Dozens of school districts could unify - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Dozens of school districts could unify

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Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 6:03 am

  PHOENIX -- Arizona voters will soon decide whether dozens of school districts should join forces.

If voters approve unification proposals on Nov. 4, the state's 76 elementary and high-school districts would be combined to create 27 new unified districts serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

It's the first time in state history that voters are considering changing school-district boundaries across the state. Some of the affected districts predate statehood.

After a few years of studying the proposal, Arizona's School Redistricting Commission proposed the plans that voters living in affected districts will consider.

Supporters of unification say it will align curriculum and place more funds into classrooms by unifying administrative costs, which include the costs of transportation and food service.

Unification would likely lead to changes in administration, curriculum, employee salaries and even district names if voters approve.

Critics say unification could mean reduced local control and possibly produce economic hardships for some taxpayers.

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