Chandler Unified School District wants money to improve security and offset funding cuts

CHANDLER, AZ - The Chandler Unified School District is asking voters to approve a 15 percent maintenance and operations budget override on Tuesday.

If it doesn't pass, $20 million would be cut from the district. That is the equivalent of 333 teachers.

"We are investing in the future. When you invest in education it pays off," Jim Bishop said.

Bishop has two children who go to school within the Chandler School District. He wants voters to support an initiative to fund education.

The tax is currently at 10 percent, which means homeowners pay $91 a year for a home valued at $100,000.

The new rate would increase to 15 percent, which means the tax would increase to $137 a year for the same type of home. That's an increase of less than $4 a month.

"This isn't a want, it's a necessity for the district, you can't cut $36 million and do nothing to replace that," said Bishop.

Efforts to get this override passed failed last year.

"They want a yes. It doesn't matter what we think," said Isabel Martinez. Part of the money would go to make sure schools are safe.

The district would be able to buy cameras, and install locks on every classroom door, which would allow teachers to lock their classrooms from the inside.

It would also go to hire 15 security guards and pay for an emergency notification system.

"To me security is a basic necessity," Bishop said.

Despite the need, some voters are against paying more.

"I'm not happy, I don't think anyone is happy," Martinez said.

The school district operates 42 schools that offer classes from kindergarten through 12th grade.

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