To the editor: Why did the Los Angeles Times editorial board feel it necessary to play the race and age discrimination card in its piece on why the Measure EE parcel tax for L.A. schools failed?
You wrote, “It’s also to be expected that a single-issue, off-cycle election would draw mainly older, white voters who would feel less connection with public schools serving mostly low-income students of color.” That’s ridiculous.
In reality, voters did not want to support giving $500 million more per year to a school district that has already wasted so much bond money. Furthermore, we “older, white” voters wouldn’t have had to pay the tax, as evidenced by the sleazy mailer sent out by the Los Angeles Unified School District prior to the election.
My spouse is a retired 30-year veteran of LAUSD, and she deserves every health and pension benefit after putting up with her low salary and having spent thousands on supplies for her classroom over the years.
Christopher McKinnon, Los Angeles
To the editor: L.A. Unified is full of poor brown and black kids, living in neighborhoods we don’t drive through, so let’s just keep ignoring the problem.
When I started teaching in L.A. in 1979, I thought the schools were rough, with violence among some kids, crowded classes and buildings in need of maintenance. But at least we had a daily nurse and librarian in high school, and we had teachers’ assistants to help students with language problems.
When I retired in 2008, we still had a librarian, but no teachers’ assistants, and nurses were on site only sporadically (as I found out when one of my kids had a drug overdose in class and I had to call 911 since there was no medical help at school).
Now, schools are even shabbier, and teachers and kids feel adrift and forgotten.
I guess the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the people getting rich don’t care what happens to the thousands of kids coming to school hungry and maybe after a night sleeping in a car. But those kids will be adults soon, and I’d like them to be as smart as possible. We might need their brains someday.
Cheryl Clark, Long Beach
To the editor: Your explanation of why Measure EE went down in flames misses much of the point.
United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl said many times leading up to and during the teachers’ strike that the district had nearly $2 billion in reserve, so it could afford to spend more on students.
If any voter had a household reserve of more than $100,000, why would he or she worry about future funding?
The teachers union is the reason why so few voters stood with teachers on Measure EE.
Charles T. Didinger, Manhattan Beach
The writer worked for 44 years in LAUSD, including as a teacher and a principal.