Higley USD preparing for bond ask in 2022 election

Mum Martens
Mum Martens, Higley USD's human resources executive director, presents to the governing board a proposal to increase substitute pay on Mondays and Fridays. (Screen capture from YouTube)

Mum Martens, Higley USD's human resources executive director, presents to the governing board a proposal to increase substitute pay on Mondays and Fridays. (Screen capture from YouTube)

Higley USD is laying the groundwork for another attempt at a capital bond next year.

That revelation came during the governing board meeting Dec. 8 as CFO Tyler Moore laid out a timeline for approving the fiscal year 2022-23 budget.

The first look at such a bond proposal will come at the next board meeting Jan. 12, according to the timeline Moore presented to the board.

HUSD proposed to its voters a $95 million bond, but it was defeated by 9% last month despite having no formal opposition group. That was only the second time in district history that a bond question from HUSD had been defeated.

After the meeting, Moore said the details of the proposal are still being worked out, but it will smaller than the most recently proposed one with different money allotments, including more for security but less for major building projects.


“The needs ebb and flow,” he said.

The district plans a series of review of its maintenance and operations and capital outlays through the spring as well as other financial considerations.

Moore’s timeline included a bond resolution and tentative approval of the M&O budget March 9, and tentative approval of the capital budget April 20.

Public hearings on those budgets will be June 8 and June 22 with final adoption June 22.

Substitute pay

The governing board unanimously approved a plan that would pay substitute teachers $145 for work on Mondays and Friday.

Human Resources Executive Director Mum Martens said those days have been particularly difficult to get substitute teachers.

Martens said the district typically was able to fill 90% of substitute requests before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now it is at 60%-70%. With other districts also struggling, there has been increased competition for substitutes and other nearby districts have moved to bump sub pay.

Last year, the board approved an increase in sub pay from $100 a day to $125 because the district was paying on the low end of neighboring districts, Martens said. Long-term substitutes and HUSD retirees who agreed to substitute also received bumps in pay.

The new Monday and Friday rate is equal to what the district pays HUSD retirees to substitute.

Other items

  • The board unanimously approved an increase to classified staff pay and the classified salary schedule as presented to the board at its last meeting.

  • The board unanimously approved a modified contract for managers, supervisors and coordinators.

  • The board unanimously approved the 2022-23 course guides for high school, middle school and the Higley Virtual Academy.

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.