The Nogales Unified School District has called for an override election on Nov. 5, proposing a slight increase over that presently in place.

An NUSD Override Committee composed of students, parents, teachers, school administrators, support staff and community members made a recommendation to the governing board that it approve a resolution to put the issue on the November ballot. The board, after listening to several of the committee members, agreed to call for the election with the recommended increase.

The current district override is at 6.39 percent and a successful passage will reflect an increase of 1.6 percent, which will equal 8 percent total. This percentage rate is still among the lowest in Santa Cruz County and the state as a whole, as a school district has the right to ask voters for an up to 15-percent override of its budget limit.

The current override supports many academic programs such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and extended-time learning through tutoring and interventions. It also pays for extracurricular programs such as music, arts, clubs, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), meals for extracurricular and athletic travel, addendum-incentives for coaches and sponsors, and recruitment/retention salaries for teachers and all classified staff. 

If the override is successful, the taxes generated will continue to fund all these programs. If the override fails, the funding will start to phase out within the next two years. The increase itself is earmarked for increasing the recruitment and retention amount to attract and keep highly qualified educators and staff and to increase the amount provided to students traveling for school events from $7 a meal to $10.

The Nogales Unified School District is sharing information about the override and is holding community meetings on the specifics of how all funds are allocated. Taxpayers in the district boundaries will have several opportunities to attend these forums.

It is critical that the community be educated on this very critical initiative. Everyone eligible within the NUSD boundaries is encouraged to vote on the measure since every single vote does count.

Fernando Parra 

Superintendent, Nogales Unified School District

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