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Re: “Another Look at TUSD Salary Hikes and Prop 123

David, when it takes this many words and such convoluted argument to try to explain what happened, it becomes even more clear that people (voters) were deliberately misled by the board and to what would be done. If Kristel and Adelita and Cam knew that the 123 money would be spent with 2/3 going to other categories and still told the public that the 123 money would all be spent on teacher salaries, then they lied to the public and pulled a "bait and switch." If they didn't know this at the time of the articles, interviews, etc. then they are not in charge of the finances of the district, and that is their job. If they blindly agreed to the Pied Piper's plan and didn't speak up about it when it was presented for a vote, they have failed in their duty as board members again. I and many other people are angry, and used-car salesman techniques and savings/loan banker techniques to explain the financial situation is not working.

23 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 07/19/2016 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Another Look at TUSD Salary Hikes and Prop 123

Lillian, a few responses to your comments. First, my statement that 86 percent of the Prop 123 funds was a continuation of the earlier part of the paragraph, "If the district waited like other districts and took the entire $2,000 out of its Prop 123 funds, it would have amounted to 75 percent of the total." I was talking about the total salary increases, both from the May 10 board meeting and the Prop 123 funds. If I didn't make that clear, that's my fault for not phrasing it better. That goes for your statement about CFO Soto's presentation as well. She was referring to the amount of salary that was added after Prop 123 passed, while my point was to look at the total raise received by TUSD teachers and other employees. The employees don't really care if their 2016-17 raises were given in two parts or they received them all after Prop 123 passed. All that matters is the amount in their paychecks.

You say I accused other districts of shorting their employees by giving them bonuses. I said no such thing. Here's my point. The bonuses added to the raises put more money in teachers' pockets right now, which is good. But if the actual raise is lower, after a few years, teachers will find that they're getting less year by year than if they received bigger raises, and there will come a point where their total pay over the years will be less than teachers who got a larger raise at the beginning but no bonus. So it's a toss-up which is better for teachers, to get more money in the short run with the bonuses or more in the long run with the larger salary raise.

I'm pretty sure you're correct about other large districts paying higher salaries than TUSD. I believe the Tucson area districts in general pay less than districts in most other areas of Arizona. But that wasn't the subject of my post. I was writing to refute the Star articles which left the impression that TUSD raises were lower than what other Tucson area districts gave their teachers. That assertion is incorrect.

3 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 07/19/2016 at 11:42 AM

Re: “Why Go to the GOP Convention?

Stop with the sexist put downs Bob. You diminish your thoughts. They can ill afford more diminishment.

5 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Julie Heston on 07/19/2016 at 10:26 AM

Re: “Another Look at TUSD Salary Hikes and Prop 123

He's no Reagan. Thanks for facts Lillian. Audit TUSD.

13 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Julie Heston on 07/19/2016 at 10:22 AM

Re: “Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Rehear Lawsuit On Immigration Relief Programs for Undocumented Parents, Youth

The President continues to act like a dictator. Constitutional scholar? Maybe in Kenya.

8 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Julie Heston on 07/19/2016 at 10:19 AM

Re: “The Verdict is in and the Show Will Go On

the play is called King Charles III not Kind Charles III
don't you people read your own posts ???

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rob McConeghy III on 07/19/2016 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Another Look at TUSD Salary Hikes and Prop 123

You'll have to understand Bob. Last week he got a flat tire and spent 2 hours blaming it on Bush. He's not overly bright.

5 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 07/19/2016 at 9:41 AM

Re: “Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Rehear Lawsuit On Immigration Relief Programs for Undocumented Parents, Youth

Because we feel that people should come here legally makes us racists. I have a question for you, Bob. What's it like to be an ignorant stooge?

