School Improvement Bond Election November 4
On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, an election will be held in the Marana Unified School District. Registered voters will have the opportunity to decide an important financial matter for the school district.
The Marana Unified School District will be asking the registered voters of the district if they will authorize the school district to issue and sell $125,000,000 principal amount of school improvement bonds to enhance safety, efficiency and address growth in the district. The ballot issue is:
Proposition 417: Issuance and sale of $125,000,000 school improvement bonds.
A “yes” vote
shall authorize 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.
A “no” vote shall not authorize the Marana Unified
School District Governing Board to issue and sell such school improvement
Why has this election been called?
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 is unable to meet future facility and related capital projects without obtaining additional financial resources.
Review of State
capital funding formulas show that State funding for school improvements and
building construction has decreased since 2008. The State has
eliminated building renewal funds and soft capital. This loss, of approximately
$4,700,000 per year, is 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 eliminates
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 has called this 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.
What are bonds and what are they used for?
Bonds are a debt
instrument, approved by the voters, which are secured by a school district. Bonds
are entirely funded by the levy of taxes on the secondary assessed value of
property located within the district. They
allow school districts to fund capital projects and pay back the debt over time
using tax dollars, similar to a mortgage on a home. Payments on the "mortgage" are made by property owners in the school district.
Bonds can only be used to fund particular capital projects such as new school and facility construction, instructional technology, school and athletic renovations, preventative maintenance and repairs, student transportation vehicles.
A school district cannot utilize designated bond funds for purposes other than those defined in the voter pamphlet. By law, school districts must provide
an itemized list of capital projects and associated dollar amounts when
requesting voter authorization to issue and sell General Obligation Bonds.
A bond election is different than an override election. An override election provides money for Maintenance & Operations expenses such as employee positions, utilities, classroom supplies, etc. A school district cannot utilize designated bond funds for Maintenance &
Is funding provided by the State for these types of capital projects?
Review of State capital funding formulas show that State funding for
school improvements and building construction has decreased since
2008. The State has eliminated building renewal funds and soft capital. This
loss to the District, of approximately $4,700,000 per year, is 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.
Will a bond affect the secondary tax levy on my 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.
Select to Enlarge
With voter approval, how long can the District issue and sell bonds?
The district would have the
authorization to issue and sell bonds for ten years; however if approved the
district anticipates using these funds within five to seven years for the
capital projects as itemized in the voter pamphlet.
When will the election be held?
The election will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
The polls will be open from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Election Day. Any qualified voter who is in line to vote at 7:00 PM shall be allowed to prepare and cast their ballot.
Can I vote in this election?
If you are registered to vote in a precinct within the boundaries of the Marana Unified School District on or before midnight Monday, October 6, 2014, you are eligible to vote in this election. Request early ballot by October 24, 2014.
Register to vote by clicking on this link.
Request an early ballot by clicking on this link.
If you do not know if you are registered to vote or need more information, please contact the Pima County Recorder's Office website or by phone at (520) 724-4330.
Where do I vote?
If you are a registered voter in the Marana Unified School District and eligible to vote in this election, your precinct polling place is listed on the mailing label of the Voter Information Pamphlet that will be mailed to registered voters on or about October 9, 2014.
Although the Marana School District
Governing Board has called for the bond election to be held in
November, the Board, the District, and its employees - in their official
capacities - cannot make any recommendation on how to vote on the bond
If you need additional information not provided here or in the voter pamphlet, please contact:
Dan Contorno, Chief Financial Officer