ELOY — After its override failed to pass last year, the Santa Cruz Valley Union High School District called a special budget override election to be held on Nov. 5.
The 15% Maintenance and Operations override is a continuation of the override that was approved by voters in 2014.
If the override is approved, the estimated total amount of it for the next fiscal year will be $519,408. If the override does not pass then it will be reduced by one-third during the next two fiscal years and the district will send out another ballot next year for 10% rather than 15%.
“If it passes this year then it’s good for the next seven years start in 2020-21,” business manager Debi Tabeling said. “If it doesn’t pass then we’ll have to figure out what the district will be losing because obviously it can’t support programs that are not on the regular budget.”
The estimated secondary tax rate needed to fund the full override is $0.42 per $100 of net assessed valuation for secondary tax purposes.
“It’s already in place so it’s not a tax increase; it’s been in place for years so it’s just a continuation,” Superintendent Orlenda Roberts said. “We’re not asking for more than we’ve had, we’re simply asking to continue what’s been in place.”
The override currently funds most of the high school electives such as music, arts, career technical education classes and athletics.
“You want a high school program that’s well-rounded,” Roberts said. “A lot of our kids who participate in sports, many of them get scholarships to go on after high school, it helps them further their education. Even when kids are applying for academic scholarships, when colleges recruit kids they want to look at a well-rounded student. Is this student involved in other things other than just academics? Do they participate in clubs or sports or band? You want a well-rounded program, we’re not talking about frivolous things, we’re talking about just the basic things that are needed to provide a basic well-rounded education for kids.”
It also funds campus security and helps provide a competitive salary schedule for teachers.
“If we don’t have a competitive salary schedule then they won’t come here,” Roberts said. “It’s a small town and a small school so you have to have a competitive salary schedule to attract and keep teachers.”
Roberts also noted the district already had to make a cut this year because enrollment numbers decreased.
The elementary school districts that feed in the SCVUHSD include Eloy, Red Rock and Picacho.
Although a majority of the students that reside in Red Rock go to Marana due to open enrollment, the SCVUHSD still receives the tax revenue because it is the home district.
“My concern is that those families need to understand that this is still their home district for their kids,” Roberts said. “If kids go to Marana from Red Rock and they get put out or they can’t go to Marana for some reason, the school that they come back to is here.”
Tabeling mentioned that according to a company in Phoenix, a big reason overrides sometimes do not pass during a normal election year is because there are a lot of items on the ballot and sometimes people do not vote either yes or no if the item is really far down.
“The kids are the future of our community and of our society,” Roberts said. “We need to support programs and things that are going to help these students get where they need to be so that they can become productive members of our society.”
The Arizona Department of Education recently announced that the high school has made substantial academic improvements over the last two years and is no longer classified under Comprehensive Support and Improvement Status.
Last week the district governing board held its monthly meeting and approved four hires for a facilities assistant, student attendance clerk, substitute bus driver and substitute food service worker.