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School board outlines grim budget scenarios

Original post made on May 8, 2009

Proponents of the Measure C parcel tax initiative had less than 24 hours to celebrate before being told that even with the parcel tax the district is still in financial hot water.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 7, 2009, 10:34 PM

Comments (37)

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2009 at 7:28 am

One day.

Well, color me impressed.

Had fully expected Measure C campaigning to be bundled with 1A - C during the last go-round, but the separation was clean (and well-handled).

Like a good magician's sleight-of-hand, attention was focused on the 'small' bailout (Measure C) while keeping our attention away from the big one behind the curtain.

It will be interesting to see how the school district's supporters simmer this overreaching State cash grab into a slogan along the lines of "I's just $12 a month!"


Posted by Halamo
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2009 at 7:58 am

Dear Dolores,

One can only smile at the commentary of your story and what will be continuing commentary by readers. SRVUSD provided a budget on-line for Measure C voters to review and for neighborhoods' counsel, via their financial analysts, to summarize as a plan and budget without further funding sources. SRVUSD received a majority YES vote due to such planning and budgeting.

SRVUSD should not think voters foolish as they impose SRVUSD's budget constraints during the long economic recovery for our state and local governments. Most voters will vote against the propositions this month and expect SRVUSD to fully exist within their budgets proposed.

Is that a too foolish expectation?

Hal, as Halamo
The Alamo Towne Fool

Posted by Alamo Resident
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2009 at 8:50 am

I feel as if I have been raped by SRVUSD. Never again will I trust them.

Posted by Mrs. G
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2009 at 9:38 am

To quote the story above:

"Enoch was quick to point out however, that the additional funding created by the measure is not the $7 million reported, but in reality it replaces the $4 million generated by the soon-to-expire Measure A tax and places an extra $3 million on top of it.

Even so, the funding created will not allow the district to continue to function unless Californians pass Measures 1A–1C, ballot initiatives being presented in a statewide special election May 19."

The fact that this was not pointed out, an in an OBVIOUS fashion, BEFORE the election gives SRVUSD critics more fuel. Just because Measure C passed does NOT mean that the thing we thought we were saving will indeed be saved. Keep your wallet out folks -- it's not over.

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2009 at 10:15 am

Halamo -

"Dear Geoff' wrote the story, not 'Dear Dolores.'

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2009 at 10:21 am

Alamo resident, I strongly object to your analogy. Perhaps you feel robbed, but saying you feel "raped" by SRVUSD invalidates those who are true survivors of this sort of devastating experience. Please choose your words more carefully.

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2009 at 10:31 am are the dreamer and the problem. He/She was raped along with the rest of us. The SRVUSD is as corrupt as the bunch in DC.

Posted by Community courtesy
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Dear Dolores,

Let us first clarify that all TDW stories go through you as Editor except those written by the publishers.

Let us both focus commentary by noting it is the obligation of SRVUSD to use the Measure C funds, and all them, for the campaign's promised programs and at-school personnel to be saved. Iron Horse corridor neighbors, as a majority of yes voters expect SRVUSD HQ to be the primary target of cost reductions. SRVUSD is in the Education Business and not in the administration business.

Readers, does that focus your commentary and public actions with SRVUSD administration?

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by Alamo Resident
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm

No, raped about sums it up. One persons offense is another persons freedom of speech. SRVUSD violated my trust in a manner that was controlling (telling lies) and based on political force. The very definition of rape.

Main Entry: 2rape
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): raped; rap·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin rapere
Date: 14th century
1 aarchaic : to seize and take away by force b: despoil
2: to commit rape on

Posted by Raped by S.R.V.U.S.D.
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Raped, screwed, abused, lied too, beat like a red headed step child and not even any hand holding. Sorry Sharon, I am not changing my choice of words because you dont like it, its called free speech. You dont like hunters or guns either do you?
All the yes voters have tunnel vision soo bad they cant see what is going on. And yes, I speak from being informed, attending meetings, countless hours at school to help out and was the P.T.A. Pres. at two schools. That gave me more than enough infomation to vote no. Where are all these yes people when its time to help out at school, I just wish they were that motivated to help out at school instead of getting a tax passed that will have little to no effect on what is about to happen. Good luck with the next one, you will need it. My support of S.R.V.U.S.D. was cut to 0 when I saw what really goes on.

