PUSD and other Districts Lobbying State for Relief

first_imgEducation PUSD and other Districts Lobbying State for Relief Published on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | 4:49 pm Top of the News Community News HerbeautyWhy Luxury Fashion Brands Are So ExpensiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyIs It Bad To Give Your Boyfriend An Ultimatum?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyStop Eating Read Meat (Before It’s Too Late)HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Most Influential Women In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThis Trend Looks Kind Of Cool!HerbeautyHerbeauty Subscribe The Pasadena Unified School District, along with school officials in nearby cities are calling on the state to provide some relief to help districts impacted by the state’s Safer at Home order.The Los Angeles County Office of Education is also advocating with state leadership on behalf of districts for budget, program, and Local Control & Accountability Plan flexibilities; funding protections; resources for online learning, and other actions to protect fiscal solvency.The district may not receive a full allotment of money from Measure J due to lowered sales tax revenue caused by the shutdown of businesses throughout the city during the Coronavirus outbreak.“PUSD and other districts share the cost of a lobbying group which lobbies the relevant state folks on behalf of all of us. We are hopeful that the governor will provide relief from perhaps the 3 percent reserve requirement in the out years of our budget (21-22 and 22-23),” said PUSD Board Vice-President Scott Phelps. “We also would hope that the state uses its rainy day reserve because of course these times are what it is for.  While that is not just for schools, school funding is required to be at a level of at least 40 percent of the state general fund budget per Prop 98.”The district is still receiving annual daily attendance funds, and last Friday district officials applied for a FEMA grant.The pandemic forced local school districts to close around the country for safety reasons.State legislators announced weeks ago that new budget requests made in January were suspended and Gov. Gavin Newsom has made it clear that COVID-19 updates make it clear that he believes that schools will be an integral part of the state’s mid-term pandemic response, according to PUSD Board President Patrick Cahalan.“Thus the expectation must be that local school districts will have to do far more than their usual business in the upcoming months,” Cahalan said. “Opening in-person instruction with reasonable social distancing, for example, would require a large addition of staff.  However, with the state budget so dependent upon income and capital gains taxes, it is also already abundantly clear that state revenue will take a significant hit in this calendar year.  It is unknown what the state budget for education will look like in June with the demand for more services competing with a lack of structural funding.  I personally hope the governor is taking a realistic view of what districts can do with the resources available to them and assigns new funding accordingly, but hope by itself does not ensure a workable budget.”Right now the district is better off than some other districts. Officials already had Chromebooks for students and a curriculum in place by the time students were sent home.In comparison, the Los Angeles Unified School District virus response will cost the district $200 million. The district’s entire budget is roughly $8 billion, according to Superintendent Austin Beutner.The district faced state takeover two years ago when it came precariously close to being unable to meet its three percent reserve.City officials vowed to use money from a three-quarter cent tax increase to help the district maintain its reserves. However, since businesses have been closed there is less sales tax, and the city is forced to use more of those funds to keep basic city services running smoothly.“The Los Angeles County Office of Education is working closely with all 80 districts to help them prepare for and successfully weather the financial challenges that lie ahead,” said Margo Minecki, public information officer at LACOE.“LACOE is assisting districts in reviewing budget priorities, monitoring and evaluating program spending, and adjusting budget projections to align with available resources to ensure solvency.”The governor usually submits his revised budget in May. About 40 percent of that usually goes to education.However, this year tax day has been pushed back until July, which means Gov. Newsome won’t know much about actual receipts when he issues the revised budget in May according to Phelps.“We are advocating with the state for flexibility and support so that PUSD can be prepared to support our students and lead our community’s return to normal times.  Depending on how flexible the state is, we need to be prepared to support our students in a different environment when they return,” Phelps said. Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Community News More Cool Stuff Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. 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