Voters in Kyrene and Tempe Union High School districts approved three budget overrides and one bond authorization extension by nearly 2-1 margins Tuesday.
Unofficial results in the all-mail elections showed that Kyrene voters approved a continuation of its 15 percent overrides for its maintenance/operations and capital budgets. Tempe Union High School District easily won approval to not only continue its 10 percent override but gradually increase it by 5 percent over the next few years. That additional 5 percent will be used exclusively for teacher and staff salary increases.
The override approvals in Kyrene will not affect property taxes. Property taxes will likely increase slightly in Tempe Union as the additional 5 percent override kicks in.
Unofficial results show the override in Tempe Union passed with 63 percent of voters approving it. About 68 percent of Kyrene voters approved the bond authorization while 63 percent okayed its override requests. Chandler voters went 64-36 percent in favor of continuing that district’s override.
The elections drew little interest from voters, with less than 30 percent of all registered voters casting ballots in Kyrene and Tempe Union.
About 25 percent of Kyrene’s registered voters bothered to mail in a ballot. In Tempe Union, only 22.8 percent of registered voters cast ballots, according to unofficial results.
Citizen budget committees in Kyrene and Tempe Union unanimously recommended overrides be continued and, in Kyrene’s case, its borrowing authority extended another seven years to a maximum of $116 million.
They noted that without the overrides, class sizes would likely increase, programs would be cut and other services would be curtailed.
The Kyrene capital budget override was seen as critical to the school board’s hopes of repairing and upgrading schools, many of which are more than 30 years old.
All registered voters received both ballots, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Recorder’s office said.
However, spokeswoman Karen Loschiavo said that only applies to this election and that voters who want to get on that permanent list for other elections must request it.