Posted by Change
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Many of the problems facing schools today are the fault of not planning for the effect of women's lib. (I'm not saying women's lib is a bad thing. I'm saying - I don't think society adequately predicted the effects of women's lib and consequently didn't plan for them.)

Fifty years ago, career paths for women were so limited that a woman who was smart enough to be a doctor had to settle for perhaps teaching high school biology (for example). Today, that woman can become a doctor. The equality movement for women allowed for some of the brightest and best women to opt for careers other than nursing and teaching which created a decline in the overall quality of folks obtaining an education degree. If folks think they are not getting a quality product then they're less likely to support higher taxes to fund education.

With more women entering the work force, families have less time to adequately prepare students for school. So, more kids are entering kindergarten without knowing basic things like colors, shapes, numbers, and letters. Additionally, as the kids age, they are not receiving the encouragement to complete their homework because mom and dad are too busy working. How can do expect the teacher to counterbalance poor parenting? Education has to be a partnership between the teachers AND the parents. If the parents aren't at the table, then the system won't work. I'm not saying parents are lazy. The sad reality is that many families need both parents to work just to make ends meet. But, we still can't ignore the effect that reality has created.

Because women can earn their own living and don't need to rely on a man for support anymore, we are seeing more unwed mothers. It's difficult for a single parent to work all day and follow-up with their child(ren) about homework issues. Again, how can you expect a teacher to counterbalance a non-participating parent?

We must restructure our education system to match the realities of a new world. Otherwise, the problems we are seeing will never go away.

Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Always remember people, the demand for smaller class sizes has never been for the sake of the students. Smaller class sizes means more teachers, which is obviously extremely self-serving for teachers and their unions. It has consistently been proven that smaller class sizes does not better the students' education. What they need is more discipline in the classrooms, which means the kids need to expend their energy with more physical education, as opposed to the limped PE that is prescribed today. They need to eat better. We need to take an interest in what is being provided at the school's cafeterias. There should be no cookies or the like. The teachers unions fought Schwarzenegger tooth and nail when he wanted to get rid of sodas and candy at schools. The teachers argued that they taxed these products for the benefit of the school and that the kids were gonna get these things anyway. Well, then I guess we should sell cigarettes and alcohol at school as well. The cafeteria salads are pathetic, their sandwiches dull, very little vegetables. The kids should be eating organic, green leafy veggies, no access to junk food, fresh hot plates instead of the aged, half-cooked burgers with colorless tomatoes and lettuce. They feed your kids absolute garbage. I've come to believe that teachers and the school administration on the whole cares more about themselves and self-preservation than the students. Class sizes can go up and probably should. I've said this before, my parents and grandparents went to schools that had fifty to ninety kids in a classroom, and they learned better, because everyone shut up and listened and treated education like a privilege they were grateful to have. Too many kids do not have this gratitude and this is something that needs to be learned at home, obviously, but if it's not at home than they need to be disciplined at school, or kicked the heck out. Schools are not daycare centers. We need to get back to the basics. You come into class after burning out your extra energy, you get fed right, then you shut your mouth and listen to the teacher. And, if we fire a bunch of teachers we can afford to pay those who stay more. We fire three teachers for every one we keep, pay that teacher twice as much, we've cut the budget and provided a teacher of a higher caliber, who knows how to engage the students. It will work, but it will take overcoming selfish interests on behalf of the teachers' unions and the education bureacracy. We must fight this powerful lobby for the sake of our children.

