More cuts loom for SRVUSD Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:08 am
Midyear state budget cuts will cost the San Ramon Valley school district an extra $13 per student and cut funding for school buses. Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that the state was about $2.2 billion short of the $88.5 billion income anticipated in the budget.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 15, 2011, 11:12 PM
Posted by George, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:23 am
But there was enough to pay the teachers for last year's furlough days? Guessing nobody ever taught the teachers and their union about saving for "rainy days". Go figger. Now it's time for them to make threats about all the services that'll have to be cut while they stay fat with their corrupt, self serving union. It's all about the kids?... what a joke. Disgusting.
Posted by LMP, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:02 am
And yet they had money to pay for furlough days and solar panels (that will probably cost a fraction of their curent price in a few years- remember when microwaves and VCRs first came out and were SO expensive?) The school district needs to learn to live within their means like families do. It sure is easy to spend other peoples' money.
Posted by 19 yr resident, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:27 am
Yea - here we go again. Oh, are they cuts in increases?? or actually less $ from previous years? It starts from the top. Superintendent and principals. They rise to the level of their incompetence. Oh lets see, new replacement gym...that's SMALLER than previous - that's well thought out...with increasing enrollment!!! and imagine if that solar money went into REAL school improvement or, imagine.... educating our kids!! Yea, look to the top, it's not the workers - but the directors/administrators...
Posted by Louie, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm
I am a retired teacher who has voted "no" on bond measures for YEARS. School district spending is like any govt spending with no accountability. School maintenance and custodial work is pitifully cut. Yet, computers, absurdly expensive software and television sets are abundant. Supplies(tissue for runny noses? paper towels? pencils?) are limited.
Many of my teacher friends who are still in the classroom DID NOT ASK for the furlough money and, rightfully, thought it would be a waste and a public relations nightmare. Duh.
I live next door to you. I coached your kids in community leagues. I volunteered for many hours of non-school activities. (Where were you?) Don't toss us all into a common and tattered bag.
I belonged to the union because California is NOT a RIGHT TO WORK state.
Say "no" to unions; but stop teacher bashing. Really? Are the kids you send to school well behaved and ready to learn? Say "no" to bonds. BUT, put your time where your complaints are- volunteer in the classroom, coach a team; if you're not part of the solution....
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm
I have to say that the comment above, by LMP, is not well-informed. The solar panels are funded by bonds that will be paid back through the energy savings from the electricity generated (less money paid to PG&E). The panels will produce about 6.2 million kWh per year, which represents 66% of the energy used by the schools where the panels are located. And, all of that 6.2 million kWh is clean energy, not adding any additional greenhouse gases or other pollutants to our air. All in all, a very wise investment.
Also, solar voltaic panels are not a new technology. They have been around for more than thirty years. Where have you been?
Posted by Douglas, a resident of the Blackhawk neighborhood, on Dec 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm
I have to that the comment above, by Sam, is uninformed. The solar panels will not make back what it took to pay for them and their upkeep in a timely manner. It will take AT LEAST 16 years to pay back those bonds and by then, the imbeciles running the district will want to install the newest technology and scrap this. We will NEVER see any savings from this project. What a waste of money!! Also, the QSCB's should have been used for school construction, not those idiotic panels!
Posted by Marcus , a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Dec 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Yes the Solar panels will prove to be a money loser for the district. The overinflated savings will not pay off in 16 years, more like 25 years if that. Wait until the panels start getting stolen and have to be replaced. The Company that "guaranteed" the ROI for these, Sun Power just got a larger government bailout than Solyndra. Next the furlough debacle, now another Bond Measure? The SRVUSD's core competency seems to be finding new ways to waste the taxpayers money.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 20, 2011 at 8:27 pm
Educators, including all those here in the San Ramon Valley, are grossly under paid. Our intellectual resources (schools and universities) and our industrial base are what propelled the USA into global leadership both during and after WWII (before then the USA was not a world leader by any means). Now, we under pay our instructors and force our best educators to leave the profession. In other nations, education and educators are valued.
Posted by Louie, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:07 am
Thanks, Mike. Educators need more support from voices like yours.
Interesting to think that "drill and kill" education, where children were required to exercise their brain and not just their thumbs, was the educational model that propelled the intellectual currency and leadership to which you refer. Students were required to own an accomplished base of knowledge; "critical thinking" without content is where we are today.
Accurate assessment and accountability is "absent" in today's climate.
Posted by Sara, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2011 at 10:22 am
I wonder how much of the short fall is because of funding for teacher retirement benefits? My teacher friends all receive >$80K a year in retirement benefits, plus several receive free medical for life. They do contribute to their retirement, but only about 7%. No bad for only working 8 months a year for 25 years.
SRVUSD is rated as one of the top districts in the State, however my children spend at least three hours a week watching movies in class. My son, who attends SRVHS tells me they sit round and watch U-Tube videos in Geography class. His teacher doesnít do anything and they donít even have textbooks.
