News

West Valley voters to decide funding fate for 2 school districts

Litchfield Elementary, Agua Fria have contests on the ballot

Posted 11/2/21

Tuesday is election day, and while it may not be as exciting as last year’s presidential election, there are still some very important local issues on the ballot for West Valley school …

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News

West Valley voters to decide funding fate for 2 school districts

Litchfield Elementary, Agua Fria have contests on the ballot

Posted

Tuesday is election day, and while it may not be as exciting as last year’s presidential election, there are still important local issues on the ballot for West Valley school districts.

Voters will decide if Agua Fria Union High School District and Litchfield Elementary School District will continue their 15% maintenance and operations budget overrides, which have each been in place for nearly 30 years.

If passed, the overrides will supplement the districts’ existing budgets by millions of dollars per year, funded by the secondary property taxes of district residents.  

Questions about voting and overrides? CLICK HERE to access our voter guide. 

An approved override for Litchfield elementary district will provide an additional $9.4 million annually for maintenance and operations, including maintaining staffing of special area teachers, instructional coaches, school nurses, student advisors, behavioral coaches and athletic programming.

At Agua Fria high school district, roughly $8.2 million a year is on the line, money that will fund programs such as fine arts, International Baccalaureate, JROTC, summer school and technical programs. 

Without the override, both districts say critical programming could end up on the cutting room floor. 

When passed by voters, overrides remain in place for seven years. Districts will often hold elections in the fourth year of an override in order to keep a consistent level of funding.

When an existing override fails, available funds decrease by one-third in year six, and by two-thirds in year seven. The funding is fully eliminated over two years.

Voters in over a dozen districts in the county will decide to pass or scrap their override measures, and preliminary results will be available on the Maricopa County Elections Department website on Nov. 2, by 8 p.m. MST, said Megan Gilbertson, communications director for the county elections department.

Those results won’t include ballots that were dropped off on election night, Gilbertson said. 

Those ballots, she said, will need to go through a signature verification process before they can be counted and final results will be made public the evening of Friday, Nov. 5.

Questions about voting? Email us at mackley@iniusa.org, or tag us on Facebook or Twitter @Mkayackley.

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