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Feb 27, 2013 1:19 AM by Sean Mooney

TUSD getting closer on budget cuts


TUCSON - Leaders in Tucson's largest school district are closing in on a final budget for the next academic year. More millions were trimmed at Monday's meeting with the TUSD Governing Board.

With court approval given on February 15 the board made it final, eleven schools are closing with one to be reopened as a charter school. That will save $4.2 million. School funding changes account for another $4 million. TUSD wants a total of $19 million cut from the budget, including a $2 million cushion. At this session the board voted to trim $6.1 million from central administration and other jobs away from schools.

District CFO, Josef Awwad, says the TUSD is getting down to the final cuts, "We are getting very close, we are down to around $5 million because the board made some changes to the reductions we made," said Awwad, "so we are looking for $5 more in deductions."

The exact remaining amount is $4.7 million.

The district also moved to step up it's effort to get more information to families effected by school closures. Letters are being sent out to bring families up to date on consolidation of schools in TUSD.

Board members also finalized another agreement on a partnership between the district and Tucson Parks and Rec on shared use of fields for soccer at Doolen Middle School.

TUSD Governing Board President, Adelita Grijalva, says she would like to see these programs expanded in the district, "We have a lack of those facilities in our city period", said Grijalva, "and so it would be good for us to bring as many people back on to our community schools. I am hopeful we are going to be able to do more and more of that."

A similar program already exists at Townsend Middle School and although there is nothing official, there has been some discussion on possibly utilizing the these type programs with the closed schools in the district.

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