|Click here - Larry comes on at 19:28|
I guess it is understandable why it took Sierra Madre's sub-districted Board of Education representative Larry Torres so long to go public about Pasadena Unified's grim battle with insolvency. It is a situation with little hope for improvement, and Larry doesn't have any ideas on how to make things any better. If you're looking for inspirational leadership, don't go calling on this guy.
There isn't much else to say here that hasn't already been said. The best possible solution that I can see is to simply let Pasadena Unified go under. It is a failed school district with little hope for improvement. LA County would then be forced take things over, hopefully get rid of the administrators that ran the place into the ground, and then fold the remaining schools into the LA Unified school system.
Which, by the way, is better financed, adequately populated with actual willing students, and academically more successful than whatever remains of the PUSD.
It is going to happen anyway. Why prolong this misery any longer than is necessary?
Mod: Here is the story more bluntly told.
Board member Kim Kenne voted against the motion, primarily because she said there was not sufficient time to review and analyze the figures being presented by staff. Board member Larry Torres did not attend the board’s special meeting held on Feb. 8.
The district has been struggling financially for several years due to declining enrollment and state laws that favor charter schools over the public school system.
School funding by the state is based on student average daily attendance, or ADA, with current budget cuts the result of steep and ongoing reductions in the district’s student population. Due to declining attendance, the board closed four schools in 2006 and two more in 2011.
District officials have blamed the decreasing numbers on “white flight,” a phenomenon caused by upper middle-class white families pulling their children out of the struggling PUSD schools and placing them in area private schools or charter schools.
Nearly every spending category in the district’s budget — except salaries, benefits and district-issued credit card expenses at the top administrative levels — was affected by possible reductions contained in the district fiscal stabilization plan. For now, cuts are being recommended among academic and certified personnel, including not only teachers, but also assistant principals, as well as security guards and custodians.
Mod: This next story hasn't improved my mood much, either.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided Gourdikian’s home early on Feb. 16, 2017. They seized 32 pistols, 19 rifles, five rifle parts, three shotguns and two revolvers, according to a forfeiture notice. Immediately, Chief Phillip Sanchez removed Gourdikian from duty and placed him on paid leave, pending the outcome of an internal affairs review.
Gourdikian hasn’t been charged or publicly accused of any crime. The internal review has yet to begin, and Gourdikian continues to receive his full salary.
Mod: This next part is funny, in a grim sort of way.
In an interview last week, Mayor Terry Tornek called the lack of action “infuriating.” He said he hopes the department can find a way to separate its internal review from the federal investigation.
“The problem with all these police-related matters is that people demand timely and transparent performance on these investigations, and we can’t deliver timely, or transparent,” Tornek said.
Mod: Apparently when it comes to Pasadena government, crime does pay.