Regarding the bond and override election
Dear Mesa Public Schools employees,
At this point, results indicate the bond and override did not pass in yesterday’s election. Official results are days away. Failure of the bond and override is a major disappointment to the district as many of our plans for the future safety and success of our students and staff relied on these funding streams.
The administrative team has spent the day discussing potential scenarios as we move forward. We have difficult decisions to make, but we also have great opportunity. I choose to focus on the opportunity and hope that you will too.
We remain committed to delivering on our promise that all students are known by name, served by strength and need, and graduate ready for college, career and community. With the loss of the bond and override, our main concerns are how to fund security and safety improvements, how to maintain and improve class sizes with appropriate social-emotional support for students, and how to remain competitive when recruiting and retaining students and staff.
We are prioritizing expenditures for the remainder of the year. As this work is completed, our immediate cost-savings actions for the 2018-19 fiscal year are:
- Hiring freeze for all positions, except classroom teachers
- Hold on all capital projects and expenditures, including the remaining $29 million in 2012 bonds
Reductions in M&O spending for the 2019-20 fiscal year will be determined through priority-based budgeting that places student academic learning at the forefront of all decisions. The amount of budget reduction required will be determined in the near future. As a point of reference, the additional 5 percent override would have provided $17 million needed to address the impact of the state-required increase of minimum wage.
I know many of you have questions, concerns and ideas. Please reach out to your supervisor as a reliable source of information and support. We must remain together, as one team, to carry this district forward for our students.
Thank you for your dedication to Mesa Public Schools, our students and our community.
Dr. Ember Conley