A school funding measure for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is falling short of the required two-thirds majority for approval, preliminary election results show.

As of Wednesday morning, May 26th, Measure A, also known as a temporary parcel tax measure, had received approximately 63 percent of votes in favor and nearly 37 percent in opposition, according to semi-official results of the county registrar’s office. A registrar spokeswoman said the results included ballots received prior to the May 25th mail-in ballot deadline and dropped off at the office but did not include all those left at the drop-off location or received at the office May 25th. The registrar is tentatively scheduled to certify the election results Thursday, June 4th.

If passed, the measure, which would require Santa Monica-Malibu property owners to pay a $198 tax per parcel each year over the next five years, would provide $5.8 million to the school district coffers, school officials said.

While the results have not been made official, supporters of the measure said the majority requirement appears unlikely.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education approved the measure for the ballot in an effort to generate much needed funding to close an anticipated $14 million budget deficit this year.

The school district has lost an average of $10 million in state funding each year over the last two years due to the state budget crisis. More than 70 percent of district funding comes from the state. Without the approval of the parcel tax measure, supporters said the district would be forced to lay off up to 75 teachers and counselors, increase class sizes, and reduce various programs.

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