News

Gunn staff, students protest layoffs

Board approves termination notices for five clerical positions

About 20 Gunn High School staff, teachers and students stayed until the late hours of Tuesday evening's school board meeting to protest the slashing of five clerical positions, which they described as vital to the school's operations and students' educational experience.

The five full- and part-time positions, which are being eliminated as part of districtwide budget cuts to address a tax shortfall, are typist clerk, computer lab assistant, academic technology specialist, account clerk and attendance/secretary.

The positions represent about $250,000 in savings, according to Chief Budget Officer Cathy Mak.

Despite these positions seeming on the outskirts of the school's essential functions, the speakers argued that the student experience will suffer without them.

"None of them are fat," Laurie Pennington, an instructional supervisor for Gunn's science department, said of the five positions. "They're all muscle and tendon."

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The cuts could mean the school's language lab, for example, will not be open next year. Foreign language teachers said they take their classes once a week to the lab and students take tests both during and outside of class time. Two students described the relief of being able to schedule language tests on their own time with the lab assistant when necessary.

Principal Denise Herrmann said she does not intend to close the language lab, but without the assistant, "I don't know who will be staffing it."

The language lab is Gunn's largest computer lab, staff said.

Other Gunn staff members worried about the potential impact the cuts could have on school attendance records, course scheduling, technology support and staff's general ability to respond promptly to students and parents. Science teacher Maria Powell said the loss of the attendance position could also impact progress Gunn has made to comply with state-mandated requirements that changed how the district counts absences last year.

The district is aiming to move these five people into positions they previously held at Gunn, said Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Scott Bowers. The Gunn administration made the cuts in consultation with the Gunn instructional council, the classified employees' union and the district.

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Gunn staff are particularly concerned that the cuts come at a time of transition for Gunn, with Herrmann leaving for a position in another school district and a replacement yet to be named. The school is set to roll out several significant initiatives in the fall, including piloting a new social-emotional learning curriculum. Student enrollment is also steadily increasing at Gunn, with just over 2,000 students enrolled for the next school year, staff said Tuesday.

If these clerical positions are eliminated, staff asked, "Who will do the work?"

"Most staff and teachers are already stretched to their limits of what is being asked of them and it seems every year more is being put on everyone's plates without anything being taken off," said Gunn biology teacher Angela Merchant.

The clerical positions have been funded through discretionary dollars, rental revenue and funds from educational nonprofit Partners in Education, all of which have been reduced for the coming school year. As part of its budget cuts, the board approved in May a $20 decrease in the per-student allocation provided to each school, from $105 to $85. The board also increased the district's share of schools' rental revenue for next year.

And PiE -- which had previously funded some of the clerical positions, including the language lab assistant -- changed its approved list of items for funding in the wake of an unexpected drop in overall donations this year.

Although Paly is experiencing similar budget cuts, the school has fewer clerical positions than Gunn, staff said. At Gunn, the positions represent 3.25 full-time employees.

Board members shared the staff's concerns, but said it was inappropriate to change a site-based decision from the dais. They ultimately waived their two-meeting rule and voted 4-1, with Trustee Todd Collins dissenting, to approve a resolution to give 60-day termination notices for these positions.

Staff said the district can rescind the notices before then, but cannot change the positions without sending notices; trustees expressed support for Gunn and the district's human resources department in looking for alternatives to cutting the positions before the 60 days is up.

Board President Terry Godfrey called the vote "regretful." Trustee Melissa Baten Caswell said she supported the vote not because she wanted to, but "to make sure we have as many options as possible and flexibility here."

Collins said he was alarmed to see not a few staff members standing up for colleagues who could lose their jobs, but voicing "genuine concern about how we're going to deliver the kind of experience we all want to deliver to our students."

While he agreed that it's "inappropriate for the board to reach into the school site and tell them how to rearrange their budget, we do set the parameters for this by choosing to limit the cuts of the revenue streams to the school as well as failing to get more cuts at the district office.

"To the extent that we allowed this to happen, that gives me pause," he said.

