Measure EE Suffers Resounding Defeat

Voters in Los Angeles have overwhelmingly rejected a parcel tax measure to fund LAUSD schools. 54.32% voted no on Measure EE on June 4, dealing a massive blow to Supt. Austin Beutner, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, and United Teachers Los Angeles.

Measure EE would have required homeowners to tax themselves for a district that most say is doing a poor job. Still, Beutner hoped momentum from the January teachers strike would push the measure over the finish line. Instead, the tax — which required a two-thirds vote to pass — did not even muster 50%.

LAUSD said Measure EE was critical. The union backed him up on that. The district was already in a financial bind before the strike. Now, it has agreed to pay raises, increased staffing, and smaller classroom sizes.

The question on everyone’s mind after the election is, “what’s next?”

“We’re not going anywhere,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti at an event in Boyle Heights. “Pass or not, tomorrow we roll up our sleeves and continue that work.”

Beutner also vowed to fight on.

After Measure EE’s defeat, the best bet may lie in Sacramento. We can also expect more urgency from proponents of the so-called “split-roll” tax proposition slated for the 2020 ballot, which would roll back some elements of Prop 13.

Labor isn’t off the hook either. In the future, greater cooperation from the teachers union will be needed, writes the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

“Having argued during the EE campaign that the district needed more money, it cannot now go back to its old position that the district has plenty of cash secreted away.”