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Santa Monica College Board Votes to Back Ballot Measures  

By Lookout Staff

September 13, 2010 -- The Santa Monica College Board voted last week to unanimously support two tax measures on the November 2 ballot that combined would pump some $6 million a year into the cash strapped School District.

Measure Y would generate some $12 million a year by raising the sales and user taxes by a half-cent, while measure YY would advise the city to use half the money for educational programs and half for general city services such as police, fire and public transit.

The State's "persistent operating deficits," the board resolution said, have "led to reduced funding for the City of Santa Monica and to counties and school and community college districts. . . with no end in sight."

Over the past six years, the State has slashed funding to the city by more than $40 million, impacting the Police Department, Meals on Wheels (which provides meals for the homebound) and other social service programs, according to the resolution.

The School District also has been hard hit by the budget crisis crippling the State, which cut 20 percent of its funding to local schools, resulting in the elimination of more than 62 teaching and

staff positions. The budget cuts have led to increased class sizes and cuts to music and core

academic programs.

"Measure Y provides a mechanism to protect all of our services for the long term," the resolution states. "Measure Y generates new revenue that Sacramento cannot touch; it gives our community local control over money that is generated locally.

"Without Measure Y, vital services, such as 911 services, paramedics and police, school and community college funding face serious cuts."


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