Paso Robles teachers plan protest Tuesday

April 22, 2013

school busA “silent rally” is planned by the Paso Robles Public Educators (PRPE) and students’ parents Tuesday at the district’s board meeting to call attention to ongoing differences with board members and Superintendent Dr. Kathleen McNamera

“Instead of raising our voices in anger and frustration, we are going to protest in silence,” said history teacher Robert Skinner, treasurer of  PRPE.

Teachers in the district gave McNamara a vote of “no confidence” by a 97 percent margin earlier this year. She has initiated pay cuts and unpaid furloughs for employees for the coming budget year.

PRPE Executive Director Jim Lynett said McNamara’s current plan to cut salaries is tied to what he calls “McNamera’s projected deficit spending” in the 2014-2015 school year.

“This is in direct contradiction to Governor Brown’s budget predicting rising school funding through 2017,” Lynett said. “It’s like buying tire chains for a predicted snow storm two years from now, even though it hasn’t snowed in Paso Robles since 1986.”

Lynett said McNamara “has waged a campaign to bolster her public image.”

Next step in negotiations for officials of the district and PRPE is a process called “fact finding” on May 8 — which Lynett notes “ironically is California’s Day of the Teacher.”

The teachers’ union Tuesday activities start at 4:30 p.m., when parents, teachers, employees, and others will gather in the Paso Robles High School parking lot. They will then march along Niblick Road to the school district office for the “silent rally.” Then, petitions in support of what the union calls “a fair contract settlement” will be presented to board members.


I’ve been really digging into the issues at Paso schools, trying to get as many facts as possible, because I want to know what the facts are, not just what the propaganda is from both sides.

Here we are with another union propaganda piece, no by-line, passed off as real news. It is not. Shame on you, CalCoast News for continuing to practice Enquirer style journalism.

Let’s start again by remembering that paso robles schools were not given $9 million that they were supposed to get from the state just this year alone. That means that instead of $45 million that they were supposed to get, they only got $36 million. The same cuts from the state have been going on since Ms. Mcnamara started. It’s not easy to run a business that’s designed to run on $45 million when you only get $36 million. The union has done everything they can to undermine her, and nothing to support her in these difficult times. Within two weeks of her arrival at the school district in 2008, the union was marching through her office with band instruments and nasty signs. I’m not on her side, but after gathering more facts, it’s hard not to see that she has been personally attacked by the union to discredit her. Based on many responses here, it appears they have succeeded, and that ruffles my sense of right and wrong.

Other unions in the county have not been so acerbic. Their sense of professionalism and community keep their differences behind closed doors where it belongs. I understand why paso’s union is so nasty, though. There’s nothing to keep them from being so (most of them don’t live in the local community), and they obviously have a friend here at CCN.

Despite what they tell you, the teachers (and all other employees) did not have their pay permanently reduced. The first year of furloughs, 3% reduction, was based on their base salary. It wasn’t permanent. This last year, 6%, was based on that same unaltered base rate. If you will do the math, you find that the actual reduction over two years is 4.5%, not “almost 10%” as the union continues to claim. There is another point that needs to be said. The proposed 4.85% reduction is actually a 1.15% salary increase over last year’s 6%. The difference is that this time the 4.85% is a permanent reduction until both sides agree to an increase in future years. And also remember that most teachers will receive an additional salary increase because of the step-and-column pay scale.

The vote of no confidence is another union math trick. Even in this article they continue to claim a 97% vote against, but they know that was really only 75%. But 97% sounds so much better for them, and no one at CCN will challenge them before they print this. And is it a surprise that many teachers don’t like Mrs. Mcnamara given the spin and out right lies spread by this group? Does any group of employees like the CEO after five years of painful cuts? It’s not her job to be liked.

Go ahead and stand in solidarity with the few teachers that will protest a 4.85% reduction in their pay, even though it means making more money this coming year. Just keep in mind that they’re not telling you the truth.

Ana di Plosis


1. “Within two weeks of her arrival at the school district in 2008, the union was marching through her office with band instruments and nasty signs.” I was there. Not one of us had a “nasty” sign; just signs that said things like “Give us the COLA we deserve” not the 1.5% that she initially offered us. That march got her attention and she upped her offer, which we accepted.

