News

Palo Alto school board majority favors new teacher contract

One member questions trade-off between salaries and class-size reduction

All but one school board member voiced support Tuesday night for a new multi-year teachers contract that will provide up to 16 percent in pay hikes over three years -- while debating how exactly competitive Palo Alto Unified School District is when it comes to teacher salaries, retainment and recruitment.

The board discussed tentative contracts with the teachers and classified employee unions, which each group ratified before Tuesday night, that would commit the district to its first-ever multi-year salary increases, starting with a 5 percent pay increase this year to apply retroactively to July 2015 given negotiations for the current year just ended. This would cost the district $7.3 million, almost the entirety of a $8 million surplus available in this year's budget.

In the 2016-17 school year, salaries would increase 4 percent, plus a 1 percent bonus called an "off-schedule" increase. Off-schedule bonuses don't bump up the salary base from which the next year's increases are calculated. In 2017-18, teacher salaries would increase by 3 percent, plus another 1 percent off-schedule bonus.

The off-schedule bonuses will be bumped up to 2 percent both years if property tax revenues exceed the district's projections by at least 1.5 percent, and they will be eliminated if revenues are below budget by 1.5 percent or more. If the 2016-17 property tax as determined by the County Assessor is either more or less than 1.5 percent of the adopted school district budget, then either party — the union or the district — can reopen negotiations on the 3 percent increase in the 2017-2018 school year, according to the new contract.

The contract also proposes that all non-union managers and supervisors, including senior administrators, receive the same increases as union members, a practice followed in previous years.

A majority of the board hailed the new contracts as a justified and needed compensation package for teachers dealing with an increasingly high cost of living in the area, long commutes and workload in a demanding district.

Several board members pointed to a decline in number of applications to district positions over the last few years as evidence of the fact that Palo Alto has not kept up as the "destination district" it likes to think it is. In 2013-14, for example, the district received 322 applications for kindergarten through fifth-grade teaching positions; 101 applications in 2015-16 and 148 this year, according to the district.

Special-education applications have dropped from 196 in 2013-14 to 81 last year and 44 this year. Applications in several teaching positions are up, though, from last year: for kindergarten through fifth grade; mathematics; social studies; and science, according to data provided by the district.

Some board members also commented that staff have said that the quality of applications is down, and many who apply are from out of state or brand new teachers.

As the other board members came to agreement, Trustee Ken Dauber took multiple turns speaking at the dais to oppose a contract that he believes forces the district to make an unnecessary "hard choice" between healthy raises for teachers and class-size reductions.

Smaller classes, he argued, make Palo Alto a better place not only for students to go to school, but for teachers to work, especially in light of two local parents' recent data analysis that indicates a large percentage of Palo Alto's middle and high school classes are not meeting the district's official class-size averages.

Dauber suggested that the district offer teachers instead 3 percent raises each year over the next three years, plus one-time bonuses, leaving an estimated $2.9 million this year and $4.4 million in the next two years — the equivalent of 35 teachers — to support smaller class sizes. Thirty-five teachers could reduce class sizes at the high schools by six students or by three at the elementary schools, he said.

"This is a historic opportunity," Dauber said. "The very strong property tax increases that we have this year, over 11 percent, allow us to do two things: to give very strong raises to our teachers (and) to enable us to retain and recruit excellent teachers, which are the bedrock of the work that we do here, and also to devote significant funds to reducing class sizes.

"The choice is not between healthy raises and class size reduction," he added. "We can do both. It's an extraordinary year in which we can do both."

According to Dauber, the district has remained competitive in terms of compensation and a 9 percent raise over the next three years would continue that tradition. Palo Alto Unified has highest average teacher salary of any unified district in the state with more than 4,800 students, he said, and its salary schedule consistently ranks in the top compared to local competitor districts, he said.

Dauber also provided district data that shows over the last five years, only 23 teachers have left Palo Alto for other positions — an average of four teachers per year. (Other board members, however, noted that employees might not always be upfront about their reasons for leaving the district or where they might be working next.)

"There's no necessity to over-invest in compensation and under-invest in class size reduction," he said.

Board member Camille Townsend called that a "false choice."

"Is class size more important than paying the rent or how much it costs to commute or where to send their kids to school or what their college tuition is?" Townsend asked. "I think that's kind of a false choice. I think we have to pay our teachers well."

Parent Todd Collins, who is running for a seat on the school board this fall, also emphasized the contract's impact on the district's ability to reduce class sizes to its own stated targets. He asked whether the district's teacher attrition and compensation data "justifies these increases, especially with the class-size issue we know we have" and urged the board to "take the time to share and discuss with the community, and get this critical decision right."

Parent Steven Schmidt pointed to other trade-offs — cuts made to previous requests to fund other programs in the district, from small-learning community programs at the two high schools to reading specialists at the elementary schools — and asked the board to "be trustees; be prudent."

Palo Alto High School's student board representative Emma Cole said that while she doesn't "want to undermine the impact that a small class can make," what's made the most difference to her is the quality of the teacher in the classroom.

Later in the evening, the board did approve $1.8 million in the budget to hire 12 new teachers over two years — six for the middle schools and six for the high schools — to help mitigate large class sizes. The additional staffing is on top of seven middle school teachers and three high school teachers already included in the 2016-17 budget.

Board Vice President Terry Godfrey said that she believes teachers understand the "trade-offs" the district made to provide the high pay increases, but asked them to share any feedback about class-size reduction with the board before it votes on the new contracts.

She also noted that the district's class-size reduction goals are "constrained" by the realities of hiring new, quality teachers and that it "might be a multi-year process to get where we need to be."

An official vote will come at the board's next meeting in two weeks rather than last night as Superintendent Max McGee initially requested. In his executive summary for Tuesday's board packet, he asked board members to waive a rule that requires them to discuss items publicly in two meetings before taking action and approve the contracts Tuesday to get teachers their paychecks sooner.

However, he said at the beginning of the meeting on Tuesday that he has decided to revoke this request, saying "I understand this is a historic document and it may take more than one night of deliberation."

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

70 people like this
Posted by We are Bell, CA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2016 at 9:40 am

I do not think the administrators deserve a pay raise. I do not think they are managing the district well. I will be asking for whatever exemptions I can get and donating the funds to outside educational causes for kids who get off the conveyor belt. Is McGee getting this raise? Meaning, we will be paying him closer to what the nation pays the President (of the US) than what the state pays the Governor? Holly Wade got a promotion and now she gets a pay raise?


23 people like this
Posted by very strange
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 11, 2016 at 10:00 am

"The choice is not between healthy raises and class size reduction," he added. "We can do both. It's an extraordinary year in which we can do both."

Why are these dependent on each other? If the board really wanted to reduce class sizes, they should budget and do that.

Reduction in class sizes shouldn't be tied to salary negotiations. If you really want to make these dependent on each other, pay teachers based on their class sizes.

If the argument is a budgetary one, sort out the budget first don't come shooting from the hip with random associations.


69 people like this
Posted by zero sum
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2016 at 10:36 am

The comment above from "strange" evinces the same lack of understanding that the board showed (other than Dauber) in their discussion of this issue. They do not seem to understand that money is finite and choices are zero sum. For example, Heidi seemed genuinely confused about why full day kindergarten was no longer being proposed and why McGee's proposal had the odd patchwork quality it did. McGee responded "we don't have the money, we are constrained."

That's because Heidi you gave away the funds that could have been used for full day kindergarten on raises. The money is gone. There is no money to pay for this. You cannot spend every dollar twice. You forced choices when you gave the over-large salary increases. You forced the district into a deficit. You wanted to get the love and thanks from the teachers [portion removed.] This is the result.

Similarly, Melissa seemed confused by why Small Learning Communities have been cut. Well that's becasue you handed over the entire surplus and all the Measure A dollars in the form of raises.

As Dauber said, it wasn't necessary to do that but that's what you did. It's shocking and it's a betrayal of the taxpayers, parents and students. Sadly, Melissa and Heidi don't even seem to understand what they did. Terry Godfrey's plea that possibly teachers will "understand what the district is giving up" to give them the pile of money was ridiculous. And then do what about it? Teach 8 classes instead of 6 so that we can have sane class sizes? Teach SLC for free? [Portion removed.]


66 people like this
Posted by Owned
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 11, 2016 at 10:38 am

Let's face it. This board is majority owned by the Teachers' Union.

They just don't have the courage to do the job they were elected to do.

Camille Townsend's comment favoring teacher's rents and their college costs is so ridiculous on its face, she should be running to head the Union. She obviously does NOT represent the voters who elected her.

Daubers position of continuing to pay our teachers very well while focusing on student welfare is vastly more sensible.

With one exception, this board is grotesquely irresponsible.


15 people like this
Posted by very strange
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 11, 2016 at 10:59 am

The problem is that you're pay increase specifically to class size reduction.

