As expected, voters in the tiny Lakeside School District in the Santa Cruz Mountains overwhelmingly rejected an attempt by one neighborhood to secede and join the neighboring Loma Prieta District.
And next door in the Los Gatos Union School District, voters decisively chose to extend for eight years a supplemental $290 per year property tax to keep class sizes small and support programs in the district's five schools.
Both districts conducted mail-only elections, with ballots due Tuesday.
Unofficial semifinal results showed Lakeside voting 83 percent against the secession, with only a handful of voters in the one-school district supporting the move to alter boundary lines drawn more than a century ago. With the district poised to lose valuable tax-generating property, the incentive of most voters was to protect their district's budget and reject the secession of 17 properties on one-lane Marty Road and Jensen Springs Road, just south of the summit.
"I'm very excited," said Lakeside Superintendent Elizabeth Bozzo. "We had incredible community support."
For more than three years, residents Andrea and Andras Szabo had seen their petition wend its way through local school committees and the State Board of Education. The petitioners argued that their properties were closer to the Loma Prieta District and redrawing the boundary line would allow their children to attend the same school that neighbors on their one-lane road do.
But Lakeside had contended that losing the properties would cost the district 3 percent of its budget. The district serves a mountainous area straddling the summit. Two-thirds of the district is in Santa Cruz County.
The Szabos had hoped that only owners of the 17 properties would vote in an election, but last fall the Santa Clara County Board of Education determined that the entire Lakeside district should have a say.
In Los Gatos, unofficial results showed 81.65 percent of voters supporting Measure B, which will extend the current parcel tax for eight years, beginning July 1, 2014.
—We are ecstatic," said Tina Orsi-Hartigan, president of the elementary district school board.
The parcel tax, assessed on top of the regular property taxes that landowners pay, generates 10 percent of Los Gatos Union's operating budget. Now, Orsi-Hartigan said, " we don't have to be concerned in the near future about laying off teachers and increasing class sizes. "
The school board said the parcel tax would help retain highly qualified teachers; update technology, science resources, books and other instructional materials; and maintain art and music. The measure needed a two-thirds vote to pass.
While critics said that the district had not spent the existing parcel tax monies for the purposes its claimed, Orsi-Hartigan said that the district's parcel tax oversight committee has reviewed expenditures and posted reports on the district's website.
Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/NoguchiOnK12.
Lakeside School District Measure A territory transfer
Results from Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties
Los Gatos Union School District Measure B parcel tax