate for a minimum monthly payment to the population, ostensibly to allow slackers to get paid for doing nothing.

Here we have clear example where the producers of society have exceeded in "paying their fair share", and what is the governments response?

'Screw you, we're keeping every penny of YOUR MONEY!'

How can anyone see this as being ethical and moral?

Dan


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 3:49 pm

the_real_anon is a registered user.

Dave -

I respect your position. It is consistent: You don't value public education and want a really limited government. You should totally move to a Libertarian Utopia.... Oh yeah, they don't exist!

"Government provides NOTHING except administrative labor. " -- Last time I checked the government provides you your freedoms so you can shout "get off my lawn". Defense, Sir, the common defense. A rather large slice of your federal taxation.

"Call me envious. I sometimes wish I hadn't picked a career in High Tech. I could have gone into teaching and made some pretty good coin by doing 1/3 less work, and way less quarterly pressure."

If you are working in "High" tech (greater than tech?) for 20 years and only making a Total Compensation of ~130k, you are doing something very wrong.


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 4:10 pm

the_real_anon is a registered user.

Dan -

"As an anecdote, I have a second cousin who lives in brentwood. He and his wife are teachers. They're constantly complaining that teachers don't get paid near enough. Meanwhile, he lives in a two story, 4000 sqft house, complete with Solar. Owns a ski boat, travel trailer, new cars...etc."

-- NIce anecdote. They sound like totally responsible people and you should definitely judge all teachers base on your n=1.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 2, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, 3-5 years isn’t now. If I’m going to be a politician, I just have to say circumstances changed and I’m answering the call.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 2, 2019 at 7:16 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

the_real_a,

Ha!

Nice one but, ahem, do you have any other comments about the rest of what I said or are you just breathtakingly snippy?

Dan


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 2, 2019 at 7:32 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

the_real_a,

"If you are working in "High" tech (greater than tech?) for 20 years and only making a Total Compensation of ~130k, you are doing something very wrong."

I assure you, I'm doing ok.

My greater point, obviously lost on you, is that our teachers make as much as the AVERAGE engineer when calculating hours actually on the job.

Now go out and play and leave the adults to their discussion.

Dan


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 9:09 pm

the_real_anon is a registered user.

Dan,

"My greater point, obviously lost on you, is that our teachers make as much as the AVERAGE engineer when calculating hours actually on the job." -- an adult and engineer brings data:

We are trying to capture averages here. Not I worked 80 hours during end of quarter. Everyone will exaggerate their hours and count lunches, dinner, etc. So there is some fluff on this.

Teacher: 185 contract days. Plus at least 10 extra days b4 and after the year. Plus 5 days for report card weeks. (I'm really shortchanging the high performers). Call it 200 days. Per day lets say 7-5. 10 hours. 2000 hours per year. These numbers will probably insult a lot of teachers.

Engineer: 52 weeks per year. 5 weeks vaca + sick + holiday. 47 weeks. 5 days per week. 12 hours per day? 2820 hours per year. I'm sure people will yell that they work 80, not 60 hours. Blah blah blah.

Teacher hours/ Engineer hours: 0.71

Teacher Salary: Starting 67,500. Max @ 20 year: 110,000

Engineer: Starting: 126,606 Max at 20 year: 175,000

Hourly wage:
Teacher: Starting: 33.75 Max: 55
Engineer: Starting: 44.90 Max: 62

This are just salary numbers. If you have been following along PUSD teachers don't get many benefits. Add in a pension number.... Plus 5-10k?

Engineer benefits: add in health 10-20k, 401k match 5-7k, options ??, food (hahaha)...
Total Compensation for starting engineer: 140k -150k
Total Compensation for Senior Engineer: $215K-$280K.

The engineer #'s are the average. Some are way above average. All the teachers are paid the same.

Did you follow me, Dan?

It is kinda close if you are just looking at salaries....


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 2, 2019 at 10:46 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

the_real_a,

Yes...I'm looking at salary, but lets go ahead and see what happens when we use REAL reference sources AND factor your benefits, shall we?

AVERAGE Senior SW Engineer salary: $147k

Meaning a range of (your numbers) $167k - $179k. I'm guessing at options and food.

