Even with the recent passage of Measures I and J, ballot initiatives, which raised the local sales tax by three-quarters of a cent in part to help fund the beleaguered Pasadena Unified School District, local schools need more money, according to a recent survey conducted by Los Angeles-based FM3 Research for PUSD.
According to the survey, 70 percent of those polled said they believe there is a need for additional funding of public schools, with nearly half of those people calling the need “great.”
Between July 30 and Aug. 5, 1,008 “likely voters” were surveyed online, and by landline and cell phones. The district is taking steps to place an $850 million bond measure on the March ballot that would be used for infrastructure projects in the school district.
Meanwhile, school officials are discussing the possibility of closing schools due to dropping enrollments.
Support for a bond measure received at least 60 percent support from respondents in all seven school board districts, with the strongest support, 77 percent, coming from District 3 in Northwest Pasadena which is represented by Michelle Richardson-Bailey.
“I’m hoping the community will get behind it,” Richardson-Bailey told the Pasadena Weekly. “The Measure J funds just scratched the surface. We need so much more.”
Measure I passed overwhelmingly in November and increased local sales tax by three-quarters of a cent. The sales tax hike is expected to generate $21 million annually. Measure J allows the PUSD to use up to a third of that amount to improve public schools.
In East Altadena, 75 percent of the respondents in District 1 — represented by Kim Kenne — said they supported a bond measure. The lowest support came from District 2, represented by Board member Roy Boulghourjian, where 60 percent of respondents said they support a bond measure.
In District 4, which contains Old Pasadena, 72 percent of the respondents said they support a bond measure. Only 65 percent of the respondents in districts 5 and 6 — represented by Central Pasadena’s Elizabeth Pomeroy and Sierra Madre’s Larry Torres, respectively, said they would support the measure, and 67 percent of those surveyed in Northwest Pasadena’s District 7, represented by Scott Phelps, support the idea.