The National Rifle Association donates thousands of dollars to Southern Arizona schools

In the middle of a national debate over guns and school violence, you may be surprised to know the National Rifle Association actually funds specific programs in schools throughout Southern Arizona. 

Sahuarita High School, Tombstone High School, Flowing Wells High School and Rio Rico High School have all received funding from the NRA. 

Sahuarita has received non-cash grants from the NRA of more than $27,000 since 2015 to help fund their competitive shooting program. 

Superintendent with Sahuarita's school district, Manuel Valenzuela, says receiving funding from the NRA is not a political move. 

He says he is more interested in looking out for the best interest of the school and partnering with businesses and establishments that can help the school reach its objectives of providing the best education to their students. 

"Specifically we're focused on the intersection of goals and how we can work together to raise the level of student success and educational attainment of our students." 

At this time, Valenzuela says he is not considering ending the relationship with the NRA. 

Students who take part in the NJROTC program also say the NRA grant allows them to have the necessary equipment to compete with other schools in shooting competitions and a chance for scholarships in the future. 

"Everything that you see here from the equipment to the rifles, to these suits that we're wearing currently, they have all been given through the grants from the NRA."

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