From a recent district email:
Due to responsible fiscal management and higher than expected revenues, the district stretched the 2004 operating dollars to last one year beyond the board's three-year promise to voters. During that time, the district opened 5 new schools without asking voters for additional operating funds.
If the March 4 ballot issue does not pass, class sizes will increase and additional redistrictings (sic) may be required in order to alleviate the overcrowding.
Response to the first paragraph: I sat on the board during most of this period and can emphatically state that neither the board nor the administration managed its finances with this in mind. Circumstances -- housing market and state funding -- allowed the levy to last another year. In fact, many board members (including the former board president) and the superintendent wanted to go back on the ballot in 2006 and then again in 2007.
Response to the second paragraph: This is the big lie: According to state law, the district must cut $10.4 million in FY09 if the levy fails. A BIG LIE which I have detailed in prior posts. The district only needs to reduce expenditures by $2 million in order to balance its budget. That's it. The rest of the cuts are threats to punish parents if the levy fails. The superintendent is simply stating that he is unwilling to negotiate lower salary and benefit increases. He, instead, will cut programs. Salaries come before programs in his minds. Amazing? Maybe not, he did negotiate a real sweet deal for himself last summer.