Vote No On Paradise Valley Override

By Brian Joseph Lesinski

I am Brian Joseph Lesinski and I am a former teacher at Paradise Valley high school and currently running for State Senate in LD 15. My current project is to defeat Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) M&O Budget Override election held Tuesday, November 7th 2017.

In PVUSD alone, the average homeowner would save $192.50 per year or $77 per $100,000 assessed valuation. PVUSD takes in $330,000,000 per year to teach 33,000 students. In just over 3 years that amounts to a BILLION dollars. Tax revenue collected in the PVUSD would be better spent in the classrooms and not wasted on bureaucratic overhead.

Total annual per-pupil funding for PVUSD from all sources was $10,004 per pupil for the 2015-2016 school year; according to the latest available Annual Report from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

PVUSD allows 40 students per teacher for a total of $400,000 per classroom per year. Currently PVUSD teacher’s beginning pay is $34,000 per year.  The balance of funding per classroom is $366,000 each YEAR – wasted on bureaucratic overhead.

Our district’s families and teachers would benefit more when less is spent on bureaucratic overhead and a larger portion of funding was directly spent in the classroom – specifically into teacher’s compensation and supplies. No more will parents need to send their kids to school with a backpack full of school items that should be provided for with school funds.

If the district limited administrative overhead and other programs to a generous 33 percent, teachers’ starting pay could be increased to $60,000 and top out at $80,000 over 10 years.

Additionally, if a teacher has a Master’s Degree or dedicates the many hours necessary to sponsor a club or student organization, then they should be paid a $10,000 to $20,000 stipend.

These numbers may seem unreachable without raising taxes, but not only can we move the money into the classroom but we can do it and give taxpayers a rebate on their property tax.

For more information on how to raise teachers’ pay visit my website or my campaign website at


About Opinion 373 Articles
Under the leadership of Editor in Chief Huey Freeman, the Editorial Board of the Arizona Daily Independent offers readers an opportunity to comments on current events and the pressing issues of the day. Occasionally, the Board weighs-in on issues of concern for the residents of Arizona and the US.


  1. They’ve said before that the money will go to the teachers! AND IT DIDN’T! How do I know it will go there this time? We have three ballots in our house and we are leaning towards voting NO! I’m tired of all the lies in politics.

  2. If most of the M&O funds go to teacher salaries, I don’t see how approval would hurt in attracting and retaining quality instructors. Running for a position on the school board to address bureaucratic overhead, which you’ve identified as the real problem, seems like a more effective solution than defeating a funding increase.

  3. I’m confused. I don’t know if I should vote yes or no to the budget increase. I want teachers to get paid more. Will this budget increase help teachers get paid more?

    • On the school district website, it says the M&O override money is used “almost exclusively for teacher and staff salaries”. So you want to help the teachers get paid more, vote YES!! (BTW, I am a teacher )
      Here’s the link:
      Thank you!!

      • Thank you. I will be voting yes. I really hope they give teachers a raise because it looks like PV District doesn’t like to give its teachers raises (based on the comments wtitten by the “former teacher. ” Teachers are way underpaid for all they do. God bless teachers!!

  4. You are absolutely right!
    I was a teacher in the PVUSD for 10 years. I did not receive a raise in pay even once.
    The wasted money and misspent money I witnessed was appalling!

  5. I’m with you, we received the ballot yesterday. For “General Maintenance and Operations” I’m so very sick and tired of the low pay of our teacher in Arizona, we are dead last. Previous ballots for vote implied the money would go to teachers, well, yes the received about $20-50 per month.

  6. So we are now voting to override a budget override. Whose budget to begin with, or is this the process – the board puts out a budget and see how it works? Well, why not do that instead of the costly override business? But do it better because the override did not work for its term. Use computers to anticipate expenditures, inflation, student population (we’re all built up here) and find numbers that work so we do not have infighting and acrimony. A winner proposes a workable budget, not derides the necessary improved product.

  7. I disagree. PVUSD is not in the fincial state it is in because of miss use of fund but because of underfunding by our state. We are ranked as one of the lowest for teacher pay as a state and this school year alone have lost over 5,000 teachers. This is not a district issue this is a state issue. I my hope is you would look at all of the facts for Arizona before targeting PVUSD and if elected to the Senetate willlool at how to start investing in our students again.
    “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children” Walt Disney
    Please vote YES on the PVUSD M&O override and invest in our greatest natural resource!

  8. I disagree with this argument as it assumes that all money not included in teacher salary is wasted on bureaucratic overhead, I see several flaws with his “logical” argument. As a former teacher, the author should know that money spent in the classroom includes more than just teacher salary. There is much more to running a classroom than just paying the teacher salary. For instance, the building I teach in needs to be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis, mechanical systems such as A/C must be repaired or replaced when needed, classroom supplies must be purchased, technology used by students and teachers must be maintained and replaced periodically, we need IT staff to manage the extensive computer network that supports our use of technology. Besides this teachers do not work alone in their classrooms, there are security staff, counselors, records keepers, administrative assistants, and site administrators who provide the guidance and support to help make great things happen in the classroom. If the author bothered to add all these additional costs into his equation I think we would see that far less money is being “wasted on bureaucratic overhead.” The real fact is that AZ public schools receive less money than other states, yet we do our best everyday to serve our families and students, providing them with the best educational opportunities we can. When life gives us lemons we find a way to squeeze more juice from the lemons we have. Evidence for this lies in the fact that AZ ranked 44 in school finance and chance for success, yet we ranked 26 in K-12 achievement. Please read the following article.

  9. I agree.

    The school district and the schools themselves are top heavy. When I attended Shadow Mountain in the late 1970’s, there was one principal. Now there are 3-4 principals/assistant principals all earning high-end salaries. What is the difference between 1979 and 2017? Same student populations, perhaps even more back in 1979.

    What is going on at other schools in the district? What are the pay grades in the district headquarters? At the schools?

    Who is getting paid what amount?

    • While PVUSD was once the highest paying district in the state we are now pay around the same amount for all positions. All school district are struggling right now, this isn’t a PV issue, this is a state funding issue. Whenever there is a deficit int budget they cut funding to education, then put demand on the districts that we have to pay for to meet. As easy as it would be to tie up the money issues in a nice little package like Mr. Lesinski did I’m afraid it can’t be. As for why do we have so many higher ups, our district service 31,487 students in 44 schools that spread out over 100 square miles with a total of 3,757 just a couple of people could not keep a district this size operating at a level that is best for our students.

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