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Arizona School Boards Association Executive Director Panfilo Contreras has retired. The board announced his retirement earlier this month. Panfilo served the board for 13 years in various positions, including president and executive director.
The Gilbert Unified School District governing board is taking action to withdrawal from the Arizona School Board Association.
Timothy Ogle, superintendent of schools in one of Indiana's fastest growing school districts, will take over Feb. 6 as the executive director for the Arizona School Boards Association.
The Apache Junction Unified School District governing board was honored by the Arizona School Board Association in December, presenting the five-member group with a "Total Board Boardsmanship Award." The honor recognizes Arizona school boards for commitment to board development and continuing education attainment and is presented when a quorum of members have attained the level of "Certificate of Boardsmanship" after completing 36 continuing education units in five core curriculum areas offered by the ASBA's board academy.
In a move that could cripple the organization, Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation Friday to block the state's three universities from collecting fees for the Arizona Students Association.
Friends and business associates were shocked by the death Monday of Scott Coles, president and chief executive of Mortgages Ltd., the state's largest private mortgage bank involved in financing many high-profile Valley projects.
The Arizona School Boards Association is hosting free informational webinars on the basics of school board service and what it takes to run for office.
A state representative, a doctor, a scout for the Chicago White Sox and several business owners are among the 13 residents who have applied for the Gilbert Unified School District governing board vacancy.
August 5, 2004
June 17, 2004
Starting teachers would make $35,000 and earn $50,000 within a few years. Students would help evaluate schools and teachers. Bilingual instruction would return to Arizona’s schools.
TUCSON — Despite recent student protests, regents for Arizona's public universities voted Thursday to dramatically hike tuition, but also will offer rebates to some students to help ease the financial strain.
The Arizona Board of Regents' vote raised tuition and fees at the University of Arizona in Tucson by 22 percent to $10,027 for in-state freshman undergraduates in the fall. Those costs will jump by 19.5 percent, to $9,716, for in-state undergraduates at Arizona State University in Tempe and by 15 percent, to $8,824, at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
The increases are far larger than average tuition hikes seen last year, when public universities nationwide increased in-state tuition and fees by an average of 7.9 percent, with the average price at $7,605, according to the College Board, the nonprofit group that runs the SATs.
But the regents also decided to give rebates of $350 to incoming in-state freshman undergraduates at NAU and $750 rebates to all in-state undergraduates at UA because those schools have rainy day funds to address cuts in their budget by the Arizona Legislature.
Board Chair Anne Mariucci said UA had $28 million and NAU has $18 million in unused money set aside in the event of legislative cuts to their budgets. ASU has no such money.
The rebates only apply for one year.
"I think it's certainly better than nothing," Mariucci said after the vote. "Next year it'll be a new ball game."
The board voted for the increase 7-2 after about six hours of debate, with members arguing over various alternative proposals that were mostly turned down.
Students have been strongly protesting against the tuition increases and legislative cuts. Hundreds of students rallied at the three universities on March 23, carrying signs that read "Keep education alive" and "Say no to cuts."
"Are you kidding me? That's stupid," said Jordan King, a 20-year-old UA business sophomore, after learning of the vote. Of the rebates, he said, "That's just a slap in the face. That's like taking $1,000 from us and giving us $10 back."
"That's so much money. My parents are paying my tuition and they can't afford that," he said.
"We're all struggling," nursing sophomore Candace Jackson, 20, who goes to Arizona State University, said before the vote. "It's a big chunk of money."
Jackson has a $9,000 yearly scholarship for books and tuition, and said she'd probably have to get a job to cover any increases in tuition. She said that would take away some of her study time and threaten her ability to maintain a 3.5 grade-point average or higher to keep her scholarship.
"Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a scholarship," she said. "I know a good handful of people who wouldn't be able to afford tuition increases at all."
The tuition spike was also tough to take for some regents, including Dennis DeConcini, a former U.S. senator.
"We are absolutely going crazy on tuition, it's absolutely out of sight," he said. "It is really absurd what we get ourselves talked into here, with all due respect to the great work of the presidents. This board is drinking the Kool-Aid. We're taking these figures right down the line."