Posted by Ron
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2009 at 9:45 am

Well said Rick, and its what I feel as well. I can only speak of Los Cerros but I find 60% of the teachers should not even be teaching. V.G. we liked but L.C. is a huge let down. I find my wife and I do more teaching and would you believe they let the kids write as much on a small piece of paper to have out during a test. Thats cheating as I see it. The teachers union is the one raping our children. The public schools offer less and less every year. Its just a matter of time before more private schools will start opening up in our area to offer the education for our children we desire. The current leadership cant do a thing because of the union protection of teachers. Giving them months notice that they may be laid off, thats really motivating them to teach.

Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2009 at 10:56 am

I completely agree with private schooling and I believe those parents who choose to put their kids through private schools should not have to pay for public schools, especially since public costs more per kid and is far less effective.

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 9, 2009 at 11:57 am

Well, as long as we're spit-balling here...

Why not go back to the 'those that pay are those that vote' system? Property owners would be the only citizens allowed to vote on issues that raise their property taxes.

Ooooh... bet that will get some lips a-flappin'.

Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I don't know what your angle was to say that Dawn, but I don't agree that only property owners should be able to vote. That would be ridiculous and frankly it has nothing to do with what I was talking about. Your comment is what is called a non-sequitor, which means "does not follow."

Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm

To clarify, I was talking about the idea that people who don't use public schools should not have to pay for them. This is a very specific concept on a very big issue. Paying for schools is one of the single biggest expenses to the California taxpayer. I do believe it stands apart, especially when so many do not want to be a part of this bloated system of indoctrination, which inculcates our children with ideals we don't agree with, perpetuating an anti-Western version of history, making kids loathe their own country and culture while leaving out all the heinous aspects of other cultures. The public schools are not only ineffective and wasting our money, but they brainwash children with, for lack of a better word, a "liberal" agenda. I shouldn't have to pay for such indoctrination, especially when I choose not to put my kids through it.

Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Forgive me Dawn if I have not properly understood your comment or your agenda in saying it, for it came across as if you were attempting to ridicule the notion of parents who choose private schools should not have to pay for public.

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Wasn't ridiculing anything, no offense taken - but my comment wasn't directed at any single poster here.

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm

To clarify: I am very much in favor of private education, but have no problem ponying up for public as well. Education of future generations is an extremely important part of continuity and continued prosperity, and I do not begrudge paying my part.

I DO begrudge the funds being misspent and the shell games that are played with the money when oversight is attempted.

Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2009 at 6:41 am

Dear Dolores,

What are the appropriate actions for citizens, as SRVUSD owners, in controlling usage of Measure C and other funds sources?

How should we determine and decide the uses of funds by a very lean SRVUSD administration in service to our schools?

How should we determine appropriate class size and scope of classes offered in our primary and secondary schools?

Among Alamo region and Iron Horse corridor neighborhoods, an ad hoc audit/compliance committee will be researching such questions for fellow SRVUSD owners' counsel to employ in directing SRVUSD board of trustees and administration funding activities.

Let's ask your readers if they intend to take similar actions?


Posted by neighbor
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Wow, no comment from Mr. Parnas, he was all over the forums supporting Measure C, I would like to know how he feels about the SRVUSD now!

Posted by CDSI Research Fellowship
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Dear Dolores,

Our Danville neighbor provides an interesting issue. Any sale, or campaign for that matter, is focused on the selfish interests of the prospect, as buyer or voter. I would more expect the Measure C campaign supporters now to support your endorsements of the propositions in May 19 election than respond to any after-the-fact reality that the Measure C campaign was not exactly earnest in its promises.

But we knew, as owners of our SRVUSD, that we were going to have to enforce the use of Measure C funds to achieve the promises of the Measure C campaign. But, sadly, the more campaigns compact into short time periods, and the more we vote, the more we realize that campaigns are not honest in content, commitment or purpose.

