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Wed, Dec. 11

PUSD plans public hearing on 2019-2020 budget prior to vote at June 25 meeting

The former Washington Elementary School is now PUSD’s district offices. (Les Stukenberg/Courier file)

The former Washington Elementary School is now PUSD’s district offices. (Les Stukenberg/Courier file)

Local residents who wish to offer an opinion about Prescott Unified School district’s 2019-20 proposed budget will have the chance at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Washington School district office conference room on East Gurley Street.

The Prescott Unified Governing Board will have a public hearing on the proposed $27 million budget, which is expected to require cutting nine teaching and three staff positions, mostly by attrition or reassignment; the reduction of one instructional coach – 4.5 to 3.5 for six schools – as well as some class resizing and program consolidations.

The Governing Board gave its nod on the proposed budget last month, and District Superintendent Joe Howard said no significant changes have been made since that time. This budget document includes all of the projected state revenues and tax rate information required by law to be submitted to state education officials no later than July 5.

Prescott taxpayers finance the proposed budget that is based on state per pupil reimbursements. PUSD anticipates a 145-student enrollment drop between the last school year and the 100th day of the 2019-20 school year. The per-pupil rate is about $5,000, with higher calculations for special education.

The only protest about the proposed budget prior to the board’s initial vote related to a decision to eliminate professional staff librarians at both the high school and middle school. The libraries will remain, but staffing will rotate based on what school administrators determine to be the best use of those resources.

High school Principal Mark Goligoski said his hope was to revitalize the library so it is more used space relevant to students’ academic needs.

Board members endorsed a financing plan that required school administrators to make up a $700,000 gap.

The public hearing will precede the board’s final adoption of the budget.

The rest of the meeting agenda is standard end-of-the-year requirements related to contracts, procurements and inter-agency agreements.

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