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TUSD’s bond initiative matters for us all | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer:



Steve Lynn


Whether or not you have children who attend a Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) school, it’s wise to care about the district’s facilities, performance, and its upcoming bond initiative, Prop 496.

Tucson is a special place. I have had the privilege of living here for almost 50 years, I have owned businesses in Tucson, served on numerous boards in the community, and my wife and I raised our two children here. Now semi-retired, we enjoy traveling and are involved in various community activities. One might assume that we are no longer particularly concerned about the condition of our region’s largest school district, TUSD.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Although it has been many years since our children attended TUSD schools, I still care deeply about the district and its success. It’s in all of our best interest to care.

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In many ways, our region’s economic prosperity is directly linked to our largest school district. TUSD has more than 40,000 K-12 students and many of the graduates each year go on to become part of the area’s workforce. They are hired into positions in healthcare, hospitality, transportation, construction, retail, and many other business sectors. Given the persistent labor shortages these days, it’s important that we help ensure that students receive a high-quality education and are well prepared for entry into the labor force. And it follows that when people are employed, they are less likely to experience poverty and more likely to contribute to the economy and to society.

A successful school district also contributes to the stability of property values within that district’s boundaries. A report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that for every dollar spent on public schools in a community, home values increased $20. This means that investment in public schools benefits everyone in the community, whether residents have children in the local school system or not.

TUSD is seeking support in the upcoming election for approval of a $480 million bond package that will impact every school in the district. In addition to addressing long-standing deferred maintenance issues, bond proceeds will also fund updated technologies that support specialized curricula in science, career/technical education programs, as well as the arts.

School safety and security is another important element of this bond package. It will fund new security measures at each school, which are essential in providing a safer learning environment. Examples of these improvements include additional fencing, cameras, safety doors, classroom door locks, alarms, and other security systems. Parents should not have to worry about their child’s safety when in school, and these improvements will help provide peace of mind.

A key feature of Prop 496 is that it includes a transparency and accountability mechanism. It will establish an oversight committee, subject to state open meeting laws, made up of community members who will volunteer to oversee expenditures, timelines, and the completion of projects.

The cost of the bond for residential owners is $68.78 annually per $100,000 in property value. This is a sound investment in our schools, and in our community’s future. The website for the bond proposal and its proposed projects can be found at: https://bond2023.tusd1.org/

Whether you have school age children, or you’re retired like me, the strength and success of TUSD matters to us all. Prop 496 will help students be better prepared for their futures and help ensure a higher quality of life. It will strengthen the workforce pipeline and support future employment in jobs that impact us all every day, and it will improve property values in our neighborhoods. The success of our community begins with the success of our schools.

Please join me in voting yes on Prop 496.

Follow these steps to easily submit a letter to the editor or guest opinion to the Arizona Daily Star.



Steve Lynn is the Co-Chair, P-20 Education Focus Area, Southern Arizona Leadership Council

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