In several years of being president of the Tonto Community Concert Association and having been an active participant in the last school bond election, I have developed a close working relationship with the Payson School District.
It is necessary that the community realize the importance of the Budget Override appearing on the November ballot. The District needs $1,400,000 annually to continue providing the services approved by 60 percent of the community in the special election of 2004. This is not for new programs. If the renewal of the budget override does not pass classroom size will increase significantly, there will be no music programs for kindergarten through eighth grade resulting in the loss of five teachers, four certified librarians will be lost, the three computer lab aides and three physical education teachers for kindergarten through sixth grade will lose their jobs.
We will lose the two school nurses for grades six through 12, leaving only aides. The District will not be able to pay teachers’ salaries for fine arts, athletic and elective classes. The fees that students pay for these activities will increase. Also affected will be insurance benefits for teachers and support staff. These benefits will be reduced, making it more difficult to hire and retain teachers.
The ballot language may appear confusing, but a “yes” vote is necessary to maintain the services we have now. This increase does not increase our taxes. It keeps the tax rate the same as it has been and allows the schools to keep operating at the level that they are now.
I urge you to please consider this carefully and support this override.