If Dauber wants to argue that we shouldn't provide this raise he should make that case independent to what else the money can be spent on.

The bottom line is that Dauber is claiming the raise is too generous. He needs to make that case and stop throwing out red-herrings!


17 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 11, 2016 at 11:31 am

The Dauber solution was not a real alternative - it was simply a rejection of the negotiated contract and as a result contract negotiations would have to start all over again. We would have ended up with three annual negotiations and very likely the results would be the same. If there were three Daubers on the Board the teacher attrition rate would be two to three times what it currently is. There is a very good reason why Special Ed teachers have started to avoid Palo Alto.


52 people like this
Posted by Barron Park dad
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm

This quote distressed me: "This would cost the district $7.3 million, almost the entirety of a $8 million surplus available in this year's budget."

So now the Board will be unable to pursue ideas around class size reduction, full-day kindergarten, etc?

The budget surplus we carefully nurtured essentially all went to the teacher union?


30 people like this
Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Good for the Board majority! Teachers deserve a living wage, and the quality of teaching, which I hear from younger families is still quite good, is one of the essential factors that make a district outstanding. The good feedback I hear refutes the intense and distorted negativity from the group that supports Ken Dauber and that blames the schools and administration for everything under the sun.

Credit to Superintendent McGee: a multi-year contract reduces the stress on everyone, and this contract has built-in protections. Now teachers can focus on what they do best--teach and help kids.

When my kids went through the Palo Alto schools, the community was very supportive. There was academic stress, to be sure. But people were focused on working together to make things better. Now, the intemperate attacks on the schools, administration, and teachers have made for a poisonous atmosphere. It's no wonder applications are down.

Full disclosure--no, I was never a PAUSD teacher. Yes, my kids did well and are still doing well. And yes, they had to deal with stress and bullying and other issues. And yes, they do try to be reasonable as they raise their own kids, and work with difficult situations rather than make unreasonable accusations when there's a problem in the schools.


48 people like this
Posted by Barron Park dad
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2016 at 12:09 pm

I am frankly surprised by Terry Godfrey's response. She alone among the Board members has the deepest background in Finance, and yet she did not seem to understand that this is a zero sum game. That is, by allocating $7.3 million out of our $8 million budget surplus to teacher salaries, we are cutting off our air supply for other worthy educational objectives.

The fact that she did not try harder to explain this financial tradeoff to her colleagues is very disappointing.


56 people like this
Posted by Sucker-Punched
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 11, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Sucker-Punched is a registered user.

I would agree to a small wage increase ( smaller than the one proposed) one ONE condition: that administrators, who are too many in number, overpaid ( some are extraneous) and underperforming, are completely EXCLUDED from it!


13 people like this
Posted by wlc
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Based on budget info - it looks like this district has almost 40 million in unrestricted reserves. Despite Dauber's claims, the school district is not going broke. It appears they can afford both smaller class sizes and paying teachers more. It's not an either or situation. Of course, one wouldn't expect Dauber to actually support teachers.


77 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2016 at 12:42 pm

Wow is a registered user.

Last night provided the surreal spectacle of one of the wealthiest districts in the state, after a RECORD year of property tax growth AND a new parcel tax, saying it was too broke to offer poor kids breakfast ($300K/year), full-day kindergarten for all ($600K/year), high school small learning community expansion (despite our suicide clusters), or even meet our own class size standards.

In fact, we got to see the board members literally fight over the scraps, arguing about whether to fund a couple HR staff vs. supplements for high school sports programs vs. 2 high school employees. Fighting over the scraps.

Because all the money, all of it, and has been spent on adding administrators and giving staff raises (including administrators). All of our bumper-year surplus went for that.

Maybe that's the right thing, but let's be crystal clear about what we did. And it will not change next year, btw - the budget requires 9% property tax growth just to make its planned $1M deficit. Prepare to fight over the scraps again.


21 people like this
Posted by Neuron Data
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm

@wlc

Your arguments are, in a word, spurious.

1. Reserves are exactly that. They are not to be used for operational expenses.
2. Nowhere did Mr. Dauber state that the district is going broke. He merely pointed out the tradeoffs between using almost the entire surpluses for salary increases and funding other priorities.
3. You fail to explain how we will afford the additional teachers required to reduce class sizes if almost all the surplus is used for pay raises.

[Portion removed.]
It's just arithmetic.


19 people like this
Posted by Neuron Data
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 11, 2016 at 1:54 pm

@Alphonso states:

"If there were three Daubers on the Board the teacher attrition rate would be two to three times what it currently is."

Dauber has provided data on teacher turnover. Of the total turnover of 220 teachers over 5 years, retirement, personal reasons, geographical relocation were cited as reasons in 197 cases. Only 23 teachers have left for another position.

There is ZERO data to support your claim.


57 people like this
Posted by Gulliver Dauber
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm

I think Ken Dauber must literally have the most thankless task in all the world. How he avoids just banging his head on the table until he loses consciousness is just beyond me. Hats off, thanks for your excellent and substantive analysis based on "facts" and "evidence" and "data."


34 people like this
Posted by A little respect here
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Last night was the opportunity to hear the Board discuss what had already been agreed upon in negotiations. So, Alphonso, Dauber was sharing - explaining to the community and his colleagues - what the contract meant in terms of available dollars and the impact on other requests (gone, for the most part - because the $$ were gone). As for Dauber suggesting an alternative? - the Board COULD vote down this proposed contract and look at an alternate 3-3-3 sitation (but that is unlikely to happen as this is so far down the road. And the other Board members didn't seem curious or concerned about the impact on smaller class sizes, program funding, etc.).

As a taxpayer and former PAUSD parent, I would like a little respect (transparency, discussion, thoughtfulness to what the overall community would think and want) before voting on a contract like this. Pros AND cons. Acknowledging what we are getting and not getting - a Board that is intellectually honest and that stands by their decision.

But don't suggest that by questioning, pointing out the impact - or offering an alternative that would allow us to budget for all needs - that Dauber, or we, are not supportive of teachers. Or that we don't understand their plight. My family is a family of teachers. We get it. And we understand trade-offs and budgets - AND working conditions.

Truthfully, this process really didn't allow for discussion or considering alternatives.
And the original plan to waive the two meeting rule? It's an additional slap in the face to the community - and indicative of the tone deafness of leadership and their attitude about "us" and taxpayer $$. Outrageous.

And quite frankly - the spending behavior/attitude after Measure A in spite of the lack of follow-through by this district on set goals and policies (and identified NEEDS of students and teachers - class size reductions, homework policy, special ed reforms, communications)??? What an insult.

I am tired of paying for lip service. Tired of hearing it too.


31 people like this
Posted by We are Bell, CA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm

I'll give you six reasons Special Ed teachers are avoiding PAUSD, and it's not Ken Dauber:

[portion removed]
Backbiting
Dishonesty
Word gets around


11 people like this
Posted by We are Bell, CA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2016 at 4:29 pm

@Retired Teacher,
[Portion removed.] Times change. People change. Some people's actions deserve scrutiny and even censure. The word in the special ed community is that Palo Alto used to have a great sped dept, and that changed some years ago, right about when we got certain employees. The administration, schools, and even the suicide rate in the district have changed. Elementary school education is still good, which is why it's such a shocker for so many when it dawns on them that middle and high school are not so much. The feedback is not coming out of thin air. If you care about the kids, how about delving in to understand the problems instead of giving cover to those responsible for them? [Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by @Another Palo Alto neighborhood
a resident of Mountain View
on May 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


4 people like this
Posted by We are Bell, CA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm

@@Another,
Having an extreme example that is very clear to illustrate a point is perfectly sound. It is also probably the most salient example that ordinary people should not just unwittingly give cover to institutions or governments when they don't know or don't want to know enough. There can be infinitely bad down sides. The entire nation of Germany postwar had to come to terms with the fact that ordinary people had en masse enabled what happened. The Germans continue to study this in great depth today for exactly those kinds of lessons applied in ordinary life. Because they do make the abstract connections, having lived the unthinkable and aftermath.

Can you think of another better example of why it's important not to give cover to people who may be doing harm by invalidating or even attacking those who speak against wrongs? (When that person, by his/her own admission, has no factual kniwledge of the current situation?) This is what came to mind as the best example. Name another, and I will use that instead next time.


1 person likes this
Posted by We are Bell, CA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2016 at 5:06 pm

[Post removed.]


50 people like this
Posted by You got hookwinked!
a resident of Juana Briones School
on May 11, 2016 at 5:33 pm

The moment you passed Measure A was the moment PAEA put this plan in place. PAEA runs this district. Our good teachers and our lemons, at Briones and all schools, will get the raise. The principals and administrators will get the raise. It's possible CSEA will get the me, too, raise. Glenn McGee and his staff will get the raise. PAEA's position is that any surplus of money must go to their raises. They absolutely, never, ever negotiate for our children. They do attack us parents, though, when we have the slightest criticism of PAEA.


