Study: Higley USD should expect continued enrollment growth in next 10 years

Higley USD
The Higley USD governing board heard demographic projections for the district's next year at its Nov. 4 meeting. (Courtesy Higley USD)

The Higley USD governing board heard demographic projections for the district's next year at its Nov. 4 meeting. (Courtesy Higley USD)

Higley USD’s K-12 enrollment will likely peak in the next 10 years, according to a demographics study presented Nov. 4 to the Higley USD governing board.

Rick Brammer, principal at Phoenix-based economics consulting firm Applied Economics, showed the board projections that had the district growing from 13,572 students this school year to 15,281 in the 2029-30 school year.

However, Brammer cautioned that much of the change will be determined by the level of competition from charter and private schools and how that will change the net enrollment-population ratio.

The study’s other conclusions included:

Demographic trends do not indicate the potential for a decrease in the school‐age population, although some established areas are likely to decline in enrollment during the 10 years.


Single family housing construction will wane during the projection period due to a lack of available land, and much of the expected multifamily housing is not targeted to families with children.

Two elementary schools—Gateway Point and Higley—and both middle and high schools show enrollment growth during the projection period, with most of that increase occurring over the next five years or so.

Other business

  • Assistant Superintendent Michael Fowler presented as an informational item a proposal to increase facility rentals, mostly on the tier for nonprofit youth clubs. The increases range from $5-$35. Nonprofit adult clubs and for-profit organizations also would see an increase in a custodial fee and a fee to open and close facilities.

  • The board also heard a proposal to increase the district’s preschool tuition rates anywhere from 6.67% to 9.33%, depending on the level of service. Under the proposal, district staff members would continue to get a 20% discount and have their registration fees waived. The increase will ensure that revenue will continue to cover teacher and staff salaries plus their benefits, according to the district.

  • The board also studied a $41,000 proposal by architecture, planning and interior design firm Orcutt Winslow for a facility condition index, anevaluation of individual school capacity and an updated demographic study from Applied Economics. The tools would be used in making revisions the comprehensive facilities plan for the district. The facilities condition plan was last updated in 2014. Because it was in work-study session, no action was taken.

By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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