Two neighboring Alameda County school districts went to the voters seeking financial relief, but only one achieved its goal.
The Hayward Unified School District will receive an estimated $2 million annually after voters Tuesday approved a $58 annual parcel tax for the next five years.
Voters in Union City, meanwhile, rejected a $180 parcel tax for the next four years that would have raised an estimated $3 million annually for the New Haven Unified School District.
Jesus Armas, a co-leader for Measure G in Hayward, called the outcome for his district "gratifying that voters chose to invest in the kids."
Charmaine Banther, president of the New Haven Teachers Association and a teacher at James Logan High School, said, "We're devastated. It was not the result we had hoped for."
The defeat was the second in as many years for the New Haven district. A similar parcel tax last year (Measure B) came so close to reaching the two-thirds majority needed to pass, the district decided to give it another try.
The result wasn't as close this time. Measure H finished with 62.29 percent yes votes, more than 4 percent fewer than Measure B received. District officials said low voter turnout did not help.
"We had more people vote yes on Measure B than we had vote at all this year," New Haven district spokesman Rick La Plante said. "That's disappointing."
The district had already given more than 100 employees, including 70 teachers,
The district must have its new budget completed by June 30. It has reached a tentative agreement on changes to the existing contract with its teachers, who were given proposals based on the outcome of Measure H. The teachers will vote on the proposal next week.
"The teachers association has been a remarkable partner during this very difficult time, collaborative, and with an obvious commitment to keeping our students' needs at the top of the priority list," New Haven Superintendent Kari McVeigh said in a statement. "We've had to work with two sets of numbers -- one in hopes Measure H would pass, the other if it didn't -- and it's just very unfortunate that we're having to deal with that second set of numbers."
The district faces more cuts if Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative fails in November.
Armas attributed the result in Hayward to "hard work on the part of a lot of people. ... We knew we didn't have much margin for error." He noted that the Yes on Measure G team did a lot of walking, phone banking and group visits leading up to the election. He also said the $58 tax was affordable to Hayward residents.
"The price was significant," he said. "The majority of voters (in Hayward) do not have kids in school."
New Haven officials defended the $180 price of their parcel tax, noting that a bigger district could ask for less money. The New Haven district has 13,000 students; Hayward's has 22,000 students.
"If the smaller amount would have made a substantial difference, that's the way we would have gone," La Plante said.
In addition to protecting academic programs, Yes on Measure G organizers believe the parcel tax will help attract and keep qualified teachers in the Hayward district and provide money for local schools "that the state can't take away."