The Acalanes Union High School District took the first step Wednesday toward seeking an additional parcel tax to help the district through the current fiscal crisis.

The school board voted to have polling firm The Center for Community Opinion conduct a phone survey, likely to take place over the next week.

The poll will cost the district no more than $26,750, said Superintendent John Stockton.

The tax would be short-term, he said, and the exact length and amount will be determined by the poll results.

The district could seek a mail-ballot election in May or place a parcel tax measure on the June primary election ballot.

The district's projected budget shortfall for the 2010-11 school year has grown from $2.6 million to $4 million, Stockton said, which could mean the elimination of 50 teaching positions.

Voters in November overwhelmingly approved an indefinite extension of the district's current $189-per-parcel annual tax, but Stockton said that ballot measure was designed to maintain the district's current level of funding, not as a solution to the current state funding crisis.

More than 30 parents attended Wednesday's meeting to encourage the district to seek an additional parcel tax, he said.

The Acalanes district includes high schools in Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek as well as an alternative high school and adult education center.



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