La Canada to Study New Tax for Schools

Responding to parent concerns over increasing class size, the La Canada school board this week established a committee to study the feasibility of a special parcel tax as a source of additional revenue.

Unlike property taxes, which are based on property value, a parcel tax is an identical flat fee assessed to every land owner.

Board President Carole Siegler said the idea for the committee grew out of a meeting between more than 250 parents and school officials several weeks ago. She said most of them wanted to find out what could be done to lower class size in La Canada schools, which increased by an average of three students this fall, to 29.5.

The committee, which Siegler will appoint in the next month, is charged with evaluating whether the increase in class size, which is still below the state and county average, threatens the quality of education.

It will also determine how much additional money the community is willing to pay to maintain smaller classes and will study what local sources of revenue exist.

One source the committee will examine closely is a special parcel tax, Siegler said. Four years ago, the board went to voters with a parcel tax plan, but the measure fell short of two-thirds majority necessary for implementation.

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