Metro Chamber: The enterprise case to assist TUSD's Prop. 496

Michael Guymon is the president & CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber:

This fall, voters within the Tucson Unified College District have the selection of approving a $480 million greenback bond package deal to assist focused funding in Arizona’s third largest faculty district, targeted on key capital and expertise wants, security and safety, transportation and extra.

The Tucson Metro Chamber urges our members and our group to vote “sure” on Prop. 496 on their November 7 poll.

For those who’re like us, it’s possible you’ll be approaching this poll merchandise with some skepticism. It is too straightforward to only log out on one thing “for the children,” or, in our case, as a result of our public coverage priorities emphasize a top quality training system as being essential to reaching regional success. The final TUSD bond to go was in 2004, and never for lack of making an attempt. During the last couple many years, discord at various ranges of district management, lagging instructional outcomes, and issues overburdening native households and companies to make up for the shortfall of {dollars} from the state stage have made Tucsonans skeptical.

After reviewing the “enterprise case” and learning the difficulty to downplay any skepticism, listed below are three causes for the chamber’s assist.

First, we requested if there may be every other option to fund issues like long-neglected faculty enhancements, i.e. emergency bus repairs. The quick reply is, probably not. As soon as faculty funding formulation on the state stage allocate {dollars} to highschool districts, there are limits set on how a lot a college can spend on upkeep and operations, and on capital bills yearly. When a college district has pressing capital wants above and past the funding supplied, they both anticipate it to be in failing situation and strategy a state board for assist, go with out, or look to go a bond (overrides are often for upkeep and operations). If we wish to have the {dollars} available to take care of native management to satisfy district wants (and fewer state {dollars} exist immediately when in comparison with the 2000s), then we as taxpayers should make investments domestically.

Moreover, like our member companies, we prioritize fiscal duty and stability of coverage and management. We see good indicators, inspired by the low bond indebtedness of TUSD in distinction to different districts, and up to date TUSD Governing Board selections which have spent much less {dollars} on administrative prices and extra {dollars} within the classroom.

Lastly, and compelling, the TUSD pupil code of conduct handed earlier this yr is designed to create higher security measures on faculty grounds and deter distracting conduct within the classroom. If handed, Prop. 496 {dollars} can be allotted solely to the desired tasks outlined within the bond language, guaranteeing that almost all of funding goes towards creating safer, safer, and much-improved campus studying environments. This synergy of coverage reflecting the present security and expertise wants made sense to us.

Proposition 496 is a complete strategy to addressing essential district wants. Whereas there could also be preliminary prices, the long-term advantages make the funding value it. Voting sure is a dedication to Tucson’s future and guaranteeing that our youngsters have the alternatives they need to succeed.