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how could class sizes stay small if measure G does not pass?

Original post made by Sandy, Mohr Park, on May 25, 2009

I don't see how it will be possible for class sizes to stay small if measure G fails. I made a previous post with the title "No on G guarantees larger class sizes". Some argued back, but I'm still not sure how to make the budget balance, and not cut class size reduction.

Could someone show me the numbers?

Here's my understanding of the situation. If I have misunderstood something, please let me know.

CSR costs the district $2 million per year.
Measure G would provide that $2 million for the next 4 years (as well as $2.5 million for the other types of expenses named in the ballot text.)

The district's costs are going down next year, because they will be laying off some people. The district's revenue is going down, because the federal stimulus money does not fully counteract the state budget cuts for next year. (It may mostly counteract the cuts made during the current budget year, and the state cuts that were announced in February. But the state cuts that the governor announced on May 20 total about $8.6 million for next year, in addition to the earlier cuts.)

We wish we had larger reserves, but we don't. How do we move forward without increasing class sizes? Where do we get that $2 million from, and what else gets cut to balance the budget?

How much of a pay cut would we have to ask for, from the teachers' union? $10.6 million is what percent of the total amount spent on teacher salaries? (I think it's like $100 million, but I'm not sure and I haven't had a chance to look it up or ask Luz Cazares.)

Let's say PUSD asks for, and the union agrees to, a 5 percent pay cut, for next year. That's $5 million. So we would still have to cut $5.6 million. What would those new cuts be? Instructional materials total about $1 million per year, I think. How much does it cost to keep the grass mowed on the school fields? We could probably do without that. What else would need to be cut to keep CSR?

I'm not asking these questions to frighten anyone. I'm really trying to understand.

I am going to ask that anyone who wants to comment on this thread registers for an account. You can use your real name or not, of course.

Comments (8)

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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 25, 2009 at 11:15 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Freeze S&C increases and you have now just freed up $15 million. Seems pretty easy to me.

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 25, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

I'm trying to balance the budget for next year. Freezing s&c for one year saves $1.5 million.

The state cuts that the governor announced on May 20 total about $8.6 million for next year, in addition to the earlier February cuts.

-(8.6)+(1.5) = negative 7.1 million

This is why I believe that salary cuts (or some other savings cut) are needed to balance the budget without touching CSR next year.

What percentage of salary cuts are we willing to ask for? The zero raises and zero cuts position does not balance the budget.

A 5 percent salary reduction does not balance the budget.

If my estimate is right (that total salaries spent for teachers is $100 million per year), we would need a 7 percent pay cut to balance the budget and keep class size reduction.

Or, freeze salaries (including s&c) and lay off more teachers (just not the K-3 and 9th grade ones who make CSR possible.)

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Posted by tax revolt 2
a resident of Country Fair
on May 25, 2009 at 1:05 pm

tax revolt 2 is a registered user.

Sandy - It is the job of the Board of Trustees, the Superintendent and the administration to balance the budget. PUSD refuses to tell the voters what their plan is until after June 2.

Why are you asking the general public to ' me the numbers'?

That is PUSD's job (and the job of their Save Pleasanton School Committee proxies) and so far their silence could either be deliberate voter deception, bureaucratic arrogance, or they just don't know. Whatever, the proper voter response is to...

Just Say No.

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 25, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

I have been asking the trustees, both in public, and in private, how they plan to deal with the budget cuts.

I have seen their plan based on the February cuts. I have about 30 pages of information I have received when attending board meetings.

The newest cuts were announced last Wednesday. The next board meeting is Tuesday night. I think it's reasonable to give them 6 days to come up with an adjusted plan.

I'm asking the participants in the debate if they have different ideas, or if their only answer is "NO." You don't have to answer if you don't want to.

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Posted by Kristine
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2009 at 7:46 am

Kristine is a registered user.

But what are average class sizes in other grades? Why is kindergarten so special? I know plenty of kids at Amador who are in 28-kid math classes.

Yeah, I think more layoffs are inevitable. But if measure G passes, they should use the $$$$ for what they said they would. Counselors!

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 26, 2009 at 8:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Has the district yet looked at how much they could shuffle from Adult Ed. without losing Adult Ed. completely?

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 26, 2009 at 10:22 am

Sandy is a registered user.

Somewhere I have a spreadsheet with all the categorical funds that the state has given districts flexibility to use for other purposes. I think adult education is one of those categories.

I'll see if I can track down that spreadsheet.

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 26, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Sandy is a registered user.


tonight Superintendent Casey and Luz Cazares said they expect to be able to shift $1 million into the general fund because of the categorical flexibility the state provided. They did not specify which categoricals they would be shifting, so I don't know if that's from adult education or some other categorical. And the board may choose to shift more, when they vote on June 22.

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

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