On Oct. 11, ballots will be mailed to all registered voters within the Scottsdale Unified School District boundaries, asking for a continuance of the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) override.
Some of you may be confused. After all, didn't we just vote on an SUSD override? Yes, in 2022, we voted to continue the District Additional Assistance (DAA) override, which supports things like curriculum, furniture, technology, equipment and supplies for music, theater, arts and athletics.
Whereas the DAA override funds things, the M&O override primarily funds salaries, allowing the district to: Retain and attract great teachers by protecting their salaries; maintain full-day Wednesdays and full-day kindergarten; maintain appropriate classroom sizes; continue world-class music, arts, languages and co-curricular activities; support classroom technology that prepares students for success in college and careers.
A yes vote will support the programs and professionals that keep our schools excellent, keep our students engaged in the activities they are passionate about, and keep our community strong and your property values high.
The SUSD Governing Board voted 4-1 to put this up for a vote one year early. If the M&O override doesn't get voter approval this fall, it will appear again on the 2024 ballot. In my opinion, giving the M&O override our undivided attention this fall was a smart move, considering the expected length of the 2024 ballot. Many voters don't vote all the way down their ballots, resulting in "undervotes" for school board candidates and important measures such as this.
The last time SUSD voters rejected the M&O override, the district was forced to go to half-day Wednesdays. Working parents and caregivers had to scramble for childcare assistance. Student enrollment decreased, teacher morale took a hit and, most importantly, students missed a half day of instruction time each week. Our students, faculty, and families deserve better than that.
I will be voting yes! Please join me in sending a clear message of support for the students, staff and families within our Scottsdale district schools.