Hundreds of jobs, programs at stake in Sunnyside budget vote

Simone Del Rosario

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Hundreds of jobs, programs at stake in Sunnyside budget vote

CREATED Oct. 15, 2013

 TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Sunnyside Unified School District is fighting for millions of dollars that would come right out of taxpayers' pockets -- to save more than 100 staff positions and several programs from being cut. 

The district held a public forum Tuesday night to educate voters on what the schools stand to lose if the $9.2 million budget override doesn't pass, including 26 kindergarten teachers, 13 music teachers, 10 school nurses and 10 security monitors. 

The district said all-day kindergarten, Ocotillo Early Learning and athletic departments could take major hits. 

But the controversy surrounding the district has some taxpayers standing up against the override. 

"Can this board, by their recent actions that has been public knowledge, be trusted to properly use these monies in the right places?" one opponent said. 

Still, others implored the audience to forget the politics and think about the kids. 

"I don't want you to forget the students," said one Sunnyside teacher. "This is all about them and it's about their success."

"Our students need the athletics. They need the counselors, the nurses, the parent involvement assistance; they need everything we offer in our district," said one parent and Sunnyside graduate. 

If the override passes, the district said a homeowner with a property value of $100,000 will pay an extra $180 next year in property taxes. 

But taxpayers have already defeated the override the past two years. This year, the district said they hope they can get their message across. 

Voters will take to the ballot to vote on Proposition 405 November 5. 

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