CUPERTINO -- Voters have overwhelmingly approved a property tax measure to support Cupertino schools in a landslide that eclipses even previous huge majorities for local school taxes.

The Cupertino Union School District's Measure A, a $250 annual tax, received 78.7 percent of the vote, easily surpassing the two-thirds required for parcel taxes. Turnout in the mail-only election was 33.9 percent, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. Ballots were due Tuesday evening.

"We're elated," board President Josephine Lucey said Wednesday. "We're so delighted to have a community that supports and values public education. This is a great win for our students and the academic programs that we offer."

There was no organized opposition in the campaign.

Measure A will replace two existing parcel taxes, approved in 2009 and 2011 with about 70 percent of the vote. Together they account for about 6 percent of the Cupertino Union School District's general-fund budget. The new tax will begin in 2015 and extend for eight years and will generate an estimated $8.8 million annually.

Earlier this year, the Cupertino school board changed the terms of one of the current parcel taxes, so that with the passage of Measure A, both existing taxes will expire in June 2015 before the new tax kicks in.

Cupertino Union serves about 19,000 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade in parts of Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Los Altos, San Jose and Saratoga.


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Education advocates throughout the state have been closely watching how proposals like Measure A fare at the ballot box. While South Bay voters historically have supported local taxes, particularly those for schools, polls indicate that voters perceive that the thriving economy and Gov. Jerry Brown's quarter-cent sales tax have reduced schools' need for help.

But Cupertino officials said district finances still haven't recovered to pre-recession levels, and the new state funding formula for schools will take seven years to fully restore the budget to 2007-08 levels. Parcel taxes, they argued, fund teachers, keep class sizes from growing and cover campus maintenance, libraries and other programs.

Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/NoguchiOnK12.