2. “The first year of furloughs, 3% reduction, was based on their base salary. It wasn’t permanent. This last year, 6%, was based on that same unaltered base rate. If you will do the math, you find that the actual reduction over two years is 4.5%, not “almost 10%” as the union continues to claim.” Um, the 3% came at the end of last year because Dr. M waited until Jan ’12 to take any action to offset the 1.59 million “mistake” for which no administrator has paid any price whatsoever. The 6% that we are not receiving this year is 6%, no matter how you slice it. My family and I have 6% less to live on due to administrative negligence. Yes, that negligence began before Dr. M took over but she dragged her feet for a long time before ambushing us with the threat of a state takeover unless we agreed to furloughs. BTW, nobody in our union ever said that the furloughs represent a permanent paycut. But the district’s latest offer includes making 2 of those furlough days permanent, which would rob us of an additional 1.12% “until negotated otherwise” = permanent + 4.86% paycut = 5.98% permanent paycut. A nearly 6% paycut all so they build their reserve far beyond the required minimum 3%. Dr. M and company want a bigger slush fund to draw from when they screw up again, and they want the district employees to pay for that bigger cushion PERMANENTLY. All the while, Dr. M has asked for and been given raises each year since she arrived. How in the world could any board member believe that she deserves more money for adding more problems to our district?

3. With regard to the PR vote of no confidence: there are 308 teachers in our district; 238 voted; of those 238, 97% indicated that they have no confidence in Dr. M. Even if all the other 70 teachers who did not vote had voted and given her a vote OF confidence (an unrealistic hypothesis), she would still be saddled with the reality that 77% of her teachers have NO CONFIDENCE in her ability to lead OUR district.

4. With regard to the Banning vote of no confidence: anyone who read the op/ed piece in the last Crimson edition or Friday’s PR Press front page story will come to the conclusion that Dr. M has LIED and continues to LIE/DENY that she ever received that vote of no confidence from the Banning teachers back in 2007.

So, Jenny, this is the woman you’re defending: a woman who is not even truthful about her own verifiable track record; a woman who recently threatened to sue people in Banning’s school system if they released any information to us regarding her vote of no confidence. Well, the truth is out but it’s still not coming out of her mouth. And yet you do not trust the viewpoints and the motivations of the teachers, many of whom have served this district dutifully for DECADES.

So whose side are you on, Paso? The people who have taught your kids and coached your kids and cared for your kids our whole careers? Or a career administrator who breezed into town in 2008 to take a $162,000 salary and now makes $182,000–meanwhile sticking it to the rest of us? Please wake up and smell the incompetence.


How do you continue to write this stuff and not throw up on the keyboard, Ana? You attempt to spin, but you don’t do it well. You bury issues in a mountain of meaningless words with the hope that the reader will forget the point by the time they get to the end.

1. What you consider to be a “nasty” sign does not alter the fact that within two weeks of her arrival, you and your union cronies were using unsavory tactics against her. Sounds like she was trying to be accommodating. We see how much grace that earned her.

2. Thank you for admitting that it was 3% and 6%. Now, get back to my point. You and your union continue to peddle to the masses that this equals a 9% (or “almost 10%”) cut when you know very well that in this case, it’s an average of 4.5% over those two years. And again, you try to blame Ms. Mcnamara for the length of negotiations, when she is not directly involved in the process. And you continue the deception by trying to sell that a 182 day calendar represents a two day furlough. It doesn’t. Stick with the facts.

Before furloughs, you worked 185 days in a year. This year, you worked 173 days with a 6% reduction. The proposal offers 182 work days and a 4.85% salary reduction. You can spin this all you want, but your paycheck would increase from its current level by 1.15%. If you’ve been employed for less than 24 years, then you will probably receive an additional increase.

Finally, as has been reported numerous times, Ms Mcnamara hasn’t asked for any raises. She is on a 7 year pay scale. The fact that you refuse to include is that she has taken 8 furlough days every year she has been at Paso Robles. The real fact is that she has voluntarily asked for and received pay reductions.

3. Ms. Mcnamara’s job is not to be popular. Her job is to right a sinking ship. It looks as though it she and the board are succeeding. Only the greed and nasty tactics of you and your union jeopardize the process.

4. So far, the only evidence has been letters written by fellow disgruntled union members in Banning. They would not serve as a material witness in any legitimate court. And am I the only one that’s appalled that high school students would be dragged into this fray by their teachers, armed with only the propaganda sheets from the union and readily admitting that they didn’t fact check the information?

So far, the only verifiable lies that have been told and retold are the lies from the union. Is that why you and your union are so desperate to make something, anything stick?

You keep trying to divide with the “your either on our side or theirs” line. This isn’t a school yard basketball game where I have to choose sides. All of my children attended Paso schools and had some wonderful teachers, and went on to successful careers. I know many of these teachers personally and respect them greatly. And they share my view that your spin and venom only degrades the image of the school district and makes me sick to my stomach, and why I couldn’t stay silent. You’ve done the same to past superintendents, and will do it again to future superintendents when you don’t get what you think you deserve.

If anyone needs to awaken, Ana, it is you.

