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Rural schools also challenged by education budget cutbacks

from 91.5 FM

As Arizona lawmakers work on the state budget, school districts are trying to plan their budgets for next school year. For rural districts, that challenge is magnified. Off of Interstate 8, about an hour east of Yuma, is the Hyder Elementary School District. Its funding is relatively small compared to big city school districts. Hyder's total annual budget is about $1.1 million. Less than $40,000 of that comes from property taxes. It is a poor district in a farming region. Students are scattered across a geographic area the size of Los Angeles. That means the district's four school buses travel 430 miles of paved and dirt roads each day to pick-up and drop off all of its students. "We're different. We're very unique," said Pat Koury, the Hyder School District superintendent. more

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