DUBLIN -- Voters have renewed a $96 annual parcel tax for five more years in the Dublin Unified School District to fund academic programs.

In a mail-in election tallied earlier this month, 79.6 percent of Dublin voters approved Measure B, surpassing the 66.66 percent approval threshold by nearly 14 percent. Voters cast 5,200 ballots for, and 1,330 ballots against, the tax extensions.

Supporters said the parcel tax renewal is needed to maintain small class sizes, retain and attract quality teachers, maintain libraries and provide teacher training and instructional equipment and materials.

"We expected the measure to pass, but I don't think anyone expected it to pass by that much. This is huge," said Sean Kenney, the Dublin school board president. "The school district has made a big effort in the past 10 years to improve academic programs, and I think the vote shows that our residents recognize and support that."

The tax, Kenney said, "is about putting the right teachers in the right place."

Dublin school board members also have said the district needs a stable source of local funding for academic programs because it will take many years before the state fully restores cuts in educational funding.

There was no organized opposition to the parcel tax extension, and no one filed opposition arguments in the voters' pamphlet. Seniors can get an exemption from the tax by applying to the school district before July 1 each year.

Dublin voters first approved the parcel tax in November 2008 with 72 percent support. In that election, held at the polls, 8,364 voters favored the tax, known as Measure L, while 3,244 voters opposed it.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.

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