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District asking School PTA groups to donate $5000 to PPIE

Original post made by Bait and Switch, Foothill Knolls, on Mar 17, 2014

I have heard that the PUSD is asking that all PTA's in our district donate $5000 of PTA money to PPIE . Last time I checked, I am pretty sure my donation to PTA was being used to fund programs at the school my child attends. I have already donated to PPIE and don't feel that it is appropriate to use part of my money that I donated to PTA to help fund PPIE. If PPIE needs more money to reach its goal for CSR in K, then they should be out there doing drop and donate days or more fundraising. The additional funds that are needed, should not be coming out of PTA funds.

Comments (34)

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Posted by Confused
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm

How can PTA donate money that was donated to them? I think they should help support PPIE 's effort, but should not do it by donating money that was donated to them.

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Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Mar 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Wait, so if I choose to give my $ to my school they can then go donate that money elsewhere? Are you kidding me? PPIE lost my support a long time ago. My PTA might be next.

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Posted by general member vote
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm

If this is true, and PTA boards actually think this is a good idea, then it should most definitely appear on every school's next association meeting agenda so members can vote appropriately. If I donated to my school's PTA, then I would expect that money to be kept at the school, or I should be asked if I want it donated elsewhere.

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Posted by huh?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I'm not surprised by this as I understand donations to PPIE really dropped off with the WG situation. And now who knows what the issue at Hart is, but I think its probably not going to be pretty given the teachers are now making it public at board meetings in meeting open to the public.

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Posted by Not donating my money
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm

So because the district screwed up with the WG situation, donations have dropped off for PPIE? And what does the district do, they go after PTA's money to make ends meet. Not my money, if our PTA tries to vote on donating money, I will rally people to vote against it. Why doesn't the over paid superintendent and her cronies give up some of their spending money to cover the deficit to fund CSR in K

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Posted by Mathematician
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Approx. cost of the WG debacle: $300,000 (and counting)

Approx. cost of CSR: $300,000

Way to go PUSD! ...and then we wonder why we can't pass a parcel tax in this district! Maybe it is because you have lost the trust of your voters.

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Posted by Bylaws Betty
a resident of Old Towne
on Mar 18, 2014 at 12:06 am

Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the organization shall not carry on any other
activities not permitted to be carried on (i) by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under
Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) by an organization, contributions to which
are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code;

This from PTA bylaws. Why should PTA raised money go to PPIE? One, it is not allowed and two, if parents wanted their money to go to PPIE directly, they would donate directly. Also, PPIE is at every walk- thur registration and because of this, most PTAs have revived fewer donations - mostly because people get confused - not sure about the difference between the two organizations.

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Posted by PTA->PPIE->PUSD WG fiasco
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Mar 18, 2014 at 1:06 am

After what has happened with the WG situation, I've come to the conclusion that the allegations are all false, PUSD has no integrity, the community has no trust in PUSD, and that is that. The money grab for school site PTA funds to go to PPIE to then go to PUSD in order to cover the cash outflow caused by the Superintendent-led WG witch hunt is disgraceful.

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Posted by Rory
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Mar 18, 2014 at 8:30 am

I believe PTA cannot move funds to another group unless voted on by the parents and teachers at that school site. If it is listed in the school budget to donate to PPIE they would have to also vote to increase that amount by parents and teachers. Both groups PTA and PPIE are out there to help the children not to work against each other.

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Posted by TB
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 18, 2014 at 9:07 am

I approached the PPIE rep working the table last Thursday (at Kdg. round-up) with this question (after hearing that this was being voted on at other schools). My initial PPIE contact seemed to think that this was odd and walked me over to ask Joan Laursen (who is on the school board and the PPIE board... a little conflict of interest in my opinion). Joan responded with siting a lot of codes and telling me it was not illegal. After she spoke I asked my question again, "Did the PPIE board or school board ask PTAs to donate this money to PPIE?". She never answered my question. She continued to go down the path of legality and didn't want to address the issue of morality/ethics.

