The Los Angeles Unified board voted Tuesday for a worst-case budget that would gut popular programs like Adult and Early-Childhood Education for 2012-13, although a recent infusion of state money allowed officials to hold out hope of restoring some programs by fall.
The board's 6-1 approval of a Fiscal Stabilization Plan came less than a month after it unanimously rejected a request to kill off the district's popular Adult Education program, close hundreds of preschool and after-school programs and increase class size at most grade levels in order to close a $557 million deficit.
"This is a budget that is no way perfect," Deasy said. "But it's clearly amazing."
Deasy noted that the strategy - if it works - would save the programs for only the 2012-13 year.
To continue building on the district's success without having to tackle the painful budget process year after year, Deasy said voters need to get behind the $298-a-year
Board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte cast the lone vote against putting the tax on the ballot.
If the parcel tax is approved by two-third of the voters - the level needed for passage of a tax hike - owners of homes, apartment complexes, large and small businesses and even vacant lots would be taxed $298 annually, beginning in 2013.
Special adjustments would be made so that senior citizens and others on fixed incomes will not be liable for the tax. Renters are not responsible for paying the tax, either, although some have expressed concern that the added cost will be passed on to them by their landlords.
Deasy noted that the district will have to pay the $4 million cost of putting the measure on the general-election ballot in November.
Los Angeles Unified last tried for a parcel tax in June 2010, asking property owners to pay $100 annually for four years to cover the salaries of 1,200 arts and music teachers, librarians, custodians and school police officers. The measure won support from nearly 53 percent of voters, but fell well short of the two-thirds needed for approval.