Higley school district discusses budget override - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Higley school district discusses budget override

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Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 10:15 pm | Updated: 9:38 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

About $3.5 million of annual taxpayer money that allows the Higley district to provide a "higher quality of education" was the topic of discussion Tuesday at the first of two information meetings.

The money comes from the district's maintenance and operations budget override, and the school board will decide June 26 whether to put the override renewal on the November ballot.

The override, which has been in place since 1994, needs voter approval this year so the district can continue receiving the money.

If the override is not renewed in November, the district would have to start cutting the $3.5 million throughout the next three years from its budget.

The maintenance and operations fund pays for the majority of instructional costs, all student transportation costs, general upkeep of district facilities and district administration and support, said Mark Busch, the district's executive director of budget and finance.

"The M&O fund is the biggest piece of the pie," Busch said.

The district's maintenance and operations fund accounted for $41.9 million for the 2006-07 school year, about three-quarters of the district's total budget.

The extra money the district receives from the override allows the district to maintain current programs, class sizes and classroom supplies, as well as address competitive salary schedules, Busch said.

The money for the maintenance and operations override comes from property taxes, and since the current override is already in the tax rate, renewal of the override will not increase the tax rate, Busch said.

A homeowner pays about $59 for every $100,000 of a home's assessed value.

Higley mom Michelle Rigby, who attended Tuesday's meeting, said the money she pays in taxes to the district is about what she pays now for a tank of gas.

"There's no reason not to vote this in," Rigby said. "If our schools go bad, our property prices decrease, and nobody wants that."

Board president Ed Moore stressed the extra money is needed to continue the current level of funding the district provides.

"It's a continuation of what's already here," Moore said. "That's why we need it."

The second information meeting will be 6:30 p.m. June 25 at the district office.

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