Higley USD officials demonstrate bond, override uses

Tyler Moore
Higley USD Chief Financial Officer Tyler Moore reviews the upcoming bond election details to the district governing board. (Screen capture from YouTube)

Higley USD Chief Financial Officer Tyler Moore reviews the upcoming bond election details to the district governing board. (Screen capture from YouTube)

Higley USD officials presented before the governing board Oct. 13 how the district has used its maintenance and operations override funds and reallocated bond money from the 2019 election.

The override, which allows the district to levy a secondary property tax to boost the district’s maintenance and operations budget by 15% over its state limit, passed with 64% of the vote in 2019. The district spent $12.01 million of override money in fiscal year 2020-21 on the five uses described on the ballot:

  • $6.01 million on increasing teacher compensation;

  • $601,000 on maintaining and improving elementary school special classes, like art or music;

  • $2.4 million on maintaining average class sizes;

  • $1.56 million to support gifted education, special education and all-day kindergarten; and

  • $1.44 million to provide education resources to classrooms.

The voters in 2019 also approved, with more than 66% of the vote, reallocating the last $14.62 million of a 2013 bond to be spent on different uses than originally approved in 2013. In fiscal year 2020-21, the district spent $4.89 million from the bond on:

  • $3.69 million to construct, remodel, renovate and improve school facilities;

  • $216,000 on technology upgrades;

  • $842,000 on pupil transportation; and

  • $141,000 to construct, remodel, renovate and improve school facilities for the administration.

The district has a new $95 million question on the November ballot.

Annual financial report

The governing board unanimously approved the annual financial report for fiscal year 2020-21.

The report is required by state statute and is meant to disclose budgetary performance to the public, according to the state’s General Accounting Office. It includes general fund financial statements; a comparison of actual appropriations to expenditures; and statements of revenue, expenditures and changes in fund balances.

According to the report, HUSD spent $78.51 million in maintenance and operations funds, $6.8 million in classroom site funds and had $8.73 million in unrestricted capital outlay. The district’s ending fund balance for maintenance and operations was $27.11 million, up from $14.54 million at the beginning of the fiscal year; classroom site funds were at $2.94 million, down from $3.2 million; and unrestricted capital outlay was $10.41 million, down from $13.46 million.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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