Oracle School District – June 2014

The kids need your help!

Linda Thomas

Community residents have recently formed a political action committee (PAC) named Support Oracle Schools. This PAC was established to advocate for passage on an override ballot measure to ensure sufficient basic funding for the Oracle School District. The PAC Chair is Jana Looby, an Oracle resident and parent of a Mountain Vista student.

The District’s fiscal challenges are real. The District’s budget has been cut over 17% since 2008. The District’s budget will be $144,000 lower next year due to the 2013 failure of the override (local support) renewal. Enrollment is also down this year by approximately 33 students equating to another estimated budget loss of over $100,000 next year.

The District is working hard to stretch its budget. Administrative positions were cut by 30 percent in 2013 and per pupil administrative costs are expected to be down 21 percent for 2014. In the end though, only so much can be cut. The 2013 Arizona Auditor General ranked the District’s overall financial stress level as high.

So far the administration has kept the negative effects to a minimum, but that won’t last forever. If the override fails to pass this year, the District will likely see elimination of five full-time teaching positions, salary cuts of up to $80,000 throughout the District, increased class sizes, permanent elimination of physical education, art and music, elimination of full day kindergarten, scaling back of crucial staff development and elimination of both the 3/4 and 5/6 accelerated combination classes. These cuts will likely drive a loss of enrollment, which will only continue the spiral of reduced funding negatively impacting the educational experience for our kids.

Want to help? You can volunteer for, or donate to, the PAC. To volunteer, just send an email to [email protected] To donate, please send your check to Support Oracle Schools PAC, PO Box 5454, Oracle, Arizona 85623. Donations to the PAC will be used for PAC expenses such as printing, postal fees, signage, buttons, bank fees and water. Want to keep up to date on PAC actions? Please like the Support Oracle Schools Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/supportoracleschools.