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Thursday’s Board of Education Agenda Includes Public Hearings on Budget, Special Education

Board will hear first presentation of budget; final version must be approved for County Office of Education next week

Published on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 4:40 pm
Screenshot of PUSD Board of Education previous June 3, 2021 meeting.

The Pasadena Board of Education will hold public hearings Thursday, June 24, on three major issues, including PUSD’s annual budget for fiscal year 2021-22.

The public hearings are part of the Board of Education’s regular meeting, which begins at 3:15 p.m.

The first public hearing is about the 2021-22 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), which the Pasadena Unified School District, working with parents, educators, students and the community, develops to determine how the district uses state funds to serve students.

Dr. Leslie Barnes, PUSD’s Chief Finance and Operations Officer, will present information on the proposed budget in the second public hearing.

PUSD’s report for the Board of Education shows that for the 2021-22 school year, the district plans to spend $266.5 million, of which about $213.4 million is tied to actions and services in the annual LCAP, and $53.07 million is not included.

Unlike previous years, this season members will see the District is expected to end the fiscal year sitting on a mountain of cash — $42.1 million. But Board President Scott Phelps cautions that bounty will disappear fast in coming years between increasing operational costs and shrinking attendance.

Barnes’s draft budget proposes to earmark just under half of the year’s ending balance — an even $20 million — for use as an offset to cover the future expected impacts of less ADA state money coming from a District student body likely to lose another 1,220 students and of climbing insurance and pension costs.

PUSD’s student enrollment this year was 15,014 but is projected to drop to 13,794 by 2023-24.

The budget has to be voted on and approved by June 30.

The budgeted expenditures that are not included in the LCAP will be used for Head Start transitional kindergarten programming, Perkins funding for Career Technical Education, actions funded exclusively by the Expanded Learning Opportunities grant, and indirect expenditure costs such as utility payments, the PUSD report shows.

The third public hearing on the agenda will focus on the district’s initial proposal for the negotiation of bargaining agreement amendments between the school district and United Teachers of Pasadena, UTP, the exclusive bargaining unit for the PUSD’s 850 teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses, psychologists, and speech-language pathologists.

PUSD’s proposal includes items on salary and salary schedules, health and welfare benefits, available leave options, and transfers and reassignments.

Later on in the Board of Education meeting, a recommendation to approve the revision of the Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) Local Plan and the 2021-22 SELPA Annual Budget and Service Plan will be taken up.

Special Education is a program mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) passed in 1997 and revised in 2004. PUSD, being a SELPA, is charged with the responsibility of providing free and appropriate public education to qualified students with special needs. The SELPA receives both federal and state special education funding.

In compliance with the Act, the School Board, the county superintendent of schools and the PUSD superintendent must approve the entire Local Plan. All additional policies and procedures that define the operations of the Pasadena SELPA will be on file at the SELPA Office.

Upon approval of all parties, with advisory participation from the Community Advisory Council, this Local Plan revision will be forwarded to the California Department of Education for approval.

Parents and members of the PUSD community can access more information about the Board of Education’s agenda for Thursday through

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