Override Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Budget Override Continuation?
An override is a funding mechanism which allows the local voters the ability to approve additional funding for the operational expenses of its schools. The proposed renewal continues the existing 15% previously renewed in 2018. The Budget Override Continuation will assure a stable funding base for five years. The term Budget Override Continuation is used on the ballot when addressing the approval of continuation of the override currently in place.
Has the District been operating under an existing override?
Yes, the District has maintained an override from Fiscal Year 1996 to the present time. The current 15% Override was approved by voters in March 2010, and approved for continuation in 2014 and 2018.
Does the renewal require an additional tax increase?
No. This renews the existing override renewed in 2018. Overrides in Arizona must be renewed every five years or they begin a two-year phase down with complete elimination after the seventh year if not renewed. The existing override is scheduled to begin a phase down in the 2024/2025 year unless renewed by voters. Since this is a continuation of the current override, homeowners will not experience an additional tax increase because of the override.
What is the difference between a bond and a maintenance and operations budget override?
A bond allows the district to borrow additional funding to use for capital items. Capital items include new buildings, additions to buildings, land, school buses, renovations to buildings, furniture, equipment, and technology. A maintenance and operations budget override provides funds to pay for operational expenses, including salaries, supplies, purchased services, utilities, and insurance. An override allows a district to extend its budget by 15% from locally-controlled funding without borrowing.
How does Arizona fund schools?
Arizona funds its schools based on the number of students and the miles students are transported. It is formula based funding and a school district’s budget limit does not increase or decrease if the assessed value in the District changes. Arizona provides a specific dollar per student for maintenance and operational expenses (salaries, benefits, supplies, services, utilities) and for capital (furniture, equipment, technology, vehicles, textbooks, library books, instructional aids).
How much does the District have to cut its budget if the Budget Override Continuation fails?
If the Budget Override Continuation fails, the District will need to reduce its budget by approximately $2,800,000 over a three-year period or for a total reduction of approximately $8,400,000. Over a five year period the loss from not having the override would be approximately $42,100,000.
Where will the cuts come from?
If the Budget Override Continuation is not successful, the Governing Board of the District will need to consider increased class sizes, and curtailment of some programs and services not funded by the State. The district spends 85% of its budget on salaries, benefits, and utilities, so reduced funds are certain to result in reduced staffing levels and services to students.