KSD to host legislators next week

The Kyrene School District has invited (from left) Rep. Jeff Dial, Sen. John McComish, and Rep. Bob Robson to the district offices, 8700 S. Kyrene Road in Tempe, for an informal discussion.

Ahwatukee Foothills parents and community members will have a chance to voice some of their concerns next week as three local legislators will be on hand to answer questions and have a discussion.

The Kyrene School District has invited Sen. John McComish, Rep. Bob Robson, and Rep. Jeff Dial to the district offices, 8700 S. Kyrene Road in Tempe, for an informal discussion. The meeting will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23.

"We are hosting a meet-and-greet with your legislators to talk about one thing - education funding," Kyrene governing board president Michelle Hirsch said at a recent board meeting. "So we will have a polite discussion about (education funding)."

Kyrene has seen a significant drop in its budget over the past three years. In 2008-09, Kyrene's general budget limit (GBL) was over $106 million, a $3 million increase from the previous year, with an average daily membership of 16,875. It has dropped each year since then. For school year 2010-11, the GBL was $99.8 million. According to a statement written by Hirsch and fellow governing board member Ross Robb, "the district's Operating Budget experienced a decline of over 10.5 percent and $11.3 million since it peaked at $106.4 million in 2008-09."

One of the biggest issues the district faced was whether or not to continue to fund all-day kindergarten at a cost of about $2 million. Last week, the governing board voted to continue to fund it with a unanimous vote, in the face of a projected budget shortfall of $5.6 million for the 2012-13 school year.

To find out more, visit www.kyrene.org.

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

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