On June 4, voters in the Los Angeles Unified School District will vote on Measure EE, a proposal to enact a special property tax to fund local schools. Approval of the measure would authorize a $0.16-per-square foot parcel tax for twelve years to fund educational improvements, instruction, and programs. School district officials have estimated that the tax would raise $500 million per year. The measure has received endorsements from 2020 presidential candidates Kamala Harris (D) and Pete Buttigieg (D).
California Senator Kamala Harris endorsed a “yes” vote on Measure EE on May 20. She tweeted, “Closing the teacher pay gap is a key part of our campaign because investing in our future starts with investing in our schools. Join me and @VoteYesOnEE on June 4 (or right now by mail) to lower class sizes and stand with teachers and students.”
On May 9, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg attended a rally in Los Angeles with Mayor Eric Garcetti where he endorsed Measure EE. Relating the issue to his presidential campaign, he said, “In our campaign we talk about three issues: freedom, security and democracy. Every one of those issues is at stake when it comes to Measure EE and supporting the men and women who make public education work.”
The group Yes on EE is leading the campaign in support of the measure. On its campaign website, the group states that Measure EE will “help our neighborhood schools retain and attract quality teachers, counselors, school nurses, librarians, support staff and principals.” The campaign reported $1.28 million in contributions between January 1 and April 20. Top donors to the “yes” campaign include the JMM Charitable Foundation, Steve Ballmer, and United Teachers Los Angeles.
The group No On Measure EE is leading the campaign in opposition to the measure. On its website, the group states that “the 16-cent per square foot tax on all properties will flow into the School District’s general fund with no requirement that revenue be spent in the classroom or on our kids.” The opposition campaign reported $358,000 in contributions between January 1 and April 20. Top donors to the No On Measure EE campaign included the National Association of REALTORS, California Business Roundtable, and the California Association of Realtors.
Measure EE requires a two-thirds supermajority vote for approval. Polls close for LAUSD voters at 8 p.m. on June 4.