Lakeside Joint Union School District territory transfer, Measure A (May 2013)

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A Lakeside Joint Union School District territory transfer, Measure A ballot question was on the May 7, 2013 ballot for voters in the Lakeside Joint Union School District, in both Santa Clara County[1] and Santa Cruz County, California, where it was overwhelmingly defeated.[2].

The ballot question asked voters whether 17 parcels located on Marty Road and Jensen Springs Road in Santa Cruz County shall be transferred from the Lakeside Joint Union School District to the Loma Prieta Joint Union School District.

A simple majority was required for approval.

Election results

Measure A
County: Yes No
Votes  % Votes  %
Santa Cruz County 81 17.53% 381 82.47 %
Santa Clara County 22 11.22% 174 88.76%
Totals: 103 15.65% 555 84.35%
Turnout was 54.65% (658 votes from 1204 registered voters). These final election results are from the Santa Clara County election office and the Santa Cruz County elections office.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure A: Shall 17 parcels located on Marty Road and Jensen Springs Road be transferred from the Lakeside Joint Union School District (“Lakeside”) into the Loma Prieta Joint Union School District (LPJUSD); transferring the designated attendance for elementary education (K-8) and the associated property tax revenue; relieving, then reapportioning the parcels’ G.O. Bond obligations to remaining Lakeside parcels; relieving the $311 annual Lakeside parcel tax; and requiring an assessment of $150 annually for the LPJUSD parcel tax?[3]

Background

The Lakeside School District has a small population (about 130 students, about 1200 voters), but is spread over a large mountainous and rural area of both Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, roughly between the towns of Los Gatos, Boulder Creek, and Scotts Valley. The neighboring Loma Prieta School District is somewhat larger, with about 500 students, and is also split between these two counties.[4] Both districts are considered Santa Clara County school districts, and are administered through the Santa Clara County Office of Education, even though about two thirds of the residents and students of both districts are from Santa Cruz county, and even though Loma Prieta School's school houses are located in Santa Cruz county. The lead agency on this election is the Santa Clara County Registrar of voters.

This transfer of territory began with a petition in the spring of 2010 (need reference to Santa Clara County Committee on School District Organization here); the chief petitioners were Andras and Andrea Szabo, who reside in the transfer area on Marty Road. The transfer was approved by the Santa Clara County Committee on School District Organization in the summer of 2010[5]. Lakeside School District appealed that approval to the California State Board of Education; the transfer was upheld on appeal in June 2012[6].

By state law, territory transfers have to be approved by the voters, and the Santa Clara County Committee on School District Organization can select the area in which the election is held. State law requires the election area to be at the minimum the transfer area. But section 35756.5 of the California Education Code enlarges the election area to include the whole school district, if a small school district opposes the transfer. As the Lakeside School District is both small (enrollment far below the 900 student limit that defines "small") and as it opposes to the transfer, the election area includes the whole Lakeside School District.

In its meeting in August 2010, the County Committee wrongly set the election area to be just the 17 parcels to be transferred. That mistake was immediately corrected by the staff of the County Committee[5]. The State Board of Education declined to address the question of election area when it ruled on the appeal.

In November 2012, the chief petitioners and the Santa Clara County Committee on School District Organization asked the Santa Clara County School Board to request a waiver of Education Code Section 35756.5 from the California State Board of Education,[7] thereby reducing the election area to just the transfer area. The justification for this request was that the County Committee expected the transfer to fail if put to the voters of the whole district. The County Board declined to request such a waiver[8][9]. Therefore, the election is going ahead in all of the Lakeside School District.

Support

No argument in favor of the ballot measure was filed with the registrar of voters in either county.[10]

The chief petitioners, Andras and Andrea Szabo, have consistently supported the measure, at the many board and committee hearings. At the November 17, 2012 hearing of the Santa Clara County Board of Education, the request for a waiver of education code was supported by petitions from about 20 neighbors on Marty Road, of which 16 are registered voters.[11]

The Santa Clara County Committee on School District Organization had approved this transfer, which indicates that it supports it. Members and staff of that committee testified in favor of this transfer at the June 2012 hearing in front of the California State Board of Education, and in favor of the waiver request before the Santa Clara County Board of Education at its November 2012 hearing[12].

Opposition

The Lakeside School District has been opposed to this transfer from the start[13].

All five members of the Lakeside School District Board of Trustees have signed the argument in opposition to the measure, which is printed in the voter's pamphlet[10].

All teachers in the Lakeside School District have filed a statement opposing the transfer, and the waiver of education code, through their bargaining unit representative.[12]

A large set of Lakeside parents, and members of the Lakeside district community have testified in opposition to the transfer at the many board and committee meetings. At the November 2012 meeting of the Santa Clara County Board of Education, over 200 petitions signed by registered voters in the district (nearly 20% of the voters) were submitted in opposition to the transfer and to the waiver of education code.[12]

Schools in the affected districts

The Lakeside School District comprises a single School, Lakeside Elementary, which serves about 90 students in grades K through 5. Middle-school students in grades 6 through 8 attend middle schools in nearby districts, either Rolling Hills Middle School in the Campbell Union School District, or C.T. English Middle School in the Loma Prieta District. The Lakeside district provides the funding for the middle school students through a Memorandum of Understanding between the districts.

The Loma Prieta School District has two co-located schools, Loma Prieta Elementary School serving grades K-5, and C.T. English Middle School, serving grades 6-8.

Both districts feed into the Los Gatos - Saratoga Union High School District. Therefore, high-school students are not affected by the proposed transfer, and will continue to attend Los Gatos High School by default.

See also

External links

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References