This interaction highlighted a few issues for me personally. First, as an elected official, I believe you have a responsibility to answer my questions. It appears to me that some members of this board are not willing/or think that they have no responsibility to do so. I was not argumentative or confrontational, just a parent with a question. Please answer me. Inform me with honest answers and give me the facts. Second, it highlighted the fact that this probably did happen. Either the school board or the PPIE board did request the funds. If they hadn't she would have said "no" without hesitation. Thirdly, her citing of codes and legality suggests that Joan knew this would not be well received by the general public.

According to the PPIE website:
What is the benefit of donating both to my student’s school and to PPIE?

The efforts of your PTA or PFC along with those of PPIE are critical and complement each other in our common goal to support a high quality education. Similar to a washing machine…you pay a water bill AND a power bill to make the washing machine work. We strongly encourage you to support both efforts to provide a solid educational experience for your student(s).

PPIE can fund programs and services that are district-wide which students benefit from at each site, such as teachers for smaller class sizes in elementary and additional class sections for middle and high school. In addition, PPIE can help fund district-wide technology needs. This ensures quality programs for all Pleasanton schools.
Parent clubs, such as PTA and PFC, can fund needs at particular school sites that enhance the learning experiences within the classrooms, such as school site expenses for computers, equipment, and supplies.

So while many of us have given to both funds, PPIE (or the school board- still not sure since Joan wouldn't answer my question) is now saying they need more "power" and are willing to take from my school site "water fund" to accomplish their goals? I'm confused.

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Posted by K Chase
a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 18, 2014 at 9:26 am

That high of a dollar amount would most definitely need to be voted on by the PTA or PFC, unless it had already been in the budget and this would have had to be voted on at the end of last year for this year's budget. If you are concerned you should email your PTA or PFC president and ask them about this. They should be able to let you know if it is already in the budget or if it is going to be proposed to be put in the budget at the next meeting.

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Posted by Bait and switch
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:00 am

@TB, I know for a fact that the requests for PTA to donate money to PPIE was a result of PPIE requesting the board to ask PTA's and the board agreed. I have asked friends of mine who are involved at WG and they told me that the PTA did not have a line item in their budget this year to donate money to PPIE. That being said, they would need to vote on it at a general membership meeting in order to increase the budget. I suggest you email or call the PTA president at WG and ask them if this is something they are planning on doing this year.

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Posted by kbenson
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:06 am

I was sucked into one of the PPIE tables @ the start of school year. They were tossed a sales pith on all the wonderful things they would be doing for the schools (if they got the funding the wanted)

The ironic thing is that even with the money that flows into PPIE and PTA, I still see emails from both asking for 30k or more for "new computers" almost on an annual basis. The interesting thing about these requests, is that the computers were replaced in the past year! Do they need to get new systems yearly?

Another thing I would like to see is a funding spreadsheet. (From both PTA and PPIE) You want donations? Show us where you are spending it.

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Posted by J9
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:23 am

I see there is a lot passion in all of these posts. What we should be doing is figuring a way to help our children. They are the only ones suffering here. Instead of talking about let's do something about it. I bet a group of parents could figure out what options we have and then we keep at it till we get it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. We need to rally together not against each other.

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Posted by Mary Diligent
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:50 am

I am the President of Alisal Elementary School. There was absolutely no request from PUSD, PPIE, or any member of the Pleasanton school board asking PTA units to donate money to PPIE to fund class size reduction in kindergarten. There was a discussion among a number of PTA presidents about how we could collectively support PPIE in case we could help close the gap in CSR in kindergarten. I made the decision to put this on our agenda at the March 12 association meeting. Our members discussed the possibility of donating money and we heard from a teacher who has taught kindergarten and said that even reducing the class size by 2 or 3 students would make a big difference. Although funding PPIE was not in our original budget, our association agreed that we would support the decision to donate to PPIE if needed. It is not against the rules for PTA's to donate to an educational foundation as long as the money is used to support the schools that contribute.

