Tucson Unified School District's superintendent says how the district deals with a $17 million budget deficit projected for next year may depend on outcome of the vote on renewing the one-cent sales tax.
If Proposition 204, known as the Quality Education and Jobs Act, is approved by voters in the November election, it will mean $30 million in new funding for TUSD, Superintendent John Pedicone says.
"That will more than cover the deficit itself of $17 million," Pedicone says, "But that doesn’t change the importance of examining information that we’ve been going through to determine whether or not on a long-term basis we need to confront the same issues that we’ve confronted. It just means we won’t have to do that in a crisis more than likely.”
TUSD, the largest school district in the Tucson area, has been using town halls and surveys to ask people what to do to make up the expected deficit.
School officials will hold open houses early next month to talk about the suggestions for reducing costs in future years. The top two options the community favors so far are consolidating and closing schools, and cutting administrative costs, Pedicone says.
He says that while state law prohibits him from campaigning for the sales-tax initiative, he says it is factual that if it is approved, the district’s budget shortage will be covered.
To comment on the school district's issues, including its finances, go to the website, www.tusd1.org.