Maricopa Regional School District's 55 employees may finally get a paycheck -- and soon.
During an emergency meeting Saturday morning, the County Board of Supervisors agreed by a 4-0 vote to advance the district $2.1 million so teachers and staff who have not been paid since July 31 may get a paycheck this coming week. The funds will also be used to pay overdue health insurance premiums.
Attorneys and advisers for the supervisors and the County Treasurer's Officer were involved in the negotiations to assure it met legal requirements. It is an advancement, not a loan, said board spokesman Richard deUriarte.
“This is the best way to do that and help the teachers who have been going to work and have not been paid,” he said.
On Friday, state Superintendent of Instruction Tom Horne said he will make a state disbursement of $2.1 million to the district on Sept. 15. Those funds will then be used to repay the advance from the county board of supervisors, according to the agreement released to the Tribune on after Saturday's meeting.
The employees - most are teachers in the county's "accommodation schools" in juvenile detention centers – are not employees of the county.
”I understand our inability legally to pay somebody who is not our employee,” Board Chairman Andy Kunasek commented. “But I don’t want this to go any longer and we want to get these teachers paid and their benefits reinstated.”
“The reason we’re here is for the children,” said Supervisor Mary Rose Wilson. “This is not a loan it’s more like gap financing.”
The press release states board of supervisors attorney Tom Irvine and aides from the County Treasurer's Office will "work through the Labor Day weekend in hopes the transfers can be made and teachers start being paid as early as Tuesday. "