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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch: Last 30 Days

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

(Reply to) Reply to Stegeman: I always believed, and said at the time, that the $17 million deficit was exaggerated, to create a public case for closing schools. (But my memory was that the $17 million was TUSD's messaging in spring 2012, not 2013, so we may be talking about different situations.) There was a revenue/spending imbalance, but not that large. The board relies substantially on staff for budget analysis, perhaps more than it should, and in 2011 the staff itself provided no warning of that imbalance. This is somewhat similar to what happened with 301. As you say, I am willing to accept my part of the responsibility for the 301 buildup (though I usually voted against the 301 plans), which is more than we have heard from the other board members. I have never claimed to get everything right. Obviously I need to study the district's audits and financial reporting more closely.

I have also never claimed to stay true to a "progressive" agenda. That is one reason I left the Democratic Party. My policy positions do not line up closely with either party (at least as those parties are presently constituted), and I am uncomfortable being accountable to either party's platform.

A well-functioning audit committee can greatly help the board to keep abreast of budget and financial issues and potential problems, but the current majority has eroded or eliminated the audit committee's independence, which I think is a major loss.

Yes, the lurching around in the budget, from which the magnet schools for example have greatly suffered, is absurd. I would like to reform the entire budget process, and that is one reason that I have voted against the budget for years. Reforming that process will take at least one more vote on the board. I think Betts would be a good choice.

Yes, there are many issues where I would like to be reporting more to the public, your point is well taken, but the prolix letters are a lot of work. I should probably write more letters and shorter ones -- many persons have given this advice.

3 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Mark Stegeman on 10/15/2016 at 1:09 PM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

No, TUSD Parent #101, it's people who excuse the conspicuously malfeasant Board majority and CEO who are destroying our kids's schools, and the community is very well aware of it, thanks to the "political IEC" you mention and other persistent members of the community who are working hard to get this district cleaned up.

It's typical of your crowd to disparage and insult anyone who speaks the truth about what is going on in this district. "TUSD Parent #101" is a good screen name: it seems you have mastered TUSD-politics 101: justify and excuse the ongoing malfeasance in the district by blaming and deriding the messenger, as both "Disappointed Parent" and "Another Disappointed Parent" pointed out.

Are you perhaps one of the people who has been given a TUSD job you didn't qualify for by the Grijalva network? Or someone whose company has been awarded a bid because of a relationship you have or in exchange for donations or kick-backs of some sort? (Cf. The hiring of Grijalva's mother-in-law as a principal over candidates ranked more highly by the selection committee; the awarding of the strategic plan consulting contract to friends of Sanchez's; or the large donations from ESI, the company with a $21 million contract for managing outsourced subs, to the campaigns of the two incumbent candidates who had voted for the contract, Kristel Foster and Cam Juarez.) Or are you a parent with a kid enrolled in University High School, Fruchthendler or Sam Hughes, one of the TUSD schools which benefits from the current Superintendent's patronage while schools on the south and west sides go begging? Or a friend of Ann-Eve Pedersen's? There are plenty of explanations for people taking the kind of positions you take -- none of them worthy of respect.

There are problems with the Arizona legislature and governor, but those of us who are HONEST admit that there are problems with TUSD Board and Administration as well. Underfunding does not excuse malfeasance, nor does it mean that constituents do not have a right to expect honesty and proper management from those running our public institutions. All of our public school districts in Arizona are underfunded and there are many that do much, much better than TUSD does. It's well past time for TUSD to accept responsibility and clean up its act, and it starts with the Board and CEO.

