By Ioanna T. Morfessis, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, Maricopa Economic Development Alliance
Maricopans are rightfully proud of the phenomenal community they call home. Maricopa citizens have brought committed and spirited engagement to build this great city – a city that is vibrant, growing smartly, safe and that treasures its small town, neighborly values.
Over the years, the City Government’s leaders also have worked vigorously to put into place the quality of life, business operating environment, and soon, actual sites where quality, small, medium and large employers will be able to find a location in Maricopa that can accommodate their business operations and growth.
Among the top factors that executives consider when making a business location decision is the availability of an educated, skilled and qualified workforce. In fact, this is the #1 factor that CEOs care about the most, up from its #3 position in 2017. Maricopa wins in this category hands down, bar none.
With its highly educated population, Maricopa ranks on par with other U.S. markets heralded for their levels of educational attainment. And having an outstanding P-12 education system is among the quality of life factors that matter to business that is looking to establish new facilities in the U.S. It also matters to people looking to find a community where their families can learn, play, work and thrive.
This is where Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) comes in: MUSD is a cornerstone institution that educates and prepares Maricopa’s youth for college and careers.
Serving more than 7,500 students in Preschool through 12th grade this academic year, MUSD offers programming and extracurricular opportunities that encourage students to explore and discover their passions. Blended learning, STEAM opportunities and online education opportunities are just a few programs that make MUSD stand out in our community.
The City of Maricopa is growing and now boasts nearly 55,000 residents. And with that, MUSD is also growing, exponentially. The District added an additional 400 new students over the last year, and demographic experts predict the District will continue to grow.
But that additional growth has impacted the student capacity of Maricopa High School. As it stands today, the high school is already more than 500 students over capacity. In the next five years alone, as the City continues to grow, this number will also increase.
Maricopa’s residents have an opportunity this November to make a positive impact, not only on the high school, but on all schools in the District. By voting yes for the Maricopa Unified School District bond you will ensure that MUSD can:
- Acquire land and have the funds needed to build an additional high school.
- Repair and replace heating, cooling, roofing, and weatherization systems throughout the District.
- Purchase new air conditioned buses to replace older buses that have moderate to no air conditioning.
- Make the necessary facility improvements to increase security and promote safety.
A citizen bond oversight committee will be created to ensure bond funds are spent on budget, on time and as promised.
MUSD – and the city itself – needs the support of all Maricopans to effectively address these critical capital needs. Please vote YES on Proposition 437. In so doing, all Maricopans can ensure that critically important investments needed for MUSD schools – and more importantly – for the city’s youth – are made.
We all need to continue to work hard to build Maricopa’s economy. Having a traditional public school system that delivers an outstanding education to P-12 students is mission critical to a flourishing economy and healthy community.
Look for your early ballot starting October 10th. Polls are open from 6AM-7PM on November 5, 2019. Please visit www.YesforMaricopaSchools.com for more information.
Ioanna Morfessis is a business and economic development executive that has focused her professional life on helping communities and companies thrive and succeed. She is the senior advisor to Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA). As a 501(c)3 corporation, MEDA champions strategies and solutions that foster economic growth and prosperity in the City of Maricopa by bringing together the business, government, education and civic sectors to identify and advance forward-looking policies that facilitate investment, growth and workforce development.