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Gunn staff, students protest layoffs

Board approves termination notices for five clerical positions

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 8, 2017, 9:43 am

About 20 Gunn High School staff, teachers and students stayed until the late hours of Tuesday evening's school board meeting to protest the slashing of five clerical positions, which they described as vital to the school's operations and students' educational experience.

The five full- and part-time positions, which are being eliminated as part of districtwide budget cuts to address a tax shortfall, are typist clerk, computer lab assistant, academic technology specialist, account clerk and attendance/secretary.

The positions represent about $250,000 in savings, according to Chief Budget Officer Cathy Mak.

Despite these positions seeming on the outskirts of the school's essential functions, the speakers argued that the student experience will suffer without them.

"None of them are fat," Laurie Pennington, an instructional supervisor for Gunn's science department, said of the five positions. "They're all muscle and tendon."

The cuts could mean the school's language lab, for example, will not be open next year. Foreign language teachers said they take their classes once a week to the lab and students take tests both during and outside of class time. Two students described the relief of being able to schedule language tests on their own time with the lab assistant when necessary.

Principal Denise Herrmann said she does not intend to close the language lab, but without the assistant, "I don't know who will be staffing it."

The language lab is Gunn's largest computer lab, staff said.

Other Gunn staff members worried about the potential impact the cuts could have on school attendance records, course scheduling, technology support and staff's general ability to respond promptly to students and parents. Science teacher Maria Powell said the loss of the attendance position could also impact progress Gunn has made to comply with state-mandated requirements that changed how the district counts absences last year.

The district is aiming to move these five people into positions they previously held at Gunn, said Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Scott Bowers. The Gunn administration made the cuts in consultation with the Gunn instructional council, the classified employees' union and the district.

Gunn staff are particularly concerned that the cuts come at a time of transition for Gunn, with Herrmann leaving for a position in another school district and a replacement yet to be named. The school is set to roll out several significant initiatives in the fall, including piloting a new social-emotional learning curriculum. Student enrollment is also steadily increasing at Gunn, with just over 2,000 students enrolled for the next school year, staff said Tuesday.

If these clerical positions are eliminated, staff asked, "Who will do the work?"

"Most staff and teachers are already stretched to their limits of what is being asked of them and it seems every year more is being put on everyone's plates without anything being taken off," said Gunn biology teacher Angela Merchant.

The clerical positions have been funded through discretionary dollars, rental revenue and funds from educational nonprofit Partners in Education, all of which have been reduced for the coming school year. As part of its budget cuts, the board approved in May a $20 decrease in the per-student allocation provided to each school, from $105 to $85. The board also increased the district's share of schools' rental revenue for next year.

And PiE -- which had previously funded some of the clerical positions, including the language lab assistant -- changed its approved list of items for funding in the wake of an unexpected drop in overall donations this year.

Although Paly is experiencing similar budget cuts, the school has fewer clerical positions than Gunn, staff said. At Gunn, the positions represent 3.25 full-time employees.

Board members shared the staff's concerns, but said it was inappropriate to change a site-based decision from the dais. They ultimately waived their two-meeting rule and voted 4-1, with Trustee Todd Collins dissenting, to approve a resolution to give 60-day termination notices for these positions.

Staff said the district can rescind the notices before then, but cannot change the positions without sending notices; trustees expressed support for Gunn and the district's human resources department in looking for alternatives to cutting the positions before the 60 days is up.

Board President Terry Godfrey called the vote "regretful." Trustee Melissa Baten Caswell said she supported the vote not because she wanted to, but "to make sure we have as many options as possible and flexibility here."

Collins said he was alarmed to see not a few staff members standing up for colleagues who could lose their jobs, but voicing "genuine concern about how we're going to deliver the kind of experience we all want to deliver to our students."

While he agreed that it's "inappropriate for the board to reach into the school site and tell them how to rearrange their budget, we do set the parameters for this by choosing to limit the cuts of the revenue streams to the school as well as failing to get more cuts at the district office.

"To the extent that we allowed this to happen, that gives me pause," he said.

