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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local September 29, 2016

11/10/2012 3:57:00 PM
Loss of 1-cent sales tax will hurt school districts' budgets
"2014-2015 will be a real abyss for everybody in education."

--Tim Foist

Philip Wright
Staff Reporter

With the failure of Proposition 204 in the Nov. 6 election, and with the coming loss May 31 of the 1-cent sales tax through Prop 201, school districts are facing uncertainty in how their budgets will be impacted.

Arizona voters passed prop 201 over the objections of legislators to help offset deep budget cuts by the legislature during the past few years. Prop 204 would have replaced Prop 201 with a permanent 1-cent sales tax that would have been earmarked, in part, for education.

Kirk Waddle, director of business for Mingus Union High School, puts the loss for the district at $500,000 when the 1-cent sales tax disappears.

MUHS Superintendent Tim Foist said that will break down to $200,000 for capital, $200,000 for soft capital and $100,000 for maintenance and operation.

"I believe Mingus will be safe next year," Foist said. "But the year after that, 2014-2015, will be a real abyss for everybody in education."

Foist has been preaching savings for several years, and the district has been able to realized savings in several areas. That along with another projected savings of $109,000, beginning in January when the district will no longer pay for employee dependents' health-care insurance, will help keep the budget safe for a while.

"I don't have any more rabbits in the hat that I can pull out," Foist said.

He said elected officials now must sit down with education officials and rework how education is funded.

"We have good, young administrators moving their families to Texas," Foist said. "And the teachers are going to be next."

David Snyder, director of business services for Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, said he doesn't know at this point exactly how the failure of Prop 204 will impact the district.

Snyder estimated that the loss of the 1-cent sales tax will cost COCSD between $300,000 and $400,000.

"I hope the legislature will step up and fund education," he said.

He said that once the budget process begins, the board and administration will discuss worst-case scenarios.

"All we have left is to increase class size," Snyder said.

Kathleen Fleenor, superintendent of Clarkdale-Jerome School District, said they were told by Chuck Essigs of the Arizona Association of School Business Officials that the loss of the 1-cent tax will cost schools about $600 per student.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Article comment by: j l

I voted for it and don't think it equates to "just throwing money at it - that is just an excuse to be cheap. But "The sky isn't falling" makes good points - such as about options and kids wanting to learn

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Jones

I wont pay for anymore football fields. I wont allow the state to raid this money to balance their budget. This money wasnt being spent for what it was advertized. So cut the guilty... it doesnt work.

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

"2014-2015 will be a real abyss for everybody in education."

--Tim Foist

OMG! This from a man who manipulated and exploited the public to achieve a very nice deal for himself at the expensive of others.

Unfortunately, the educational system is trying to make us believe that more $$$$$$$$$$$$$ is the solution to all of our educational woes.

They stand on the shoals beckoning unwary taxpayers awash on the stormy seas of educational disaster and cry, "come hither, come hither with more mony, more money".

And they expect the taxpayer piggy bank to continue to be an endless source of revenue for themselves as the children suffe under the yoke mediocre teachers and overpaid salaried administrative staff concerned more about their salaries and benefits than the education of the children.

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Article comment by: It wasn't a commentary

When I voted against it, it wasn't a commentary against education, but against poor fiscal management and priorities made by the state. The state is not doing its job and throwing more money at them is not making them more responsible. It just enables bad behavior on their part.

Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012
Article comment by: to Don't Feel Too Sorry You are so deluded

Teachers pack a year's worth of work into the 9 months students are in the classroom. Summer trainings, ten hour weekdays, weekend work, are all part of the job. Just because the students are only at school from 8-2 or 3 doesn't mean that's the ony time teachers are there. Grading, reading the students' work, planning & preparing for the next day, writing to and meeting with parents, all must be done before and after classes.
Don't judge ANYONE til you have walked in their shoes.

Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012
Article comment by: The Sky Isn't Falling

The world of public education won't crash and burn because we have a few more dollars in our personal wallets. Right now students can get education on line, at the academy, go to credit recovery, go to GED...there are many options for a diploma. What truly matters is can the kids who WANT to learn, learn. Some do want to go to college. Those are the kids you could hand a text book to and they would learn, despite the education system.
To the kids who want to fight in class, disrupt the class, kill time etc. we don't need to be teaching you anyway cuz you don't want to learn.
I like the European model of education. Pass a test of both knowledge and desires and you get to go on. Otherwise, vocational training and get a job.

I can't tell you how many students question the viability of knowledge versus I need to know how to do that. To Kill a Mockingbird may not solve putting food on the table today, but is it not important to also have knowledge? Apparently, parents are not instilling knowledge in their children, only go to school, stay out of trouble and maybe learn something.
In the meantime, let the schools run on the money they have. I am glad the sales tax went down. Perhaps we need to cut out a lot of extras, or let those extras pay for themselves.

Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Article comment by: Don't feel too sorry

Remember these public school districts can and do tax your property. Guaranteed source of steady income, year after year. Pay them or lose your property.

Whether you own or rent, you are already paying them probably hundreds of dollars a year, maybe thousands. You simply have no choice.

And worry not these districts will have any problem attracting teachers and staff.

Pay is already generous for 9 months work a year. Plus the sweet benefits and lifetime retirement packages they offer, guaranteed by the state, are not available to the rest of us in the private sector. Nothing is really close to this type of security. This helps ensure a constant supply of high quality applicants.

And if there's any cuts to be made, let's prioritize the fat cats sitting pretty at the top of the bureaucracy. Too many of our tax dollars as it is never see the light of the classroom.

Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Article comment by: nothing left to cut

Foist is right. Health benefits, great programs have already been slashed. Key personnel and positions have already been cut. The only thing we could do is to cut transportation. That is, no more school buses to pick up and drop off the kids. Parents would have to do it. Unacceptable, I know but might have to be done. Beyond that, physical education, art, music and sports go away. Nobody wants that either.

Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Bake sales.

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