Today (May 30, 2019) Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association called for an investigation of what appears to be multiple violations of campaign finance laws as well as gross misuse of taxpayer funds. The improper activity by the Los Angeles Unified School District is designed to tap into public resources to push its highly controversial parcel tax proposal appearing on next week’s ballot.

“The list of improper and illegal activities by LAUSD is long,” said Jon Coupal, President of HJTA.  “Everything from huge Measure EE banners festooning school grounds, cajoling school personnel to spend district time on the EE campaign, raffles set up by the district, sending mail to targeted voters and using school children as conduits for both campaign material and voter data needs to be investigated.”

HJTA is taking several actions this week in response to LAUSD’s political campaigning. In addition to asking L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to investigate the activity, HJTA has submitted a detailed Public Records Act request seeking all information related to illegal activity. Finally, HJTA has submitted a request to the California Fair Political Practices Commission asking that it open an investigation into LAUSD’s activities.  (Last year, the FPPC found “probable cause” to find multiple violations by the County of Los Angeles for virtually identical conduct).

“HJTA will continue to pursue the issue of LAUSD’s improper spending of taxpayer funds even if we prevail in defeating the measure itself next week,” said Coupal.

This latest controversy is just one in a litany of abuses by LAUSD in its effort to impose a $500 million parcel tax on property owners within the district’s boundaries. One lawsuit has already been filed over the district’s illegal changes to ballot language, differing significantly from the resolution formally approved by the school board. The district also sent a mailer to senior citizens encouraging them to apply for a so-called “senior exemption.” The letter has created public outcry and confusion over the sensitive personally identifiable information the district is seeking from seniors to qualify for an exemption from a tax that the voters have not even approved.