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Scottsdale Schools kicks off M&O override Town Hall meetings this week

photo of Cherokee elementary school part of the Scottsdale school district
A picturesque view of Cherokee Elementary School found in the Town of Paradise Valley, just a short jaunt from Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)
Scottsdale Unified School District hosts informational M&O community meetings
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Scottsdale Unified School District is hosting Town Hall meetings in each of its five learning communities, beginning next week, regarding the Tuesday, Nov. 7, maintenance and operations override special election.

SUSD officials tell the Arizona Digital Free Press the local governing board is asking voters to reauthorize the current M&O override that will expire in June 2025.

Voters approved the current override in 2019. The 15% override request would result in $22,350,888 in additional funding to the district, with a tax rate of $0.33 per $100 of net assessed valuation. The renewed override would cost the owner of an average home in the district $173.78 per year. The Arizona Department of Revenue State and County Abstract puts an average Scottsdale home’s value at $523,750.

Funding brought in by the M&O override supports these Scottsdale Schools programs:
  • current class-size ratios;
  • free, full-day kindergarten;
  • competitive teacher salaries;
  • elementary school classes in art, band, music, P.E. and strings;
  • world language instruction;
  • middle school and high school fine arts, athletics and extracurricular activities; and
  • staff salaries and professional development.

The schedule for the 6 p.m. Town Hall information sessions is as follows:
  • Thursday, Aug. 31: Saguaro High School, 6250 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale
  • Tuesday, Sept. 5: Desert Mountain High School, 12575 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13: Arcadia High School, 4703 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
  • Tuesday, Sept. 19: Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave., Scottsdale
  • Tuesday, Sept. 26: Chaparral High School, 6935 E. Gold Dust Ave., Scottsdale

M&O overrides are in effect for seven years, state law stipulates.

If they are not reauthorized by voters by year five, overrides begin to phase down until they expire after the seventh year. In this instance, the phase-down amounts to a funding loss of approximately $7.3 million per year. As is common practice among Arizona school districts, SUSD is seeking the override’s renewal one year before the funding reductions would begin.

If the override should fail this year, school district officials report another opportunity would be in November 2024.

The November 7 override election will be a mailed ballot-only election and will be administered by the Maricopa County School Superintendent’s Office. Informational pamphlets will be mailed by that office to the homes of all registered voters residing within SUSD. Monday, Oct. 9, is the last day to register to vote in order to be eligible to vote in the M&O override election.

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