6 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 07/19/2016 at 8:57 AM

Re: “Another Look at TUSD Salary Hikes and Prop 123

Sorry, Bob Regan, but there are other problems in Arizona education besides the Republicans. They are most certainly a problem, but, as "Supporting Public Ed Means Supporting LOCAL Reform" wrote above, within the larger dysfunctional context created by AZ legislative decisions, TUSD is failing utterly in its ability to manage its operations and maintain public confidence. When the top administrator in a district engages in a systematic program of attempting to manage a troubled institution by concealing the truth of what is actually going on -- lying about whether bonuses have been granted to the cabinet, lying about whether he has been introduced to the President of the Board's mother-in-law, lying about whether Strategic Plan goals have been 100% fulfilled, lying about what he is going to do with 123 money, etc. (the list is very long and many more items could be added) -- the Board needs to put a stop to that instead of excusing it. They are there to hold top administration accountable, and they are NOT doing it -- none of them, neither the majority nor the minority.

Safier, in defending these people, seems to have been led so far astray that he has lost track of the very concept of what "THE TRUTH" means. It means the right kind of correspondence between what is said and what the reality is. When you get people to vote for 123 by saying you will apply the money, if you receive it, to teacher salaries, you need to do that or you will be failing to fulfill a promise, failing to honor your word. When people see you TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME making promises that you do not keep, you lose the ability to build healthy relationship and to LEAD, which is what someone in a Superintendent's position MUST be able to do.

For government institutions to be functional and healthy, we need to get governing board members in office who will not excuse malfeasance or look the other way and fail to bring lies to the public's attention. All of us who live in Southern Arizona need to care about this school district, which serves almost 50,000 students. If these students do not get sound educations in well managed educational institutions, this breeds problems that undermine the health and stability of our entire community. It is vitally important that effective reform take place.

22 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Both the AZ Leg & TUSD are problematic. on 07/19/2016 at 8:37 AM

Re: “Why Go to the GOP Convention?

Trump's rise is directly related to the elite's complete disdain for the American working class. Between globalization and bringing in 1.5 million immigrants per year ( 6 times the historic average ) to ensure wages stay low and also keeping the working class electorate fractured. It's been a good ride for the 1% but people are catching on.

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 07/19/2016 at 8:26 AM

Re: “Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Rehear Lawsuit On Immigration Relief Programs for Undocumented Parents, Youth

It's really amazing that the president thinks he can unilaterally set immigration policy in direct opposition to Congress. Whatever your views of what immigration law should be, that law is set by Congress, not the President.
I hope the court gives this the swift rejection it deserves.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 07/19/2016 at 8:22 AM

Re: “Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Rehear Lawsuit On Immigration Relief Programs for Undocumented Parents, Youth

What's it like to be an Arizona conservative? What's it like to live a life controlled by fear and hate. What's it like to have to be armed in order to come out from hiding under your bed? What's it like to be a racist and be proud of it?
What's it like to try to mask these qualities behind phony religion anal phony patriotism?

15 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Bob Regan on 07/19/2016 at 7:37 AM

Re: “Why Go to the GOP Convention?

Trump appeals to the fear and hate that Conservatives use to make their voting decisions. Since Arizona is a state controlled by these scared little girls, Trump will win in Arizona.

8 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Bob Regan on 07/19/2016 at 7:33 AM

Re: “Another Look at TUSD Salary Hikes and Prop 123

Here's the problem folks.

Want a decent education system..............stop giving control of it to stupid conservatives. If they knew how to design an effective education system, DON'T YOU THINK THEY WOULD HAVE DONE IT BY NOW????

THEY'VE BEEN IN ALMOST TOTAL CONTROL OF ARIZONA FOR DECADES.

14 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Bob Regan on 07/19/2016 at 7:26 AM

Re: “Why Go to the GOP Convention?

You bringing your KKK buddy again? I think that BLM will do more than punch you for that move, so watch out which other agitators you pal around with. Have fun disrupting. I'm glad you've found your purpose in life. Must be fulfilling...

