Archived: EDITORIAL: LAUSD Parcel Tax Failure Is No Reason to Change Two-Third Vote Requirement


In the last 15 years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has managed to get three bond measures passed despite the fact that a two-thirds vote is needed to succeed.

So blaming the difficulty of achieving a two-thirds vote for the school district’s failure to secure passage of the Measure E parcel tax on last Tuesday’s ballot is misplaced.

The problems associated with trying to pass a tax increase at this time should have been obvious from the very beginning, when LAUSD officials decided to place the measure on the ballot.

The recession has hit Los Angeles hard. New job growth is lagging behind the rest of the country, and many residents still are unsure of their personal financial outlook, much less the financial outlook for local, county and state government. The timing for measures adding new costs, including an increase on property taxes during these tough economic times, just wasn’t favorable for passage.

For many voters, even the inclusion of a four-year cap on the tax increase, was not enough to garner support. Too many voters believe, with good reason, that most sunsets of revenue increases for government agencies, including education, somehow always manage to be extended.

Not to be ignored in the defeat, is the anger felt by many toward the LAUSD employee unions that have filled the air with rhetoric that seems to be more about protecting teachers than the education of students. As more and more people have been forced to cut back, live on earnings from part-time jobs, or work three times as hard for the same amount of pay, their sympathy for teachers and other government employees has turned to anger.

It’s unfortunate that LAUSD picked this time to try and get more revenue from the voters. We understood the District’s position, but too often in the past the LAUSD has somehow been able to find pockets of money that has enabled it to delay or trim its threatened austerity cuts, particular when they relate to teacher jobs.

We guess it’s a case of the LAUSD having cried wolf too often, and a public to weary to care.

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  1. Your comment above, “In the last 15 years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has managed to get three bond measures passed despite the fact that a two-thirds vote is needed to succeed,” is incorrect.

    There were actually five bond issues passed by the voters, not three, during the eleven year period, 1997-2008.

    Moreover, one the first of these, Proposition BB in 1997, required a two-thirds majority; the others, under the change in the school bond majority from 1998’sState-wide Proposition 39, required 55% — although some of the 55%-majority requirement bonds did exceed two-thirds approval.

  2. Teacher jobs equal babysitters for your kids! Why shouldn’t our union protect us? Doesn’t your union protect you?

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