Monday, October 20, 2014

Final TUSD Candidates Forum and the Politics Continues

Posted By on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Still on the fence about who you want to support in the Tucson Unified School District governing board race? Tonight there's likely a final candidates forum, Monday, Oct. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the YWCA, 525 N. Bonita Ave., co-sponsored by Voices for Education, Menlo Park Neighborhood Association, Brichta Neighborhood Association and Legislative District 3 Democrats.

If you've been paying attention to the back and forth politics involved in the race that David Safier has steadfastly blogged these past few months, like the latest on financial transparency and Michael Hicks' bankruptcy, then perhaps there's a chance this forum could actually be interesting.

Frankly, with so many candidates, most of the time is spent listening to candidates who have to consider either not running again next election season or making a pledge to go to more school board meetings to actually learn something about the district they want to represent. This way they will actually answer questions with more than just "smaller classrooms," and "diversity for everyone."

Besides that, Miguel Cuevas, a former governing board member who wants to return, sent out the following press release calling for TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez's resignation and saying he'll call for it if elected.

IF elected:

Former TUSD Board Member Miguel Cuevas calls for TUSD Superintendent Resignation

After lengthy discussions with current and former TUSD employees and community members, Former TUSD Board Chairperson Miguel Cuevas is calling for action regarding TUSD leadership.

"If I return to the TUSD Board, I will call for Superintendent HT Sanchez' resignation. The majority of the current TUSD Board is not holding Superintendent Sanchez accountable for multiple instances of abuse of power." states Cuevas. "Superintendent Sanchez knowingly recommended hiring the current TUSD Board Chairperson’s mother-in-law without disclosing the relationship prior to the Board vote, he recommended hiring a consultant that he used as a reference in his personal resume and with whom he had multiple discussions prior to the bid being awarded. Dr. Sanchez continues to mismanage TUSD’s budget by overspending despite numerous warnings of the potential grave
consequences by TUSD financial officers. Additionally, there are multiple accusations of mistreatment of TUSD employees by the superintendent."

While Miguel is concerned about the high turnover of TUSD Superintendents, he is more concerned about the stability of the district if Dr. Sanchez continues to lead it. He will recommend policies and procedures to fully investigate the backgrounds of potential Superintendent candidates through additional employee involvement, visitation of the candidates’ current employers and the implementation of a citizens advisory committee. These procedures are not part of the current Superintendent search process.

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