Measure D failure bad news for MDUSD

May 20, 2009 6:14:41 PM PDT
The Mount Diablo Unified School District will not get the $7 million a year they were hoping for from a parcel tax proposal voters defeated Tuesday. The district is now going to have to make even more painful cuts.

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Some parents made appreciation signs for teachers following Tuesday's defeat of Measure D, a parcel tax measure to specifically fund the Mount Diablo Unified School District.

"It didn't pass, we are extremely disappointed, needless to say, and we really want to show the support to the teachers and the staff at our school that we love them and we care. It's been a very emotional day," parent Tracy Jin said.

The parcel tax would have raised $7 million every year for the next five years. Property owners would have paid $99 a year.

The school district had already cut $31 million from its budget. Had the measure passed, several programs would have been reinstated.

"Many of the vice principals that were cut, funding for high school athletics, funding for fourth grade instrumental music and many other essential programs as well," interim superintendent Richard Nicoll said.

To make matters worse, the district has to make new cuts after the governor's May revision of the state budget.

The school board may look into eliminating the class size reduction program.

Lou Novachick expressed the concerns of many voters in California.

"The way the economy is right now, people can't afford it," Novachick said.

While the Obama administration's stimulus money has helped save some programs, it is not enough to save them all.

The district has sent pink slips to 400 teachers. Many will not be coming back.

"I've been applying to private schools and I've had job offers out of state, but with the housing market and everything right now, we are trying to stick around as long as we can," teacher Mandy Smith said.

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