The Education Action Network

Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools

Wes Harris 10-20-15
 
In case you had any thought of voting for any of the 30 odd school bond overrides being fousted upon the unsuspecting tax payers of Arizona, I think a review of the attached article may change your mind.  If that does not work then may I suggest that you look at your latest tax bill (that is if you get it directly) or contact your bank and get a copy to review just what schools are costing every property owner in Arizona.  What we all fail to understand is that almost 1/2 of the State's budget is spent on education and that does not include that which is collected from each of us in the form of property taxes.  Just to give you an idea...I personally pay $5,410 in property taxes which amounts to $450.83 a month.  That's more than the average car payment when you look at it that way.  So who gets all of this money?  Here is the breakdown:
 
Washington Elementary:                    $1,050.57
Washington Elementary Bonds:              548.27    a 10.3% increase over last year
Washington Elementary Overrides:        553.63    a 13.6% increase over last year
      Total WESD                                    $ 2,152.47    or 39.8% of my total tax bill
 
Glendale High School:                        $   920.22
Glendale High School Bonds:                 522.90     a 14.2% increase over last year
Glendale High School Overrides            214.15      a 12.8% increase over last year
     Total GUHD                                     $1,657.27     or 30.6% of my total tax bill and they are asking for more but failed to                                                                                    how much my taxes will increase next year (as if it were free) if I vote for it.
 
Community College Dist:                   $  469.65       a 3.4% increase over last year
Community College Bonds:                      85.99       a 2.7% increase over last year
                                                               $ 555.64       You might be interest to know that MCCC has a budget for I believe just                                                                                       12  schools that is 1 and 1/2 the total budge for the entire city of Phoenix.
Total for schools                                 $4,365.38     or 80.7% of my total tax bill.
 
Speaking of the City of Phoenix,      $ 498.88        or an increase of 4%
Voter approved bonds                            177.99       or an increase of 7.9% which will pale when compared to next year thanks                                                                                         to the $31.5 Billion approved by Unions and City Employees in August                                                                    
So this years taxes increased by 7.5% overall when "Government" published inflation increased by 3% and interest paid on my savings declined to .02%.  Given that we now have no children in public schools and have not had for some 35 years plus my income is now fixed for the rest of my life, continued increases in property taxes is dipping in what little disposable that we and other retirees have. 

 
I submit that these bonds and overrides are not for the children and not for their teachers.  A look at any of the 45 some odd school districts in Maricopa County will reveal an overwhelming waste in the form of "Administration" and unnecessary expenditures for thousands of school buses.  In my day every parent had to get their children to school, either by car, bike, public transportation, or walking...which is the way it is with charter schools.  I am not a fan of Charters but I am with their fiscal responsibility.  They do not have six figure superintendents and other administrators.  School administrators, I submit, are paid more than CEOs of companies who retain their jobs if they make a profit...there is no profit motive in public schools...in fact spending is the goal and educating our children seems to be secondary...unless you count indoctrination.
 
I urge you to look at your tax bill and then vote NO on any additional bond issues, regardless of who sponsors them...be it school districts, cities, counties or the State.
 
All the Best
 
Wes 

Views: 107

Comment by Teresa Devine on October 27, 2015 at 10:51am

I would like to make a comment on your comments above.  Not all charters are what you describe.  I worked for one that yes the administrator was making over six figures.  Yes taxes are going up, I don't like it either.  The one thing that many people don't understand is that many of the charter schools have buildings and up keep and the dollars they bring in from the state is actually exponentially more than a regular school district.  Also there are an extreme few charters that offer special education services or remedial services to students so those student have to stay in the public school system.  I had one charter school turn my student down because they could not meet the needs of my student.  Many charter schools pick and choose who they accept, and that is mainly the gifted or extremely driven student.  I believe that charter schools are leaches and are driving the cost of education up. I have been around since their conception and when they were conceived the Superintendent of the state was advised that this problem that we are having with funding would happen; that this catastrophe would occur.  Yes many districts need to reform and cut such as the Tempe Elementary district has - 31+ million out of its' budget in the past 7 years. However, not all districts get the same funding from all the funding sources.  Not all districts are in 70%+ in poverty.  Do not generalize all of the budgets.  Go to the CFO's of the districts and have them explain where and how the money is being spent.  The increases that the state is giving to the districts does not even cover the cost of a new roof on one building let alone more than that.  Please visit the schools near you and have them explain and get a tour to look at what the students are doing rather than giving people some of the facts and not all of them.  What you have said is mostly true, but not the whole picture.

Comment by Harry Mathews on October 27, 2015 at 11:17am

 I have been to the Districts more times than i can count and all i EVER got was lies, obfuscation, massive corruption, coverups and demands for more money. Our district is supposedly one of the more efficient.YIKES! If that is true, then public education is the biggest organized crime syndicate in the world. People send their kids to charters because all they get from Public Schools is a one finger salute. I am not a fan of charters but the districts do not represent the public which they serve. They only serve their special interests. If that were to change, people might have more faith in public schools

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