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Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

To Mary Diligent
I think your broads decision is wrong and I'm very disappointed.

We give money each to PTA, PPIE and boosters. I give the money to be used to support that organization not to be given away.

I'm disappointed that you and you board have no backbone to standup to a request coming from the PPIE be driven by PUSD.

The last PPIE meeting I attend the School Superintendent was also attending and attends many of the meetings.

Thanks to all the PTA's who are standing up and saying no.

PPIE it time to get your act together are you for all of PUSD or just CSR?
If you are just CSR come out and tell us the truth.
FYI I would give money to CSR also but now feel that PPIE is not telling the truth and will not be giving money next year.

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Posted by EA
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Web Link

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Posted by P.S.
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Mar 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I think what it all comes down to, at least for me, is that I have a hard time handing my hard earned cash over to reduce class sizes when the district is spending HUGE amounts of cash on a blundered investigation, $500 dollars plus a day on a substitute principals, 100's of thousands on legal fees (have you seen the number of lawyers letters alone on the district's website alone?) extra money for a full time vice principal, plus private therapy and group therapy for the teachers who made allegations. Meanwhile JV is over in the naughty corner at the district doing data entry at 125k a year.

I feel like if I hand over any more cash I will only be enabling their reckless spending and mismanagement. Perhaps money or lack of it, will talk.

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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I staffed a table at my school's registration night for money for our PTA. 100% of the people who gave money (and we had a lot) said that they were giving money because they only wanted the money to go to OUR school.

Vote or no vote, this is a terrible decision. There is a REASON people are not giving adequate money to PPIE and if PTA's simply hand over their money to PPIE even after a nominal vote that is not advertised broadly, I guarantee PTA money will drop too.

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Posted by Not donating any money to PUSD
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm

I agree with Julie, if I donate to PTA, I want my money to be used at my children's school as I have already donated money to PPIE to be used to fund all schools.
According to Document 22, page 18 of JV's statement to the board Web Link, Walnut Grove teachers have $2,000-$4,500 in their individual accounts and that these teachers roll that money over into the next school year rather then spending it on the kids who's parents donated that money. I would be ok if they didn't ask for money each school year, but they do. I suggest PPIE ask the teachers to donate that money to fund CSR in their classrooms, rather then asking PTA's to pick up the slack.

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Posted by Thorton
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Mar 19, 2014 at 12:19 am

If the primary teachers want CSR so badly and PPIE can't cover the cost, why not ask the parents to make a donation that would go directly to reducing class size in their child's classroom. By pass PPIE all together. The Alisal PTA lady was probably just trying to support the teachers, don't be too hard on her. However, there might be other ways to support the Alisal teachers without supporting the district PPIE. Seriously, you can't expect people to contribute knowing how Ahmadi spends these valuable dollars (bogus investigations, lawyers, funding personal vendettas). Just by pass it.

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Posted by Joan Laursen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2014 at 8:29 am

Dear TB - as was witnessed by others, I DID unequivocally answer your question at Kindergarten Roundup. I told you then that neither the school board nor PPIE had asked any parent group for a donation. I further suggested you speak with your PTA leadership at your site.

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Posted by Keeping it Real
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 19, 2014 at 8:50 am

TB - Your post sounds confrontational so I would tend to believe any question you asked probably had a confrontational tone to it.

It is disheartening to see and hear all the bickering and pointing fingers that goes on. Can't we all just work together and not be so bitchy?

I have been to school districts that are not as fortunate as ours and they have better equipment and campuses. For being such a "rich" area, we are failing.

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Posted by Get real
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 19, 2014 at 9:59 am

I don't think TB was being confrontational at all. Sounds like she was asking direct questions and wasn't getting direct answers. Our district is failing because of the lack of good leadership. There is no trust in our district and for good reason.