Comments

Carlos
Barron Park
on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:19 am
Carlos, Barron Park
on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:19 am
6 people like this

Here's a suggestion worth looking into:

Can we ask the students to create mobile apps to handle some of the labor intensive work like keeping track of attendance and so on? They should get some school credit and recognition for this work, and we use technology to handle a budget situation which is not going to get better any time soon. Who doesn't have a smart phone these days?


Retinue
Barron Park
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:05 am
Retinue, Barron Park
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:05 am
61 people like this

Maybe it's time for another raise for the executives ?

and...
"The positions represent about $250,000 in savings, according to Chief Budget Officer Cathy Mak."

This is the same person who told the board that there were projected to be adequate tax revenues in 2017 and forward to fully fund the last round of raises. The very same raises that put us in this current financial hole.

If we eliminate the Chief Budget Officer position (and just use common sense from now on) we would save well over $335K (salary plus benefits) for just her positon alone.


Former Paly Parent
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:09 am
Former Paly Parent, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:09 am
10 people like this

Just curious why Paly has less clerical positions than Gunn.


priorities?
College Terrace
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:09 am
priorities?, College Terrace
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:09 am
121 people like this

Hmmm ... cutting 5 clerical jobs saves $250k. Interesting that's about the amount it will take to rename 2 middle schools. So those supporters of wasting taxpayer money to satisfy a vocal minority here is a real example of the consequences.


Joe
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:22 am
Joe, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:22 am
10 people like this

Shouldn't we be asking what these clerks do, and how many clerks are on the staff before we start speculating about the motives behind this staff reduction?

We the posters saying that jobs at the PAUSD are for life?


Nancy
The Greenhouse
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:29 am
Nancy, The Greenhouse
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:29 am
79 people like this

Agree with priorities. Use school funds and tax payer dollars to educate and support our students, not to change school names which offer no real benefit to our students.


James Thurber
Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:57 am
James Thurber, Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:57 am
41 people like this

As a substitute who has worked extensively at Gunn I believe the positions will be sorely missed. It is obvious that teachers are already stretched to the max, most working close to 60 hours a week. Eliminating (relatively) low paying clerical jobs ($250 thousand savings for five positions) simple adds stress / extra work for teachers.


resident
Midtown
on Jun 8, 2017 at 12:05 pm
resident, Midtown
on Jun 8, 2017 at 12:05 pm
85 people like this

Elena Kadvany - to characterize the reason for the layoffs as a "tax shortfall" is not accurate. Revenue from property taxes are more this year than they have ever been. It would be accurate to say that the district administrators decided to reallocate to pay for the classified positions to give the district administrators salary increases, as well as for other items like renaming the middle schools so that some parents won't be offended, to pay for an investigation on why administrators refuse to follow the Title IX law, etc.

If the Board of Education would retract the salary increases to all involved in the ill advised budget forecast, salary negotiations and Title IX investigation, there would be plenty of money to retain the classified staff instead of having them pay for the mistakes of the administrators. After all, the performance of the administrators involved would not merit a pay increase.


Better Solution
Gunn High School
on Jun 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm
Better Solution, Gunn High School
on Jun 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm
76 people like this

I think it is high time to start handing out pay cuts to administrators. This district has too many chiefs and not enough Indians, to quote a cliche!

The administrators did NOTneed or deserve raises when they last received them, and those raises should now be rescinded--and then some.

Why do administrators make so much more money for so much less work anyway? It's unAmerican, and this is supposed to be a meritocracy!


Anonymous
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm
Anonymous, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm
32 people like this

This is what happens when the board and McGee sign a labor contract and tie administrative salaries to that contract without understanding tax revenues increases required to pay for that contract. $250K is a drop in the bucket in terms of the cuts necessary to pay for that mistake.


