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Parents Protest School Closures

Black news from Pasadena - Parents protest school closuresThe Pasadena Unified School District apparently concealed its plan to evict Norma Coombs Alternative School from its current location.

Parents of the school communities impacted by the recent closure plan attended community meetings to provide input to the district and committee.

During these meetings, sign up sheets were not circulated. The lead consultant of DoLinka group, Justin Rich, explained to parents from Loma Alta and Norma Coombs School, when asked about circulating such a list, that he could guarantee that circulating a sign-up sheet would not matter. He was correct.

Input from the community had no impact and made no difference in the outcome recommended by the committee.

"Their minds were already made up," said Morphie Prime, a Norma Coombs parent. Their recommendation was to close Jackson, Loma Alta, and Burbank and push out Norma Coombs.

Dr. Elizabeth Blanco, employee of Pasadena Unified School District and committee member, was quoted in the Pasadena Star News as saying, "the committee was given the charge that Norma Coombs School must be moved." What she did not state in the Star News article, was that the truth of the matter was that the district executives, administrators and staff were given the ultimate goal of moving Norma Coombs out of it's site and the Education Center into 2600 Paloma. NCAS teacher, Charlotte Caldwell, asked Superintendent Diaz directly if the administration was planning to move into the site. Diaz said in 2008-2009 and 2010, that the district had not planned to up-root the school.

The truth seems to the contrary of every public statement made by the district. Probably because it makes no sense for PUSD to incur cost in such a dismal financial atmosphere when there are many vacant district owned properties. Board member Renatta Cooper confirmed the planned move in a message in late September. Parents believe that PUSD had a hidden agenda when the NCAS middle schools components six through eighth grades were ended in June 2010. There are hundreds of students and excellent teachers that are worse off because of this management-serving move.


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