• A man with glasses and a tie and dress shirt

      Patrick Cahalan (Photo – cahalanfordistrict4.org)

      Current President of the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education, Patrick Cahalan, announced his reelection bid for the District 4 seat.

      By News Desk

      Patrick Cahalan announced the following on his page, cahalanfordistrict4.org:

      Greetings, citizens of Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre:

      I am the current President of the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education. I have served on the Board since May 2015. I am seeking reelection to serve the constituents of Trustee Area 4, and the greater PUSD community, for a second term.

      My relationship with the school district began as a committed public school parent and an active community volunteer. I have two children who have been PUSD students since kindergarten, attending Longfellow Elementary and then moving on to Blair School for secondary. My introduction to school district policy began with a three year commitment on Longfellow Elementary’s School Site Council, ending with a year as Chairperson, and two years on the PUSD District Advisory Council, with a year as Vice President.

      Since I was elected to the Board, I have served as the chairperson of the former Facilities Committee and the Finance Committee, a member of the Safety Committee, and have participated in Five Star meetings with our neighboring districts. I served as Board Clerk and Board Vice-President prior to assuming Board President duties in December of 2019.

      I have developed a close collaborative relationship with Pasadena city leadership, serving on the Measure J Ad Hoc Committee with Mayor Tornek, Councilwoman McAustin, and Councilman Hampton, have co-planned community events with city council members McAustin, Gordo, and Wilson, and have advocated on behalf of the district at City Council meetings.

      PUSD has been successfully providing rich learning experiences for its students. During the last five years we have added additional dual language immersion sites, continued to support our district arts initiative in spite of budget reductions, and provided the children of this district with a quality education even as state support for education has failed to meet rising costs. Our decision in 2017 to provide Chromebooks at a 1:1 ratio throughout elementary and secondary has proved to be critical to the continuation of our students’ education during the transition to distance learning, as has the work the IT department has done to expand at-home access to help bridge the digital divide.

      There is still much to do to address achievement gaps, address special education needs, and increase community trust.  I will continue to be responsive to concerns, ask hard questions, and make difficult decisions that benefit all children in the district.

      We are entering a period of significant uncertainty.

      The California Budget Perspective released in March of 2020 was guardedly optimistic. This was, of course, before the pandemic caused an economic downturn this country has not seen since the Great Depression.

      Less than two months later, the state is facing a $54 billion budget shortfall.

      It remains to be seen how the state legislature will address the budget concerns of the state. Based solely upon the Prop 98 guarantee floor, estimated per pupil losses are in the neighborhood of $2,300. For PUSD, this would be a budget reduction of about $35 million less in funding for 2020 through 2022. To provide perspective, at December’s First Interim budget, the projected LCFF revenue for 2020-2021 was $163 million.

      Will the district have to navigate the full extent of that shortfall?

      Congressionally authorized CARES funds from the federal government will assist with about $4.6 million for PUSD in the current budget year. Whether or not the federal government will dedicate more funding to education is speculative. The state of California has a rainy day fund, but as I mentioned in the State of the Schools address, it has not yet been established how much of those funds will be released for education. Rest assured I am advocating with our state representatives for the best budget for education that can be achieved in this circumstances.

      This upcoming year will be deeply challenging. Many decisions will require difficult trade-offs. Our board needs experienced members to avoid unintended consequences that can make a difficult situation more so.

      Thank you for your vote in December.

      Patrick Cahalan

      Patrick Cahalan has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Loyola Marymount University, and a Master’s degree in Information Systems from Claremont Graduate University. His two minor programs are in Public Policy and Organizational Science. He was elected to represent Trustee Area 4 in the May 2015 election.

      Election Day for this contest is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

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      1. Todd Laurence says:

        Good. Don’t always agree with Pat, but I like his thought process.

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