Ana di Plosis


1. What “unsavory tactics did we use against her”? Peacefully protesting at the District Office? Then when we marched inside to make sure she could hear us, she called the cops on us. Amazing. “Sounds like she was trying to be accommodating.” No, she was trying to be insulting with the offer of 1.5% COLA, and she knew it; that’s why she upped the offer and we settled.

2. “it’s an average of 4.5% over those two years” Every one of my paychecks this year is 6% smaller than it would have been if the DO hadn’t made a 1.59 million dollar mistake. “you try to blame Ms. Mcnamara for the length of negotiations, when she is not directly involved in the process.” Why isn’t she? She’s the highly-paid CEO of our district ($182,000); she’s in charge of every aspect of managerial decisions, which includes the insulting decision to reward our efforts to bail out the district these past two years by offering us a PERMANENT 5.98% PAYCUT. Once again 4.86% stolen from our salaries + 1.12 stolen via two PERMANENT FURLOUGH DAYS = 5.98% And that’s what they offered us BEFORE the state budget has been released (usually in June) and BEFORE we know how much we’ll receive from PROP 30. How could they not know how insulted we would be by that “last, best, and final offer”? Dr. M should have gotten out in front of that offer and explained to us why it is absolutely, positively necessary for the financial health of the district. The truth is, she doesn’t have a clue about such things. She does not take a leading role in our finances. Rather she defers to her lawyer and the rest of the negotiating team who have ZERO interest in how their offers will affect the teachers.

3. “Her job is to right a sinking ship. It looks as though it she and the board are succeeding.” THEY are succeeding? Without the teachers agreeing to furlough days, the state would have taken over the district. Without our sacrifices, they would be toast. “Only the greed and nasty tactics of you and your union jeopardize the process.” It’s greedy to demand that our salaries not be REDUCED unnecessarily? We’re not asking for MORE money, just the money that we have lawfully negotiated for in years past. And what are these “nasty tactics” exactly? Please explain–I’m dying to hear some specific “nasty” examples.

4. “And am I the only one that’s appalled that high school students would be dragged into this fray by their teachers . . .” Wrong again. This whole thing blew up in Dr. M’s face because she demanded a retraction of one line that was printed in the school paper: “Dr. McNamara received her second vote of no confidence.” Her demand prompted the STUDENTS to investigate whether they were wrong. After contacting a number of people in the Banning district and receiving NUMEROUS DOCUMENTS, they realized that they were, in fact, RIGHT. She did receive a vote of no confidence from 86% of the Banning teachers. Now she won’t make any further comments about it, as you’ll see if you read the article in last Friday’s PR Press.

5. “I know many of these teachers personally and respect them greatly. And they share my view that your spin and venom only degrades the image of the school district . . .” Right. They must be part of the 3% who gave Dr. M a vote of confidence. You have no clue how teachers really feel about her; if you did, you would realize that the financial issue is just one of the many issues we have with her “leadership.” Don’t get me wrong. She is a personable and persuasive lady and a wonderful cheerleader; she’s just not an effective leader when it comes to educational and financial issues. The students and staff of this great town deserve better.


I have to disagree, Ana. Kathy McNamara is not “personable” or a “wonderful cheerleader.” She has acted as a vindictive bully, trying to silence her critics by intimidating them and demanding them to retract truthtful statements. (Remember the PRHS Crimson reporters?)

As for “persuasive,” yes…I agree. Sadly there are too many school board members past and present who’ve sipped the Kathy Kool-Aid and just believe whatever she says. And there are too many community members who just jump on the “bash-the-teachers-bandwagon” without investigating the facts.

But I agree that the students, staff and parents of Paso public schools deserve better than Kathy McNamara, that’s for sure.

Cue snarky reply from JennyDriver in 3…2…1…


…cue eye roll.

No matter what I say or what facts I bring forward, you will try to cajole, berate, and intimidate me. I’ve said my piece. You’ve not refuted it, just regurgitated yours louder and longer, which doesn’t make it true.

Paso teachers are still the second highest paid in the county, work half a year, have great benefits. No matter how you try to make it bad, it just doesn’t work out that way. And that is very frustrating for you. I completely understand.

Ana di Plosis

So the PRHS reporters got it wrong, and the PR Press reporter got it wrong, and the radio host at conservative KPRL got it wrong, and got it wrong, but you, with one phone call to someone in Banning, got it right? Riiiiight. Then why won’t Dr. McNamara make any further statements about the vote of no confidence she received from the Banning teachers in 2007? Why did she rescind her demand that the Crimson reporters print a retraction for their “error”? Sorry, JD, but the only logical conclusion is that you are in error, Dr. M is in denial, and you’re both in cahoots.


I don’t know Ms. Mcnamara personally, so I don’t know why she doesn’t get on here and defend herself. If I was to guess, I would think that it wouldn’t make any difference, so why wade into the hate?

