Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Brian McDonald said Sunday that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised May budget proposal for 2020-2021 will likely lead to a $15 million reduction in state funding, instead of an earlier projected $35 million drop.
McDonald the district is examining in detail the revised budget and will continue to “advocate on behalf of students and educators in the coming weeks.”
The budget isn’t yet finalized. It must face the state legislature for approval.
But Newsom warned that with the state potentially facing unemployment as high as 24.5% in the coming weeks, California is likely to cash-strapped.
“These are not normal numbers, even in a state so familiar with the vagaries of revenue increases and declines,” Newsom said Thursday.
Pasadena Unified has a general fund budget of around $220 million. It has seen steadily declining enrollment and had to close four schools late last year.
Still unknown is how the coming school year will look; whether on-campus classes will resume or distance learning will be the norm, how many parents will keep their kids home because of health concerns, and whether the state will relax requirements that tie funding to daily attendance.
Also to be determined is the fate of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or the HEROES Act. The $3 trillion Coronavirus relief bill passed the House on Friday but analysts doubt its survivability in the Senate. Federal money could keep PUSD out of the red.