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By Henrietta J. Burroughs
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Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011  
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More than two thirds of East Palo Alto and Belle Haven’s registered voters cast their votes to approve Measure B in the May 3 election. A yes vote on the measure now allows the County of San Mateo to impose a $98 parcel tax on the residents who reside within the Ravenswood City School District.

With 18 of 18 precinct returns completed, the posted election night results show that 725 or 68.5% of those who submitted their mail-in ballots voted yes on the measure, while 334 or 31.5% voted against the measure. Click here to see all of the San Mateo County May 3, 2011 election results.

Both the superintendent of the Ravenswood City School District, Maria De La Vega and Sharifa Wilson, the president of the school district’s board of trustees expressed their delight at the election results.

When asked to give her reaction regarding the passage of Measure B, De La Vega said, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff, we want to thank the community for their overwhelming support for our schools especially in these very difficult economic times.  The YES vote of 68.4% indicated an overwhelming confirmation of the community’s support for the education of our children.   These are our children and they are our future.

“Measure B will bring an additional $608,540 that will aid the schools continued work on improving student achievement.  Test scores in reading and math are on the rise.  The funds will help with maintaining some of programs and minimizing the cuts from the State. This is the fourth year in a row the State has cut funding for Ravenswood.  Next year, our schools are facing a $5.3 million reduction in state funding.  The District is reviewing potential reductions in a number of areas to close the budget deficit,” she said.

Wilson had a similar response.  She said, “We are pleased at the passage of Measure B. This will generate a little over $600,000 a year. It will help us preserve after school programs at the school sites and help minimize increase in class size. We are still facing a challenge of losing close to $5.2 million dollars of state funds this year. We will continue to work with the community for their support of the tax extension in any upcoming election. Schools have been hit tremendously by the short falls in the state budget. All around the state our children are suffering. The passage of Measure B is encouraging of the support of community has for it's schools. Thank you community.”

The additional property tax that will be levied because of the passage of Measure B will be added to regular property taxes beginning July 1st.

To contact the author of this article, email Henrietta J. Burroughs at epatoday@epatoday.org.

Additional Resources:

Click here to see an April 2011 edition of the Talking with Henrietta show in which school superintendent Maria De La Vega and school district trustee Saree Mading discuss the progress students have made in the Ravenswood City School District.



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