The press sources you’ve listed are all referencing the the same source – letters from disgruntled union members from six years ago. There’s no records to back their claims. Before I call someone a liar, I like to have more solid information. One thing I did learn in my brief conversation with the Banning person is that they’re still in turmoil. No superintendent wants to go there.

Your link takes me to their main page. Searching the site results in no hits for “Banning”, “Mcnamara”, or “paso Robles”. I’m still trying to figure out why this diversion matters.

You and pasoparent5 have an important thing in common. You’re both very threatened by the fact that there may be someone, not an employee of the schools, that might do their research and try to find out what is right and what is wrong. You don’t want truth or an opposing view to muddy the carefully cultivated culture of hate and disrespect you’ve created. You’re desperate to discredit me so that you can proceed with your personal attacks. Just like you’ve done with Ms. Mcnamara, and others did with Chief Soloman. (A circumstance I regret not standing up for.)

If you want to attack something, attack my words. Disprove the following:

Given the school’s proposal, you will work 182 days, have excellent benefits and retirement, and earn 1.15% more than you did this last year. And if you have been working for the schools less than 24 years, add another 1%.

Is this not true? If not, prove it. Calling people liars and citing student newspapers does not serve as proof.


Many here are misunderstanding what’s happening to Paso schools under the failed leadership of Kathleen McNamara. Again, let’s remember her background. She was a Home Ec major yet is in charge of a multi-million dollar school budget. She was divisive and ineffective in her previous job (Google it yourself) and in 5+ years at the helm, Paso schools have steadily gone downhill. Leadership starts from the top down and McNamara has not been a good leader.

Check out this Facebook page for more info:

There are over 500 “likes” and the vast majority of commenters are NOT teachers. They are parents like me, community members, and former students.

This is NOT just about how much teachers are paid. Some issues which are mentioned on the Paso Schools: Concerned Citizens FB page are: The Paso district’s $1.5 million dollar “accounting error” and the lack of any accountability for that, McNamara’s repeated lies that she never received a vote of no confidence in her previous district, the purchase of new iPhones for some administrators using funds intended for upgrading technology in classrooms, the systematic dismanteling of Paso schools’ athletic programs, the rock-bottom morale among teachers at all sites, the pervasive feeling among parents that administrators treat them like a burden, not as rightful partners in their children’s educations…and so, so much more.

If you’re not a resident of Paso and/or don’t have kids in Paso schools, you may not really understand the dynamic here. This is more than a pro-Union/anti-Union situation. Look at the Facebook page and read the hundreds of comments from parents. I am NOT a big pro-Union type of person but even I can see that the teachers are NOT being treated fairly by the current superintendent and some of the school board members. There is a lack of transparency, respect and honesty coming from McNamara and other administrators.

Mr. Holly

Your description of Ms. McNamara’s performance is equal to that of almost all school districts in California. The system is a failure. Why in the world would anyone put a school teacher that has only managed their income, somewhere around $70k, and put them in charge of a multi million dollar business? That is only a formula for disaster and that is what we currently have within the school system. The school districts should be managed by people who have been trained and experienced with handling and budgeting large sums of money, that would eliminate teachers. Leave education to teachers. Give them more money and it will be spent on everything except the classroom where the kids should be getting a first class education.


Because if they actually got someone who knows how to run *anything* there would be terminations and severe cuts. The unions, the admin… they all “spit in the plate they eat from” and it will probably never change.

Like all things government, it lacks common sense, fiscal and personal responsibility, and a real sense of community. How the hell can they claim to be for their community when the performance of the school system is DISMAL, especially when looked at over the last 20-, 30-, or 40-plus years? I don’t even mean silly government metrics they use to measure success, I mean, talk to an average student (anywhere at random). Ask them simple things… listen to their response. Even at the College and University level, there are a lot of poorly educated students out there.

What other industry allows such failure, year after year, yet increases pay (year after year) and cries when they absolutely need to tighten the belt? Public education in this state and this country is a complete scam, but too many people profit from it to actually care enough to have REAL change. Instead, we get Common Core snuck in the back door and rammed up our… well, you know.