21 people like this
Posted by A little respect here
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Jeez people...what a difference a year makes. Read what Measure A proponents CLAIMED would happen with our tax dollars (and weep)...

Excerpts from the Weekly: April 24, 2015 on Measure A Battle ...

"While the $13 million generated each year would continue to accomplish one of the tax's original purposes--to keep class sizes down--the proposed increase would provide $2.3 million to support additional investments in student health and wellness efforts, academic supports for struggling students and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) instruction. ...

...Support Palo Alto Schools 2015 campaign co-chairs Nana Chancellor and Sarah Woodham said that treating the parcel tax like a "political pawn" is destructive, distracts from the work needed to address current issues in the schools and will harm every student in the district. The tax pays for 85 full-time staff, including teachers, librarians and counselors and serves a primary purpose of keeping class sizes as small as possible at a time of ballooning student populations throughout the district.

"When the parcel tax was first voted in in 2001, the whole purpose of it was class size reductions. It's still the number one place where the money is going ... and it affects every single student in Palo Alto," Chancellor said. "If you kill Measure A, you are hurting every single student."

... Palo Alto's high school students would see crowding in some electives eased and more programming to support student mental health and wellness. Chancellor and Woodham said the high schools are engaged in ongoing work with Challenge Success, a Stanford University research organization focused on student wellness, to shape some of that programming."

Web Link

"The number one place where the money is going", eh? Not so.

Hoodwinked? Absolutely. Violated is more like it. This feels terrible.


19 people like this
Posted by Pay the Rent but work 14 hours a day
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on May 11, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Wow, I am just amazed and shocked. I don't quite understand how the pay increases are most important ([Up to] 16% over 3 years). That is just way out there to me.

I would argue that with this type of salary, the expectation from parents, including myself, will be that the teachers need to effectively manage the 33 students per classroom for math and english. My expectation will be less than one week turn around of papers/tests/quizzes.

I still propose that we ask the teachers if they want a significant pay increase or smaller class sizes. YES, it is tied together. As a teacher, I would absolutely not want to teach at a school where I have 33 students in my class. Sorry, life is short and I don't want to be working 100% of my time. This is why no one wants to come to PAUSD. Also, why would a teacher want to come to PAUSD when the parents are so demanding -- they are being told that the average class size is 24 -- what appears to be a manageable amount of students but the reality is that the classes are over 30 students.

Good luck PAUSD hiring quality teachers. You'll get the 1st years in there and then the cycle of dissatisfied parents begins. Just don't ask for more money from Palo Alto tax payers. Lucky renters!!!


8 people like this
Posted by times change
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm

@Bell,

Yeah, times change:
That would be 196 in applications in 2013-14 BEFORE Dauber was elected to the board
That reduced to 81 the year AFTER Dauber was elected to the board
That reduced further to 44 for Daubers second year and after Daubers emails to the OCR were revealed

Yeah, times change and the word on the street. Go on blaming Skelly and others that are long gone when you have those numbers and Dauber's antics last night trying to make the district an even less desirable.

[Portion removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Term limits
a resident of College Terrace
on May 11, 2016 at 6:14 pm

@times change

The article says, "Special-education applications have dropped from 196 in 2013-14 to 81 last year and 44 this year. Applications in several teaching positions are up, though, from last year: for kindergarten through fifth grade; mathematics; social studies; and science, according to data provided by the district."

I guess those teachers love Dauber, right? I'm sure you have a story about them.


18 people like this
Posted by A little respect
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

@ Times change

No need to bring in old folks when the current system and the current Board members didn't even acknowledge the "costs" of this contract! Support it on its merits if you believe it to be a good contract - but be HONEST about what it means we have left in our bank for other things! I heard none of that from Camille - not a word, no acknowledgement, no denial either - and no promises or reasssurances for how we could work toward lower class sizes. Don't remember it from Heidi either. Terry was fishing for an acknowledgement from teachers that they knew what they were giving up while getting this raise...

There are no checks and balances to the system. They get our $$ and they will spend it as they choose. We have NO SAY - except next time a bond comes around or a school board election. The lack of intellectual honesty, respect or grace by our "leaders" in this situation is truly appalling.

Times change - I see no defense of the decision in your post. Counter Mr. Dauber's arguments for his suggested compromise instead of attacking him. Some defense on class size not being that important or why a compromise such as 3-3-3 is unacceptable would be intellectually honest and refreshing. And fair to all concerned.


24 people like this
Posted by Ben
a resident of Downtown North
on May 11, 2016 at 7:03 pm

This is ridiculous. With all the issues that need addressing in the school district, once again, very generous pay raises float to the top of the list. The idea that teachers will flee if they don't get a raise is absurd. The notion that teacher are paid poverty wages as some say, is also absurd. Look here Web Link and look up what PAUSD employees are paid.

I support wage increases that are in line in the context of what the district can reasonably afford. Taking all the excess and throwing it at the teachers union is not my idea of reasonable.

Furthermore, during the salary negotiation, is it the case that the most important stake holder, parents and residents that ultimately pay the bill are specifically not invited to the discussion. Is the district 'negotiating' with the teachers union in a vacuum of other input? If so, it's an inherent conflict of interest when both 'sides' benefit.


54 people like this
Posted by Term limits
a resident of College Terrace
on May 11, 2016 at 7:15 pm

@Ben,
The school board is supposed to be representing the citizens and the students. It seems that except for one member they were asleep at the switch. At least there is an election in the fall and we can vote the incumbents out.


17 people like this
Posted by Special Education Teachers
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on May 11, 2016 at 7:39 pm

"Special-education applications have dropped from 196 in 2013-14 to 81 last year and 44 this year."
How many job openings were there for permanent tenure track Special Education teachers this year? If there was a decrease in permanent job openings, then you would expect a decrease in applications. Many Special Education job openings are for "pool" or substitutes, not permanent teachers.

For salaries, counselors and speech therapist jobs are highly sought in PAUSD because they are so highly paid and tenure track. Once you get through a year or two as a Psychologist and Speech Therapist, jobs are for life. They work similar hours to teachers, partial days and only during the school year with summer off. If any of this is wrong, please correct it and provide the correct information.

A Speech Therapist in PAUSD told me they are paid at Ph.D. therapist level, and expected to manage and resolve special education cases and problems at the school level. This is controversial because families do not believe most Speech Therapists and Ph.D. psychologists in PAUSD manage special education at the high level expected. The previous Special Education Review done 4 years ago when Holly Wade first came noted this was problem, that school staff did not professionally manage problems, and I don't think it has improved. It would be interesting to look at the previous Special Education Review and see what goals Holly Wade has actually met.


13 people like this
Posted by Responsibility
a resident of Community Center
on May 11, 2016 at 8:12 pm

"Some defense on class size not being that important or why a compromise such as 3-3-3 is unacceptable would be intellectually honest and refreshing."

The class size issue is another Dauber straw man argument. If you don't believe PAUSD teachers deserve the raise say it!


PAUSD policies state:

"The Board shall negotiate in good faith with exclusive employee representatives on wages, hours of employment, and other terms and conditions of employment identified in law as being within the scope of representation. "

How is it possible to construe Dauber's proposal as "The Board negotiating in good faith"?


In the PAUSD bylaws, it states amongst others the board has the responsibility for: "Monitoring the collective bargaining process"

Dauber's 11th hour counter proposal shows a complete failure in his responsibilities.

It is not the role of a board member to completely ignore their responsibilities and come up with random proposals completely undermining the collective bargaining process. To further try to tie that outcome with parents efforts to report on class sizes that he SHOULD have known about and DONE something before this about just compounds his errors.

Ken, you may get away with ignoring your election pledges but you can't ignore the responsibilities you assumed when you took on your position with the board.


10 people like this
Posted by Clarity
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm

@Term Limits
Have you and others considered the strong possibility that fewer applicants want to teach in a district where they are responsible for implementing full inclusion with increased class sizes--and a special ed department that has a horrible track record of promising support that does not exist?


17 people like this
Posted by Dean
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Why do I continually read that this tax increase is to reduce class sizes. Am I a stuck record (for those old enough to understand)? I repeat, in the 1940s the argument was to reduce class sizes from the 28 - 36 students per class to a smaller number, near 20 students per class. I heard in the 1950s the argument was to reduce class sizes from 28 - 36 students per class, to . . . I heard in the 1960s, the 1970s, . . . This is 2016, and the argument is for a tax increase to reduce class sizes from the 28 - 36, . . . It seems that all the monies from all the taxes were never spent to reduce class sizes at all and the people claiming that the tax was for that purpose seem to be politicians who generally tell untruths, and yet the sheep follow along. I am fed up with the sheep, who do not seem to have a clue.

