PEN's View on Master Planning

To PEN Members & Friends,

The PUSD Board of Education convened a Master Planning/Boundaries Subcommittee which began meeting in December 2018. The stated purpose is: “In order to provide robust, quality programs at each of our schools, in a fiscally stable manner in spite of a declining enrollment environment, the Master Planning and Boundaries committee will review existing site programs and capacities and future expected enrollment, and bring to the board recommendations on the number and location of school sites to maintain for the next 5 to 10 years.”

Many of you have asked us what this means and how to think about the possibility of schools consolidating. We sent a letter to the Board of Education and Superintendent Brian McDonald expressing our belief that the constant discussion about school consolidation is causing families not to enroll in PUSD, and this will continue as long as consolidation is the topic of conversation. We think that it’s time for PUSD leadership to make big, bold, and courageous decisions to ensure the health of our schools and welfare of all of our children, not just for today, but for the next 5-10 years. We asked them to publicly explain the benefits of right-sizing the district, decide which schools to consolidate, move programs if necessary, create a meaningful transition plan for students, and do it sooner than later so we can move on and create the school district we want for all of our students.

In response to our letter, Dr. McDonald & Interim Superintendent Dr. David Verdugo issued a public statement today.

PEN has been attending the Subcommittee meetings, and will continue to do so. The original timeline called for recommendations to be presented to the Board of Education in September, and decisions to be made in October. Today's letter states that the "Subcommittee and District staff will meet in early September to consider recommendations for decisions by the full Board of Education." We'll post meeting dates when we have them. We encourage you to follow this process and advocate for action that is in the best interest of all of our students. Comments can be submitted to the Subcommittee at masterplan19@pusd.us.

Sincerely,
The Pasadena Education Network Board of Directors

Amelia Chapman, Chair
Jennifer Errico, Vice Chair
Lisa Swan, Treasurer
Nury Arrivillaga, Co-Secretary
Deborah Graff, Co-Secretary
Nate Bradley
Marie Cantor
Jennifer Allan Goldman
Tom Hogen-Esch
Russ Meek
Emily Mencken
Leslie Tamppari
Adam Wierman