$3.9 million school-funding report raises questions

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Kyrene schools may be the recipient of nearly $4 million in federal education funding, but the suggestion, mentioned on a U.S. government education website, may have raised more questions than it answered.

The information gathered from the website suggested that $3.9 million could be available to the district, targeting special education and disabled students. But no decisions have been made as to when such funds would be made available and what strings might be attached. This leaves Kyrene school officials pondering how to meet an anticipated shortfall, not only in the 2009-10 school year but in the years thereafter.

Karin Smith, Kyrene’s director of business services, unveiled some of the funding-reduction options being considered by legislature at a Feb. 17 meeting of the combined Parent-Superintendent Council, which is studying ways to minimize the effects of anticipated cuts. According to Smith, the district has quantified the possible outcomes of each of several approaches being considered by state lawmakers, and is developing responses based on the legislature’s eventual decision.

Said district spokeswoman Nancy Dudenhoefer:

“We’re looking at several different methods that would decrease expenses and increase revenue, but at this point it’s too early to know what we will have to deal with.”

When the legislature does make a decision, it will be funneled to Kyrene through the Arizona Department of Education, which oversees funding for all the state’s school districts, according to Dudenhoefer.

She emphasized that parents and members of the Kyrene community will be notified via email and the mass media as soon as details become available.

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