Alameda’s Measure E contest ends tonight
Polls for the Measure E school parcel tax race close at 8 p.m. today (which, incidentally, is my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mom!). Anyone who hasn’t voted yet can bring their ballot to either the Alameda City Clerk’s office, which is on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue; or the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, which is at 1225 Fallon Street, Room G1.
More information on Measure E is available here, and you can make sure your vote was counted by clicking here. If you’ve got questions, you can call the Registrar of Voters at 272-6973. And we’ll have results just as soon as they’re released.
Meanwhile, the Board of Education is bracing for fiscal Armageddon. At their meeting tonight, they’re slated to authorize $7 million in budget cuts for next year, plus eight furlough days for teachers and staff, a few dozen additional staff layoffs beyond what has already been approved. They will also vote on whether to allow district staff to shuffle up to $4.7 million in funds for specific district programs like the adult school, gifted and talented program and school safety into Alameda Unified’s general education budget.
And in other school news, more than 150 parents, students and alumni packed the Encinal High School cafeteria Monday night in an effort to find out what led Superintendent Kirsten Vital to pull principal Mike Cooper from his post last week and to convince her to reinstate him.
Vital said her plan to move Cooper from Encinal to the vice principal’s chair at Wood Middle School was a personnel matter, which she can’t discuss publicly. And she laid out the process for selecting a new principal for the school.
She also said the move was not a prelude to closing the school, as some have feared – though school closures could be in the offing if Measure E loses at the polls tonight.
But that didn’t sit well with angry parents who said they like Cooper and that he has boosted test scores for the school, or students who said Cooper is a father figure. Still others blasted the superintendent for what they said were a host of changes in principal’s offices during her 18-month tenure. (Vital said school principals in Alameda have had an 85 percent retention rate since she arrived.)
“We had a principal that was a perfect fit. You don’t have to go looking for anybody else. If you are committed to whatever it takes for Encinal, then whatever it takes is bringing Mike Cooper back,” one parent shouted, to cheers and a standing ovation. “We are a family. And we want the leader of our family back at this school.”
Apparently, the matter isn’t completely decided: School board Trustee Trish Spencer told parents that Cooper’s move still needs the board’s approval. That’s on the board’s agenda for tonight, and Spencer told the crowd that they should show up to the meeting to express their feelings.
More to come.