Oh, and again as the salary increases are given out, my fixed income gets to be relatively smaller and smaller. Oh, "Retired Teacher", does your retirement have a link to the new pay scale, raising your " fixed income"? I think not.



29 people like this
Posted by Diogenes
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 11, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Responsibility: Presumably Dauber voiced his objections to the size of this raise in closed session during the bargaining process, and lost out to his 4 colleagues -- Townsend, Emberling, Caswell, and Godfrey -- who decided to agree to give the entire surplus property tax revenue in very large raises over 3 years, rather than spending it on raises AND hiring more teachers for our children. None of his colleagues seemed surprised to be hearing his position.

It's hard for me to imagine Dauber sitting meekly in a closed session and going along happily with a hare-brained scheme like this one.

Bravo for one trustee who will tell the truth and fight for our students AND teachers.


13 people like this
Posted by observer
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm

"It's hard for me to imagine Dauber sitting meekly in a closed session and going along happily with a hare-brained scheme like this one."

From what I can tell that's what has happened. Ken had ample time to raise budgetary concerns at various board meetings and all we've heard is crickets. If Ken really believed we needed the budget for reducing the class sizes he should have been out there demanding it long before negotiations have completed.

Any way you look at this, Ken's messed up.


20 people like this
Posted by Diogenes
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 11, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Lots of desperation out there as the political reality sinks in.

Finishing the budget was on hold waiting for the outcome of the negotiations. I have heard every trustee including Dauber talk about the need to take advantage of the budget surplus to reduce class sizes. Caswell said the district should spend "millions" on innovation in the high schools.

Looks like Dauber was fighting for a reasonable settlement in closed session negotiations and was outvoted. Dauber seems to be the only trustee who realized that you can't give every dime of the surplus in raises and have money left for anything else.


Like this comment
Posted by bang bang
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2016 at 9:16 pm

can someone point me to where Dauber was railing for lower class sizes? I've searched and really cannot find anything. Again, this isn't about lower class sizes for Dauber, instead it appears to be his issues with teachers.


9 people like this
Posted by bang bang
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2016 at 9:27 pm

Here's a whole blog post from Dauber about class size relief.

[Portion removed.]

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2016 at 9:32 pm

Wow is a registered user.

@teacher - Dauber's blog post titled "Class Size Relief" from April 10, 2016

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by nothing new there
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2016 at 9:43 pm

All the items Dauber states in that blog are already in the budget and up for approval. Nothing new there from Dauber. Unlike his new libertarian proposal last night.


31 people like this
Posted by Sheepish in palo alto
a resident of Community Center
on May 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm

Responsibility... Community disappointment about the loss of class size reduction and so many other important programs and efforts is real. It is not a straw man argument - unless you are suggesting that the promises and POLICIES for smaller class size were never intended to be fulfilled.

maybe we ARE sheep (as Dean suggests) to believe the rhetoric and promises of improved learning environments, climate and connectedness? I wasn't that cynical until I read your post! Until then I was just angry, impatient that we have to wait AGAIN for what nearly everyone agrees is a goal! Baaaaaaa...for me. (I admit it. I've been believing these guys for years...)

A windfall year like this one doesn't come around very often - hence last year's Measure A campaign. This year's windfall could have meant we all got our cake (much deserved teachers raise) AND we get to eat it too (smaller class size, breakfasts for hungry students... ). But the board majority negotiated THIS deal.

As (perhaps?) a teacher, you may be irritated with Ken for his communication to the public last night. But as a community member, who would otherwise have no insight into the considerations and issues in these negotiations, I appreciate his focus on student wellbeing, his questions AND his careful consideration of district finances. None of which should frighten or threaten teachers.





12 people like this
Posted by Time to step up
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2016 at 9:56 am

I have a 3rd grader and a 7th grader and I volunteer at school. This is where leaders in our district and teachers need to step up and fix this before we miss the opportunity to get meaningful class size reduction AND teacher raises. This may be the last moment for a long time where we can do both, with property tax increases over 11%!!

Teachers, do you really want high class sizes forever, in order to have slightly higher raises? If not, talk to your leadership.

Board members, I heard Terry say that she would be willing to revisit this. That's 2 votes. Melissa and Heidi, can you be on board for a better deal for the district? It's not too late. Practically, do you want to defend this decision to keep class sizes high during your re-election?

Let's get moving. It's not over until it's over.


30 people like this
Posted by very strange
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2016 at 10:25 am

" do you want to defend this decision to keep class sizes high during your re-election?"

A "false choice" of "false dilemma" is "a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option".

I certainly didn't see Terry, Camille, Melissa or Heidi say they were against reducing class sizes. Only Ken and his supporters have tried to paint those against him as being against class size reduction. Pick your choice: "straw man" or "false dilemma". Your arguments are still fallacies.

I do see the irony!


42 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2016 at 11:44 am

In negotiations, both the school district and the union have to sunshine proposals. Did the district propose in its sunshine this year to discuss class size? If not, then this is not something that can now be negotiated. It seems to me that Ken is trying to make teachers look bad when he knows that this item was not up for negotiations in the first place. Furthermore, if the Board had adopted reducing class size in its budget discussion, the district would have had to inform the union that this was taking place. Teachers would have been ecstatic to hear their class sizes were being reduced.

However, it appears that this was never brought to the table as a part of discussion in negotiations. Ken is trying to mislead the public.

My questions to Ken Dauber:
1. Did the Board direct its district representatives to discuss reducing class size as part of the discussion in negotiations?
2. Did you, as a member of the Board, and one who is has declared his support for unions on your own blog, ever reach out to the Association to discuss your desire to reduce class size?

If the answer is no to both questions - then you need to apologize to the public for trying to sway public opinion on a matter that was never brought to the table in the first place.


11 people like this
Posted by Time to step up
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

It's about a clear a choice as there could be. Give teachers a 9% raise over 3 years, or 12%. 9% gets you 35 additional teachers, compared to 12%.

I have heard all the board members say they want class size reduction, so no one is "against reducing class sizes" in theory. In practice, if you spend the money on higher raises instead, who cares if you are for reducing class sizes in theory?

This is a situation that calls for practical leadership to get a better outcome for all, including students and teachers. Ken has laid out an alternative. I am hoping that other leaders in the district will get behind it to reduce class sizes for our students in middle and high school. Let's meet the district's commitments on class sizes now! We can afford to do it!


22 people like this
Posted by Time to step up
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2016 at 11:58 am

To teacher,

I don't know how the bargaining went, but it is the board's job to look at the fiscal impact of the contract on the district's budget and decide what is the right position to settle on. The union contract is about how much will be paid to teachers, not what will be done with the rest of the budget that isn't going to compensation. Ken is pointing out to the community that the board could have made an agreement with lower raises, freeing up money for hiring more teachers. How to spend the extra money is not a negotiating issue.

The idea that a board member is going to go off and negotiate on his own or her own is really not allowed, I'm sure.

I don't blame the teachers for wanting higher pay, I blame the board for not valuing hiring more teachers when they were deciding how much money to pay in raises. I don't think the teachers look bad. I think the board looks bad. But it can be fixed!


9 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

To Time to step up:
The point is that this is only now being raised as an issue when it should have been raised during negotiations. It is not negotiating or interfering with negotiations for Ken to reach out to the union to talk about his priorities.

The district receives its authority to negotiate terms from the Board. If this was a priority for the Board, this would impact negotiations because the amount of money available for compensations would be impacted. I can only assume that this was never brought up in negotiations due to reactions from other teachers and comments made the union.

Also, class size is subject to negotiations. Look at the contract - class size is part of it as it impacts working conditions. As a teacher, I want smaller class sizes as it makes my job easier. However, to bring it up now when negotiations have been settled, seems like political grandstanding to me on Dauber's part.

Again, keep in mind the District receives its direction to negotiate from the school board. To change the terms after the fact may lead to bigger, negative implications for the Board.


4 people like this
Posted by very strange
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2016 at 12:19 pm

@Time to step up,

"It's about a clear a choice as there could be. Give teachers a 9% raise over 3 years, or 12%. 9% gets you 35 additional teachers, compared to 12%."

That is the false dilemma fallacy again. Simply repeating it doesn't make it any more true. It's not a choice between raises and class sizes.

I find it truly amazing that class sizes has suddenly become the Ken's top budget issue only after Rita's work. Before that, it wasn't even on Ken's radar.
If Ken was serious about class size reductions he would make it a board priority instead of trying to use it to union bust.


7 people like this
Posted by nonteacher
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2016 at 12:22 pm

@teacher

Absolutely could not disagree with you more.

But clearly you value your pocket book over all else.

The flip side:

Q. Where does the teachers' union stand on reducing class size to improve student learning?

A. Firmly in their own personal financial interest.

Horrible.


6 people like this
Posted by nonteacher
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm

@observer states:

"Any way you look at this, Ken's messed up."

