The age-old question

San Leandro educators began informational picketing this week to raise awareness of failed contract negotiations. San Lorenzo teachers are also working on a new working agreement, while Hayward Unified’s contract with its teachers expire this summer.

With the governor proposing across-the-board cuts, including in education, school districts are preparing for big losses in revenue.

So how can financially strapped districts fairly compensate arguably its most important employees? Remember, California already ranks among the bottom in per-pupil spending when compared with the rest of the nation.

School officials may look to you for the answer. Districts are warming to the idea of placing a parcel tax before voters to help compensate teachers.

Are you willing to support such a cause by paying higher taxes? Why or why not?


  • craig

    Most Senior homeowners pay a very low tax rate for the value of their property. If they can’t afford to pay higher taxes now maybe a reverse mortgage like tax structure would allow them to pay back their fair share when they sell their property. California commercial property owners are getting over on the students being the only industrial state in the country without ‘split roll.’
    Neither group according to voting behavior care very much about education especially since the color hues or the students are becoming more earth tone.
    The Democratic leadership would rather submit to the Republican agenda before putting serious resources into mobilizing their base or seriously increasing voter registration. Many of them have beautiful voices but it’s hard to stop the Corporate /Senior coalition singing acappela.
    We’re not near the bottom, nationally in student spending , we are the bottom, if you factor in the size of our population and that we have a third of the countries english learning students.A documentary titled “First to Worst” details our decline since Prop. 13. whose author Howard Jarvis, a bitter Senior citizen equated public education with “encouraging the minorities.”

  • J. W. Kyle

    March 20, 2007

    Craig might have written his submission a bit better if he undedrstood the scene a bit netter than his submission indicates. I think he must have been in a big hurry!

    Craig, seniors pay the same property tax rates as everybody else. If their tax bill is low than perhaps iit is because their property tax assement, an opinion of value expressed by the county appraiser, has been falling behind due to the affect of prop 13. Some of those enjoying that affect are not necessarily senior citizens.

    As second generation garduates ogf the parochial school system. my four children were also sent to parochial schools at no small cost to ourselves while also supporting through the tax rpll, public schools, well prior tro prop 13. seven of my eleven grandchildren attend or are attending parochial school system. one has graduated from a private coolege while another folloows in her sister;s foot steps at that same college. Three attend Stae supported Colleges while another is still attending parochial high school.

    Five of the eleven are the children of one daughter who has succeeded in her nursing career in working much overtime, in combination with her Husband’s own efforts. Their children found themselves excluded from much of the avaulable scholarshiop money because of the parenbtal need to work overtime when confronted with k-12 tuition bills,. That overtiome/ salary combination amounted to sums which found themselves ineliguible for scholarship money…. never mind, the grandkids are helping out with jobs…… in runs in their blood to be contributors niot takers.

    Rhere was a time when Republicans had great influence in Alameda County but that went dowhn the tube with the demise of the Oakland Tribune and the Deaths of the longtime owner of the Trib amd his son the former US Senator Wm Knowland . The Republicans are hardly what you would call as being in Control the SF Bay Area. So why suggest that Democratic leadership is submissive to tyhe Republican Leadership?

    I did not vote for prop 13, I thought the concept was pretty poor. I do not recall Howard Jarvis making racist re,marks as you suggest. Mr. Jarvis was upset with the strong [ropensity to lay on layer after layer of tax assessments when the spending was out opf contol?

    An example of out of control spending was displayed here in Hayward back in the 1960’s when a tax by the city was laid down on phone and utility bills. The income from that action was surprising when during the course of the annual budhet hearings it was indicated that the phone/utility tax had brought ion a much larger summ than expected.

  • J. W. Kyle

    I was cutoff prior to finishing item above ( # 2 poaition)

    Having heard the part about a larger than expected cash fkow fron the new tax, one council member made the unfortunate remark….’ how can we spend this windfall ? ‘

    Quite promptly, one member of the audience suggested ..
    GIVE IT BACK YOU S.. .. . ….H !

