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Phoenix Union High School District


Phoenix UHSD’s administrative costs were 15 percent higher than the average for comparable districts largely because of high salaries, high costs for an employee severance plan with questionable savings, and because it provides health insurance for retirees. The audit also identified poor management practices that resulted in significant lost revenues from facility rentals, a poorly managed and costly fund-raiser, and business partnership monies being spent inappropriately. The District used City of Phoenix public transit buses to provide the transportation for most (6,400) of its students at a very low cost of about $92 per student. However, another 1,700 students were transported by private companies at a cost of over $1,800 per student, offsetting the savings gained from using public transit and resulting in the District’s costs being similar to the comparable districts’ average. The state transportation funding formula provides Phoenix UHSD with $5 million more in transportation funding than its reported mileage would have generated, primarily because funding is increased from year to year based on increases in mileage and bus pass costs, but it is not decreased if there is a subsequent decrease in these figures. The District’s plant operation and maintenance costs were 29 percent higher than comparable districts primarily because it paid plant employees higher salaries and employed more security guards. Further, future plant costs are likely to increase as the District opened another high school in fiscal year 2008, despite having a very low occupancy rate at many of its schools. The District did not properly implement its alternative model for English Language Learner instruction and did not test the English proficiency of some students. Phoenix UHSD spent $49.7 million, or $2,061 per student, on desegregation programs, but these expenditures no longer have a clear link to the original court order which led to the programs and it is likely the District’s schools could meet the court-ordered racial balance without the desegregation programs.

Follow-Up Report

Additional Documents

Additional Documents