The children of the Prescott Unified School District need your help.
The very best thing school districts can do for students is to put great teachers in the classrooms and offer the very best educational programming. Your “yes” vote on the 2020 Budget Override will help to do just that.
Five years ago, voters approved a bond and an override, which district administrators used to raise teacher salaries, increase teacher retention, and offer new educational programs.
Those resources expire in 2021 and PUSD teacher salaries are still below the state average (and Arizona is well below the national average, both in teacher salaries and in per-student funding).
That’s why now, during this unprecedented time, PUSD needs your “yes” vote on the override.
Friends of Prescott Unified School District’s Future Political Action Committee Chairman Scott Fagin has been featured...
Learn more about the PUSD 2020 Budget Override and how to support our campaign in this YouTube Live event recorded...
As Bond and Override conversations happen across districts, questions on school costs and the use of funds always...
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a budget override?
Bonds and overrides are voter-approved initiatives that generate additional tax revenue to fund projects and operations for local school districts. Bonds and overrides are tools that a local community can use to provide funds for their local schools and colleges above and beyond what the state provides.
Why are bonds and overrides important?
Bonds and overrides provide local funding for schools and community colleges. Over the past few years, our schools and colleges have weathered significant state funding cuts. Meanwhile, Arizona’s teachers and students have been asked to meet higher expectations and do more with less. We can’t expect our schools to provide a world-class education without the resources to do so.
Strong school districts also create community stability and homeowner value. When people buy a home, a number of factors influence their decision: the look of the home, as well as its size, layout, age, and proximity to amenities are all important, depending on the buyer.
The local school district is a factor with significant influence. We’ve always known that good schools attract families with school-age children, but recent statistics add concrete numbers and surprising trends to the storyline.
How long do override funds last?
An override lasts for seven years. If voters don’t renew it, the amount decreases by one-third in the sixth year and two-thirds in the seventh year. In year eight, it expires.
Why do we need a budget override?
When taxpayers gave teachers their last raise in 2015, turnover and test scores improved significantly in subsequent years. Past data collected for teacher retention shows that in 2015, PUSD had a teacher retention crisis: the district lost 1/3 of all its teachers. In 2020, that number has improved to 13%, suggesting that the 2015 override effort helped decelerate the teacher retention crisis.
If voters approve the 2020 budget override, the PUSD budget would continue the 4.66% plus an additional 3.34% dedicated to raises for all staff. While salaries would remain below the state average, this increase could help retain even more teachers who are shifting their instructional practice to meet the needs of the community during this pandemic. The Number One indicator of student academic success is the quality of the teacher in the classroom.
What does an 8% budget override mean to Homeowners taxes?
Homeowners are taxed based upon their residence’s assessed (taxed) value, not market value. In fact, they are only taxed on 10% of their assessed value. With an 8% override, the estimated tax rate would be 0.1959. For a residential assessed value of $100,000, the yearly tax for the 8% override would be $19.59 per year. The preliminary, average assessed value of a Prescott residence for 2020 is $275,180. The override tax on a $275,180 assessed residence would be approximately $53.91 for the year or $4.49 per month or $0.15 a day. Check out our Override Calculator to see your estimated contribution HERE.
Disclaimer: Address information is believed to be accurate, but accuracy is not guaranteed. No portion of the information should be considered to be, or used as, a legal document. Users should independently research, investigate and verify all information. By using this web site, the user knowingly assumes all risk of inaccuracy and waives any and all claims for damages against the Friends Supporting Prescott Unified School District’s Future that may arise from the use of this data and agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Friends Supporting Prescott Unified School District’s Future and its officers to the fullest extent permitted by law. By using this web site, the user also agrees that data and use of this web site may not be used for commercial purposes. Persons who own more than a single parcel of real property may find that inserting their address does not include all of the assessed property that they own. In order to ensure the most accurate information, it is necessary to input all parcels owned into the web site and then combine the estimated contributions.
Why is the district asking for an override now?
Our current override expires in 2021 and losing these funds could result in cut programs or teacher/staff layoffs during this unprecedented time, when teachers are being asked to shift their instructional practice to meet the needs of the community during the pandemic. Additionally, the district is having a difficult time attracting highly qualified teacher candidates to fill open positions, whether at the beginning of the year, mid-year when teachers leave unexpectedly, or at the end of the year when open positions are first known.
How are schools funded?
School district funding is formula-based and is dependent on student enrollment. When creating budgets, district administrators multiply the number of students enrolled by the base funding level. For more than two decades, Arizona’s base funding level (per-student funding) has been among the lowest in the nation. Districts cannot increase their budgets beyond this basic formula without asking voter permission through an override election. Most of the districts in our state go to their local voters to help overcome that problem.
Have voters in PUSD passed budget overrides in the past?
In 2015, over two-thirds of the PUSD Community passed a 4.66% override, allowing PUSD to give a 5% raise to all staff members (whose salaries are still below the state average). PUSD’s current override will expire in 2021.
Why is teacher recruitment and retention a problem?
There are many reasons recruitment and retention has become an issue over the past several years. Contributing factors include:
- PUSD is 48th in the state when it comes to per-student funding, and Arizona ranks near the bottom, nationally. This equates to PUSD offering some of the lowest teacher salaries in the nation, which clearly turns prospective teachers away.
- Colleges are not turning out teachers. There has been a marked decrease in the number of candidates attending teacher career fairs. Over the past five years the district has been recruiting in state, nationally, and globally.
- Young college graduates are not necessarily interested in leaving their home state or living in Arizona. Whether PUSD is recruiting in state, nationally, or globally, future teachers report that they are not interested in leaving their homes or the city to live and work in smaller communities.
- Many Arizona teachers say they don’t feel respected, valued or trusted, and their low salaries are the main factor in the shortage of teachers statewide. Low pay is also why many teachers are leaving the profession altogether, according to a late-2015 statewide survey of teachers.
How does the teacher recruitment and retention problem affect our education?
A quality teacher is clearly the most important factor in student achievement success. Districts are often forced to fill unfilled positions with substitute teachers, many of whom have no education beyond their high school diploma. Mid-year teacher departures have resulted in shifting students and teachers amongst existing teachers, meaning increased class sizes. Aside from the disruption for students, staff turnover requires constant retraining, which takes time, energy, and money.
How will an override help PUSD?
Money from the override election will be used towards teacher/staff salaries. This could begin to move teacher compensation toward the state average. While money may not be everything, we believe it may help to draw and keep teachers/staff in PUSD.
How will an override help our community?
First and foremost, communities that step up to value education attract industry and strong economy. Arizona’s schools have weathered significant state funding cuts. Meanwhile, teachers and students have been asked to meet higher expectations and do more with less. We can’t expect our schools to provide a world-class education without the resources to do so. Good schools also provide stability for a community, and that’s good for the property values of everyone who lives nearby.
Copyright © 2020 PUSD 2020 Override - All Rights Reserved. Paid for by Friends Supporting Prescott Unified School District’s Future PAC.