Opinion

Whitehead: Winning together with strong district schools

Posted 10/5/22

“Winning Together” was not simply a campaign slogan for me. It has, is and will remain my touchstone for public service. That is why I support and endorse the Scottsdale Unified, Paradise …

This story requires a subscription for $5.99/month.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here.

Otherwise, click here to subscribe.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor
Opinion

Whitehead: Winning together with strong district schools

Posted

“Winning Together” was not simply a campaign slogan for me. It has, is and will remain my touchstone for public service. That is why I support and endorse the Scottsdale Unified, Paradise Valley Unified and Cave Creek Unified school districts respective overrides.

Strong neighborhood schools provide tomorrow’s engineers, doctors, teachers, firefighters, police officers, researchers, welders, electricians, artists, innovators and leaders. This is personal. I am a professional electrical engineer and businesswoman and to say that education played a key role in my career and in my personal life is an understatement.

It is no secret that Arizona does not fully fund the needs of our public schools. These overrides address funding gaps for critical infrastructure and, today, also serve as realistic adjustments in inflation for districts where the state adjustments historically fall short.

For example, at SUSD, the current voter-approved district additional assistance override covers necessary costs of mending a leaky roof, fixing broken water pipes, ensuring safe and secure facilities by supporting security infrastructure, and buying and maintaining soft and hardware technology needs for our students. Importantly, this additional assistance is needed to acquire necessary curriculum for teaching and learning, the bedrock of the district’s mission.

One type of project that could be funded with the DAA — and a favorite of mine — is building more outdoor learning centers.

SUSD voters, like myself, are being asked to renew the DAA override. It is worth noting that our tax rates are the lowest in the Valley and continuing the DAA override will have a negligible impact on the average SUSD property owner.

At PVUSD, the current voter-approved maintenance and operations override provides needed financial support to pay our teachers competitive salaries and retain their talent in our local workforce. It also ensures current academic programming can remain in place, supports transportation, and continuing instruction for technology, fine arts and physical education, among other operational necessities. Answering “yes” to the question of continuing this M&O override will not increase the tax rate for PVUSD taxpayers.

At CCUSD, voters are being asked to support their M&O override, which is critical to support career and technical education programs as well as honors and advanced placement academic curricula. The CCUSD students deserve these types of educational opportunities to ensure career and college readiness.

As councilwoman, I promised to relentlessly focus on making Scottsdale an efficient and effective government that positively impacts every resident. And that is why I ask you to join me in supporting our young learners, and vote “Yes” for your Scottsdale school override.

Winning together was never so easy.