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Photo collage of safe playground, facilities, school bus, and technology

Tucson Unified School District is proposing a $180 million bond to ensure that all children in the district have the opportunity to attend schools that are comfortable, safe and conducive to learning. This bond will support four key areas of public education as shown below.
Note: None of the proposed bond money will go to administration.

  • Security and Safety: $30 million to be spent on access control, cameras, safer playgrounds, fire alarms, public address systems and fencing.
  • School Facility Maintenance: $103 million to replace or repair school air conditioning systems, roofs and mechanical systems that have passed their useful life.
  • Student Transportation: $2 million to replace buses that are beyond their useful life, to provide efficient, air-conditioned, safe transportation.
  • Learning Spaces and Technology: $45 million to provide for renovated classrooms, labs and common areas, including technology infrastructure (power, wiring, etc.), to support student achievement with a strong emphasis on college, career and technical education.

Bond Facts - Presentation from Community Forum (in PDF)

Photos of School Buildings

The average age of our 87 schools is 47 years, and they are in need repair and refurbishment.

With over $100 million in cuts to state capital funds in the past eight years, it is impossible to maintain our schools at acceptable levels.

Maintenance has been deferred; key building systems are in need of upgrades and replacement.

Old, inefficient systems drain money from education; and the environment for our students and teachers can be unacceptable.

Photo of committee members

This bond was recommended by a group of staff, parents and community members who drafted the 2016 Facilities Master Plan.

They identified the levels of funding needed (over $300 million) and the projects that should be included in various bond amounts.

This work was followed by a survey of potential voters in April 2017.

The survey indicated 70 percent of voters would support a $180 million bond.

Hand drawing 'Bottom Line'

 

Financial experts estimate that this bond will cost homeowners $3.13 per month for each $100,000 of assessed valuation of their home.

Yes.

The $45 million proposed for Learning Space Improvements and Technology came from meetings with representatives from each school.

This funding will go directly into classrooms and other spaces to support student achievement.

Additionally, monies saved through increased efficiencies and lowered maintenance can help move more funding into classrooms.

Schools are the heart of our neighborhoods. They are hubs for families; they influence property values; they serve as meeting places for students, clubs, churches, neighborhood associations. Students who graduate from quality schools become contributing members of the community, enhancing our economic security.

By state law, Tucson Unified is required to allocate the bond money in accordance with the Proposed Capital Improvements table in the election packet. For our 2004 bond, Tucson Unified established a committee of citizens to oversee bond expenditures. Members reviewed every project to recommend specific expenditures to the Governing Board.

This committee was key to the success of the 2004 bond. For the 2017 proposed bond, the Governing Board has directed the same level of citizen oversight. In fact, some members from the 2004 Bond Oversight Committee helped to draft this proposed bond.

Facilities Master Plan
Learn about the plan this bond will support!
The Facilities Master Plan >>

Hands holding sign that says 'Vote'

Voter Information

How to Vote

Where to vote:

BY MAIL! Your ballot for this election will be mailed to you. You should receive your ballot by October 15, 2017.
If you are a registered voter and do not receive a ballot or if you lose your ballot, replacement ballots will be available at the Pima County Recorder’s offices at 240 N. Stone Ave. or 6920 E. Broadway Blvd., Ste. D, from October 11 to November 7, 2017.

BALLOT DEADLINE: In order for you vote to be counted, your ballot must be RECEIVED by the Pima County Recorder no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day (Nov. 7, 2017). Ballots may be turned in on Election Day at a replacement ballot site.

Voter Survey

In 2017, between April 24 and April 29, Primary Consultants, LLC, completed a phone survey for the bond with 479 responses from voters in recent elections. The level of response provides a 95% confidence interval of ±5%.

The survey focused on four areas: 1) general attitudes and opinions about the school district and its policies, 2) community opinions towards several bond thresholds ($300 million, $240 million and $180 million), 3) community opinions towards specific uses for bond funds and 4) impacts of pro and con arguments on the vote. Results indicate:

  • There are some negative perceptions of TUSD; regardless, there is good support for public education and a bond in general.
  • In terms of bond amounts, there is marginal (54%) support for a $300M bond; decreasing the bond amount to $240M and then to $180M gains about 7% of the voters at each reduction level. This indicates that the $180 million bond is supported by 70% of the potential voters.
  • In terms of where to spend the bond, security/safety, heating and cooling, student achievement and technology had the most support.
  • Being able to spend more money in the classroom and establishing a citizen committee to oversee the bond create support for the bond to a greater extent than pointing out that State funding has been lacking.
  • All potential arguments against the bond have some negative effect but not for most voters; arguments in favor of the bond have a greater positive effect.
  • Executive Summary of Voter Survey Results (in PDF) - Presented to Governing Board on May 23, 2017
  • Voter Survey Results (in PDF)
Of the 2004 Bond...

Photo of Sandra Thiffault"McCorkle Academy has a technology-rich environment, where teachers and students create, collaborate, communicate and experience project based learning that encourages self-directed learners."
Mrs. Sandra O.C. Thiffault, Principal, Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence

Photo of Mendenhall"We have met the expectations of voters and stayed within budget. Out of the $235 million, we can account for every dollar."
Earl Mendenhall, a Tucson financial advisor, Chair of the 2004 Bond Fiscal Oversight Committee