It wasn’t that long ago that the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) was known as an academic, athletic and stable educational institution in Arizona educational circles. Although it comes as no surprise that the PUSD’s high school’s “letter grade” has regressed to a low B from an A, the underlying reasons for the decline are somewhat obvious.
The current governing board, with the possible exception of one member, seems intent on making arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable decisions based on personal whims rather than on sound educational research and reasoning.
How can teachers teach, administrators administer, and coaches coach when it appears there is little job security and the board seems to meddle in too many personnel decisions? Very few educational professionals would want to be employed by PUSD due to its reputation as a “dead end” for educators and its below market salary scale. It’s totally absurd and unacceptable that PUSD coaches must fund raise in order to pay their own extracurricular salaries and to support their sports monetarily.
Northern Gila County voters should receive a scathing mark relative to local school performance improvement because we elect the same caliber of people to our governing board time after time. Also, as long as we continue to elect the likes of Barton, Crandell and Thorpe and send them to Phoenix to represent us, we’ll continue to see financial and philosophical support for our public schools continue to erode.
In summary, we searched for the enemy concerning improvements at PUSD and the enemy looks an awful lot like many of us voters!
Richard K. Meszar