Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Plaintiffs in TUSD Desegregation Lawsuit: Magnet Schools Haven't Been Provided With Resources to Succeed

Posted By on Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 4:12 PM

Plaintiffs in the decades-long desegregation lawsuit against Tucson Unified  School District say magnet schools have not been given sufficient funding, staffing and other resources to succeed as schools and "much less meet the obligations outlined in the Unitary Status Plan," and magnet requirements. 

Former TUSD teacher and board member Sylvia Campoy, who's the representative for the Mendoza plaintiffs in the suit Fisher-Mendoza v.Tucson Unified School District, sent a mass email where she shares where the plaintiffs stand after news that five TUSD schools may lose magnet status. Here're some details on a proposal they submitted yesterday:
In an effort to meet the Special Master's concerns and ensure the magnet schools the resources and support they require, the Mendoza Plaintiffs have been working on a proposal that would immediately accomplish the provision of support which is drastically needed at the magnets schools. The proposal was presented to all the parties on October 6, 2015.

We understand that the “devil is in the details” and the District has agreed to immediately begin working on the specifics required to make the Mendoza Proposal work. It is the hope of the Mendoza Party that TUSD will fully embrace the Mendoza Compliance Proposal; will put an aggressive plan together in response to the proposal and will, most importantly, immediately and effectively implement the plan. This is an opportunity to “walk-the-talk” of collaboration. The ball is now in TUSD’s court (figuratively and literally).

The Mendoza Plaintiffs have never lost focus of what is authentically needed to support the children they represent and have always been focused on what will best promote the opportunities and educational achievement of Latino and African American students and to that end made the following proposal which was met with large degree of support from District and the Department of Justice. It outlines the critical elements of the Mendoza Plaintiffs’ Compliance Proposal. As the parties respond to the Mendoza Proposal, of course, their input will be considered and discussions will be ongoing.

Compliance Plan Proposed by Mendoza Plaintiffs for Five Schools Special Master Specifically Referenced as Having Not Met Plan Goals (Elementary schools –Bonillas and Ochoa; Safford K-8, Utterback Middle School, and Cholla High School) – Plus Holladay Elementary:

-Push to increase integration in entering grades
-Focus in closing academic achievement gap
-Fill all vacancies by November 1, 2015
-No vacancies at start of next school year
-Implementation Committee Member to monitor:
~In each school once per week
~Report to Plaintiffs and Special Master once per month

TUSD to propose plan with the objective of having more students attending integrated schools.

Almost $1,000,000 was subtracted from the magnet school desegregation budgets from their May to June 2015 submittals.

​Each​magnet school should be fully funded to support their magnet plan at the amount shown in the May 15th Magnet Plans. No decreases should take place.
​All magnet schools should be visibly supported.  

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