12 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Let's be HONEST, shall we? on 10/15/2016 at 7:22 AM

Re: “ACLU: "Widespread Problems" With Health Care Inside Arizona Prison

I am very happy today because i never thought i would be able to leave up till this day.i am Benson Tanaka from Zimbabwe i was infected with h i v by my wife who later died of it and this disease has been with me for the past 6 years now i have gone to several hospitals to seek for cures but all they give to me are some drugs which has taking almost all my savings i had,i was on Facebook on Saturday morning then there was an health group which i was asked to join by a friend immediately after i joined it i saw some post of people giving tanks to this doctor that he has cured them of their hiv disease i was so surprised about this i collected the doctors contact and i thought of it for about 5 good days then i concluded in giving him a try because there was no harm in trying.when i contacted doctor prince he tolled me he was going to prepare an herbal medicine for me which i was going to take for 2 weeks and after that i should go for a test at any of the hospital,after i did every thing which he asked me to do i received the medicine the next two days from a courier company which i started taking immediately after about a week plus i felt some strange moves in me,i felt like i was getting better when i completed the medicine i went for a test at the Bulawayo Central Hospital were i was tested (-)negative i thought i was dreaming i went for another test at the St anne's hospital it was still the same then i believed i was really free from this disease today i have got-in a new job and i am also married to a beautiful wife all tanks to doctor prince here is his contact details for any one who is passing true any kind of sickness or disease he will be willing to help you you can also call or whatsapp him on +2348163241499

Posted by BENSON TANAKA on 10/15/2016 at 1:46 AM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

I just wanted to say what a lovely well thought out piece this is David and I agree with so many of your sentiments.

As a TUSD parent I am horrified daily by what I read and hear being said by these 24-7 TUSD rock throwers about our kids' school district and especially about those working hard every single day to make our schools better, AND amidst the most egregious circumstances imaginable given how our state legislature and GOVERNOR sets the table for them! (Throw your rocks at them, rather than HT Sanchez or the school board!)

It's as if the district is being stalked by some pretty crazy dysfunctional people, (well evidenced by the comments above I might add). However, what is truely scary to me is that we have a current sitting board member who engages in this same destructive rock throwing behavior. I too find his incessant attacks to be all for not. I can't imagine what on earth motivates him, but ultimately he just exacerbates the situation and further harms our school district. Every day. Every single day.

If anyone thinks they can actually improve anything - an organization, an educational environment, a society, TUSD ...whatever, by engaging in these kinds of lizard-brain accusations and constant high drama criticisms....or the best one yet - by starting a political IEC (to supposedly solve bullying in your kid's school?!!)... Well I don't even know where to begin other than to say you are SO sadly mistaken and just making the situation worse by your behanvior. I wish you all would just stop and go focus your time, money and energy on something positive and productive. It's so troubling to watch. These are our kids schools you are destroying.

5 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by TUSD Parent #101 on 10/14/2016 at 10:26 PM

Re: “Song of the Day: 'See Saw' by Don Covay

Love Covay, have looked at youtube forever hoping to find footage of live shows. Never anything to see. :(

Posted by Kip Dean on 10/14/2016 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Carmona Takes The Gloves Off

Three weeks to the election. let's hope they don't force Nanos out and force Carmona in before the election. He would not be on the ballot.

What would happen then, special election?

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dale Jensen on 10/14/2016 at 3:08 PM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to call it Biden like behavior?

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Dan Hyde on 10/14/2016 at 1:17 PM

Re: “Tempest DuJour And Other Queens Channel The Donald

This is a must see!!!

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sandra Engoron-March on 10/14/2016 at 12:33 PM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

Some within our group of TUSD Whistleblowers have received Kristel Foster's latest bottom of the barrel attempt to gain support for Cam Juarez and herself through her claim that David Morales and Mike Hicks were making fun of Cam's physical disability. She provided a link to the radio program during which she claims the behavior became Trump-like. She says it is upsetting. Those of us who are professionals in the area of special education or who are disabled listened to the radio show that she referenced in her condemning email. Mike Hicks poked fun at himself for his partial loss fingers from an accident. There was nothing that was said that was discriminatory or offensive about Cam's physical disability. What we all found offensive is Foster's blatant need to rescue her peer, Cam Juarez, because he is disabled. Once again she has exposed her condescending treatment of those who she believes she must rescue. Foster is no Mother Theresa and she needs to get mental health support for her constant need to claim she is a savior of sorts. Certainly Cam does not need to be rescued. We may not agree with him on many issues but we view Cam as someone who does not play "poor me/probesito" as Kristel has wickedly attempted to do in her email.

