I just ran into school board member John Lee Evans, who was disappointed to see Prop. J trailing in the polls so far. The parcel tax would provide roughly $50 million a year for San Diego Unified schools.

Evans said the school board was hoping Prop. J would garner at least 55 percent — the same margin needed to pass a school construction bond — so the school district could argue for lawmakers to lower the threshold for school parcel taxes. Such taxes need two thirds of voters to pass. So far, Prop. J has fallen short of both marks, with just 47 percent of the absentee vote. The chances of it passing seem dim.

“It’s back to the drawing board,” Evans said of the board’s budget planning.

Evans was happy about one number in the early results, though. A state proposal that would allow California to pass its budget with 50 percent of lawmakers, instead of two thirds, is leading early. That could mean that school districts get a budget sooner and that Democrats can pass budgets more easily.

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at emily.alpert@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter: twitter.com/emilyschoolsyou.

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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