TUSD Governing Board approves short-term financial plan for Infants Early Learning Centers

TUSD decision on early learning centers

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - On Tuesday night, southern Arizona’s largest school district voted on how to fund a financially troubled program.

The Tucson Unified School District board is moving forward on a plan to keep two Infant and Early Learning Centers (IELC) open.

(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Walton, Elizabeth)

But will it be enough?

A vote was held tonight, to figure out a way to have these centers financially break even.

It comes after consulting with parents on cost-saving ideas.

There was a sparse crowd at Tuesday’s meeting, as the board voted 3-to-2 to implement a short-term plan.

That includes a six percent rate increase for families starting January 1, 2019 and eliminating holiday pay for scheduled winter and rodeo school breaks.

(Source: Walton, Elizabeth)

However during the call to audience, one parent was frustrated that this plan wouldn't generate budget turnaround fast enough.

“I’m asking you to look beyond the short-term 2018-2019 year and think about the long-term ideas,” said Christina Boyless, from the Brichta Infants, Early Learning Center Parent Advisory Group. “Even if you don’t want to invest money into our centers, I’m asking that you take the major changes that we’ve already made - eliminating food, absorbing a 20 percent tuition increase earlier this year - as sufficient for the school year.”

About 360 preschool students are split between the two centers run by the district.

Board member Mark Stegeman was vocal that he's worried they're neglecting larger TUSD schools to fund these IELCs.

The schools have suffered severe financial loss every year since opening in 2014.

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