Log in


Deer Valley Unified bond, override elections will appear on November ballot

Posted 3/26/24

Deer Valley Unified School District has been here before – asking the public to vote on bond and override initiatives at the ballot box.

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here

Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Deer Valley Unified bond, override elections will appear on November ballot


Deer Valley Unified School District has been here before – asking the public to vote on bond and override initiatives at the ballot box.

This November will be no different. The governing board by vote at its most recent session approved putting on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot both a bond election and a budget override choice.

The district in November 2023 also had two similar initiatives on the ballot. Out of almost 42,000 voters the bond election and the budget override each failed by nearly the same 55% to 45% margin.

The two separate elections fund two different objectives.

Bonds and budget overrides are common ways for school districts to look for additional funding beyond state-allocated budgets.

While bonds are used for capital expenses and paid for by secondary property taxes based on a home's limited property value, maintenance and operations budget overrides provide for the district’s operating resources, which includes staff salaries.

Overrides last up to seven years, though they begin to phase out in the sixth year. In the case of DVUSD, should the override fail at the ballot this November the district would have to cut $33 million from its budget with the first one-third of that cut, $11 million, coming in the Fiscal Year 2026 budget. Two more $11 million cuts would follow in subsequent Fiscal Years.

The district targets four potential bond sales to reach $325 million, with each sale going out 11 or 12 years into the future, according to Deputy Superintendent Jim Migliorino. Projections show the bonds could sell for approximately $80 million each, with an interest rate to be determined at the time of each sale and locked in for the term, he added.

“The negative impact of it not passing would be catastrophic to Deer Valley no question about it,” DVUSD Superintendent Curt Finch said. “Cutting $11 million one year then $11 million the next year then a different $11 million the next year. We only run around $300 million budgets so it’s 10% at least of our budget. We are 85% people. You can’t cut your way out of that without cutting people.”

The fourth, and final, bond would go for sale in approximately 2038 or 2039 and would represent the last payment for the $325 million.

“This bond isn’t for the past, it’s for the future,” Migliorino said. “This bond is to plan for the five years that we are being told is going to happen to us from people that are investing large amounts of money into infrastructure. And the only way for them to get their money back is to be able to sell homes and put people in those homes and fill the jobs that are happening in and around our district.”

Student enrollment throughout DVUSD has fluctuated over the past decade and, like other districts in Arizona and the U.S., took a hit during and just after the pandemic. The district is slightly up in 2023-24 from a year ago.

Population projections, however, show the northern portions of Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria will increase exponentially over the next several years, which figures to boost enrollment and, therefore, district growth, in the future.

“It’s not so much that we’re trying to ask for funds for what has happened this year,” Migliorino said. “We’re trying to ask for funds for what we need for the next five years.”

Instrumental to the projected growth is the TSMC project, which is slated to bring in the largest Foreign Direct Investment in Arizona as well as creating up to 80,000 jobs in the area that includes Deer Valley Unified School District boundaries. The district believes new land and new schools will be needed to meet the growth.

“People need to understand the big picture,” board member Paul Carver said. “We’re trying to find ways as a society to reduce taxes, I get that. But Deer Valley is not like other districts. Our credit rating shows it. The use of our funds shows it.”

Carver then referred to a pre-meeting presentation of student academic achievements the district had recognized.

“That comes from the community deciding to be involved and to invest in our youth,” Carver said. “So the community can either decide to invest in the youth and continue this kind of progress we have going or not.”


Click here to register to vote in Maricopa County.


We invite our readers to submit their civil comments on this topic. Email AZOpinions@iniusa.org. Steve Stockmar can be reached at sstockmar@iniusa.org.