L.A. Area Chamber

    TUESDAY | Oct. 28, 2008





Coming up
at the Chamber

View all upcoming events on our Web calendar.

MON | Nov. 3
Health Care Symposium with ConnectEd
more info

THU | Nov. 6
The Connection Point: Mixing Meals and Marketing
more info

THU | Nov. 6
Business Growth & Tax Policy Committee Meeting
more info

THU | Nov. 6
Small Business Council Summit
Staying Open for Business
more info

FRI | Nov. 7
Construction Industry Awards
more info

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit

350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 tel
213.580.7511 fax


In 1997, Angelenos passed the first of four bond issues to reduce the severe overcrowding in our schools. Voters said yes again in 2002, 2004 and 2005.  To date, 74 out of 132 new schools have been completed with all schools scheduled to be finished by 2012. And the results are beginning to transform our schools.
We have returned thousands of students to their neighborhood schools with a traditional two-semester calendar. Smaller high schools built to accommodate small learning communities with 500 students are delivering results, both in academic achievement and in high school graduation. The Miguel Contreras Learning Complex and the Los Angeles School of Global Studies, which opened across the street from the L.A. Area Chamber in 2006, scored 574 and 591 respectively on the state’s Academic Performance Index (API), while the old Belmont High School serving the same community scored 540.  Similarly, Miguel Contreras has a dropout rate of 21 percent versus 51 percent for Belmont. 

In the San Fernando Valley, the new Northridge Academy High School scored an API of 711 while the neighboring school – James Monroe High School – scored an API of 618. There are many reasons for these results beyond facilities, but it is clear that we are creating a nexus between better learning facilities and academic results.

These new schools have become beacons of opportunity for their neighborhoods and now is the time to turn our attention to the hundreds of older school buildings that serve the other neighborhoods in the district. These students also deserve the opportunity to be inspired in a classroom that includes all of the facilities necessary to prepare them for college and the workplaces of tomorrow. That is what Measure Q is all about. Measure Q is a 10 year plan to repair and modernize existing schools so that every student can attend the kind of school we would want for our children whether it was built last year or last century.

Important to all of us is the fact that the longer financing plan designed for Measure Q will renovate our schools without raising property taxes higher than the level scheduled based on the previously approved bonds. And in addition, the jobs that are created will help us recover from the current economic downturn faster than if we wait one or more years to begin these important renovations. The sooner we start, the sooner our students will benefit and the same holds true for our economy. We urge voters to support education and a strong economy – vote yes on Measure Q.

And that's The Business Perspective.

Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Samuel Garrison, Vice President of Public Policy.


by Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

L.A. Business

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Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 | fax: 213.580.7511 | info@lachamber.com | www.lachamber.com

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