Paradise Valley Unified School District working to solve $14 million budget shortfall

The budget task force are recommending reducing half as many social emotional learning specialist positions and increasing the average class size by one.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 9:04 AM MST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 12:27 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Paradise Valley Unified School District held another school board meeting this evening, where the public was able to discuss the budget task force update surrounding the $14 million dollar budget shortfall the district has been dealing with.

At the last meeting two weeks ago, pretty much every person from the audience that spoke to the governing board was against the recommendation from district assistant superintendents that dozens of social-emotional learning specialists (SELs) and instructional coaching positions would be eliminated next school year. This is because of that budget mistake, where the district got a 14 million dollar COVID enrollment stabilization grant in 2020 used for ongoing expenses. But when that grant ran out, those ongoing expenses weren’t brought back into the maintenance and operations budget for the 2021-2022 school year.

At Thursday night’s meeting, there were updated recommendations from the budget task force, including only reducing half as many SELs as previously recommended and increasing the average class size by one in only elementary schools.

“The fact that we came to an agreement together is important,” Paradise Valley Education Association President Susie Seep said. “And we appreciate having a board that supports our work together rather than individuals.”

“I’m glad that the board took the time to really drill down into the class size increase or reducing some of the positions,” PVUSD parent Henry Hill said. “Because I think you really have to be careful with all of that.”

The meeting was just a public discussion, there weren’t any votes that took place by the board. A special meeting is scheduled for next Thursday at 7 p.m. where the board could give their final approval on the budget task force’s recommendations.