The results are not quite official, but as it stands the Dysart Unified School District override continuation is projected to pass and remain intact.
The Surprise-based district has had a 15% maintenance and operation override in place since 2000 that voters approved every five years as additional funding for operational expenses.
The override would maintain funding for programs currently serving Dysart students such as arts, physical education and athletics as well as academic support programs for math and reading. Funding will be used to retain teachers and staff, maintain class sizes and offer all-day kindergarten for the community would also continue with the override renewal.
As of results posted in the early morning of Nov. 5, 40,081 voters or 54% were in favor of the override and 34,131 voters or 45% were against the continuation.
Since then the measure's lead has only widened. On the morning of Nov. 9, 45,508 voters or 55% were in favor of the override and 37,703 voters or 45% were against the continuation.
As of Monday, DUSD awaited the final results from the Maricopa County Elections office.
“While not quite final yet, we are pleased to see that the Dysart override continuation vote results are looking very promising, and that a record number of residents voted. We appreciate that voters understand that extraordinary schools make extraordinary communities. Dysart thanks everyone who helped with this election,” said Dysart Unified Superintendent Quinn Kellis.
Smaller class sizes equate to more teachers and bigger class sizes equate to fewer teachers — either by cutting teaching positions or simply not replacing teachers that leave at year’s end, Mr. Kellis said.
Ken Hicks, DUSD assistant superintendent for business services, said overrides increase the budget to allow for whatever variable the district indicates and then funds are distributed.
“That’s a 2.5% increase to all teachers salaries or that’s a 2.5% reduction to all salaries and it is equivalent to 127 teachers in class size reduction,” Mr. Hicks said. “We have class size standards, and if there’s a reduction we have to change those standards to accompany the reduction of 127 teachers.”
On the Liberty Choice Facebook page, which describes itself as a group of concerned citizens standing up to out-of-control government spending and taxation and that opposed the override continuation, a post since the election stated, “It looks like the override passed this time. That is certainly disappointing and probably not a good thing for the community in the long run, but all we can do is wait and see. Time will tell.”
Reporter Jennifer Jimenez can be reached at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @SCW_Independent.