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PUSD Talks More School Closures

In response to an expected $12 million shortage, the Pasadena Unified School District is discussing the possibility of more school closures, the Pasadena Star-News reports.

About a year after Altadena’s Burbank and Loma Alta elementary schools were closed by the Pasadena Unified School District, PUSD school closures are again being discussed due to a projected $12 million shortfall, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

Declining enrollment has contributed to the financial blow but officials are hoping to avoid drastic measures by possibly adjusting school attendance boundaries, the Star-News reports. Possible options are expected to be presented next spring.

, and the school board was sharply divided over the closures, which also pitted parents at different schools against each other.

At Tuesday’s PUSD Board of Education meeting, board president Renatta Cooper “emphasized that any schools in Altadena should be kept off any closure list, saying the community had already been hit hard,” according to the Star-News.

Cooper voted against closing the two Altadena schools at a meeting in Nov. 2010 where three board members were opposed to the closures and four were in favor.

True Freedom December 14, 2012 at 05:31 PM
In the PSN article, Mrs. Cooper is quoted saying "Whenever we vacate a school we open the door to another charter, and that causes us to lose more students." If a charter draws away more students, then it is because the parents feel that PUSD is not providing some part(s) of the educational experience. Mrs. Cooper's statement sounds a little like holding students (and their families) hostage.
Steve Lamb December 15, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Hell has frozen over into a solid block of ice. I could not agree with True Freedom more. Of course this begs the other question I have been asking about the PUSD for almost two decades now: Why don't they make all the schools if not actual charters, run just like charters so they can give parents educational CHOICE, variety, and so all the kids will ahve a chance at a quality education that meets their particular learning style of the seven known learning styles...... Put in the best light, at least Renatta Cooper is attempting to look out for the interests of Altadena parents not having to haul their kids down to Pasadena....
navigio January 10, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Because some people want accountability and charters do not provide for that. Anyway, in theory you dont need to have a charter to provide that kind of choice. Its one option, but opening up that option introduces other problems.
navigio January 10, 2013 at 08:58 PM
I agree. I don't thin that was a very well thought out statement, assuming its even an accurate quote (I have seen too many examples of just bad reporting, especially when it come to schools and our local media). In any case, I think there is something that might be underlying such a statement by the board prez. Namely, under current law, its next to impossible for a school district to reject a charter application. One of the barriers to new schools is the facilities costs. Under prop 39, if a district has the space, they must provide it to any charter that asks. In that sense, vacating all campuses would likely lead to a rash of new charters. I wont even say whether thats good or bad (cough, cough), but if one believes charters are no better than public schools (and clearly in some cases are even worse) then that would be a disservice to the community and its kids. If parents made these decisions based on logic and reason and the real educational needs of their children--and charter operators made these decisions for the good of students rather than their investors or themselves--then this might not be a problem, but the former rarely do, at least according to some, and the latter is lamentably more common than one would hope. Regardless, she deserves to be chastised for making such a statement, especially out of context.

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