MUSD asks voters to reconsider override - The Explorer: Marana

MUSD asks voters to reconsider override

Failure could force district to increase class sizes

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 3:00 am

Voters in the Marana Unified School District will get an opportunity on Nov. 8 to determine if they want to reauthorize a $6.4 million override approved in 2007 for maintenance and operations in the district.

If the override isn’t reauthorized, district officials say class sizes would have to be increased and some services could be reduced or eliminated.

At press time, MUSD had scheduled two public forums – one held yesterday, Sept. 27, at Mountain View High School and the other on Sept. 28 at Marana Middle School, both at 7 p.m., to explain the purposes the maintenance and operations budget override reauthorization, the tax rate history, budget impacts of the override and to answer questions from the public.

Dan Contorno, MUSD’s chief financial officer, explained the 2007 override runs for seven years, but under Arizona law, must be reauthorized after year five if it is to continue at its full amount.

If not reauthorized, the district would only receive two-thirds of the original amount in the sixth year, one-third in the seventh year and nothing in the eighth year and thereafter.

If reauthorized, the override will run for another seven years at $6.4 million annually, he said.

“If this doesn’t pass, we would have to find an additional $2.13 million starting next July,” Contorno said.

Tamara Crawley, the school district’s public relations director, said, “If voters don’t reauthorize the override, it would put the district in a critical situation that would force it to look at its options, among them, increasing class sizes.”

Crawley continued, “The district also would have to consider elimination or reduction of some services, including school aides, counseling and library services, athletics and physical education, fine arts and extracurricular activities, and some elective, remedial and advanced classes.”

Contorno pointed out the district has had budget impacts of $20 million over the past four years with the state reducing capital investment and kindergarten funding.

“The cost of running the district also increased during that period,” he added. “Fuel costs went up substantially – the district buses that get 6 miles per gallon have to travel 11,000 miles a day – medical insurance rates are up, retirement rates are up, so there’s an escalating cost of running the district along with the loss of revenue.”

Crawley noted the district has been fortunate in past years to be able to make budget cuts away from the classroom and its activities. It even has kept class sizes below the targeted sizes worked out with district teachers.

Contorno stressed that the budget override would not create a new tax; it would simply extend the current budget override for another seven years.

“We anticipate it will be similar to the 84 cents per $100 assessed value we have right now for the current override,” Contorno said. “That works out to $84 a year for a home with a $100,000 assessed value.

If approved, the reauthorized override would begin in July 2012 and run to 2019, maintaining full funding for its first five years and phasing down for the last two.

Contorno pointed out that Arizona ranks nearly last in the country in per-pupil funding.

“An override is the only opportunity our community has to say we realize that and want to support our district,” he said.

At press time, MUSD had scheduled two public forums – one held yesterday, Sept. 27, at Mountain View High School and the other on Sept. 28 at Marana Middle School, both at 7 p.m., to explain the purposes the maintenance and operations budget override reauthorization, the tax rate history, budget impacts of the override and to answer questions from the public.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...

Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook