The finalized report from the School District Redistricting Commission will have Maricopa’s neighbors to the south merging with the Casa Grande Union High School District if voters give their approval this November.
The Stanfield Elementary School District, which lies partially in Maricopa’s general planning area, would become part of one large K-12 Casa Grande District as part of the commission’s tasking to unify elementary and high school districts across the state. In addition to becoming one of the largest districts in size in Pinal County, the redistricting plan would make the new Casa Grande Union District the most student-heavy.
On top of adding the Stanfield Elementary District to Casa Grande Union, the Casa Grande Elementary District and Toltec Elementary School District near Eloy will be incorporated as part of the unified district. Additionally, the Gila River Indian Community-based Sacaton Elementary District will feed its students into the Casa Grande Union District for high school. Casa Grande Union currently has three high schools: Casa Grande Union, Desert Winds and Casa Verde.
The impetus for such a project came from State Sen. Linda Gray (R-Phoenix), who spearheaded State Bill 1068 in 2005, and led in the creation of the SDRC, which has worked for the past two years in analyzing the non-unified districts and reorganizing many of them. Seventy-six of Arizona’s 227 district’s would be affected by this plan and if voters approve
the plan, those 76 districts will taper down to 27.
More than 331,000 students state-wide would be affected by the change.
The unification of districts is intended to create savings in expenditures for districts and align curriculum between elementary and secondary schools.
“We can do better at getting a larger percent of our education dollars into the classroom to directly impact student achievement and education outcomes,” said Marty Shultz, chairman of the 13-person SDRC.
Maricopa Unified’s boundaries will not be affected by the proposed changes.