Reference 1: Web Link
Reference 2: Web Link

Salary for entry level engineer: $98k
Meaning a range of (your numbers) $118k - $130k. I'm guessing at options and food.

Reference:Web Link

And 10 days before/after school and 10 hours per day top-line? You have got to be joking but I'll let it go.

You've ably calculated .71 as the difference in hours worked. Good job!

When I calculate the same for salary disparity I get the following:

Entry level teacher/engineer : .62
Senior level teacher/engineer: .68

I took the higher pension level for the teacher and averaged total comp for eng.

So...we see a disparity of pay between the two professions that is not as broad as your original numbers might suggest. Sure, they're wider for entry level, but this is probably due to supply and demand and the education requirement of STEM. However, on the whole, close to parity for the senior level.

Got anything else, dude?

So my main point stands...stop with all the whining. It gets tiresome.

Dan


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 6:31 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

"So my main point stands.." Really?

"Yes...I'm looking at salary," - Total Compensation. That is what matters. You think Ellison is working for free with his $1 salary? Teachers in Pleasanton don't really get any beyond the salary. The pension is diluted because they don't get SS. No health care. Engineers get a lot. Health Care. 401k match. Signing bonus. Options.

"we use REAL reference sources" Ha, we are both using Glassdoor. I'm using SF, you are using SJ. All the cool kids work in SF, only the old fogies work in SJ. By your own math, the engineer is making more.

So, salary wise, they are fairly close with engineers getting more. Factor in Total Compensation and it isn't even close.

Hours worked is difficult. Hard to compare two vastly different jobs. The tendency will be for the engineers to count lunch, dinner, etc... Engineers don't have the public bagging on them and telling them they don't know what they are doing and are "whining" if they are negotiating a 2-3% raise. Engineers would laugh at a 1% bonus.

Teachers salaries Max at 110k... The engineer can continue to climb after 20+ years and really take off if they go into management or become an expert. And we are looking at averages. The teachers all make the average. The engineer who is working 60+ hours is probably not average. They can be the high flyer who is above average and can really be rewarded. The sky is the limit.


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 7:04 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

So in summary, your statement was wrong. And that is intuitively obvious without the calcs.


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 7:15 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

People ASSume that public sector employees get great benefits and that isn't true with PUSD teachers.
No SS. No health care subsidy.
Hours worked are going to be highly individual.


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 7:20 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

Dan,

So, what would your Total Compensation paycut be if you instantly became a teacher? Most whom do that say that they take at least a 50% pay cut. You doing that tomorrow?

Fair Share. What is your prop 13 tax basis?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 3, 2019 at 7:21 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

t_r_a, I explained the health care issue for Pleasanton; they don’t get SS because they don’t pay in; I believe teachers can contribute to 403Bs. Not arguing about your other comments, just want to keep that part clear.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 3, 2019 at 8:38 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

the_real_a,

"So, salary wise, they are fairly close with engineers getting more. Factor in Total Compensation and it isn't even close."

Yeah? Try buying bread with options...

"By your own math, the engineer is making more."

True, but not by much, and not when you account for hours worked and education background. That's the whole point, genius. How old are you?

I know MANY teachers who double dip in real estate or tutoring who are doing quite well and I can only guess, based on my own experience, that they are on parity with the engineering profession. This also happens for retire military that I know, but that's another topic.

"So, salary wise, they are fairly close with engineers getting more. Factor in Total Compensation and it isn't even close."

No kidding...its been my point the whole time. And again, "Total Compensation" does not put food on the table.

The calcs work out and aren't far out of line especially at the top level EVEN with total compensation.

The rest of your input isn't worth MY time.

Dan





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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 3, 2019 at 8:40 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"So, what would your Total Compensation paycut be if you instantly became a teacher? Most whom do that say that they take at least a 50% pay cut."

None of your business. But after seeing my calcs, teachers should not be complaining about their pay.

Sincerely,

Dan


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 3, 2019 at 8:55 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

the_real_a,

BTW, your comparison of San Francisco Engineers to Pleasanton Teachers shows a skewing that seems very disingenuous (or maybe you're just not that bright?).

When I glanced at Pleasanton Engineers my calcs actually get better.

But you already know all this, right'? :)

Have a nice day.

