By a comfortable margin of victory, voters in the Long Beach Unified School District approved a $295 million bond issue that will bring new schools and modernized facilities to students throughout the district. The measure, which required a two-thirds majority for passage, received 70.89 percent yes votes. The final official vote was released this week: 25,874 yes to 10,624 no. With the passage of Measure A, the district expects to qualify for an additional $200 million from state school bonds to repair and modernize all 84 existing schools and to build 13 new schools. "This is a great day for students in the Long Beach Unified School District," said Superintendent Carl Cohn. "I am proud of all those who worked so hard to make these major improvements to our schools possible: parents, teachers, school staff, community volunteers and the thousands of voters who supported Measure A. You all deserve an A for your efforts to help our children and grandchildren have a brighter future." Several records were broken at this election: The largest voter registration drive in the history of our district--more than 3,000 new voters signed up. The largest absentee vote in the history of Long Beach--18,503 votes. The previous record was 12,291. The first time a majority of votes (50.2 percent) was cast by mail. The previous record for absentee ballots was 33.0 percent. "This vote sends an important message about the value we place on public education here in Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill and Avalon," Cohn said. "Improving our existing schools and building new ones could not come at a more crucial time. Measure A will benefit hundreds of thousands of students far into the new century. "We will do everything in our power to make the wisest and best use of these bonds for the lasting benefit of all of our students," he said. "We are deeply grateful for the trust that has been placed in us and we hope to continue to merit the support and confidence that has been expressed for our schools today."