TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - More budget woes for Tucson's largest school district. TUSD is bracing for a big hit as hundreds of students continue to leave the district.
Student enrollment is a big issue for districts because state funding is tied to the number of students sitting in classroom seats. For TUSD, the dip could mean a budget cut of about 4 and a half million dollars.
Take a look at the projected enrollment number this school year. The district recently revised it from 44,912 students to 44,029. That's a loss of about 880 students.
This is the first year that the budget is based on the current year's number rather than the previous year, which means the total enrollment could drop even more in the coming months.
Board chair Michael Hicks tells KGUN9 he's upset about the overall decline of the district over the past few years. He says his priority is getting student back into the district and believes the best way to do that is to give more support to teachers in the classrooms.
Hicks says he believes Superintendent Gabriel "Trujillo can change the district around through transparency." He says he will do whatever he can to avoid staff layoffs and right now "the district is not filling open administration positions" to help reduce costs.
Making matters worse -- the Arizona Department of Education made a massive mistake in Title 1 funding -- money slated for low-income students. That error could cost TUSD about 2 and a half million dollars.
That's according to The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. The ADE hasn't revealed yet how it will handle the overpayment.
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