As a graduate of Chaparral High School, I remember my days as a Firebird fondly. I had great teachers and made wonderful friends, many of whom I still see regularly today.
When it came time to enroll my two sons in school, I didn’t have to think twice about where to send them. I wanted them to attend Scottsdale Unified School District schools. It’s important to me that my boys have the diversified learning opportunities that quality public schools like the ones in SUSD offer.
I’m a working mom, and I do my best to stay active in our community, just like I did before I had children. I have served as a volunteer for Yes to Children campaigns since 2004 – long after I graduated from Chaparral and long before my first son was born in 2013. Why?
Maintaining quality schools helps increase property values and enhance our neighborhoods, not to mention boosting Scottsdale’s economy. Businesses and families move here every day. Quality SUSD schools often factor into those decisions to relocate here, which makes the school district one of the primary economic engines in our city. That, by the way, helps keep our taxes some of the lowest in the Valley.
This fall, SUSD has a continuation of the Maintenance and Operation (M&O) override on the ballot. For those who don’t know what an M&O override is, it’s simple: The budget override must be approved by voters every five years for SUSD to continue receiving above the base level state funding. If voters renew the override this fall, SUSD will receive approximately $22 million a year without raising the property tax rate.
Continuing the budget override is an investment in our schools and students. Renewing the override will help keep teachers’ salaries competitive – and that allows SUSD to continue attracting and retaining the most highly qualified educators.
Besides contributing to the strong academic performance of SUSD students with top-notch teachers, one of the most appealing aspects of renewing the M&O override is how it supports well-rounded students. The override will help retain music, arts, world languages, athletic programs and it maintains all-day kindergarten, which is not funded in the state formula.
I have already received (and returned) my ballot with my yes vote. Remember, this is an all-mail ballot election and your ballot should have arrived in the last week or so. Please join me in voting yes on the SUSD M&O override.