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Voters approve most school bonds, overrides in Maricopa County election

(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Superintendent's Office)

PHOENIX — Voters in Maricopa County have approved most of the 37 ballot measures for school bonds and overrides in Tuesday’s election.

Collectively, they’re worth $1.37 billion.

“Many districts are having a hard time making ends meet with the investments from the state and the federal government,” said Christine Thompson, president and CEO with the advocacy group Expect More Arizona.

She says the bonds are loans for new facilities, and the overrides tell school districts to add spending for maintenance, operations and programs.

Packages also included new air conditioning systems and buildings, safety upgrades, and higher teacher pay.

Dysart District’s override featured free full-day kindergarten for their students, arts, P.E. and other athletic activities for their students.

Dysart’s bond and override for free full-day kindergarten, math and literary support for students both failed.

Maricopa County Schools Superintendent Steve Watson thinks Dysart residents believed they got enough school funding and didn’t need ballot measures.

“We can always come back and ask and debate this again next year, or the following years,” he said.

Otherwise, Watson called Tuesday’s vote a “bellwether for lawmakers.”

“The voters of Maricopa County said, ‘Hey, we support our public schools,'” he said.

Peoria Unified also faced strong opposition. Watson saw signs against its bond measure.

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