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Flagstaff Unified School District will be able to breathe more easily financially now that the capital bond has passed, officials say.

Next year, the governing board will have four continuing members and a new member.

And next year's calendar has been passed.

Here is a quick rundown of recent events affecting FUSD:

-- The local school bond, worth nearly $21 million over six years, passed overwhelmingly with almost 63 percent of the vote on Nov. 6.

"It speaks highly of the community's support of education," said Barbara Hickman, FUSD Superintendent. "I am very appreciative."

The funds will be used for building maintenance and repairs, technology and school buses.

On the other hand, state voters defeated Proposition 204, which would have made the one-cent sales tax for education permanent. Hickman said that Gov. Jan Brewer and state Treasurer Doug Ducey worked hard to defeat the proposition with the promise of a sustainable financial solution for state education.

"They now need to step up and do it," Hickman said. "They need to follow through."

She went on to explain if that isn't accomplished the world-class education that Brewer likes to talk about would continue to elude Arizona.

"Everyone is well aware we are somewhere between 48th, 49th and 50th in per-pupil funding," Hickman said. "According to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arizona led the nation in reduction in school spending. We are pretty skinny in what we put toward school education."

-- Paul Kulpinski was re-elected to FUSD's governing board and Sarah Ells, an appointed member, won her first elected term on Nov. 6. Newcomer Christina Fredericks was elected to her first term. They will all begin their four-year terms on Jan. 1, 2013. Chris Bavasi, who chose not to seek re-election, will be stepping down as board member as of Dec. 31, 2012.

As elected officials, the school board is responsive to input from the public. All school board members have email addresses listed on the FUSD governing board website. The public can also give feedback during the public comment period during school board meetings, which are held on alternate Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the FUSD District Administrative Center, 3285 E. Sparrow Ave. Agendas and meeting dates are posted on the FUSD website.

-- FUSD's governing board passed next year's calendar unanimously. The 2013-14 calendar remains about the same as this year's calendar. School starts Aug. 12 and ends May 29. Five, instead of six, snow days are built into the school year. One change will be that students will get an additional day off in October. Several families, teachers and administrators had expressed an interest in a long fall weekend during the balanced calendar comment period.

The task force looking into the possibility of implementing a balanced calendar will be established next semester. A balanced calendar would potentially include a shorter summer break with two, two-week intersessions, one in the fall and one in the spring. Hickman said the task force will most likely be formed through schools. People who are interested should keep track through the FUSD website or Facebook page.

Cecile LeBlanc can be reached at 556-2261 or cleblanc@azdailysun.com.

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