One of the most disappointing aspects of our decision to make Payson our home for our retirement years has been the horrific record of the Payson Union School District. I thought that I had experienced a double whammy of the worst government school districts possible as a resident of the Cartwright Elementary School District under the criminal leadership of William Dabb and the socialist DEMOniCRAT controlled Phoenix Union School District. There was a feeling that moving to the rural “Heart of Arizona” guaranteed meteoric improvement in K-12.
Well, now that we have been here for the third school year, I have come to the disturbing conclusion that PUSD is the worst of all – and dropping like a sinkhole. Probably the one saving grace for our community is in comparison to Cartwright and Phoenix Union is lack of the underlying corruption. PUSD, as far as I can ascertain, is suffering from incompetence abetted by a pro-active newspaper advocate. The obfuscating pubic relations campaign by a “consulting publications editor“(a self adulation moniker) has given the administration the leeway to continue their failing policies. Again, in Cartwright and Phoenix Union there was a consistent intentional corrupt leadership that I have not seen here.
So what is the bottom line here. It is actually twofold – exorbitant excessive property tax rates and horrific student achievement outcomes.. Lets look at the financial situation first. Over the last few years, the property tax rates here have been increased by 70% resulting in more than a doubling of revenues to PUSD due to the rate and additional property valuations. This gigantic increase in revenues has occurred at the same time where the number of students has decreased by triple digits. In the last PUSD public report, the district reported a balance on the books of $9,113,089.00. The adverse impact of these unnecessary property tax confiscations is felt the most by seniors on fixed incomes and young families who are struggling to make ends meet in the current high inflationary economy. If that were the only bad news from PUSD, that should be enough to focus immediately on that and apply corrective measures, but there is more – much more and we will address the cess pool sludge in our next article.