Gila County has received $1.16 million from the 2019 Secure Rural Schools Act (SRS) funds.

Roy Sandoval, Gila County school superintendent, asked the county board of supervisors May 21 to approve distribution of the money.

The largest portion, $904,645 goes to public schools; another $231,230 goes to the Gila County Education Service Agency, providing funding for adult education; and the balance of $25,000 goes to county roads.

The county formula for distributing the money to schools is based on the amount of forest land within a school district, the average daily attendance (ADM) plus a base amount.

Sandoval said a study of how other Arizona counties distribute the money shows that Gila County’s system is probably the most fair.

The base distribution to each district is $11,057.

The Payson Unified School District gets $237,504 with 19 percent of the land within the district belonging to the U.S. Forest Service and an ADM of 2,170, the largest in the county.

The Young School District has more forest land — 30 percent — but its ADM is only 43, which represent the least number of students. It gets $93,252 from the SRS funds.

Distribution to other northern Gila County schools: Pine-Strawberry receives $49,926 with 10 percent of the land in the district boundaries belonging to the USFS and an ADM of 155; Tonto Basin gets $49,377 with 12 percent of its land on the forest and 84 students.

Southern Gila County schools are awarded: Globe, $159,755 with only 8 percent USFS land and an ADM of 1,570; San Carlos, $150,423, with 9 percent USFS land and an ADM of 1,423; Miami, $120,433 with 12 percent USFS land and an ADM of 958; Hayden-Winkelman, $32,214 with no USFS land and an ADM of 260.

Sandoval said this year the SRS funds were a little less than they were last year.

In addition to money going to schools, roads and an adult education program, 20 percent of the SRS money goes to a regional Resource Advisory Committee for distribution.

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