I am in support of the recommendations the citizen’s advisory committee submitted and which subsequently were approved by the school board at the last board meeting. I concur with the recommendation of putting both a bond and an override on the November ballot.
It is important to consider there have been two attempts to get bonds and overrides approved by the public to no avail. I concur with having a smaller bond amount that is recommended because if we do not approve funding this year, our school district will experience a devastating blow. Purchasing land now with the intent to build a much-needed high school in the north is not the ideal plan but we have to secure a high school for the northern students and it is a plan that we can move forward with.
The override is needed now more than ever. People and programs are the heart of the Peoria Unified School District and they are now more of a priority than ever. Considering the incident at Westgate recently in which Armando Hernandez Jr., 20, was indicted on 39 charges in a shooting spree that wounded three people, I feel we must get the funding needed for the safety element.
The shooter stated he was getting revenge for being bullied all his life, and he attended one of our district high schools. Why wasn’t he identified as a student needing professional help to deal with his emotional health? Adding counselors to our campuses is literally a matter of life and death. We need funding to hire professionally trained personnel to identify and provide mental health services to those at-risk students in our schools.
I am extremely disappointed that we must dance around the faction that is always against a minuscule tax increase, an investment, that will secure the educational future of the students depending on the Peoria school district for an education.
Peoria residents, I am asking that you approve the bond and override recommendation that will be on the ballot for the November 2020 Arizona ballot.
Editor's note: Ms. Osuna is a Peoria resident and a teacher at Pendergast Elementary School in Phoenix.