Lee: PV Schools override passage ensures class sizes, teacher raises

Voters in the Paradise Valley Unified School District have the opportunity to vote for an M&O override. I want to set the record straight on what will happen if it passes.

Dr. James Lee

The Paradise Valley School District is focused on creating rigorous, relevant, and comprehensive curriculum in reading (including fiction and non-fiction), writing (including cursive), math (including long division and multiplication), science, and social studies (including U.S. history) for all students in the district.

We know the importance of the core subject areas for the future success of our students.

The M&O override funds will enable us to continue providing those types of course offerings and allow the district to provide staff with a minimum 2 percent salary increase in the coming school year. And you will note that I said minimum salary increase; if, as promised, the governor and Arizona Legislature provide more funding for salary increases, PV Schools will pass those along to our employees.

We know programs that engage students in their areas of interest are oftentimes the one thing that keeps kids in school, so we also provide programs and electives intended to engage our students in the academic environment, as well as prepare them for future career success. Our electives and special programs don’t ignore the core subject areas either. When students participate in a music elective, they are learning math, language, and history — those are vital components of all our course work.

The Governing Board was clear when they voted on the 15 percent override: continuation of the current 13.24 percent override will allow PVUSD to continue excellent programing and the new funds will be used to give our teachers and staff a 2 percent raise. I wholeheartedly agree with the board’s decision and it’s the job of every voter to make sure they hold us accountable for that commitment.

Passage of the override will also ensure current class sizes, full-day kindergarten, programs like CREST, North Valley Arts Academy, language immersion programs, and many more remain in place, and allow the district to continue the excellence in PV Schools. To see the district’s fact sheet please go to www.pvschools/election.

If you have questions, please contact my office at 602-449-2298.

Editor’s note: Dr. Lee is the Superintendent of the Paradise Valley Unified School District

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