LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia (BD2) and Board Member George McKenna (BD1) have introduced a resolution to create an Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee to report on the spending of any funds generated by measure EE, the proposed school parcel tax that voters will consider on June 4.
The committee would be tasked to report on whether parcel tax funds are spent for the purposes outlined in the measure, whether they’re spent equitably and whether they lead to better student achievement, more college readiness and fiscal stability at LAUSD.
The resolution calls for a panel selected by the Board, the mayor and other local government agencies to choose nine committee members with expertise in academia, school/public finance, parent and family, and performance measurements and reviews.
Board Vice president Nick Melvoin (BD4) introduced amendments to specify that LAUSD parents could be members of the committee and to ensure that there is a plan for the money to be spent in the classroom. His amendments also call for measurable student outcome goals attached to the expenditures.
The resolution is an attempt to address concerns from parents and taxpayers who are skeptical that LAUSD will use the money to help students. Employee unions insisted that language be struck from the parcel tax resolution preventing the funds from being used for retiree pensions and healthcare instead of for current classroom teachers, kids and schools.
Speak UP supports Measure EE, but we believe there needs to be rigorous oversight to make sure the funds get to the classroom, and we believe that new funding must also be combined with some reform to retiree benefits plans that will soon take up half of the LAUSD budget.