No. The way I and most parents (who aren't also teachers) look at it, you and the rest of the board is completely at odds with student welfare.


2 people like this
Posted by nonteacher
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm

@clarity states:

"Have you and others considered the strong possibility that fewer applicants want to teach in a district where they are responsible for implementing full inclusion with increased class sizes--and a special ed department that has a horrible track record of promising support that does not exist? "

Yes we have.

If that is your position, please run, don't walk, as far outside this district as you possibly can, as soon as you can.


10 people like this
Posted by A little respect here
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2016 at 12:32 pm

@ Very Strange - through your lens:
"Only Ken and his supporters have tried to paint those against him as being against class size reduction."

Through my lens:
First of all, it is "very strange" indeed to use the words "those against him". Telling.

Second, I neither saw nor read anyone painting anyone else as "against class size reduction". The points made by Mr. Dauber at the Board meeting had to do with discussing the impact of the current contract and not having the dollars available to do what everyone and every Bond measure has stated they genuinely want to do (including Board members). Objective and focused - not antagonistic or personal (through my lens).

Through your lens: "I certainly didn't see Terry, Camille, Melissa or Heidi say they were against reducing class sizes"

Through my lens: I didn't either. They were essentially silent about it - which is "very strange" since I believe that THEY believe smaller class sizes are good for students - as they have said so in the past and I take them at their word.

I assume they heard the tradeoffs during negotiations and ultimately supported this contract. Mr. Dauber did not. We "hired" them all to exercise their judgement and they did. The public hears and reacts. That's how it works.

The false arguments are the ones you've suggested in your posts - that Mr. Dauber's points Tuesday night were anti-teacher-raise, directed at other Board members, for the purpose of painting them as anti-class size reduction and that community members who express their disappointment are "Dauber-supporters" unable to think for themselves.

Through my lens: Mr. Dauber shared his views why he could not support the current contract - and his points made sense to me. The silence of the other Board members about class size reduction was "very strange". I kept waiting for some reassurance that it was still possible to move toward class size reduction with this contract. But we heard nothing. I am left to interpret that as conscious avoidance and discomfort.

I am genuinely disappointed that a compromise plan - that would have raised teachers, helped student learning environments, and fully funded some other student supports - couldn't have been struck.

The community disappointment that is being registered here is objective and real. It is not anti-teacher. It's a challenge (but respectful to us all) to sit with that reality and not attribute it to something or someone else.


17 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm

nonteacher - when was the last time your employer offered you a salary increase but but you argued for much less so that more people could be hired? Does that mean you are a horrible person? I am not a teacher but I assume many teachers realize that over the coming three years there will be more money for more teachers so classroom sizes will fall. Everyone should know that when you budget revenue you always take a conservative approach - the staggering property value increases will provide more resources. Too many people have been fooled by Dauber's end run to take a stab at the teachers.


2 people like this
Posted by very strange
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Respect: "Only Ken and his supporters have tried to paint those against him as being against class size reduction."
"Through my lens: First of all, it is "very strange" indeed to use the words "those against him". Telling."

Why? You are against the other board members.


Respect: "Second, I neither saw nor read anyone painting anyone else as "against class size reduction".

You can't be serious! Try reading the thread.


Respect: "Through my lens: I didn't either. They were essentially silent about it - which is "very strange" since I believe that THEY believe smaller class sizes are good for students - as they have said so in the past and I take them at their word. "

You're just creating a corollary of the original fallacy argument. Through your lens: Because the other board members refused to be drawn by Ken's false dilemma fallacy argument they did something wrong.

The board can make class size reduction a priority. It's not dependent on these contract negotiations.


"Through my lens: Mr. Dauber shared his views why he could not support the current contract - and his points made sense to me. The silence of the other Board members about class size reduction was "very strange". I kept waiting for some reassurance that it was still possible to move toward class size reduction with this contract. But we heard nothing. I am left to interpret that as conscious avoidance and discomfort. "

This is the same as you've last point where you've fallen into the trap of believing Ken's false dilemma fallacy.
Instead of making his case against the contract and seeing if it was negotiated in good faith and whether the teachers deserved the raise, Ken tried to introduce a fallacy argument that required you to believe the the choice is between a raise and class size reductions.


"I am genuinely disappointed that a compromise plan - that would have raised teachers, helped student learning environments, and fully funded some other student supports - couldn't have been struck. "


Again, the fallacy. Ken's "compromise plan" is not the only option. There is no reason why the board can't look at class size reductions.


6 people like this
Posted by A little respect here
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Gee, Alphonso - I guess we should have known that last year when the District was so desperate and pushing Measure A, huh?

Is your assertion that there will always be more $$ due to increased tax money or that saps (sheep?) like us will always believe District cries for more?

Then why wait? Let's borrow to fund all the projects in the queue. More teachers, breakfast for all, social-emotional support - the whole magilla. Heck - we can borrow to do so - OR - just spend down the reserves. Reserves? What are we worried about? And no need to discuss with the public - let's throw out that pesky two-meeting rule (what a time waster that is!)...There will always be more money - so why are we waiting?

Hopefully my flatlander sarcasm registers in Los Altos Hills.


11 people like this
Posted by A little respect here
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2016 at 1:41 pm

@ Very Strange: we do see it differently, I concede that.

I see Board meetings as the Board speaking to ME - reporting out to the public - about decisions they have made on our behalf and on behalf of the schools.

The negotiations were done. The two meeting rule is intended so these decisions can be shared with the public. Ken was talking to me AND teachers and students and their parents - sharing his thoughts and concerns and why he would be voting against this contract. I think by highlighting an alternative he would have preferred, he sent an important message that his no vote should not be interpreted as against teacher raises or teachers in general.

The other Board members could have shared why they believed this contract to be the best or how it would not affect funding other priorities. They didn't reassure. I have voted for each of these board members at least once - and I really would appreciate hearing them share their thinking on the subject. Especially if they felt Ken was out of line or off base in his assessment.

Sorry if my lens frustrates you, but I'm not "inside baseball" on any of this - and have only the words and actions of the Board and District leaders to go by. Or lack of them.


8 people like this
Posted by Datanerd
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm

You folks are good at fratricide. Just a fact to consider, not a Ken Dauber fact, but a reality check. In the 2002-03 school year, roughly 42% of PAUSD employees lived in Palo Alto or nearby in E.P.A. Now? Almost 31%. To spell it out for the arithmetically challenged, that's an 11% drop...and it's continuing to slide.

Your reserve fund is absurdly large when all the surplus funds are lumped in with the actual reserve.

The people you entrust your children to can't afford to live near you. But then, some of you probably want things that way. Keeps the rabble out, no?


Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm

It's OK if teachers leave Palo Alto.

I don't think good teachers leave this district because they hardly get complaints and they are experienced and good at teaching. They really enjoy teaching.

If we lose many teachers, finally we can have online school with some live teachers.
We couldn't have done it because teachers oppose it.
I see this issue a great opportunity to change our schools drastically for good.


17 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm

To "mom"
I would suggest you research the absolute failure of online learning for students.

Here is one that might interest you:
Web Link

Basically what you want is to destroy public education. Thankfully, I bet a lot of your neighbors don't hold that same viewpoint.


1 person likes this
Posted by Haricot Vert
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Datanerd, actually, it's a 26% drop.


5 people like this
Posted by very strange
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm

@respect,

I too see the board meetings as the board and district communicating with me. However, that is not what Ken did.

Regardless of Ken's claims that he supports the teachers union, he really believed the agreement was too generous. For full transparency, I also think the agreement is too generous but I've not been privy to the negotiations so my opinion is worth zip.

These negotiations have been going on for months. Ken could have outlined the reasons why the negotiators had got the 16% number and why he considered those reasons to be wrong. Now that would have been communicating and my above opinion on whether it was too generous may have changed.

Ken didn't do any of that. Instead he, once again, tried to set one side of the district against the other by claiming a direct link between the agreement with a "flavor of the month" topic - class size reductions.

This is not the behavior of a board member that wants to work collaboratively with other board members and the district. It is a deliberate attempt to derail a months long negotiated agreement with nothing more than a blog post.


9 people like this
Posted by In Step
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm

A fearless and searching inventory might lead some to conclude that there is a bit of last-minute grandstanding going on by certain parties in order to curry support among certain members of the community. Class size was not part of the initial negotiations, or at least not a major point; all board members would surely know this as it is their responsibility as parties to the collective bargaining agreement the district has in place with its work force. You don't get to introduce a new agenda item as part of the negotiation package after the fact.

But it sure looks good on TV.


Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 12, 2016 at 4:43 pm

@teacher,

You must know that students using full time online school at this stage are students whom regular schools failed.

If online schools benefit even a few student, you should be thankful.

In Palo Alto, we use online or tutors so much at home because otherwise students need to drop out from school. We are using online classes all the time. Why not skip schools/teachers.


