State takes $2.3M back from school district
HUSD left with only $300,000 for its capital improvements
Humboldt Unified School District Governing Board Vice President Suzie Roth voiced her frustration with the state legislators, stating how little they value education.
“Until they do value education, unfortunately, I don’t think things will change,” she said. “I’m always so impressed with this district and the team that we have and the things that happen. I don’t think that people understand the way things happen and I certainly didn’t until I was sitting here.”
Roth’s comments came during the HUSD Governing Board Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13 where the board was faced with approving a revised 2016-2017 Expenditure Budget. Out of $2.6 million the district has been adjusted down a total of about $2.3 million and is netting about $337,000, said Director of Finance Cynthia Windham.
It’s something the legislators have been doing year after year and it was known that they were going to do it this year, but the district was waiting for a final number, Windham said.
Board President Brian Letendre clarified that originally the State of Arizona allotted HUSD $2.6 million for capital improvements.
“That’s our buildings, that’s our roofs, that’s our students, that’s our pathways, our sidewalks, all of these things to keep a safe learning environment,” he said. “They took back $2.3 million.”
The district is now has $300,000 for its capital improvement budget, Letendre said.
This is a highly typical attitude of the legislators, said Board Member Gary Hicks, noting that the public schools are nailed at every turn. Hicks said he’s tired of playing nice with them and has plans to do so now that he’s retired.
“I intend to sit down there now that I have more time. I am going to show my pleasant, smiling face. I’m going to be there,” he said, adding that even if he never gets to speak with any of them, he will be there. “I am sick and tired of the legislators. There’s not a one of them that I would vote for ever again.”
Liaison to the district, Town Councilmember Marty Grossman said the move upset him at the Thursday, Dec. 15 Town Council Meeting.
“The state is once again depriving our students of the education they deserve,” he said. “One of the schools right now needs a whole new roof. That alone is $200,000 and there are nine campuses and there are items that need to be fixed and replaced … you can’t run a $2.6 million budget on $300,000 and they’re doing this to all the districts around the state.”
Grossman said he was asking and encouraging everyone to call state and nationally elected officials to let them know children need to be supported. They are the future and the people who will be running the state of Arizona and the Town of Prescott Valley in the future, he said.