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EDITORIAL : YES ON PROPOSITION BB BOND ISSUE IS A STEP TOWARD BETTER SCHOOLS AND A BETTER COMMUNITY.

SOONER or later, the public will have to do something about the dilapidated campuses in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Sooner or later, it has to be done - for the good of the children, for the good of the community.

Instead of postponing the inevitable, taxpayers should vote yes Tuesday on Proposition BB, a $2.4 billion school bond issue to pay for overdue repairs and improvements at LAUSD schools.

It's not an easy choice because of the district's mismanagement and the misguided mind-set.

Supporters of Proposition BB know this and have agreed to let a blue-ribbon oversight committee examine the books and issue frequent public reports about how the bond money is used. Also, every school has a list of repairs and upgrades that it will get.

The district's acceptance of the oversight panel has profound significance. It's an admission that the district has zero credibility, and that even the elected seven-member Board of Education, which runs the district, has no public credibility.

But the appointed oversight committee is still a stopgap. What's really needed is a thoroughly new school system, probably one with several local school boards which could be more accountable and trusted by the public.

Sooner or later, that kind of reform will happen. It must happen.

And sooner or later, something like Proposition BB will happen and must happen. And it might as well start now.

At a cost of less than $5 a month for most homeowners, Proposition BB will provide essential repairs and badly needed upgrades, including air conditioning and more computers.

Proposition BB is about caring for Los Angeles' children, who really are the future of this city.

Proposition BB also is about Los Angeles' economic health, because public education directly affects the quality of the local work force, the quality of Los Angeles as a location for new businesses, the protection of property values and the quality of life.

That was the message voters sent in November when just under the required two-thirds majority supported the bond issue.

Two-thirds approval is required for passage Tuesday so every vote counts.

We urge you to think about the high cost of bad schools, and then bite the bullet and vote yes on Proposition BB.

But don't let it stop there, please. It's your money, it's your schools, you have a right to demand the best education possible for our children.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Apr 4, 1997
Words:398
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