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Letters to the Editor: August 23, 2017

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Desperate change needed for Liberty school district

Editor:

In a letter on August 16, Dr. Andrew Rogers stated Liberty Elementary School District’s academic performance is improving. I am not sure what AZ Merit scores he was looking at, but one school in the district went from 85 percent in 2009 to 59 percent in 2016, while another went from 44 percent to 28 percent. Oh, and the pledge of support from the governing board was written by Dr. Rogers himself, as admitted in the West Valley View in March.

Dr. Rogers says our schools are increasing in numbers because of houses being built, but many of our students are leaving for charters. I also question the motives of board members Thad McCloud, Mike Newman and Regina Simmons. McCloud has moved out of state and no longer resides in the district. He refuses to resign and is taking up a seat on our very important governing board. He does not have our children’s best interests at heart.

Since January, Newman and Thad have each missed four meetings and three have been canceled. Newman, McCloud and Simmons (appointed) will not answer phone calls, emails or texts from their constituents. They lack dedication.

Liberty Elementary School District is under investigation with the Arizona ombudsman’s office due to violations that have occurred with public records requests. It is also being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office for violation of open meeting laws under the direction of Dr. Andy Rogers. He continues to get performance raises of 10 percent, while our district is suffering and test scores are falling. Dr. Rogers needs to be held accountable for his devious and unlawful actions. The corruption in this district is like none other!



Emily Snyder

Goodyear

 

Teen workers need support of residents

Editor:

While driving to work, I heard a story about the growing percentage of teens who don’t work. The major reason? Retail businesses aren’t hiring. Instead, they’re reducing jobs at a rapid pace. Think about that the next time you order just about everything online. We can’t complain about lazy kids if we’re the reason for it! The recent move by Amazon to buy Whole Foods means they could soon start to swallow up grocery chains. Amazon is known for automating almost everything it does. Think about how this could shrink local tax income and retail jobs, especially for teens. Maybe it’s time to put down our electronic devices, actually leave our homes, and support the local community.

 

Karla Thompson

Avondale

 

School district clarification

Editor:

In response to Rich Kane in the August 9, 2017, West Valley View (“Curious about school districts”), the school districts were here first. Their boundaries have been more or less the same for decades. Every time the city gobbles up more land, it runs the risk of getting another district, such as the 12-student mobile district.

There is no such thing as a bond override, or overrides on current bond elections. They are two separate things.

Bonds are like mortgages, a loan to buy buildings for the most part. Districts are limited to having outstanding bonds at a small percentage of the district-assessed valuation. Once the citizens vote for the bond sale, they are all not sold immediately and may not ever be sold if the time frame to sell them runs out before the bonding capacity is available. One thing to remember: If the Legislature properly funded the agency mandated to build the schools, most bonds would not be required for the districts to build or repair their schools.

Overrides are the local communities’ ability to fund their schools at more than the small amount the state gives them. Also limited to a small percentage of a portion of the school district budget, it is used for maintenance and operation of the district – a fancy way of saying employee salaries and benefits, as over 85 percent of the M&O is for that. That additional funding is valid for seven years, but the citizens have to reapprove it after four years or it starts decreasing.

You are not taxed for the six districts, only the two you are within. Sometimes it is every year for one or the other, and sometimes it is not, but it seems like it.

School board elections are coming up. Contact County Superintendent Steve Watson to see how you can serve on your local board.

 

Richard Hopkins

Buckeye

 

APS increase unwarranted

Editor:

Well, maybe I just fell off of the turnip truck – or not – but why is APS getting an average $6 rate increase per customer approved by our AZ Corporate Commission?

Maybe it is because APS provides political funds to politicians who are running for election to the Arizona Corporate Commission and other state political offices? I guess they have money to give away in political campaigns to be sure the “right person” gets elected but they now need a “rate increase” to help with energy costs? Is there something wrong with this picture? Don’t be giving money away and then try to make it up on the backs of your customers. Shame on the Arizona Corporate Commission. Try to remember who they are so when election time comes up they get the boot. Just like at the federal level, when money and influence changes hands our representatives do not truly represent their constituents.

 

Larry Carter

Goodyear

 
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