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Midyear “trigger cuts” likely for California schools

OAKLAND UPDATE: OUSD spokesman Troy Flint said the district could be forced to absorb midyear cuts of up to $5.5 million, or $190 per student, as a result of the trigger cuts. He said the 2011-12 budget accounts for this possibility. So for this year anyway, he said, “Any impact would be slight and we definitely would not make cuts to schools.”

Alameda Unified schools appear to be similarly situated, according to this letter to parents from Superintendent Kirsten Vital.

*********************************************************

The news today out of the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office was not good for public education in California: The LAO has forecasted that state tax revenues will fall $3.7 billion short of the level on which the June budget deal was based.

About $1.4 billion in automatic, mid-year cuts to k-12 schools and community colleges will be triggered if the shortfall is $2 billion or greater. Steve Harmon, our Capitol reporter, lays it out here.

The final word on the trigger cuts comes on December 15, when the Department of Finance issues its predictions. The rosier of the two projections prevails.

The below graphic, reproduced with permission from School Services of California, Inc., helps to break it down. A provision of the trigger law prohibits teacher layoffs, and some districts — though not OUSD –have considered shaving more days off the school year if the cuts come to pass.

Trigger law, explained

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    The problem with the CA budget is the legislative priority of making things comfortable for foreign invaders and non-producers. The budget could be balanced, infrastructure maintained and the state uprighted if Sacramento ended much of the pro-crime, welfare and pro-illegal policies. Here on this blog we fret about the schools – but the state is flooding the cities with prison inmates who face summary release from the overcrowded and unfunded County Jails. They will tear the cities apart.

    State Government under the Democratic Party won’t consider this (changing policy). So they must defund traditionally basic state function to maintain the status quo.

    The State Education System from K to grad school is severly damaged already and is about to get stripped. Don’t think whole sections of the University of CA and the other colleges can’t be closed and/or sold. Don’t think the K-12 public schools in the urban districts can’t be openly reduced to holding pens no white family will put children into (or are we there yet – what’s the white % of LAUSD, 6%?).

    These are the good years, things are going to be far worse in 12 to 36 months. We need serious change in state priorities now. Changes in the things that attack the tax base including crime and punishment and court operations, changes in treasury subsidy of parasites. Changes in Revenue and Recovery (tax and state fee) collection. Overt legislation to force problem people out of the state.

    Instead we pass new legislation to NOT take the cars of scofflaws, that sort of thing.

    We can’t have it both ways. These triggers are not the worst of what is going to happen soon. People must grok that there’s a connection between the tax and spend and permissive era and the defunding of critical state operations (schools, prisons, roads, all of it).

  • OUSD Parent

    What does this mean for OUSD? How much more can be cut from our public schools?

    Our school has an active parent community but even in our case we can only cover so much. What about the rest of the schools that don’t have parents with the means to kick in extra time and money? Our kids must be able to compete in the world once they leave school. As adults we need to prepare them. Underfunded schools will only make things worse. Kids won’t be able to compete for jobs as young adults. Crime rates will increase as will the need for public assistance putting even more of a burden our system.

    Pay more in taxes up front to ensure an educated work force and hold accountable politicians, school districts, and all others responsible for allocating and managing the money. Something has to change or we are all going to be in big trouble.

  • Nextset

    OUSD Parent: We have an educated work force. They come from schools other than urban public school.

    The taxpayers are not inclined to vote districts like LAUSD and OUSD any more money. They have too much money already. The dollars per student especially allowing for the premises and equipment they enjoy exceeds that spent on other education models.

    Good people do not draw a link between giving OUSD more money and crime rates. We already see where increasing welfare increases crime rates, increasing unemployment payouts increases unemployment, and similar links between showering non-functioning people with the treasury and increased bad behavior.

    The reading/writing levels produced by the urban school districts – and the black and brown drop out levels – call for less money not more money. You don’t need additional money and “education” to do the menial jobs such people are able to so.

