Failure of L.A. school tax measure could put resources and alliances to the test

Jun 9, 2019 by

Mayor Eric Garcetti, L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner and other high-profile backers of a property tax to benefit public schools needed to get two-thirds support for Measure EE to pass. They seemed confident they could get at least a solid majority. But when the votes were counted, only a paltry 46% of voters backed the proposed parcel tax.

The stunning setback for the Los Angeles Unified School District in Tuesday’s special election raises profound questions for a diverse coalition of unions, nonunion charter schools, disparate community groups, and city politicians and school district officials. District leaders have to decide if and when to try again and what to do differently.

“I am surprised and disappointed by the final tally,” said UCLA education professor John Rogers. He had expected the share of yes votes to reach the high 50s. “The degree of the defeat means that the coalition faces even more of a stark future than if it had been a close election. The coalition lost not just the election but political capital.”

In Rogers’ view, opponents conveyed “an inaccurate but persuasive message” that the school system is dysfunctional. “Spreading that idea harmed public education in the city as well as the prospects for the coalition that promoted Measure EE,” he said.

Source: Failure of L.A. school tax measure could put resources and alliances to the test – Los Angeles Times

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