Appalling
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm
Appalling, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm
33 people like this

These cuts represent a short-sighted decision by the Gunn administrators. To cut these positions is like cutting off your own arm. Less support for students,parents,and teachers will most likely result in less support for administrators.


lower salaries for Administrators
Midtown
on Jun 8, 2017 at 3:02 pm
lower salaries for Administrators, Midtown
on Jun 8, 2017 at 3:02 pm
39 people like this

The reason for the budget cuts ($250,000) is a drop in the bucket compared with District Administrator salaries. To be fair, Teachers and Administrators received very good raises ,, which the Chief Budget Manager supposedly did due diligence on the numbers and percentages the District could afford. Nobody took responsibility, except Todd Collins, but other School Board members and District personnel basically said it was a mistake. I don't support PIE that much because it just seems like all that money is built into the budget. If we really had a Good Budget Administrator/Analyst we would not be in the situation we are in now. I know this might be harsh but I think the Superintendent and Chief Budget Official should be fired over this, not 5 clerks working with low salaries for essential work. Also interesting that teachers are complaining, why didn't they negotiate better working conditions (ie. more clerical support) instead of large raises on top of some of the highest teacher salaries in the State?


Comment
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 8, 2017 at 3:11 pm
Comment, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 8, 2017 at 3:11 pm
46 people like this

This would be where Max takes a voluntary pay cut or gives up his various perks to show he is part of the solution. That would be a leader who gets it.


tsk tsk
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 5:16 pm
tsk tsk, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 5:16 pm
5 people like this

curious why the 2 posts that call for pay cuts for admins are missing the up-vote button, even after multiple reloads?Just sayin'.


Town Square Moderator
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm
Town Square Moderator, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm
11 people like this

@tsk tsk

The "up-vote" (plus sign) disappears after you have voted to prevent multiple votes from the same IP address.


Dr. Solution
South of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:23 pm
Dr. Solution, South of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:23 pm
32 people like this

Terminate and replace the Superintendent and Chief Budget Official. Rescind all District raises and do not rename any Middle Schools. Problem solved !


JD
Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2017 at 8:28 pm
JD, Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2017 at 8:28 pm
37 people like this

Mistakes and poor judgment are responsible for this situation. Let those who made the mistakes and who displayed poor judgment suffer the consequences. Cuts should be made at the top, not at the bottom. In the real world, Cathy Mak would be terminated for the mistakes she made. Instead, she got a raise. Dr. McGee, do you really believe that cutting those 5 lowly paid clerks at Gunn will solve your budget problems?


Paly Parent
Community Center
on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:04 pm
Paly Parent, Community Center
on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:04 pm
54 people like this

This really is the fault of Dr. McGee and the Board (old and new). They gave raises to administrators and failed to cut jobs at the district office. Now one of the richest districts in the state is balancing its budget on the back of attendance clerks and language lab supervisors.

THIS is what we pay property tax, parcel tax, PTA and PIE contributions for? They keep the district communications officer sending out cheery "Max Mail" and spend over $1 million on lawyers to investigate their own misdoing, and meanwhile close the language lab for lack of a staff person? Palo Alto parents should be outraged!


Fred Zaccheo
Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:44 pm
Fred Zaccheo, Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:44 pm
29 people like this

As a frequent substitute teacher at both Gunn and Paly I have come to appreciate what makes the culture at both schools so special. Sure the hard working teachers and admin are terrific, but the classified staff are certainly the glue that holds it all together. Decision makers: please revisit this decision for the sake of the faculty, students, and the rest of us who rely so heavily on classified staff for their guidance and expertise.


KC
Charleston Gardens
on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm
KC, Charleston Gardens
on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm
23 people like this

It is appalling and backwards to cut support staff at a time when enrollment is growing. I agree with other commenters that $250,000. representing five jobs is not a significant number in terms of the budget shortfall. Also, since the article states that "the district is aiming to move these five people into positions they previously held at Gunn," that means that the saving will be much, much less than $250,000. as the five will still be paid a salary and benefits, just a lesser amount than their current position.

What we're really looking at is pay cuts and demotions for employees who provide actual services to the teachers and students on a daily basis, when the pay cut / demotion would be more appropriately assigned to the higher level administrators who screwed up the budgeting.


Not Surprised
Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm
Not Surprised, Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm
26 people like this

All of this was caused by a gross miscalculation.

