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Governor Ducey to hold board accountable for Somerton High School funding decision

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey pledged to look into the decision to award the remaining funding needed to build Somerton High School.

Somerton City Manager Ian McGaughey said the issue will be brought up again at the February Arizona School Facilities Board meeting.

Both the Yuma Union High School District and the City of Somerton have asked the board to reconsider their decision, according to McGaughey.

There is a difference in data between the Arizona School Facilities Board and the Yuma Union High School District. The Yuma Union High School District said they are overcapacity, but the board said the district won't be overcapacity until 2023.

"Our hope is that the governor will take the message back to phoenix and express to the folks on the school facilities board we need a school in Somerton," said McGaughey.

During Governor Ducey’s visit to Yuma on Tuesday, he pledged he would hold the board accountable for its decision to withhold the money.

"We’re a fast-growing city. We’re going to hit 20,000 people during the next census. We are the largest city in the state of Arizona without a high school,” said McGaughey.

The City of Somerton said the top complaint they get from residents is their kids are being bussed to school when it’s dark and coming back home when it’s dark again. He said this poses a challenge for students to take full advantage of school opportunities.

“It’s hard for students to take advantage of [career and technical education] and after school programs and he gets that and [Governor Ducey] knows that. He knows the impact that has on the student's lives," said McGaughey.

As news 11 reported 1,200 students are bussed to Yuma to work towards their high school diploma.

Arizona News / Politics / Top Stories / Yuma County

Ciara Encinas

Ciara Encinas is an Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the KYMA in May 2018.


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