Maintenance & Operations Budget Override ... What is it?
What is a budget override?
Arizona State Law allows school districts to increase their budgets by 15 percent of the Revenue Control Limit (RCL) with voter approval. The RCL is a state formula that determines how much funding school districts receive from the state each year.
Why does a school district ask for voter approval to exceed its operating budget?
Exceeding the operating budget allows the district to provide a higher quality education, offer more programs and services to better meet the needs of students, and adequately prepare children to be successful contributing members of our community.
How are override funds used?
The 15 percent budget override allows the district to use this funding to:
- Provide full-day kindergarten.
- Reduce class sizes at all grade levels by hiring additional teachers.
- Hire K-3 instructional assistants.
- Pay for the intermediate band program.
- Pay for art, music, and physical education programs in first through third grades.
- Pay for before and after-school tutoring programs.
- Hire maintenance staff.
How long are override funds good for?
Alhambra's override election provides funding to the school district for seven years. The district receives the full amount of the approval for five years; in the sixth year, the amount decreases by one-third; and in the seventh year, the amount decreases by two-thirds. Voters must reauthorize the override by the seventh year or the district no longer receives the override funding.
What is Alhambra District's history of overrides?
Alhambra has successfully passed override elections for 30 years, enabling the district to provide a higher standard of education for students. Thanks to the support of community members, Alhambra students do exceptionally well, and the district is recognized state-wide and nationally for its high student achievement and outstanding curricular programs.
How have the override funds benefited Alhambra students?
The override funds have benefited students in a number of ways. First, the funds help the district reduce class size in all grade levels allowing for smaller classes and more individualized instruction. The override dollars also pay for instructional assistants, especially at the kindergarten level. Classroom assistants are vital and assist teachers with one-on-one tutoring. In addition, the funding pays for the band program; art, music, and physical education in kindergarten through third grades.
What happens if the overrides are not renewed?
If the override is not renewed, based on the current fiscal year (FY 16-17) the district will have to cut $9,256,165 from its budget. The reduction will come in phases over three years and will require Alhambra District to reduce its annual budget by one-third each year as the chart indicates below:
Impact to Budget
without Override Dollars
First Year (2018-19)
Second Year (2019 – 2020)
Third Year (2020-2021)
*The district's budget changes from year to year based on legislative action and enrollment figures.
If the override is not renewed, the district would have to eliminate approximately 250 positions including kindergarten teachers and instructional assistants; regular education teachers; art, music, and physical education in kindergarten through third grade; as well as the band program. In addition, class size would increase in all grade levels.
How does the override affect my tax rate?
The override election will not affect your tax rate because voters authorized the district to exceed its budget for the last 30 years. The percentages are already reflected in the tax rate.
If the override is approved, will my tax rate increase?
No, the tax rate will not increase because it is already built in to the tax rate; this is a continuation of prior overrides.
How much do the overrides cost the average tax payer?
Based on the FY 16-17, the average homeowner only pays approximately .58 cents per day for Alhambra's override measure. That's less than buying a pack of gum or a cup of coffee.
When will the override question be on the ballot?
The override question will appear on the November 8, 2016, ballot. Early voting for this measure will start October 12, 2016.