MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
behalf of the Marana Unified School District staff and members of the Governing
Board, I extend our deepest appreciation to the community for supporting
education by voting "Yes" for our School Improvement Bond proposal in the special
election on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Results from the Pima County Elections
Department shows the bond passed with a 61% approval! This is a true testament
of our community’s support for public education and their commitment to our
students, staff, and schools.
success of the bond election will provide critical resources to enhance safety,
efficiency, and address growth in the District over the next five-seven years.
Schools will have the ability to implement campus specific improvements
ensuring that students have a 21st century learning environment that inspires
them to achieve academic and personal excellence. We will begin working with
architects regarding new school construction, as well as replacing necessary
modular school structures with permanent brick and mortar buildings and
proceeding with critical renovations and improvements. Our commitment to
providing state-of-the-art instructional technology for our students and
teachers will continue, along with providing fuel-efficient school buses and so
much more. This is an exciting time for our District.
District also extends a tremendous thank you to the Political Action Committee
who worked tirelessly to rally the support of our community. These individuals,
led by MUSD parent David Dobkins, spent countless hours advocating on behalf of
the students and staff in our District. Their hard work and commitment
emphasizes the strong partnerships in existence between schools, parents, and
Marana Unified School District is pleased to be a part of this community and we
thank you for placing your trust in us. I look forward to providing updates on our bond projects over the next five to seven years.
Doug Wilson, Ed.D.
In 2014 a community-driven Capital Improvement Plan Committee was charged with examining current and future projects for the District, and analyzing capital project costs to ensure students have a 21st century learning environment that inspires them to achieve academic and personal excellence.
The committee determined, based on community survey data – focus groups – interviews – review of current State funding formulas – student enrollment projections, the Marana Unified School District was unable to meet future facility and related capital projects without obtaining additional financial resources.
Review of State capital funding formulas showed that State funding for school improvements and building construction had decreased since 2008. The State had eliminated building renewal funds and soft capital. This loss, of approximately $4,700,000 per year, was intended to fund capital expenditures including preventive maintenance projects, transportation and equipment, instructional technology, and other items used by students and teachers in the classroom. In addition, a change to the new school construction funding formula eliminated this funding source for the District.
Based on the community committee review and the lack of funding from the State, the Marana Unified School District Governing Board called the special bond election to provide funding for school and athletic facility renovations and improvements, new school construction, instructional technology and student transportation not currently funded by the State. A bond election is a mechanism to obtain funding for these capital improvements.
On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, voters in the Marana Unified School District approved Proposition 417: Issuance and sale of $125,000,000 school improvement bonds.
The authorization provides the Marana Unified School District Governing Board to issue and
sell school improvement bonds for the following capital projects over the next
School and Athletic Facility Renovations & Improvements $34.1 million
New School & Facility Construction $67.6 million
- Construct two new (elementary and/or k-8) schools within the area of greatest need in the community. New facilities will expand the capacity of the district, relieving enrollment pressures on other district schools.
- Replace existing modular school
structure with permanent brick and mortar building, based on instructional
- Construct a state-of-the-art performing
arts center, which would be available for use by district schools and
community. The center would be built on the site of the future high school and
would serve as the future high school’s auditorium. The performing arts center
would only be built if supplemental funds are obtained.
- Construct a new student Transportation,
Maintenance & Operation facility in a centralized location. The relocation
and upgrade of the facility to a centralized location will create efficiencies
and enhance service delivery by decreasing mileage, operating costs and time.
Instructional Technology Systems $12 million
- Purchase instructional technology for use by students and teachers and upgrade network infrastructure to enhance the educational environment district-wide.
Student Transportation Vehicles $11.3 million
- Purchase air conditioned, fuel-efficient school buses to respond to growth in District and to replace buses and vans in fleet that are past their useful life. This purchase will provide safe transportation in a growing district while decreasing the rising costs of current repairs and enhancing efficiency through the use of compressed natural gas. The District currently has 132 buses - purchased between 1994-2014.The District has replaced 84 buses over the past four years.
Secondary tax levy on property
The District intends to structure
payments on the new bonds in a method that continues to consider the overall
impact on taxpayers.
Though future changes in District assessed value would
cause tax rates to fluctuate for a given year, the District estimates that the
average annual secondary tax rate when combined with tax rates for existing overrides &
bonds, will not increase over current levels by more than $0.18 per $100 of
assessed value (this equates to $1.50 per month/$18 annual for $100,000 of home value) for the duration of the bond.
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If you need additional information, please contact Dan Contorno, Chief Financial Officer at 520-682-4756 or email Mr. Contorno.