Renting part of DWMS, dropout program before MUSD board tonight


School board members are looking at possibly renting out an upper wing of a middle school, working with an outside agency to educate dropouts, and adding an extra half day per month during their 6 p.m. regular board meeting tonight.

MUSD also is presenting its proposed general budget limit of $31,917,032, which includes a 1.8 percent salary increase for all employees and added funding for an influx of a projected 550 students.

The money provided by the Ak-Chin Indian Community is budgeted separately.

The Menta Group is seeking approval to rent out 13,000 square feet in the upstairs wing of Desert Winds Middle School. The area would include classrooms, bathrooms, hallways and other miscellaneous space and currently is projected to not be used by the school for the upcoming school year after a previous board decision to move sixth graders back to the elementary schools.

The Menta Group is a nonprofit organization that provides educational and social needs of special education students.

If the board votes in favor of allowing the space to be rented, MUSD will receive $93,600 for the 2013-14 school year. The district would also cut the cost to transport its own MENTA students to other locations by $20,000.

Also on the agenda is the possible approval of a Master Services Agreement with The American Academy.

According to district board documents, MUSD Superintendent Steve Chestnut said the group, “works with dropouts and other at-risk students to give them the flexibility, accountability and support they need to get a high school diploma. To accomplish this, TAA provides licensed teachers, experienced administrators, on-the-ground student advocates, 24-7 tutors, state-aligned curriculum, full documentation and technological support.”

As a “budget-neutral position,” Chestnut said there is a guarantee of zero financial risk in working with The American Academy and the approval comes with no start-up costs.

***ADVERTISEMENT***For more information on these agenda items and others click here to get to the meeting of your choice, then click on “print agenda” and then go to “detailed agenda.” The board meets in the District Office Administration Building, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway