Press Release

The Answer To Funding LA Schools: Expand The Pie With Schools And Communities First

January 18, 2019

Contact: Kevin Perez-Allen

Phone: (714) 499-4481

Email:  [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Answer To Funding LA Schools: Expand The Pie With Schools And Communities First

On Monday, over 33,000 teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District went on strike for the first time in 30 years, pushing for funding of teachers, students, and support staff in the biggest school district in the state. Schools and Communities First, a powerful statewide coalition of nearly 300 endorsing community organizations, labor unions, business leaders, philanthropic foundations and elected officials, is joining parents, community, labor, Civil Rights, and religious leaders in calling for the same.

Over the last 40 years, Prop 13 has cost California hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, leading to chronic underfunding of schools, services, and local communities along with poor local land use decisions, and a spiraling housing crisis. Schools and Communities First, which will reclaim over $11 billion annually, is the first structural and equitable tax reform in four decades.

“The crisis in school funding in Los Angeles is due to the impact of 40 years of disinvestment brought on by Prop 13,” said Veronica Carrizales, Campaign Spokesperson for Schools and Communities First, the 2020 ballot measure that would generate an additional $11 billion for K-14 education and local communities. “In 2020, we have the opportunity to fund better wages for teachers, librarians, counselors, school infrastructure, smaller class sizes, and mental health services by closing the commercial property tax loophole in Prop 13, creating a new  legacy of investment in our students and our communities.”

“California is the 5th largest economy in the world, but we are bottom 10 in the nation in per-pupil spending,” says Joshua Pechthalt, President of California Federation of Teachers. “New York has a similar cost-of-living but spends twice as much per-student as California. Without fully funded schools, our students will continue to be denied the education they deserve.”

The Schools and Communities First initiative, officially titled the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act, qualified for the November 2020 ballot in October of 2018. The measure would generate over $11 billion annually to fund K-14 education and local communities by closing a loophole in current tax law that allows wealthy commercial property owners to evade paying property taxes.

LA County alone would receive $3.63 billion per year, $1.37 billion of which would go to K-12 education. This kind of investment would ensure consistent pay raises for teachers, infrastructure upgrades for schools, funding for on-site nurses and mental health professionals, and more resources for students.

About Schools and Communities First:

Schools and Communities First is a powerful, growing statewide alliance of 300 community organizations, labor unions, business leaders, philanthropic foundations and elected officials seeking create a California that works for everyone. Members of the coalition include California Calls, League of Women Voters of California, California Alliance for Retired Americans, Tech Equity Collaborative, Housing California, Alliance San Diego, Evolve California, Common Sense Kids Action, Policy Link, the California Federation of Teachers, Advancement Project California, ACLU of Southern California, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of California, Community Economics, Working Partnerships, USA, Oakland Rising, Bend the Arc for Justice, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, PICO California, ACCE, Asian Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment, California Association of Nonprofits, Courage Campaign, California Partnership, the Parent Teacher Association, the San Francisco Foundation, APEN Action, and Power California.

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