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Cortines wants LAUSD to consider parcel tax

June 19, 2009 |  4:51 pm

L.A. Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines said this afternoon that he wants the district to consider introducing a parcel tax to raise money for education.

Cortines has raised this issue in the past as a partial solution to L.A. Unified's budget woes. The school board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a plan to slash about $130 million from the 2009-10 budget, and Cortines warned that the situation could only get worse in the future.

The superintendent said at a news conference that he hoped the tax, which would need board approval before going to voters, could be put on next spring's ballot. He also said he hoped state legislators would  relax rules requiring school districts to submit a balanced budget for three years, something Cortines feels is unrealistic in today's economic climate.

"It's somewhat insane in the unpredictable state we live in," Cortines said.

Cortines also apologized to parents and friends of Kennedy High School students who were kept out of the campus' graduation ceremony Thursday night. Students at the Granada Hills school were each given six tickets to the event, but someone made forgeries. As a result, the bleachers became overcrowded and school district police were forced to close the gates, keeping about 200 people from entering.

-- Jason Song