Programming Note: There will be no Fresh Air this evening. Instead, we will air the "Reveal" documentary, including a story on the path heroin takes.
School Districts Cope With Funding Measure Election Results
There were 30 Maricopa County school districts with funding measures on election night. Nearly half the districts had their bonds and overrides approved. The rest are coping with the reality that new funding will not ease their financial troubles.
The Glendale Elementary School District will be able to keep its free all-day kindergarten program. Voters in that area approved the district maintenance and operating budget override Tuesday night. The measure was an extension of its existing 15 percent budget increase.
Since the legislature began cutting education funds, the district has lost $18 million from its operating budget. Jim Cummings is the district’s spokesperson.
“We know that from a local level we’re gonna be able to maintain the funding that we have and we hope that there are no further cuts, but passage of the override approval by the community of the override will allow us to continue to do a lot of the things that we’re doing right now," Cummings said.
The Dysart Unified School District lost its bond measure. The money was to be used to build a new building to ease the overcrowded elementary school. Assistant Superintendent Jim Dean said instead the district will go through a redistricting.
“Unfortunately now we have to look for solutions that aren’t one year solutions but solutions that will really hold us for a number of years in the future that unfortunately do not include building a new school, but rather rezoning students to go to different schools to account for the overcrowding and the growth," Dean said.
Dean said because of the failed measure the district will not be able to replace thousands of 10-year-old computers and its aging bus fleet.