Updated 4 p.m. with statement from School Board President Janet Chew.
Voters on Tuesday narrowly approved a tax of $228 per parcel annually for five years that will generate an estimated $3.4 million for the Arcadia Unified School District.
Semi-official results from the Los Angeles County registrar show Measure A passed with 67.61 percent of the vote. The measure needed two-thirds, or, 66 percent, of the vote to pass. The County reported 9,219 ballots were cast, for a voter turn out of 32.22 percent.
Provisional ballots will be counted this week, and the election results updated Friday on the County's website.
Superintendent Joel Shawn said he was "thrilled with the overwhelming support" the community showed to the district by passing Measure A.
"I am in awe of the work done by volunteers, AUSD Staff and community members on behalf of Measure A and want to thank each and every one of them," Shawn said in an email Wednesday. "And, I want to thank the Arcadia community for its support of the school district. AUSD is a great district to a large degree because of the support we get from parents, community members, and the city of Arcadia."
AUSD's revenue has declined rapidly in recent years, making it difficult for the district to maintain its current level of service with the funding it receives from the state.
AUSD has a deficit of $7 million and has cut $17 million from its budget since the 2007-08 school year. The district also imposed several furlough days this year.
The new tax, which goes into effect July 1, will give the district a much-needed boost in flexible revenue.
Unlike a bond measure, which districts can only use to fund school construction projects, the revenue from the parcel tax can be spent on teacher salaries, music education, or intervention programs.
The district launched an aggressive campaign to pass Measure A, even seeking the guidance of top political consulting firm TBWB Strategies. School officials also enlisted the help of an army of involved parents and prominent citizens—including several members of the City Council—to assist in the campaign for Measure A.
Now that Measure A has passed, in the coming months, the school board will decide how best to spend the money. School Board President Janet Chew called the community "the clear winner" in the fight to pass Measure A.
"The many hours of work that our parent, student, and staff volunteers put in and the support from our entire community combine to demonstrate the value that we place on our schools and what an integral part they play in the strength of this community which we love," she wrote an e-mail to Patch. "Through this hard work and coming together, we have shown our commitment to the education of our children and our future."