- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—The Catalina Foothills District is asking voters for help with continuing and upgrading classroom technology and renovating grounds and facilities.

The governing board approved a capital funding override and a bond election, totaling about $36 million.

The capital outlay override would provide the district with $2 million a year for seven years and the bond would total $22 million.

“More and more districts rely on local tax base to fund (education),” said Mary Kamerzell, the district’s superintendent. “The price tag is much higher than the revenue stream that we’re getting from the state.”

The $2 million a year would help the district maintain, purchase and upgrade technologies and supporting infrastructure, including purchasing Google ChromeBooks and online textbooks.

One of the goals of the override is to help the district give each student at least one device and corresponding software and resources for daily learning, the district wrote in the override proposal.

“There’s no way to provide the kind of technology and curriculum support for our students without asking our taxpayers to pay for it,” Kamerzell said.

The $22 million bond, if approved, would fund about 150 facilities projects, none of which are new construction.

All of those projects would be renovating existing facilities and improving grounds, including the district’s sports fields, parking lots and recreational areas, which Kamerzell says are also used by community members.

Some of the maintenance projects include replacing the roof of a building at Orange Grove Middle School, replacing plumbing fixtures at Manzanita Elementary School and repainting the interior walls at the Catalina Foothills High School.

The district is also planning to make energy efficiency upgrades, such as replacing the heating and cooling systems and switching to LED light bulbs.

The district successfully asked for a capital outlay override in 2008 and a bond in 2009, both of which are ending at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

Since the newly proposed override and bond would be replacing pre-existing ones, the tax rate would not increase.


(c)2015 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)

Visit The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.) at www.azstarnet.com

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