Measure gone

Measure gone

Deepa Kollipara

Measure G failed to pass as the district contemplates cutting classes and teachers 

On Nov. 3, Measure G was rejected by over 2000 votes and as a result, FUHSD might lose millions of dollars in general funds.

Measure G, a parcel tax renewing 2004’s Measure L, was created to support local high schools by creating an annual two percent parcel tax increase. However, many Cupertino residents cringed at the tax’s inflation without an expiration date.

"I voted for Measure L and I would support an honest replacement for it today. Measure G is not an honest replacement," Cupertino resident Rick Romanko said.

Before election day, the district office joined forces with principals, PTAs and students, phone banking and campaigning door-to-door. The night of the election, many volunteers, including Principal April Scott, went home to monitor poll results. The district, determined to win, worked closely with a hired election tactician. The strategy formulated was to only encourage those who already supported Measure G to vote, ignoring the "maybe" and the "no" voters.

"I helped with phone banking and the script we went over didn’t give people enough information. Also, [we] should have contacted people who were unsure or don’t have kids who go to school to tell them the benefits of Measure G," Student Board Representative senior Christopher Chui said. "If the school property tax goes down, then their house values go down. Measure G is not just beneficial for the schools, but the entire community."

After Tuesday’s elections, Superintendent Polly Bove emailed her official statement to the district asking everyone to stand together in hope.The district is still recuperating from the shock of the results and beginning complex discussions on the next step. However, MVHS will not feel the impact until 2011, when Measure L expires. This gives schools time to examine and reflect, rather than scrambling to find money. Also, the district is considering placing Measure G on the ballot again in next spring’s election.

Students and teachers began to speculate future cuts with grim apprehension. According to Chui, possible cuts may include turning Leadership into an lunchtime activities, laying off new teachers, and removing courses not required for graduation such as AP classes and popular electives.

During a previous budget crisis seven years ago, Sociology, Psychology and AP Statistcs were the first to go. If cuts do occur, according to Scott they will most likely begin with teacher salaries and employment. Salaries are the district’s number one expenditure, and according to California Education code 44955 (b), pink slips are handed out based on seniority not popularity of teachers.

"[Budget cuts] destroy relationships and trust. We’re like a family at MVHS and the staff are our friends that have families at home, " Scott said.