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Polygamists' Schools Could Lose State Funding

Polygamists' Schools Could Lose State Funding

Posted - Aug. 19, 2004 at 6:46 a.m.



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PHOENIX (AP) -- A sect that runs the nation's largest polygamous community along the Arizona-Utah border could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funds for its public school system.

The accounting services director for the Arizona Auditor General's Office said the Colorado City Unified School District has failed to meet the second of two deadlines to properly report spending for fiscal 2003.

The district could lose up to 10 percent of its annual state funding for failing to comply.

Maude Haggerty said her auditor general's office would notify the Arizona Department of Education that the district failed to comply with guidelines and that officials there would determine what action to take at their board meeting in late September.

If Colorado City officials were to file the required paperwork before then, the Arizona Board of Education likely would release its full funding.

Records show the Colorado City Unified District had total expenditures of $4.7 million during fiscal 2003.

Haggerty said Colorado City school officials originally failed to meet a March 31 deadline to file spending reports for that fiscal year.

The Auditor General's Office then sent a letter to the district May 19 advising that unless the reports were submitted within 90 days, the education board would be asked to take "appropriate action."

Traditionally, action in such cases has been to withhold 10 percent of a school district's aid until the paperwork is filed.

Haggerty said Tuesday was the 90th day and "within one to two weeks, we will send a letter to the State Board of Education letting them know the district is in non-compliance."

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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