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TUSD after-school program helped subsidized Infant and Early Learning Centers

Posted at 6:15 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 08:52:25-04

Hard financial numbers. That's what the Tucson Unified Board now wants the district to provide for the infant and early learning centers.  

The two centers at Brichta and Shumaker have been losing millions of dollars since they opened their doors. They are not funded by K-12 state aid, which means taxpayers have been footing the bill. 

The district's task at hand: Figure out a way to make the finances work for the infant and early learning centers -- and fast.

Financial records show the centers started with a 1-point-6 million dollars loss at the start of the school year and still stand to lose money.

The superintendent set a deadline for the district to provide the detail during the November 13th board meeting.

The program director told the board the district already increased tuition and reduced food costs to offset the deficit.

Board members asked for more detailed expenditures -- concerned of hidden costs, such as utilities. 

Before the board meeting, Michael Hicks said he's been concerned some of the tuition from TUSD's community schools -- before and after school programs -- have helped subsidize the two early learning centers.

The program director confirmed it. She told the board that practice has stopped.

All the board members say they support the two centers and want the district to explore all options -- and that likely includes another tuition increase.