MODESTO -- Early returns showed a tough sell for school bonds in the region, with Escalon Unified in San Joaquin County the only proposal with a comfortable lead.
Bonds on the ballot for its neighbor, Ripon Unified, and the Sonora Union High School District in Tuolumne County held knife's edge leads in early returns. Both sat just over the must-hit 55 percent required for approval.
Merced County had posted no results for the two school bonds on the ballot there by deadline Tuesday night. Stanislaus County had no school bonds up for a vote.
With 51 percent of the vote tallied, Escalon's Measure B was passing with 2,510 votes, or 63 percent. Escalon's $19.5 million bond was to bring money to outfit vocational classes. Its total cost was estimated at $72.8 million over 42 years.
Ripon asked for $25.2 million to build new two schools. The bonds would cost $70.8 million to repay over 36 years. With 51 percent of the vote in, it had 3,297 votes, or 56.6 percent.
In Merced County, voters in the Delhi Unified district were asked to approve Measure E, an $8 million bond proposal.
Measure G, to authorize $9 million in bonds for the Weaver Union district south of Merced, was sought to ease classroom crowding. A Bee investigation, however, found early information provided to voters was incorrect, drastically underestimating the $24.7 million cost and 42-year repayment time.
In Tuolumne County, Measure J to authorize $23 million to upgrade schools in the Sonora Union High district had 6,843 votes, or 55.2 percent.
Voters were turning thumbs down to Measure H, proposed to raise $8 million for Summerville Union High School District. With 63 percent of total votes tallied, the measure had 976 votes, or 51 percent.