Dan


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 9:02 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

"None of your business." "I'm doing quite well". Which means you are probably getting paid a minimum of 2X vs a teacher without looking at options. You are undervaluing the Total Compensation bit. Health care is 10k - 20k Minimum. In the last 10 years, stock option value isn't zero. We can bust out Black-Scholes if you want. Options don't buy bread??? LOL, nope, they are down-payments on houses if you picked the right company.

"No kidding...its been my point the whole time." Your "point" doesn't account for Total Compensation. Which means you have no point.

"teachers should not be complaining about their pay." -- they aren't on here complaining. After the negotiations they might get a 1% bonus and a 2-3% raise. Barely covers inflation. Doesn't include health care. Is less than surrounding districts. These are my points and they aren't well known.


2 people like this
Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 9:08 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

"t_r_a, I explained the health care issue for Pleasanton; they don’t get SS because they don’t pay in; I believe teachers can contribute to 403Bs. Not arguing about your other comments, just want to keep that part clear."

Yes, we know that. People lump teachers in with every other public sector employee that do get SS + pension. They lump them in the same pension narrative: "unsustainable, better than private sector, bankrupting state". They don't belong in that discussion and you have to devalue their pension compensation #'s because of the lack of SS "matching" value.

That is the point.


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 9:21 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

"disingenuous" -- Nope. The calcs are base on 60 work weeks for 20 years. You are much closer to that number if you work in SF.

In a higher post I said that comparing teacher salaries to tech workers is folly. Not a good comparison to make on any level.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 3, 2019 at 10:07 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

t_r_a, how did those few states like CA opt out of SS? Given the power of state teachers’ unions, is it another case similar to PUSD where the CTA opted to get more in their paycheck rather than contribute to SS? This is, after all, a very blue state where elected officials are counting on the vote of the teachers’ block. I don’t have the history behind the SS decision beyond what I posted, and devaluing is only fair if the unions weren’t involved in the choice.

There is information on the district website about the current impact of state driven pension increases. It isn’t sustainable. I think the answer is at the state level. I think every board, council, STRS, and PERS member should be hounding Sacramento for a better solution.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 3, 2019 at 4:02 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

the_real_a,

"Your "point" doesn't account for Total Compensation. Which means you have no point."

Look again...do the calcs yourself, but this time do apples/apples.

I don't have time to do your homework.

Thanks for playing.

Dan


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 3, 2019 at 4:07 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"In a higher post I said that comparing teacher salaries to tech workers is folly. Not a good comparison to make on any level."

Dude, for the last time, take a look at the calcs. They're close for the senior levels and moderately close for entry level when factoring for total time.

Geez...talk about being obtuse.

Be gone.

Dan


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 5:08 pm

the_real_anon is a registered user.

Dan,

I thought you were gone already.

Are you sure you are an engineer? You sound more like a manager with an engineering degree that hasn't done any real analysis for 20 years.

Originally, you made an outrageous statement without any data or calcs. I countered with data showing you were wrong. You backpedaled a bit and gave data that didn't include all of an engineers total compensation. Then you declare victory because they are "close and moderately close" by using your numbers that don't include everything.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

the_real_a,

"You sound more like a manager with an engineering degree that hasn't done any real analysis for 20 years."

I'm C-Level and I do PLENTY of analysis, technical and financial.

"I countered with data showing you were wrong."

You're demonstrably wrong. You compared SAN FRANCISCO SALARIES to PLEASANTON TEACHER SALARIES.

"You backpedaled a bit and gave data that didn't include all of an engineers total compensation."

Again, you're demonstrably wrong. I gave you SAN JOSE SALARIES (much closer to Pleasantons) and compared those with PLEASANTON TEACHER SALARIES. I included YOUR ESTIMATES FOR TOTAL COMPENSATION and found that the TOTAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE for ENGINEERS were still VERY SIMILAR to the TOTAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE FOR TEACHERS. In fact, at the senior level THEY WERE ALMOST THE SAME, WHEN ADJUSTED FOR ACTUAL HOURS WORKED.

"Then you declare victory because they are "close and moderately close" by using your numbers that don't include everything"

I used YOUR TOTAL COMP ESTIMATES!

Got reading comprehension? Do the math.

