TUSD Inspired School Sale Bill Heads To Governor

On Tuesday, the Arizona Senate passed HB2460 by a vote of 17-12-1, ensuring that private and charter schools have a chance at buying or leasing vacant school district property. HB2460 now heads to the governor.

According to the Center for Arizona Policy:

In 2008, Desert Christian School in Tucson was looking for property on which to build an elementary school. As they searched for property, the Tucson Unified School District closed down a nearby elementary school and sought to sell it. Desert Christian repeatedly approached the District for a year and a half trying to purchase the school for two million dollars. The District would not even discuss the possibility. The school remained closed for another year until the District eventually sold it to a developer for $1.6 million.

Because the school district was unwilling to negotiate with Desert Christian, not only did Desert Christian miss out on an ideal school campus, taxpayers lost $400,000. Current law requires school districts to attempt to obtain the highest possible value for vacant property they have chosen to sell or lease. The bill makes clear that school districts cannot prohibit a charter or private school from negotiation to buy or lease the property, and that they cannot withdraw the property solely because a private or charter school is the highest bidder.

HB2460  Passed 17-12-1-0-0
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H.B. 2460; charter schools; vacant buildings; equipment

Prohibits school districts selling or leasing a vacant or unused building from accepting an offer that is less than an offer from a charter or private school.

Background

The School Facilities Board (SFB) annually publishes a list of vacant and unused buildings and portions of buildings owned by the state or by a school district that may be suitable for the operation of a charter school. The list must be made available to applicants for charter schools and to existing charter schools. Statute prohibits a school district that is selling or leasing a vacant or unused building or portion of a building from prohibiting a charter school from negotiating to buy or lease the building. School districts are required to attempt to obtain the highest possible value under current market conditions for the sale or lease of the vacant or unused building. Additionally, statute currently allows school districts to sell used equipment to charter schools before the school district attempts to sell or dispose of the equipment by other means (A.R.S. § 15-189).

Provisions

1. Prohibits a school district selling or leasing a vacant or unused building from accepting an offer from a potential buyer or lessee that is less than an offer from a charter or private school.

2. Prohibits the owner of a building on the SFB’s list from withdrawing the property from sale or lease solely because a charter or private school is the highest bidder.

3. Requires school districts to allow private schools to negotiate to buy or lease a vacant or unused building.

4. Allows a school district to sell used equipment to a private school before attempting to sell or dispose of the equipment by other means.

12 Comments

    • Right. Refusing to sell taxpayer purchased property to direct competitors is akin to throwing Christians to the lions.

      Pity the poor Christians. Such suffering!

      Snowflake.

  1. Any private or charter school which would consider buying unused TUSD property should be mindful of the fact that there may be asbestos and black mold hazards lurking within the ceilings, ceiling tiles, and elsewhere. Consider getting OSHA to make an inspection before buying any TUSD property.

    • You make an interesting point. TUSD was OK placing students in these buildings, but OSHA would not allow it to be used? Didn’t TUSD have to comply with OSHA or were they making people sick for all these years?

      • OSHA was called to inspect the faculty bathrooms at Rincon High School back in 2015 after a number of complaints about the asbestos-laden ceiling tile was flaking down onto the teachers. A hazmat crew from Phoenix was called in to remove that tile and to replace it with other tile. OSHA inspectors also determined that the same asbestos-laden ceiling tile was flaking/falling down onto teachers in the larger basement bathroom used by University High teachers and sometimes by students. However, TUSD Facilities did not replace that tile. Due to tremendous water leaks in the Education Building after an early 2015 Spring rainstorm, the basement classroom ceiling tiles were soaked and molding. TUSD Facilities’ cure was to use oil-based white paint to cover those tiles rather than to repair the water leaks and replace the ceiling tiles. Industrial fans were used, but the effects did nothing more than to spread the highly-chemical stench of the oil-based paint up to the ground floor. Yes, there are teachers who have been affected by such unsafe conditions, suffering from COPD. One can only hope that mesothelioma doesn’t afflict either teachers or students. There was a fire in the basement of one of the buildings at Cholla High School last year. Neither teachers nor students were allowed back into that building for reasons not given by Facilities. However, the clean up was as thorough as that used by a hazmat crew which may suggest that asbestos, black mold, or silica were present in the ceiling tiles and in the space between those tiles and the cement ceiling.

  2. It also makes me wonder if all the no votes above are simply Democrats that are beholding to the Public School Unions.

    Once again we meet the swamp!

    • To answer your question, every no vote was a democrat, providing once again that teachers unions are more important than taxpayers to those leaches.

  3. The District has been run into the ground by the Grijalva family. Wouldn’t have schools closed and available for sale if Adelita gave a damn about the east side.

  4. Exactly right, it is taxpayers’ money. And just as a TUSD taxpayer may wonder why their taxes ultimately end up benefitting some other district (i.e. Clodfelter’s idea) they may wonder why their taxes should support charter schools, most of which show either the same achievement levels as public schools or less, and with far less accountability.

    • Even a bigger question to taxpayers – why should their taxes be used to fill the seats with children of illegal aliens. Certainly no ‘accountability’ there.

      • It’s called a society. Decent, thoughtful people understand that we are judged by the treatment of the least among us. And that our treatment of the less fortunate often affects the nature of our society, for good or worse.

        Some sickening, long-haired commie pinko dude once said something along those lines…something about what you did for the least among us, you did for me.

        But whatever, that guy was just some wretched snowflake…

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