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School Improvement Bond Election November 4
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Proposition 417

 
Information provided on this web site and in the Pima County Voter Information Pamphlet is designed to help you make an informed decision regarding this ballot issue. Please review this information carefully and exercise your right to vote on
Election Day - November 4, 2014.
                        
                       
        CLICK HERE TO VIEW QUICK FACT SHEET           
                               

Your Vote Counts

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 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.

A “no” vote shall not authorize the Marana Unified School District Governing Board to issue and sell such school improvement bonds.

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 & Operations expenses.  

 

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.  

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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.image005.jpg

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 proposition. 


If you need additional information not provided here or in the voter pamphlet, please contact:

Dan Contorno, Chief Financial Officer

Phone: 520-682-4756