School Finance Overview
Community support is one of the hallmarks of Madison School District’s fiscal stability. State budget shortfalls and the subsequent cuts to K – 12 education funding since 2008 have created challenges for schools. Madison is fortunate and thankful to have a long history of support from our voters, and we strive to be effective stewards of tax-payer monies.
Schools receive funding from a variety of sources: the state and federal governments, local property taxes, and grants. However, all dollars have a specific purpose and cannot generally be spent in other areas. Under state law, the district may spend the funds in two ways:
- Maintenance and Operations (M&O) funds are used for running the schools and fund employee salaries and benefits, classroom supplies, and transportation.
- Capital funds are used to build and equip schools, repair and upgrade existing buildings, buy school buses, and purchase technology.
Maintenance & Operations Overrides
To continue existing programs and services, the Madison Governing Board called for a Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Override. The M&O Override, approved by voters in November 2019, allows Madison to increase its budget by 15 percent of the state formula.
The $4.9 million Maintenance and Operations Override continues to:
- Provide access to curriculum and Signature Programs for every student
- Recruit and retain highly qualified education professionals
- Provide student and staff support services
State funding for school improvements and building construction has decreased since 2008. Arizona’s “Students FIRST” legislation passed in 1998 was to provide funding for district renovation and maintenance projects, however this state funding was permanently cut.
In addition, Madison’s capital funding formula from the state has not been increased for over 25 years.
While Madison regularly performs routine maintenance on all buildings and systems, age and wear on buildings eventually require repair, renovation, and replacement. To provide funds to continue preventative maintenance, purchase curricular resources, and replace aging technology in the District, the Governing Board may call for a District Additional Assistance (Capital) Override.
The continuation of the Capital Override, approved by voters in November 2016, allows Madison to increase its budget by the lesser of $4.6 million or 10% of the revenue control limit for capital purposes. It is estimated the Capital Override budget for fiscal year 2020/21 will be $3.1 million.
The Capital Override will provide funding for:
- Adopted and Supplemental Curriculum Materials
- Computing Devices
- Curricular Software
- System & Support Software
- Student Information System
- Data Warehouse
- Technology Infrastructure
- Furniture and Equipment
- Preventative Maintenance
Public school districts use funds from voter-approved bond elections for projects that have a useful lifespan greater than five years. Examples include building new schools, improvements to existing buildings (HVAC, roof, and lighting), technology, student transportation vehicles, and more.
In early 2019, a citizens’ financial advisory committee was charged with researching and developing future capital needs for Madison to ensure students are prepared to be successful. After a couple months of meeting, the committee made the recommendation to call for a bond to the Madison Governing Board. The Board approved a resolution ordering a $90 million bond. The Bond was approved by voters in November 2019.
The Bond will provide funding for the following items:
- New School and Facility Construction
- School and Athletic Facility Renovations and Improvements
- Energy Conservation
- Instructional Technology Systems
- Student Transportation Vehicles
- Security and Safety