    It’s up to the schools to manage with the budgets they are being given. The state has other priorities ahead of educating the proletariat anyway, like criminal justice (which needs a major overhauling to cut it’s budgets and make it more efficient).

    Things are changing and that change is very unpleasant. You cannot expect any more money and you will learn to manage with less.

  • Tim

    My kids go to private school. I saw this coming.

  • Katy Murphy

    Tim – Is that why you chose a private school? How much of a factor was state funding instability/inadequacy in your decision?

  • OUSD Parent

    I can tell you one thing, the parent’s I know with their kids in private schools are far less stressed out than I am!

  • Cranky Teacher

    Upper-class and upper middle-class people would rather have their $100K cars and $250K kitchens than pay a bit more to educate “other people’s children.”

    Unfortunately, this is ridiculously shortsighted, because everybody ends up paying much more for any uptick in incarceration, crime and other costs directly associated with not educating our young.

  • J.R.

    more,more,more!
    The system plays “three card monty” with taxpayer money, and truthfully whatever the increase(were it to happen), it would never be enough money.

    http://www.calchamber.com/pressreleases/pages/californiaeducationstudyrevealsdisturbingtrend.aspx

    http://www.calwatchdog.com/2011/11/14/lausd-still-spending-billions/

    http://californiawatch.org/k-12/spending-far-equal-among-state-s-school-districts-analysis-finds-10567

    The California taxpayers(productive)are being crushed by this massive debt burden. The size and scope of government has to be reduced along with expenditures just to pay the people who are retired. Those who are working are destined to work until death to pay for people who no longer work or have never worked, and never will. How is that for fairness, comrades?

  • BV

    Katy, do you know how these compare with the cuts anticipated in OUSD’s different budget scenarios set forth earlier in 2011?

  • livegreen

    Cranky, there are a lot of Upper Middle Class families that send their kids to OUSD or leave to go to another School District (incl. a good portion of Hills, & some Slope schools). You simply can’t generalize like that.

    I do know one thing: whether it’s my kids or anothers, this does NOT benefit the education of our broader society. Thus it affects the long term health of our communities, state, & nation.

    The Republicans protect the Multinational Corp.’s, Wealthy & Conservative taxpayers;
    The Democrats protect the State Employees Unions.
    *In other words their cash flow. Politics has become a business!*

  • J.R.

    Cranky,
    Yeah, it’s all their fault(no personal responsibility involved here whatsoever)I can just hear the conversation now:

    Shanique or Maria: you mean I don’t even have to make much money, or even work and I can still have kids?

    Liberal idealogue: That’s right, it is your right to do whatever you want, and the system is set up to take care of you and your kids, isn’t that nice?

    Shanique or Maria: WOW, that’s cool.

    In 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 U.S. workers. In 2010, each retiree’s Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 U.S. workers. By 2025, it is projected that there will be approximately two U.S. workers for each retiree. How in the world can the system possibly continue to function properly with numbers like that?

    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/in-2011-the-baby-boomers-start-to-turn-65-16-statistics-about-the-coming-retirement-crisis-that-will-drop-your-jaw

  • Nextset

    Cranky Teacher: Only liberals believe crime is caused by education levels. Others believe crime is caused by evil and indiscipline.

    You are wasting your time telling me and those that follow my line of logic that we are going to get more crime by not funding your horrible public schools. I don’t believe it. The crime we are experiencing is not related to poverty at all.

    It’s related to a lot of people doing whatever they want to because it’s fun for them and they have no fear of discipline. We can change that real fast and without building new prisons either.

    Make all criminal records available on the internet including juvenile record beyond age 14. End public assistance especially medical care to the indigent using the taxpayer funds and allow people to live or die on what charity they can get on their own merits. Use Singapore style corporal punishment in criminal sentencing ancillary to shorter incarceration and longer probation/parole. And adopt legislation to create jobs by banning exportation of personal information overseas, adopting Oregon’s policy of no self serve gas stations, create overwhelming tax incentives for domestic employees paid through payroll services to capture the data for tax compliance, etc. And finally impose legal presence tests for voting, public schools, public services, public hospitalization, banking, and all other aspects of life to make illegal presence for both children and adults no longer viable.

