Not so fast

Not so fast

Dozens of PUSD employees given pink slips may not lose their jobs after all

By André Coleman 05/02/2013

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Forty-eight Pasadena Unified School District employees scheduled to lose their job next month in order to help close an $8 million budget deficit may receive a reprieve.

“We anticipate increased revenues coming from the state, but nothing is certain until the governor presents his revised budget,” said PUSD spokesman Adam Wolfson.

The Pasadena Board of Education voted 5-1 on April 25 to lay off the employees, who worked mostly at the district’s headquarters on South Hudson Avenue. Board President Renatta Cooper voted against the layoffs. Board member Ramon Miramontes did not attend the meeting.

Other employees scheduled to lose their jobs included elementary school library coordinators, security guards and instructional aides. The cuts are expected to save the district about $2 million a year.

“I am very hopeful that we will be able to call them back,” said Cooper. “I recently received some good news, and the numbers may be coming in better than we thought. But our charge is to prepare for a worst-case scenario.”

In March, the district also voted to issue pink slips to 94 teachers. Some of those positions could also be spared after the revised budget is finally adopted.

According to Cooper, passage in November of Proposition 30, proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, has left the state budget better off than originally thought. The proposition increased sales tax by a quarter-cent on every dollar for the next four years. It also increased personal income tax on California residents making more than $250,000 a year. Eighty-nine percent of those funds are being used to fund K-12 education, and 11 percent is going to community colleges.

The increase in funds came at the perfect time for the PUSD. Revenue that the district has received from the state has decreased by $35.7 million over the past five years, said Cooper. Also during that period, enrollment dropped by 10.5 percent.

 “We should know something in May,” Cooper said of the possibility of more money coming to the district. “I know how stressful this is on those households. All I can say is, right now, it looks good.”

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