Either Catherine Mak, Chief Business Officer at Palo Alto Unified School District failed to do her job accurately
or
She did her job as directed by the School Board.

I'm guessing she screwed up. If she had made this kind of error at a Palo Alto start-up she would have been fired from her $217,000 a year job. Maybe she should use some of her $450 a-per-month car allowance to buy a new calculator.

Companies cannot afford to make these kinds of mistakes and neither can the Palo Alto School Board. There are too many families being negatively effected by one persons carelessness to just stand by and let this happen.

If her mistake was made because of directions given by the school board then the board is to blame.

If she made the mistake because she was not following the directions of the board then she is in direct breach of her contract. The school board can suspend her contract because of this breach.

I guess we'll have to wait to see how this unfolds. If it's like all the other issues this overpaid board is facing it will be like a can being kicked down a gravel road. A lot of noise and very little progress.




It's McGee
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:31 pm
It's McGee, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:31 pm
27 people like this

@not surprised - Mak is not blameless, but the lion's share of blame is on the Board and especially McGee for doing the 3 year teacher wage contract, guaranteeing the second year in advance. Never been done before, will never be done again. Oh, and don't forget those "me-too" raises for administrators - a portion of that alone would fund these position forever!


Concerned Parent
Evergreen Park
on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:43 pm
Concerned Parent, Evergreen Park
on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:43 pm
45 people like this

The timing of these cuts is also incredibly unfair. Yes, the district budget shortfall has been well documented and the district did lay out a plan for resolving the deficit that had classified reductions on the list of proposals (fairly far down the list mind you), but these people were not notified of these moves until last Friday at 2:30 pm. That is the day after school ended.

By law, teachers must be notified by March 15th if they are not being asked back. This is to allow them ample time to apply for other positions. The typical application/hiring season for schools is March thru early-May. These people are at a severe disadvantage if they want to look for work in other area districts as most have filled their staffing needs for fall already.

I know one of the people being let go and they told me that at absolutely no point during this process, from the time of the announcement of the cuts last Friday until their last contracted day of work today, did any single site administrator at Gunn say a word to them or thank them for their service. I am not impressed with any site leadership that makes decisions that affect people's lives and doesn't have the gumption to look them in the eye and at least offer an insincere apology.


Bait and Switch
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:20 am
Bait and Switch, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:20 am
30 people like this

It is an old tactic to make cuts where people will most be inconvenienced and then ask for more money. Similarly, cities engaged in wasteful spending might spend millions on pet projects and then ask the voters for more money to pay for parks or emergency services. It can be a game of chicken, because leaders will make all kinds of warnings if some bill on safety isn't approved. But if voters stick to their guns and each other and are clear about why they vote no, and then continue to be vocal to both get the safety and better budget practices, I've seen things turn around (other places, other times).

I think they're just waiting until they think we have forgotten how manipulative and false the claims were in the election for the tax increase. In the mean time, the inconvenience from the unnecessary austerity will be a lever. Did they give back the Me Too raises? Nothing like this should even be on the table until the most highly paid administrators give back the Me Too raises.

We also should have some kind of citizen panel to reset the highest salaries. Research shows that overpaying has all kinds of negative impacts, especially to creative problem solving. Our administrators have long showed us that they will engage in all kinds of counterproductive activity to keep things looking nice because it's all about the salary and their marketability and very little about dedication to what is important to the families who pay the bills, like service, honesty, problem solving, safety, doing what is right even when it is hard, etc.


Bait and Switch
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:29 am
Bait and Switch, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:29 am
18 people like this

This is an expensive area. I think the district should just buy a house like the state buys a governor's mansion. It will save us all kinds of money in the future and will allow us to offer lower salaries. We already pay the superintendant and numerous administrators whose jobs most people couldn't even describe from the title more than the governor, way way way more than is necessary given the cost differential between here and sacramento (nevermind the huge difference in job responsibility between being an assistant this or that and being the governor of the sixth largest economy in the world.)

As it stands, we offer this interest-free loan, which has to keep increasing along with the salaries, and the employee makes all the money from the rising market. This is a huge hidden cost for the district.


