The Pasadena City Council unanimously voted on Monday to form an ad hoc committee that will develop a revenue-sharing plan to dole out tax funds to the struggling Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD).
The committee, which will consist of three council members and three members from the school board, will return with a plan in 60 days.
No members of the committee were named on Monday.
“We will try to make this happen quickly,” said Mayor Terry Tornek.
Voters overwhelmingly passed Measure I, a three-quarter cent sales tax increase in November, and Measure J, an advisory measure, allocating one-third of that money — $7 million annually — be used to help the beleaguered school district.
The two sides had no plan or revenue-sharing agreement in place prior to the election.
Some council members have called for accountability measures to be placed in that agreement.
The district has been losing money due to rising pension funds and declining enrollment. Many families have left the area due to rising housing costs.
School funding by the state is based on student average daily attendance, or ADA, and the ongoing reductions in the district’s student population have been impacting the district for more than a decade.
Due to declining attendance, the board closed four schools in 2006 and two more in 2011. This year, the district closed Cleveland Elementary School and laid off more than 100 employees.
The financial crisis has left the district close to takeover by the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). District officials claim they have staved off the takeover by cutting $10 million from its budget.
The board plans to approve the final cuts today, Dec. 13. The deadline set by the county is Monday, Dec. 17. The school board must submit a fiscal stabilization plan to LACOE on that date proving that it can meet its fiduciary responsibility and maintain a 3 percent emergency reserve fund.
In October, LACOE officials told the district they could not include funds from the tax increase in budget projections because school officials do not control the money.
Although the city won’t have access to the funds from the sales tax measure until June, district officials almost immediately requested the council approve a document promising money would be turned over to the district.
“This is a watershed moment in our relationship,” said Council member Margaret McAustin.