Jul 26, 2014
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SPUSD Will Cut 39 People if Parcel Tax Fails

With the South Pasadena Unified School District spending more than it's bringing in, renewing Measure S is critical, school officials said Tuesday night.

SPUSD Will Cut 39 People if Parcel Tax Fails

Even with the passage of Proposition 30, South Pasadena Unified School District is still deficit spending and needs to find another $2M if the parcel tax renewal fails, said Assistant Superintendent of Business Scott Price.

That money would come from cutting 39 staff positions for the 2013-14 school year, Price told the school board Tuesday night, noting the eliminations would amount to $2,070,000.

"Mrs. Reed is looking at seniority lists and preparing for the next step,'' Price said during his presentation of the board's first interim budget. The report provides analysis to verify if the District is on target financially and provides the opportunity to recalculate the 3-year projection. Board members voted 5-0 to approve it. 

In June 2009 South Pasadena voters approved a four-year parcel tax of $288 for single parcels and $95 for each unit in four-plex parcels. It sunsets this coming June and without a renewal, the district faces teacher layoffs, class size increases, and cuts including libraries, arts, music, and classroom academics, officials said.

While information about several upcoming bond and parcel tax elections are available on the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk website, the language for South Pasadena's parcel tax is still being fine tuned, said media representative Angie Comer. Superintendent Joel Shapiro added that the Board will make a decision on Friday concerning the exact language of a ballot measure.

The March 12 election will be mail-in ballots only and sample ballots should arrive to residents' homes in January or February 2013.

Back in February 2012, Patch polled readers to find out if they would support a parcel tax renewal. Out of 170 votes, 55 percent opposed it, while 45 percent supported it. You may read the multiple comments here. 

Special taxes require approval at an election by at least 2/3 of those voting on the measure.

While the financial picture looks bleak, Shapiro pointed out with an increase of 64 students this year, the district will receive additional revenue, roughly $300,000 it didn't have last year. Still, given the prospect of losing the the estimated $1.9 million from a parcel tax renewal, Price called the budget projections "terrible news,'' adding, "These types of cuts will affect students deeply.''

And the cuts could go deeper than those 39 positions.

Shapiro said another vulnerable position is the math intervention teacher at the middle school -- eliminating that greatly needed position is not something the board wants to do, but it's something members will have to consider, he said. 

"It's a critical need that we have this parcel tax,'' he said. 

Positions to be Eliminated for 2013-14 if Measure S Renewal Fails

• 23 teachers in K-3 (enlarging ratios from 20:1 to 30:1)

• 2 teachers, elementary arts (music and drama)

• two teachers, 9th grade English

• two elementary counselors

• one high school counselor

• one library clerk

• three elementary library technicians

• three elementary computer aides

• one intervention counselor

• one math coach

Related: 

Public Hearing to Address Parcel Tax Friday

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