Voters Approve DVUSD Funding

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UPDATE NOV. 13, 2019 — Voters approved two measures in the recent mail-in election that will ensure Deer Valley Unified School District has adequate funding. The renewal of a Maintenance and Operations override homeowner tax passed with 52 percent approval, and 59 percent of voters said “yes” to the continuation of approval to issue bonds. The funds will “provide building improvements on all DVUSD campuses, allow DVUSD to maintain class sizes, attract and retain teachers and staff,” and keep other important programs operational, said district Superintendent Dr. Curtis Finch. The article below, explaining the measures, remains as originally written.

Voters to Decide DVUSD Dollars

OCT. 9, 2019 — Voters in Deer Valley Unified School District will have a say on two important ballot questions in a special mail-only election with a deadline of Tuesday, Nov. 5. 

One would renew a Maintenance and Operations (M&O) override, which is a homeowner tax already in place to help the district fund basic needs not fully funded by the state. The other would determine the fate of the district’s next new elementary school and improvements to existing schools via a bond issuance. 

Neither ballot request would result in tax increases. “Both of these are structured as to not cause a tax-rate increase for property owners,” said Jim Migliorino, DVUSD deputy superintendent of fiscal services. 

The M&O Tax  

DVUSD’s current M&O override tax has generated about $28 million in annual additional revenue to make up for state-imposed reductions in funding, including supporting competitive salaries, maintaining class sizes and financing special programs such as full-day kindergarten, language immersion, gifted services, arts, chorus, band, theater, dance and athletics.

M&O overrides expire every five years and require voter approval, or the funding goes away, Migliorino said. 

Successful passage of the override would equate to a continuation of $19.23 a month in property tax on the average assessed value of homes within the district.

The Bond 

To address state funding gaps, DVUSD seeks approval to issue $175 million in bonds through year 2025, to pick up where a 2013 bond left off and allow DVUSD to take care of new safety improvements and renovations of existing schools, as well as improvements to technology and instructional resources and replacement of school buses.   

The bond plan includes construction of an new $22 million elementary school to help accommodate high growth in the western portion of the district off Happy Valley Road. The three elementary schools in this area―Stetson Hills, Terramar and West Wing―are all over capacity, Migliorino said.

The bond also calls for $70.4 million in curriculum needs such as technology and furniture, $66 million for existing school improvements, $7.3 million for bus and van replacements, and another $7.1 million in administration, transportation and facility needs.

The bond passage is necessary “due to the current level of state funding, along with state-imposed reductions that have been in effect for 10 years,” said Ann Ordway, DVUSD board president. “Our district as a whole will be positively impacted [by successful bond passage].” Many of the safety improvements are needed to secure campuses from physical threats, as well as to continue to meet the increased academic and emotional needs of students, Ordway told In&Out.

Bond passage would continue to tax the average homeowner $13.28 per month. 

Impacts of a “No” Vote

If the request to extend the M&O override tax fails, the DVUSD Board will have to cut $30 million from its annual budget. 

If the bond request does not pass, “We will not have the needed funds to improve the safety on our campuses, provide technology for learning, maintain the investments in our facilities, nor address student growth,” Migliorino said. 

Ordway agreed. “The proceeds from both the Bond and M&O Override are to continue

providing what our community expects for our K-12 students,” she said.

Don’t Toss That Envelope

Both ballot questions will be decided in a mail-only election. Ballots are in the mail. If you do not receive yours, Oct. 25 is the last day to request a ballot by mail at www.recorder.maricopa.gov/earlyvotingballot. Ballots must be received by the Maricopa County Recorder/Elections Department, by 7 p.m. on Election Day. 

How Schools Will Benefit

What the bond passage would mean for select DVUSD schools. For a complete list, visit www.dvusd.org/Page/13873.

Anthem School 

  • Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, playground improvements, roofing, resurfacing and painting, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements.

Canyon Springs 

  • Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, flooring, HVAC, and lighting improvements, roofing, resurfacing and painting, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements.

Desert Mountain

  • Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, playground improvements, flooring and HVAC improvements, roofing, resurfacing and painting, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements.

Diamond Canyon

  • Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, energy conservation updates, roofing, resurfacing, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements.

Gavilan Peak 

  • Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, infrastructure/plumbing and HVAC improvements, painting, roofing, resurfacing, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements.

New River

  • Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, infrastructure/well tank and HVAC improvements, painting, roofing, resurfacing, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements.

Norterra Canyon

  • Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, flooring, painting, roofing, resurfacing, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements.

Sonoran Foothills

  • Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, painting, resurfacing, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements. 

Sunset Ridge 

  •  Wireless devices for every student, technology updates, flooring, painting,        resurfacing, roofing, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements. 

Barry Goldwater, Boulder Creek & Sandra Day O’Connor 

  •  Media center renovations, infrastructure/plumbing improvements, energy conservation upgrades, flooring, resurfacing, roofing, security and safety improvements, irrigation and grounds improvements, technology updates, student wireless devices upgrades, extracurricular uniform and equipment replacements.

Related: Construction Starts on New Union Park School


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Karen Goveia
NoPho resident Karen Goveia joined In&Out Publications in 2009 and is managing editor. Goveia is a Chicagoland native with two decades of experience in the news industry, starting as a reporter for a chain of weekly papers serving Chicago’s suburbs and later serving as managing editor within the chain.
Karen Goveia on Email

Karen Goveia

NoPho resident Karen Goveia joined In&Out Publications in 2009 and is managing editor. Goveia is a Chicagoland native with two decades of experience in the news industry, starting as a reporter for a chain of weekly papers serving Chicago’s suburbs and later serving as managing editor within the chain.

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