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Oct 14, 2013 11:14 AM by Ryan Haarer

Sunnyside looks to voters for budget override approval

TUCSON- Proposition 405 would expand the school district's budget by 12 percent. They say without the increase of more than 9 million dollars 118 district positions could be cut and some programs eliminated.

"We need to support our teachers, we need to support our support staff. A lot of programs are going to be cut for students and we just want to make sure that the public is aware of this because there's a lot of people who still don't know and this is our last year to get this override to pass," said fourth grade teacher, Deanna Cuveas.

The district has tried to pass this prop two years in a row, but, voters shut it down. The budget override calls for a one-dollar and 60 cent property tax increase for every individual in the district. With reserve funds the school district hopes to keep the increase from jumping that much. Some residents in the district say the tax is unfair.

"The high number of vacancies and abandoned homes, reduced real estate values in this district, could very well place a tax burden on most of the residents," said resident Al Arellano.

Al Arellano has lived in the district since 1968 and has grown frustrated with sunnyside's spending.

"When I look at unnecessary expenditures, I look at Sunnyside having three athletic directors, one at Desert View, one at Sunnyside, and one in the central office. That in my opinion is absolutely not necessary."

On the chopping block are 118 positions including counselors, security staff, librarians, nurses and pe, music and art teachers. Several programs would likely be cut as well.

"I hate to think about what might happen but one thing I know is our class size will go up, we will loose programs," said John Robertson, Principal of Craycroft Elementary

The school board would ultimately decide on what programs would be cut but these teachers hope it doesn't have to come to that.

When the budget override was first put on the ballot in 2011 the votes fell short by 250. in 2012 there were 140 too few votes and this year, the final year for Prop 405, they hope to completely close the gap.

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