Yes on Measure EE So All Students Can Thrive

April 3, 2019

The California Community Foundation (CCF) believes in a future where all Angelenos have the opportunity to contribute to the productivity, health and well-being of our region. Our common fate will be determined by how successfully we improve the quality of life for all our residents. Our children represent the future of our community and their well-being is one of our primary concerns. If we want them to realize their potential, we need to ensure they have high-quality educational experiences and opportunities to succeed. CCF’s mission is to create lasting change to serve the most vulnerable in our communities. We must ensure that the second largest school district in the county has the resources to tackle the challenges facing our students and communities.

That is why we support the Los Angeles Unified School District Parcel Tax, Measure EE, that will go before voters on June 4, 2019. The measure, if approved by voters, will generate approximately $500 million annually for LA Unified schools.

A parcel tax of $.016 per square foot tax – a tax of $240 a year for an owner of a 1,500-square-foot home, is the difference between a student thriving in a classroom versus being invisible because of unwieldy classroom sizes. This critical funding is the difference between students who have the space to grow and dream versus students who are in under resourced schools that diminish their hopes. Through decades of underfunding, we’ve asked our students and teachers to do more with less. We’ve applied band-aids through one-time funding or grant programs.

Now is the time for an investment to retain and attract quality teachers. We need decisive action steps to realize the deep transformation necessary for the district to deliver the quality education our children deserve. But first let’s establish a stable foundation of teachers along with additional counselors, school nurses, principals and important support staff. A dedicated revenue stream is essential to help meet the mental, physical and academic needs of students, as well as expand arts and music programs in neighborhood schools.

Community engagement and support is critical for any Measure with this level of significance. Currently, the Measure is supported by the LAUSD School Board, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 and Los Angeles affiliates of the Million Voters Project.

Accountability for this Measure is also important. We are encouraged by the Measure’s strong fiscal accountability and oversight. A public oversight committee, whose membership is to be decided by the LAUSD Board of Education will also be established.

Educators, students and families in Los Angeles need more resources and support, and we collectively have a responsibility to ensure our schools receive the funding needed to help every student learn and grow to their full potential. Together we can ensure that all our students have the educational opportunities to meet their full potential.

Roshin Mathew
rmathew [@] calfund [.] org
(213) 452-6229