County could overturn school unification vote - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

County could overturn school unification vote

Move could save Oracle district $500,000

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 11:00 pm

Despite overwhelming voter approval last November, a ruling by Pinal County officials could reverse the outcome of a school district election.

The Pinal County Attorney in February released a legal opinion that, if allowed to stand, would reverse a unification measure passed by nearly 70 percent of voters in the Oracle Elementary School District.

The move to unify came at the prodding of state officials, who wanted to merge nearly 100 small school districts across the state as a way to cut administrative and other expenses. 

For Oracle, a school system with less than 400 students, unification would have entailed renaming the district from “elementary” to “unified” school district — a minor distinction, but one that would have cost the district nearly $500,000.

“I don’t know where we would have found the money,” said Todd Kissick, Oracle superintendent.

The district likely would have had to cut services or lay off workers to account for the added expenses.

As a unified school system, Oracle would change from a K-8 to a K-12 provider.

While the change would not have altered the district’s day-to-day operations, it would have left Oracle on the hook for the cost of educating students grades 9 through 12, even though it does not have its own high school.

About 200 high school kids who live within district boundaries attend schools in Amphitheater and San Manuel districts. The state reimburses Oracle for the costs of educating the students.

The state also reimburses the district for transportation-related expenses.

Unification would have eliminated state support on both fronts.

According to a Pinal County analysis of state law, unifications have to be passed by a majority of registered voters — not a simple majority of votes cast.

While 4,916 Oracle voters cast ballots in favor of the unification, the measure still fell 16 votes short of capturing a majority of registered voters.

County officials have forwarded their analysis to the Arizona Attorney General, who has 60 days to either agree or dispute Pinal’s finding.

If the attorney general does nothing, the county ruling would stand.

Voters also approved a 10-percent budget override for the school district last November. The result of that vote will remain unchanged.

© 2016 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Clutch - X-Ray Visions

More Featured Videos

Featured Videos

Spacer4px

Online poll

The Marana capital improvements improvements are expected to take years to complete as Marana finds the best plan of action to complete the projects and fund the improvements. Do you think this is a good idea?

The town of Marana is looking at ways to do capital improvements to the oldest neighborhoods in Marana. Over the next few months the town will survey older neighborhoods and see what amenities they need and form a plan to make sure neighborhoods have paved roads, sidewalks, adequate drainage, lighting and even pocket parks. “We want to make sure that every neighborhood has a base standard for infrastructure,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. The improvements are expected to take years to complete as Marana finds the best plan of action to complete the projects and fund the improvements. Do you think this is a good idea?

Total Votes: 21

Loading…

How do you feel about a potential memorial art project to honor our community’s bravest men and women?

During the Jan. 20 town council meeting, a vote was unanimously passed to look into the feasibility of a “Memorial Public Art Project,” at the request of Oro Valley resident Dick Eggerding to potentially be placed somewhere in the town to honor military veterans and first responders. Though no concrete plans were then ready to act on, there was a show of overwhelming support for such project from residents and staff alike during the council meeting. In an effort to poll to community at-large, The Explorer would like to know how you feel about a potential memorial art project to honor our community’s bravest men and women.

Total Votes: 39

Loading…

Follow us on Facebook