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

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

It appears the striker on 1120 is gone... yay Dr. Sanchez. For those who believe the Special Master is does not audit how TUSD spends the deseg money, I read a list of his duties and you are wrong. It is a PDF file and long and anyone can see it if they google Special Master TUSD 2015. That is his primary job. He watches where all the money goes. Also this is what Dr. Sanchez said yesterday in the TUSD dispatch:

"TUSD's spending is already scrutinized by a court-ordered special master, the Fisher plaintiffs, the Mendoza plaintiffs, an appointed school budget operations expert and a federal judge," he said. "We have no concerns about another audit. We just ask that a reasonable timeline be set so that we are not forced to try to meet court-ordered desegregation requirements without the funding we need to fulfill them."

The only confusion on whether the deseg money is being abused is created by the very people who want to see the demise of public education.


I am so impressed with Dr. Sanchez in so many ways.

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Robin B. on 03/26/2015 at 5:14 AM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

Several points:

1) The $400,000 estimate of the cost of an internal auditor (see previous article) is absurd. The independent MGT audit six years ago estimated a cost of about $100,000 annually. The high number seems to be partly based on the assumption that the auditor would need personal support staff. It has indeed been TUSD's habit to inflate administrative costs by loading administrators with support staff whether needed or not, but that is not what I or anyone else is proposing for this position. The MGT audit also pointed out that "The cost of an internal auditor is usually more than offset by savings generated through improved efficiencies and improving operations."

The district has magically found money for, and the board has approved, buckets of other new spending in recent weeks, including $750,000 over five years to train teachers at ONE school in project-based learning (after TUSD has paid other consultants to do exactly the same thing).

2) The proposed strike-all amendment to S.B. 1120 does not threaten to reduce desegregation spending until fiscal year 2016-17, which begins 15 months from now. That seems to be adequate time to conduct the audit and review required by the amendment.

3) As a previous commenter observed, Hicks and all other members of the board report to the public, not to the superintendent.

4) Do you contact Mr. Hicks for response, for example about whether he is changing his name, before mocking him in print?

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mark Stegeman on 03/26/2015 at 5:11 AM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

@Please be accurate. The funds would be withheld until the audit. A 64 million dollar cut, until the audit is unacceptable to most educators and parents. The legislature hates TUSD, and this is simply revenge for educating undocumented children.
You cannot say, that Mr. Hicks is doing this as a good steward.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Pima Mujer on 03/26/2015 at 4:57 AM

Re: “McSally Votes Against GOP Budget

Martha McSally, everyone should remember your name for many should do the same. God Bless Congresswoman Martha McSally. :)

8 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by chasbass.blogs on 03/26/2015 at 3:38 AM

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

who thinks that a state that illegally sweeps a billion dollars out of education, then gets told that it has to return 300 million, then ignores that court order and offers 70 million is acting legally now? Where are the courts to put some teeth into the 300 million or the billion, for that matter? Where is the legality in the current proposals? I empathize with you Robin, but I think the question is naive. Arizona doesn't need things to be legal to go ahead and do them anyway! In the same way that our ledge would rather pay for their buddies who own private prisons to profit than pay for our kids to have a decent and educated future, our ledge would rather do this now and litigate its constitutionality later. This has been the name of the game for years. Who counters it and can I see by a show of hands how many of you out there think that TUSD would ever, I mean EVER, get the money back after the state finished its monitoring? All I can say about an independent auditor is that it would have been one more reason why calling for another audit would have looked redundant and stupid.....and I don't think that makes me a troll for any group for saying that.

At any rate, its a moot point now. The loonies are in the ledge, and we down here, with no real power to make big changes (at least right now, since that all depends on elections, and they are at least a little rigged in a broad sense of the word) are bickering amongst ourselves about who the good guys are, or if there ARE any to be found! I'm tired of bickering Robin, as I mentioned in an earlier post, if you are right, prove those of us who disagree wrong by pulling off a budget override, something that TUSD needs desperately!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 03/25/2015 at 11:14 PM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

TUSD closing more schools? You may get your wish Rat T

They are having to do it themselves.

https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2015/03/25/tusd-administrators-looking-for-higher-ground/#comment-187114

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by David W on 03/25/2015 at 9:12 PM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

Why don't we discuss what has been accomplished with the hundreds of millions with deseg money?

Is everybody out there thrilled with the results of 20 years of spending?

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by David W on 03/25/2015 at 8:59 PM

Re: “It's True, Arizona Taxes Screw the Poor. Howie Fischer and WalletHub Say So

EITC gives the poor a windfall from our federal taxes. Cut the crap!

5 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by David W on 03/25/2015 at 8:56 PM

Re: “McSally Votes Against GOP Budget

Thank you Martha. that's what you were elected for.

13 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Dave w on 03/25/2015 at 8:54 PM

Re: “Broadway Widening Opponents Dig in for the Final Stretch

So it is better that our tax dollars be spent on unnecessary boondoggle projects instead of on meeting real transportation needs (like fixing potholes, synchronizing street lights, better transit)? Just because a project made sense thirty years ago (and in this case, that is a generous assumption) does not mean it still makes sense now; in fact, all data (PAG's own traffic studies, projections, "lessons learned" from other cities, demographic trends, et cetera) indicate that transportation funds would be better spent on a handful of turn lanes, synchronizing traffic signals, and reducing the speed limit (which, counterintuitively, increases end-to-end throughput speed while creating a safer place for all the other people who use the road: pedestrians, bicyclists, business customers entering/exiting, and so on). RTA would be better meeting its fiduciary duty to the taxpayers by re-examining the need for this project AT ALL, revising the project size downward accordingly. and putting the remaining funds into pothole repair and other deferred maintenance. Times and conditions "on the ground" change, plans should too.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by wiggle piggly iii on 03/25/2015 at 8:03 PM

Re: “It's True, Arizona Taxes Screw the Poor. Howie Fischer and WalletHub Say So

The more subsidies you use the more you get taxed. So don't use them. Nothing is free.

