City Councilwoman Regina Romero Has Opinions on Education, Particularly TUSD's Deseg Plan

If you've got feelings about Tucson Unified School District's deseg plan, known as the Unitary Status Plan, know that you're not alone: Ward 1 City Councilwoman Regina Romero has all sorts of feelings about them, which she made clear in a release sent out this evening, and she urges you to take your feelings and opinions to the forums being held this week by TUSD. We've got the full letter for you after the jump, but here's a short-form of her views, point by point:

School Closures:
- Romero seems to oppose the closures of Manzo Elementary, Menlo Park Elementary and Brichta Elementary, noting that they would consolidate schools with "exceptionally high Latino populations" into Tully Elementary, "further exacerbating district segregation."
- Romero says that any potential closures must take into account the fact that "nearly 85% of students in Wards 1 & 5 are eligible for free and reduced lunch," noting that these wards have the highest populations of adults without a high school diploma.

Bilingual Education:
- Romero believes that bilingual education must be reinstated for English learners, saying that "studies have demonstrated that bilingual education is far more effective than English immersion, and separating students based on native language has serious implications for equitable student support and services."

Mexican American Studies:
- Romero thinks that MAS needs to be reinstated, call it "one of the most highly acclaimed programs nation-wide with respect to closing the achievement gap for Latino students" and saying that it is "critical to moving towards a more equitable and effective district for all."

This week's forums are taking place tonight, at Tucson Magnet High School; tomorrow, Nov. 27, at El Pueblo Neighborhood Center, 101 W. Irvington Road; and Wednesday, Nov. 28 at Palo Verde High School, 1302 S. Avenida Vega. All of them are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Check out the full letter below the jump.