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Friday's Gallery June 29, 2012

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“It really is a crock. I had granddaughters in (the Achieve Hour). The kids felt it was good class.” Barbara Underwood School board president

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Schools out $210,000

State: middle school class isn’t really a class

The Payson school district has agreed to return $210,000 to the Arizona Department of Education for a program that district officials say helped students but that state officials didn’t count as a class. Auditors from the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) decided Payson schools state money spent on an innovative class that helped children who fell behind in school didn’t qualify as a class under state rules. “This began a little over a year ago when auditors from the ADE came to look at attendance issues,” said Superintendent Casey O’Brien.

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School board debates new rule on nepotism

After spirited discussion, board postpones vote on allowing spouses to work on same campus

The Payson School Board Monday after a spirited debate voted to drop a political hot potato in the lap of incoming Superintendent Ron Hitchcock. The issue centers on a proposed change in the district policy about letting husbands and wives work at the same school, a perhaps surprisingly common situation in small rural schools like Payson. Outgoing Payson High School Principal Kathe Ketchem, whose husband at one time also worked at the same school site, said a rural district couldn’t afford to drive off families in which both the husband and wife worked in education.

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