RUSD seeks $3 million in bonding authority to make long overdue upgrades in schools

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

The voters will be asked to approve a $3 million bond for Ray Unified School District.

Seeking funding to make long-delayed school infrastructure and equipment improvements, the Ray Unified School District (RUSD) will ask voters for approval to issue bonds up to $3 million total in November. If approved, homeowners could see their property taxes increase by up to $0.615 per $100 assessed valuation, or $49.20 a year on an $80,000 home.

“RUSD has so many needs that we need to address, which is why we are seeking the bond issue,” said Superintendent Curt Cook. “Many of these needs we have postponed addressing due to the decline of capital funding from the state.”

A major need is for funding to expand technical and vocational education at the high school, which voters approved last year. New courses planned by RUSD will cover welding, carpentry, web development and cosmetology.

Among other needs cited by Cook include new buses and vans to get students to class, and new security cameras. The sidewalks and parking lots on school property need repaving, and netting at the elementary school, shredded by recent monsoons, needs to be replaced so students can have lunch outside. RUSD also needs to update its computer equipment (some up to seven years old) used by students, especially with Arizona putting increased emphasis on online testing.

“The last time voters approved a RUSD bond issue was in 2001. Some of those funds were used to build a track for competitive track and field events. But so much time as elapsed that the track now needs to be replaced,” Cook said.

“I’m sure residents of the district know that RUSD has been conservative with funding over the years and that we have stretched the budget and done more with less revenue than most other districts. But the need to upgrade is overdue,” he added.

To inform voters of the issues involved with the bonding request, the Pinal County School Superintendent’s Office is preparing an informational pamphlet that will be mailed to households throughout the district. Persons wishing to submit an argument “for” or “against” the bond issue are asked to send them before August 18 Pinal County School Superintendents Office, 75 N. Bailey St, Florence, AZ 85132.

After this pamphlet is mailed, RUSD plans to hold a forum where citizens can learn more about what the district can use the additional revenue, and to help prioritize the projects. The date of the forum is not yet set.

The special bond issue election is set for Tuesday, November 7. All voting will be by mail with no polling places accepting ballots.

A Little District History

  In 2014, voters in the Ray Unified School District approved a $330,000 budget override. Taxpayers saw no change to their tax bills with its approval. The measure garnered 643 yes votes to 307 no votes.

  In 2016, voters approved the district’s membership in the Cobre Valley Institute of Technology (Joint Technological Education District) 914 (yes) to 360 (no). Property taxes received only a minimal increase (5-13¢ for the entire year).

James Hodl (101 Posts)

James J. Hodl is a career journalist who has worked for newspapers, magazines and trade journals. A graduate of Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, Hodl began his career as a reporter with the Palatine (IL) Herald and the Morton Grove (IL) Review before becoming editor of the trade publication Appliance Service News. In recent years, Hodl has had articles published in Consumers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Home Remodeling, Kitchens & Baths and Salute; and has contributed to trade publications serving the home furnishings, restaurant and casino markets. A native of Chicago, Hodl relocated to San Tan Valley in 2013.


Facebooktwitterby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Copper Town Days 2022 Car and MC Show winners announced

    October 15th, 2022
    by

      It couldn’t have been a prettier day for a car show. The sun was shining and the cars were […]


    Kearny Elks celebrates its golden anniversary

    October 15th, 2022
    by

     Attendees included local Elks and guests. Sheila Stephenson (l-r) has held several local and state offices with the Elks; Naval […]


    Free virtual diabetes prevention program

    October 15th, 2022
    by

      One in three adults are estimated to have prediabetes, and most do not know it. In Arizona, this means […]


    About Town: Kearny & Hayden

    October 15th, 2022
    by

    Work is being done on Steamboat Wash to help with the flooding across the road. Workers from Construction Done Right […]


  • Additional Stories

    Support for Proposition 469 from Mayor Mila Besich

    October 15th, 2022
    by

      Pinal County is growing, there is no doubt it.  We can no longer continue to assume that the transit […]


    Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce is back in action 

    September 6th, 2022
    by

      The new Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce has hit the ground running. Led by President Gary Stepke, Chamber members […]


    Prickly Pear Festival a wild success!

    August 26th, 2022
    by

      The 11th Annual Prickly Pear Festival hosted by Pete Casillas and Regenerating Sonora met a few challenges this year: […]


    Dennis H. Van Gorp

    August 26th, 2022
    by

        Rev. Dennis H. Van Gorp passed away Aug. 14, 2022, at age 70 in Superior, AZ. He was […]


  • Copperarea

  • Southeast Valley Ledger