Wednesday, 02 October 2013 04:00

Seven Reasons to Vote No On the Chandler School Override

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Six Reasons to Vote No On the Chandler School OverrideJust last November a solid majority of voters defeated a Chandler Unified School District tax increase. Now, the school district is paying (at taxpayer cost) for a special election to once again see if they can get a tax increase approved. Unlike other school districts, they are asking for the maximum increase allowed by our state Legislature. Here's why you should vote no:

  1. Sneaky Election Tactics. Even though it was soundly defeated just last year, the special-interests behind this figured out a great way to get it passed. This tax increase is being done by mail-in-only voting, which will ensure that it passes. It is also being done in an “off cycle” election year when voter turnout is traditionally low. This gives these special-interest groups a way to get what they couldn’t achieve during normal election years. Your vote is needed -- once again -- to tell them, “What part of ‘no’ did you not understand?”
  2. Are Chandler Schools Failing? According to the Vote Yes crowd's own web site, "Chandler Unified School District is a Grade A district with 27 schools, including five high schools, earning an A grade. In addition, 10 CUSD schools are in the top 100 in Arizona -- more than any other district." In a self-reported study, the district has one of the lowest teacher pupil ratios of the surrounding districts. If this is all true, why do we need to raise more taxes?
  3. Small Tax Increase. If the override is approved, our tax rate would be $1.37 per $100 of secondary assessed valuation, which means about $233.71 annually on a home with an actual value of $170,036, which is the average in the school district (Source: Arizona Republic). This may seem small to some, but when you combine with all the other tax increases we experience, it adds up.
  4. Better Security. In addition to the 10 percent, they are asking the community for an added 5 percent to address school security concerns. Anyone adult who has ever visited their child's school knows that all you have to do is walk in the main entrance to get in. To access a locked door, just wait until a student comes out or simply lets you in. Until simple things like that are addressed, high-tech security measures amount to nothing.
  5. Above it All. In recent years we have been barraged with increased taxes and fees. Struggling families have not seen a salary increase in years and many are still looking for full-time employment. For some reason, government employees -- like educators -- feel they are above everything the regular taxpayer is going through in this economy. Remember, government employees make more money than the private sector -- yet we're the ones who pay their salary.
  6. The Sky is Not Falling: Anyone who has ever been inside a school or administration building knows that our school system could easily run on current funding. If a school district has rows of flat-screen computer monitors, swimming pools, and television production studios, but is threatening to lay off teachers, that’s a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Defeating the override will force Chandler to finally get serious about where they spend our money.
  7. Election Cost: The total cost the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) paid for the override election was $304,477. Last year, it was approximately $170,00 more than that.

Ballots for this special election were mailed on October 11, 2013. Open it, check no, and mail it back in by November 5, 2013. If you accidently threw out your ballot or did not receive one, you can get a new one from the Maricopa County Elections Department by calling 602-506-1511 and asking for a Chandler Unified School District Override ballot.

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