Kristel Foster is not genuinely an advocate for anyone or any cause. She is an opportunist. Foster is a walking scam and an embarrassment to herself; to women; and to TUSD. Don’t be fooled!

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kristel Foster is Pathetic on 10/14/2016 at 11:04 AM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

Stegeman: you can make as many assertions as you like excusing your behavior, but there are plenty of votes you have made which do not align with anything resembling progressive or integrationist priorities. Your roles in the MAS controversies and your advocacy for UHS-separate-site are well known.

You constantly insert your opinions into comment streams, spread them in your prolix "Constituent Updates," publish them in editorials in the Star, promote them in "community forums" you organize, and get them aired in media outlets like KGUN-9 with whom you build relationships, yet there are many issues that could have used advocacy and increased public awareness on which you have no documented history of communicating with the public. You are apologizing now for not having spoken up on the need to get 301 funds to teachers. That's more than a day late and millions of dollars short.

If you can provide evidence that you played some role in encouraging the district to do advance planning prior to the disastrous $17 million deficit falling on the schools, I'll be happy to examine it. Why don't you do a "Constituent Update - Special Edition" and give us all the facts? In spring of 2013 I sat in a Parents' Association meeting in a TUSD school and heard the principal tell the community that our school had received a phone call from central saying hundreds of thousands of dollars had to be cut from our school's budget within 24-48 hours. That is no way to manage an entirely predictable funding shortfall, and the "Cut positions - quick!" way it was handled had disastrous consequences in our school during the 2013-2014 school year.

15 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Reply to Stegeman on 10/14/2016 at 9:54 AM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo


This is what "Disappointed Parent" wrote above:

"You sir are asking the community to vote greedy politicians to take, take, take away from our children.
You are like the social worker who tells the battered wife that 'it's not so bad' 'you shouldn't have made him hit you' 'you shouldn't expect so much' 'you don't deserve better' 'try to understand he didn't mean it' 'he's trying his best.'"

Note well, David: this is what your commentary looks like to people who are raising children in this region using these schools. With the desegregation funds TUSD gets it has the highest per pupil funding rate among all the districts in the region, and what it delivers to students is sub-standard services, sub-standard sites and facilities, sub-standard qualifications of those manning too many classrooms, a bevy of ignorant, rock-bottom-functioning central administrators getting unbelievably inflated salaries for delivering nothing of worth to the get the idea.

Why is this? In part, because where other districts know how to work with the community to leverage investment and build solid support relationships, TUSD kicks those who step forward to try to help it in the teeth. If parents raise money and work on developing sound goals for the district's Strategic Plan, the money is mis-applied, the goals are not implemented, and the district lies to the public about implementation status and, adding insult to injury, publicly gives its central admin mis-manager-in-chief a fat bonus for 100% implementation. If parents notice problems on the Board and build a network to promote the election of three candidates who they believe can make a constructive difference, they get smeared with baseless accusations that they want the Board changed so they can benefit financially from school closings and bloggers like you paint civic-minded volunteers and donors to the district with the same black brush that the central administrators and certain Board members actually deserve but never get from their wouldn't-recognize-or-report-a-valid-FACT-if-I-saw-one-Grijalva-affiliated sycophants in the media.

Do this: spend a day at Utterback in TUSD and then spend a day at Orange Grove in Catalina Foothills or Emily Gray in Tanque Verde. What makes the difference, David? It's not the per-pupil funding rates, which are higher in TUSD than in either of these districts. It's not parents' and business leaders' WILLINGNESS to give, because parents and business leaders have been WILLING to give in TUSD as well. The difference between these schools lies largely in what the Boards and central administrations in these districts do with the money they have available and how they treat those in the community who step forward and try to help.

Disappointed Parent wrote: "TUSD has the potential to be amazing partnering with the UofA and PCC and Raytheon and bringing in parents and community instead of treating us like we are the problem because we expect better for our children."