Geez...you must be 12..

Dan


1 person likes this
Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2019 at 6:25 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

This thread has gone exponential, it just keeps getting better and better.

"I'm C-Level and I do PLENTY of analysis, technical and financial."
-- You just couldn't help yourself there, right?

Dan: 50's. Executive at a "High" tech company. Brings in 300k-400k in salary. Total comp is bigly. Lives in a ~4000sqft, 3mill house, prop 13 taxes locked down. Constantly complains about taxation and inefficient government. Doesn't want to acknowledge that taxation at the federal and property tax level has never been lower.

"Try buying bread with options..."
"Total Compensation does not put food on the table."
"Government provides NOTHING except administrative labor"
"Call me envious. I sometimes wish I hadn't picked a career in High Tech. I could have gone into teaching and made some pretty good coin by doing 1/3 less work,"

And I'm 12 years old and live in my mother's basement.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 4, 2019 at 9:37 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"And I'm 12 years old and live in my mother's basement."

Wear it with pride.

Dan


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 4, 2019 at 9:39 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"Doesn't want to acknowledge that taxation at the federal and property tax level has never been lower."

Nice mis-direction ya got going there.

Listen up, pup: I will NEVER back down. I can do this ALL DAY LONG!

Dan


1 person likes this
Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2019 at 11:35 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

My calcs were solid and proved your statement as false.

Your calculations were wrong as I said. Here is why:
1) Your reference #1 was for a Senior Software Engineer. The link defines this as: "The typical tenure for a Senior Software Engineer is 2-4 years." We are trying to compare to a teacher with 20 years of experience. You should have realized your mistake when your calcs didn't agree with your entry level calcs. "Sure, they're wider for entry level, but this is probably due to supply and demand"

2) You were "guessing at options and food." and didn't include the medical subsidy (~20k family).

3) You have stated that "total compensation" doesn't somehow count as money. If a company subsidizes your health care 20k, that is 20k you don't have to spend. It is equivalent to salary except that there are tax advantages....

So, a 12 year old living in his mother's basement just annihilated a "C-level" high tech executive. Stick to golf and assign the analysis to your subordinates.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 4, 2019 at 3:21 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Here we go.

1." The typical tenure for a Senior Software Engineer is 2-4 years."

That's right. the typical 'TENURE'. In my experience, I have hired SENIOR SW Engineers for around the same salaries as the ones I linked. They're all had 10-20 years of experience in an average of between 5-10 companies. Go look up the word tenure.

2. "You were "guessing at options and food." and didn't include the medical subsidy (~20k family)."

Geez how obtuse. I was guessing on food and options because you didn't state a number. And by guessing, I mean I have some idea what it costs for each. Do you have any idea?

For medical, YOU guessed 10k-20k for medical and those are the numbers I used. Are you completely stupid?

3. "You have stated that "total compensation" doesn't somehow count as money. If a company subsidizes your health care 20k, that is 20k you don't have to spend. It is equivalent to salary except that there are tax advantages...."

I said a portion of total compensation doesn't count as money because I can't SPEND my medical benefit for necessities. I also don't get my medical benefit as taxable income. This isn't hard, pup.

Enough of this. Go talk to a therapist, you need one.

Dan


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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2019 at 7:24 pm

the_real_anon is a registered user.

Google: "years of experience for a senior software engineer"

-- it will be minimum 6 years for you to become a Senior Software Engineer. In average 9 years and will actually depends on you or your work

So 50% of what we are looking for or only 6 years.



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Posted by the_real_anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2019 at 6:17 am

the_real_anon is a registered user.

So, in summary:

Even when accounting for hours worked, software engineers make more than teachers on a salary basis, and software engineers total compensation exceeds teachers by a wide margin.

The only valid criticism of my numbers that you have proffered is that I compared PUSD teachers to SF engineers when you compared SJ engineers. I explained this rationale. SF engineers are more likely to hit the average 60 hour work week for all 20 years. 60 hours is a big number for an average employee. Sure, high flyers could be putting in more, but they are most likely above average. San Jose engineers are putting in a little less. Comparing to Pleasanton engineers is a bit problematic. There really aren't enough companies here. Big/small would skew the results. And the hours would have to come down.


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