Brutal budget has LA schools chief pushing for parcel tax

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Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Ramon Cortines.

A day after pushing through a budget with $132 million in cuts, the head of public schools in Los Angeles is out beating the drum for a tax increase.

L.A. Unified superintendent Ramon Cortines wants the school board to put a parcel tax on the ballot. Parents with children in L.A. Unified schools might go for it – and Cortines says the rest of Los Angeles should, too.

Ramon Cortines: "This is not about those people that have kids in the schools, but it is about the democratic process and it is about a sense of community. And we can’t abandon our community just because we don’t have children in the school."

Cortines was a guest on KPCC’s “Patt Morrison.” School board members in Los Angeles aren’t sure the parcel tax is the way to go. One board member says the district should cut back its administration. Others are hoping for federal help.

Along with teacher layoffs and a cutback in full-day kindergarten, Superintendent Cortines says L.A. Unified could end up with fewer textbooks, fewer buses, and bigger classes.

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