That is exactly, EXACTLY right. TUSD parents have seen Raytheon execs take an interest in recruiting supplementary funding and then walk away in disgust at the district's inability to manage basic processes associated with receiving donations and recruiting external funds. They have seen business sponsors give tens of thousands of dollars and the district failing to honor the sponsorship agreements so that relationships with sponsors who could have been continuing beneficiaries died on the vine as a result. They have seen University faculty taking an interest in connecting students with research opportunities whose offers to help don't get the follow-through that can translate them into reality.

Bottom line: Your dishonest commentary excusing corrupt politicians and administrators is filthy with political motives and is not needed in school districts serving other people's children. It benefits no-one outside of your tight little Grijalva-affiliated, Grijalva-excusing network.

Find another hobby in your retirement and stop, as Disappointed Parent said in a very apt analogy, telling the battered wife to accept the beatings.

16 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Another Disappointed Parent on 10/14/2016 at 9:16 AM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

Someone above wrote: "As for Stegeman, he has his own agenda and when he was part of the board majority rather than the minority he proved no more able to act in support of fiscal responsibility or of the common good of all enrolled students and teachers than any of the current majority."

I was never part of the "board majority" because before the current administration there was no "board majority." There were five separate members who aligned different ways on different issues. I have cast votes against many of things that have got TUSD into trouble, but I am often on the losing end of the vote. Holding me accountable for actions I disagreed with is like holding the Democrats in the legislature accountable for whatever the Republicans do.

5 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Mark Stegeman on 10/14/2016 at 9:08 AM

Re: “Carmona Takes The Gloves Off

let's think of how Napier will interact with the LaWall County Attorney assoc. there are some real stink there too. He will be extremely hobbled as the ghosts from the basement have come up in the house, will there be an exorcism? Can there be if the owner of the house sold there soul to be owner. (no faith allowed)

Changing Napier is only a half measure we need to do a full measure. Pima county needs a overhaul in leadership Starting with the Pima County Attorney. Never again should Pima have a resignation appointment if so it must be done by the opposition party.

Just look around I have 5 children all educated here all grad U of A all had to move for opportunity. 14 grandchildren that I long to see that will never reside in Tucson in my lifetime.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by grand parent on 10/14/2016 at 7:09 AM

Re: “Carmona Takes The Gloves Off

Carmona, needs to promote himself as he is not practicing medicine has hasn't for years.
Carmona needs to distance himself from Nano's & PCSO administrative people which he was one of till. Again he finds himself on a sinking ship with those inside casting overboard first. I wish him well with his endeavors never again to be associated with the PCSO.
We need to start with a new leadership, and new bit of faith, a new sheet of paper. If the Deputy assoc. elects him to represent them not wise.
When Napier is elected I hope he does not go outside to friends and associates from the past. I would hope he promotes from police agencies within the valley. Not Exclusively PCSO rank and file. As so many have left to other agencies. I hope Napier has the administrative ability and experience to install and maintain a merit and promotional system that is public access information. I hope that all sheriffs information will be pool media outlet never again release info to exclusive sources.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Carpet Baggers on 10/14/2016 at 6:41 AM

Re: “Carmona Takes The Gloves Off

Rat T
We need to tolerate ones like bslap for they dont have reason or understanding they know not of what the hear or see they subscribe to the Arizona Daily Star. A severe debilitating of tolerance or understanding it should be called the Pima County Media

4 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by fam est 1852 on 10/14/2016 at 6:11 AM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

Clearly you have not been paying attention to the audits and reports.

Do NOT re-elect Foster or Juarez unless you are okay taking money away from students, classrooms and teachers. The TUSD School Board election is about the economic future of our city.


According to the AZAuditor General 2015.........
Only 48.7% of the budget goes into the classroom.
This is the lowest it has ever been!

