Although the majority of people said "yes" to the Measure D $99 parcel tax to raise money for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, it still received far less than the two-thirds support needed to pass it. With all precincts reporting in Tuesday's special election, 59 percent said "yes" and 41 percent "no," according to the Contra Costa County elections division.
Supporters said the measure was needed to bring $7 million annually to the district for five years. Last week, state budget cuts forced the district to lay off more than 400 teachers and other staff members.
In other election news, five of the six statewide ballot measures, meant to address the state's budget crisis, appeared to be losing, including Prop. 1A, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's "rainy day" stabilization fund, and 1B, which would have given schools more than $9 billion beginning in the 2011-12 fiscal year.
The failure of those five ballot measures mean that the state's $15 billion deficit is likely to to rise to more than $21 billion, and Schwarzenegger and the legislature will need to consider more cuts to education, public safety, and health and human services.
Analysts said the failure of five of the six measures reflects disgust by voters with state government's dysfunctional handling of our financial situation. Not surprisingly, the only measure passing with an overwhelming 74 percent was Proposition 1F, which would bar pay raises for elected officials when the state is running a deficit.
Also reflective of voters' disgust is the fact that voter turnout in Contra Costa County was only about 28 percent.