In one of the shorter Board meetings on record – just 55 minutes long – the Pasadena Unified Board Thursday night passed a resolution to put a $516,300,000 school bond on the November 3, 2020 ballot.
If approved by voters, the bond’s proceeds will generate $60 million in educational technology funding and $456,280,000 for Pasadena Unified facilities.
PUSD Chief Business Officer Leslie Barnes had presented three different options for the bond proposal, each seeking $60 million for educational technology funding, coupled with $300 million, $456 million or $629 million for facilities.
The Board chose the middle path, which will cost property owners $45 on their property taxes for each $100,000 of assessed value if it is passed by voters.
Still to be finalized are the specifics of how the funds would be spent.
A Facilities Needs Assessment is in process and will be completed in August.
PUSD’s facilities have long been in need of improvements, according to Barnes. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology, as distance learning has become an integral part of the education process.
“Truly, technology has taken center stage during this pandemic,” Barnes said.
As an example, Barnes pointed to PUSD’s One-to-One program, which currently leases devices for students’ use. If the lease is not renewed by June 30, 2021, the devices must be returned.
The Board of Education considered seeking a nearly $1 billion facilities bond last year, but ultimately decided against pursuing it.
Board President Patrick Cahalan said this year, the time may be right, as public sentiment appears to have changed in recent months, due in part to the pandemic, and Pasadenans may now be more willing to open their wallets to help the school system.