Creation of a Camarillo Unified School District, Measure U (November 2008)

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A Proposed Creation of a Camarillo Unified School District, Measure U ballot question was on the November 4, 2008 ballot for voters in the area that would become the new school district in Ventura County, California, where it was defeated.[1]

If Measure U had been approved, it would have formed a new school district, called the "Camarillo Unified School District," from the territory of the Pleasant Valley School District and the Somis Union School District and a portion of the Oxnard Union High School District. The Somis Union School District would have remained as a separate elementary school district.

This would have resulted in the Camarillo Unified School District replacing the K-8 Pleasant Valley School District in July 2009 by merging those elementary and middle school students with high school students from the Oxnard Union High School District. About 3,000 Camarillo and Somis students would have left the Oxnard Union High School District.

Election results

Measure U
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No46,46951.06%
Yes 44,543 48.94%
These election results are from the Ventura County elections office.

The day after the election, it was believed that the measure had been narrowly defeated. However, later in the week, Ventura County Elections Division announced that more than 75,000 ballots had yet to be counted. As of November 12, 40,000 ballots were still uncounted, leading a local paper to run a headline saying "Don't count Measure U out just yet."[2]

However, once all the votes were counted, it was clear that Measure U had been defeated.

Lawsuit challenges election results

Citizens for a Camarillo Unified School District planned to file a federal lawsuit to challenge the election results. They believed that voters in Oxnard were wrongly allowed to vote on Measure U.

  • A county election committee initially agreed to the limited voting area desired by Measure U supporters.
  • The Oxnard Union board, the League of United Latin American Citizens and others wanted a district-wide vote. They appealed the local decision for a limited voting area to the State Board of Education. The state board ruled in favor of a district-wide vote, saying people throughout the high school district would be affected by unification.
  • Debra Creadick of Citizens for a Camarillo Unified School District and others then filed a federal lawsuit in April 2008, before the election was held, to limit the election to just Pleasant Valley and Somis voters.
  • After unification proponents sued over the state board’s decision, a judge ruled the district-wide election should go forward and the citizens group could have its day in court if the measure failed.
  • The court hearing is scheduled for June 2009.
  • Creadick told a reporter in January 2009 that if unification opponents look at the November election as the final victory, "they are making a huge mistake."[3]

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure U: "Reorganization of School Districts to Form the Camarillo Unified School District. Shall the Camarillo Unified School District be formed from the territory of the Pleasant Valley School District and the Somis Union School District and a portion of the Oxnard Union High School District, with the Somis Union School District to remain a separate elementary school district?"[4]

See also

References