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Local School Funding Election Nov. 3

Facing huge budget cuts due to the state’s fiscal crisis, the Long Beach Unified School District will ask local voters on Nov. 3 whether they are willing to pay 25 cents a day to preserve high quality schools.  Voters in Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill and on Catalina Island will decide on Measure T, which requires a two-thirds majority for approval.

The school district already has cut more than $100 million during the past five years and must cut as much as $90 million more over the next two years, due to multi-billion-dollar state cuts to education.

If approved, Measure T would go toward retaining teachers and maintaining smaller class sizes, particularly in elementary schools.  Funds also would go toward:

• Maintaining vocational/career technical job training and college prep programs;

• Preserving essential high quality academic offerings, including English, math, social studies, history, computer technology and science;

• Preserving arts, music and sports programs;

• Preserving after-school programs to keep children off the streets and away from gangs, drugs and crime;

• Preserving students’ access to school libraries;

• Protecting property values and the taxpayers’ investment in education.

The formally titled Classroom Teacher, Student Safety and Education Measure would levy a $92 annual education parcel tax for five years.  The annual fee amounts to about 25 cents a day and would generate about $12 million a year for LBUSD.

The measure would require exemptions for senior citizens who are 65 and older.  No money would go to administrators’ salaries, and the measure calls for citizens’ oversight of expenditures.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.  Voters also may apply to vote by mail until Oct. 27.

Go to www.lavote.net and click on “Voter and Election Information” for information.