Special to The Explorer

Amphitheater School District officials say a 28-vote victory for the Proposition 403 property tax override was a small margin, but "a huge victory for our students, programs, staff, and the broader Amphi community.

"It will maintain some very important programs that directly benefit our students," Dr. Vicki Balentine said.

She was disappointed in the defeat of Proposition 404, a capital budget override the district would have used to buy "soft" capital technology and instructional equipment.

Earlier this year, the Arizona Legislature voted to reduce "soft" capital funding from $225 to $35 per student. That decision was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer, but a similar reduction "has surfaced again in recent legislative budget talks," the district said in a release.

"You certainly can't get up-to-date computers, textbooks, and all the rest it takes to teach a child out of $35 per student," said Todd Jaeger, associate to the superintendent. "I think it's hard for people to understand the level of technology required these days to provide a 21st Century education for kids. The capital override would have enabled us to respond to the concerns of our business community that they need graduates with greater skills in technology. So it's a disappointment to see 404 — which was entirely about serving our students better — fail."

"I believe this election has reinforced how important that 'one vote' can be in determining a critical outcome," Balentine said. "This election has demonstrated to our entire community that voting in all elections makes a difference. I hope we all remember that."

She expressed thanks to Leap Ahead for Amphi, the political action committee that worked for passage of the propositions, and to "all those community members who did support our propositions. They worked tirelessly for our schools, and we can never forget that."

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