JTED dollars distributed to school districts

Career, technical programs at KUSD receive $130,000

KINGMAN - The Western Arizona Vocational Education Joint Technical Education District created earlier this summer has issued its first monetary disbursements to each of the four school districts it represents, including Kingman Unified.

The eight-member JTED governing board on Wednesday accepted budget proposals from KUSD, Colorado River, Lake Havasu and Parker school districts and approved $130,000 in new funds for each, according to board vice-chair Tom Duranceau, who is one of two representatives for Kingman.

"We asked each of the districts to give us what they were interested in funding," Duranceau said. "The money must enhance their current (career and technical education) programs, so this cannot be used to make up budget cuts or deficits or anything like that."

KUSD's submittal includes $51,000 in equipment, namely new computers for Kingman High School's computer lab. The equipment funds will also go to purchase upgrades to the school's greenhouse, which will in turn help to enhance KHS's agriculture and horticulture programs.

KUSD's proposal also calls for $45,000 to be spent on additional staff training, to better equip the district's teachers for vocational education. The remainder of KUSD's request will go toward increased salaries ($7,500), benefits ($3,800), travel expenses ($3,500) and textbooks ($500).

The disbursements will be made available in the coming weeks, with the new equipment expected to come in in time for the following school year.

"We pretty much told them in January that they can begin ordering, and they'll begin getting it in the spring," Duranceau said.

The JTED, which covers districts in both Mohave and La Paz counties, was approved by voters in November 2008. The district is funded by a combination of property taxes and state moneys, and is intended to help member school districts to improve their vocational educational programs to better prepare students for entry into both skilled trades or higher education.

The JTED has an anticipated operating budget of $2.7 million for this fiscal year, meaning future disbursements are likely, however, Duranceau said when and how much those disbursements will be is dependent on both how much revenue the property tax generates, as well as whether or not the ailing state budget can produce its share of the anticipated funds. In addition, each future disbursement will require a new budget proposal from each of the four member districts.

"They're more likely to be quarterly, but it's dependent on our cash flow, so we have to wait until the additional revenues come in - the property tax receipts and then the equalization funds from the state," Duranceau said.