  • craig

    Alot of the Seniors have racist tendencies due to having grown up in a racist society. Some social scientists say that people born before 1946 show these tendencies much more than post 1946 folk. The post 1946 people unfortunately tend not to become involved in organizations or politics.
    So the anti property tax reform advocates can use coded racism to attack education and prevent reform.
    The property tax system is very unfair especially to young families. Neighbors can own a home of identical value yet one having someone who has lived there since the 70’s might be paying less than a thousand a year while their neighbor with a growing family and a big mortgage might be paying $4,000 or $5,000.
    I’m suggesting that the Senior or other long time home owners not pay the higher rate if they can’t afford to , but they could certainly pay back taxes when their family sells their home at a significant windfall. Many Seniors may have paid under $50,000 for their home , lived in and enjoyed their property for decades , paid a relatively low property tax rate for years and sold their home at market value for maybe ten times what they paid for it. Somehow pinching the education system in the process doesn’t seem like a fair system . A windfall for their children who inherit but shortchanging the education system and community.
    That said, the major rippoff comes from our failure to fairly tax commercial property to the detriment of schools and other infrastructure.
    The anti reform people will immediately say “they want to take away your home” and get the Seniors to line up against their grandchildren.
    Parcel taxes are regressive but the only play educators have in a nearly hopeless situation.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Craig may be correct about folks born too early to have had education suffcient to eliminating prejudice based on eace. Those of us who had military service subsequent to President Truman’s elimination of segregation in the srmed forces saw through the rediculous previous situation.
    Except for the presence of a few whites whose origins of family were present within what we know as ‘the south’, racism might have been eradicated.

    Unfortunnately, many African Amaricans brought their bitter experi9ence to the north and applied it to all whites such as we see in the recent headlines dealing with a Chicago minister and the Presidential candidate.

    There are knuckle-heads on both sides of that fence and it may take time before we recognize their absence.

    Anti-property tax reform advocates ??? Would you place all seniors, especially of the caucasian variety, in that bag?

    As a senior of advanced years I testify that it was just as difficult to acquire the down payment towards a house purchase in my early days, as it is now. Wage structures were quite a bit lower in ” the olden days ” and the excess profits of which you write as occurruing on sale of a home by old folks is quite well needed toward purchase of health insurance regardless of the facts if one was or was not able to carry wealth insurance into retirement. In my own case. Kaiser Permanente, Senior Advantage, schedule D conditions with medicare premiumsd included costs me in excess of $10,000 per year and that does not include co-payments for medications or medical office visits.

    It was well after my children first entered parochial education before California, the last state in the union to do so, abandoned the practice of taxing parochial schools as a means of supporting publuic schools. One of the most fortunate things to occur in politics was the defeat of of Al Smith in the elections of 1928. Herbert YHoover bore the brunt of public reaction to the depression which might otherwise have fallen upon Roman Catholics. The parade up Market Street in SF by idiots dressed in the hooded costume of the KKK, while expressing opposition to RC’s in the white house was a topic of conversation for a long time.

    JFK had to appear before an audience of protestant ministers in Texas due to his ties with the RC Church.

    Craig…. it ain’t a perfect world !

    As to the general thrust of your comments, let me ask this question. When does the idea of a ‘free education’ become the basis for justifying, virtually a total lack of support for public schools by the parents of those students still attending?

    In Hayward we see teachers complaining about having been placed in a position of having to personally providing class room supplies. Geez, even during the depression supplies came from the household budget of RC families. I recall having labored. as a child in the round up of newspapers so that that the paper material could be sold by the school, while my own patrents encouraged me to speak up and ask for empty glass bottles while scouring the area’s homes for old newspapers. Those glass soda bottles broght 2 cents each in refunds. 5 bought a ticket to the movies and 12 or 15 bought a couple months supply of binder
    paper. Do you see local students collecting aluminum cans to benefit their schools? Did you know that you can get $2.15 per pound in 30 pound quantity and that 30 pounds of aluminumn cans can bring in about 30 reams of paper at a salvage yard om 98th Ave in Oakland?

    It would be easier to organize an ” aluminum can ” drive at public schools than it would be to organize a politiacl defeat at the polls for prop. 13. To organize that defeat you would be required to organnize parents of enrolled students to engage themselves in the opportunity to help themselves as outlined above.

    Frankly. I am offended by your insistence that seniors would organize to deliberately defeat change in prop 13 when we see the lack of political will or respon- sible parenthood present in the familes of those now enrolled at public schools.

    The parcel tax idea might be a good avenue….. but the problem in Hayward is this. Sales tax revenue has fallen off dramitially especially since ( due to abandonment of 238 bypass,) the traffic condition on Mission Blvd has had major negative affect upon auto sales. So, once we start the parcel tax parade, which one will become more important? The parcel tax to pay for police or fire Departmet salaries or the parcel tax to support teacher salaries.

    Unfortunately, teachers, police offioers and fire fighters to a very large extent of theier respective numbers, have chosen to live outsdie the boundaries of the school district and or the City. Parcel tax will have a tough time at the polls unless the parents of studemnts see through their dilemma.

