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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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1/31/2013 2:26:00 PM
Verde Valley schools to get Prop 301 adjustments

Philip Wright
Staff Reporter


State officials recently discovered that many school districts and charter schools in Arizona had been paid too much in state funding from Proposition 301. It was also discovered that many districts and charter schools were paid too little in Prop 301 money.

The Prop 301 money comes from a 1-percent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2000.

"The funding involved is the Prop 301 teacher performance pay," said Kathleen Fleenor, superintendent of Clarkdale-Jerome School.

According to Chuck Essigs, of the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, the Prop 301 sales tax money is to be used to pay teachers and provide instructional support in the classroom.

The errors were discovered during a meeting of school business officials. The errors apparently resulted from a failure to align schools' enrollment numbers with payments of per-student funding from the sales tax since 2006.

When the errors were made public, officials said the state would make $38 million in limp-sum payments in March to schools that had been shortchanged. In addition, the state will subtract $6 million owed by schools that had been overpaid. The overpayments will be subtracted over a 17-month period.

On Wednesday, Kirk Waddle, business director for Mingus Union High School, said the Arizona Department of Education website had posted a list of the adjustments in Prop 301 funds for individual districts and charter schools.

"Mingus Union High School's adjustment is a positive $34,470," Waddle said.

Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary District will receive $15,568. Cottonwood-Oak Creek Elementary District gets $132,564 returned to it. American Heritage Academy will be repaid $13,383.

Camp Verde Unified District will receive $56,862 that it is owed, but Camp Verde Unified School District's South Verde Technology will have to pay back $14,465.

Beaver Creek Elementary District will be paid $16,337 that it was shortchanged.

Sedona-Oak Creek School District is owed $74,087 that it was shorted.

Taylor Waste

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