By Brian McDonald
Gov. Newsom released the state’s revised May budget proposal for 2020-21 that seeks to avoid permanent cuts to public education while dealing with the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on the state’s economy. For PUSD this means that instead of facing a projected $35 million in reduction in state funding, we now estimate a $15 million reduction in state funding. We are examining in detail the revised budget and will continue to advocate on behalf of our students and educators in the coming weeks. Budgets are a reflection of values, and we are asking the state and federal governments to show their commitment to students and the future of this country.
While reductions in PUSD’s budget are all but certain, we are determined to find ways to keep these as far away from classrooms as we possibly can while keeping intact the essential services that our students and families rely on. Our district has faced tough times before and emerged strong each time.
Each of you is working hard to keep learning and life going during this pandemic. I am so proud of the way PUSD has risen to the challenge during these extraordinary times, and I know that we will weather this storm together, and will be stronger than ever.
In other updates:
• 2020 PasadenaLEARNs Summer Exploration Program: In an effort to keep PUSD students and families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, PasadenaLEARNs will not offer a face-to-face summer program. Beginning Monday, June 1, through Thursday, July 2, students can access daily reading activities, math games, enrichment activities with easy-to-follow instructions using items found around the house, interactive fitness challenges, and computer coding games on our website at pusd.us/learns. In addition, students in grades 2-5 enrolled in LEARNs during the 2019-20 school year will continue to have access to Imagine Learning Literacy and Imagine Math online curriculum.
• 2020 PasadenaLEARNs Imagine Learning Literacy and Imagine Math Facts: Students in grades 2-5 who participated in 2019-20 PasadenaLEARNs After School Program will continue to have access to their Imagine Learning Literacy and Imagine Math Facts licenses through July 2020. Individualized learning plans allow students to continue to learn at their own pace during summer. Parent information on how to access licenses will be available on the LEARNs website at pusd.us/learns from June 1 through July 2.
• Credit Recovery and Extended School Year (ESY) for eligible students will be offered remotely this summer.
• 2020-21 LEARNS Program application: Pre-enrollment applications for LEARNs for the 2020-21 school year are currently available on your school’s website. Once the completed application has been received, you will be contacted by the LEARNs site coordinator regarding your child’s program enrollment status and next steps to complete the enrollment process. We look forward to seeing your child(ren) in the program!
• 2020-2021 online registration: PUSD is using an online registration for TK-12 grades for the 2020-21 school year. To register for preschool, please contact the Early Childhood Education Program by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Student meals: PUSD Food & Nutrition Services continues to offer free meals to children 18 and younger at seven Grab & Go Food Centers. PUSD serves prepackaged curbside breakfast and lunch weekdays from 9-11 a.m. The city of Pasadena offers lunch for students and their families on weekends.
• Classified School Employee Week: May 17–23 is Classified School Employee Week. We celebrate the roles that classified employees have on the lives of students and in support of our schools. Classified employees support our students in food service, technology, as instructional aides, in school and district offices, maintenance and facilities, security, business, human resources and much more.
• Stay Connected: Please continue to check our dedicated website at pusd.us/covid19 for the latest information or call the PUSD Family Hotline at (626) 396-3680.
Let’s have a great week!