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School Board to Discuss Support for Students from Closed Schools

Temporary transportation, priority lottery on agenda

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 5:44 am
School Board President Patrick Cahalan said that “for a relatively short agenda" tonight both issues are of great concern to the impacted schools. Image courtesy of KLRNS.

The Pasadena Unified School District will discuss the priority enrollment lottery offered to students attending schools that will close at the end of the school year.

The board will also discuss temporary transportation assistance to the families impacted by the school closures at 6:30 p.m. tonight at district headquarters, 351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena.

Last year the district voted to shutter Roosevelt, Jefferson and Franklin elementary schools and Wilson Middle School.

The priority enrollment lottery allows students families to choose their school of choice. If there is space at that school, students are placed there.

“We’ve done this since 2005,” said Board Member Scott Phelps. “Whenever we close schools, those students get a choice of wherever they want to go, provided there is space at the school.”

According to the report, 209 students from the closed schools were placed at their first choice, 48 students were placed at their second choice, and 15 students were placed at their third choice.

Student placement does not mean students enrolled at the school.

The school closures have left some parents angry.

“I expect that both [items] will have some amount of public comment,” said Board President Patrick Cahalan. “For a relatively short agenda these are both issues of great concern to the impacted sites.”

The district is currently plagued by declining enrollment caused by declining birth rates and by people being forced out of the area, in part due to rising housing costs.

Since 2012 the district has lost 2,087 students and is projected to lose another 1,717 students through 2025. The loss of each student equals about 10,100 in revenue. The district is projected to lose $17.3 million over the next six years.

The decrease in funding led the district into a deep fiscal crisis last year that nearly resulted in the Los Angeles County Board of Education seizing control of the district.

Voters passed Measure I and J which will raise $21 million for the city annually. Up to $7 million of those funds will be given to the school district annually.

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