SAN FRANCISCO - The Los Angeles Unified School District last week placed a $7 billion general obligation bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The measure joins a crowded Los Angeles ballot that already includes a $3.5 billion Los Angeles Community College District bond referendum and may include $40 billion sales tax measure for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

LAUSD officials more than doubled the size of their bond request in the days before the Board of Education approved the measure Thursday, arguing that a $60 billion backlog of repairs and continued use of portable classrooms mean that the district has to continue its massive rebuilding campaign.

"There is a tremendous need to bring our facilities up to par," said superintendent David L. Brewer 3d.

Los Angeles voters have approved $13.6 billion of GOs for the district in four referenda since 1997. The LAUSD has about $5.7 billion of authority left under those measures and plans to issue $950 million of GOs this fall.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa supports the new bond measure and fought to include $450 million of funding for charter school construction in the final package of projects. The district has yet to specify projects for some $2 billion of the funds.

The measure requires approval by 55% of the electorate.

The California Legislature is expected to vote on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's sales tax measure this week. The measure would increase the sales taxes by a half-cent in the state's most populous county. The tax would raise $30 billion to $40 billion of revenue to back construction of subways, light-rail lines, road projects, bus service, and local transportation projects.

State lawmakers must approve the tax increase because the county is already at its sales tax limit. They also had to change existing law to allow the authority to issue bonds backed by the new revenues. The MTA has not yet said how much of the money would back bonds versus pay-as-you projects.

The sales tax measure requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

The Los Angeles Community College District's board approved its $3.5 billion measure in April, and it plans to present voters with a specific project list by the end of this month. Like the LAUSD, the college district measure requires a 55% majority to pass.

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