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3/6/2012 6:01:00 AM
Mt. Tipton's future to be hot topic at Kingman school board meeting today
Mt. Tipton School
Mt. Tipton School

KINGMAN - Whether Mount Tipton School continues to serve K-12 students or becomes nothing more than an elementary school remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Discussion focused on the issue most likely heats up today.

The Kingman Unified governing board meets at 4 p.m. today, on the heels of last week's Mount Tipton town hall. The board will discuss, among other things, the potential restructuring of the school. Likely present at the meeting will be a large group of Mount Tipton students, teachers and parents ready to share their thoughts with the board, which was not present at the town hall meeting.

The district has been deficit spending, and is now in the position that it must cut $4 million from its budget over the next two fiscal years. Trimming Mount Tipton down to an elementary school will save more than $620,000 over the next two fiscal years.

Out of its fiscal year 2012 general fund, the district is spending over $10,000 per student at Mount Tipton while it spends about $5,500 per student at all other schools. This is predominantly because of the school's low student-to-teacher ratio.

Finances are not the only fuel for this fire. It's been said by members of KUSD staff multiple times that more opportunities for Mount Tipton middle school and high school students are available in Kingman.

This idea doesn't sit well with people opposed to restructuring the school. It's believed that the school's low student-to-teacher ratio is beneficial because it offers students more one-on-one time with teachers. Also, the school received a "B"rating from the Arizona Department of Education, which unlike No Child Left Behind, accounts for student growth.

Opponents of the potential restructure do not believe a better education awaits students in Kingman. In fact, they believe the opposite - that Mount Tipton is better equipped than Kingman to educate students from its community.

There are no plans for the board to make a decision regarding the restructure today, but there is a plan to set a date for the next town hall meeting at Mount Tipton School. Tentatively, that date has been set for March 21, but the board must ultimately decide.

In other business, the board plans to look at the Lee Williams High strategic plan, stipends for tiered employees hired before July 1, and the process by which certified staff can make professional growth lane changes.

Today's meeting starts at 4 p.m. at 3033 MacDonald Ave.

ICT - Dr. Mohtaseb
Related Stories:
• Mt. Tipton will stay open
• Mt. Tipton's future could be decided today

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Article comment by: I'm Just Saying

It sounds like Dolan Springs residents believe KUSD puts them second. However according to this article, KUSD is spending $4500 more per student at Mount Tipton that it does on Kingman students.

Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Article comment by: Denise Benususan

I was at the meeting and the fact is that Mohave County is a RURAL county...spread out with more and more people moving out to more rural areas! The board does NOT understand how the county is growing and where it is growing to.

Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Article comment by: We the people{me} Thinking

why oh why can't we tell Jan Brewer to spend some of that surplus cash on EDUCATION!!!! and we wouldn't be having this problem! but oh no god forbid we should ask the state to part of the solution, her record on cutting fund's to education speaks for itself!!! and you wounder why our kid's are failing-make education a political issue!!!!!

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: J L

You can't just make a blanket statement like, "why did you move way out of town, don't expect KUSD to cater to you". People move out of Kingman in the outskirts for various reasons. You might think the reasons are fruitless, but not the families.

Why not re-do the schedule like KAOL? Four days a week, instead of five. Keep the school open from K-12. The attendance for the high school will be lower in Kingman because of it.

The high schoolers will be getting part time jobs and it would be easier if they were closer to home, they could at least catch dinner before going to their part time jobs.

Also transporting the little kids is a strain on not only the children but the parents as well.

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: Roy Hagemyer

The standard for school bus rides is 30 minutes, yet the proposal here is 2 hours each way minimum. This is a very poor proposal to educate our young children. This needs a lot more work and a "local" solution must be found. Not only is the ride outrageous, the fact the children will be exhausted from the ride and will not be in any mood to learn. It's tiime to get back to basics in education and keep it close to home.

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: Ms Marie

When you have kids, don't you think you would pick a place to live that maybe was near a school, that's what I did. I would not choose to live outside of nowhere and expect the school district to cater to me. It would be nice to have a school nearby but if you knowingly move to BFE, expect no services...or homeschool.

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: DV S

"Whoops" Mt. Tipton, you are doing too well....a 'B' grade...Shame on you..puts you at odds with the rest of Kingman schools..O' send you kids to the schools in Kingman where they have a far less grade average.....they will now be what some of these so called educators want...DUMB does our government...

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: ba haha

Way to go, another solid observation by kdm. WIthout them I would have thought the school board would talk about justin bieber or twilight, not Mt. Tipton. Thanks for reassuring me.

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: Sam Clemmons

The Kingman School Board is being very selfish and self serving in this matter. It is clear Dolan Springs wants to keep their High School. You would not want to bus your own children 36 miles twice a day, over a dangerous highway, to school. Most school buses don't even have seatbelts, you are needlessly putting childrens lives at risk to pay for your ill conceived or planned new school. Shame on you, the risks far outweigh any advantages in busing that distance. If there is an accident, I predict a huge class action law suit against the school board. You don't rob Peter to pay Paul, it never works out as planned!

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Butch Meriwether

"How about the 2 to 4 hours bus rides some of the kids will have to endure?"

That made me think. Why not make it an administration center? Perhaps having to shlep themselves out to for work every day will finally give public employees some understanding of what the average person who supplies their money has to contend with every single day.

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: Ed Kaatz

This is the exact reason my parents moved to Kingman from Dolan Springs in 1966. I guess they had the foresight to understand the disadvantages of being on a bus 4 hours a day and missing out of sports and other school activities. We had kids living in town with family and friends to play sports, then going home on the weekend. This experiment of busing 37 miles is a bust! There is no price on quality education.

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: John Armstrong

Ok, KUSD needs to cut or raise about $4 million to balance its budget. And the Dolen Springs community wants to keep Mt. Tipton a K-12 school. Two logical sides with no extreme ideas here.

There is a solution for both sides: The Dolen Springs community seek out a for-profit charter school organization to buy Mt. Tipton (building, land, some buses, equipment) from KUSD for $4 million.

So the school stays the way it is and KUSD gets to balance its budget.

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: concerned citizen

I've got some news for everyone. We already transport students from White Hills and Dolan Springs, and the longest ride is 2 hours.

Some students car pool with others or with their parents. In today's economy, we can't afford to pay double the amount per student, unless everybody wants to pay more in taxes! Anybody want to volunteer for that???

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: Jim Consolato

OK Groucho Bill Goodale, lets see if you can get both feet in your mouth today. You are way over your head which is someplace I can't describe. Good luck to all concerned in dealing with the balance of finance and the education of our children. These children and young adults are the future of our country.

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

How about the 2 to 4 hours bus rides some of the kids will have to endure? White Hills and Meadview are a very long way from Kingman. Oops, I guess everyone forgot about that. Just because the establishment can’t do their job properly (utilize funds the right way and not waste them on such pet projects as a new high school in Kingman) or take care of our children, many say to the parents, “Why not home school them.” As typical, the school district would like that suggestion because it relieves them of the responsibility of educating our kids and paying for a very long bus ride for them. The decision to bus the students to Kingman may reflect heavily upon individuals who currently have or may have in the future political aspirations. Do as the residents want, not what a self-serving school baord wants. Think of the children.

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