YUCAIPA -- It was a case of good news/bad news for Yucaipa-Calimesa educators Tuesday night.
The statewide Prop. 30 passed, meaning the district doesn't face the prospect of midyear cuts. But the district's $98 million bond failed to win over the necessary 55 percent of voters for it to pass.
"I was pleasantly surprised" at the success of Prop. 30, superintendent Sherry Kendrick said Wednesday afternoon. "The polling (made it) look like it wasn't going to pass. We won't have layoffs, or six furlough days or a shortened school year for students. And we're very happy about that."
But the district had also been hoping voters would approve Measure O, providing it with funds intended to repair and upgrade its schools. The measure received only 50.66 percent of the vote.
"It was comforting to know that over half of our community voted yes on Measure O. It didn't quite reach the 55 percent threshold (necessary for passage). But for the first measure that Yucaipa has gone for in many, many years, it did quite well."
California (the biggest source of revenue for public school districts) has cut the amount of money paid to districts per student even as the district has seen enrollment decline, meaning fewer students to be paid for. In Dec. 2010, Yucaipa-Calimesa made the decision to close the 100-year-old
Yucaipa Elementary School, citing, among other factors, a 27.24 percent decline in enrollment since the 2005-2006 school year.
The district would have used the money to repair existing infrastructure, including portable classrooms older than the 20 years of use they were designed for, non-functional drinking fountains, damaged bathrooms and leaky roofs. The funds would have also gone to improving the high-tech infrastructure at schools, adding wifi Internet access to classrooms.
If it had been approved by voters, Measure O would have meant an additional $44.25 in annual property taxes for every $100,000 of assessed value for approximately 20 years.
"We will continue to work with our students and manage our resources as well as we can," Kendrick said.
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