Measure EE: New Parcel Tax to Raise Funds for L.A. Schools up for Vote on June 4 Special Election

The pitch for raising taxes for schools used to be images of cracked asphalt playgrounds, leaking classroom roofs and jammed year-round campuses.

Nicholi Pietrzykowski of Cudahy, center, tinkers with a group project in Mario Ibarra's class at STEAM Legacy High School in 2019. The campus' resources are an outlier in cash-strapped L.A. Unified. (Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Nicholi Pietrzykowski of Cudahy, center, tinkers with a group project in Mario Ibarra's class at STEAM Legacy High School in 2019. The campus' resources are an outlier in cash-strapped L.A. Unified. (Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

But at STEAM Legacy High School in South Gate, Exhibit A is the impressively equipped engineering classroom of teacher Mario Ibarra.

He’s got 3D printers, a laser cutter, an embroidery machine and other gear that his students use to make robots, marble-sorting machines and hydrogen-powered mini-cars. These students, 90% from low-income families, already are success stories in the making. So for Principal Carla Barrera-Ortiz, the question is what more could be accomplished if voters approve Measure EE, a parcel tax on Tuesday’s ballot.

“Just like Mario is very passionate about how can we make this better for students, what weighs on my shoulders every day is how can I make this better for the lives of the community I serve,” Barrera-Ortiz said. “And these students are our community.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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