January Message from Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux

Dear Parents, Community Members and Colleagues,

Happy New Year! I know we are all feeling hopeful about this New Year and looking forward to new beginnings. Speaking of new beginnings, I have been asked questions and wanted to share information about Prop 208 Arizona Proposition 208, a Tax on Incomes Exceeding $250,000 for Teacher Salaries and Schools Initiative that was passed by the voters 52% to 48% last November 3, 2020.

According to Arizona State School Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, schools and districts will see the funds around Spring of 2022 as the Arizona Department of Education, the Office of Management and Budget will set up the distribution, and accounting system that will distribute the funds. The final amounts are not known yet, but the Pendergast District could receive an allocation between $3 and $5 million to use according to the guidelines.

Ballotpedia states that the ballot initiative enacted a 3.50% income tax, in addition to the existing income tax, on taxable income above $250,000 (single filing) or $500,000 (joint filing). In Arizona, business owners also filed pass-through income from sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and S Corporations under the individual income tax code. The ballot initiative would have the effect of increasing the tax rate from 4.50% to 8.00% on income above $250,000 (single filing) or $500,000 (joint filing).

How was the tax revenue set to be distributed? The ballot initiative required that revenue from the 3.50% income tax be placed in the Student Support and Safety Fund (SSSF), which, after funding administrative costs, was set to be distributed as follows:

  1. 50% of funds to be allocated to school districts, charter schools, and  state schools for the deaf and blind—in proportion to the weighted student count—to hire and increase base compensation for teachers and other certified employees, such as Counselors and Nurses;
  2. 25% of funds to be allocated to school districts, charter schools, and  state schools for the deaf and blind—in proportion to the weighted student count—to hire and increase base compensation for student support services personnel, including Instructional Aides and Bus Drivers;
  3. 10% of the funds to be allocated to school districts, charter schools, and state schools for the deaf and blind—in proportion to the weighted student count—to provide programs for retaining and mentoring Teachers;
  4. 12% of the funds to be allocated to Career and Technical Education Programs. This programming would provide funding to school districts, charter schools, and career technical districts for career and technical programs for grades 9-12, college-level educational opportunities, academic acceleration programs, tutoring, mentoring, counseling, mental health services for high school students, and hiring school counselors; and
  5. 3% of the funds to be allocated to the Arizona Teachers Academy, which waives college tuition for Teachers in Training who commit to work in Arizona schools after graduation.

We look forward to seeing the benefits for our staff and students from Prop 208 and will keep you posted, as information is forthcoming.

Please stay connected with us through Facebook, Instagram, our website and Twitter and remember, we are Pendergast, the district that believes in YOU!

Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux
Proud Pendergast Superintendent


About Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux

Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux was born in New York, N.Y. where she attended elementary school and two years of high school. Her family then moved to Isabela, Puerto Rico where she completed high school and college.

Lily's educational preparation includes degrees in Elementary Education (BA), Educational Leadership and Supervision (MA and PHD), all from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a BA in Business Administration from the University of Puerto Rico. Her experiences are varied and include serving as a teacher, elementary school principal, middle school dean of students, assistant superintendent, adjunct university professor, English as a Second Language Instructor, director of religious education at a military base, business owner, and community volunteer. Lily owned a technology company for six years before returning to her true love; education.

Dr. DeBlieux was appointed as the first bi-lingual, Latina Superintendent of the Pendergast Elementary School District in May 2014. She feels privileged to work in an environment with dedicated individuals and a Governing Board that supports "empowering excellence and success."

In her spare time, Lily loves to spend time with family, read, travel, and serve her community. She is active in many community organizations including The Hispanic Leadership Institute, Glendale West Rotary, Leadership West Class XXII, City of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission, Glendale Chamber of Commerce and others. Lily is sought after as a motivational speaker and, in 2015, she founded the organization Si no yo, quién? LLC to provide training to empower women to reach new heights in their personal and professional lives.