I expect a lesson learned in consideration of the May 19 propositions and a resounding NO vote in our region.

Hal, Member, CDSI Research Fellowship

Posted by Dan Parnas
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on May 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm

I'm still around, just after seeing how absurd this whole discussion has become, not sure I really have any interest in participating. I'll post once just to share my feelings on the matter, but I'd prefer if any debate that goes on here to be about issues and not be directed at specific people. I have no intention of returning to this forum, or responding to any subsequent posts here, so not really necessary to single me out in this discussion.

1) This seems to just have become a bitch session. Someone asked where are the Yes on C voters now? Well, for instance, this morning I was at my childrens school at a thank you breakfast for parent volunteers, followed by a PTA meeting. That is where I choose to spend the free time I have, doing something constructive (and getting a bite to eat). What is the value of recreational bitch sessions? Nothing in my opinion. I was so active in the prior forums because I felt there was a lively debate going on about a measure on the ballot. Now there is not any ballot measure being debated here, so I'm instead spending my time in activities that I feel are constructive.

2) How do I feel about the SRVUSD? No different than I did before. Why should I? (that's a rhetorical question, I won't be here to read anyone trying to tell my why I should). I couldn't possibly be happier with the school my children go to. Next year, I'll also have a child at Charlotte Wood Middle School, so I'll have experiences with two district schools at that point. Anyone that was paying attention to Measure C, and if you read the posts in those debates, will realize there are no surprises here. We were not misled at all as far as I'm concerned. It's basic math folks. The SRVUSD lost $16 million in funding from the state out of roughly a $200 million annual budget. We all knew that going in and it was mentioned many times. Measure C was on the ballot to replace an expiring measure with an additional increase in the tax. So, if Measure C had failed, in addition to the $16 million in state funding reductions, another $4 million would have been lost from the budget. With Measure C passing, that $4 million remains in the budget and an additional $3 million will come in to partially offset the $16 million state budget cut. Everyone with me? This was all discussed many times. So, the net there is a $13 million budget cut instead of as much as a $20 million budget cut. Measure C was never advertised as keeping the status quo, it was just to help to minimize the damage. Anyone who professes surprise to that is not taking personal responsibility here. Before you voted on Measure C, it was your responsibility to be informed, nobody elses.

3) Now, we can all sit around and complain some more, or we can be part of a wider effort to be part of the solution. That's where I plan on spending my time and I look forward to working with anyone else interested in supporting our schools and our communities.

Posted by Community courtesy
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Dear Dolores,

The issue addressed to Dan was not the reality of the SRVUSD budget and the administrative cuts that will occur. The issue is the Measure C campaign, which included SRVUSD administration support, that focused Measure C funding on fully retaining certain programs.

At issue, if the Measure C funds go to general funding, the promises of the campaign will not be fulfilled. That is not acceptable to Iron Horse corridor neighbors, and rather than whine, their counsel and committees are focused on specific achievement of the promised results.

It is that simple,

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 14, 2009 at 8:38 am

Today's Wall Street Journal offers an article that does an excellent job of explaining the power of unions in the 'government marketplace.' (IMHO, the government shouldn't have or constitute a marketplace, but that point's been moot for many years now.)

California's unions, including that of the teachers, is specifically mentioned:

Web Link

If anyone wants to know why many of us are ticked off, this will go a long way towards explaining our ire.

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 14, 2009 at 9:58 am

Please forgive my occasional grammatical errors - typing too quickly between other tasks.

Posted by Hoot Smalley
a resident of Danville
on May 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Dawn - I agree with you. With Social Security going bankrupt it's amazing to me that the California Teacher's Union continues to perpetuate the half-truths and outright lies it spreads about GPO and WEP. That union won't be happy until it's also bled the Social Security system dry.

