WINSLOW, Ariz. — The Navajo-Hopi Observer had a chance to talk to Denise Estudillo, director of Federal Programs for the Winslow School District.
Estudillo is a member of the Laguna Tribe in New Mexico. She was born in Winslow and taught music in Dilkon schools for 30 years. Her elders moved to Winslow to work for the railroad many years ago. Winslow School District includes many Native Americans representing many different tribes.
What is your title?
Federal Programs director for the Winslow Unified School District.
How many federal programs do you have?
From ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act, we get Title Funding numbers I, II, III and IV. Title III connects with our English Language Learner. Aside from that, we also get Indian Education, which is specific to our Johnson O’Malley funding, and Title VI funding. Title IV funds things to round out a student’s education — music, art, science and cultural enrichment.
How much do the federal programs contribute to the overall district’s yearly budget?
Probably around $1,650,000 (This is approximately 10 percent of the district’s annual budget). We are called a Title I school-wide district based on census information. We are a district where about 70 percent of our student’s families are at or below the poverty line.
How many people are on your staff?
Two. Me and Loretta. But there is information submitted for grants, which come from other parts of the district. For example school principals are responsible to meet with their staff to evaluate their needs assessments. Then the data is sent to me, where I compile all of the information for the state.
What is the largest dollar program that you have to administer?
It would be the ESSA Program (Every Students Succeeds Act). It used to be “No Child Left Behind” and the name was changed. The State of Arizona Department of Education monitors how we implement our state and federal grants. The grants, which come directly from the U.S. Department of Education, are not difficult to apply for, compared to what is required to fill out a grant application from the Arizona Department of Education.