4 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm

*mom
yes, online help can be useful for both students and parents. I don't disagree with that. However, your original post was almost gleeful in the prospect that teachers are leaving Palo Alto and how this would help speed up the demise of regular schools so that more students can use online schools.

"If we lose many teachers, finally we can have online school with some live teachers.
We couldn't have done it because teachers oppose it.
I see this issue a great opportunity to change our schools drastically for good."

Online schools work very well for highly motivated students and parents. It doesn't work so well for those who cannot devote the time necessary to make sure students are actually doing the work. Again, I suggest you do the research that shows online schools are a disaster for many students.


6 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Barron Park
on May 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Perhaps if we continue with massive class sizes and crummy special Ed programs, real estate prices will plummet and teachers in PAUSD will finally be able to afford to live in Palo Alto.

Their 3% raises are surely helping teachers afford the $400K down payment on a home in PA, amirite?

Also, shame on the Palo Alto School Board for not making it affordable for high school teachers to live in the most expensive town in the country.


6 people like this
Posted by A little respect here
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm

OK, "Very Strange" - I think I see where you are coming from. You are suggesting that Ken Dauber delivered a false argument ("there is no money left - but there could have been...") instead of what you believe he really meant (teachers don't deserve this high a raise - or the raise is too high for "x" reasons). You also believe he could have raised these issues inside negotiations if he really cared - but you believe he didn't and he doesn't.

This really is "inside baseball" as far as my level of knowledge or familiarity with district negotiating process. I have no way of knowing if what you say is true or speculation. From what I've observed of Ken Dauber, what doesn't fit for me in your version is Ken sitting quietly during negotiations just to, later, spite the union or the District in front of the public. It doesn't fit for me. I've been impressed with his questions and contributions on the Board and I believe he genuinely cares about students and teachers.

Coming at this with a beginner's mind, but a decade-long desire to see environmental changes enacted in our high schools, I'm just tired of the in-fighting and the lack of progress. I just want the entire board and administration (and teachers' union) to figure this out - transparently. I'm not afraid of disagreement or the democratic process. Let it play out - openly and honestly. For everyone's sake.

If Ken never brought this up in negotiations - I would respect and expect the other Board members or Dr. McGee to say so. We have one more meeting.

I hope you are right in your belief that smaller class sizes are not off the table - and wrong in your belief and characterization of Ken's intent. Best possible outcome.



4 people like this
Posted by Clarity
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Re: class size reduction

If lower class sizes have already been negotiated and approved as policy, why would people have to presume a manipulation of the numbers rather than an accurate reporting by the district of the typical number of students enrolled in each class? Perhaps the community needs a full reporting that includes the mean, median and mode of classroom sizes and teacher to student ratios.

Speaking of that, how are the TOSA teachers accounted for in that report? Do their numbers further dilute the real number of teachers to students in the district?

If the reported numbers fall into the acceptable range, but the actual practice is drastically different--that is a problem with ethics and truth, and intentionally misleading the community. Thankfully, two parents looked into the numbers and have shared their findings with the community.


12 people like this
Posted by Diogenes
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 12, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Like I said yesterday: "Presumably Dauber voiced his objections to the size of this raise in closed session during the bargaining process, and lost out to his 4 colleagues -- Townsend, Emberling, Caswell, and Godfrey -- who decided to agree to give the entire surplus property tax revenue in very large raises over 3 years, rather than spending it on raises AND hiring more teachers for our children. None of his colleagues seemed surprised to be hearing his position. It's hard for me to imagine Dauber sitting meekly in a closed session and going along happily with a hare-brained scheme like this one."

It's funny to see people try to criticize a public official for telling the community that he disagrees with a decision and why. If you think the size of the raise is fine, and that it was needed for the teachers, fine. Say so. You will have 4 board members who agree with you. If you agree with Dauber that the raise should have been smaller (9% rather than 12%) to leave enough money left over for 35 new teachers for our students...that's fine too. This is how accountability works, folks.


23 people like this
Posted by bang bang
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2016 at 7:53 pm

teacher asks Ken Dauber: 2. Did you, as a member of the Board, and one who is has declared his support for unions on your own blog, ever reach out to the Association to discuss your desire to reduce class size?

This would violate the Rodda Act.

The fact is that a board member who is in closed session meetings about contract negotiations can press his point to his fellow board members and argue about such things as the tradeoffs between compensation and class sizes, but if his colleagues do not agree, his only option is to vote no in closed session, and then when the contract is brought to the public meeting for discussion of the fiscal implications to voice his opposition and the reasons for those. He is not free to just run to the union with a counter proposal. He is not free to disclose the content of negotiations either to the public or the bargaining unit members. He is not free to do anything except argue to his colleagues in closed session and then hold them accountable publicly for the fiscal consequences of what they have approved.

I think it is a very very safe bet that Ken voted against the contract in closed session based on what has been said publicly.

It is important to note that Ken is not trying to change the outcome. He is not trying to undo or undermine the agreement that I have seen. He is simply doing his job as a public servant, voting his conscience and telling the public the actual fiscal implications of this deal. That is entirely proper and the censor should delete all the posts here containing implications that he has done anything wrong or has bad motives, none which appear to me to have any basis at all.

The board does not want to be accountable for this terrible decision. Melissa and Heidi would rather not have to defend this decision in an election year. They would rather have a silent board agreeing quickly on this contract and never have the public even realize (let alone hear it from the dais) what has become of their tax dollars. Melissa and Heidi I am sure would much rather not have it pointed out that they took all the Measure A funds and handed them over to the union in the form of excessive pay increases and now there is no money left for small learning communities, or full day kindergarten, or more mental health counselors, or class size reductions.

Max McGee has so far not had his role examined. This is really his fault. He appointed Scott Bowers to negotiate. He supports this contract, and likely did so in closed session as well. He didn't bother to pay attention to the money this would cost because he was obsessed with having a 3 year contract for reasons not obvious and was willing to overpay for it with your money. Max failed to work with the board, failed to manage their expectations, failed to get them where they needed to be, failed to make it clear to them what the funding priorities were. This is a go-along-get-along board with zero independence other than Dauber. Max horribly mishandled this situation, just as he mishandled full day kindergarten, just as he mishandled Cubberley, just as he mishandled the general counsel and the law firms and nearly everything else. Max McGee is doing a terrible job on many things but this really breaks the camel's back. This leaves our rich district broke, broke, broke. [Portion removed.]


39 people like this
Posted by Gone On Too Long
a resident of Barron Park
on May 12, 2016 at 8:08 pm

This extravagant and irresponsible use of our tax payments is just shameful. Particularly after the teachers and PAUSD clearly misrepresented the need for measure A last year, and in view of the parents and taxpayers clear preference (nee demand) for lower class sizes.
Feast or famine. Lies and deception. That's all you get from the city leadership.
I assure you I will never support another bond assessment, and when the teachers cry poor after their bloated pension fund goes bust, they need only look to their own Union and PAUSD leadership - not the taxpayers, for relief.


28 people like this
Posted by Eileen 1
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2016 at 9:06 pm

This contract will give the teachers a 12% raise over three years with 2015/16 being paid in arrears. Does anyone remember what the teachers received as a pay raise in their last contract? My memory is that it was 4.5%. This means that the district teachers will be receiving a 16.5% raise over a 4 year time period. Wow! Many of us who live in Palo Alto did not receive a 4.5% pay raise two years ago, and have no hope of receiving a 12% raise over the next three years. I am just astonished that this permanent increase is deemed necessary by the board. Especially considering the fact that Palo Alto is near the top of the state in teacher salaries. Yes, it is very expensive to live here, but I do not believe it will ever be possible to pay our teachers enough to buy a home in this community. That day is gone, and not just for our teachers, but also for many of our adult children who grew up here. I am in favor of giving the teachers a raise, but 16.5% over 4 years? To me that is excessive. Let's put some of the money into reducing class sizes, small learning communities, and teacher training.


25 people like this
Posted by Sr. Administrator Salary Raises
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2016 at 9:33 pm

I don't mind teachers getting a pay increase if that what was negotiated, or a Board Member voicing agreement or disagreement.

I do not mind low level managers without union representation getting a matching increase.

I am very uncomfortable with Senior Administrators being automatically awarded large pay increases and bonuses based on teachers and aides receiving them. Administrators are being awarded bonuses for jobs not yet done, and salary increases which are not based on their performance or achievement of goals.

When the reorganization occurred effective last year, many Senior Administrators were promoted and received hefty raises. It is a year later, and, assuming they did an acceptable job as evaluated by their supervisors, some salary increase is reasonable.

What is not reasonable is this package giving raises retroactive to last year when the same Administrators already received hefty pay increases at the time they were promoted. A retroactive pay increase and bonus gives double pay for doing the same job a year ago, and is not an incentive to do a better job in the future.