    Maybe you are not aware of the large and significant percentage of foreign nationals in our state jails and prisons, our schools and public hospitals. It’s time for both an effort to discourage their continuing presence and a round up of those who remain and confiscation of their assets.

    Then maybe we’ll get crime under control. Giving OUSD more money won’t make a difference at all in crime.

  • J.R.

    Livegreen,
    I don’t think cranky sees it as generalizing, I think many people who don’t work in the private sector believe like this. It’s all about fairness(their own brand of fairness)everyone should be taken care of, and or have a living wage even for a low/no skill job(even though realistically this is impossibly unsustainable). People need to realize two things:
    1.US Corporations are a big part of our economic engine which makes our standard of living possible(not to mention they make goods and services which make life better for all.
    2.There are abuses, but there is no way to suppress greed completely whether it be corporate greed, Union greed or just personal greed.

    I personally do not care for the ultra-left or the ultra-right and prefer responsibility based pragmatism.

  • J.R.

    Nextset,
    I believe you are oversimplifying a tad, there is no doubt criminal behavior is mostly just a decision to go the easy route(laziness and or stupidity), but there is an element of lack of education also. That being said, to be educated properly a person needs to being a willing participant in the learning process. most criminal types do not even care to be at school except for the social benefit alone.

  • Katy Murphy

    Good question. I asked OUSD Spokesman Troy Flint about it earlier today and will post this update at the top of the blog post.

    Flint said the district could be forced to absorb midyear cuts of up to $5.5 million, or $190 per student, as a result of the trigger cuts. He said the 2011-12 budget accounts for this possibility. So for this year anyway, he said, “Any impact would be slight and we definitely would not make cuts to schools.”

  • OUSD Parent

    Thanks for the info Katy. So, for this school year there, would be little impact, What about the 2012-2013 school year?

  • Cranky Teacher

    Of COURSE I was generalizing. To make a point. Hilarious that the obsessive posters on here who generalize up the yin-yang are upset that I made a point. J.R. and Nextset do nothing all day but generalize!

    And yes, you generalized about me, too: I spent 15 years working in the private sector, far longer than I’ve been a teacher. Don’t give me that crap like you’re the only one who can talk about this. That’s like saying only military vets can decide if we should go to war, anyway.

    I grew up here and I see how well-off people in the Bay Area spend outlandishly on stuff they don’t need. When I was clocking 90K in a large corporation, I did it myself. When the bubbles went up — real estate in the 70s/80s, then stocks, then credit card debt, then real estate again — those who held the right commodities really went nuts — whole neighborhoods were gentrified overnight each time, acres and acres of McMansions sprang up on farmland.

    Every night I leave my broken down school where the classes are overstuffed, the teachers told to do more and more on less and less and get on a freeway absolutely JAMMED with new, expensive cars. It’s not great economic analysis, I’ll admit, but it does stick in the craw.

    Love, too, the ridiculous linking of welfare moms to the problems of social security as if there is any connection between the infintesimal monies paid to AFDC vs. the fact that middle-class jobs have been drying up or moving abroad for decades and that the Baby Boomer generation is aging out.

    You can blame the parents and kids and teachers all you want, and lord knows we’re far from perfect. But funding is definitely a piece of the puzzle and you’re crazy if you think education has nothing to do with incarceration. I never said it was the only factor.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Sorry, had to respond to this one: “I don’t think cranky sees it as generalizing, I think many people who don’t work in the private sector believe like this. It’s all about fairness(their own brand of fairness)everyone should be taken care of, and or have a living wage even for a low/no skill job(even though realistically this is impossibly unsustainable).”

    I hardly believe “everyone should be take care of” by taxpayers. The point is, developed nations with strong middle classes were built on a foundation of free, compulsory public education as a great equalizer and to promote social mobility and a functioning democracy.

