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So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

LAUSD board approves $298 parcel tax to put before voters on November ballot

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The L.A. Unified Board of Education approved a $298 parcel tax for the November ballot that would seek to generate millions in revenue for schools annually from property owners within district boundaries and help improve future budget forecasts.

Board members voted 6-1 to approve the parcel tax, with Marguerite LaMotte voting no. The tax is expected to generate $255 million annually in revenue for schools over each of five years beginning in 2013-14.

"Sacramento cannot take this money away," said Superintendent John Deasy in a presentation to the board. "They cannot cut this fund, this fund goes directly to our schools."

Deasy said the tax is based on the idea that the economy will improve and that schools will receive more funding. The district has been hit with $2.3 billion in funding cuts since 2008-9, Deasy said.

The measure would also create an independent oversight committee that would perform annual audits and exempt low-income seniors from having to pay the tax.

To pass, the parcel tax requires approval by two-thirds of voters within LAUSD boundaries. It is also likely Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measures, to prevent $5.2 billion in education cuts throughout the state, will also be on the November ballot.

The parcel tax was presented at a standing-room only board meeting Tuesday after Deasy's presentation on his 2012 budget plan, which includes major cuts to adult education, early education and elementary arts programs as well as the outright elimination of its funding for Academic Decathlon, marching band and outdoor education.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).


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