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Opinion

Readers React: Measure EE didn’t have a chance. LAUSD deserves much of the blame

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti listens while LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner speaks during a news conference on the failure of Measure EE on June 5.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Voting against the Measure EE parcel tax because you hate the Los Angeles Unified School District is like refusing to water your garden because you hate state water policy.

That said, Measure EE never really had a chance.

The people who put it on the ballot misunderstood that some of what they thought was support for striking teachers was actually an expression of antipathy toward LAUSD. Add the two-thirds-majority requirement for new taxes, a good (if dishonest) campaign by anti-tax advocates, a poor campaign by “yes” side, and a vote in an off-cycle election and you have the elements necessary for a losing proposition (pun intended).

I hope the district tries again in the 2020 general election, when more liberals and progressives will come out to vote. Before then, the election should be preceded by a deliberate process that includes a district-wide listening campaign dedicated to crafting a new measure with more buy-in.

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Gary Karasik, Los Angeles

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To the editor: It’s no wonder Measure EE failed. We are all worn out from high taxes that do not bring the promised result.

L.A. County’s Measure H in 2017 was supposed to provide resources to prevent and combat homelessness, but it doesn’t appear to have had much success. The city’s Proposition HHH, intended to build more housing for homeless people, passed in 2016, the same year as Measure M, which provided more funding for a public transit system that few people use.

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Don Evans, Canoga Park

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To the editor: There were multiple reasons why Measure EE failed.

There was much confusion generated by district mail before the election. Why were we sent information on a senior exemption before the vote took place?

Furthermore, we remember the district’s use of bond money meant for capital improvements to fund its ill-fated and poorly managed iPad program. This, plus overall distrust of LAUSD management, will have to be addressed for the district to have any chance of success with voters in the future.

Arnie Netka, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Measure EE fell far short of the two-thirds-vote requirement for passage. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti alluded to the need for requiring only a “simple majority” to pass future parcel taxes for all school districts.

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Coincidentally, state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) has proposed an amendment to the state Constitution called SCA 5 that would lower the approval threshold for school parcel taxes to 55%. The bill is supported by the Assn. of California School Administrators.

Hopefully, with the passage of SCA 5, the words of Abraham Lincoln could apply to the future of public education in California: “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of Earth.”

Tom Kaminski, Manhattan Beach

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