Pasadena Unified Braces for Painful Reductions Amid Fiscal Woes
The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) is considering painful budget cuts and the closure of three area schools amid deep financial difficulties.
The PUSD Board met Thursday to discuss the matter, but did not take any action at the meeting. Instead, they mulled various options for the $10.1 million in cuts that must be made for the 2020-21 school year per a report from interim Chief of Business Eva Lueck.
The Board has been presented with dozens of cost-cutting options including the closure of Wilson Middle School, Cleveland Elementary School, and Franklin Elementary School. Their programs would be transferred to Washington STEAM and Blair middle schools, Washington Accelerated School, and Altadena Elementary School respectively. If all of the recommendations were to be accepted, it would incur a savings of $10.8 to $11.2 million.
The district’s fiscal woes come amid questions over its leadership. Pasadena Unified Teachers issued a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Brian McDonald last month. In a scathing letter to PUSD Board President Lawrence Torres, its executive board said McDonald promotes “a culture of divisiveness and non-accountability to such a degree as to render his leadership ineffective and unacceptable.”
Read the entire letter here.