Yes, we sent our two children to private school. When we moved to Pasadena nearly 20 years ago, our children were preschoolers and kindergarteners, she was 3 and her 5. and South Pasadena “for better schools.” But we fell in love with Pasadena and wanted it to be our home, so we bought a house in Orange Heights, a wonderfully diverse neighborhood northwest of Pasadena, and had access to a proper public school for our two boys. started the process of looking for

Our *first* choice was public school – I was a product of public school from kindergarten to college and it worked for me. I tried 3 times to get a lottery to PUSD school for my son who was in need of an IEP. Rejected all 3 times. Private school became the only option for my son’s special needs.

The financial burden of private schools made the decision even more difficult. A former stay-at-home mom, his wife worked as a third-grade teaching assistant to help pay the bills, but sadly left that job to pursue a career in real estate to cover her private life. I had to quit school tuition. We “selected” public schools, but the lottery “chance” eliminated that option. PUSD option failed. How many others have failed?

Giving every student an educational opportunity is a concept that I have felt strongly about for a long time. I am also passionate about fairness. When I recognize inequalities, I take immediate action to find solutions. At my son’s new school, I helped set up an “experience fund” to provide funding resources for students. This fund will be used to pay for wedding dresses, tuxedos, excursions and personal sporting goods. We wanted to ease the financial burden on parents and ensure that every child had a chance to succeed. With the help of schools, parents and other community members, we made it.

Everything I learned while developing Experience Fund was community involvement, accountability, and most of all, childhood success. This was put to good use for his PUSD which started at Madison Elementary School.

Our neighborhood school, Madison Elementary School, like many others, struggled to provide the basic necessities for our children to grow up with. My wife and I have decided to dedicate our time and resources to partner with this public school. Can you really make a difference if all your focus is on public schools in need?

We quietly began providing resources to Madison by providing her with school supplies, volunteering time to read, introducing attendance incentives, and starting a running club for second graders. . The school monitored and measured the positive impact of our work on attendance, performance, and physical fitness. We founded a nonprofit (Friends of Madison) to bring more structure and funding to our efforts.

Working with the Madison family, students, teachers and administrators is incredibly rewarding. We have learned that small communities, cooperation, communication, and a lot of compassion and positive outcomes are possible.

That’s why I’m running for the Pasadena Unified School District School Board. Because I know that with a little effort, a little bit of effort, a little bit of effort, and a little bit of effort, good things happen. Equity in our school is possible. Increased transparency and accountability are essential. Raising teacher salaries is a top priority. Significant improvements in the percentage of students who read by grade three are non-negotiable. And on a larger scale, there can actually be positive student outcomes.

So the private school dad goes public. When elected, through hard work and the collaboration of our colleagues, we will make a real difference. I need many “converts”. Join me. Together let’s raise her PUSD and make sure every student gets the quality education they deserve.

Pat Amsbury

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