Proposed education cuts would hurt locally
Governor wants to retroactively kill funding
COTTONWOOD - Gov. Jan Brewer is proposing to kill state funding for several education programs. She also proposes killing these programs retroactively to Jan. 1.
The programs Brewer has put on the budget chopping block are: AIMS Intervention; adult education and GED; chemical abuse; disabled pupil scholarships; compensatory instruction fund; gifted support; state early education block grant; vocational education block grant; and teacher training.
Kathleen Fleenor, superintendent of Clarkdale-Jerome School District, said her school would lose money for the state chemical abuse, compensatory education, gifted support and early childhood block grants.
"Without the funds we will not be able to continue the programs," Fleenor said. "We will have to try to find some way to absorb this into our M&O which is going to be difficult."
Fleenor said the school currently uses the compensatory education funds to pay for the district's intersession academic programs. She said that program has been a great help to many primary students in reading and math.
Marc Cooper, principal of Mingus Union High School, said the school's AIMS intervention programs could be affected. "We offer tutoring programs now to assist those students who have not met the AIMS requirements to graduate from high school," he said.
Cooper said the school could lose less than $10,000 if chemical abuse funding is cut. "This money is a contribution to our student intervention coordinator position, so there is a possibility that we could be hurt there financially.'
The vocational education block grant would be another loss for MUHS. "We received $58,301 for the school year 2009-2010, and at this time we encumbered $31,800," he said. "There is the possibility we could lose the remaining $26,501 in CTE priority grant funding."
Barbara U'Ren, superintendent of Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, said her district currently receives $16,000 in chemical abuse funds; $16,000 in compensatory funds; $6,200 in gifted education and $50,000 for early education block.
The chemical abuse funds are used by the district for its Bridgeway Alternative program to help support student behavior interventions. The compensatory funds are used to offer before and after school programs for English Language Learner children.
U'Ren said that gifted education funds go toward professional development of teachers in the "gifted cluster."
The early education block funds keep 1.3 full-time kindergarten teachers in the classroom.
U'Ren said the district will continue these programs for now. "It will mean a reduction of services for our children and for our teachers in training," she said.
"The biggest issue will be if they take the early education block grant," U'Ren said. "EEBG does pay for teachers salaries."