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Casey O'Brien

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School bracing for a significant budget gap

Outgoing superintendent Casey O’Brien will update the school board at its April 9 meeting on proposed budget gaps. The district will probably suffer further cuts in the next budget year due to the loss of 60 students and proposed state legislative cuts, said O’Brien. “In a time of austerity, everybody is concerned,” said O’Brien in an interview. O’Brien said he will not have specific budget shortfall numbers to report until all unknown variables, such as changes in employee health care benefit costs, have been determined.

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Payson third-grade students reading well

Only 3 percent would be held back under new legislation

Payson third-graders fared much better than anticipated on reading tests that will soon determine whether students move on to the next grade. However, the Pine and Tonto Basin districts could face problems when state reforms take effect in 2013. If the new standards were in effect right now, 3 percent of Payson third-graders, 10 percent of Pine third-graders and 13 percent of Tonto Basin third-graders would get held back, according to a recent state report.

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