    Good luck Craig.

  • craig

    I don’t think Seniors are ardent racist, many are just pursuadable by conservative interests,who play the race card.
    Stereotyping parents of students is another conservative tactic. We should recognize that public education is arguably the greatest social invention in the history of human kind and even though people can BS their way out of supporting a good system, it won’t help us in our competition against Asian countries , like Japan China and India and their attitude toward education. See http://www.2Mminutes.org.

  • craig
  • monica ruiz

    Seniors vote! That’s why the parcel tax, bond etc. won’t pass in Hayward. It’s that simple.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Thank you Monica. Now will you please expalin to your ardebt admirers why it is that parents of children in HUSD add othet public schools, who out number the presence of seniors, permit the seniors to dominate the elections involving parcel taxes or bond issues.

    Do you think it possible that parents are unable to tear themselves away from the TV to bother wuth self enlightenment on the issues?

  • monica ruiz

    Those who CHOOSE not to vote are ignorant.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Thank you Monica for another fine contribution.
    Let me ask this few questions.

    Have you done anything personally to solve the problem of reluctance by t you describe as he ‘ignorant’ to involve themselves in preservation of the right to vote? For example, have you taken registration forms, door to door in an attempt to induce particpation by those who you deem to be ignorant?

    Have you circularized your neighborhood with description of a neighborhood problem which might induce participation?

    Or. is your own participation limited to criticism such as found in your comments you frequently provide us, lacking in compassion, when the topic of the day was the food distrinbution offered by All Saints Church?

    Incidentally, the last situation’ finds the All Saints group providing a meal, indoors, at the Methodist Church at the corner of C and second street. Now, there is something constructive and an example of ecumenism in action for a good compassionate cause.

  • craig

    Ten minutes ago I purchased a book from Amazon called “Is Voting For Young People?”
    The Republicans don’t really want more voters. The Democrats budget $100,000 a year or less to voting registration in California a state which on average has a million new residents a year.
    Seniors have an exemption from paying the parcel tax , which may mean that something else is going on with their decision to starve education.

  • J. W. Kyle


    Craig bought a book and ten minutes later he submits a blog reaffirming his opinion that all seniors, especially the white Repunlican variety, will con- ciously starve education.

    Craig. please advise how seniors acquire information exempting them on all or a portion of parcel taxes. I would leave no stone unturned to acquire that infor-mation so that I might write a book assuring that Obama’s former pastor is correct in his infal-
    able opinion that white seniors just do not like education for persons of color.

    Geez, we just celebrated Easter and within 36 hours
    Craig buys a book absorbs it and within ten minutes later, with the ‘backing’ of the contents of that book,circulates an opinion contrary to the belief of folks numbering in excess of at least 2 or 3 billion folks.

    If you would be so kind, would you advise the local location of a bookstoore carrying your siurce publicayion and wether or not the sequel will be avaiable by the end of this week?

    I can hardly wait for the sequel and your ‘review’ of that effort!

    Craig, how old are you and are you a graduate of one level of any school system or another ?

  • craig

    Too much information for you JW. I said I just purchased a book ten minutes before reading the blog which had a reference to what you all were talking about, online so I haven’t read it yet.
    You’re a sick person JW.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Gee Craig…if you had re-read your comment which I questioned in my earlier contribution, you might observe that you appeared to be imparting information from that source you had purchased ten minutes earlier!

    you are right, reading your contributions does tend to induce illness !

  • J. W. Kyle

    Monica Ruiz,

    Paul Frumkin sent me an E-Nail this evening…… I knew he had been a long time resident ! He states that he has lived in Hayward constantly from the year 1952 when his parents moved here from San Francisco.

    Drop him a line and apologize! Suggest also that you confront your source of information. ’tis the right thing to do !

  • I invite you all to help make The HayWord a place where commenters feel comfortable sharing and debating opinions about important local issues. That means avoiding the name-calling, one-upmanship and personal disputes that cause threads like this one to devolve into something that no one else cares to join.

  • craig


    Blogs are meant to be broken. Or thats what the research has shown in an article last year in the American Prospect. Right wingers systematically attack fellow bloggers and try to poison the air, driving people from the blog. Does the M.O. look familar?

  • No Craig, I don’t see any “systematic” right-wing or left-wing conspiracy behind the comments, including yours, that we consider to be personal attacks on other readers and against the rules we have established for guests and contributors to the blog.