Palo Alto resident/former Paly parent
Community Center
on Jun 9, 2017 at 9:48 am
Palo Alto resident/former Paly parent, Community Center
on Jun 9, 2017 at 9:48 am
7 people like this

In response to the person who queried why Palo Alto High School has less clerical positions than Gunn; I cannot speak to every Department at Palo Alto High School, but it has been my experience, as a former Paly parent of 3 students, that the Attendance Office clerks who perform the work at Paly are stretched to their limit every day due to the lack of appropriate hours for them to do their job. It is only their conscientiousness and hard work that keep the necessary Attendance records in compliance with the State regulations. Perhaps this is, at least, is one of the reasons why Paly can operate with less clerical hours.


stanhutchings
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 9, 2017 at 11:40 am
stanhutchings, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 9, 2017 at 11:40 am
2 people like this

Either the duties the affected staff perform is mandatory and required by law/contract/etc. or the duties are discretionary and done for the convenience of someone.
I saw similar situations in industry. The corrective actions were painful, but necessary. The same corrective actions should apply to PAUSD.
If the duties are mandatory, someone MUST do them. If there is no slack time available for them, extra hours must be allocated. These hours will be overtime, and cost much more (depending on who does them) than the salaries currently paid. Or, if teachers and staff are required to pick up the extra burden without compensation, that is not fair, and may not be legal.
If the duties are discretionary, those benefiting from them should have them reassigned to them, and no overtime should be allowed. The persons responsible for creating the positions should be reduced in grade or replaced.


Curious George
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm
Curious George, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm
1 person likes this

"It is only their conscientiousness and hard work that keep the necessary Attendance records in compliance with the State regulations."

Or, as one of the teachers mentioned at the board meeting, maybe they DON'T actually keep the records in compliance with regulations. That would be consistent with failing to track instruction time, PE time, homework hours, Title IX complaints, even A-G graduation rates. Just because they are required to, how do we know they are?


Fact checker
Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2017 at 3:12 pm
Fact checker, Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2017 at 3:12 pm
18 people like this

Just to remind everyone:

According to an SF Chronicle article, McGee earns $222K per year from his Illinois pension. This is in addition to his over $300K per year package for FT with about 7 weeks of vacation.


More facts
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm
More facts, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm
26 people like this

Don't forget the $750 a month car allowance. And the $1.5 million interest free mortgage.


Opting Out
College Terrace
on Jun 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm
Opting Out, College Terrace
on Jun 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm
21 people like this

Anyone still surprised at the number of people opting out of paying the parcel tax as soon as they can?


Another Fact
Community Center
on Jun 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm
Another Fact, Community Center
on Jun 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed due to inaccurate information.]


Former Gunn employee
Midtown
on Jun 9, 2017 at 11:21 pm
Former Gunn employee, Midtown
on Jun 9, 2017 at 11:21 pm
14 people like this

These positions are the ones that make things work at Gunn. Eliminating them will cause chaos and for the system to fail. I'm very disappointed that the school board can't see where the real problem is -- in administration.


money priorities
Gunn High School
on Jun 10, 2017 at 6:47 pm
money priorities , Gunn High School
on Jun 10, 2017 at 6:47 pm
9 people like this

As a Gunn parent the cuts are hard to handle. The district seems to be all over the place when it comes to budgets, where money comes from, how it is used etc. This makes cuts that impact learning very difficult to understand. Should PiE and how the funds be used be be re- evaluated? How much should PTA support?

I read in this week's printed issue of Weekly that Addison Elem. wants funds from their PTA for what seems like a very expensive playground.
Do we need to put such upscale playgrounds in our schools?
Why not the high end playground parks where there is more access all day and support/maintenance to handle public? Mid scale or even simple yet accessible play grounds at the school make sense especially when many schools are cutting.

Should individual schools be raising a large amount of funds for school improvements ? can they raise funds for a staff position? Should the district fund even if from other buckets when valuable staff in the district get cut ?



