Last week’s elections were a relatively sleepy one; after all, with no real big name seats up for grabs, it was easy to not see any local results at all. But there were a few very important developments that will impact parents all across the Valley, including in Scottsdale. Specifically, bond overrides.
Bond overrides are a mechanism to increase funding for schools at a local level, and they are typically popular, with them traditionally passing in the Valley within all but the most right-leaning of districts. This year, 61% of Valley bond override elections were successful, which would make a bit of a down year.
That said, there is good news for parents and educators in Scottsdale, as the SUSD override election passed by a wide margin. The override will raise $22.1 million annually for needs such as “maintaining current class size ratios, maintaining full-day kindergarten classes and programs like music, arts, world languages, athletics and co-curricular activities”, along with a raise for teachers for the sake of competitive compensation. Meanwhile, it comes at a cost of 32 cents per $100 of assessed home value, about the same as the one that is expiring.
Meanwhile, the Paradise Valley School District bond override was similarly successful. It was intended to raise $340 million in total at a cost of $48 per $100,000 in assessed value, with about 60% of funds to be allocated to construct, remodel, and improve school district facilities, buildings, and grounds.
Notable was the position of the state GOP, who went to Twitter (errr, X) to ask voters to vote down all overrides. As expected, the heavily Republican districts followed that lead, with override votes in the Deer Valley, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Liberty school districts losing by significant margins, and Litchfield and Mesa school districts suffering tighter losses.
Education spending has become a hot button issue at the state legislature, as Democrats consistently push for more and Republicans voice concerns about administrative bloat. But bond override elections allow for a degree of local control that is healthy for everyone involved. Kudos to local voters for seeing the need for a robust public educational system and voting yes on behalf of local students. Whether you voted for or against them, our sincere hope is that you did so after carefully considering the need and the merits of the request, and not because a political party (either one) told you how to vote on it.