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I post this story as an issue that we at Illustrators Journal take seriously. It’s our deep feeling that arts nurture culture. When administration makes austerity moves, it seems like the first target is the arts. We celebrate the arts because it is our firm belief that art for mankind is a universal language. What person can stand in front of Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” and not be touched and awed by the brilliance of the execution of the art and the message and that is one small example. If art is left to only be used to promote corporate interests then we lose part of our humanity. Art and the culture and feeling it promotes is always a sign of a better performing society.

It is our mission to bring as much of the arts as we can to you our readers to promote unity, serenity and piece of mind

LAUSD approves worst-case scenario cuts to art classes, adult and early-childhood education

Posted:   03/13/2012 02:22:47 PM PDT  The Los Angeles Unified board voted Tuesday for a worst-case budget that would gut popular programs like Adult and Early-Childhood Education for 2012-13, although a recent infusion of state money allowed officials to hold out hope of restoring some programs by fall.

The board’s 6-1 approval of a Fiscal Stabilization Plan came less than a month after it unanimously rejected a request to kill off the district’s popular Adult Education program, close hundreds of preschool and after-school programs and increase class size at most grade levels in order to close a $557 million deficit.

The board’s approval of a Fiscal Stabilization Plan came less than a month after it was asked to kill off its Adult Education program, close preschool and after-school programs and increase class size. But Superintendent John Deasy laid out a strategy that counts on an expected surge in state revenue and furloughs or other “sacrifices” by its labor unions that salvages the programs.

“This is a budget that is no way perfect,” Deasy said. “But it’s clearly amazing.”Deasy noted that the strategy – if it works – would save the programs for only the 2012-13 year. To continue building on the district’s success without having to tackle the painful budget process year after year, Deasy said voters need to get behind the $298-a-yearparcel tax the board approved on a 6-1 vote Tuesday. Board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte cast the lone vote against putting the tax on the ballot.If the parcel tax is approved by two-third of the voters – the level needed for passage of a tax hike – owners of homes, apartment complexes, large and small businesses and even vacant lots would be taxed $298 annually, beginning in 2013. Special adjustments would be made so that senior citizens and others on fixed incomes will not be liable for the tax. Renters are not responsible for paying the tax, either, although some have expressed concern that the added cost will be passed on to them by their landlords. Deasy noted that the district will have to pay the $4 million cost of putting the measure on the general-election ballot in November.

Los Angeles Unified last tried for a parcel tax in June 2010, asking property owners to pay $100 annually for four years to cover the salaries of 1,200 arts and music teachers, librarians, custodians and school police officers. The measure won support from nearly 53 percent of voters, but fell well short of the two-thirds needed for approval.