|School District Funding Measure Loses
By Lookout Staff
May 29, 2010 --After the remaining ballots were counted on Friday afternoon, Measure A was approximately 500 Yes votes short of the two-thirds support needed for passage. The unofficial results after all ballots were counted for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) parcel tax election show 13,671 votes (64.25 percent) in favor and 7,607 votes in opposition.
A $198-per-parcel tax, Measure A would have generated $5.7 million for the cash-strapped district, which has a structural deficit due to reduced funding from Sacramento, its largest financial contributor. The Board of Education met Wednesday and Thursday to slash its proposed 2010-11 spending plan by $7.1 million. A previous proposal had reductions at $8.9 million, but the SMMUSD will defer some maintenance projects to allow for fewer cuts. The board will vote on a final budget June 18.
The cuts include:
“This is the worst I have ever seen it,” said Board of Education member Oscar de la Torre, who was on the board when the district had to make severe cuts following the last failure of a parcel tax measure in 2002. “I’ve never seen it this bad. And the cuts are damaging to what we expect for our public education system.”
District advocates are looking toward fundraising to bring in more money to the SMMUSD, with the initial focus on restoring elementary school classroom teachers. Those interested in making donations should contact the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation at www.smmef.org or by calling 310.396.4557.
There is a board meeting scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The agenda includes an update from the Education Foundation and a joint discussion with the Financial Oversight Committee.
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