Credit For Kids got off to a slow start in Payson, but officials say the program is gaining steam with tax credits beginning to roll in.
The program dates back to 1997 when the State Legislature passed a bill that allows individuals to deduct as a tax credit, fees paid to schools for extracurricular activities. That means taxpayers can take a $200 state tax credit for any household. The amount is a credit against liability -- not a deduction from income.
Simply put, it costs the taxpayers absolutely nothing. The choice is: pay $200 to the Department of Revenue or to our schools to be used for a variety of extracurricular activities.
Some projects earmarked to receive the funds include after-school programs in math, reading and physical fitness at the elementary schools, and vocational programs at the high school. The Payson Center For Success is to receive money for career exploration activities. The middle school will use any money received for after-school academic enrichment and intramural programs.
A district-wide goal involves the continuation of a stadium improvement project that began last year. The plan is to complete full-scale bleachers across the south side of the football field and possible installation of an all-weather track.
Payson has long lagged behind neighboring schools in the quality of the facilities and physical plant. The plan is to remedy that situation if enough pledges are received.
Last year, local taxpayers donated $113,779 through the tax credit program.
Call the school district at (520) 474-2070 for information on how to contribute to Credit For Kids.
At the onset of the state football tournament a month ago, Payson High assistant coach Jack Morris said he thought Show Low had a better team than Blue Ridge and would win the state championship if the two teams met in the finale.
It was a gutsy call considering undefeated Blue Ridge was state top-ranked and had pummeled Show Low 40-0 in regular season.
Almost everyone in high school football circles gave Show Low very little chance to win based on the outcome of the earlier game, the Yellow Jacket's edge in team speed and the winning tradition of the BR program in Lakeside.
But, it turns out Morris' prediction was right on target. The Cougars edged Blue Ridge 26-25 Friday evening at Mesa College to nail down Show Low's first state championship.
With prognostication abilities like that, Morris might want to consider a quick trip to Vegas.
In Show Low, where the Cougars are now champions of the mountain, fans and players will breathe a little easier knowing that the longtime monkey on their back, namely Blue Ridge, has been chased.
At the onset of the basketball season, Molly Hunt -- a former Longhorn hoop star -- was given the reins of the Lady Longhorn freshmen basketball team.
But last week, Hunt was told because she is an hourly employee of the school district she is not eligible to be a contracted coach.
In the season-opener against Camp Verde last week, varsity coach Jerry Daniels assumed control of the frosh team.
The ruling that an hourly employee can't coach with a contract has been around a few years and has adversely affected other coaches. The decision is one of those legalese things which no one -- except attorneys -- can understand.
But the situation is too bad for the freshman girls. Hunt would have done a commendable job with the youngsters.