    Blog policy: While The HayWord welcomes lively discussion and tough criticism, personal attacks on writers or other readers are not allowed. Spam, obscene language, personal attacks or abusive hate speech are not allowed. You may not pose as another person when posting. Violators are subject to a ban. We recommend that posters to The HayWord use their full names when posting, to keep this forum reliable and encourage constructive discussion.

  • craig

    I’m not saying it’s a conspiracy, just that the American Prospect published an article rersearching the MO.On bigger blogs, (in the article)the attackers were traced to being Republican operatives.I don’t think they’re targetting your blog given the comment rate. I didn’t attack anyone personally, I responded to an attack. Are you suggesting that we not criticize elected officials , groups, political parties or organizations, either?The latter are fair game I would think.

  • The blog welcomes criticism of elected officials, groups, political parties, organizations, journalists, and the ideas and opinions of fellow commenters.

    The blog prohibits name-calling and personal attacks. One of a couple recent examples being: “You’re a sick person.”

    I think this is common sense and pretty straightforward and so this is my final comment on this topic. Thanks!

  • craig

    Someone runs a rant for several paragrphs attacking me ,I respond calling the person is sick.
    Maybe you should include more national and statewide news and the pool of comments and bloggers might increase.

  • Kim Santos

    Let’s be adults, please. This isn’t helping anyone.

  • craig

    With all do respect, JW’s been ragging on people for months. No one got upset about it until , I made my cooment.

  • J. W. Kyle

    One of the problems with the blog is that in many instances contributors take a stand on erroneous
    information which I know to be faulty, I am compelled, when possible, to make an attempt to shed light on the subject if for no other reason than to assist in aiding the readers to understand and eventually make proper judgements when addressing concerns at vote time or what ever the need is perceived to be.

    Due to life experience, education. job knowledege developed over many years prior to my retitrement 17 years ago this momth, as well as participation in 18 task force groups, ad hoc committees, when appointed by City Council or HUSD administration. I thus claim a wide knowl;edge of the trends and fractors which affect us all.

    I agree with the gentleman who argues that the property tax system is unfair. I voted against prop 13 even though I owned a home and was involved, in partnerships, with residential property. I agree that those who have residency in a home over a long period of time, are not payiing taxes as high as the younger folk involved with more recent purchases.

    That condition is unfair as was the California tax on parochial schools imposed for the purpose of support- ing public schools. California was the last state in the Union to discard that unfair tax. It took three votes to repeal that unfair tax. The campaign expense was heavy too ! The most redicuulous part was the effort to re-ikmpose the tax after the third, successful attempt at repeal.

    I think myself intelligent enough to recognize that nothing will change the attitude, including that of those who bought homes much more recemntly than I did.
    When that attitude changes and Prop 13 is rescinded, we might all see a change in the confusion and distress caused by the current California budget crisis.

    I do not accept the idea that I have been ‘ragging on people’ for months. I have a long history of speaking out when people are mouthing known errors. I regard it as a duty if I have the time and knowledge of detail that I regard as ‘truth of the matter at hand’. If I failed torecopbnize that, then why did I volunteer for the draft into military service?

    I once had publicly contributed a response to a speaker at a shipboard meeting of Marine Cooks and Stewards. The meeting went on ’till the wee hours when most had gone to bunk down before the Lurline’s passengers presented themselves for still another meal.
    The attractive stewardess, who eventuated to become the mother-in-law of a well known ‘black panther’ had risen to speak, in 1948 when I was 17 years of age, her subject was the interferance of the Pope in the Italian elections of 1948. She thought it was an awful transgression by The Roman Catholic Pontiff to state that those who voted for the communist party were in danger of ex-communication from the RC Church.

    After the meeting, I pulled her aside and pointed out that Pope was not perforning the act of excommunica- tion but that those who voted for an avowed atheistic political program were to be seen as exmmunicating themselves. To put it simply, you are unable to vote for atheistic communism and remain Christian. The light bulb lit up in her mind’s eye.

    The lady recognized the point and came to my rescue a few days later, when in the act of defending myself by a white man’s homosexual attack, I had developed a swollen . blavk eye. During the periodic tour conducted through galley areas for shipboard passengers, I was instructed to turn my back. The stewardess,a young African American, then arranged for me to enter the voluntatily segregated crew’s quarters. The African Americans were ‘straight’ and I had no more trouble from gay crew. It was an eye opener for a young white kid who, at that time had absolutely no idea, not even a clue, of what the African American experience was like. It provided material for elocution class when I returned to finish high school at the end of that 1948 summer season.

    The lady described above,in later life became very active in assisting African American parollees in their search for a second chance. Unfortunately she was shot dead in her residential doorway that she had just opened to a man she had been helping.