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Pleasanton school district to consider layoffs of classified union members

Original post made on Apr 16, 2013

Even as it's hiring counselors, custodians and assistant principals, the Pleasanton School Board will consider laying off the equivalent of more than 11 classified employees at its meeting tonight. That includes instructional assistants, a library specialist and the equivalent of more than three special needs assistants.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 7:23 AM

Comments (19)

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 16, 2013 at 9:03 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The district reported a $12 million windfall, can hire coaches for teachers that it appears no one wants, and is going to cut 11 classified jobs that work directly with students. Meanwhile, the deputy superintendent is (a) controlling and reporting the financial numbers (b) got a new job title, (c) a car allowance of $7,200 rolled into the salary, (d) other monetary perks, and (e) cannot, thus far and despite a string of public information requests dating back to January, produce documentation to support the $2,511 discrepancy between the old and new contracts for the position.

And this apparent (big) surprise . . . "the budget update is set to run five minutes . . . Some reports are saying much of the money that was to be directed to education could be eaten up by paying down the state's debt to CalSTRS (California State Teachers Retirement System)."

Sure, five minutes is all that should take.

Posted by Concerned parent, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Apr 16, 2013 at 9:14 am

The rich make sure they line their pockets well, and get richerr. The poor get poorer. Doesn't this sound familiar. This is how the rest of the world operates. Why should we be different?

Posted by Typical, a resident of California Reflections
on Apr 16, 2013 at 9:53 am

The PUSD's priority is on administrator salaries and fancy flat screen TVs ($10,000) for the superintendent, not teacher aides and special education aides that work directly with students.


Posted by David, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

The superintendent really needs to go.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I admire the district's management model:

If potential reduction in state funding, then initiate teacher layoff.

If potential reduction in state funding does not materialize, then initiate teacher layoff and increase administrator benefits.


Posted by Russ, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm

That's because the district's management is part of the public sector, which is part of the state. And the state is evil. Only the private sector is virtuous. Because there's competition. That keeps everybody honest.

All former Enron employees

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 17, 2013 at 7:41 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Questioning proposals/decisions is fair game, private or public. And that letter could be signed by everyone who pays any kind of tax or owns any shares, either personally or through a pension plan.

Posted by Chemist, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:29 am

We can afford administrators at $200,000 pay for nine months of hardly working. We cannot afford the aides, secretaries, assistants, and other people who actually do the hard work. We need to get rid of this superintendent, we need to turn over the school board, and we need to continue voting NO on each and every attempt to initiate a parcel tax or float a bond.

Posted by olfthfl, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:41 am

Chemist - My sentiments EXACTLY!

Posted by Lee, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

Chemist: I agree! We spend too much on administrators, not enough on aides, secretaries etc. The special ed. teachers really need their aides! This segment of students needs all the help they can get!! Spend the money on the students; not more admins.

Posted by hmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm

This is ridiculously unfair to the classified staff, students and real teachers. The teacher's teachers thing is a joke and is costing a fortune. The board said that they were "scared" about what they were doing, but they still did it.

Posted by Scott Walsh, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm

So folks, what are you going to do about this? Yak and complain or go down to the meeting and voice your opinions and say "No"! Start a Recall if you feel the Board is not doing what you want-----but you have to act, not just beat your gums. Electeds can be replaced and so can some of these "high priced" so called educators. They are not educators in my mind, just more administrative "overhead". Juanita Haugen must be looking down on this mess in shock. Parents need to take control and demand their Board represent them or boot them out, simple as that. You got to be there and disagree, not complain in a blog.

Posted by 4 Kids in College, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

This problem with bloated administrations is a generic thing. Unless the voters take specific action to give these bloated administrations a haircut, they just keep fattening up at the slop trough. In the city we lived in before Pleasanton, voters finally had a gut-full and passed a measure that capped the percentage of the district budget that could be spent on administration. That resulted in 50% of the administrators being terminated. Also, the average compensation of those remaining was cut by 25%, mostly by cutting outrageous perks, benefits, and pensions. The result was a significant improvement in administration efficiency and effectiveness, improved clarity of purpose(a shot across the bow can do that), and more money to the classrooms for class-size reduction. It's time that the PUSD administration got a similar haircut.
The sad reality is that a high percentage of school administrators are former teachers that could not cut in the classroom -- teachers that could not teach. A high percentage of these people also went into administration because of the higher salaries. Their motivation is money, not educating. Also, many administrators have not taught for years, if not decades. They need to "learn by walking around". The best way to do that is to require each and every administrator to teach one class per semester (with 40 kids in the class). In most colleges the deans and assistant deans are all required to teach a class. What a great learning experience that would be for local school administrators.

Posted by Take this down PW, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm

As long as Luz gets hers --- who cares about those peons --- let them eat cake!

Posted by Marie, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm

@4 kids in college - good idea to have administrators linked to teaching a class. Years ago, our high school deans taught one period. Not all of the administrators are qualified to teach a classroom. For example, I don't believe the deputy superintendent, Ms. Cazares holds a teaching credential.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I would LOVE for the administrators to teach a first grade class, including kids with special needs, advanced kids and those who don't speak English at 30-1.

Posted by Chemist, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

Administering a school system requires a different skill set than does teaching a first grade class. Get real, folks. We don't need our administration to learn how to teach; we do need our administration to earn their money. Our $250,000 per year Superintendent needs to do her job and quit hiring other people to do her job. Right now, we are not only hiring other people, we are hiring them from distant communities and paying for their gas and car depreciation so they can drive in to Pleasanton using "education" funds. Good grief, imagine how great the Pleasanton schools would be if we spent the money allocated to education on education. We might be able to reduce the number of Kumons, Sylvans, Huntingtons, and all the other "education centers" around town, and actually educate our kids in our schools.

Posted by hmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:47 am

I do think they need to see the real world before they make decisions to cut CSR in favor of teachers for our highly trained and well educated and experienced teachers. But totally agree the admin costs / headcount needs to be cut.

Posted by Unions, not, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Apr 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

If it involves firing/laying off union members, I'm fine with it. I think any bozo off the street could do a better job than the union sandanista teachers we have indoctinating are kids with socialist propaganda.

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