4 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Useyourhead on 03/25/2015 at 7:34 PM

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

I still want the Dept. of Justice and the Special Masters here ASAP. These Republican legislators and the governor are too intent on harming TUSD and PUSD. Many others feel the same way as I do. The other question I have is why does the state have a right to freeze that money? I not only am a teacher here but I am a parent and a grandparent of students who were in and who are in TUSD. I do not like this scene at all.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Robin B. on 03/25/2015 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Crisis of Confidence: City Transportation Staff Called Out on Double-Dealing

If you make it a 6 lane wide roadway and dedicate the outside lane in either direction to transit, you'll improve mobility (therefore improving capacity).

Broadway is 8 lanes further to the east, but really it's only a 6-lane facility for the general motoring public. The transit/multi-use lane helps traffic flow. Now they just need to teach people to pay attention and drive reasonable speeds and you'd see less crashes.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Not a Rancho Snob on 03/25/2015 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

Gee, the repukes in the Leg not only want to bring back back-alley abortions but they hate our Public School kids too...

Who knew?

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ChetDude on 03/25/2015 at 4:53 PM

Re: “Abortion Restrictions Bill is Getting Closer to Ducey's Desk

Actually, this bill would NOT "restrict abortions" -- as usual, republican's micro-managing of people's lives, people who DO NOT believe the same sky-god myths they do, will move abortions back to the alleys and gutters instead of having them in a safe, nurturing environment...

What a horrible, disgusting group of hypocritical slime...!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ChetDude on 03/25/2015 at 4:49 PM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

Farley writes that Hicks will be "working against his own Superintendent." Sorry -- is Hicks, an elected member of the TUSD governing board, under some obligation to agree with the Superintendent, an employee of the district, in every instance? Though the current board majority seems to support and follow the current Superintendent on every blessed policy and legislative issue, rather than setting policy for the district which the Superintendent must follow, which is their proper role, that does not mean that other members of the board are under any obligation to follow their lead and "do likewise."

I don't agree with Hicks on many issues -- and I may not agree with him on this one, when all the facts are in -- but it is inaccurate to say that in the role he is taking here he is trying to decrease the district's funding. If I understand him properly, he seems to be in favor of making the continuation of the desegregation funding contingent on the district passing a forensic audit that would verify that the desegregation funds already collected have been properly applied. That's not the same as asking the legislature to decrease the district's funding, or being in favor, as your headline implies, of "Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds."

Please be accurate and fair in how you report what is going on in TUSD and with the legislature. The district's cause is not helped by the spread of misinformation.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Please Be Accurate on 03/25/2015 at 4:41 PM

Re: “Last-Minute Attempt by Lawmakers to Gut TUSD's Desegregation Funds

The audits overseen by the Special Master are to ensure funds are being applied in compliance with the USP, and they affect whether or not the district attains unitary status and gets out from under the deseg order. The Special Master's role is to ensure the plaintiffs and courts are satisfied.

The forensic audit proposed by the amendment to SB1120 would make the district's right to continue to collect deseg funds from taxpayers contingent on the district passing an audit to guarantee the funds already collected have been properly applied. The legislature's role is to ensure taxpayer funds are not being applied to purposes different from those for which they have been collected.

Relevant questions: are the state's criteria necessarily the same as the Special Master's'? Are the taxpayers to be conflated with the plaintiffs and courts? Different purpose, different constituents, different overseeing authority: different process, different audit. Expensive, yes, but I'm not fully persuaded by anything written here that two separate processes are not necessary.

Dr. Sanchez's concern about the timeline is a valid one, and if the state does pass this amendment, for the sake of the students in TUSD and PUSD, the state should ensure that the audit is finished and any concerns addressed promptly so that the funds can be disbursed before the beginning of the school year, not mid-year as the district fears they might be.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Too Many Audits? on 03/25/2015 at 4:23 PM

Re: “TUSD's Michael Hicks May Have Changed His Name to 'Charles;' (Again) Signs Up in Favor of Cutting $64M in Deseg Funds

Assumptions are really all you have. Stick with it.

3 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 03/25/2015 at 4:12 PM

Re: “Crisis of Confidence: City Transportation Staff Called Out on Double-Dealing

All of these problems stem from the fact that this city never planned for transportation issues, never built a freeway, and never put together an effective consensus plan that it's citizen's could get behind.

So when we see an upcoming congestion, we drive through alleys, down washes and across the desert much like the early settlers. Never mind the dust.

Not all of us want bicycles or mass transit.

1 like, 6 dislikes
Posted by David W on 03/25/2015 at 4:10 PM

Re: “Alton Brown Ate At El Guerro Canelo, Eegee's and More in Tucson

There are so many other places he could have tried, I feel dissappointed

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rebecca on 03/25/2015 at 4:10 PM

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