URGENT appeal: This Tuesday TUSD changes or remains down same dark path, make your voice known now!

 From TUSD Kids First

The situation at TUSD is dire. The past board majority has turned TUSD into a political entity rather than a teaching school district. Each of you has a strong voice in the direction of Tucson and the need for a viable, healthy and “A” performing school district. If you cast 1 of the 197,088 votes for CHANGE in TUSD, your voice is needed now! A full 70% of the 2016 TUSD Board vote was for change and now is the time to be heard!

We urge our Facebook community to write by Tuesday morning, February 21st, to the current Board Majority asking for meaningful CHANGE at TUSD. The emails for the Board Majority are listed as follows:

markwstegeman@gmail.com; ms.sedgwick@gmail.com; azstubbs@gmail.com

The next Board meeting is this Tuesday Feb. 21nd, with the current agenda being a public discussion of Mr. Sanchez’s performance to date. Here is a very abbreviated list of what we do know about TUSD’s recent performance:

Our Kids
 • Six schools on the Southside were demagnetized in 2016 due to the administration ignoring basic magnet school needs.
 • TUSD graduation rates are lower than similar sized districts and efficiency measures are less efficient than their peers as it relates to administrative, plant operations, food service and transportation services (2015 AG report)
 • Enrollment has continued to decline from the top of the market (high of 70,000 students to currently 46,000) all while administration fiddles.
 • Classroom spending is less than 50% of every dollar while administration costs increase and the Superintendent makes close to $500K. For example, the lack of textbooks should be of utmost embarrassment to the district.

Our Teachers
 • TUSD has hoarded $21M in Proposition 301 funding meant for teachers to offset operational losses. Breaking promises, Prop 123 funds were also used operationally and less than 30% were spent on teacher pay.
 • There are growing teacher vacancies due to management by intimidation, a culture of fear and a lack of follow through on compensation promises. The so-called teacher’s union, TEA, has been co-opted and represents TUSD administration desires more than the teacher’s needs.
 • TUSD outsourced substitute teachers to a for-profit company out of Phoenix and now a growing number of classes are staffed by long term subs. Education becomes secondary without full time dedicated teaching professionals.
 • Classroom discipline numbers manipulated including grade changing scandal

The Governing Board
 • Gutted an independent financial audit committee by forcing off autonomous members and replacing with insiders and employee spouses. Without checks and balances there is no oversight for a District with a $600M budget.
 • Past members of the Board Majority took dollars from vendors which created questions on “pay to play”. Additionally, after giving $5,000 to the Tucson Chamber of Commerce they received a political endorsement a month later.
 • Continued mismanagement of the 40-year-old desegregation case with no end in sight costing over $1M per year in unnecessary legal battles.
 • Continuous Open Meeting law violations by the past Board Majority creating a culture of no accountability and a lack of transparency.

We could go on and on. What we are seeing is a 40-year-old political power structure’s last gasp at maintaining full control with a legacy of mismanagement. Simply, they have politicized TUSD for their own benefits and have ignored the education of our kids!

Again, if you voted for CHANGE, your voice must be heard. CHANGE is important and we must act now to rescue TUSD from the brink. We urge you to write for CHANGE now to:

markwstegeman@gmail.com; ms.sedgwick@gmail.com; azstubbs@gmail.com

This is the MOST IMPORTANT TIME to express your input on the direction of TUSD! This may be the last chance. The CHOICE is clear, stay the course of dysfunction and politicization of TUSD or…CHANGE for the betterment of TUSD and all of Tucson. Thank you.

Originally published at TSON News.

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