School district March 8 override support essential

Close to 60 percent of the school districts in Arizona are asking their voters this spring for either new or continue budget overrides to supplement their normal maintenance and operation budgets.

The Verde Valley is no different. Both the Mingus and Cottonwood-Oak Creek districts are among those across the state seeking voter support for budget overrides.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek is asking to have its current override of 5 percent, approved by voters in 2002, extended and doubled to 10 percent. Mingus Union is asking voters to extend its current override of 10 percent, something voters have done since 1985.

Without the override, Cottonwood-Oak Creek will have to eliminate full-day kindergarten; specialty teachers for band, music, physical education; middle school athletic programs; school counseling and nursing services; and intervention and alternative education.

The override increase also will aid the district in keeping pace with the increased district costs associated with the opening of the new Tavasci Elementary School.

For Mingus Union, the loss of the extra $519,000 the override provides annually threatens daily bus routes, extra-curricular activities, student-to-teacher classroom ratios, student services and teaching supplies.

What will it cost you? The cost to taxpayers to extend the current Mingus override, based on a home assessed at $100,000, is an additional $1. The Cottonwood-Oak Creek District override increase would cost district homeowners about $25 additional taxes on a home assessed at $100,000. A no vote on both overrides would save you maybe $50 a year and will cost both school districts about $700,000.

Obviously, this is a great deal for our local school system, and our community.

The bottom line with both districts is that they have earned our continued support. We have schools in the Verde Valley that any community in the United States would be proud of.

Let’s keep them that way.

Vote yes on these essential override requests March 8.

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