Anthony V. Toscano

r0y, Your remarks sure enough show a lot of insight! Which of course indicates that you might just be an insider, a hero who daily joins those spitting teachers up there on the front line (for the last 20, 30, or 40 plus years?)! Yesiree, I’ll tell you that I climbed to the mountaintop and I nearly tripped and fell down the hill again — right beside Jack & Jill — because the available light was so derned dismal! Yep, those students gave dismal responses to simple questions. And I — being almost as astute as you — quick surmised that the dismal performance of our school system was all those teachers’ fault. You better believe it! Now, those teachers are prone to hold parents responsible to hold up their end of the bargain — you know, like insist that their offspring do the work required, or read textbooks written in English despite the fact that English isn’t spoken at home. But insightful folks such as you and me, we know a poor excuse when we hear one. After all, we’re taxpayers! And those teachers, well, they suck up our tax dollars — and well, okay, maybe a few tax bucks of their own — and yet they can’t seem to MAKE those dismal students be less dismal. Why, in my day (our day, r0y?) those teachers MADE our precious children bright, and they did so without the so-called support of parents. Add to that the little known fact that those students who remained in a chronic state of DISMAL-NESS, well, we just hid them in neighborhoods whose existence was easy to deny. Because, like I was saying to Nancy just yesterday, we taxpayers here in SLO County, well, we refuse to become so provincial as to ignore the fact that our hard-earned dollars go to support the dismal performance of all those privileged youngsters in our nation’s fine inner-city schools, where all those teachers are to blame for poverty, violence and hopelessness. And well, r0y, I suppose I’ve said enough for now, because talking to you is like preaching to the choir. Keep the faith!


Like all things government, it lacks common sense

democracy has always looked like that ,government of peeps by peeps

big scary common core

view from a doom shape room


Since when does a Facebook gripe page warrant fact? It reminds me of all those links that tell me how much they want to hear my opinion, when in reality they just want me to visit their site. I can find many Facebook pages for and against many issues. It doesn’t make either of them correct on either side. The things you want to regurgitate have already been answered. The $1.5 million issue was not of this woman’s making, but she had to clean it up. She didn’t receive a vote of no confidence in her last district. There’s no record of it in her former district’s board minutes. Just the words of disgruntled union people with eight years of held grudges. And does it matter? No money meant for classroom technology was diverted to administrator cell phones. (Administrators are required by the paso robles to have cell phones for 24 hour contact.) There’s been no dismantling of athletics. There just isn’t any more money. Athletic programs are being cut across the county and state, not just in paso robles. Or maybe Ms. Mcnamara is responsible for the economic collapse of education across the state?

I’m sure that will be a “like” on your Facebook page.

Ana di Plosis

“She didn’t receive a vote of no confidence in her last district. There’s no record of it in her former district’s board minutes. Just the words of disgruntled union people with eight years of held grudges.”

Go to the Facebook page (Paso Schools Concerned Citizens) and you will see a copy of the vote of no confidence that she received from 86% of her Banning teachers. It was presented to her at a board meeting in 2007, which prompted her to “lash out at her critics” in a letter she read at a subsequent Banning board meeting, according to Is that website in on the “conspiracy,” too? Why didn’t she demand that they remove that paragraph, which has been posted since Jan 2008? Curious.

Come one, Jenny: put the pieces together and see why we’re so puzzled by people like you who still defend in the indefensible. The Banning vote does matter because it establishes a pattern of incompetence which she brought with her to our idyllic town. We deserve better and demand better next time around. In the mean time, please consider that not everything she tells you is the gospel truth. She has her own agenda and it is not working for the teachers or students of PR.


Also some PRHS student reporters did some digging of their own and McNamara tried to silence them. She tried to bully them (as she is known to do to her detractors) into retracting their story. Thankfully the students did NOT retract their story because they had the sources and multiple pieces of proof that McNamara DID get a vote of no confidence in Banning and she DID lie on KPRL when she repeatedly denied it.

The more I read JennyDriver’s comments, the more I think she works for the Paso district–and not as a teacher.


…and there was no way that these student reporters were ever encouraged and propagandized by their faculty overseer(s) at any point…

Pointing to something unions and/or their teachers have control over and using it for a basis is about as logical as pointing to something the Administration has control over for their side. Independence is not just a town outside of Kansas City…

Ana di Plosis


We teach our students to stand up to bullies. Dr. M tried to bully the student reporters (and their faculty advisor) into retracting their statement that she had received her second vote of no confidence. We teach our students to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion. They followed the evidence trail all the way back to Banning and, lo and behold, the students were right and the superintendent was lying. We owe those students our gratitude for exposing her as the deceitful bully that she is. Got a problem with the truth, rOy?

Anthony V. Toscano

Dear Ana, You are a hero. I’m glad to see evidence that today’s Silent Rally might not remain so silent after all. I read the article from Banning’s student publication, and I was impressed. How on Earth did you teachers — and *those teachers*, as some her like to address you — manage to elicit such articulate courage from what is clearly a dismal public school system? (That is to say, if r0y is right, the system is infected with the dreaded DISMAL virus.)

Best of luck today.

