To Sen. Allen. I am Christine Murphy. I am a resident of Payson and I work for the Payson Unified School District. I am the LEA (Local Education Area) nutrition coordinator K-12 PUSD which means I am the department secretary for the fiveschool cafeterias we have in PUSD. I am also the parent of a 20-year-old who is in her second year at Northern Arizona University.
I am writing to protest the latest $600 million in cuts in the Senate budget targeting our universities, public schools, cities and towns.
This will kill the town of Payson. We need an ASU campus for several reasons. #1 — ASU would be a shot in the arm for Payson’s economy. ASU students would spend money and unemployed local citizens would get work and also spend money. #2 — Payson and many surrounding cities need a lower cost alternative to a college diploma. If you can’t afford a college education you remain on the lower rung financially and our current problems remain. There is no improvement.
At Payson Unified School District we educate overover 2,000 students in five schools. As of February, 64 percent of our students qualify for the National School Lunch Program (free/reduced meals). With your proposed budget, that will increase.
We have lost 100 students every year for the last five years which already is a big loss financially to the school district. These are unsustainable numbers. We are closing an entire elementary school at the end of this school year. We add to the unemployment numbers and more families will qualify for free/reduced meals. Class sizes increase at the other elementary schools. One more child won’t get a college education. All this just as a reaction to more funding cuts? Arizona is already last in student funding — how can we get any worse? There is no improvement.
Speaking of adding to the unemployment numbers, do you think this will improve your re-election chances?
Please reverse the $600 million in cuts. Please don’t kill Payson.
I am writing as a Payson resident, not as an employee of Payson Unified School District.