By Dave Bryan

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Wednesday night was a tough one for LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, who tried to convince parents and homeowners that a steep tax was necessary to balance the district’s massive budget.

Deasy said that the school district is so desperately underfunded, that only a $270 annual parcel tax on homeowners in the district can guarantee a full school year. If both his tax proposal and that of Governor Jerry Browns’s were to fail, Deasy warned that the students will be shortchanged.

Deasy said that the school district is so desperately underfunded, that only a $270 annual parcel tax on homeowners in the district can guarantee a full school year. If both taxes fail, Deasy warned that the students will be shortchanged.

“The governor’s failure would mean three weeks less school. Ours would mean another three weeks less of school. So you’re talking about losing two months of school — horrific or bad,” Deasy said.

Deasy began the job of selling the LAUSD parcel tax to voters at an education town hall meeting in Woodland Hills sponsored by the L.A. Daily News and moderated by columnist Doug McIntyre.

The small auditorium was packed and many parents and homeowners were conflicted about the proposed parcel tax.

“If you vote for it, you’re voting against your best interest, because if you have property, you’re voting to raise your taxes. If you want to support the schools, you’re voting, it’s an oxymoron in a sense, because it’s conflicting,” homeowner Tracy Haynes said.

At the meeting questions were directed at Deasy about the parcel tax and the campaign to pass it.

“My question is, even though the parcel tax is very important, can we get a guarantee from you that the children will not be used as a vehicle to help push that parcel tax,” one woman asked.

Deasy assured her that the schoolchildren wouldn’t be used to promote the ballot measure, which he hopes to put before the voters on either the June ballot or November.

But the parcel tax was not the only issue on the minds of the audience. Protesters charge huge budget cuts threaten the very existence of adult education programs.

“We, as tax payers, have paid for education. The voters, the adults, voted in career and technical education. They pay for it and now they’re asking for a parcel tax to help with education and yet they want to take away the same thing that is needed to help these adults get jobs,” said adult education supporter Richard Fischetto.

Some audience members say special education programs are being decimated at some schools as well because of budget cuts. Anita Baluran said that she has grave concerns about the nearby elementary school where her kids are in the 4th and 5th grades, but she said that some of the teachers are not adequately trained and the tension level is high.

“There are so many things going on, I’m not sure if it’s the cutbacks that are affecting our teachers to act the way they act toward parents and it’s causing conflict between families and teachers,” Baluran said.
But kindergarten teacher Cheryl Trejo said that teachers have to overcome so many obstacles at the LAUSD, that it takes a superhuman effort just to succeed.

“We’re constantly being told again that 5,100 teachers will be laid off again, class sizes are going up. We have no supplies in the schools, where every year teachers are being moved around, laid off, and hired back, she said.

Comments (8)
  1. citizen says:

    Just how much freaking money do you want? Hell no I pay enough in property tax. Kick out all the ones who not suppose to be here and there is your money.

  2. NO WAY says:

    Maybe top admins shouldn’t be pulling down $250K+ a year…Maybe “free lunch” programs need to go away, if you can’t feed um’, don’t breed um. Maybe legislators should take a 30% paycut…

    I mean seriouslt folks,we are taxed to death already and they still want more? Something is BROKEN! Teachers don’t make a lot of money, the books are old and outdated, the class rooms are falling apart and they still want more money on top of what they already get? Where’s it all going, what have they done with what they already get??? Audit, audit, audit!!!!

    Don’t use children and their puppy-dog eyes to further bleed citizens…We’re DONE! This is a mismanagement/corruption problem PERIOD!

    1. NOPE says:

      “Deasy, LAUSD’s fifth superintendent in a decade, received a 40-month contract, with an annual salary of $330,000, medical and retirement benefits, and a district car and driver.”

      So he has free car AND a chauffeur?!?!? Most can barely afford to put gas in their cars! Heck, most don’t even have health insurance or are paying a fortune for it.

      I propose we do this tax on a sliding scale based on income AND property value…This way, he and other fat-cats living in their mansions will feel the same bite that the average joe will. I wonder how he’d like spending an extra $25,000 a year in property tax?

      This is not about class warfare, this is about equality, $270 a year to him is a bottle of wine or hand of blackjack in Vegas, $270 to the working class means feeding the family for a few days or keeping the lights on.

      And what’s the upside? A messed up school system that is still broken and another plea for more cash next year, like the year before and the year before that and the year before that…….

  3. My Murray says:

    I say no! Investigate administrative postions CREATED this past year earning $80,000+

  4. L. Leese says:

    Deasy needs to be held accountable for what is happening to LAUSD. There is gross mismanagement of funds and corruption happening on his watch, Adminstrative Headquarters, downtown, continues to create high paying positions for friends and family members. Complaints have been filed, but have fallen on deaf ears. Cover up, perhaps Mr Deasy?

  5. Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot says:

    WOW! It cost a lot of money for LAUSD teachers to dumb-down and molest our children.

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