Ana di Plosis

Dear Anthony,

Thank you for the well-wishes and for all the laughs/entertainment you’re providing at the expense of the short-sighted, narrow-minded, ill-informed commenters on this thread. Your intelligence and talent have breathed some much-needed fresh air into CCN!


rOy, we often agree on issues but in this case you’re seriously wrong. Do you live in Paso? Do you have kids in Paso schools? You obviously aren’t aware that the high school newsmagazine is actually a very well-done news publication; I actually prefer it to the Fibune! And the faculty advisor is an honorable man, well liked by teachers, parents and students. For you to accuse him of “encouraging and propagandizing” those reporters is absolutely wrong because he doesn’t operate that way. Do some research. Read what the students wrote. Talk to some Paso students and parents before making such false assumptions.

Ana di Plosis

pasoparent5: Bingo! Bullseye! Bye-bye credibility, Dr. M!


Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back, Ana. It’s very sad that you, a presumably educated teacher, have to point to a high school newspaper to serve as a foundation for your beliefs.

Have we truly drifted so far away from the axioms of civility that you can’t see how morally bankrupt this is? I weep for the high school English and journalism departments.

Ana di Plosis

JD: Read the front page article in last Friday’s PR Press, then get back to me. If I’m “morally bankrupt” for citing legitimate news sources of the truth (Crimson has won national wards the past two years) what does that make Dr. McNamara for repeatedly denying the truth about the vote of no confidence she received from 86% of the Banning teachers just before the PR school board hired her? What does it say about her “civility” that she would end her interview with two high school reporters by telling them that she was going to consult her lawyer regarding the questions they put to her about the Banning vote? I weep for people like you who refuse to accept the truth about people like her, even when it’s staring you right in the face.


I give up, Ana. You’re right. It so matters and I’m sure she’s a big liar and decided to step back from the fray because she is uncivil, rather than just realizing that she should have never been party to allowing students to be brought into this to begin with.

Yes she’s an uncivil liar. You win.

Now, back to the real issues.


Ana, have you called Banning yourself? I have. I asked them if this vote was recorded in the minutes of the board meetings in 2007. They were very tired of this thing, but said that there was no record of such a vote. Until there is an official record of something occurring (student newspapers and dubious websites do not count as “official record”), I don’t call people liars, and am suspect of those who do. That goes for all sides of the argument.

You may try to spin and contort my words and intentions into a conspiracy, and try to discredit me, but your desperation to do so screams volumes.


Just to clear something up with you Jenny….

The iphone 5 phones were given to administration and was verified personally by top Administration.

It was never stated that Athletics was dismantled… we are the only district in the County that does not transport our athletics…. and that I hoped the District understood just how important Athletics were to some students…. just as band, drama, and other activities……

So, before YOU start accusing and bad mouthing, get your facts straight.


I do not believe that San Luis Coastal transports their athletes, either. It’s all booster-driven funding.


good to know… r0y… I will check that out….. :)


It is you that need to get facts straight, debbins.

The statement was cell phones for administrators were paid from funds meant for upgrading classroom technology, not whether iPhones were supplied to administrators. I asked the question and got the answer. Paraphrasing, smartphones have become an important tool for administrators in the age of constant email, evaluations, and classroom technology. Administrators are required to have cell phones for 24 hour communication access for emergencies. The additional capabilities of smartphones assist them with all of their daily tasks while away from their desks, working with teachers and students. They were issued smart phones (iPhones since they integrate with classroom technology and evaluation technology) paid for from a separate fund, set aside specifically for this expense, and not from classroom technology uprade money. This separate fund is paid for by a regular electronic scrap drive that the school district pioneered for the purpose of trying to fund these kinds of costs without taking money away from the classroom upgrades.

Instead of trying to spin this into a bad thing, how about accepting it as an innovative solution to a difficult situation?


Seeing how you are you excited to back our superintendent…. have you done your homework on how this Administration wasted our Measure T money on buildings that were constructed incorrectly and NOW stand vacant….???????


If it is building construction, that is money that is NOT allocated to pay or students. The inefficiency of government is such that one cannot move money from one earmark to another. Unless you’re the Federal government, then you can cheat, because no one will ever care/sue/complain/report. States and local municipalities have to abide by the established accounting standards (GAPP, et. al.) and keep moneys allocated for new construction to be for new construction.

It does not make good sense in the overall picture, but “good sense” is never a requirement for public sector employment.


Yes, I realize Measure T funds are only allocated for building construction…. however, my post was to point out the mismanagement of taxpayer dollars….. It is pure negligence that these buildings were constructed in such a way that they cannot and are not being used….. Where is the oversight???????


My goodness! The spin machine is in full gear!

What building was built by Measure T funds that is currently not being used?


“This action will help the students become future leaders too” – Said no one ever!


I’m disgusted with you teachers. Rather than do the right thing and rally for change in the system and cuts within the top heavy worthless administration, you cry about a pay cut. You earn a very high salary for the hours that you work in fact there are no public sector jobs that pay 70K with top benefits to work less than 180 days a year. I’m so tired of government employees wanting more, more, more. Get real and do the job we pay you for.

