Fate Of Music, Library, Health Programs Hang On School Override

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The $1.4 million budget override that the Payson Unified School District is asking voters to renew on Election Day will maintain programs, not expand them, district officials say.

The present 10-percent maintenance and operations budget override funds music programs, elementary physical education, two school nurses and four librarians, among other things.

“These programs are in jeopardy” if the measure fails, said Superintendent Casey O’Brien.

Failure means cuts, he said. “That is a reality.”

An owner of a $200,000 home would continue to pay roughly $82 each year.

If the measure fails, the district’s current override would decrease by one-third the first year and by another third the year after that.

Programs like physical education and art are necessary to build well-rounded students, said Barbara Underwood, who sits on a committee to pass the override.

“We definitely need to retain that,” she added.

Opponents of the measure say it constitutes socialism. “Why does [sic] all of the Payson residents have to pay for families who have children attending local schools?” wonders D. Stanley McElrea, who wrote the argument against the override that appears in the voter information pamphlet. “This is part of the village concept!”

Vote on Nov. 4 or by early ballot.

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