Pasadena, CA -- At its meeting February 26, the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Board of Education voted 4-3 to authorize reduction in force notices for 81.5 certificated employees due to a funding deficit estimated to range between $7 and $12 million for the 2013-2014 school year. By law, employees with a credential such as teachers, nurses, counselors and administrators must be notified that their positions are being considered for elimination by March 15. The Board expressed a desire to make further administrative cuts prior to March 15.
"Voter approval of Proposition 30 cut our deficit in half, but PUSD is still facing the expiration of grants and declining enrollment," said PUSD Superintendent Jon R. Gundry. "There are still many variables to factor in this spring, including the effects of the federal sequestration, the fate of Governor Brown's local control funding formula and the final makeup of the 2013-2014 state budget. Authorizing reduction in force notices means that PUSD has the flexibility to prepare for a worst-case scenario."
Under the Governor's proposed local control funding formula, districts will receive additional funding based on the number of English learners, students eligible for free and reduced-priced meals and foster youth they serve. This additional funding, known as supplemental funding and concentration grants, will assist schools in meeting the unique educational needs of these students. If approved by state lawmakers, the new formula could reduce the district's deficit by $5.1 million.
PUSD has had to cut more than $26.2 million since 2010 due to a combination of the continuing state budget crisis and declining enrollment. Two elementary schools have closed, class size has increased, employees have been furloughed and the school year has been shortened.
Some of the 81.5 positions notified for elimination are procedural. Superintendent Gundry reiterated at the meeting that there will be no cuts to PUSD's College & Career Pathways program. The PUSD Board Education must confirm the final reduction in force notices by May 15.
Since 2010, PUSD has issued a total of 365 reduction in force notices. Because of revised enrollment and budget projections, retirements and savings achieved from employee furloughs, energy conservation, and one time savings the district has been able to reinstate all but 23 positions during that time. PUSD currently employs 1035 certificated employees, of which 922 are teachers.