Tuesday, January 6, 2015

UPDATE: TUSD Superintendent Sanchez Meeting with AZ Schools Chief Douglas Soon

Posted By on Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 5:08 PM

After to speaking to several TUSD sources, they said Superintendent H.T. Sanchez and Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas are meeting today, Wednesday, and Douglas will release a statement after their meeting. That could be later today or very, very soon.

I had a nice conversation with Tucson Unified School District Superintendent H.T. Sanchez earlier this afternoon, where he confirmed that he and incoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas will be meeting "soon."

I then got an email from Arizona Department of Education spokeswoman Sally Stewart, saying Douglas, who beat outgoing schools chief, John Huppenthal, from a chance at a second term in last year's primary election, and Sanchez's offices were "scheduling a meeting."

Douglas will not comment on the recent news that Huppenthal said some of TUSD's culturally relevant classes violate state law until that meeting happens.

In the meantime, Sanchez is very positive about getting to chat with Douglas on that and other issues.

"I have a lot of hope for her and for her administration," he said. "In her campaign, she talked about local control and that parents and communities should have a greater say on what happens in the classroom. I'm not going to prejudge her or assume she'll carry the same badger as her predecessor."

Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether TUSD will modify the classes in question.

If by March 4 the district hasn't done whatever state education officials order, they face losing 10 percent of the state aid they get every month.

During our conversation, Sanchez reinforced his support for TUSD's culturally relevant curriculum.

He definitely stands with his district, what it teaches and the classes taught from an African American and Mexican American perspective that have been under a magnifying glass for the last few days—you know, like the ones Huppenthal was terrified by because of Rage Against the Machine's presence.

On Jan. 12, the suit seeking to overturn HB 2281, the Jan Brewer 2010 law designed to outlaw Mexican American Studies and the one TUSD allegedly is violating again, is heading to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

If the court rules that HB 2281 is unconstitutional then all will be calm at TUSD.

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