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School funding still up in the air

Posted: November 11, 2008 8:50 p.m.
Updated: November 12, 2008 4:59 a.m.
 
Close votes tallies have kept dueling campaigns paying attention to the results in two local races.

Measure CF, the $13 million Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District bond, was still in the balance as of 4:49 p.m. Tuesday. The vote tally is 3,168 (55.35 percent) in favor and 2,556 opposed (44.65 percent).

More than 55 percent of voters must support the bill for it to pass.

If passed, Measure CF will pay for the construction of a permanent building at Vasquez High School.

"We are moving in the right direction," school board member Deborah Rocha said after hearing the most recent vote tally on Tuesday.

The news that the bond is passing is a mixed bag for Ron Bird, school board vice president. Bird opposed the bond because the funds are restricted to the high school.

"We are woeful at keeping up our buildings," Bird said, citing districtwide building needs. "More than two-thirds of our children are being taught in portable classrooms."

He would like to see a school bond that addresses more than the high school.

"We have always been fiscally responsible and we are addressing the maintenance needs right now," Rocha said.

Passing the bond will not end the school district's problems, Bird said. There is no money in the Measure CF bond to upgrade existing facilities.

"Undoubtedly we will ask for more money in the future to pay for buildings," Bird said. "I am not sure this bond will completely build the high school."

Rocha is confident the bond along with $9 million of matching state funds will get the job done.

"The difference is the plan doesn't include growth. We are building to our current needs," she said.

In other election news, the vote totals are coming in slowly for the race between Tony Strickland and Hannah-Beth Jackson for a seat in state Senate's 19th District, which stretches across parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jackson had a 1,487-vote edge with 167,067 votes in her favor and 165,580 votes for Strickland.

"At this point the real votes are still being counted," said Joe Justin, Strickland campaign spokesman. Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties have not opened the provisional ballots, he said.

"Provisional ballots are not real. They are not real votes until they are counted," Justin said.

With three counties tallying votes the 19th state senate district won't be called for a few days, Justin said.

Ventura County will update its vote totals Wednesday afternoon, he said.

Election results in both races won't be certified until Dec. 2.

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