In 2015, over two-thirds of the PUSD Community passed a 4.66% override, allowing PUSD to give a 5% raise to all staff members (while still below the state average.) On Tuesday June 2, 2020, the PUSD Governing Board voted to call an election to consider an 8% override. If voters approve, the PUSD budget would continue the 4.66% plus an additional 3.34% dedicated to raises for all staff. This increase could help to retain teachers who are shifting their instructional practice to meet the needs of the community during this pandemic. This could begin to move teacher compensation toward the state average (while still below the state average.) Past data collected for teacher retention shows the loss of 1/3 of all teachers in 2015 improving to just 13% in 2020, suggesting that the 2015 override effort has helped to significantly decelerate the teacher retention crisis in PUSD. The number one indicator of student academic success is the quality of the teacher in the classroom.
PUSD’s current override will sunset in 2021. At the June 2 meeting, community members speaking at the public hearing encouraged the Governing Board to move closer to the State average teacher pay. The Governing Board had lengthy discussion. They are asking voters to consider meeting halfway toward the goal of paying PUSD teachers at the state average. There was further discussion about coming back to voters in the future with the goal of reaching the State average, when things are more settled from the pandemic.
What does an 8% override mean? Homeowners are taxed based upon their residence’s assessed (taxed) value, not market value. In fact, they are only taxed on 10% of their assessed value. With an 8% override, the estimated tax rate would be 0.1959. For a residential assessed value of $100,000, the yearly tax for the 8% override would be $19.59 per year. The preliminary, average assessed value of a Prescott residence for 2020 is $275,180. The override tax on a $275,180 assessed residence would be approximately $53.91 for the year… or $4.49 per month… or $0.15 a day.
Prescott Unified School District
Joe Howard, Superintendent