KUSD looks for JTED approval

KINGMAN - The Kingman Unified School District is looking to double their career and technical education through the public's approval of a Joint Technical Education District.

The voters will decide the issue on Tuesday's ballot requiring a stationary 5-cent per $100 of secondary assessed property value tax required for funding.

The KUSD is looking to form a JTED with Parker, Lake Havasu and Colorado River school districts to offer vocational education courses. Named the Western Arizona Vocational Education, the JTED would feature one governing board and one superintendent.

While 13 to 25 percent of the JTED budget would come from the collection of local taxes, the remaining amount comes from the existing state general funds. For this budget year, $75 million is coming out of the state general fund for the JTEDs.

This state aid is currently not being distributed to the Kingman area because a JTED does not exist in the region.

The schools would receive funding based on average daily membership for four periods. If a student enrolls in a fifth period class that is career and technical education, the JTED would receive an additional 25 percent in funding.

With the state funding comes state assessment and accountability. Courses must meet state statutes and standards to be part of the JTED.

Basing programs off of district and community needs, WAVE would offer career pathway courses.

"It's a very positive thing for the students," Assistant Superintendent Betsy Parker said. "It's such an enhancement to the curriculum."

Kingman High would have 15 instructors offering 12 career and technical education programs. Lake Havasu High would employ the most instructors with 17, while Mohave High would have the most programs with 14.

The JTED would be to provide students with workplace and post-secondary readiness for the future with hands-on technical training.

The current education system will be enhanced by state-of-the-art equipment, college credit while in high school, industry certification and industry partnerships.

Beyond the benefit to students, the JTED would save each district from having to purchase equipment for each career and technical education program.

With a shoestring budget, Parker said the KUSD has taken a grassroots approach to educating the public on the issue.

"I think we've gotten the information out there and the people have been supportive once they get the information," Parker said.

If approved, the JTED would begin on July 1. It will begin as satellite campuses at existing high school sites with programs unique to each community it serves.

As the proposed JTED progresses, the opportunity for joint ventures between participating districts is an option. Intergovernmental agreements are used to determine structure and details of an approved JTED.