A coalition of Arizona leaders is heading south to get a different perspective.
Maricopa Unified School District copes with $1 million shortfall
The Maricopa Unified
School District has announced it may close a middle school to deal with $1 million
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.