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Phoenix District Asks Students For Input On Capital Improvements Spending

Carl Hayden High School students
(Photo by Carrie Jung - KJZZ)
Carl Hayden High School students ran the election with the help of the Maricopa County Recorder's Office.

Officials at Phoenix Union High School District are allowing students at five of its schools to have a say in how part of their capital improvements budget is spent. The kids were asked to think up and vote for the projects they’d like to see tackled on campus.

Thursday was election day at the Carl Hayden High School in west Phoenix, and a group of 11 th-graders are lined up to cast their ballot.

District officials call it participatory budgeting.

"We got a lot of students involved on campus as far as developing committees and videos and things like that so a lot of engagement," said Christopher Oglesby, an assistant principal. "So that really shows them how to get civically engaged on campus or throughout their lives."

Carl Hayden High School will spend $7,000 of their capital improvement budget on the project with the most votes. Officials say the winning projects on each campus should be announced by early next week.

Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.