YUMA, Ariz. – School districts across Arizona are sending letters to parents and staff, warning them of plans to reduce Arizona’s education funds. Governor Doug Ducey has proposed to cut 113 million dollars from the state school budget.
“Talking about governor Ducey’s executive budget proposal and some of the consequences it could potentially have here at the crane district,” crane school district superintendent Robert Klee said.
He added Arizona’s governor is calling for a 5 percent reduction in non-classroom spending. That translates to an 810,000 dollar cut to crane’s 2015-2016 school budget.
Klee explained, “Crane is consistently recognized as a top performing school, but as the budget continues to be smaller and smaller, we’re going to have a more difficult time providing quality programs.”
Klee says Ducey’s proposal would jeopardize bus transportation, custodial positions, and even special education. Salvador Rodriguez oversees crane’s special education program, which fosters around 700 students.
“They need instruction that is dedicated to their unique needs, and some of these programs could be cut if the governor’s proposal passes,” Rodriguez said.
Yuma union high school district sent a letter to their parents on Monday regarding the state’s education budget.
Toni Badone’s letter warns parents that YUHSD could lose more than 1.4 million dollars in funding.
“Really what it says to the school districts, you must cut your other services to students and staff by 5 percent,” Badone explained.
Badone says around 50 jobs could be at risk just within her district alone.
“That would be terrible to the community. Those folks spend money here. They have families,” she added.
For Klee less money for public education means fewer opportunities for Arizona’s students.
“The ultimate victim is going to be our children. They’re the future of our nation; they’re the future of our community. If we don’t invest in them, we don’t invest in our future,” Klee concluded.
UPDATE at 6:55 p.m.: Governor Ducey’s communications director responded with the following statement:
“Governor Ducey wants to get more money in the classroom, where learning happens. His budget increases both overall education spending and includes an influx of $134 million into the classroom, which he believes is the best way to help both teachers and students.” – Daniel Scarpinato, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications