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Superintendent's Message                  December 9, 2016

The Arizona Public Schools Tax Credit

Earlier this week, you should have received a copy of this year's FHUSD Tax Credit Donation Form in your mailbox.  Here's a link to that form:    FHUSD Tax Credit Flyer 2016  

Many times throughout the year, I'm asked by parents and non-parents alike, "How can we help the district financially?"  Taking advantage of this tax credit and making a public schools tax credit contribution to FHUSD is one such way.  The only requirement for individuals to take advantage of this tax credit is that they pay taxes to the state of Arizona.  There is no requirement that a contributor has a child in one of our schools, so this tax credit is available to all taxpayers.

At the risk of appearing to beat the proverbial dead horse, I want to emphasize the importance of these contributions to the District's operations and financial well-being. Our goal is to fund ALL extracurricular activities, from athletics to theatre to robotics to Homework Club, from non-Maintenance and Operations (M&O) sources.  M&O constitutes the bulk of our operating budget and is formula-driven by school finance legislation.  Almost 90% of that allocation goes to support salaries and benefits for our employees.  We have adjusted our salary schedule to be more competitive with surrounding districts in terms of attracting and retaining great teachers and we want to maintain that competitive position moving forward.  To do that, we need to not tap into our M&O budget to fund extracurriculars but rather grow our non-M&O revenue, which comes primarily from gifts, donations, and tax credit contributions.

Despite political rhetoric that suggests schools don't need money to operate, the fact of the matter is, we do.  Quality programs and quality people cost money and we seek to provide the best of both.  For each of the last two years, FHUSD has received close to $400,000 in Public School Tax Credit contributions, making a HUGELY positive impact on our financial health and well-being.    

If you haven't done so already, please consider making your Public School Tax Credit donation to FHUSD or any one of our schools.  Please encourage friends and family to do so as well.  All such contributions are deeply appreciated and will go directly to supporting excellence in our schools by continuing to fund world-class extracurricular experiences for our students.

Kind Regards,

Patrick Sweeney, Ed.D.

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