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Gila Bend Unified School District


In fiscal year 2009, Gila Bend Unified School District compared favorably with peer districts in operational efficiencies, but not as well in student achievement. The District's student AIMS scores were far below the peer districts' and state averages. The District's per-pupil costs were lower than or similar to the peer districts' in all operational areas. Although Gila Bend USD's per-pupil plant costs were similar to peer districts', its per-square-foot plant costs were higher primarily because of high electricity costs. According to an assessment by its regular electricity provider, to reduce electricity usage and lower costs, the District needs to perform energy upgrades, such as installing new heating/cooling systems, double-paned windows, and upgraded lighting fixtures. So far, the District has been unable to raise the $2 million needed to make these improvements. The District also entered into a 20-year solar power contract to help lower and control its electricity costs. However, the contract is not likely to result in lower costs because it contains high initial rates and a 5 percent annual price escalator. Also, the District still needs to purchase some electricity from its regular provider, which has resulted in additional costs that were not considered when calculating the savings estimate. The solar power system also produces excess electricity, which the District can sell back to its regular electricity provider at the end of the year, but at less than half what it costs to produce. In addition, the District's transportation program has been overfunded by about $98,000 over a 4-year period because it over-reported its fiscal year 2005 route miles for funding. Because the State's statutory funding formula increases transportation funding for mileage increases but does not decrease funding for decreases in mileage, the District continues to be overfunded by about $24,500 each fiscal year. The District also had inadequate IT controls and used a small amount of Classroom Site Fund monies to supplant other district monies.

Follow-Up Report

Additional Documents

Additional Documents