Pedicone: 'The Budget Situation is Real and We Must Act Assertively'

The Tucson Unified School District governing board meets tomorrow to look at a list of proposed schools to begin the process of consolidation and closures. The Range was given a letter from TUSD Superintedent John Pedicone sent to staff on Friday, Nov. 16, along with an attachment on school consolidation criteria determined by the governing board on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Here is the consolidation criteria:


The special meeting tomorrow is at Catalina High Magnet School, 3645 E. Pima St., 6 p.m. On the agenda:

CALL TO THE AUDIENCE (20 Minutes) (Pursuant to Governing Board Policy No. BDAA, at
the conclusion of the Call to the Audience, the Governing Board President will ask if individual
members wish to respond to criticism made by those who have addressed the Board, wish to ask staff
to review a matter, or wish to ask that a matter be put on a future agenda. No more than one board
member may address each criticism.)
1. School Master Plan — Approval of a Draft Plan and Initiation of any Related
2. Schedule Governing Board Special Meetings and Public Hearings as Necessary
Related to the School Master Plan and Consolidations

Pedicone's letter to staff is after the jump.

November 16, 2012

Dear TUSD Staff,

The Governing Board unanimously approved criteria this week to move forward with considering school closures and consolidations as part of an overall budget plan to solve the $17 million deficit that will confront us in the next school year.

The criteria provides guidance for identifying which schools may be selected, and are focused on areas such as high cost savings, preservation of unique programs and activities, easy transitions for families, and academic performance, among other factors. The full list of approved criteria is attached to this email for you to see.

A list of proposed schools will be submitted to the Governing Board next week, so our board members can begin their process of review and consideration of closures.

We know that the discussions surrounding school closures are difficult to hear and concerning for everyone in our TUSD family. We are doing everything possible to ensure a thoughtful and sensible approach to making decisions on the schools that will be proposed for closure.

To balance the budget, reductions in expenses must also come from other areas throughout the district, including central administration, programs and services, and operations.

The budget situation is real and we must act assertively to protect resources that support our students and academic achievement goals. Our priority is to help our students excel and to provide them a rich educational experience. Resources from school closures will be directed back into classrooms to help us move closer to our vision of creating high performing classrooms throughout the district.

We will continue to keep you updated throughout this process and on the tough decisions ahead.

John J. Pedicone, Ph.D.

"Delivering Excellence in Education Every Day"