Arizona

Arizona governor is closing some faculties on promised grants – Westport Information

arizona-governor-is-closing-some-faculties-on-promised-grants-westport-information

Updated

12:07 PM EST, Saturday, December 5, 2020

PHOENIX (AP) – Some Arizona school districts may have to cut after a grant program promised by Governor Doug Ducey in June failed to deliver, according to letters the districts received on Nov. 25.

The state government funds their schools according to a model that focuses on how many students are in the classroom in the first 100 days of a school year.

In June, the Ducey office announced that the $ 370 million grant would "guarantee" schools that they would either receive 98% of their 2019-20 enrollment value or 105% of this year's average daily enrollment by Aug. School day received – whichever is higher.

However, grant applications filed in November stated that the final award would instead be “up to” the higher formula amount, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.

The Tucson Unified School District received nearly $ 5 million less than expected based on the governor's formula, CEO Kristel Foster said. The district, one of the largest in Arizona, is expected to receive approximately $ 20 million from the state under the program. Tucson was offered around $ 15.5 million.

Foster said the $ 4.5 million difference could require cuts in the district if more state or federal funds are received before the next budget is decided. Foster said the potential cuts could also force the district to freeze teachers' salaries.

The Chandler Unified School District, which trades Tucson Spots for the state's second largest school district, said it was allocated about $ 1.5 million below the $ 15.8 million it forecast.

School districts across the state are paying higher overall costs and spending more money on cleaning supplies and protective gear for classrooms, laptops and tablets due to the pandemic. Revenue has also declined as enrollment, lunch sales, and money from campus events have decreased.

A spokesman for Ducey's office, CJ Karamargin, wrote in a statement that the governor's office believes the $ 370 million the state granted schools in June is enough based on enrollment dates expected at the time would.

"Since then, school enrollment has been lower than expected and more funds than are available have been needed to replace the funding schools fail because students are out of school in their district or their charter," Karamargin said in the statement.

Karamargin said the June scholarship program is only part of the nearly $ 950 million additional schools will receive this year.

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