M&O Override

  • 1.    What is maintenance and operations funding?

    Maintenance and operations or M&O funding is one of Arizona school districts’ funding “buckets,” each of which can be used only for purposes specified in state statute.  M&O funds pay for most of a district’s day-to-day expenses, including employee salaries and benefits, utilities, transportation, purchased services and supplies.

    2.    What is a maintenance and operations (M&O) override?

    An M&O override is a special election, called by a school district governing board, which asks voters within the district to approve additional maintenance and operations funding for their local schools, earmarked for specific educational purposes and generated through local property tax levies.  The maximum amount for an M&O override is 15 percent of the district’s Revenue Control Limit (budget expenditure limit).

    3.    Would this be a new tax?

    No, this would be a continuation of WESD’s current 15 percent M&O override tax levy. The estimated first year tax rate is $1.35.

    4.    What is the current cost to WESD taxpayers of the District’s 15 percent M&O override?

    The current cost for the M&O Override is about $123.70 per year (or $10.30 per month), per $100,000.00 of assessed valuation. 

    5.    If approved, is an M&O override permanent?

    No, an M&O override lasts for seven years.  It is fully funded for the first five years; however, if not renewed by voters, funding is reduced by one-third for the sixth year, by an additional one-third for the seventh year and completely eliminated at the end of that year.

    6.    If WESD calls for an M&O override election and that election is successful, could the State of Arizona redirect the District’s M&O override funds to the State’s general fund?

    No, override funds go directly to the school district to be implemented according to the district’s override plan.  These funds cannot be cut by the state or swept into the general fund to be used for other purposes.

    7.    Who will decide if WESD will have an M&O override election?

    The recommendation is the culmination of weeks of research, analysis and discussion by the seventeen member task force, which included parents, community members, teachers and administrators.  Following the presentation, Board members will determine if they will call for an election.

    8.    If the WESD Governing Board calls for an M&O override election, when will the election be held?

    The Governing Board called for an M&O override, the election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

    9. If the WESD Governing Board calls for a 15 percent M&O override election and the election is not successful, what will happen?

    If a 15 percent M&O override election in November 2022 were unsuccessful, the current 15 percent M&O override would continue until it expires. The 15 percent M&O override funding would be reduced by one-third for 2024-2025, by an additional one-third for 2025-2026 and completely eliminated at the end of that year. Ultimately, current student programs and services, including free full-day kindergarten, gifted, art, music and physical education, could be severely reduced. A significant number of teaching positions may have to be eliminated, resulting in larger class sizes and greater responsibilities placed on continuing staff.