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Thoughts on Rejection of South Pasadena School Tax

June 15, 1989

On behalf of Support South Pasadena Schools, we want to express our appreciation to the hundreds of parents, teachers, business people, school administrators and community members who worked tirelessly for the passage of Proposition A.

While the measure lost at the polls, we believe a coalition in support of our schools has been built. We also believe that Support South Pasadena Schools is a good example of the greatness of our community--people working in concert to find solutions to some tough problems.

When former President Reagan defeated Walter Mondale in 1984, his 59% of the vote was viewed as a "landslide victory," one of the biggest winning margins ever. Yet, when Proposition A garnered 63% of the vote on June 6, it was defeated because a two-thirds majority was required. It is sad, and it is completely undemocratic that a small minority--about 1,700 voters out of 14,000 registered--could thwart the will of the substantial majority of us who supported Proposition A.

We want South Pasadena to have the best schools in the San Gabriel Valley. This will require excellent teachers, excellent facilities, excellent administrators and excellent programs. All of these require money, but money alone is not enough. People committed to building institutions, not destroying them, are even more important.

After the election, many members of the community called with the excellent suggestion that we seek contributions to replace the lost $98 tax increase per parcel in the city.

To that end, we will recommend to the school board that a fund be established called the Prop. A Fund. Monies deposited in that fund will be used for the same purpose for which monies raised under Prop. A would have been used--to improve basic education, particularly reading, mathematics and science; to attract and retain excellent teachers; to provide library books and textbooks; to provide drug education programs, and to reduce class size.

In the weeks to come, pledge cards will be sent to members of the community. We won't be able to generate the same amount as Proposition A would have raised, but believe this effort is a step in the right direction.

JESSICA KATZ

Campaign manager, Support

South Pasadena Schools--Yes on A

RICHARD JONES

Financial Strategy Planning Committee

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