Welcome parents and students to the start of the 2019 – 2020 school year! I am Allison Steppes, a native to Pasadena and I have been an educator in Pasadena Uniﬁed School District for 26 years. It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself to the community as the President of United Teachers of Pasadena representing teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses, school psychologists, speech-language pathologists and ROTC Instructors.
As we prepare to start the school year, educators are engaging in a #REDFORED Campaign that is focused on fully funding public education for every student we serve in public schools. It is about ensuring that our public schools have the appropriate funding to provide a quality education for every student we serve. It is about each school within our district having equitable resources in order to educate children. No teacher or child should lack resources regardless of the zip code the children come from or the zip code of the school.
In the best interest of our children it is imperative that PUSD provide the conditions under which children experience high quality teaching and learning. Educators and children must teach and learn in conditions that are safe and healthy. We know that students do their best when their health and safety is assured.
The educators in PUSD have been seeking for the district to budget for and provide annual salary increases to keep up with the cost of living. It does not serve our children well for educators in PUSD to be ranked in the lowest quartile of all uniﬁed school districts in Los Angeles County. Each year we lose teachers to other districts and it would serve PUSD well to attract, recruit and retain staff with competitive salaries so that we are able to sustain the varied signature instructional programs PUSD has. We will continue our discussions with PUSD very shortly and hopefully come to an agreement in the Fall of 2019.
Parents are a teacher’s natural partner in shaping the lives of children. We encourage parents to become part of the parent groups on school campuses. These parent groups address the needs of the children on each campus in addition to supporting the educators on the site. African American Parent Council, English Learners Advisory Committee, Parent Teachers Association and School Site Council should have an active chapter on each campus. If there is not a committee in operation, there is always the opportunity to start one.
Public education is the foundation for shaping children’s lives. On behalf of the 900 UTP members, I invite all parents to work together with us to provide equitable teaching and learning environments for all children in PUSD.
Public education is a place where children ﬁnd comfort and hope for a better future. United Teachers of Pasadena welcomes the parents and children of Altadena, Pasadena and Sierra Madre to a school year full of active engagement and rich learning experiences.