Budvari-Glenn: Access to quality public education essential for Scottsdale, all children

I’m a sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, but I still remember that week in high school when we ran out of paper — and had no designated funding to buy more.

Ava Budavari-glenn

Teachers were forced to ask students to bring some in.

It was embarrassing for the district. And, who even needs paper anymore when we have this amazing technology? Well, if you don’t have money to buy paper, you certainly won’t have any to buy computers that actually work. Or any computers at all.

For years, the Arizona legislature has continued to cut the education budget, reducing SUSD funding by about $30 million. They will continue to do so until we elect new, pro-education legislators. But for now, the override is something that you, as a voter, have the power to vote “yes” on, that can make up for many of the losses that the district has faced.

If passed, the override will bring millions of dollars in for SUSD schools without increasing their property tax. It can provide for competitive teacher compensation, technological investment, unchanging class size and more. If it fails, SUSD will lose millions annually.

The passage of the override is especially important for the lower-income schools within the district, who need the money more than anyone else. And, don’t fret about your taxes — we would still have one of the lowest tax rates of any district in the Valley.

But here is the philosophical question you need to ask yourself when you are voting: Would you be able to look a child in the eye and tell them that they didn’t deserve a good education? Something that is an inalienable human right? Would you be able to look your child in the eye and say those words? Because you will see the consequences of your vote, regardless of whether you have a child that goes to an SUSD school or not.

— Ava Budavari-glenn, SUSD graduate

An investment in education is an investment in the economy. If citizens are well-educated, not only will they become productive members of society by having jobs, they will also have the money to be consumers. It’s a logical cycle.

I saw the impact that lack of funding has had firsthand. My favorite teachers never stayed for more than three years because they couldn’t afford to, we had computers that didn’t work, facilities that needed renovation but never got it.

And I was in one of the wealthier schools in the district. The Arizona Legislature still is not adequately funding us, so it’s time to take matters into our own hands. Because the reality is, no one can really learn all that they need to in a learning environment that is dysfunctional and unstable.

Vote “YES” on the SUSD override by mail-in ballot, Nov. 5.

Editor’s note: Ms. Budvari-Glenn is a graduate of the Scottsdale Unified School District

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