News Release

Think Tank Offers Suggestions to Help LA Mayoral Candidates

Methods to reduce traffic, improve LAUSD top the list

Los Angeles (March 2, 2005) – As next week’s mayoral election nears, Reason Foundation has outlined solutions to several critical issues facing the city, including how to reduce traffic congestion and how to improve the Los Angeles Unified School District.

With freeway delays already hurting our quality of life and the region’s economy, Reason suggests three major changes to the LA freeway system: adding truck-only toll lanes to the freeways with the highest volume of truck traffic, developing a network of congestion-relief “managed lanes” on much of the freeway system, and filling in missing links in the system via tunnels, like those built in Paris and Sydney.

These multi-billion-dollar projects could be funded largely via tolls, paid by motorists seeking faster and more reliable trips and by trucking companies willing to pay for large productivity gains. Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed a three-bill transportation plan calling for increased use of public-private partnerships and toll roads. And the Southern California Association of Governments is already working on a limited truck-only toll lanes plan based upon a 2002 Reason study.

Instead of calling for a break-up of LAUSD, Reason encourages the winner of the mayoral election and Gov. Schwarzenegger to push LAUSD to use a weighted student formula financing system, which would actually lead to more accountability and decentralization than splitting up the district.

Weighted student formulas force schools to compete for students and allow principals to control their budgets, thus tailoring their schools to their specific student populations. Under the system, education funding follows each child directly to their school, giving individual schools strong incentives to improve academic programs in order to attract students.

San Francisco’s test scores have improved every year since it implemented a weighted student formula four years ago. And, with 116 schools and 60,000 students, it is now the highest-performing urban school district in California.

Reason also urges Los Angeles to commission a review of city-owned properties and to sell unused or underutilized assets; to use competitive sourcing to lower costs in areas like street maintenance; and to encourage telecommuting.

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About Reason

Reason is a leading libertarian think tank that has been advancing free minds and free markets since 1968. Reason’s policy analysts, considered among the nation’s premier privatization experts, have advised the last four presidential administrations, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and numerous other state and local governments.


Chris Mitchell, Media Relations, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109