Election Day saw the passing of two ballot proposals which have a direct impact on the school.
The first was the statewide Proposition 30, a tax increase promoted by Gov. Brown which prevented nearly $6 billion in education cuts.
Because of Proposition 30’s passage, the 2012-2013 school year will not be cut by 11 further furlough days.
“We just received a communication from the district office that there will be no more furlough days added to the school calendar,” Principal Brian Ginter said. “June 5 will be the last day of school for underclassmen and juniors.”
The following day, June 6, which was originally scheduled to be a teacher work day, will be a furlough day due to negotiations between the district and the unions.
“June 6 is a furlough day that was already in place. Last year, when the district went through negotiations with the unions what was decided was that all the unions except the administration would have two known furlough days,” Ginter said.
One day, Aug. 31, impacted students. They didn’t want to impact any others unless they had to.”
As was originally planned, seniors are already graduating early on May 20 because the administration hedged their bets on the propositions passage.
The price on California’s citizens is hefty: an increase in personal income tax for seven years on Californians earning more than $250,000 taking effect on January 1, 2013 and a sales tax increase on all Californians from 7.25 to 7.5 percent.
The California Teachers Association lauded the passage of the proposition.
Teachers themselves were also enthusiastic.
“I am very thrilled the proposition passed,” said science teacher Joyce Dibble. “We won’t have to worry about other teachers losing their jobs.”
“I like the fact that there is money going towards the schools,” American Government and U.S. History teacher Gary Blenner said. “However, I dislike the sales tax.”
The second proposal that passed was Measure N, which will provide the San Juan Unified School District $350 million in bonds to pay for the modernization of classrooms, upgraded heating, air conditioning, and water systems to improve efficiency, and replace deteriorating portables with permanent classrooms.
Measure N can only be used to improve or construct facilities.
It cannot be used for classroom programs or employee raises. The tax rate at any time will vary depending on how much of the $350 million authorized has been issued. At no time will the rate exceed 60 cents per $1,000 in assessed valuation.
Principal Ginter said that Rio will directly benefit from the passage of the bond measure, but that he as yet doesn’t know how the money will be spent.
“At the start of the next semester, the district will ask us to put together a group of students, parents, and teachers to come up with priorities for projects on campus,” Ginter said.
“The district will decide which projects they can fund and how they can go about doing that.”