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School Districts Eye Bonds For November 2017 Election

As the school year is wrapping up, districts are already looking to next fall and considering whether to let the voters decide on budget increases through bonds and overrides.

Voters approved almost all of the bonds and overrides across the Valley last fall, with the exception of Gila Bend, Peoria and Queen Creek Unified school districts.

Queen Creek governing board voted unanimously this month to approve another bond vote for $63 million. If passed, the Queen Creek bond will go towards building a new high school and three new elementary schools.

Across the Valley, Peoria’s board voted 3-2 against an election for a $198 million bond, suggesting another bond election should wait until 2018.

Peoria resident Rick Gutridge was on the bond advisory committee, which recommended the bond vote should be approved, but he spoke at the meeting and said, while the district needs more money for new schools, voters would see the same bond they handily defeated last fall.

“Unfortunately this committee didn’t have enough time to put together a bond proposal that was appreciably different than what we had on the election six months ago,” he said.

The money, if passed, would have gone to a new high school and elementary schools in the city’s growing northern region.

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Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.