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PUSD Tustee Grant 'Steps' In It

Original post made by Nomad, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Jan 6, 2011

What motivation would Trustee Grant have for misleading the public about the teacher's Step and Column salary schedule?
In the video (see Web Link) taken from the last school board meeting, Grant says salary increases are "simply our educators continuing their education."
Wrong, Trustee Grant.
'Step' is an annual increase in salary that is granted simply for being employed another year. ''Column' is an increase in salary granted for attaining a new level of education credits.
At a time when trust in the school board needs to be growing in preparation for the upcoming 2/1 parcel tax vote Web Link, what would be the purpose of such a blatant mis-step?
Who can the voters trust for an accurate representation of the state of PUSD financials?

Comments (8)

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Posted by Looking for info
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I went on the PUSD website to read the agenda for next weeks meeting to see if the Board will be voting on Parcel Tax issues. The 2011 meetings and agenda's are not available on the site as of today. Did the Board say at the last meeting that they would be voting on that issue at the 1/11 meeting?

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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

No parcel taxes till we see some paycuts for the top administrators and overhead.

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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

The agenda has been posted with no mention of a parcel tax. Supt. Ahmadi said the plan is for a board vote on 2/1. Web Link

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Posted by t_time
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Has Trustee Grant clarified his comments yet?

Here's the transcript of the video:

Grant: "There’s a lot of talk….uh…about …uh…. step and column…we hear it often as board members and its…its (it think) mis..mis perceived as ..ah.. increases and in fact it is not that….it’s it’s simply …um… our educators continuing to (um) their educations to be able to contribute more back to our school district. But even with that when you look back to 2009-2010 we had a step and column (ah…ah) increase of $1.6M (um) which on a percentage basis is…is….is very small across the overall teaching population. But, we had givebacks or salary…voluntary salary reductions equivalent. And Then 2010-11, this year, again, step and column of 1.6 and salary reductions of $4M across our employees, our teachers, and our management. (um) 2 and a half times step and column. So the reason we are able to have a balanced budget is because of employees of this district. Make no mistake about it."

The take away here is in one sentence he says (paraphrasing) "step and column is mispreceived as increases and in fact it is not that". Two sentences later he says: (paraphrasing) "But even with that when you look back to 2009-2010 we had a step and column increase of $1.6M".

When dealing with fiscal matters, especially concerning our children's education, elected leaders must be honest and forthright with the citizens they serve. If this trust is breached, it is the citizens duty to respond and hold them accountable. Thanks DCOT.

I will be contacting Mr. Grant via email avail from PUSD and requesting he post a clarification to the community on this blog.

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Posted by Not surprised
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Grant has always just rubber stamped anything the administration requests. Remember when he agreed with Casey about bringing back recently laid off administrators (for a few months) in order to not affect their pensions?

I am not surprised Grant is not informed about what step and column is. I would not be surprised if he refuses to clarify his comments to the community. After all, Pleasanton foolishly elected him and Bowser (I did not vote for either one of them).

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Posted by marie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

So either he doesn't know what step and column is or he's misleading us . . .? Great . . .

Increases are not a good choice in this economy. We need the money to keep our teachers, not increase payments to some of them. Even pensioners haven't got cost of living increases for the last two years. Any extra money collected from the public should go to keeping the school in as best shape as we can for the kids.

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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Trustee Grant appears to be parroting the teachers union doublespeak (Web Link) where a raise is not a raise, yet when you look at PUSD's latest teacher scattergram Web Link , about 50% of the teachers received a raise last year. And statistically, 20% of the non-teaching staff will get an increase in their longevity bonuses as well.

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Posted by GX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I will not vote for any parcel tax if any step/column increases are contained in current union contracts. Economic times do not warrant this.

And this is coming from a parent who has donated significant money every single year my kids have been in school and donated the equivalent amount as requested the last time the parcel tax didn't pass.

Unions are completely out of touch with economic reality these days.

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