Meeting tonight to discuss Sunnyside district's budget cuts

2013-12-17T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T07:37:45Z Meeting tonight to discuss Sunnyside district's budget cutsBy Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The public will have an opportunity tonight to discuss the Sunnyside Unified School District’s proposed budget cuts.

Sunnyside will host a community forum at 6 p.m. at Apollo Middle School, 265 W. Nebraska St., where district officials will give information about the cuts and allow the community to speak.

The district wants to close Los Ranchitos Elementary School and Chaparral Middle School, release some employees, reduce one elementary school specialist at each site, 10 campus monitors, and administrators and coordinators.

Sunnyside will likely lay off teachers, but officials are still determining how many would be released and how many would move to a different school.

Officials expect to close Chaparral for a year before reopening it as a kindergarten-through-eighth grade fine arts school.

Officials also want to reopen Los Ranchitos as a health and wellness center.

In addition, the district wants to close its Professional and Community Education Center and redesign Ocotillo Early Learning Center as a prekindergarten-through-first grade early childhood center.

The cuts are expected to save the district about $5 million. The goal is to reach $6 million, officials said.

Tonight’s forum is one of a series of meetings Sunnyside will hold to address the budget reductions, which became a necessity after voters rejected the district’s override last month.

The district will hold another forum Jan. 14 to address the school closures.

Contact reporter Jamar Younger at jyounger@azstarnet.com or 573-4242. On Twitter: @JamarYounger

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