10 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by FU on 07/19/2016 at 7:17 AM
Posted by What, Again on 07/19/2016 at 6:47 AM

Re: “Why Go to the GOP Convention?

It won't be long until media types hire the agitators to try to change history rather than report on it. This is a good start. They are shameless in their attempt to control others.

9 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 07/19/2016 at 6:29 AM

Re: “Another Look at TUSD Salary Hikes and Prop 123

Mr. Safier's claim that "86 percent of the new funds, about $8.3 million of the $9.7 million, went to salary hikes" is wrong. In CFO Soto's presentations to the TUSD governing Board, she put the total going to employee raises at $3.7 million. That is about 39& going to employees versus 61% going to whatever.

The claim that districts who gave one time bonuses this year were shorting their employees doesn't make sense. Districts got 123 money this year and had plenty left to give substantial salary increases next year.

Talking about Catalina Foothill's 4% pay raises is disingenuous. Their starting pay this year was already higher than TUSD's starting pay next year. Next year, Catalina Foothills starting pay will be $38,500 versus TUSD's starting pay of $35,700. And, Catalina Foothills gets much less money per student than TUSD. Catalina Foothills has the next to the lowest money/student of all the Tucson districts.

However, the correct comparison for TUSD should be to the other 9 large Arizona school Districts. Large districts have economies of scale not available to smaller districts. TUSD is the second largest of all Arizona school districts and has more money per student than all but one of the other large districts.

Last year, 6 of the other 9 districts were already paying starting teachers more than TUSD will pay next year. Mesa's is one example. Mesa is increasing the salary for new teachers by $2,000/year from $37,500 to $38,500 next year versus TUSD's $35,700 next year. Mesa's current teachers will all get raises of $2,500/year plus a one time payment of 3.5% this year. Mesa's hourly employees are all getting 5% raises, except for bus drivers who will get 5% plus an additional 33 cents/hour. TUSD's bus drivers will get a 1% raise or 11 to 12 cents per hour. And, Mesa has less money per student than TUSD.

TUSD needs a through audit of where its money is going. It is in desperate need of an internal auditor with a CPA or a CIA, who reports to the Board, not to Superintendent Sanchez.

27 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Lillian Fox on 07/18/2016 at 11:42 PM

Re: “Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Rehear Lawsuit On Immigration Relief Programs for Undocumented Parents, Youth

Now that BLM has turned on him, he frantically looks for something destructive to tie to his legacy. You have done enough damage Mr President. Eight years of his lawless behavior, surronded by Hillary, Eric Holder and Lynch. There's your legacy.

12 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 07/18/2016 at 10:54 PM

Re: “Another Look at TUSD Salary Hikes and Prop 123

Safier composed this, no doubt, to combat Steller's editorial piece in the Star:
http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/steller-tusd-broke-promises-with-prop-spending/article_db22aa44-bcf9-5845-bec7-89a189b53e18.html

There are many factors referenced in the statements TUSD representatives make to explain their decision about how to allocate 123 funds, and it is difficult indeed to patch them together into anything resembling a coherent story, but piecing together information available in the media and in the district's statements and board meetings, this is the sequence of events that seems to have led to the current decision to only apply 30% of the 123 funds to teacher salaries:

1. Before 123 passed, TUSD granted raises by tapping the district's Maintenance & Operations funds:
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/tusd-approves-million-for-teacher-staff-raises/article_c67bd50a-2e1e-5f76-a2c4-ea2f70435da0.html
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/board-approves-pay-raises-for-tusd-teachers-staff/article_9db6df94-1797-11e6-970a-b3764167a5f5.html
Of the December 2014 raises, Ms. Huicochea wrote, "The money will come mostly from $2.8 million in maintenance and operations funds...." Of the May 2016 raises, Ms. Huicochea wrote, "The majority of the expense [of the raise]— $2.1 million — will be paid for from the maintenance and operation fund..."
Do districts with conspicuously deteriorating facilities usually grant raises out of M&O funds? When they do so, does this set them up for a situation in which later, they will have to tap funds that could or should go to teacher raises to pay back depleted M&O budgets?

