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Board Calls for 'Enterprise Plan' to Boost Education Funding

Facing fiscal pressures caused by the under-funding of California’s public schools, the Board of Education took steps Tuesday to boost revenue for Los Angeles Unified, directing the superintendent to create a three-year “enterprise plan” to bring in more money.

The resolution was introduced by School Board Members Scott M. Schmerelson and Dr. George J. McKenna III and co-sponsored by Board Vice President Nick Melvoin and Board Member Kelly Gonez. It notes that Los Angeles Unified faces a structural budget deficit that requires the district to cut costs and generate additional revenue. Their resolution sets a March 18 deadline for creating a plan that could include parcel tax and school bond measures, as well as strategies for increasing enrollment.

“We recognize that Los Angeles Unified needs more resources, and this resolution confirms our commitment to work with families, labor partners, and the communities we serve to achieve this,” said Superintendent Austin Beutner. 

“As a Board, we are soon going to be asked to make profound and far-reaching decisions regarding the financial and organizational future of public education in Los Angeles,” Mr. Schmerelson said. “As a Board Member and former Los Angeles Unified educator, I am certain that we cannot adequately provide for the needs of our children by simply cutting services and programs. I introduced this measure to ensure that we identify and pursue every possible source of additional revenue for our schools. Our kids deserve no less.”

“There is tremendous value in making critical decisions in a thoughtful and judicious way,” Dr. McKenna said. “We want to look at all options for solutions to managing the fiscal position of the District, including revenue generation, cost controls and strategic planning. It is our hope that this directive will help us make smart decisions to this complex challenge.”

“This Board has long called for an increase in education investments through numerous resolutions and ongoing advocacy efforts in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Melvoin said. “Today, we strengthened our commitment to generate more revenue for our schools, so we can put more money into classrooms where it belongs.”

“Our students and schools deserve much more funding; it’s that simple,” Ms. Gonez said. “I support and have been leading our efforts to increase revenue, both legislatively and locally, because we need much greater state and federal investment to provide a great public education to every child. I hope this can be a cause to bring the Los Angeles Unified community together so that we can work toward the common goal of better serving our students.”

“I appreciate the teamwork in Los Angeles Unified to invest more in our schools and students,” said Board President Mónica García. “There is more that can be done for our school community and I am looking forward to seeing the plan unfold in the months to come.”

“It is abysmal that California – one of the wealthiest states in the nation and the fifth-largest economy in the world – consistently ranks near the bottom of per-pupil education funding,” said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic. “We need to address the extreme inequity in our commercial property tax structure and generate the funds we need to give our students the quality of education necessary to remain one of the largest economies on the planet. It is my hope that we stress the importance of proper education funding to Governor Newsom and ensure he provides the level of funding we need to keep California moving forward.”

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