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Public Wants Promised Education Override Results

sedona oak creek unified school district logoSedona AZ (November 9, 2013)The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor about the approval of the November 5, 2013, education tax override vote:

The people who voted NO on the override did not lose; it is the kids that lost.

Mr. Richardson made a disingenuous statement post election that the Sedona Performing Arts Center (SPAC) has nothing to do with the Override. Taxpayers are still paying for the new high school bond issue of $73 million which included SAPAC and a solar field which has nothing to do with educating students. SPAC was the icing that got the voters to approve the bond issue.

It is TAX money – misspent and now mismanaged. When you (Mr. Richardson) made the statement in writing that SPAC would be CLOSED if the override did not pass, that certainly conflicts to your statement made on November 8 that the override has nothing to do with SPAC. 

The override was pushed through at its maximum amount. Because maximum amounts of money extracted from the taxpayer is what politicians, schools and other government run entities do. Would it have been necessary to ask for the maximum amount if SPAC was not losing $50,000 a year due to mismanagement by the school board? 

Sedona Red Rock High School Performing Arts Center was a controversial budget issue during the November 5 education budget override tax debate

Sedona Red Rock High School Performing Arts Center was a controversial issue during the November 5 education budget tax override vote

Would the taxpayers have a better attitude if a net $7 million solar field that saves the school $10,000 a month (your own numbers) result in a lifetime savings before replacement is required of $2.7 million, only costing the taxpayer a net loss of $4.3 million due to someone’s fantasy? That could have paid the salaries of teachers and M&O for a YEAR! 

Mr. Richardson, you and your operation are now under the microscope. You had a good political organization and fooled a lot of people. You have a five year reprieve before the voters will have the opportunity to review your performance.

Your AIMS scores are not good, the letters we received from ex teachers and parents about the dissatisfaction of how the system is run were quite revealing, and the rating of the three schools as compared to Camp Verde (no override) are not that impressive no matter how you want to spin it. The student population is dropping and the Charter Schools seem to be doing better.

You have five years to show us what you can do. If you continue business as usual, a well organized PAC will be ready to fight any new override vote. And it WILL be funded properly.

On the other hand, it is up to you, your staff and the administration to show the 40+% of the people that voted against the override that you DID get the message that much improvement is needed and it is not business as usual. If we, the people who are funding the operation see that improvement, then you will have an ally instead of a foe. 

It was not our intention to kill the override forever; it was our intention as stated in our ads to postpone the override for a year as unlimited dollars flowing into any government entity only leads to waste and inefficiency. We as taxpayers want BETTER value for our dollars, and so do the parents of the kids whose futures lie in the hands of an education system that is not doing what it needs to do to keep our kids competitive in the 21st century. 

Mike Schroeder
Sedona AZ


  1. Liked this article on Facebook.

  2. Where are the expected rebuttals from Daniel J. Sullivan, MD, JD and Angela LeFevre?

  3. Nancy Baer says:

    Liked this article on Facebook.

  4. sharlett says:

    HA- HA -HA J Rick………..nothing better to post? Hey a loss is a LOST cause. If ya really cared about the override you would have been on the corner with your own signs saying VOTE NO that negated what Zach (chair of the school district) and Lykens (the super duper superintendent of same) and all those precious little kids who were promised pizza after their hard work!

  5. Kids Win says:

    Sounds like some on the losing end of the override election need a fresh bottle to suck on!! Suck it up and move along, there a new issue down the road you can be on the wrong side of once again!!

  6. Dale says:

    As usual, the liberals in charge of the School District are successful by using half-truths and out-and-out lies to reach their goal of stiffing the property owners out of more of their hard-earned money so that the District can continue spending beyond their means. Come on, “Kids Win”, how about using your real name instead of hiding behind the kids…………….again!!! Is it: Kids Win, aka Mr. Richardson?

  7. Glenn says:

    This is a perfect example of why they always have voting at odd times, to make sure most of these bonds pass. The administration will as always get a good raise as usual while the teaches, who deserve it get the crumbs. We keep hearing more money means better educated children but then again Detroit and Washington D.C. have the highest paid system and the lowest results. As the system goes it will continue until there is no more left to drain from the tax payers and we see it from cities going bankrupt and this is just the beginning.

  8. Dear “Kids Win”. If you took the dozens of phone calls I did from parents who are disgusted with the school district, their inability to challenge the kids or offer diverse opportunities other than marching them down the college route as “Common Core” is designed to do, then your responses may be a shade different. Enrollment down? Yes. Many parents going to Charter Schools. They have better “A” ratings and actually seem to do a better job.

    And the calls from retired teachers, who could not say anything for fear of losing their jobs at the time were also eye opening. Mismanagement of resources, curriculum(s) that were abandoned that the kids really liked all for the purposes of furthering an objective that is resulting in 65% of our kids dropping out of college. What ARE we teaching them?

    The vote “NO” folks have not gone away, we are watching the results. We have paid attention. We have public accessible test scores showing the poor performance that IS documented by the state should anyone care to look. We will track against that, and when this comes up again, we shall see if the kids are better off or not. As it is a proven fact that for the 50 years that putting more money introduction is not making our kids smarter, in fact we have lost ground.

    So I ask you, is it the “YES” WIN you are excited about, or the fact that the kids are the ones getting the raw deal. The “NO” people will be the school districts greatest supporters IF the district can show that they can improve results and at the same time cut costs through efficiencies like other districts seem to do withOUT an override.

    By the way…I have never heard of a mother naming her baby “Kids Win”. That’s a new one on me.

  9. Kids Win says:

    Ok Mike! I expect a full report in 5 years!! Keep the microscope handy and good luck!

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