2014 versus 2010
49 Central Administrators it was only 36

2,536 Teachers was 3,068

523 Teacher Aides was 621

41 Nurses was 47

71 Counselors was 109

14 Librarians was 45

82 Principals was 89

43 Asst Principal was 51

155 Facilities Maintenance was 195

236 Custodians was 325

Foster and Juarez claim that this is the same as other districts.


A comparison:

TUSD receives $9,469 to educate each student.

Mesa receives only $8,807.

Mesa's enrollment is much larger 60,374 but more efficient ....75 schools with higher academic achievement. 68% of Mesa’s schools are A/B rated.

TUSD has 45,979 students with 86 buildings leadership chooses to maintain as schools rather than consolidate. 44% of TUSD schools are A/B rated.

Mesa is an exact match to our district "peer group" in fact we have many more resources than Mesa and should be doing better than Mesa.

Time for change...
Central administrators increased by 36%

Librarians decreased by 69%

Counselors decreased by 35%

Custodians decreased by 27%

Facilities maintenance decreased by 21%

Teachers decreased by 17%

Foster claims that the central administrators are due to the Desegregation plan. NOT TRUE. The plan is written by TUSD and approved by the School Board. They can choose to reduce district spending if they cared about students.

TUSD gets an extra $1,301 per student to implement the Desegregation plan. Mesa and most districts get $0. This amounts to over $60 million a year in additional funding!!!!

Believe the facts not the spin.

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Facts not Opinions on 10/13/2016 at 9:48 PM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

"is probably a waste of time"
Sorry, copy & paste error.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by disappointed parent on 10/13/2016 at 9:45 PM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

Mr. Safier writing this is pro time since you clearly can not see the facts. We parents are not "vocal critics." TUSD is not a "typical" low-performing urban district. TUSD has the potential to be amazing partnering with the UofA and PCC and Raytheon and bringing in parents and community instead of treating us like we are the problem because we expect better for our children. Many of us are highly educated and do more than observe casually like you do. We spend time with principals and teachers asking how to help and they tell us the same stories at every school. We need more resources, supplies, support, monitors, custodians, we have asked for help but the 12 at the top making $3million discourage complaints..........You sir, are a disgrace the any progressive agenda you claim. You sir are asking the community to vote greedy politicians to take, take, take away from our children.

You are like the social worker who tells the battered wife that "it's not so bad" "you shouldn't have made him hit you" "you shouldn't expect so much" "you don't deserve better" "try to understand he didn't mean it" "he's trying his best." You, Mr. Safier ignore the facts just like Mr. Trump. It is sad.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Disappointed Parent on 10/13/2016 at 9:43 PM

Re: “As Acacia Prepares to Shutter, Chef Albert Hall Looks to the Viability of Fine Dining in Tucson

Sorry your restaurant had to close - such a difficult business. Have you thought of doing a cooking school? Market it to those of us 55+ who have lost the cooking spouse. We need to learn how to cook all over again. Women who don't know how to grill a salmon. Men who don't know how to make gravy. There's nothing like this in Tucson - there are a bunch of us women looking for classes all over the city. Retirees are free during weekdays... Just a thought

Posted by Linda Bretz on 10/13/2016 at 8:27 PM

Re: “My Picks for the TUSD School Board: Cam Juarez, Kristel Foster, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo

While this is a letter from the Whistleblowers, it is written from the eyes of a few of our members who are all TUSD principals, however, it is written in the first person point of view.

I received a call from Kristel Foster’s campaign asking that I vote for her. I explained that no one in our home would vote for her, nor would relatives, friends or neighbors. I thanked the campaign worked and hung up.  The call alerted me to the fact that Foster is running a pretty good ground game and that more people need to become aware of just how inept she really is as a governing board member. More than inept, I believe Foster is dangerous. For four years Foster has woven herself into the Democratic Party befriending and convincing elected officials that she is near the savior of TUSD students. She is patronizing in her stand but few recognize it. What she has done is save Sanchez—over and over again.

