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Say NO to Measure EE and LAUSD’s Bloated Bureaucracy

RANTZ & RAVEZ-June 4, 2019 is the day the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Board is scheduled to RIP YOU OFF once again. Vote NO on Measure EE.  

I support teachers and appreciate their dedication and commitment to their chosen profession. But Measure EE is not about teachers or students. It’s about a failed school system with an out of control, bloated, top heavy and ineffective administration.  

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is pleading poverty once again. This time they are pushing for a new parcel tax on all residential and commercial property that is within the school district boundaries. The new $500 million a year tax will be in effect for the next 12 years. Taxpayers will be paying for this on top of the current LAUSD school taxes and bond payments we already see on our property tax bills. 

If you own a home or commercial property, your property tax will increase if this measure is passed by 2/3 the voters on June 4. The rate is $0.16 per square foot of building improvements effective for the next 12 years. With voter approval, that 12 years could be extended for an unlimited period of time in the future. National, state and municipal governments and School District are all the same: spending and sometimes squandering your money, then asking for more. 

This special election is costing more than 12.5 million dollars to conduct. Why not wait and place the measure on the regular March 2020 scheduled regular election? It’s a waste of money and I am urging you to vote NO.   

We all remember the California State Lottery. It was sold as a program to provide millions of dollars to school districts throughout California. Lottery tickets were initially sold for $1.00 and were available at certain locations. Now Lottery tickets sell for many more dollars and are sold everywhere from gas stations to markets. How much does the LAUSD currently receive in Lottery funds annually and what do they do with the funds? If you happen to know, let all of us know. This information is not published in tandem with the frequent requests for more funding. The government should be honest with us about this.     

While the LAUSD ranks 44th in per-student funding, how much of the proposed EE Parcel Tax money will go for student education rather than paying for the bloated administration, facilities, nutrition programs and all the rest of the discretionary expenses that have nothing to do with the education of students?    

The LAUSD states that they are committed to improving the educational outcomes for all students with a goal of 100% graduation. The aim is to have all students prepared for college, career and life. The fact is the District has failed and continues to fail in achieving these worthy goals. It is reported that 70% of LAUSD students are performing below grade level in math. Sixty percent are performing below grade level in English and only 12% of incoming high school freshman will go on to graduate college. This leaves us with an under-educated society for the future. Most students will be unable to realize financial success and happiness in Los Angeles without a solid education; the jobs they find will not pay more than minimum wage.   

Measure EE also boasts of ensuring we will have safe, secure, clean, well-maintained, supportive and welcoming schools. But that is already a primary function that the LAUSD should be providing. Now they say they need an additional tax of $500 million a year to accomplish this goal. It’s amazing how the school district is stretching for ways to squander the money you are encouraged to vote for!

 

(Dennis P. Zine is a former and retired LAPD Supervisor, former and retired 12-year Los Angeles City Councilman and current General Manager at Bell Canyon in Ventura County. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.)