    Now, if you don’t believe in those things or are perfectly fine hiding behind the walls of gate communities while the rest of the country goes to hell, than fine for you. I do and am not.

  • J.R.

    Cranky,
    There are layers of systems(finance and budget, distribution, payroll etc) that are connected with all public sector programs(social programs included), so the cost is never just the infinitesimal monies paid for programs but the infrastructure that goes along with it. Then there are also bigger cost to society in lost productivity and criminal behavior that are related to the welfare environment and have costs to society as well. There is nothing infinitesimal about any of that. You just refuse to acknowledge it.

  • J.R.

    Cranky,
    I work for a living, and must do my job every day to remain employed(I don’t have union rules that have been codified in law to keep me employed). I don’t live in a gated community, but I probably wouldn’t mind if I did. Believe me, as a teacher you make more than I do, but you never hear begrudge or harp on that. I only harp on the fact that I face true accountability every day in my world while there is virtually no accountability(with any real teeth) in many public sector jobs.

  • Nextset

    I agree with Cranky: We once had a middle class built on a foundation of free compulsory education as the great equalizer. We threw it all away. We debased our primary and secondary schools. We outsourced manufacturing and destroyed jobs for the proletariat while at the same time adopting divorce on demand and welfare as a right. We allowed single mother households to be normalized by entitling single mothers to both welfare and child support when it would have been prudent to allow neither (and to maintain societal disdain and disapproval of single motherhood). Now we have a big rouge elephant problem with the boys, while the girls crank out more underclass and the bunch of them fail to assimilate into decent society at an acceptable rate.

    We see a cancerous underclass, a dissolving middle class, and an upper class behind gates (w Amex Centurion Black Cards so the store/restaurant/hotel clerks can ID them quick).

    It’s a Brave New World. We did it to ourselves because it all felt sooo good to make these changes.

    This education we are serving up in the urban public schools isn’t education. The products of the urban public schools aren’t sufficiently prepared for military service, industry, or higher education. And don’t tell me the jobs aren’t there, they are to a large extent even if not what everybody would want and a 10 minute commute from mother’s house.

    The urban schools don’t sufficiently sort, grade and develop the students, preferring to merely promote a lowest common denominator standard of deportment and performance. That’s why district schools such as LAUSD and OUSD are so unacceptable to higher SES families and no longer add social, occupational and economic mobility to the bright but poor students.

    I re-read that last sentence. Maybe I’m wrong here and they (urban schools) are adding plenty of economic mobility to illegal aliens and their anchor babies, just not enough for the black folks…

    Brave New World.

  • Makeitgoaway

    just wanted to let everyone know I support Nextsets right to post. what I like about his posts is that he is consistent, and brings a credible knowledge of world and local events to the table along with a philosophy based on his personal experience. I feel that underneath he cares desperately about the youth of Oakalnd, and wishes so many things hadn’t gone wrong. I absolutely support his idea of an academic high school and more skill based classes, but without the rhetoric about writing off the rest of the students. I would enjoy talking to him anytime.

    JR- good teachers are good because they have internal standards much higher than anything an administrator might impose. They are accountable for the education of their students. there is no higher responsibility.

  • J.R.

    Makeitgoaway,
    Yes, but only when and if teachers have internal standards(some obviously do not).I have said before, I have many teachers and principals in my family, and I love good and great teachers. I don’t have patience for teachers that are substandard, the profession is diminished when lousy teachers are allowed to continue negatively affecting children. I am an involved PTA parent, and volunteer IT person. I see what goes on in the classrooms, when other teachers are busy with their own classes. I have witnessed cell-phone abuse, surfing the web and many other things during what is supposed to be instructional time. There are even teachers who every year take what amounts to weeks of time off, this is habitual(and wrong). Good teachers are really special good-hearted people, and might even seem a tad strange in this world we live in. I have never forgotten the great teachers that I have had, and I would even go by their classes up until graduation just to tell them thank you. It is disgusting to see teachers who aren’t one-tenth as good making six figures(all the great teachers are severely underpaid though, I will say), it is just insane. Too many worthless teachers out there being overpaid, all the while LIFO is destroying the future teachers we will be needing down the road.

