Three candidates are running for two seats on the Amphitheater Unified School District governing board on the Tuesday, Nov. 2 ballot. All candidates were asked: "How do you approach continuing to offer quality education with a decreasing budget?" Their answers are presented in alphabetical order.
Jeff Grant, current board president
We had our budget cut by nearly 10 percent as a result of state funding cuts. That was close to $8 million. We came up with ways to deal with it. The most significant one is enlarged class sizes.
We have to look at the whole funding mechanism of education. I think you are going to have to have a joint effort by the governor and the Legislature, and everyone else who is involved, to look at the way we fund education. It's fundamentally flawed when you get into all of these sweeps of these funds.
We have to look within. We do it every day of our own personal lives. People are getting laid off and family members might get furloughs. We need to tighten our belts. One of those (ways) is reaching out to the general public, you, taxpayers, parents, (and) teachers, creating committees and finding out where cuts can be cut; involving the community and students.
I fully intend to go to these site councils, create committees within these site councils, and finding where their fat is. Not everyone is going to say that they have fat … (but) they have something that they can cut. I don't want to cut anything, because all programs are very important. But what we need to find out is where the waste is, not even the fat, but the waste.
I'm not real patient with finger-pointing. I'd take action. I would try to figure ways we could bring resources to the district. I'm very curious how Marana and Vail do on this particular election with their budget overrides.
I think people do value education and they understand the importance of it and that it is an investment not only in their child's education but also into the entire community.
Nobody wants to increase the district's taxes at this time, but I am going to keep my eyes open on the Marana and Vail school districts. If the community shows that they would support higher taxes to improve education, then I think that is a very viable option.