Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - April 8, 2011

Letters

No on parcel tax

Dear Editor,

I am a Grandparent of a child in the Pleasanton Unified School District, and I am going to vote no on Measure E, the Pleasanton Parcel Tax. Given the school district's past accountability and the current state of the economy, any increase in property taxes is simply wrong.

I for one also believe that it is extremely unfair, if not unjust, for seniors to vote for a tax increase that they can avoid paying. This places a burden on young families, many of whom are struggling financially. The pro tax people are counting on seniors to win this election for them. I wonder just how many seniors understand that they will have to reapply every year for the exemption. If you forget to apply every year, you will pay the tax. They are counting on seniors forgetting. Check out the facts at www.pleasantonparceltaxinfo.com.

Please join me in rejecting this tax increase. Vote no on Measure E.

Dorene Paradiso-Carroll

Parents are responsible

Dear Editor,

Measure E goals are noble, but in reality credibility is lacking that Pleasanton teachers and staff can implement them. Let us just consider the first in the measure.

Emphasize core academic instruction that improves math, science and reading skills. Teaching staff is generally not qualified to teach math and science and this is true throughout the U. S. The majority of teachers are overwhelmed when it comes to teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to students at all grade levels. This is evidenced by the need to pay extra for "science specialists" in elementary schools. Instead we should require that every classroom teacher be capable of teaching STEM.

The measure goes on to address accountability by creating an independent citizen committee to oversee and ensure the use of the funds for these purposes. There are no metrics for this. How will they know that money is being used to improve math and science skills? They won't.

Quality of Pleasanton Schools. What amazes me is that everybody ignores the quality of their children and the culture and upbringing that parents contribute, which in reality is responsible for the intelligence, capabilities and achievements of their kids.

Frank Doljack, Ph.D.

Volunteer says Yes on E

Dear Editor,

As a Kinder volunteer I have found it increasingly difficult to navigate the classroom with class size increasing each year. If our students matriculate to university they will have ample opportunity to adjust to auditorium style teaching; shouldn't we give them individual teaching in their primary grades?

One writer decried the use of Science Specialists suggesting the teachers are not capable of teaching science. The teachers are teaching the principles of science very effectively, while the science specialists apply the science with hands-on experience for the students with beakers, balance beams, crystal farms, marshmallow/toothpick molecules, microscopes, etc.

I am a BookLegger presenting book talks with fifth-graders. As I go into classrooms I find a collegial atmosphere, not the pedantic role I experienced as a child; interested students, not afraid to question or challenge an adult; and a depth of knowledge that inspires me. Does this scare me? No. Make me work harder? Yes.

As a septuagenarian I have the opportunity to opt out. I will not! Instead I am considering the following budgetary options:

1. Fewer In-N-Out Burgers, saving $10 per visit

2. One less trip to Tahoe; saving $100 in gas round trip

3. Foregoing four cases of Two Buck Chuck, saving $96 over "X" months

May I suggest?

1. Volunteer in your local classrooms; it is a special part of my day -- you'll love the experience.

2. Vote, affirmatively, for Prop. E.

3. Put on your thinking cap to find ways to find methods to solve the fiscal issues of our district, state and nation.

Walter Bolling (aka Mr. Walt)

Support Measure E

Dear Editor,

As local business owners and Pleasanton residents, we commend the high standard of learning our kids have received and want that tradition to continue for many years to come. As we think back, we are reminded about what actually enticed us to move to Pleasanton: It was the schools.

We've had three children pass through the Pleasanton school district and although we don't have children enrolled in Pleasanton schools at this time, we wholeheartedly support Measure E.

At $98 year, Measure E makes sense. It's good for kids, good for our community and will help protect property values.

Measure E funds will support core academic instruction that improves math, science and reading skills. What's more, every penny will stay in our community and can't be taken by the state.

Our children's education shouldn't be subject to the whims of California politics. Pleasanton schools have already reduced spending by $19.4 million. That's 67 fewer teachers, fewer days in school, less support for libraries, art and music programs and fewer courses offered in high school. There is nothing left to cut.

Please join us in preserving quality education. When you receive your Measure E ballot, mail it back with a Yes vote.

Carol and Jerry Rosenblatt

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