HomeCity Government NewsReport: Measure LC Keeps School Quality in Check

Report: Measure LC Keeps School Quality in Check

Measure LC Parcel Tax revenue is expected to bring in about $2.64 million in 2023-24 for the La Cañada Unified School District, ensuring smaller elementary school class sizes, funds for improved technology, specialized teachers and librarians, according to a report from the Measure LC Oversight Committee to the Governing Board during a June 4 meeting.

Committee chair Katherine Markgraf presented the accountability report for the 2023-24 year. The committee consists of La Cañada Flintridge volunteers that ensure parcel tax funds are spent in accordance with the parcel tax measure approved by voters in 2009.

The district anticipates 2023-24 parcel tax revenue of $2.64 million based on $486.95 per parcel assessment for 5,426 parcels, according to the report. 

“It is noted that as of May 3, $2.32 million has been credited by the Los Angeles County Auditor Controller to the district’s parcel tax revenue account,” reads the agenda. “The expected $314,682.27 due to LCUSD will be reconciled by district staff to verify all funds were received by the county.”

Typically, the district receives about $2.5 million in parcel taxes annually in revenue, said Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Melissa Greenwood. 

“An example of expenditures includes a librarian for each elementary school, a computer instructional specialist for each elementary school, teachers hired in music, science, social science, art, foreign language, math and history, and reducing class size at elementary schools, as well as ninth grade math and English classes,” Markgraf said.

Markgraf also said that 11% of the parcel tax revenue budget was spent to upgrade technology.

The measure aims to renew and boost expiring locally controlled school funding. It offsets cuts to state education funding for the district and provides money to sustain quality public instruction in district schools. The measure would also generate local revenue that cannot be taken by the state.

Funds are used for a multitude of things, including academic programs, maintaining manageable classroom sizes, attracting and retaining qualified teachers and preparing students for the best colleges and careers.

“As chair of the parcel tax audit oversight committee, I along with the other committee members conclude the 2023-2024 parcel tax funds were spent in accordance with the parcel tax language,” she said. “In layman’s terms, the money is being spent the way it was promised to be spent.”

Markgraf added that the district should be seeing more funds from the parcel tax if the Sagebrush transfer gets approved by voters in the November 2024 election. According to Director of Fiscal Services Gretchen Bergstrom there are about 800 parcels in the Sagebrush Territory and LCUSD will continue to honor the senior exemption for those who apply.

Board President Josh Epstein thanked Markgraf for the committee’s hard work, and the board approved the report with a unanimous vote.

First published in the June 20 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

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