Posted by Caroline
a resident of Danville
on May 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm

We moved to Danville because of the public school system. Any of you who make blanket statements that teachers and administrators in the schools are just looking after themselves are way off the mark. My children have had more extraordinary teachers than average teachers in the public schools here. Teachers who are dedicated to having all the students in the classroom learn and succeed. Are there some who are not at the top of the game? Yes. But that is the case in all walks of life. I wonder how many of you are not at the top of your game? You are good employees but maybe not the most dedicated. I do not say this accusingly but rather to point out that we should not expect more from our teachers than we expect from ourselves. I am forever grateful for the education that my children have received from the dedicated teachers at our public schools.

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on May 18, 2009 at 8:39 am

Okay - again, from today's WSJ:


Americans know how to use the moving van to escape high taxes.



We believe there are three unintended consequences from states raising tax rates on the rich. First, some rich residents sell their homes and leave the state; second, those who stay in the state report less taxable income on their tax returns; and third, some rich people choose not to locate in a high-tax state. Since many rich people also tend to be successful business owners, jobs leave with them or they never arrive in the first place. This is why high income-tax states have such a tough time creating net new jobs for low-income residents and college graduates.

Those who disapprove of tax competition complain that lower state taxes only create a zero-sum competition where states "race to the bottom" and cut services to the poor as taxes fall to zero. They say that tax cutting inevitably means lower quality schools and police protection as lower tax rates mean starvation of public services.

They're wrong, and New Hampshire is our favorite illustration. The Live Free or Die State has no income or sales tax, yet it has high-quality schools and excellent public services. Students in New Hampshire public schools achieve the fourth-highest test scores in the nation -- even though the state spends about $1,000 a year less per resident on state and local government than the average state and, incredibly, $5,000 less per person than New York. And on the other side of the ledger, California in 2007 had the highest-paid classroom teachers in the nation, and yet the Golden State had the second-lowest test scores."

My comment? "Duh!"

Am looking forward to the defeat of Props 1A - 1E tomorrow.

Posted by The Real Villians
a resident of Danville
on May 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I do wonder if the difference regarding student performance between New Hampshire and California could be partially attributed to the fact that the percent of births to unwed mothers is 37.6% in California and 29.4% in New Hampshire. (Based on latest CDC report)

While we've been gleefully running around protecting marriage, we have apparently forgotten to spread the message that children should be a part of marriage. Remember the ad depicting the little girl whose mother was horrified that she'd been taught in school that she could marry another princess? Apparently the ad left out that she could have a baby without bothering to marry a prince.

Our schools are simply a reflection of the well-documented problems associated with illegitimacy. No amount of money can change this fact. And even the best teacher in the world can't overcome these obstacles. But, somehow, we'll find a way to scapegoat gay marriage for this problem. I know - there must be bands of roving gay people who are kidnapping heterosexuals, forcing them to copulate for means of reproducing, and then releasing them back into society with threats of bodily harm if they marry.

Heterosexual parents please teach your children the following: "First comes love. Next comes marriage. Then comes a baby in the baby carriage." Memorize it. Teach it. Practice it. Otherwise, you're costing us too much money so move to New Hampshire and destroy their way of life.

And, as Miss California would say, "No offense to anybody out there."

Posted by Sam
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm


I was thinking of moving to Danville, but wanted to ask the parents what they thought about the quality of education at Danville's schools. This website,, gives excellent marks, but I would like to hear from actual parents, especially conservative parents. Is there a lot of liberal brain washing in Danville's schools, or are they mostly focused on academics? I am afraid that any Bay Area district would be into liberal propaganda.

Really appreciate your feedback.


Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Jun 13, 2009 at 8:27 am

There's liberal brain-washing everywhere. There's a conservative movement going on here to take back our town. You should voice your opinion on the liberal bias in the schools. They teach a false, anti-American, anti-Western and anti-European nationality version of history. Be part of the change. We need our kids learning context. Yes, the Europeans conquered the Americas. However, the native empires were far worse, cutting the hearts out of millions of live natives before we got here. Yes, slavery was bad, but what separates the Western World from the rest is not that we enslaved, but that we abolished it. All other races and cultures enslaved, including the sub-Saharan Africans. To this day, Africa is still the biggest enslaver, with the sub-Saharans enslaving around 80,000 of their fellow race a year. The West was the first to outlaw slavery. That should be what we focus on, our unique compassion. But, that would be teaching our kids context, and then maybe people of European heritage might not look with such disdain upon their ancestors, history and their role in the modern world. And that would defeat the whole white liberal agenda of cultural and ethnic self-loathing.

Posted by BachmannisNuts
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jun 13, 2009 at 8:37 am

I haven't found the schools to be liberal. I have found the schools to be full of over-indulged, spoiled children and parents. But, that's a parental issue not a school issue.

I sent one of my children to the public schools and the other to a private (non-religious) school. I found the quality of the education was similar; however, the private school had more authority to squash unacceptable, anti-social behavior. Thus, the student body was better behaved and parents could not interfere in the discipline process.

Both of my kids went to college.

Posted by Sam
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2009 at 10:42 am

Thank you Rick and BachmannisNuts,

That is what we are debating, whether to move to Danville/San Ramon area, or to go a place like Clackamas County in Oregon, where the schools are also rated great (mostly 10, like Danville's schools), but the ratio of Democrats and Republicans is slightly better (about 50/50). Our friends recently moved there, and they like the local schools a lot. My concern was that even though Contra Costa County is more conservative than, Marin or Alameda or even San Mateo Counties (based on last election results), there could still be a lot of liberal bias since it is still the Bay Area. But it sounds like you guys are on the right track, trying to take your schools back.

It is a tough decision... We still want to be within a reasonable distance from Silicon Valley, not to pay through the nose for the house, and to have good public schools. Danville sounds like one of the better places though. Crime is very low, more conservatives than in many other Bay Area neighborhoods, supposedly good schools...

Our kids are still young (but will go to school in a couple of years), so I am not very familiar with the school system. I am curious, is the curriculum for public schools created in each district/county or is it mandated by the State? How much difference/variation could there be from one school district to another?

Thanks again,


Posted by Phyllis
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Sam: Libral brain washing? Seriously? I haven't seen an overwhelming amount of discord regarding partisan issues (I'm relatively conservative myself) and I take responsibility for my decisions - I don't feel pushed, battered, brain washed, etc.

Maybe another community would be better for you and your family - I like my libral neighbors. Makes for some lively discussions. Your attitude of "not in my back yard" (about librals!) is almost scary. Luckily you are not in my back yard - let's keep it that way.

Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Jun 15, 2009 at 10:31 pm

He wasn't talking about brainwashing an adult like you Phyllis. He was talking about kids being indoctrinated by false education in the schools. He never said not in my back yard to liberals in general, just their totalitarian methods of pushing their views on the open minds of children. I seriously doubt you are conservative if you are so upset at Sam for daring to express his distaste with the indisputable domination of the schools by liberals and their agendas. Sam, you are so welcome here. Believe me, us conservatives are finally starting to speak up for ourselves. This area is being taken back by the good, decent hardworkers who built this town and this nation. We're not only fighting the indoctrination,, but the liberal agenda to bring "troubled kids," ie thugs, murderers into our town. One of these group home kids murdered a seventeen year old senior at San Ramon Valley High in cold blood. The liberals' first reaction was to blame the victim and defend the group homes, basically saying that we need to take a few homicides in our community because, after all, it happens all the time in Richmond. Well, that's why we moved here, to get away from that bs! But the libs are recieving a backlash, and it has only begun. Danville's on the front line of the tea-party style movement in Norcal. We are the town of Sully Sullenberger and we won't let it be turned into every ghetto that surrounds us. Maybe if more of you move in people like Phyllis will move out.

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