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Opinion: PUSD’s Annual Crying Wolf Ritual

Published on Sunday, July 8, 2012 | 11:44 am

“Pasadena Unified Cuts Will Include Layoffs” (Pasadena Sun, June 30) is an example of the annual crying wolf ritual at the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD).  When PUSD pushed for a school parcel tax called Measure CC in 2010 but lost at the ballot box there were no layoffs of core teachers contrary to claims by PUSD.

PUSD officials again say they need Gov. Brown’s or Pasadena billionaire Molly Munger’s $8.5 to $10 billion state tax hike ballot initiatives to avoid layoffs.  Not so.  Gov. Brown’s 5 percent tax hike would up the state budget from $87 to $92 billion.  Munger’s would raise the state budget by 10 percent to $97 billion.  State population growth is 1 percent and the U.S. Federal Reserve indicates inflation is another 1 percent for tax-exempt organizations. There is no need for a statewide 5 to 10 percent tax increase.

Under Prop 98 public schools are guaranteed 40% of the state budget. PUSD got along without cutbacks in 2012 on an $87 billion state budget and can do so again.

Under State Assembly Bill ABX-4-2 in 2009, the funding for non-essential positions such as teacher’s aides, pre-school teachers, bus drivers, art teachers, Indian education centers, and dentists were cut back slightly in 2010.  But along with the cutbacks in non-essential public school jobs came deregulation that shifted the responsibility of what non-essential positions to fund from the state to local school districts. PUSD Board Chairwoman Renatta Cooper, a former pre-school teacher, needs to stop looking for more state funding to avoid having to make those hard decisions herself.

With Obamacare, now Obamatax, costing $6,000 per person per year in 2014, and California’s Cap and Trade air pollution tax on all manufactured goods and utility bills, there will be less money for non-essentials.
Wayne Lusvardi – Citizens for Responsible Government

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