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Thank You for Supporting Education!
           

School Improvement Bond passes with 61% voter approval!

WEB DougWilson2.jpgMESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT

On 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. 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.

 

The 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.

 

The 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 our community.

 

The 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.     

 

Warm Regards,

Doug Wilson, Ed.D.
Superintendent


About Bond

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 five-seven years:

School and Athletic Facility Renovations & Improvements  $34.1 million 

  • Provide campus specific improvements to provide children with safe, modern learning environments including but not limited to purchase of classroom furniture and fixtures, installation of shade structures, and improvements to student pickup/drop off areas, school grounds and restroom facilities.
  • Improve heating/cooling systems.
  • Purchase cafeteria kitchen ovens to increase student choice and operational efficiency.
  • Replace facilities and maintenance equipment and vehicles that are past their useful life.
  • Renovate high school athletic stadiums to ensure compliance with Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

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 need.
  • 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.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW QUICK FACT SHEET         

Why the election was 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 was 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 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.

 

 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 & Operations expenses.  

 

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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