  • J.R.

    Makeitgoaway,
    A little clarification on the point about time off(because people will question this)in many districts that I have been active local teacher unions reps have set up “time off” banks where teachers can donate days off that have been accrued, and some use this with abandon every year like clockwork.

  • Oakland Teacher

    No K-12 teacher makes 6 figures. None, no matter what their degree or years of experience.

    No teacher is overpaid. Yes, of course there are some who should not be teaching, just like there are people in every profession who are not meant for it. I have seen more good teachers than not, but if your child is stuck with a truly bad teacher, it is awful. Parents should speak up to the principal, as uncomfortable as it might be. I wish people would stop acting like teachers as a group are okay with bad teachers. We are not. It is up to the principals to go through the process to get rid of them, and it is a lot of work. Teachers are powerless to get rid of bad teachers, but let me tell you that most of us are embarrassed and angry when having to work with one, especially when you get their students the following year.

    Why does everything on this board always end up back at the bad teacher discussion? Can’t people discuss policy, funding, innovation without bringing it back to the same diatribes (race and bad teachers) over and over again? I wish those people would instead troll on the Craigs List “Education” forum instead. Katy’s blog is too good to be treated this way.

  • J.R.

    Oakland Teacher,
    Sorry, but you are wrong and I know some teachers who do.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/26/995141/see-how-well-your-school-district.html

    http://www.fudta.org/Committees/SalaryAdvancement.pdf

    http://www.pleasanton.k12.ca.us/humanresources/CertificatedInfo/documents/11-12APTsalarysched.pdf

    There are more, but it’s easy to search yourself.

    Teaching is where the bulk of the money goes, and it directly affects the kids. Children are the reason we have an education system in the first place, or did you forget that?

    It stands to reason that with a limited budget we should be able to hire the best teachers possible, first and not be hamstrung by random date of hire. Then again, it’s all about fairness and not whats best for the children or reasonable.

    If I was posting on Craig’s list or wherever instead of here your claim that “No K-12 teacher makes 6 figures. None, no matter what their degree or years of experience” would go unchallenged. I know people love the status quo but things are going to change.

  • Nextset

    Oakland Teacher – on the subject of Race: Public School Education in the urban areas is all about race. If you don’t understand that you are not going to be effective in this subject.

    As far as Bad Teachers: to a large extent I agree with you. Bad Teachers are secondary to bad students. We need to control the bad students first then clean up remaining problems with unsuitable teachers. The problem child students greatly outnumber the teacher issue and have a faster and more dramatic effect on the quality of the school and their products.

  • J.R.

    Here is even more interesting data that is directly related to the need for budget cuts and thus midyear trigger cuts.

    http://database.californiapensionreform.com/database.asp?vttable=calstrs

  • J.R.

    Nextset,
    Rotten kids, and their rotten parents are never going to be dealt with, that went out with the end of corporal punishment and lawyers.Kids are not much more than a revenue stream to the education establishment, every kid brings in the same amount of $$$$$$$ and that’s all that matters. Which is why we are in the educational predicament that we are in. As long as we have irresponsible and stupid people having kids at a greater rate than productive taxpayers we are doomed. There is nothing that can change that, no politician has the guts to touch that.

  • livegreen

    I am ready to protest over these cuts if the State PTA & Teachers Unions are ready to organize. Even though OUSD padded itself. Why? Because otherwise BOTH the Republicans & Dems will cut more again next year if they’re not deterred.

    An interesting excerpt from Katy’s colleague Sharon Naguchi in today’s Tribune:

    “Cuts aren’t the only financial crisis facing districts.

    ‘The real elephant in the living room is cash,’ said Kenneth Shelton, chief business officer of the Santa Clara County Office of Education. The state is deferring payments of $9.44 billion, or 39 percent of the total that it owes K-12 schools, until next fiscal year. In addition, the state has pushed back other payments by several months. That leaves some districts with a cash-flow problem, unable to meet payroll.”

