Endorsement: Vote yes on Measure LA to invest in community colleges
In 2016, voters approved Proposition 60, which authorized voters to approve bonds to build and operate the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Community Colleges of Greater Los Angeles. I was a cosponsor of that bond.
I’ve worked with the LAUSD Board of Education on education funding since 1998, when I served on the school board’s Facilities Committee, a role in which I was responsible for recommending where the school district should spend the money it gets from the state. I’ve also worked as a member of the board’s Finance Committee.
With the proposed bond measure still on the table, the board should vote no if it means not spending the bond money to build and operate the Community Colleges of Greater Los Angeles.
Here are my concerns:
Proposition 60 authorizes $150 million to build and operate 25 Community Colleges of Greater Los Angeles, but it doesn’t say who will operate the schools on behalf of the district. The Los Angeles Unified School District would then choose between two entities:
LAUSD would choose the institution it believes will have most ability to serve students and provide them a high quality education; and
The Community Colleges of Greater Los Angeles would choose the institution it believes will offer the least amount of duplication and duplication of effort with its existing Community Colleges of Los Angeles.
In addition, the school board has no authority to spend the bond money after the voters have approved the measure. It would be the Legislature, and not the voters, who would make that decision. By spending the money, they could be choosing between institutions that offer the same amount of benefit to the district, but are managed by different entities. Those entities, however, have their own state charters.
Finally, the Community Colleges of Greater Los Angeles are already funded through various sources and there is no reason to add any more at the Community Colleges of Greater Los Angeles.
The schools are already in place. They’re operating at full capacity. They’re also already supported by LAUSD’s general fund, which doesn’t have to be spent on the Community Colleges of Greater Los Angeles