MUSD President: Yes, on Prop 457

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Six years ago, Maricopa faced a problem that impacted some of the youngest people in our community. This problem was not seen or known by some in Maricopa, but our family experienced it.

The problem was large class sizes that made teaching and learning difficult to say the least. Want proof?

In 2016, at one MUSD elementary school there were 34 students in a kindergarten class and 32 in another. The passage of the Override in 2016 allowed MUSD to hire another kindergarten teacher that split those large class sizes into three smaller classes, more manageable and conducive to teaching and learning the basics.

The continuation of the Override funds two things by law: Hiring and maintaining teacher positions to help keep class sizes smaller and manageable, which also provided for RAM Academy (credit recovery and degree completion), and classroom technology.

I’ve had the privilege of congratulating students that graduated from RAM Academy, for some their only option for completing high school, and I can’t tell you how big their smiles were. With the classroom technology, MUSD provided devices to every student, something that many other districts were not able to do.

These are just a few examples of the difference that the Override has made in the last five years. Please join me in voting YES on the CONTINUATION of the Override and making a positive difference in education right here in Maricopa.

Ben Owens is president of the Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board.