LOS ANGELES -- L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy warned Monday of "catastrophic" consequences for local schools if California voters fail to approve tax measures on the November ballot.
In a speech billed as a state-of-the-schools address, Deasy took two distinctly different paths.
In the first part, he listed recent district accomplishments and insisted that the nations second-largest school system had never performed better, even though considerable improvement remains necessary.
In part two, he laid out the argument that all this progress faces immediate risk if voters reject both Proposition 30 and Proposition 38.
Deasy spoke before an audience of educators, dignitaries and media at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex in Koreatown.
If he was trying to enlist soldiers in a political cause, there were plenty of troops missing -- somewhat more than half the seats were occupied. His passion for the topic was unabated.
"I'm concerned about the rights of students," Deasy said. If the tax measures fail, all the progress, "everything as we know it will stop and go backward."