If you are a registered early voter, you should have received your ballot in the mail last week. For those who prefer to vote in person Nov. 8, this is going to be an important election for Arizona – beyond the national election.
Many school districts have school bond overrides and bond packages on the ballot. Some voters who live in apartments don’t think this affects them because they don’t directly pay property taxes. While this is true, the home values in your area and the schools in your area are directly affected. Savvy parents who rent often choose their community based on the school districts.
The bonds may fund new schools, building improvements, technology or transportation. Overrides give schools additional funding for programs and classrooms. Maintenance and operations overrides can be used for teacher salaries, supplies and regular operations. Some districts have overrides for technology, furniture and equipment. Check your voter guide to learn more about these ballot measures.
Whether or not you have children in that local district, there are important reasons to care about your local schools. Local schools can enhance or protect property values and the neighborhood they serve. Great schools can attract new businesses and more home and employer investments in neighbors.
“Down ballot” races can be overlooked in the frenzy of the national campaigns. First Things First hosts a guide to school and college bond and override elections where you can gather more information. Go to http://www.expectmorearizona.org/study/bonds-overrides/.
Please don’t skip these school ballot measures! Your local school district’s website also likely has information and more specifics about what will be funded.
While some of these national races may be discouraging, there’s nothing more hopeful and impactful to our everyday lives that these local elections.