Mr. Holly


I think the teachers and all public employees should get in line with the rest of us and pay into social security. If they want a retirement they then can plan on the retirement program they desire and pay into it as they see fit. The burden would then be on them to perform-something new. They then too could shop around for whichever medical plan that they want and at the same time pay into the Obama plan and donate to everyone else’s retirement besides their own like the rest of us do.

Anthony V. Toscano

Well said, Mr. Holly. Yep, those teachers sure need to perform. Your suggestions on how to do so might lead to real reform! Perhaps you could, as well, demonstrate how those overpaid teachers should mo-tee-vate all those not-so-cooperative students, even the lot of them whose parents cannot, or will not, mo-tee-vate their own offspring. It sure is Time For A Change, and you, Mr. Holly, might just be the one to lead the charge!

Ana di Plosis

We teachers don’t receive Social Security $ when they retire–including the money we paid into SS; we receive what we’ve paid into STRS.


I’ll take STRS over an SSD any day of the week! LoL!


Of course they do not want to push to reduce adminstration salaries because one day they might be an administrator and/or they have plenty of friends that currently are adminstrators. They would rather play the “it’s for the students” or guilt trip card to get more money from the taxpayers

Anthony V. Toscano

Kayaknut, You sure hit the kayak right smack dab in the middle of the nut. If those teachers would stop playing that, “it’s for the students, guilt-trip card,” admit that they’re in the game to become rich tycoons, and the take the *far more practical* route of pressuring their superintendent — whose abilities they hold in high esteem — to reduce her exorbitant salary, or perhaps eliminate her position entirely — I’m certain that she would feel compelled to bow to the will of her constituents.


That is the most idiotic statement made here today….


Agreed, debbins.

If I asked any of my children’s teachers “Don’t ya really wanna be a principal someday?!” I’m confident 100% of them would say NO.

Anthony V. Toscano

Nancy, That’s the way to tell those teachers. Yesiree, you pay not just for those teachers in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County and all of California! So much of your money goes to paying for those teachers all across this great nation! Because let’s not forget that the Federal Dept. of Education grabs a portion of your tax dollars to pay for those teachers and their instructional materials who work say, in South Los Angeles, North Philadelphia, Harlem and Hoboken. And far too many of those teachers get off so darned easy, what with the huge salaries you pay them just for teaching all those highly motivated, cooperative students whose lives are daily made easier by way of our solid economy and free-from-racial-prejudice societal values. Might you be interested in spearheading a rally at one of our nation’s fine inner-city schools? You could wait till late afternoon is turning quick to evening — that being the most peaceful time of day in that type of environment — then walk right on in with all your followers and tell those teachers to get real and do the job you pay them for. You might even show those teachers how it should be done!


I’m so tired of government employees wanting more, more, more.


Ain’t ever going to happen. Ever. There is no employee out there who’s going to stand up and say pay me less— in any position, public or private. It’s not in our human nature. Every hospital employee, court employee, teacher, cop, prison guard, caltrans worker, grocery store checker, garbage truck driver, social worker etc. etc. is barely getting by and wants more not less. Just like you. Just like me. Whatever you make, you spend right up to that limit and you constantly push for more–that is human nature.

The human nature of it even works with the unemployed, those on welfare and even the down and out. Whatever you give them, they are asking for more. Guaranteed the unemployed and welfare receipients vote for the politicians who promise to keep it coming rather than the ones who promise cuts.

It’s called human nature and hoping human nature is going to change is about as successful a strategy as prayer or banging your head against a concrete pillar.


FYI The step-and-column salary chart for teachers is public record, available on the district’s website. Only a handful of teachers I know make $70K and they have advanced degrees plus have been working in Paso for more than two decades. No teachers I know earn a “very high salary” for the hours they work since the hours they put in OUTSIDE of M-F 8-3 hours are not counted.


Pasoparent5, I’ve been doing my homework. You’ve forgotten to add stipends and other things that get added. Also, there are 24 years of automatic pay increases for teachers. The step-and-column you’re referring to requires and rewards advanced education. But it’s still a fact that the average paso robles teacher makes $68,000 per year, and works 181 days a year, for 7.5 hours a day. That’s $50 an hour. There are teachers that put in many extra hours, but most do not. In comparison, the average administrator in paso robles schools makes $85,000 per year, works 247 days a year, 8.5 hours a day. That’s $40 per hour. And administrators are required to put in extra duty work, sports events, Saturday classes, board meetings, and much more.To be fair in this comparison, I won’t mention those hours either. Is it still a surprise to learn that paso robles teachers are in the top three highest paid in the county, and paso administrators are in the bottom?


Only facts that do not conflict with their world view will be accepted as such. Kthnx.


