Kyrene School District voters have decided to maintain art programs and other extracurricular activities by approving a budget override that will cost the owner of an average Ahwatukee Foothills home $129 a year.
In all, 16,508 ballots were cast in the election, which concluded Tuesday. Fifty-eight percent of voters — 9,667 — approved the override while 6,841 rejected it.
“We are so excited that the voters supported us, and this really gives us a vote of confidence,” KSD Superintendent David Schauer said. “This additional funding will help us maintain what we have despite the decrease in funding we are receiving from the state.”
Mitzi Epstein, chair of the political committee Yes Public Ed, said she was delighted by the voters’ support of education in their communities.
“We are grateful to the Kyrene community for showing that they value high-quality schools,” Epstein said. “Also, Kyrene School District did a good job of providing factual information about the override to the parents.”
Art programs and extracurricular activities are the main programs at KSD supported by money from the override, which allows the district to exceed state-imposed spending limits.
The continuation of the override will result in maintaining current taxes for residents living in Kyrene’s jurisdiction. The average cost in taxes of the override to a household with a home value of $298,270, which is the average KSD home value, is $129 per year. Taxes would have dropped if the override failed.
“I think paying for the override is a necessary evil,” said an Ahwatukee Foothills resident who mailed in her early ballot in support of the override.
“I really don’t think it’s an outrageous price to pay, especially if you have more than one child at Kyrene,” said the woman, who declined to give her name.