Town Square

Facing layoffs

Original post made on Mar 20, 2009

School photos are usually memorable snapshots of the good times on campus. They are not like these shown on this issue's cover and these pages of teachers wearing pink because they've just received notices of possible layoffs.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 20, 2009, 12:00 AM


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Posted by Meghan
a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Good luck teachers! Growing up in the Pleasanton school district, I know how wonderful the curriculum is and I hope it continues!

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Posted by Julie
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Does the weekly think these teachers are the only ones being affected by this economy? I lost my job, and know many others who lost theirs, but our pictures are not on the front page of the paper.

If you want to see the real reason for schools, you have to blame this on the state legislature that has increased government spending by 40% over the last 6 or 7 years. The state representatives would love for us to pass a parcel tax so they can continually lower the amount they pay to the schools, somewhat like the lottery message I saw in another posting. If all these districts pass parcel taxes for schools, the legislators in Sacramento win (they get more money to waste on other items). The taxpayers loose and those districts with primarily low-income familes who cannot afford a parcel tax would loose. We would be much better off with the counties keeping our property taxes for the schools and allow the low-income districts fail. That is the direction we are going anyway.

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Posted by Disagree w/B
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm

It is unfortunate that these newest teachers have been told they won't have jobs in the fall. I know it is a legal requirement, but the budget isn't finalized until the end of June. I hope the best of them will be back.

I was dismayed to see that out of all the possible schools and 150 teachers or other employees who received pink slips, that the editor chose to feature one board member's daughters. Between the "Streetwise" question/answers and this article, you wouldn't know there is opposition to the parcel tax or options to address the estimated shortfall in other ways.

Also interesting is the superintendent's quote about not being able to count on one-time finds next year. Imagine if he remembered that when he was negotiating large wage increases or choosing not to put funds aside for "economic uncertainty."

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

Julie -- there is wording written right into the legal details of the parcel tax regarding the possibility that the state could take back a corresponding amount of funding for our schools. In that case, the parcel tax would no longer be collected.

The state legislature is certainly to blame for creating this crisis. The parcel tax is what we can do as Pleasanton residents to protect our children from the worst of the impact. In the long term, we will need to elect state legislators who will act more responsibly with respect to education funding. That's our responsibility as citizens.

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Posted by JBower
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm

20 teachers at Amador received pink slips last week. Yet the actual decrease being planned for is only about 8 positions! (103 current; 95 next year per Bill Coupe.)

Isn't that extreme overkill to hand out slips to two and a half times the number of actual positions that will be lost? It looks like the same type of inflated numbers are happening at all the schools.

I can understand the teachers' frustration but shouldn't they be directing their anger at the district for putting so many extra teachers in this position? Shouldn't they be angry at the union for not getting into serious negotiations back in January so the pink slip deadline would not have to affect so many?

Instead they seem to be directing that frustration towards parents and the community which of course, is exactly what the ditrict wants. And the Weekly is just helping them with their efforts.

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Posted by Julie
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 20, 2009 at 6:31 pm

How was Pat Kernan able to vote to put the parcel tax on the ballot when he has two family members who received pink slips? That seems like a conflict of interest to me.

Sandy, the board previously talked about the possibility of lowering the tax if more money came in and they were told that was not possible. Once it is voted on, the assessor has to do the assessment of this tax until it terms out or is overturned by another vote. What is voted on by the people can only be changed by a vote of the people. What you are referring to is the language in the resolution that says if the state adds a law to lower the payment to a district by the amount the district receives as a parcel tax, this tax would no longer be collected. First, the state is not going to do such a law, and second, if they did, I don't think legally the district could remove the tax. That clause in the resolution was placed there to confuse people into thinking that if the district got more money that the tax would go down.

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 20, 2009 at 7:02 pm

The front page took me aback and gave me a sense of indignation. These teachers are still employed, were given notices because their union contract requires it, and most likely the majority of the faces in the picture will be back in fall. In the private sector, you are given notice when you no longer have a job!

Put on the front page of the Weekly the faces of real unemployed, who are all around us. They have paid the taxes that provides the teacher's step and column increases irrespective of Great Recessions!

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Posted by john
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Mar 20, 2009 at 7:11 pm

on the streetwise page of this weeks PW, 5 people interviewed - all in favor of the parcel tax -what were the odds on that?
Guess no point in voting against it

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Posted by Disagree w/B
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Streetwise usually lists a location--this one says "around town." They seem hand picked. The cover photo, the article's lack of coverage about the opposition on the blogs, and the previous editorial: one sided coverage.

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Posted by Jeb Bing
editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Mar 21, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Jeb Bing is a registered user.

Just a reminder that we are restricting all posts related to the June 2 parcel tax measure to registered users of the Pleasanton Weekly Town Square forum. We have found that this keeps the conversations more civil and focused without any restriction on what posters say or the opinions they express.