What is the difference between an override and a bond and why do they require voter approval?

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When the funding provided by the state is not enough to meet the needs of all students, the state allows school districts to ask for local support through bonds and overrides. This requires Governing Board approval to place the initiative on the ballot for community approval by vote in an election.

 

Maintenance and Operations Overrides are used to provide additional funding to support people and programs. School districts may ask for an increase of up to 15 percent of their revenue control limit for a term of seven years from local secondary property taxes. Many districts ask voters to approve a renewal in year four or five of an override to maintain a consistent level of funding. If not renewed, the override amount decreases the school district’s budget by 1/3 in the sixth year, 2/3 in the seventh year, and the funds from the override would be fully eliminated in year eight.

 

Bonds authorizations are similar to a borrowing threshold that is authorized by the voters and allows a district to sell bonds in incremental amounts up to that threshold to purchase capital items and/or make capital improvements to existing facilities, such as school building renovations or the purchasing of school buses. The funding can only be used to fund projects that have a useful life longer than five years. They are repaid over a set period of time from local secondary property taxes, and the district must provide the community with information on how the dollars are spent, which are currently outlined on our district’s website. Funds from a bond cannot be used for employee compensation.

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