Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
Note from admin: Clearly Gene Dufoe has no interest in controlling the over taxation of the populous. So, as soon as this post is shared, Gene Dufoe will be removed from the membership roster of The Education Action Network ~ Harry Mathews-admin.
"Retired engineer Gene Dufoe, who attends most board meetings because he is a volunteer education adviser to the Red Mountain Tea Party, said after the meeting that he likely will support the override."
Mesa Public Schools is expected to ask voters to continue the district's 10 percent budget override to employ enough teachers to prevent unwieldy class sizes, to maintain school security and to continue teacher technology training.
The district governing board on Tuesday gave tentative approval to putting the $31.8 million proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot. The board is expected to decide the issue on Tuesday, June 24.
Overrides allow school districts to spend more than their state-allocated funds by taxing property within their district boundaries.
Bobette Sylvester,assistant superintendent for business and support services, said the district has not yet calculated what homeowners would pay if the override is approved. But she does not expect there to be much of a tax increase, if any.
The override would take effect in July 2015. If the override is not approved, Mesa schools' maintenance and operations budget would decline by an estimated $10.6 million a year for three years, starting in 2015.
Putting a measure on the ballot that is acceptable to Mesa voters "is a mission critical for us," Superintendent Michael Cowan told the board at the June 10 meeting.
Also this week, a political-action committee in support of the override began to take shape. Former Mesa City Manager Mike Hutchinson, who is leading the effort, said he expects a team of 25 district residents to raise about $75,000 to spread the word about the district's need for the money.
Hutchinson helped lead support of a $230 million school bond request in 2012. It passed with more than 63 percent of the vote.
"Mesa schools is a lean operation," Hutchinson said. "It's a well-managed organization in my opinion."
There appears to be no organized opposition to an override so far.
The ballot measure would ask voters to continue to allow the district to exceed Arizona's school budget revenue control limit by 10 percent for seven years. An override has been in place in Mesa schools since 1995. It must be re-approved by voters every five years.
Longtime observers of the district say they can't recall Mesa voters ever turning down a school-bond or override request.
Still, Cowan told board members that school districts can no longer take community support of overrides for granted.
"The reality is override and bond passing in the current political climate is somewhat tenuous," he said.
Board members agreed that override funds, if approved, would be spent on teaching positions to maintain current class sizes, on security workers, on instructional assistants, on classroom supplies and on technology staff and teacher training in technology.
Retired engineer Gene Dufoe, who attends most board meetings because he is a volunteer education adviser to the Red Mountain Tea Party, said after the meeting that he likely will support the override.
"I am pleased that they are talking about continuing the override instead of increasing it," he said. "I would not favor going to a 15 percent override."
If approved, the election is expected to cost the district $82,000 for printing, mailing and election fees.
Yes, i agree. Mesa can do better
Gene is a thoughtful, intelligent man who seems to be 'star-struck' with his contacts within MPS. You may recall 3-4 years ago when several people crowded in to the small meeting room during a summer board meeting to speak out against the proposed tax hike - the dozen or so who spoke up asked the board not to raise taxes, everyone but Gene that is. He said he supported the board in whatever decision they made and thought they were doing a good job. What is/ was his purpose for being on the education committee for the Tea Party? It seems as though he believes everything the district tells him. The education committee has made no progress in bringing transparency or change to the district; not for the students nor for taxpayers.