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Arizona School District Bonding Capacity Referendum (2014)

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The Arizona School District Bonding Capacity Referendum was not on the November 2014 general election ballot in Arizona as a veto referendum.[1] Had it been approved by voters, the measure would have repealed a portion of the state's budget that doubled school districts' bonding capacity from five percent to 10 percent. The group "We the People AZ Against the Common Core" sponsored the measure, with political activist Wesley Harris at the helm. The group was concerned the increased bond capacity would result in higher taxes and that the money would be used to implement Common Core standards in schools throughout the state.[2][3] The referendum can be found here.


At the time of the measure's proposal, Common Core was a set of relatively new, federally-supported standards for Math and English curriculum promoted by the United States Department of Education, which sought to align school curricula, goals and standards across the states. States could choose whether or not to implement the program in its schools. Common Core advocates believed that setting national benchmarks would improve student performance. Opponents were concerned that the standards gave the federal government powers that once belonged to state and local governments. Opponents were also concerned that Common Core eliminated school choice and competitive advantages.[4][5]


The referendum was sponsored by the group "We the People AZ Against the Common Core." Wesley Harris, chairman of the group, was "certain [the bond] is aimed at funding Common Core since all such funds were removed from the budget." Harris was also opposed to the increase in property taxes that was the likely result of the increased bond capacity.[3][2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Arizona

In order to land the veto referendum on the 2014 ballot, supporters were required to gather 86,405 valid signatures by September 11, 2013.[3] Supporters failed to turn in any signatures, thereby disqualifying the measure for the ballot.[1]

See also

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