LIVERMORE -- With all election precincts reporting, incumbent Chuck Rogge and contender Thomas McLaughlin appear to have won the race for two seats on the Livermore school district board.
Rogge and appointed incumbent Belia Martinez were seeking re-election against McLaughlin, who last served on the board in 2008, and challenger David Jonas, a newcomer to school board politics. Martinez and Jonas trailed in third and fourth, respectively.
McLaughlin took 31.13 percent of the votes Tuesday and Rogge won 29.51 percent, but a high number of mail-in ballots, an estimated 25 percent of the vote total, will not be counted before Wednesday, according to the Alameda County registrar of voters.
The winning candidates can expect a four-year term filled with possible budget cuts, a third charter school, aging infrastructure and an expiring parcel tax.
One of the first items the board must deal with is further budget cuts depending on how Propositions 30 or 38 fared. If either proposition, which are aimed at increasing taxes with some of the money going toward public education, fails to gain the required two-thirds majority vote, the district could lose up to $441 per student, per day or more.
Before the start of the current school year, Livermore school district members agreed to new contracts with the district's employee groups that include trigger cuts if the average daily attendance amount is reduced. If the district has its budget cut, it could lead to a loss of up to three instructional days and the loss of professional and flex work days.
The board could also have to contend with a third charter school after Tri-Valley Learning Corp. had its application for its third school, Portola Academy K-8, rejected on Oct. 16. The current board rejected the application, saying the petition lacked a clear description of its educational program; did not have clear plan to attract a racially and ethnically balanced student population; would not be able to successfully implement its programs; and questioned its financial plan.
It was the second time in 12 months that the district had denied the petition. The newly elected board could still have to contend with a third charter school if Tri-Valley Learning Corp. appeals the decision to the county and possibly the state board of education.
The district will also face its aging infrastructure and the expiration of Measure M, a $138-a-year parcel tax that was approved in 2008 and expires in 2015.
Correspondent Robert Jordan also contributed to this story. Contact Jeremy Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.