Oh gosh, Jenny. Drop the “I’ve been doing my homework” and “I’ve been looking into this” act.

You’re a Paso district employee, plain and simple; your posts make that quite obvious.

You disagree w/the teachers. You’re in administration. We get it.

I’m not a teacher. I’m not even a big pro-union person. I think the national and state teacher unions are actually money-sucking political lobbies that should be abolished!

BUT on the local level–especially here in Paso, under the failed leadership of your pal Kathy “Happy Trails” McNamara–there IS most definitely a need for a “union” or “organization” of teachers. Otherwise, the financial mismanagement, rock-bottom morale of teachers and staff, and other issues will continue to tarnish Paso schools. Teachers, staff, students and parents are standing together, speaking out, and uniting against McNamara…get used to it.


All you need to know about me, Parent5 is that I am an involved parent who has lived in Paso Robles for a long time, raised my children here, and I know many of the teachers. Are you angry because I do my homework, make my calls, ask my teacher friends to give me hard copy information, listen to their opinions, and make my own decisions? Does it help you to believe that I’m a biased employee of the schools? Does it upset you that maybe I actually did dig into this from multiple sources, instead of just a small group of angry, small-minded negaholics? Maybe I should have focused all of my hate and anger towards one person and be in harmony with you and disgruntled union members. Would that make you more comfortable with your beliefs? Beliefs that have been the basis of a hate-based Facebook page?

Believe what you need to, but not all teachers agree with you or the union. And after gathering the information I have, I don’t agree with you either.


Is this about the 4.86% decrease and demand of 2 furlough days? Don’t you think that is better than losing more teachers? I see the 97% no confidence, but where would You teachers think the cut back should be? I am not against teachers, but these are hard times.


Do not ask for solutions from the union. Only ask for vitriol and bitterness against anyone who limits their growth and political power. Never give an inch!


What an insane action, and of course planned by out educated teachers and unions. Most of these teachers are earning $70,000 a year plus benefits according to The Tribune in articles posted last year. Second, I don’t think anyone voted more sales tax money be levied on taxpayers to give teachers more pay/benefits. I believe the goal was to maintain last year’s level of funding for the schools, probation, courts, mental health and to give more, much more, to failed school districts under Gov Brown’s redistribution of school funding. Schools are not getting new or additional funding, look at the numbers.

To Paso Teachers and other government employees: Be happy with your jobs, your unions, your benefits, your pay, and living in paradise. If you don’t like it, there are always different choices: new career (many lay employees have had to make that choice), new location (many lay employees have had to make that choice), creation of more charter schools (many school districts are creating these because stat: $6,000 to educate a child vs public school $14,000, test results 100 fold, all in the numbers and stats…)

Sympathy train has left the station!


I don’t know enough about the real facts to judge the situation since I get the feeling both sides are doing some spinning. But I do know that I wouldn’t trust The Fibune to provide complete or accurate data. (They might, but I wouldn’t bet on it.)


How about a protest against Common Core State Standards, and keep teaching with the teachers in the classrooms at the local level, instead of a corporate-driven, non-local/governmental control of how and what our children learn?

What’s more important, the future of our children, their education, and our country as a whole… or their paychecks?


I agree with you r0y…. this Common Core State Standards is frighting


Jorge Estrada

I think all of the tax payers should be included in the protest against fiscal responsibility. Certainly we should not be so conservative that we prepare for a budget short-fall unit we are in trouble. Right?

Anthony V. Toscano

This planned approach would be funny if it weren’t so sad. When will teachers gain the courage to recognize — and act according to — the fact that actions which pose no threat of *lasting* discomfort to administrators and their minions are ineffective. You and your superintendent are adversaries, not heartfelt buddies reading each other’s Peace Now lapel buttons. A *silent rally* might make you feel goodie goodie inside for having done *something*, but your silence will fall on deaf ears.


Worse, they fell into the typical “smoke” trap, that is – divide us and set us against one another so that the truly devious machinations of a large, centralized bureaucracy (in bed with large corporations) have already began implementing.

Nah, let’s just be envious, bitter and despise our neighbors, and forget all about learning what the real road map to our future is all about. Let’s just skip over the fact that the bailouts (think Bush 2 and Obama 1) were used as carrots to get cash-strapped states to jump into setting up the architecture for biometric, neuro-psychological data collection of children; forget that the privacy laws were amended in said bailouts/TARP money “deals” with states. Forget the total erosion of privacy and personal responsibility, it’s for the collective, right?

When these “teachers” are nothing more than data droids (in about 5 to 10 years), I hope a few will think back (privately, never publicly) on how they botched their priorities. Again. We are so screwed in education and heading down the wrong path that it is frightening…. at least to those who ignore the smoke that is 24/7 pumped out all the time.