Final Credit for Kids figures are in for 2000, and a strong December following a slow start pushed the Phoenix Union School District total to $142,212 almost reaching the $145,117 donated in 1999.
Under the terms of the three-year-old Credit for Kids law and the Arizona Private School Tax Credit law, each household is entitled to take a tax credit equal to the amount donated to either public or private schools up to $200 and $500 respectively. Money donated to public schools must be used for extracurricular activities, and private school donations must be used for scholarships.
Payson Community Christian School, the only private school in the Rim country, will not know how much was received until late February or early March.
The money received by PUSD will go for such uses as after-school programs in math, reading and music, for special field trips, and to complete an all-weather track at the high school, said Herb Weissenfels, PUSD superintendent. Other projects that he hopes will be funded include completing the purchase and installation of full-scale bleachers across the south side of the football field/track, other after-school academic enrichment and intramural programs, and vocational education and career exploration activities.
The largest share of the money donated to PUSD $45,958 was earmarked for the stadium improvements.
With a total of $18,247, Frontier Elementary School received the highest amount among individual schools, followed by Payson High School with $17,755, Rim Country Middle School with $17,709, Julia Randall Elementary with $16,409, Payson Elementary School with $13,106, and Payson Center for Success with $13,029.
FES Principal Sue Myers said her school is planning to use a good share of its money for an after-school enrichment program.
This was the first year donors could specify schools and extracurricular activities they wanted their contributions to support. Last year the program was set up so individual schools could only receive $5,000 each, with the balance going to the stadium project.
The legislature, under fire for the alternative-fuel vehicle fiasco, intends to take a close look at both the public and private school tax credit programs.