LAUSD Update: Parcel Tax

Wed, 03/14/2012 (All day)
Advocacy Team (if applicable): 

Arts education in LAUSDAt the Los Angeles Unified School District School Board Meeting on March 13, 2012, the Board voted to move forward with placing a local Parcel Tax on the ballot for the November 2012 elections.  Board members stressed that this is a temporary, emergency measure designed to backfill the revenue shortfalls currently facing the district. 

Those shortfalls prompted the proposed elimination of several programs, including elementary arts education, adult education and early childhood education.

Elementary arts education remains on the cut list for the upcoming year in the Board's worst-case budget scenario.  If the Parcel Tax and/or one of the proposed state-level measures to fund public education passes, the district would not begin receiving that revenue until mid 2013, prompting some of the proposed cuts to be enacted in the short term. 

This could result in the district conducting major layoffs in the coming months, and then re-hiring the same teachers in 2013. 

Arts for LA has developed a four-point plan to maintain arts education infrastructure until Parcel Tax revenue begins to enter the district.  Click here to read the Plan to Maintain Elementary Arts Education in LAUSD
Then, please encourage your School Board member to adopt this plan by clicking here

Dozens of stakeholders provided public comment at the LAUSD School Board meeting, many expressing their support of the Parcel Tax.  Mark Slavkin, former LAUSD School Board Member and Vice President for Education at the Music Center, likened the Parcel Tax to "financial CPR," an emergency measure that will not solve the problem but will stop the bleeding. 

Theatre artist and parent of a student at LAUSD Doug Cooney spoke eloquently about the importance of arts education.  To read his powerful testimony, please click here.  Cooney was also interviewed by ABC7; click here to view the video.

Ultimately, the School Board voted 6-1 to pursue the Parcel Tax.  The language for the Parcel Tax can be modified until it is delivered to the County Clerk.  It currently mentions that allocations would be used for arts education, among other core subjects, but does not indicate the percentage of revenue that would go toward each subject.

Recognizing the dire fiscal shortfalls facing LAUSD, Arts for LA supports the Parcel Tax initiative.