SHARED SACRIFICE has to be the common thread in any solution to the PUSD budget crisis. At the recent Budget Advisory Meeting, I proposed that all parties be involved in SHARED SACRIFICE for the good of our education system. It was met with a positive response. The major constituents at the meeting felt that all issues were on the table to solve the crisis. There were no sacred cows.
In industry during a down business cycle, a strategic organization looks at the type of company they want to end up with. Once that has been agreed upon, the stakeholders need to determine what sacrifices need to be made. Invariably there is pain, but the pain is shared by the people who have a passion to deliver a quality product and ultimately build a better organization.
In the case of our PUSD crisis, the stakeholders are the district, the union employees and the community at large. I believe that the only tenable solution to this massive problem is for each constituency to share in the pain to ultimately solve the problem. The administration has to do more with less. The union employees need to understand that perhaps taking a reduction in their salary will enable some of their colleagues to continue to work and still deliver a quality education. The community has to realize that the prior two constituents cannot solve the fiscal problem alone. We need to step up and realize that the quality of life that we have in Pleasanton is very closely connected to our safe neighborhoods, active sports programs, academic excellence and overall concerned citizenship. These are in large part due to our great school system.
As someone who dislikes paying taxes as much as anyone, I cannot see how we can avoid some sort of parcel tax. One that is focused and limited to solve the critical programs that we would otherwise loose in this down business cycle.
SHARED SACRIFICE is a plan that we should all get behind. I invite all of the usual naysayers in the blogosphere to come out from behind their computer screens and participate in the process. Several community forums are scheduled as well as School Board meetings and it is time to really engage in a meaningful manner.