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OK, so it’s still early, blah, blah.

But the big education news in California tonight could be the failure of Proposition 30, the governor’s tax initiative that would plug billions into the state budget to avoid huge cuts to education funding.

The latest results show Prop. 30 losing 52.9 percent to 47.1 percent. That’s with 14 percent of precincts reporting, according to the California Secretary of State.

In San Diego Unified, thanks to a deal crafted between the school board and the teachers union, a loss for that proposition would mean as much as three fewer school weeks for local students.

It’s possible that the district could renegotiate that deal, but that would be tricky.

The San Diego Education Association got a lot of criticism from its members for making a deal at all. It agreed to forgo additional pay raises in order to save hundreds of teacher layoffs, an agreement that led to an ongoing recall effort against SDEA President Bill Freeman.

I just called Freeman. He said he still hopes Prop. 30 will pass, but clarified that three fewer school weeks isn’t necessarily a done deal.

The school year will be cut on a sliding scale, Freeman said. How much it gets cut depends on how much the governor cuts into state education funding.

The failure of Prop. 30 obviously wouldn’t just affect city schools. San Diego Unified is one of relatively few districts that have put in place hard-and-fast plans for what to do should the proposition fail. Some local districts have said they won’t have to cut the school year or lay off teachers. Others would have to scramble to make agreements with their unions to try and shave enough money from their budgets to handle the state cuts.

Meanwhile, Proposition 38, the other education funding initiative on the ballot, is currently trailing badly. That measure is failing 74.7 percent to 25.3 percent.

I’ll have more on this later.

Will Carless is an investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego currently focused on local education. You can reach him at or 619.550.5670.

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Will Carless

Will Carless was formerly the head of investigations at Voice of San Diego.

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