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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Santa Clarita

Recount Fails to Alter School Bond Loss


A $52-million bond to ease overcrowding in the William S. Hart Union High School District failed to win a two-thirds majority vote during a special election last month, a spokeswoman from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorders Office said Friday. After the narrow election loss on June 6, Hart officials demanded a recount but registrar spokeswoman Grace Chavez said the results remained the same.

Chavez said the final recount results were 11,359 to 5,705--or 66.57% to 33.43%.

"And that is the vote that stands," Chavez said. "It lost by a narrow margin." Bonds must receive at least two-thirds--or 66.67%--approval to pass.

School officials said the bond was needed to accommodate a rapidly growing student enrollment expected to nearly double in five years.

The bond would have helped pay for five new schools in the 15,000-student district. School officials said the district may be forced to adopt a year-round schedule or hold two sessions of school each day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon.

Hart Supt. Robert Lee said that as a taxpayer and voter he hoped the bond would have passed because he has seen school districts and neighborhood communities deteriorate due to overcrowding.

"When you don't have adequate housing, it becomes a safety and quality issue for the school. . . . When these go down the tubes, the integrity of the school district and property values also goes down the tubes," Lee said.

The same bond package failed to grab the required two-thirds majority vote in last November's election, falling short by less than 1%.

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