Paradise Valley governing board votes on recommendations for $14 million budget shortfall

The Paradise Valley Unified School District Governing Board passed budget cuts to address the $14 million shortfall.
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 10:11 PM MST
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PARADISE VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- After nearly a month of recommendations from both district assistant superintendents and the budget task force, the Paradise Valley Unified School District governing board made their decisions surrounding ways to address the $14 million budget shortfall.

The board made one change to recommendations presented at last week’s meeting: removing the proposal that they would increase the average general education class sizes by one at elementary schools. But other suggestions, such as reducing social-emotional learning specialists (SELS) positions, will still be happening. However, this reduction will only be by half as much as the original recommendation.

The reason for the cuts revolves around a one-time approximately $14 million COVID enrollment stabilization grant the district received for the 2020-2021 school year. However, those expenses were not brought back into the maintenance and operations budget for the 2021-2022 school year. District representatives didn’t realize this mistake until the end of that school year.

After some public discussion tonight, all of the board members expressed disappointment about the district’s situation. But not as much disappointment as those individuals who face uncertainty about their role in the district moving forward. “It’s just definitely frustrating to kind of hear it fall on maybe a little deaf ears,” said PVUSD Elementary School SELS Amelia Videan. “It was also kind of upsetting that [SELS] were really glossed over today. Like it wasn’t even put into question as much as the other recommendations were. So it kind of just made us feel a little pushed to the side.”

The recommendation to reduce SELS will go into effect next school year.