2. While it was campaigning for 123, the district gave the impression it was going to run a bond for capital improvements and that 123 funds would be used to further improve teacher salaries, which were still sadly insufficient even with the small raises given previously:
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/tusd-working-wish-list-for-potential-bond-election/article_f9e266b0-e77a-5865-a316-f09939f709c4.html
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/teacher-pay-top-priority-if-prop-is-ok-d/article_2940bcc4-3fcf-54c6-ba76-5a15c4fcd43e.html

3. Then, once 123 passed, TUSD allocated only 30% of the 123 funds it received for teacher salaries and told the public it would not be running a bond campaign this fall after all, supposedly because the Pima County bonds failed last fall and this spring 123 was unpopular in Southern Arizona.
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/tucson-unified-won-t-hold-bond-election-this-year/article_b19402e2-2275-5194-bb4c-78e6756575a5.html
It seems unlikely that the decision not to run a bond this fall was based only on Southern Arizona feelings about 123 and the Pima County Bond outcomes, and not also on the judgment that public confidence in TUSD's governance and administration was so low that a bond would not pass. Ms. Grijalva seemed to allude to this lack of public confidence in her recent presentation on the ASBA conference, delivered at the 7/12/2016 TUSD Board meeting:
http://www.tusd1.org/contents/govboard/gbvideo071216.html

However, in attributing the problems with public confidence to dis-unity on the Board and the actions of minority board members, Ms. Grijalva promotes an interpretation of the current situation that will not seem plausible to most constituents who have been observing the district's recent actions. These actions include a cost escalation in the form of a steep inflation of a relatively inexperienced Superintedent's compensation package:
http://tucson.com/news/opinion/tucson-unified-superintendent-s-percent-raise/article_2f0dd6fc-85ff-5ead-93e1-1b6f5e69b64d.html

additional cost escalations in conflicts with the desegregation authority accompanied by commensurate escalations in the legal costs associated with the desegregation case:
http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/steller-tusd-should-take-judge-s-hint-stop-costly-fighting/article_058a6a68-b32f-5c10-b684-3c9f71cb0a1c.html

a cost reduction accomplished by outsourcing of substitute teachers, accompanied by reducing their pay and benefits:
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/tusd-moves-to-outsource-its-substitute-teachers/article_a6cf8196-558b-5d26-a5bc-0e45a54345cc.html
(see also the first two speakers in the Call to the Audience portion of the 7/12/16 TUSD Board Meeting: http://www.tusd1.org/contents/govboard/gbvideo071216.html )

and the voluntary reduction, by millions of dollars, of desegregation funding available to be applied in support of the integration goals outlined in the Unitary Status Plan:
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/sanchez-things-are-looking-up-at-tusd/article_d0af6813-b60f-584d-ab04-5169d8442416.html

In sum: we'd have to work pretty hard, in reviewing the above sequence of events, to avoid coming to the conclusion that TUSD has placed itself, through its own decisions and administrative actions, in a situation in which 123 funds, instead of going mainly to teacher salaries, which is clearly what was promised, will have to be used in part to cover things that would normally be covered by bonds. It seems the district must do this in part because of its previous decisions allocating funding, including its decisions to repeatedly tap M&O funds to give raises, and administrative decisions that have eroded the public confidence that would enable the passing of a bond initiative.

It's true that the Arizona legislature has behaved irresponsibly with education funding in our state, but within the funding context they establish, individual districts make better and worse decisions about how to allocate the limited funds available, how to manage their relationships with voters and constituents, and how to successfully take the case for funding supplements to the electorate. It is sad but true -- and an understatement -- that TUSD does not get a gold star for its performance during the last year in these departments.

32 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Supporting Public Ed Means Supporting Local Reform on 07/18/2016 at 8:03 PM

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