    This is unconscionable. The State Legislature & Governor must hear from us that they cannot screw schools like this. The first part should be letters from both OUSD & the OEA (publicized to the rest of us). The 2nd should be a well publicized City Wide march to State buildings in the Bay Area. The 3rd should be to Sacramento.

    Again, if we don’t let the Politicians know this is unacceptable, THEY WILL CUT EDUCATION AGAIN.

  • J.R.

    Livegreen,
    the budget deficits will keep growing and the cuts will keep coming.

    http://toped.svefoundation.org/2011/02/24/deferrals-the-hidden-budget-cut-hit-states-charter-schools-hardest/

    The first thing that needs to be cut is the size and scope of government(officials,staff,commissions,boards and so forth). That will free up some money for education. Every little bit helps.

    http://killcarb.org/

  • livegreen

    Well, I for one have had enough. If the District, OEA & City/State PTAs take the lead in a well publicized series of events (just after school when we need to pick them up anyway, + so the kids stay in school), I bet many parents would join in.

    Publicize both to the Principals, the OEAs site coordinators, & the PTA’s. We need to take action NOW before more cuts, not after they’re already voted in.

  • Ms. J.

    J.R.,
    You have repeatedly written about how hard you have to work, and stated that this is not the case for teachers (or people on welfare, or anyone else you are determined to badmouth). Yet you spend more time than almost anyone else writing to this blog. Is your job in fact ranting about people you don’t like? Or are you not actually working that hard?
    Of course I’m being rhetorical here and don’t want an answer.
    Of course I know you are going to respond with some vitriol about how teachers blah blah blah.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  • J.R.

    Ms.J
    Rhetorical or not you’re going to get one, I’ll give you a clue, my job is technology. I have laptops and various other gadgets with me at all times. My job is completing my work to my clients satisfaction so I can be paid(and pay taxes) which allows you to have your job. You are welcome!

  • Nextset

    Livegreen: Are you just now waking up to the fact that the public schools are going to be cut until they collapse?

    WE AREN”T GOING TO HAVE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ANYMORE – at least not in the urban areas. You are not running schools anymore, you are running holding pens for prole loosers and the immigrants brought in to take their jobs.

    The real schools are elsewhere – White District Schools, Church schools, private schools, Charter Schools, College High Schools, etc.

    Since the CA urban districts are not considered schools there is no problem with shutting off their funding. Add it all up.

    Do you believe the Senators and Assemblymen and the Judges and Governors and State Officers and Managers would ever put their kids in OUSD? or LAUSD?

    So get ready for more cuts, they are sure coming.

  • Livegreen

    Nextet, I know schools will b cut unless we do something about it. I’m proposing something proactive b done. You don’t have to rain on my advocacy by saying it’s all inevitable. That’s only true if we stand by and watch it happen.

    That’s as true if it’s in Orinda or Piedmont as it is Oakland.

  • Nextset

    No, it’s not as true in Piedmont.

    Piedmont schools are real school with real students. Oakland’s are not. Piedmont counts, Oakland does not.

    If required, the municipality of Piedmont and similar SES places could and would pay for their own schools with their own special tax assessments. That’s because the population there identifies clearly with the local school district. Oakland will not. The productive people of Oakland – those remaining compared to the far larger number in 1960 – disidentify with OUSD.

    The libs brought this on themselves by getting progressivly farther and farther away from the value structure of decent productive people. I suppose it happened in stages. At one point Communists were not allowed to work in our schools.

    The price to be paid for all the hate whitey and all the lib politicing is now due. The taxpayers dissaprove of the urban schools and will not support them. That also means, by the way, they will not hire the products of the urban public schools.

    And you aren’t going to have affirmative action to rely on either. It’s illegal.

    Adjust your attitude in that first paragraph. Of course people will rain on your parade when you are being foolish and childish. (at least appearing so to them). You (I think) call for more money for OUSD and districts like them so they can continue business as usual.

