Mesa school override: yes - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Mesa school override: yes

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Posted: Friday, February 25, 2005 9:11 pm | Updated: 7:53 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

With average class sizes in Mesa schools already larger than many parents and teachers would like, imagine what would happen if funding for 136 teachers were slashed.

And what if a third of the money for classroom supplies were cut, along with salaries for security staff, and funds for teacher training and alternative academic programs.

Well, all of that and more is on the line in a special election the Mesa Unified School District is conducting on March 8. This is not the kind of election that gets a lot of attention, so there’s a real danger that a tiny voter minority could substantially gut the district’s budget.

On the ballot is extending the Mesa district’s 10-year-old budget override authorization that voters approved in 1995 and 2000. The override has allowed the school board of exceed state-mandated spending limits by 10 percent, which currently amounts to about $31.6 million a year.

Over the past decade we’ve seen no signs that the Mesa district is wasting money. Indeed, it long has been a leader in delivering quality education for every tax dollar spent. Test scores have reflected that quality. The district also has earned a reputation for creating effective programs to help special-needs students.

With the AIMS test kicking in next year as a graduation requirement, this is not the time to compromise already limited public-school resources. District voters should support the override measure.

Anyone seeking more information about where and when to vote should call (602) 506-3535.

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