When Los Angeles voters went to the polls this month they had the chance to vote for 23(!) school-related ballot measures. Included in the bond blitz was Measure Q, a $7 billion initiative that included building low-cost apartments on unused land owned by the city in order to help teachers find affordable housing and live closer to their jobs. The measure is the largest ever for a California school district, but Los Angeles schools Superintendent David Brewer says that the burden of new taxes is secondary to the benefit of additional construction jobs. "This is the best economic stimulus package we could have."
The price tag for Measure Q more than doubled in the days before it was placed on the ballot last summer to give more money to charter schools in exchange for charter leaders' agreement not to oppose the measure. Charter groups were initially frustrated over the proposal because they had been pressing the district to free up some of its available space to open charter schools.
The measure passed with nearly 70 percent of voter support and heavy backing from Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa. Similar projects, though none on the same scale, exist in New York City, Baltimore and San Francisco.
Voters pass all 23 LA County school bond measures
Howard Blume and Jason Song, <i> Los Angeles Times</i>, November 6, 2008