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LA school officials cheer passage of $7B bond to improve facilities and tech

Laura Fay | November 5, 2020

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(Getty Images)

Voters in Los Angeles passed Measure RR, a $7 billion bond to update and improve school infrastructure and technology, according to projections by the Los Angeles Times and others. The measure had about 71 percent voter support in “semiofficial” results posted Wednesday.

The measure will raise property taxes on residents of Los Angeles Unified School District, with the money going to buy buses, air conditioners, computers and other technology and make improvements to school buildings.

“The students are the real winners today, this victory is theirs,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a statement. “Because of voter support, and the support of labor, business and community leaders, more students will get access to safe and updated schools and learning technology.”

Approval for the $7 billion borrowing reversed a string of defeated attempts by LA Unified to raise additional revenue, including a $500 million parcel tax overwhelmingly rejected by voters in 2019.

The new bond measure is structured to keep residents’ school tax rate about the same as it is now as they pay for Measure RR and previously passed bonds, according to the L.A. Times. The annual payment will be $140 per $100,000 of assessed property value, which will start to taper off in 2034.

(Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk)

Supporters of the measure were optimistic in the runup to Election Day because the last time a similar proposition passed was in 2008 — when Democrats were energized to turn out for presidential candidate Barack Obama, according to the Los Angeles Times. Democrat Joe Biden captured 71.4 percent of the vote in L.A. County vs. Donald Trump’s 26.7 percent in the still-undecided presidential race, according to the county clerk’s office.

The proposition needed 55 percent support to pass.

Read More: After a costly campaign, charter- and union-backed candidates each win seat on L.A. Unified school board

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