Guest Column: Facts about Oracle School District - The Explorer: Opinion

Guest Column: Facts about Oracle School District

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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 4:00 am

The Oracle Elementary School District is funded in part by voter approved budget overrides. There is a 10 percent maintenance and operation override and a 5% kindergarten through third-grade override. During the 2011/2012 school year these overrides generated approximately $298,491 and $149,246 respectively.

The maintenance and operation (M&O) piece pays for the salaries and benefits of the three teachers who provide physical education, music, and art. It also pays for the salary and benefits for one special-education teacher. The maintenance and operation component also provides the flexibility to allow the district to offer and maintain increases in salary and benefits to all of the district staff, as well as, providing professional development and classroom supplies to support instruction.

The kindergarten through third grade (K-3) piece pays the salaries and benefits of one kindergarten teacher, one first grade teacher, one second grade teacher, and two paraprofessionals who support instruction, as well as, 27.4 percent of a third-grade teacher’s salary and benefits.

The overrides were first authorized by the voters in 2004 and the voters authorized the overrides again in 2008. This summer the Oracle School Board will discuss the possibility of an election to ask the voters to authorize the override again. If the School Board decides to place the override question on a ballot it could appear as soon as the November 2012 election. A change in state legislation allows for the override to be one 15% M&O override instead of the current 10% M&O override and 5% K-3 override.

The reasons for the overrides have remained the same over the years and will continue to mirror previous resolutions. These purposes are spelled out in the override resolution that is approved by the school board. The resolution specifically explains what the money can be used for:

• Grades K-8.

• Continuation of high quality instruction.

• Continuation of higher educational standards.

• Continuation and enhancement of program services.

•    Support inflation needs of the District and district employees.

• Offer competitive salaries and benefit packages for teachers, support staff, and administrators.

• Enhance the current educational programs for the students by continuing existing curricular programs such as, music, art, and physical education and/or add to the curriculum items such as a reading specialist.

• Make available professional development to meet NCLB (No Child Left Behind).

• Smaller classes sizes, which require additional teachers, paraprofessional assistance, and supportive supplies and material.

The current tax rate total for the district is 3.0129. A breakdown of this tax rate follows:

• Primary tax rate of 2.7649.The Oracle Elementary School District is funded in part by voter approved budget overrides. There is a 10 percent maintenance and operation override and a 5% kindergarten through third-grade override. During the 2011/2012 school year these overrides generated approximately $298,491 and $149,246 respectively.

The maintenance and operation (M&O) piece pays for the salaries and benefits of the three teachers who provide physical education, music, and art. It also pays for the salary and benefits for one special-education teacher. The maintenance and operation component also provides the flexibility to allow the district to offer and maintain increases in salary and benefits to all of the district staff, as well as, providing professional development and classroom supplies to support instruction.

The kindergarten through third grade (K-3) piece pays the salaries and benefits of one kindergarten teacher, one first grade teacher, one second grade teacher, and two paraprofessionals who support instruction, as well as, 27.4 percent of a third-grade teacher’s salary and benefits.

The overrides were first authorized by the voters in 2004 and the voters authorized the overrides again in 2008. This summer the Oracle School Board will discuss the possibility of an election to ask the voters to authorize the override again. If the School Board decides to place the override question on a ballot it could appear as soon as the November 2012 election. A change in state legislation allows for the override to be one 15% M&O override instead of the current 10% M&O override and 5% K-3 override.

The reasons for the overrides have remained the same over the years and will continue to mirror previous resolutions. These purposes are spelled out in the override resolution that is approved by the school board. The resolution specifically explains what the money can be used for:

• Grades K-8.

• Continuation of high quality instruction.

• Continuation of higher educational standards.

• Continuation and enhancement of program services.

•    Support inflation needs of the District and district employees.

• Offer competitive salaries and benefit packages for teachers, support staff, and administrators.

• Enhance the current educational programs for the students by continuing existing curricular programs such as, music, art, and physical education and/or add to the curriculum items such as a reading specialist.

• Make available professional development to meet NCLB (No Child Left Behind).

• Smaller classes sizes, which require additional teachers, paraprofessional assistance, and supportive supplies and material.

The current tax rate total for the district is 3.0129. A breakdown of this tax rate follows:

• Primary tax rate of 2.7649.

• Secondary tax rate of 0.2481 = (M & O override 0.1588 plus the K - 3 override 0.0893).

I wish to thank the people of the Oracle School District for their support. It is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions regarding the override or if there is ever anything I can do for you please do not hesitate to contact me.

(Editor’s Note: Todd Kissick is the superintendent of the Oracle Elementary School District. Kisskick can be reached at 896-3074.)

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

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