As an example, didn't Holly Wade receive a $30k salary increase at the time of being promoted in a reorganization? It was for a new job, so fine by me. I don't care how much she earns. What is not fine is that she should get another 5% pay increase retroactive to last year when she was promoted. That is a double pay increase for doing the same past job.

Plus, next month she will automatically get another bonus of 4% + 1%.

Plus, the year after that she will automatically get another bonus.

These are being awarded to senior administrators now, years before their jobs are done. How do we know they will do a such a good job in 2 years?

Retroactive pay increases and bonuses and promises of increases for Senior Administrators awards them double salary increases and bonuses for jobs not yet done and goals not yet achieved.

Plus, both the bonuses will automatically be increased if property taxes exceed projections. There is no relationship to performance at all.

If the Superintendent or Board wishes to award performance bonuses, they can conduct evaluations and publish the criteria, achievement, and reasons for awarding bonuses. Large sums of public money should not be awarded in advance.


24 people like this
Posted by Conflict of interest
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2016 at 8:18 am

Great points. It's mystifying why senior managers would be granted large raises and bonuses years in advance. Completely disconnected from reality.

Mr. Dauber made this argument at the board meeting. I hope the board agrees with him to limit managers' raise to 1 year.

He also made the correct point that giving the same raise to managers creates a conflict of interest. Scott Bowers, the HR manager and negotiator, is bargaining for his own pay. A 5% pay raise is probably worth $10,000 a year to him personally. The board should have a negotiator who is a professional and isn't personally befitting benefiting from the agreement.


2 people like this
Posted by very strange
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2016 at 8:33 am

@respect,
I've got no idea how you got to that result from my post. Let's ignore the whole fallacy side to Ken's comments and break it down in your terms.

Ken's argument against the raise is: "If we only spend X from Y on A, we will have Y minus X left to spend on B"

Your lens: That's a brilliantly insightful piece of mathematical reasoning. Ken's amazing
My lens: A 5 year old could come up with that. It's populist grandstanding

We'll see if the emperor has any clothes.


22 people like this
Posted by A Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2016 at 9:22 am

@very strange - pointing out the obvious is sometimes a very helpful thing, esp. if noone else is saying it. The Board had spent a big chunk of the last year talking about how to spend its bumper surplus - free breakfast, innovative programs, TEAM/SLC, full-day kindergarten, class size (since last fall), restoring sports funding, new administrators, etc.

So when the bombshell drops and it is announced that none of those things will be funded in full (except new admins!), and some not at all (TEAM/SLC), it seems worth pointing out that a decision is being made and that the conversation is clearly changing because of it. If we had made a different decision (3% or 4% raise instead of 5%), we'd still be funding those programs as discussed.


20 people like this
Posted by bang bang
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2016 at 10:24 am

I'll just state the obvious. Dauber is a super-ethical boy scout, a leader in every sense of the word, and he has fast become the conscience of the community. He wanted to do his job and make sure that the community understood the tradeoffs that the board majority was making. After having spent an entire year parading a feast of opportunities -- new schools, innovative curriculum, full day kindergarten, small learning communities, smaller classes -- he understood the sleight of hand and decided to make it public.

We need more public servants committed fully to transparency and open government. This is a school district that doesn't even publish minutes of its meetings. We need a big change, starting with defeating Melissa and Heidi in the upcoming election.


7 people like this
Posted by A little respect here
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 13, 2016 at 11:01 am

Hi Strange,

I was genuinely and sincerely trying to listen (read) and understand your point of view - and was trying to meet you there.

I misinterpreted your post - big time. I thought you meant what Ken should have said and done inside the months of negotiation, not at the Board meeting. My mistake - and I'm glad to be corrected.

Perhaps if we were in a true conversation or exchange we would be more inclined to respect - if not understand - each other's perspectives and points.

I agree that a 5 year old would understand that when most of the money is spent on "x" there will be only so much to spend on other things. From my perspective, it is that simple. I recognize you see it differently.

Although I no longer have students in PAUSD, I continue to care about your 5 year old and every other student in this community that I love. Teachers, too. These decisions matter - playing out in very real ways in learning and in health.

Thank you for correcting my earlier post. I mean that sincerely.









28 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

The simplicity of this decision is what makes it so frustrating. I just wrote a very large check to Santa Clara County for my property taxes. I elect school board members to use it wisely for our students. Giving ALL of the surplus from our taxes to large teacher raises, and NONE to hiring more teachers, makes no sense. 9% over 3 years in addition to almost 8% over the last 2 years plus seniority raises, WOW! It needs to be 12% rather than 9%?
Give me a break.


37 people like this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm

a bad teacher will not be any better teaching one student or 30. Class size is not as important as you think. Administrators that have the best interest of children and can implement and enforce best practices and the pretty great state standards seem to be off topic and what is missing. where are they and why do parents have to worry that this is not being done? Better pay will attract better teachers and realize none of them will be able to even afford a one room apt. on their teacher salary even with this 3 percent of a pretty low salary for this area raise. I am not sure how people can be teachers and survive in this area. Still.... too many administrators and all they seem to be doing lately is hiring other specialists with fancy titles to do their job.


1 person likes this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 14, 2016 at 7:20 am

Meanwhile the Stanford Hospital nurses just agreed to a 12% salary increase over three years - the teachers also agreed to 12%. The teachers also got bonuses of 2%-4% depending on how fast property taxes increase - while the nurses got 3% in the form of annual retirement benefits.


1 person likes this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 14, 2016 at 7:22 am

I should have added - the nurses make 25%-30% more than the teachers.


8 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2016 at 7:42 am

Yes and as everyone knows Stanford and PAUSD are equally rich and have the same ability to pay, and the labor markets for nurses and teachers are identical, and the skill needed by a cancer intensive care nurse is the same as that of a middle school gym teacher.

If Stanford and PAUSD were similarly situated, we would learn that as a result of the 12% raise paid to the nurses they could no longer afford gauze or soap for the hospital.


17 people like this
Posted by TellItLike
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 14, 2016 at 7:45 am


Its to much Alphonso.
Here is what the Federal Government pay raises are....
Web Link

Year Percent : Pay Raise : Example Salary Raise for a GS-5 Step 5

2016 : 1.0% : From $31,714.00 to $32,031.00 / year ($317.00 raise)
2015 : 1.0% : From $31,401.00 to $31,714.00 / year ($313.00 raise)
2014 : 1.0% : From $31,087.00 to $31,401.00 / year ($314.00 raise)
2013 : 0.0% : From $31,087.00 to $31,087.00 / year ($0.00 raise)
2012 : 0.0% : From $31,087.00 to $31,087.00 / year ($0.00 raise)
2011 : 0.0% : From $31,087.00 to $31,087.00 / year ($0.00 raise)
2010 : 1.5% : From $30,630.00 to $31,087.00 / year ($457.00 raise)
2009 : 2.9% : From $29,764.00 to $30,630.00 / year ($866.00 raise)
2008 : 2.5% : From $29,039.00 to $29,764.00 / year ($725.00 raise)


3 people like this
Posted by history lesson
a resident of Barron Park
on May 14, 2016 at 8:32 am

"I'll just state the obvious. Dauber is a super-ethical boy scout, a leader in every sense of the word, and he has fast become the conscience of the community. "

Ken can't even keep his election pledges.

The only real true on this board is Camille. She has done so much for the schools, children, teachers and parents in this district than anyone else in the history of PAUSD.


20 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2016 at 9:00 am

Article in the SF Chron headline: "Governor Brown cautious budget, urges state to prepare for recession"

Web Link

and in case the school board doesn't have an economic advisor, the tech IPO market is the slowest that it's been in many years - an indication that equity creation, one of the fuels used to drive housing prices, is slowing down; and with the building cap instituted by the City of Palo Alto, the two main drivers of property assessment increases may not yield the 9% property tax increase that will support the pay raises being proposed...


8 people like this
Posted by Tough choices
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2016 at 10:42 am

I agree with giving teachers the bulk of the property tax windfall but don't agree it should be 100%. Next year's budget is already projected in the red. All the new programs that were envisioned with the budget surplus have been traded away. No new teachers to relieve overcrowded middle and high school classes. No new reading specialists and aides to support full day kindergarten and narrow the achievement gap. This will be in effect for the next three years. As Max informed Heidi when she questioned why only a minority of elementary schools would have the full day kindergarten model, choices will have to be made to remove other programs in order to fund new ones. Terry Godfrey pressed Scott Bowers to ask teachers if they really wanted this deal with larger class sizes. Class sizes should have been protected from the beginning. I doubt this can be walked back. In light of Jerry Brown's announcement of a cooling economy perhaps the union will accept a one year contract.


4 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2016 at 11:14 am

Palo Alto High School reaches enrollment capacity, Gunn gets overflow

Web Link


Yup, keep on building so parents have to drive their kids longer distances to school.


