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Measure CF too close to call

Posted: November 5, 2008 9:38 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2008 4:59 a.m.
"Cautiously optimistic" is how one school board member described his feelings after vote totals on Measure CF were announced Wednesday.

Measure CF is Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District's $13 million bond to construct a permanent school building at Vasquez High School.

The vote totals Wednesday, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, stood at 55.46 percent in support of the school bond and 44.54 percent opposed. However, the absentee and provisional ballots had not been counted, said Mark Distaso, school board president.

The Los Angeles County registrar of voters will begin counting absentee and provisional ballots today and is expected to announce results on Friday, Distaso said.

The bond must garner 55 percent of the vote to pass.

"I am sure there is a mix of yes and no votes in the absentee and provisional ballots, it just depends on how many," he said. "Fortunately we have a cushion." Distaso said.

Vasquez High moved to temporary housing on Red Rover Mine Road in 1999. The portables are still there nine years later.

The district failed four times since 2002 to pass a bond to fund a permanent building. The most recent attempt failed in April 2008. The last vote came four percentage points from passing.

With a 546 vote difference between yes and no votes on Measure CF, school board member Deborah Rocha doesn't want to celebrate too soon. "Of course we are cautiously optimistic," Rocha said.

She was elected on an platform to support a school building bond after watching four similar bonds fail.

School board Vice President Ron Price doesn't support Measure CF. "Our hands are tied by this bond," he said.

Price wants the money for the bond spread among the district's four campuses. "With so many school buildings in disrepair, the district can't afford to put off maintenance at any of its buildings," he said.

Much more than school funding is at stake with the Measure CF vote. Members of the community promised to unleash a movement to de-unify the district if the bond fails, Distaso said.

That would send Acton-Agua Dulce students back to Antelope Valley Unified School District high schools, he said.

Prior to 1993, Acton-Agua Dulce district student attended school locally through lower grades but went to high school in Palmdale, Distaso said.


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