Pasadena Unified Superintendent to Miss First Round of Tax Revenues, Start of School Year

Published : Wednesday, June 26, 2019 | 2:43 PM

[Updated] Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Brian McDonald will miss the start of the academic year, as well as the reception of initial Measure J revenues by the Los Angeles county office of education, destined for PUSD’s budget for the next school year, to have surgery.

“Although the start of each new school year is one of my favorite times because it is filled with optimism, hope, and excitement,” McDonald said in a statement, “I will have to miss this special time with you this year since I am scheduled for a planned surgery in late July and will be on medical leave recuperating for several weeks.”

While convalescing, McDonald’s duties will be handled by Dr. David Verdugo, who comes with some related experience, having served nine years as superintendent of the Paramount Unified School District.

“He’ll be here to take on some of the duties as interim superintendent,” said Pasadena Unified spokeswoman Hilda Ramirez Horvath. “And what that means is that he will lead and guide the District.”

As mentioned, Superintendent McDonald will miss out on the arrival of the first revenues to be harvested from the passage of the sales tax increase in November 2018.

Measure I increased the sales tax and Measure J set aside one-third of the resulting revenue for PUSD.

This District set, as a first priority, the establishment of a state-required 3 percent reserve fund, to avoid the County of Los Angeles stepping in and taking control of Pasadena’s public school system. The second priority was the restoral of programs cut during recent tough fiscal years for the District.

It is unlikely Verdugo will come in and rearrange the proverbial furniture where such established priorities are concerned.

Ramirez Horvath said the District’s executive leadership team will continue with its usual business. These are the heads of each division and the team provides overall guidance and leadership.

“[Verdugo] does take on some of the duties of the superintendent, which are part of board policy,” said Ramirez Horvath. These would include implementing school board decisions and managing instructional and non-instructional operations.

“He has responsibilities to support the board’s operations and decision making,” she explained further. “So the interim takes on those roles, but it’s guidance and leadership until the superintendent returns.”

Ramirez Horvath said McDonald’s anticipated return could be in late September.








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