MARICOPA — The Maricopa Unified School District has officially conceded defeat on Proposition 437, a bond measure that would have granted the district $68 million to build a new high school, among other improvements.
With 2,971 “yes” votes and 3,921 “no” votes at time of publication, the bond failed to pass, an approval rate of only 43.1%. This accounts for all ballots, though results are not official until they are certified by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.
MUSD Superintendent Tracey Lopeman made a statement Wednesday thanking supporters of the bill.
“Although Maricopa Unified School District’s bond was defeated, we appreciate our community who supported the measure,” Lopeman wrote.
She went on to state her concerns regarding the school district’s funding, and the effect a lack of funding will have on a growing population of students.
“Knowing that the state of Arizona does not provide adequate funding for districts to build new facilities or maintain existing facilities, districts throughout the state must rely on local community support to help provide funding to build much-needed facilities, add safety upgrades, purchase school buses and address lifecycle projects,” she wrote. “Our primary concern is the students of Maricopa. Our needs have not changed, our students deserve to attend school in state-of-the-art educational facilities with great teachers.”
As the bonds failed to pass, MUSD will need to address the overcrowding of Maricopa High School with some of the $26 million allocated by the School Facilities Board. The district can do this by building a scaled-down version of the original comprehensive high school plans. As for the other expenses, those will also have to be factored into the already-tight budget — or be left off entirely — in order to prioritize the needs of the students of MUSD.
Lopeman ended her statement with a call to action to the community.
“We envision a vibrant future for the city of Maricopa,” she wrote. “Maricopa Unified School District has an important role in educating the workforce for a city that is on the rise. Our students deserve the support of the community and we will continue to seek the resources necessary to provide a first-class education.”