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Looking ahead to 2012

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Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 12:00 pm

There's a lot to look forward to once we kick off 2012. Elections, both local and national, will shape the way our country is run for the next four years. The 2012 presidential race is sure to be full of fireworks right down to the bitter end.

Who becomes (or stays) the next president will directly affect America's education system and No Child Left Behind.

Opponents say there are issues with the act, that was passed in a bipartisian effort in 2001, such as it requires teachers to "teach to the test," which in Arizona's case is the Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS).

Change could be coming to the act. President Barack Obama has tried to reform the act and the legislature will again look at it early in the new year.

Possible republican opponent Mitt Romney has expressed his support for NCLB while fellow republican front-runner Ron Paul voted against it in 2001 and stands against any federal involvement in education.

He has however proposed tax credits for American families to be used to choose what school their children attend.

On the local level, the Kyrene School District will once again have to choose whether or not to fund all-day kindergarten.

The district is expecting a $5.3 million budget shortfall for 2012-13 and is looking at ways to make that up.

The issue of whether or not to fund kindergarten, or implement a tuition-based system on top of state-funded half-day, has come up at governing board meetings repeatedly since the school year started. The board is expected to make a decision at a public meeting in January.

How they make up that $5.3 million will continued to be discussed at future board meetings. Funding all-day kindergarten in 2012-13 is expected to cost the district $2 million.

To make up a budget shortfall last year, the district cut positions and changed the way special areas, PE, art, music and library, were implemented. They have been discussing the cutting of additional position in recent board meetings to make up the expected shortfall.

Stay tuned to future issues of the AFN to stay informed about the hot button, local and national educational issues.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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