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Election gives L.A. Unified financial means to provide ‘essential priorities’

Passage of Propositions 55 and 58 boost public education efforts statewide

OW Staff Writer | 11/9/2016, midnight

L.A. Unified leaders expressed gratitude Wednesday to California voters for approving Propositions 55 and 58, saying the measures will boost public education and enable the District to continue providing the necessary resources to prepare students to compete in the 21st century economy.

School Board President Steve Zimmer and Superintendent Michelle King said the resounding victory of Proposition 55 in Tuesday’s election demonstrates that families want to provide a bright future for their children and understand the urgent need to invest in public education.

“The passage of Prop. 55 provides a critical infusion of revenue that will allow L.A. Unified to continue serving our students and families,” the District’s top two leaders said. “Now is the time for California lawmakers to consider true long-term investments to ensure that our public schools are once again funded on an equitable level with other states.”

Proposition 58 affirms the District’s long-standing commitment to providing programs that support students in attaining English proficiency and high levels of academic achievement.

“We look forward to increasing our investment in dual-immersion and bilingual programs that support and respect any language our students bring to the schoolhouse door,” Zimmer and King said.

“We have always believed that language is not merely an academic subject. Language is culture, language is family, language is history and language is, very often, love,” they said. “The passage of Prop. 58 will allow the District to fully embrace those values in our classrooms.”

Other members of the Board of Education also provided their perspective on the passage of the two education-related initiatives.

“California has made it clear: Every student deserves access to a high-quality education,” said Board Member Mónica García, who represents the Eastside. “We look forward to our continued progress on the path toward 100 percent graduation.”

Dr. Ref Rodriguez, whose board district stretches from Eagle Rock to South Gate, agreed that Prop. 55 will brighten students’ futures.

“Proposition 55 is critical to the infrastructural well-being of our communities,” he said. “I am excited that this District will be able to put our community’s voice to work and bring their vote to life.”

Reflecting on Proposition 58, which gives districts more power to develop their own programs to support English-learners, he said, “In a world that has become increasingly dependent on our communities being multilingual, we know that the passing of this proposition will give our students the tools necessary to succeed in our global economy. This is concrete evidence that our voters make decisions with an asset-driven mindset.”