Appalling
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2017 at 6:55 pm
Appalling , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2017 at 6:55 pm
17 people like this

There is a question as to how various funds were allocated, when and by whom. Most likely former board members and former Gunn admin. It is sad to see that positions were cut to the lower tiered employees instead of from the admin. The huge discrepancy in pay is unbelievable and nauseating.


I'm one of them
another community
on Jun 11, 2017 at 6:20 pm
I'm one of them, another community
on Jun 11, 2017 at 6:20 pm
19 people like this

I am part of these classified employees being cut. The timing is horrible and disrespectful to us. They told us definitively the day AFTER the last day of school AFTER our last staff meeting when most teachers and other staff leave for the summer. We're given a 60 day notice but for most of us those 60 days are up before we even return to work in August.
They may cut 3.25 positions but the work will still exist. A couple years ago they gave each department secretary ANOTHER department but still the same amount of work hours. So now they're going to cut one of those secretaries who supports 3 departments...the work doesn't go away...who will do the work? They are spread thin enough as it is. The worst part is that these cuts will hurt the students and teachers the most.
PAUSD is supposed to be one of the top districts in the country and we do this to our classified staff? Shame on you!


Palo Alto Parent
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 12, 2017 at 11:40 am
Palo Alto Parent, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 12, 2017 at 11:40 am
8 people like this

@I'm one of them - I'm so sorry for the way the District treated you. They should have had the courage to let you know before school was done and let you say goodbye to your friends, coworkers and the students. It reminds me of how when my kids were in elementary school, they wouldn't post the class lists until the Friday before school started, once the office was closed until the first day of school.


al munday
another community
on Jun 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm
al munday, another community
on Jun 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm
3 people like this

Just wonder what salaried person will be getting a raise, seems like administrators always gets a raise and/or bonus no matter what


Me 2
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 12, 2017 at 3:16 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 12, 2017 at 3:16 pm
3 people like this

So, questions for the teachers who spoke - are you willing to give up your pay raises to keep these people on staff?

Didn't think so.


Opting Out
College Terrace
on Jun 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm
Opting Out, College Terrace
on Jun 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm
7 people like this

The city could have well afforded to keep these 5 people and hired a whole slew more if the hadn't fought so hard to leave millions of dollars in tax revenue from newly legalized marijuana sales to consenting adults on the table. Nearby San Carlos. for example, expects to take in more than $1,500,000 from what the 3 places it's already approved and San Jose has already funded about 15 cops and a branch library with its marijuana sales tax revenues.

Gives a whole new meaning to "think of the children," doesn't it?


Alex
Barron Park
on Jun 12, 2017 at 5:20 pm
Alex, Barron Park
on Jun 12, 2017 at 5:20 pm
1 person likes this

To people whining about the "vocal minority" who are trying to change the names of Jordan and Terman: if they truly are a minority compared to people who want to keep the name, then you only have yourselves to blame for not doing more. You're just bitter that you aren't getting your way.


The other shoe
Crescent Park
on Jun 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm
The other shoe, Crescent Park
on Jun 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm
12 people like this

Anybody remember Dauber saying a year ago that the district couldn't afford the 12% pay increases, and getting blasted by the union president? Notice that Baldwin hasn't shown up to complain that non-teachers are being laid off to pay for big teacher salary increases.


PAEA rules
Terman Middle School
on Jun 12, 2017 at 6:27 pm
PAEA rules, Terman Middle School
on Jun 12, 2017 at 6:27 pm
5 people like this

Teri Baldwin and PAEA are focused on getting the most money from the district possible, sadly, that means teachers who do not have tenure--often the most energetic and caring--are the first to be non-renewed, or fired in another sense. As for the evil administrators who many posters write have been given repeated raises, the custom of getting the same percentage raise as PAEA is pretty rock-solid, I don't see it changing, so it is up the the principals to keep their mouths shut about negotiations so they can collect a check bigger than that of principals in other districts. Only a few district office administrators get above the percentage raise that the principals get. Glenn McGee is the most obvious example. He cried out for an extra $.5 million interest-free loan and got it, and now you have got him--and his bills, and his liabilities.


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