The kids who attend TUSD are not even in Foster’s equation of serving on the Board.  Although I remain a staunch Democrat, I have distanced myself from the Party’s leadership for its lack of vetting candidates, such as Foster and Cam Juarez, and its constant concessions to the Grijalvas. Many of the Party’s endorsements are dictated by Raul Grijalva. Insiders have shared this fact with many and are questioning the wisdom in giving him such power. His consistent drunken state of functioning, it seems, has reached a very high level of attention in “D.C.” politics and even those in his own Hispanic Caucus have begun to chant, “enough is enough!”  Pima County politics will change greatly over the next two years but for now Foster is enjoying the endorsements of many who do not really give a damn about TUSD, its students, its instructional leaders, its teachers or its community.

What we ask of you is that you begin the change NOW by eradicating the TUSD Board of Foster, not for one or two valid reasons but for many, many reasons.
Foster brags about her first bid for the Board and says that it was inspired out of the MAS issues that faced the District four years ago. She does this only while in front of a Latino audiences while she attempts to convince the group that she is one of them. This is just more of her privileged patronage. It is obnoxiously offensive. Most of the political ploys she has learned have been from imitating HT Sanchez’ behavior. As she has supported his every move, she has learned his style of politics which is to demean and punish any who stand in his way while at the same time deflecting any responsibility for his own actions. The Sanchez administration, along with his bloc of 3 (Juarez, Foster and Grijalva), have become best known for blaming, deflecting, and retaliating. Aside from the obvious problem that this type of leadership accomplishes little, this style of non-leadership also has cost tax payers millions of dollars in wasteful legal battles against the desegregation parties; in changing desegregation legal counsel three times in the course of three years; and in the extremely high turn-over rates at the top level of Sanchez’ cabinet and at the principal and teacher level. Millions of dollars in training has virtually walked out of the door due to the incompetent manner in which TUSD is managed. People leave due to the work environment. There is no central support for school principals and teachers. The environment is permeated with fear and everyone, including parents, are scared to expose problems or offer remedies due to the obvious overt or/and covert Sanchez retaliation. Foster and her cohorts gave Sanchez a 25% salary increase which has put him at about half a million dollars per year. This is a ridiculous amount of our tax money to pay for someone who walked into this District with about 3 months of interim superintendent experience.

Anyone who has watched the Board since HT Sanchez was hired has likely seen Foster develop into a rude, mean, sarcastic, underhanded Board member. Many of her comments are “jabs” at Mike Hicks or Mark Stegeman, although her jabs have been directed to many.   Stegeman has particularly been the subject of one nasty jab after another at the various candidate forums. She even took jabs at him during the NAACP dinner last weekend. Foster and Grijalava whisper incessantly during Board meetings forgetting that they can be heard by those tuned in via video stream. This is just more of Foster’s privileged mind-set being acted out. It is though she is saying, “I can say and do anything I please…and then convince you that it is good for you.”
Communication from the District is all “spin” and there is a Sanchez regime-code that no one is to say a word that would make TUSD look bad in the media. This results in gagging most of us or punishing us when the truth is exposed. Foster fosters this behavior. Look at what happened to Chuck Bermudez. Look at what happened to Ms. Aho.

Principals suffer from discipline-policy whip lash. Principals have been given one contradictory Sanchez directive after another and then are blamed for the end-result, which is a District that has failed in keeping our schools safe based on its top leader telling principals to essentially cheat for the sake of getting out of the court order. In response to the crisis that Sanchez has created, he is now going to the other extreme and we are being told to suspend for the first fight and long-term suspend for the second fight. The inconsistent policy has confused everyone!

