CITY HALL — Supporters of the “emergency” parcel tax to help fund local public schools received a boost Tuesday night when the City Council unanimously endorsed the measure.

Measure A, which would generate roughly $5.7 million annually, will appear on a May 25 special mail-in ballot election. The measure is intended to help close a projected $14-million budget gap the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is facing because of state budget cuts.

“We are fortunate to have excellent public schools, but state budget cuts will erode years of investment and improvement if we don’t pass Measure A and provide reliable local funding for education,” said City Councilmember Gleam Davis, who requested the resolution to support Measure A be placed before the City Council. “Santa Monica and Malibu are working together for our schools, for our children and our future.”

The Malibu City Council unanimously endorsed the ballot measure earlier in March.

“It’s absolutely essential that we support education,” said Malibu Mayor Sharon Barovsky. “Good schools help protect our property values. We have an excellent school system and we need to continue to invest in it.”

The SMMUSD has faced significant budget cuts from the state, with an average of $10 million cut from the budget in each of the past two years.

If passed, Measure A will provide funding to help prevent layoffs of teachers, counselors and librarians, and minimize reductions to science, math, reading, writing, art and music programs. The Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education recently announced the loss of up to 75 of its 580 teachers unless Measure A passes.

If approved by two-thirds of the voters in Santa Monica and Malibu, commercial and residential property owners would have to pay an extra $198 annually for five years. Seniors would be exempt. Renters most likely would not.

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