I will vote against any request for another special assessment to fund teachers' retirement.
Posted by Louie, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2011 at 10:08 am
Please sign me up for that $80K plan!!! I can assure everyone that, after a career in teaching, I am not receiving anything close to that amount- and that includes personal tax deferred savings. I worked very long hours and at least one half day per week-end planning, preparing and evaluating student work. I also contributed to Social Security for 30 years, through supplemental employment; Windfall Elimination Tax diminishes my ability to "double dip." Interestingly, our elected officials are not encumbered by such restrictions.
My children attended SRVUSD schools; for the most part, I was pleased with the educators. A few teachers were, yes, terrible. The district does well because much of the parent community values education. My own children reported some seemingly unbelievable school house stories; time showed their perceptions to be right on the mark. As an educator, I was shocked- to say the least.
I see two fixes. One, offer to "help" in the classroom. Suggest a special skill you might present for a one day visit. Maybe even a hands-on activity. Secondly, get a true "read" on the expectations you and fellow parents have regarding grades. Grades are often the source of teacher-parent misunderstandings. Some parents demand an inflated grading process with college admissions as the true goal. Some parents expect high grades at the expense of true assessment.
There are so many areas of concern. Get involved. Encourage teachers who spend their day with your most precious possession. Know that sometimes, even your child may cross the line of acceptable behavior. Encourage accurate assessment. Acknowledge that not all children are university material when they are 17 or 18. Support the local community colleges. Consider "education," not just grades as a worthy goal.
How teachers managed to get on the "bad side" of the parent public is a conundrum. I can speak to how parents get on the "bad side" of teachers- parent demands for performance that exceed the dedication those parents might execute in their own fields.
Posted by Nancy, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Sara is right! My student at MVHS watched no less than 8 full length movies in history last year taking multiple days per movie to watch. NO discussion about the movies etc. a waste of time and a wasted year for my student. The students love it for if you have a pulse you get an A. The parents don't complain for you will not get anywhere due to the unions and your student will suffer in the end.
Posted by Douglas, a resident of the Blackhawk neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Mike and Louie
You need to do your math. An average salary of current teachers in SRVUSD is $75,000 because we have a lot of older teachers. That is roughly equivalent to a $100,000 job in the private sector, but the private sector doesn't get all the days off you do. Teachers are very well paid in this district and in general! Many teachers also just punch the clock and don't put the effort in they should for the salary they receive from the taxpayers. When I grew up, teachers took pride in their job and the day didn't end at 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. They took work home and worked on weekends. Also, parents didn't need to pitch in in the classroom as teachers did their jobs like they were supposed to.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm
The average starting salary for a teacher in California is $35,760. Many have Masters Degrees. American teachers spend on average 1,080 hours teaching each year.The widely respected Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development recently released a report, "Building a High Quality Teaching Profession: Lessons from Around the World," which analyzes how high-performing countries have created highly professional and effective teachers. This study found that teachers in the US are paid less than teachers in many other countries. In fact, the US ranks 22nd out Of 27 Western countries. Money is never the reason why people enter teaching, but it is the reason why some people do not enter teaching, or leave as they start to think about beginning a family or buying a home. The reality is that a good teacher with a decade of classroom experience is hard-pressed to raise a family on a teacher's salary. It also shows where our society places its value. Clearly not on education--more on Dancing with the Stars and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Posted by Louie, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm
This is so interesting. I stated that I DID work long hours and week-ends AND coached your kids' teams in non-school leagues. AND worked in the private sector to supplement my teaching income.
I gave a lot of "free" time coaching your kids- you left your child in my care even though you were angry with me for being a teacher. Why didn't you say something, then? Or take over the coaching duties yourself?
During my last years of teaching, when email became a major communication channel, lots and lots and lots of parents were emailing me during their work day....while they were employed by someone and being paid to work. (Shall we start with ethics in the private sector work place? I expect certain standards in the goods and services.) The list of the companies being "ripped off" by these parent employees was extensive.
Although they expected an immediate response, I wasn't sitting at a computer. (And, by the way, NEVER showed a movie in my entire career.) I was up and about my classroom making sure that the kid with allergies wasn't eating a peanut, the kid with Autism was feeling comfortable, the kids with ADD/ADHD were somewhat focused, and that the just plain naughty kids were not being destructive to school property and/or the property of others. I was dispersing tissue and band aids. Do you have any idea how many naughty kids there are in "nice" public schools? Do you have any idea how tied teachers' hands are regarding disciplining- or even suggesting discipline for a disruptive student? And while all that was going on, I tried to conduct a meaningful curriculum and conduct meaningful assessments.
Send well behaved, well mannered kids to school and expect compassionate, yet fair assessment. Can you take real assessment? That means every kid will NOT get an A. It means MOST kids will not get A's.