Amid run-of-the-mill agenda items recognizing volunteers and approving playground renovations, the Paradise Valley Unified School District governing board last month quietly made a significant change: It converted one-third of its elementary schools to charter schools.
District officials said the motivation was simple. With charter status, the 11 schools will receive about $1,100 more per student after the first year. That’s on top of the roughly $4,400 the district receives per elementary student from the state. School names, teachers, curriculum and policies will remain the same.