Education

Isaiah Breaux, 13, works on a language arts assignment during Kat Marsh’s eighth grade class at Old Vail Middle School.

Five area school districts are asking voters for more money in this election.

Amphitheater and Sahuarita want capital funds for things such as building improvements, while Marana, Continental Elementary and Vail want to continue their operational overrides, which have funded various programs, including arts.

Here’s what superintendents say about why they need the money:

Amphitheater School District

How much: $58 million in bonds.

Why: Capital funding from the state has been reduced by approximately 87 percent since 2005, from $7.72 million to a little over $800,000.

Top priorities: Renovation of facilities, including roofing, heating and cooling, maintenance of facilities, replacement of aged electrical infrastructure and lightning.

Cost to you: The cost of the existing levy, which is $4.11 per month for the average homeowner.

What happens if it fails: Maintenance and renovations would not be done.

Continental Elementary School District

How much: A 14 percent maintenance and operations budget override, or $480,000. The existing override is 15 percent.

Why: The override supports some programs the community considers essential, including full-day kindergarten. It also helps reduce class sizes by about six children per class.

Top priorities: Full-day kindergarten, arts and physical education, smaller class sizes.

Cost to you: About $1.92 for an average homeowner in the district, in place of the existing levy.

What happens if it fails: Phase-out of the existing override. Starting in 2017, the district would have to reduce spending by about $150,000. Program cuts are possible.

Marana Unified School District

How much: Reauthorization of an existing 10 percent maintenance and operations budget override, which is about $6.6 million.

Why: While thrilled with Prop. 123 money, without the override, the district would to be exchanging money the first year and losing money in later years. The override funds programs and positions, including school aides, counseling, full-day kindergarten, library, athletics, physical education and fine arts.

Top priorities: Staffing, class size and maintaining existing programs, including fine arts.

Cost to you: The cost of the existing levy, which is $2.42 per month for the average homeowner.

What happens if it fails: Class sizes could grow and some programs would be at risk.

Sahuarita Unified School District

How much: The lesser of $1 million or a 10 percent district additional assistance override, which is capital funding, plus $25 million in bonds.

Why: The district’s additional assistance override would help with repair and renewal of buildings as well as instructional resources, including books, technology and school buses. The bonds would pay for construction of a new school and would replace old portable buildings being used in schools. Last year’s attempt at $40 million in bonds failed narrowly, but a smaller and more specific plan could make passage more likely.

Top priorities: Major facility repairs, instructional resources like books and technology, and school transportation vehicles. A new school and new portable buildings.

Cost to you: About $3 per month for the average homeowner for the overrride and $12 per month per average homeowner for the bonds.

What happens if they fail: The district needs a new school in the next couple of years, most critically to serve the K-8 population. Without the funds, class sizes will grow.

Vail Unified School District

How much: A 12.5 percent maintenance and operations budget override, or about $8.2 million. That’s 2.5 percent more than the existing 10 percent override.

Why: The 10 percent override funds about 100 teachers. In the original override in 1993, voters were told funding would maintain art, music and physical education teachers and help control class sizes. The additional 2.5 percent is also being requested to help find quality teachers. It also would help pay for raises for teachers and non-administrative staff.

Top priorities: Retain 100 positions funded by existing override, protect against larger class sizes and be competitive in the teacher job market.

Cost to you: $5 per month for the average homeowner, in place of the existing levy.

What happens if it fails: No raises, and the district would begin to phase out those 100 teaching positions.

Contact reporter Yoohyun Jung at 573-4243 or yjung@tucson.com. On Twitter: @yoohyun_jung