Foster condones all Sanchez does, even if it means the total destruction of magnet schools, especially magnet schools on the south and west side. Many of these schools had their budgets cut by the administration last year (reinstated only due to the court order), have been riddled with substitutes and long-term substitutes, and this year Ochoa and Utterback Magnet Schools have both been impacted by the absence of a site administrator. Each school has had interim principals since the beginning of the school year. Foster has a hell of a lot of nerve in trying to sell stability as the key reason for wanting to re-seat herself on the Board. There is no stability in TUSD right now and this must change. Getting rid of those who have created havoc is essential.  
And the budget. Well, it is all a mystery. Principals do not build their own budgets. Our budgets are drawn up by Karla Soto who is a Sanchez loyalist and a non-educator. Each allocated teacher is budgeted at a pretty high level inclusive of benefits ($55-65,000). But when schools have numerous substitutes the unspent portion of the padded budget winds up in back in the 1010 budget. I would like to know what this adds up to at the end of the fiscal year. The money that should have been spent on the schools is not what it appears in the budget. Schools are getting cheated (again).

It is a mistake to mix either Foster and/or Juarez in with anyone else who is running for the Board through your vote. If either of these incumbents are elected, they will assume the role of continuing to protect Sanchez and every action they have taken over their first depressing term. There will be constant tension on the Board. Foster has professed to be the only educator on the Board but as a so-called educator, she has ignored the support that is needed directly at our schools, the support that teachers must have (not TEA) and critical curriculum issues.

One example of her neglect or ignorance is the horrific audit results on dual language programs within the District. Let me remind you that at Sunnyside Foster is a language acquisition specialist which implies that she should know that dual language teachers should be assessing their students in both English and Spanish as well as using research based strategies in their instruction. Wrong! What has actually happened is that the dual language audit which was issued last spring was immediately buried. (I got a bootlegged copy from someone within the Language Acquisition Department and had to swear never to disclose who gave it to me because s/he would lose their job. It is a public document for God’s sake!) The audit was never provided to the Board to discuss during a public meeting and the recommendations provided in the audit have been ignored. At a recent forum, Foster said that the recommendations in the audit could not be implemented based on state law. She is wrong. Again. Any school that has a dual language program could implement most of the recommendations. The article that appeared in the Arizona Daily Star on June 6th elaborates more on the audit.

How could a so-called specialist in the area of dual language not have known that TUSD dual language programs are so very weak? And after she officially found out about the program’s weaknesses, why has she done NOTHING to remedy the situation? Why hasn’t the audit been discussed during a public meeting? These are all, of course, rhetorical questions. We know that the audit has been hidden (at least until after the election) because TUSD suppresses anything that is “bad news.”  We also know that Foster put herself before the needs of students by helping to suppress the audit. And finally, it is obvious that Foster is not an expert in the area of dual language instruction. If she were, she would have red-flagged the problems long before the audit was issued.
You have three votes to seat those seeking to serve us on the TUSD Board. Foster has been irresponsible. She has been a rubber stamp. She has been an elitist. A vote for Foster is a vote for more confusion; more submerging of the facts; less support to school principals and teachers; less support for the implementation of the court order; more retaliation; more fear; and a sure way for TUSD to crumble before our eyes. Your three votes are critical in beginning to change the culture of TUSD. Do you really want more of the same? The Whistleblowers have endorsed three candidates which you can read about at:
However, it is important for every voter to realize the importance of NOT voting for Kristel Foster. She has been a toxic, self-serving Board member.
David Safier, a blogger with the Tucson Weekly recently endorsed her and Cam Juarez arguing that they each have done a great job. His rationale for his support has to do with stability of the District, his support for his friend HT Sanchez, along with stating that TUSD is no better or worse than most large inner city school districts. All of his rationale is despicable, insulting and racist.
Do not let Safier, TEA, or elected officials that do not live the TUSD life and who have freely given their endorsement to Foster away, fool you. It is time to drain this TUSD Board swamp; dry it up and bring in those who will actually serve our students!
Once Again
Thanks to Three Sonorans for publishing every single one of our letters! We appreciate greatly that the Arizona Daily Independent publishes many of our letters and/or references them within their own posts, from time to time. Additionally, continue to acknowledge an organization that is also working very hard to expose the facts about TUSD: TUSDKidsFirst, which also has made reference to our letters, which we appreciate. Check the organization out at:

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Posted by Drain the TUSD Swamp- RID TUSD Board of the Dangers of Kristel F on 10/13/2016 at 4:07 PM

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