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Posted by Van Smack
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 19, 2014 at 10:28 am

If there was any question whether or not to keep throwing money at a loser investment, I think it has been answered. I don't see how anyone in their right mind can think this district is anything but in utter disarray. It is unfortunate that this area does not have a great selection of private schools to choose from. Perhaps this would help PUSD clean up their act and begin provide the community with a system that could bring pride to our residents. It is time for taxpayers of Pleasanton to speak with their wallets and their vote. Only Valerie Arkin deserves to remain on the school board.

You are not getting one more extra penny from me PUSD and I will encourage as many as I possibly can to do the same. To Joan Laursen...since you seem to be reading these posts..., our corrupt superintendent and the rest of the board, you are on your way out. I suggest you get your resumes in order.

And to Mary Diligent. You're not the President of Alisal Elementary School. You're the president of the PTA. Get over yourself.

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Posted by pleasantonwasnice40yearsago
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 19, 2014 at 11:58 am

I think it is obvious that the district waste money on a daily basis. This is government in action. I think the teachers and the administrators should all take a pay cut to help out the kids. I mean are reps are always telling us we need to do this or that for the sake of the children. I will beleive you when you reach into your pocket and financially support the kids. Stand up for the children lead by example and take a pay cut. Actions speak louder than words. Put your money where your mouth is. My guess is the number of teachers/Administrators willing to sacrifice some of there income for the sake of the children would be a round number 0

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Posted by wow
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 19, 2014 at 11:58 am

Van Smack, you are rude. Would you ever tell someone to "get over yourself" to their face? This is not the community that I want to live in. There are people in this community who are trying to do what is right for all our teachers and our students - despite the disarray at the district level.

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Posted by cowards
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Mar 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Yes, Van Smack, please share your real name. I know that you won't, because you are a coward! You would rather anonymously slander people on-line. What exactly are you out there doing for the district? If you weren't so weak and cowardly you would be sharing your real name on here and you would be speaking up in public, which obviously you are not! Please, share with us what you are doing to help the kids in the district.

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Posted by pleasantonwasnice40yearsago
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 19, 2014 at 12:15 pm

WOW. I don't think its rude to call someone out, I think its American. I also think at times its needed. This is one of those times. This is a classic diversion. I don't like what your saying to me or how your saying it so i wont talk to you anymore and i will claim you are angry or confrontational or rude. if you cant take the heat get out of the kitchen. Get over yourself
p.s how can one be a resident of a school

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Posted by cowards
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm

So it is American to anonymously talk smack about people on the internet? It is American to be assertive and share your opinions, yes, but do it with pride and conviction, just like they did 40 years ago, not hiding under the cloak of an anonymous chatboard. To say these things anonymously that you would not say publicly is cowardly, no way around it. Where are you people at board meetings? Stand up for yourself in real life! Use your real name on here! There's no excuse for not doing that unless you are afraid. Please share your name with us.

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Posted by pleasantonwasnice40yearsago
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 19, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Cowards. So now the name calling, really. Calling people you disagree with cowards. next thing you say is you choose me out at recess. You asked him to share his name I suggest you go first.

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Posted by pleasantonwasnice40yearsago
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Cowards. Am i missing something or are you posting your comments anonymously
This must be a joke right? Actions speak louder than words. You seam to have a problem with anonymous posts but you wont use your real name HMMMMMMMMMMMMM. thats funny. Oh yea and calling people cowards is also slander. So let me ask this when do you graduate from high school?

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Posted by pleasantonwasnice40yearsago
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Coward: Maybe i should apologize I guess you are using your real last name
I am guessing your first name is Ima. Now onto the kids. I dont think the money donated should be used for any purpose. I think It should go to where the donors want or believe it is going. I also believe the doners have a right to ask question and demand answers or simply hang onto their money. It seams to me their is a lot of distrust. I think being open and honest would be a great help. Joan Larson flat out states they were not asked. Lets see if anyone contradicts this from the pta.

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Posted by pleasantonwasnice40yearsago
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm

I hope everyone has a wonderful day. even you Mr.

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

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