To Members of the Mt. Diablo School District Community,
I want to thank all of you who supported the effort to pass Measure D in the special election on May 19. When I reflect on the energy and enthusiasm I saw from the countless volunteers--parents, employees, students, and community members--who worked so hard throughout the unusually short three-month campaign, it's hard to believe that the measure was defeated.
While disappointed in the results, we achieved some successes in this endeavor that are well worth celebrating. Last January, when a group of employees and parents met to consider whether or not to pursue a parcel tax, most agreed that it would take nearly a year to carry out a successful campaign. When we learned in February that there would be a special election on May 19, we set aside our misgivings about the timeline and got to work.
In three months that collective endeavor resulted in $175,000 in campaign donations, hundreds of volunteers, and countless hours spent walking, talking, and sharing the message that our students needed the community's support. If this had been a bond measure, the 59% Yes vote would have given us a comfortable victory. The two-thirds vote requirement for a parcel tax put that victory just beyond our reach.
Nevertheless, we all can take heart at what was accomplished.
First and foremost, we demonstrated that we can come together as a district community for a common goal. Leaders and members of all the district's employee bargaining units worked side by side. Parents representing schools in every high school feeder pattern held meetings, sent out communications, organized activities, and carried signs. Local businesses and community members contributed money and time.
Working together, we nearly achieved in three months what we initially believed would take almost a year. I have every confidence that the next time the Mt. Diablo school district community embarks on a parcel tax campaign, the margin of victory will not even be close.
Now, however, my senior staff and I are undertaking the arduous task of adjusting the budget to accommodate reduced state and local funding, most a consequence of the election results. The federal stimulus money will provide some help, although much of it is directed to Special Education programs and high-poverty schools and all of it is one-time funding.
I will present the plan we develop in response to these budget changes to the Board of Education at its June 2, 2009, meeting.
Again, thanks for your involvement in the Measure D campaign and for all you have done and continue to do for the students in Mt. Diablo USD.