When the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder posted the first wave of results in Redondo Beach's Measure Q contest, the excitement at the home of Redondo Beach Board of Education Vice President Laura Emdee's home was palpable.
The results showed Measure Q—a $63 million general obligation bond that would finance future technology and energy upgrades at Redondo Beach Unified School District campuses—receiving "Yes" votes from about 60 percent of the approximately 5,000 ballots cast.
"(I'm) cautiously optimistic with the absentee ballots in that Measure Q will pass," school board president Anita Avrick said at the time.
Measure Q ultimately passed with slightly more than 63 percent of the vote. Once implemented, Redondo Beach property owners will pay about $24 per $100,000 of assessed property value to finance the bond.
Nevertheless, it wasn't the only measure that would have a significant impact on the local school district.
Voters had the choice between propositions 30 and 38—competing statewide tax measures backed by California Gov. Jerry Brown and attorney Molly Munger, respectively.
Proposition 30, a quarter-cent sales tax increase that would also increased income taxes on those making $250,000 annually, passed with nearly 54 percent of the vote. Proposition 38, a measure endorsed by the California Parent-Teacher Association that would have increased income taxes on nearly all Californians but would have brought additional money to local K-12 districts, failed, garnering only 27.7 percent of the vote.
If Proposition 30 had not passed, nearly $6 billion in "trigger cuts"—many affecting education—would have hit the California budget.
Money from Proposition 30 will be placed in a special education account in the general fund and used to maintain current levels of funding in California school districts and colleges. Other money brought in by the proposition will be used to pay municipalities for the "realignment" of state prisoners to county and local jails.
"(Proposition 30) and (Measure) Q winning is the best possible scenario," Emdee said Tuesday night after learning of Proposition 30's probable passage. "(Proposition) 30 fixes this year, and then Q will protect us from whatever they do next year."
Financial savings from Measure Q upgrades will not start flowing to the district until next year, and will likely be used to shore up the district's reserves, Emdee said. Right now, RBUSD's reserves are hovering just above 3 percent. If they drop below the 3-percent threshold, the district risks being taken over by the state.