Tag Archives: TUSD

World Refugee Day Celebration


Upcoming forums for Tucson Unified School District Governing Bd. race (updated)

7 candidates are  running for 3 seats in this race for Governing Board at Tucson Unified School District (TUSD).  3 incumbents are running for re-election: Kirstel Foster, Cam Juarez, Dr. Mark Stegeman.  Challengers are Betts Putnam-Hidalgo (ran before for a seat on this board in 2012 and 2014), Lori Riegel, Brett Rustand, Rachael Sedgwick.

List of upcoming forums in September:

September 8 — sponsored by Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 6 to 8 p.m. at CareMore, 4821 N. Stone Ave.

Hispanic forum

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Join celebrities at EEF’s Spelling Bee


“This evening of fun and friendly spelling competition raises funds for EEF’s 33 year old Classroom Grant Program to TUSD teachers.” Stay tuned for any additional celebrities at their FB page:


The color of accountability

Cross posted from RestoreReason.com.

I wasn’t surprised by The Republic’s recent findings that during the 2015-16 school year, the vast majority of funding ($20.6 million) for vouchers was taken from public schools rated A or B, but only $6.3 million was taken from schools rated C or D. I’d previously seen a statistic that in 2012, about 92 percent of students taking advantage of the voucher (Empowerment Scholarship Account) program would have attended private schools anyway regardless of voucher availability. Let’s face it; this was never about helping the poor, disadvantaged minority child. The reality is that vouchers were never for poorer Arizonans who can’t cover the average private-school tuition costs of $10,421 when a voucher provides only $5,200.

And yet, the AZ Legislature is pushing two bills to fully open the floodgates on voucher availability, making every student in Arizona eligible for vouchers for homeschooling, tutoring, private school, or to save for college. This, despite the fact that there is little accountability in the program. Yes, recipients must provide quarterly reports of their spending, but DOE staffing for oversight is reportedly insufficient and the schooling options that vouchers pay for have no responsibility for reporting any kind of results. The taxpayer then, has no way to determine return on investment.

Here’s where I start to get confused. The GOP nay, Teapublican-led Arizona Legislature, loves to tout the need for accountability of taxpayer dollars. They are great however, at picking and choosing their targets for applying this accountability. [Please read on, this post isn’t really all about vouchers.] Continue reading

Arizona GOP renews its war on public education . . . who will resist them?

It-is-better-to-die-on-your-feet-than-to-live-on-your-kneesIt is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” — Emiliano Zapata

For Arizona’s “education leaders” who signed the letters of surrender to Arizona’s lawless Tea-Publican legislature on Prop. 123, this is what you get for your cowardly surrender — they will take away everything else from you now that you have laid down your arms and promised not to fight.

The “We hate Tucson and TUSD” Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature are taking away money from school districts this afternoon. House to debate bill taking $200 million from K12 schools:

The House plans to debate a measure that would take more than $200 million a year from school districts that receive funding to provide an equal opportunity education to minority students.

The proposal by Rep. Vince Leach of Tucson would dismantle desegregation funding for 18 school districts over five to 10 years.

Decades ago the federal government ordered 19 school districts to end racial discrimination practices and allowed them to levy higher local property taxes to pay for the changes.

Advocates say the funding is outdated and creates an unfair system that favors some school districts over others.

Opponents say Arizona’s education system is already underfunded and a further reduction would devastate districts that receive the funds.

The House plans to debate House Bill 2401 on Tuesday afternoon.

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TUSD desegration funding under attack again

education_appleYou will recall that back in February there was a kerfuffle over TUSD Board member Michael Hicks testifying in support of a bill,  SB1371, to “phase out” the desegregation funding for TUSD that is part of a federal court mandate, for which TUSD is still under the supervision of a special master.

Former Blog for AZ blogger David Safier posted at The Range on The Tucson Weekly, Board Member Michael Hicks Wants to Cut TUSD Funding by $64 Million:

Usually, written comments aren’t read during committee meetings, but according to Senator Steve Farley, who sits on the committee, “Chair Lesko, in a highly unusual move, read [Hicks’] written comments from the RTS [Request to Speak] system anyway, not once, but twice, because they backed her position and undercut TUSD’s credibility for those who did not know him.”

In a Facebook post, Sen. Steve Farley wrote,

“This move on Hicks’ part amounts to a direct attack on his own superintendent, 49,000 TUSD students, 3,000 teachers, and our entire community and economy. It amounts to dereliction of duty. He must be held accountable for his destructive actions.”

Sen. Steve Farley has another Facebook post up today about the latest legislative assault on the TUSD desegregation funding:

He’s at it again. Rogue TUSD board member Michael Hicks (aka Charles) signed up in favor of the 1120 striker in House Approps this morning that would endanger $64 million annually from TUSD’s court ordered deseg budget, working against his own superintendent who will be testifying against. ‪#‎WarOnSchools‬

Screenshot from 2015-03-25 09:47:35 Continue reading