In a 3-2 vote, the school board rejected Director Louise Stoll’s plan to place a 50-cent tax-rate hike on the June ballot.  The plan, if passed by voters, would have introduced an extra $125 per child to the budget, raising the total spending per child to $1,734.  The Berkeley Daily Gazette reported that “the three opponents of the plan, Board President Gene Roe and Directors James Guthrie and Marc Monheimer appeared influence by the argument that the board should ‘set its house in order’ before asking the voters to tighten their belts.”  Considering that the independent audit of the budget was released so soon after the vote, on March 3, this reasoning seems all the more likely, given the unflattering light it shed on the budget practices of the district.