Last year, through the $1.3 million school override, the Payson Unified School District paid the salaries of 20 teachers, offered smaller class sizes, music, technology, physical education classes and provided extra tutoring.

With the tight state school budget, PUSD has asked for an override vote three times in the past decade, and voters have passed the request with overwhelming support.

A school district must go out for an override every seven years, but may put an override on the ballot during those seven years. PUSD usually starts thinking about another override four years into the seven-year stretch. Since the community last passed an override in 2019, the community won’t face that decision for years.

Never has the district asked for more than a 10% override.

Arizona law allows voters to vote to fund an extra 10% to 15% more of a school’s budget if the operating expenses of the district exceeds its budget. The funds come from an additional property tax.

On Nov. 9, Kathie Manning, the district’s business manager, presented the benefits from last year’s override of $1.3 million to the board. During the 2019-20 school year, the override money paid for:

• 5.5 teaching positions that ensured class sizes remained small.

• 1.8 teaching positions that provided advanced course opportunities and/or college dual enrollment for high school students.

• 13.2 teachers who taught technology, music/band/chorus, physical education, and provided additional assistance for reading, writing and math.

If enrollment numbers hold, next year will provide $1.4 million for the 2020-21 school year, said Manning.

Manning said the district plans to budget next year’s override money as it did for the past year.

Contact the reporter at mnelson@payson.com

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