The Education Action Network

Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools

A small group of builders bankroll bond campaigns and dominate K-12 construction contracts

[NOTE: It's not #Red For Ed it's #Green For Ed]


This year, Maricopa County voters approved every bond and override proposed by the county’s school districts. As a result, hundreds of millions dollars in property taxes will be used to pay for various projects, from new buildings or buses, in the case of the bonds, to increased teacher salaries and textbooks, in the case of overrides. Putting the funding on the ballot lets communities decide whether to exceed the state’s funding.

When the new funds go toward large capital projects, districts have to decide who will do the work of designing, then building – or refurbishing – school facilities.

State procurement laws dictate how school districts choose the companies that will do that work, and are designed to ensure government contracts are awarded based on an honest evaluation of the applicants, not cronyism.

But a closer inspection of which companies end up securing the contracts reveals a small group of builders dominate the K-12 design and construction sector, and get the bulk of their work in Arizona from school districts.

The same companies that end up with an oversized portion of K-12 work also largely finance the campaigns aimed at persuading the public to approve the proposals – often donating identical amounts to the same committees on the same dates.


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