9 people like this
Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Green Acres
on May 14, 2016 at 12:14 pm

The article cited is incorrect. The super said at the board meeting that Paly had more students than Gunn, and the convention has long been that both schools kept approximately the same enrollment. So they are shifting enrollment to Gunn. It has nothing to do with "capacity." All this is mentioned further down in the article, but for some reason the reporter led with the "reached its enrollment capacity" line, which perhaps will draw more readers, but is wrong.


20 people like this
Posted by We are Bell, CA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2016 at 12:58 am

It would have been nice to know how much of the expenditure will go to teachers and how much will go to administrators. It really is unhealthy for administration to make ao much more than staff. It is known to hurt performance when management makes so much more. The raises should have been only for teachers, and a cap should be put on administrator salaries relative to teachers, per business research, and subject to community performance review. Perhaps if the community understood just what the kids are giving up to overpaybthe administrators, the discussion would be different.

But clearly the district administration is trying to demonstrate that money really can buy them love. Sign them "Crossroads."


6 people like this
Posted by Classes Too Big Plus Teacher Raises?
a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2016 at 10:41 am

Classes Too Big Plus Teacher Raises? is a registered user.

I’m so grateful to the two women who dug deep and published their editorial about real class sizes, versus the averages the district promotes. Thank you PA Online for publishing this fabulous opinion piece! As a result, I've discovered my middle and high school students' math classes are both almost 30 students which is 20-30 percent higher than they are supposed to be at 22 students. (Not to mention their other classes which are all too big too.)

To add insult to injury, my Measure A Tax dollars (and possibly PiE donations) all just went to a huge 16 percent teacher raise over the next three years instead of to adding more teachers to reduce class sizes. To be clear, I believe it’s important to properly compensate talented teachers. Teachers can’t afford to live/buy in Palo Alto on their current salaries. But I only agree with raises like this if it’s merit based and not on a '2 year tenured for life plan no matter how you perform' (state law). There are some incredible teachers in our district, and some that need to go. But they will all get the same raise! And I only agree with raises like this for current teachers if classrooms are properly staffed. Clearly, class sizes are not what they are supposed to be. Therefore, instead of giving the $8m surplus to current teachers and administrators, pausd needed to hire MORE teachers. Classes are too big. Class sizes that don't meet the standards in addition to huge teacher raises is a disgusting combo.


9 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Professorville
on May 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm

@classes too big

We need to get enough taxpayers together to challenge the school board over this horrible decision. In particular, Melissa Caswell and Heidi Emberling are running for re-election and they should both lose if they do not reverse this decision. Ken Dauber should be Board President -- we would not have the secret closed meeting shenanigans we are seeing now if he was in charge rather than Heidi. Terry Godfrey -- what a disappointment she turned out to be!

This decision is forever. Once the funds are gone, they are gone for all time. This is a board that does not (whatever Terry and Melissa may say) understand how finance works (or physics for that matter). They are acting like you can get more money later. No. You can't. If you devote the entire surplus to this, and give huge raises that are cumulative over several years, that is a burden that is additive and never goes away.

This board has to go. If you are unhappy with huge classes and big raises that take every dime of the Measure A funding, don't just post on Town Square. Go to the board meeting and make your views known. Write letters to the editor. Send emails to the board members. Protest this unfair situation. If you take it lying down, you should stop complaining because you are part of the problem.


6 people like this
Posted by We are Bell, CA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2016 at 5:48 pm

@parent - I think you have the right idea, but you really aren't going to do much unless you make some really fundamental changes to the district that make better checks and balances, and make the kind of secrecy, insularity, and poor accountability we see in the district year after year impossible. The fox is not going to make rules to keep him out of the henhouse no matter how much you ask nicely at the podium. If you want to change things for good, you have to address it in the City Charter (City of Palo Alto). Find a model for improved accountability in other California charter cities, and put together a charter amendment to the schools section (how many people reading this have bothered to understand how our city charter works and where the power to change rests?) Build coalitions of parents, help them understand the value of improving checks and balances. Speaking at board meetings does little except wear people down from attending meetings, you get 3 minutes to talk to the hand, and maybe some soon forgotten line in a news article.

I'm very disappointed that the Weekly did not specifically report on what the district administration costs us, what value (or not) we get for that money, and how much this raise will cost in administrator salaries. Do people have no idea of how top heavy, expensive, and wasteful the administration here is? Even the governor's salary dropped in the recession. Our administrators just continued to make more.

I am actually for paying administrators only a small fraction more than the teachers, because business studies show this nets the best performance. Administrators should not be making so much more than teachers, and the top ones should not be making so much more than the governor of the entire state.


10 people like this
Posted by We are Bell, CA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Web Link

Web Link

Does no one remember the above? They are from 2013. The district found itself (gasp!) with extra money at the end of the year, and gave it away to teachers for raises and $5.1 million for "professional development" of teachers over three years. $5.1 million is a lot of money. That's a LOT of "professional development" - does anyone recall running into $5.1 million in professional development, and why wasn't that first dedicated to reducing class sizes? (I don't know why it says $5.1 million, I could swear it was an $8 million surplus, but maybe that was another surplus that went to "professional development"?)

This just happened in 2013 without a peep. Now I know why teachers don't bother to be "upstanders" when the district enlists them to do terrible things to students, they're bribed to see things the district's way every few years. In the mean time, all those mental health proposals, emergency preparedness, class size reductions - those things get the circular file.

This is also a hefty hiring and raise.

I actually don't begrudge teachers the money. I don't think the administrators deserve it, though, and they're already making so much more than teachers. How much of the money here is for administrators (versus teachers) and why wasn't it reported in the article? Come on, 4th estate! I know you're better than this.


18 people like this
Posted by Not-Jeff
a resident of Stanford
on May 16, 2016 at 6:58 pm

Not-Jeff is a registered user.

> I actually don't begrudge teachers the money.

I think one of the BIG issues not discussed is the "bait-and-switch" way these raises were implemented. The parcel taxes that are funding these raises in PAUSD were MARKETED as being needed for addressing class sizes, but they ACTUALLY went for raises and bonuses.

Let's be real here: there is no way that the teachers unions for Redwood City School district, Menlo Park City School District and PAUSD all decided independently to negotiate *retroactive* raises.

Fortunately, the MPCSD community fought this blatant parcel-tax bait-and-switch, and had the measures (yes, TWO) defeated.



3 people like this
Posted by PAUSD Staff
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2016 at 11:06 pm

FYI, the 12% raise across 3 years that's widely quoted doesn't include the automatic step-column raise that many teachers get every year.

For a primer on teacher pay scales:
Web Link

Here's PAUSD's 2014-15 Teacher Salary Schedule:
Web Link

As an example, a teacher with a Bachelor's degree (column 0) and 3-8 years with the district gets an automatic annual raise averaging 3.4% (up until yr 9). They can continue to get automatic annual raises by completing additional coursework, thus moving to the next higher-paying column.


7 people like this
Posted by district teacher
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Teachers in this district get paid well. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Even the starting teachers know what a population that for the most part can read and write, an on demand tech response team, resources at your disposal, and an admin team that will leave you alone if you demonstrate reasonable skills are worth. The ones that complain are just bitter because they have five masters degrees and have nothing to show for it. Put up or shut up.


2 people like this
Posted by Bengie
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Bengie is a registered user.

We will find a way to reduce class sizes and We will find a way to bring up GPA's. We want the best buildings and classrooms to bolster that , and we want the best teachers money can buy. Together we can accomplish giving the kids the best education and bright future, we pray will survive, long past our endearing love for them. Our future leaders of America will come from the top schools such as PAUSD. Humility, virtue and blessing must be passed on to them and they must see us giving from the heart, where care and carring on moves us all to live and pass on knowledge and wisdoms. Let us fight the good fight and not give weight to our petty vanities, opinions and worries. If we are to accomplish greatness for the kids let now our very best characters shine beams of light thru the darkness that may exist within each one of us and clouds the right thing to do about the matter at hand. For the kids sake, do all that you can as soon as you can. I believe the negotiated raise at hand is going to be followed by reduced class sizes in the next year thanks to the exhaustive efforts of all PAUSD administration, classified and certified staff members . Give us time. You children's best interest is what everyone here cares about. To me this historic raise creates a sense of ease, and return to a quality of life, that the great ressesion took away from me from all of us.


15 people like this
Posted by Gunn mom
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 18, 2016 at 4:28 pm

I attended the Gunn volunteer award ceremony today. Great event!!! Teachers at my table were complaining about class sizes being so high. Seems like a smaller raise but fewer students per class would be a good trade-off for them.


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

Post-election reflections -- and sponges
By Diana Diamond | 12 comments | 1,360 views

Couples: Philosophy of Love
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,005 views

El Camino: Another scheme to increase congestion?
By Douglas Moran | 1 comment | 229 views