    I’m saying that OUSD & Co are intended to go out of business. There will be less and less money for them. That’s the plan.

    The reason this is happening is that such districts disaffected themselves from decent people and persisted in running failure factories that can’t even keep the girls from getting pregnant or teach the chillun to read. (That’s an extreme statement, it’s intended to be. Piedmont doesn’t have those problems and if any students there started down the path of failure they’d be kicked out to continuation school)

    OUSD will not cull failing students (into Continuation Schools). They allow their stats to crash by not flunking failing students into alternative schools to protect the “real” schools. No more money for them.

  • Former Hills Parent

    So happy that I moved my family out of Oakland. We live elsewhere in the bay area where the schools are better run and better supported. I’m continually amazed by our wonderful public schools and the depth of educational resources in my new community. To all my middle-class friends who are still in Oakland: the grass really is greener! What are you waiting for?

  • Current Hills Parent

    Former Hills Parent,

    Glad you are happy. Yes, OUSD often seems to be it’s own worst enemy and ours too. However, there are many families, teachers, students and community members who are working to improve our schools right here where we live. Your tone suggests to me that you are commenting with the sole purpose of gloating. Not helpful, and frankly it makes me question how happy you really are.

  • Former Hills Parent

    @Current… oh, plenty happy! I’m just wondering what took us so long to conclude that moving was the solution to 1. better education for our kids, 2. a safer environment, 3. more space, 4. an overall better quality of life. So, yeah, really got nothing to complain about over here.

    I know that not everyone has the option to move, but for those who have the resources, there is any easier path. If OUSD really cared about retaining middle class or upper middle class families, they would have made an effort to keep more of us.

  • A Teacher

    JR,

    On your comment that teachers are making 6 figure incomes, I am a teacher and have never heard of such a thing.

    I looked at every single one of your links, and NONE of them show any teacher making 6 figures. They show superintendents and school psychologist with 6 figures, but that is very different.

    I’m confused, either you don’t know who to read a spread sheet, or you are just trying to spread blatant lies.

    Which is it?

  • Oakland Parent

    @40

    We would die of boredom, or die commuting all the time, die from starvation of good restaurants, diversity, cookie cutter architecture and cookie cutter people like you.

    The truth is: You didn’t have to move, you were just scared. Your kids wold have been just as successful here as they are in their new schools because (it sounds like) you wouldn’t accept less. The kids with educated, involved parents do just as well as the bored, drunken teenagers out in the burbs (who spend every free moment trying to get through that tunnel or over that bridge). What you missed, out of fear, is that kids that score high in Oakland are sought out by universities because they inevitably have a ton of diverse experiences and extracurricular credits unavailable in the cultural desert you live in.

  • J.R.

    A teacher,
    Did you even bother to look at the pay scales for teachers in the .pdf from Fudta and also Pleasanton teachers salary scale? It is no lie, just look at BA+ 29 years, and more for masters degree. Many teachers make six figures, not just admin. You are confused, maybe that’s part of the problem with the system as well.

  • OUSD Parent

    JR, Go easy when you’re talking about teachers and their salaries. Oakland teachers are NOT making six figures. Maybe a few do in other districts, but our Oakland teachers are not making that kind of money. And in general, teachers are not paid that well.

  • OUSD Parent

    @42 -I’m an Oakland parent as well. I have two kids in public school and have to comment on the tone of your post which is full of sweeping generalizations. I understand why families move. You don’t have to be nasty about it. Not everyone is able to pull it off as beautifully as you. The petty bickering that us parents participate in shifts our energy away from the hard work that needs to be done to continue improving our public schools. These possible trigger cuts will impact Oakland schools more than the affluents districts around us. That’s the real issue here. Glad it’s working for you. Hope it continues to work for us. It gets harder and harder every year.

  • J.R.

    OUSD Parent,
    Oakland Teacher made the statement “No K-12 teacher makes 6 figures. NONE, no matter what their degree or years of experience”. This is a general statement of fact(not specific to Oakland teachers).I was simply disproving the false statement.