Arizona universities say they've cut back where they can and blame the state Legislature's steep cuts to their budgets. Over three fiscal years beginning in 2008, the Legislature cut a total of $232.5 million from the schools and has approved nearly $200 million in cuts to the schools during the next fiscal year.
Next fiscal year's cuts amount to a 22 percent reduction in university funding from the Legislature, though that reduction represents 4.7 percent of the schools' overall funding, which they also get from things like tuition, dorm fees, and research grants. The universities still will get $692 million from the Legislature next fiscal year.
The one thing all the board members seemed to agree on Thursday was that the Legislature has been draconian in its cuts to higher education.
"There's no good feelings around this board that I can see about anything regarding what has happened at the Legislature," member Bob McLendon said.
"Our universities are giant beacons out there in this country, not just for the West," he said. "Arizona is kind of short right now on those beacons. We're not looked upon favorably by a lot of folks, but we do have some rays of hope out there. We must really continue to invest in our universities."
The Gilbert Unified School District governing board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the district office, 140 S. Gilbert Road.The board will hear an analysis of AIMS test results, and possibly approve an agreement with the East Valley Institute of Technology, for technical education.
EAGAR — A small plane nosedived into a high school in a small eastern Arizona town Friday afternoon and exploded, killing both people aboard, authorities said.
There were no reports of injuries on the ground. Classes are out for the summer at the school, authorities said.
The Cessna circled the area two or three times before it suddenly crashed into the main building at Round Valley High School in Eagar at about 2 p.m., Apache County sheriff's Sgt. Richard Guinn said.
Show Low Fire Department spokesman Eric Neitzel said two people aboard the plane were confirmed dead but their names and hometowns were not immediately available.
There was no immediate word on who owned the plane and where it was headed. But Neitzel said witnesses told authorities the Cessna took off from nearby Springerville Airport and experienced some sort of malfunction while it circled before veering into the school building.
Two hours after the crash, flames were still erupting 20 to 30 feet above the roof of the two-story school.
National Transportation Safety Board officials were expected at the crash scene Saturday morning to handle the investigation, according to Neitzel.
Fire crews from nearly a dozen small towns in the region raced to battle the flames. Officials evacuated homes in neighborhoods east and north of the school.
The school serves about 500 students in Eagar and nearby Springerville and is about 200 miles east of Phoenix. The blaze was contained to the main school building.
There was no indication that anyone was inside the school when the plane crashed.
State Treasurer Dean Martin, who was in Eagar, said he and others left their vehicles at the school before heading out on a forest tour. They drove off just minutes before the plane hit and looked in the rearview mirro to see smoke rising into the sky.
"Initially we thought someone tossed a cigarette butt," said Martin, a state gubernatorial candidate. "But shortly after, there was this massive fireball."
A Friday night event scheduled at the high school was moved to another building.
Although it’s been around since the late 1980s, the Queen Creek Education Association is taking a more active presence this school year.
School board members can refine leadership skills for the year ahead at the Arizona School Boards Association Summer Leadership Institute, July 22-24, at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.
The Gilbert Unified School District governing board began interviewing candidates for interim superintendent this week in behind closed-door meetings.
Next time candidates run for school boards, they might have to post a photograph on the Internet and tell how long they’ve been married and where their children attend school.
Lily Tram is making history as the newest appointee to the Gilbert Unified School District school board.
The Queen Creek Unified School District governing board will meet Tuesday at the district office, 20740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek
Six candidates have applied for an open position on the Gilbert Unified School District governing board. The post, which opened when Linda Rollans resigned in December, runs through December 2008. Candidates will be interviewed by a three-member panel of employees at the Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools office.
No one can accuse Elaine Morrison of not speaking her mind.
Gilbert residents interested in applying for the governing board vacancy in the Gilbert Unified School District have until Oct. 23 to apply.
Local businesswoman Adelaida Severson was named Wednesday as the newest member of the Gilbert Unified School District governing board.
Choose words carefully when speaking in public. Stress positive aspects of the district. Take steps to have more efficient and shorter meetings.