How Construction Projects are Funded in QCUSD

Construction workers

School construction projects, either for building new schools or expanding our existing ones, are vital for accommodating the needs of our growing community. Understanding how these projects are funded is crucial for stakeholders, taxpayers, educators, and policymakers. Arizona schools have two ways of funding construction projects; direct construction funding and bonds.

Direct Construction Funding

Funding for new construction projects comes from the Schools Facilities Division (SFD). The SFD is a state of Arizona organization created to help growing communities get the classroom space they need. To receive this funding, each school district must apply for the additional space, then the division analyzes the request to see if the space is needed. This allocation comes two years before the additional square footage is needed, so once funding is distributed, the district has two years to complete construction.

To receive funding, school districts must submit a capital plan, or formal request, to the SFD. The request requires a statistical analysis of the projected growth over the next five years and the predicted number of students in the area the school will serve. Every December the SFD reviews each formal request to determine if the applying district qualifies for the funding. QCUSD applies every year based on our continued growth.

However, this funding has a few limitations. The total funding amount is a set number priced lower than the current construction market.


Bonds are voter-approved and can aid in construction, but are different from the funding allocated by the SFD. Bonds are also used to renovate existing buildings, school transportation, and additional facilities not included in classrooms that directly benefit the students. Since the SFD funding has limitations, school districts will typically pair bonds with state funding so the construction market can be met.

With the bond not passing last November, Queen Creek Unified School District (QCUSD) is only using funds provided by the state (SFD) for new construction projects.

When SFD funds are the only source for new construction builds, it delays the process. This may require some flexibility at some school sites while construction is in process. Districts are also not able to use this money to renovate other school buildings. Despite the limitations, QCUSD is proud to be able to provide these academic spaces to students and teachers. We know exceptional learning will take place in these rooms.

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