Maricopa Unified School District copes with $1 million shortfall

March 17, 2013

The Maricopa Unified School District has announced it may close a middle school to deal with $1 million budget shortfall

The district has nine schools in the rural community south of Phoenix with more than 6,000 students. 

Maricopa Unified Superintendent Steve Chestnut blames the district’s money shortage on a 21 percent cut to education funding state lawmakers approved in 2009. 

He said the district’s governing board voted to end all-day kindergarten to save a half million dollars. And, Chestnut said another half million would be saved by closing the Maricopa Wells Middle School that was built only a few years ago.

"We think it will probably be just a few years before we will be moving back into that school if the population continues to grow in our community but in the short term we need to save that $500,000 by closing a school," Chestnut said.

Chestnut expects teachers at the school would be encouraged to apply for other jobs in the district. A public hearing on the school closure proposal is scheduled on March 27.

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