  • livegreen

    What I love about both Nextet & FHP’s negative statements about OUSD is they incorrectly apply to all OUSD schools, including ones that are scoring just as high as Piedmont or Lamorinda. Then they tell other parents who are going to successful schools right here in Oakland that, based on their generalizations

    “Piedmont schools are real school with real students. Oakland’s are not. Piedmont counts, Oakland does not.”
    &
    “We live elsewhere in the bay area where the schools are better run and better supported.”

    Who are you to judge & insult my student, my student’s school, their teachers and Principal? How do you know everything about all the schools in Oakland?

    Whether you are right or wrong, what gives you the right to insult the rest of us, our students, our families, our schools & the efforts we are making (often successful)?

    & even if Katy let’s you both have that right, why do you do it? Just because you can? Because you like to gloat?

    I think you do it both to justify your opinions to yourselves, even when they’re wrong at least in part (as most generalizations are), and, perhaps more importantly, because you are mean. Just plain mean.

    That reminds me of the name for students who do this gloating & talking down to others in school. They’re called “bullies”.

  • Former Hills Parent

    @Oakland Parent and @Livegreen. Children can receive a great education within OUSD. I know families that have done it and it’s worked out great for them. But I also know lots of people who have transferred out or kids are struggling academically and/or socially. It is harder to get a top-notch education in Oakland than in Piedmont, Albany, Orinda, San Ramon, etc.

    My children attended a public school in Oakland that we liked until we moved last year. We were part of the community, had wonderful teachers, loved our neighborhood school. But even this school, one of OUSD’s very best, can’t begin to offer the resources at our new school.

    My youngest, who is in third grade, would have been in a class with 30+ kids with no teaching assistants and limited parental involvement in Oakland. Instead, at our new school, he’s in a classroom with just 23 students, plus the school has teaching assistants, ample parent volunteers, science classes, computer lab, reading resources and so on. Remarkably, no kids are falling through the cracks. There are no big discipline issues. On average, I would say the class as a whole is 6-12 month ahead of OUSD peers.

    I’m not bragging or gloating or being mean, in spite of what you may think, but I am saying that even the very best schools in OUSD can’t begin to compete with districts with more resources.

    I am making a few sweeping generalizations but I’ve experienced two different bay area school districts and can share the stark differences that I have seen. I also have many friends still in Oakland and the challenges I speak of are felt across the board – classes that are too big, lack of parental involvement, fundraising hardships, discipline problems, unsafe campuses, etc. And it is only getting worse according to the projected budget cuts.

    To everyone who remains in Oakland, I really do wish you success and hope that things improve for your schools. But if you are thinking of moving, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised about what you find elsewhere.

  • livegreen

    “the challenges I speak of are felt across the board”: Sorry but in my experience and several families I know of in neighboring schools, there are NOT problems with at least 3 of the categories you mention: “lack of parental involvement, discipline problems, unsafe campuses”. These simply are NOT issues. & I’m not even talking about Hills schools.

    Two of the other issues you mention, classroom sizes & fundraising hardships, are only partially true. That is, we don’t raise the same amount as Crocker, Montclair, Chabot, etc. etc. but fundraising is going up significantly. We could use more. Re. class sizes, my impression is they could be lower. But the Teachers don’t seem concerned & studies (that JR, Nextet & others have referred to) show there’s not a direct correlation. & so my mind is not made up on this last issue (as of yet).

    You might have personal reasons & experiences that are well founded. But they shouldn’t be generalized to all (as you have done – repeatedly), or to urging all of us to give up and leave. I agree with Current Hills Parent: doing so sure sounds like gloating to me.

  • On the Fence

    Thank you Livegreen. I found the posts by FHP snide and unnecessary, too. “I’m not bragging or gloating or being mean, in spite of what you may think, but I am saying that even the very best schools in OUSD can’t begin to compete with districts with more resources.” Hmmm…

    I think most of us realize that raising and educating children is difficult regardless of where you live and can ignore the silly, “grass really is greener!” comments.