KUSD budget decisions tonight

Student to teacher ratios will determine how many positions are to be eliminated

KINGMAN - The Kingman Unified School District Governing Board will make decisions on budget cuts today.

The board could approve right-sizing ratios, maximum class sizes and half-day kindergarten when it meets at 5:30 p.m. in the KUSD District Office, 3033 MacDonald Ave.

First up is the approval of district student to teacher right-sizing ratios. The student to teacher ratios would be at 22:1 for kindergarten to second-grade classes, 25:1 for third to fifth grades, 28:1 for sixth to eighth grades and 30:1 for ninth through 12th grades.

At a January board workshop, it was determined the right-sizing formula would mean the elimination of 53 teachers, one district-level administrator, one teacher-on-assignment and 12.5 classified staff positions. The cuts would save the district approximately $2 million by doing so.

In response to around $1.09 billion in state budget cuts during the next two years, the board could approve an additional ratio for maximum class size. The maximum would put student to teacher ratios at 25:1 for kindergarten to second-grade classes, 27:1 for third to fifth grades, 30:1 for sixth to eighth grades and 32:1 for ninth through twelfth grades.

The maximum ratio would require the additional reduction of 18 teachers. The move would add up to approximately $608,000 in savings for the district.

With the elimination of funding from the state for Group B kindergarten, the board could approve half-day kindergarten beginning next academic year.

Another move aimed at saving money - the four-day school week - will be presented to the board. While no decision will be made tonight, the committee looking into it will present their research.

In the economic crunch, the schools and district have turned to donations more than ever. The board will approve donations ranging from coats and shoes from the St. Vincent De Paul Society in Dolan Springs to $2,500 from Dynegy Administrative Services for library books.

Another donation the board will approve is 16.22 acres from ZBella Investments LLC. The land is located on the northeast corner of Airway Avenue and Prospector Street, adjacent to the site of the future White Cliffs Middle School.

Beyond the donations, the board will recognize Mt. Tipton, its staff and the Mohave County Sheriff's Office for their work during the lockdown on Feb. 3. The Arizona Department Environmental Quality Office of Children's Environmental Health is also commending the school and staff for making the campus environmentally healthy.

For more information about the KUSD Governing Board meeting at 5:30 tonight at the KUSD District Office, call (928) 753-5678.