Re: Override ballot measure


The Roundup in its issue of today and in the current Rim Review has published an entirely one-sided endorsement of the proposed extension of the 10 percent tax override for public school funding. I am inclined to support the ballot issue, but I have some questions and comments.

Question: The title of the initiative is, “10% MAINTENANCE and Operations Budget Override” (emphasis added), but in the list of programs supported (e.g., physical education, music, dual enrollment, etc.) there is not a single mention of “maintenance.” This leads to the inescapable conclusion that no maintenance activities are currently funded, or will be funded going forward by the tax override monies.

Comment: Whenever a tax proposal like this comes along, the programs that will be “cut first” if the proposition fails are always the ones that have the most likelihood of garnering support from the electorate (see foregoing list).

Question: What are the savings that would be incurred if the Payson Unified School District simply refused to complete the paperwork and endless reports that flow to the Gila County School Superintendent, the Arizona Department of Education, and the federal education department? The leadership of the Payson Unified School District will undoubtedly reply, “But that paperwork and those reports are REQUIRED!” NONSENSE! The only action required of the school district by the citizens of Payson is to graduate hardworking, morally upright, and well-educated students from Payson High School. EVERYTHING else is secondary.

I look forward to the district’s reply. Thank you for your attention.

Peter Dohms, Payson

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(1) comment

Phil Mason

Districts have an unblemished record over many decades of intentionally ignoring maintenance then having a reporter run a story with pictures of the area in need of maintenance to ask for both an Override AND a new bond election. The unquenchable thirst for more money that is diverted from the core purpose of the district is deplorable yet constant.

PUSD has received a 30% INCREASE in property taxes, received an exorbitant INCREASE in state appropriations, experienced a 10% DECREASE in student enrollment and diverted over three million ($3,000,000.00) from the classroom according to a report from the Arizona Auditor General while shedding crocodile tears about the "low" salary for those same teachers. Remember that salary and benefits for teachers in the district now AVERAGE $68,000.00 according to district Human Resource staff.

Worse, with all of those facts on the table, the district was only able to realize 31% of high school students passing the AZMerit test. More and more money with lower and lower student outcomes. Hold them accountable - Vote NO on the Override until they direct their $24 million in revenues to improving student achievement..

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