The Superintendent is responsible for implementation, and implementation was fundamentally flawed when it came to closing schools in TUSD. The Gibson Operational Efficiency Audit makes sense--it also makes more than 60 different recommendations, most of which have nothing to do with closing schools. Yes, the Audit makes a very persuasive argument that there are too many old buildings in TUSD that do not serve the students well--but that is largely because there are not enough students to fill the buildings. As such, the Audit makes clear that declining enrollment is the single biggest issue facing TUSD. The second biggest problem in TUSD, according to the Audit, is poor management, which of course results in lower enrollment.
Supt. Sanchez and his team are responsible for management. The board is only responsible as far as it has allowed the Superintendent to manage TUSD as he has, unchecked. Any member of the school board who is not alarmed by the community's cries, who does not heed our calls to better govern the Supt., needs to go. It is clear to the entire community that there are three members on the TUSD governing board who allow the Supt. to do as he pleases. They praise him for the job he has done. Now it is up to us, the community, to stand together and let them know that we disagree. We don't have to yell at them anymore--they don't seem to have been listening anyway. Note to self: They get it. Now it's time to vote.
This article, the street signs calling for the ousting of our school board members, the bad blood, its all just making TUSD worse. This comments section is evidence--this war is making people want to leave. It has to stop. Whoever is putting out the signs may claim that they care about TUSD, but their actions are hurting this district. If they really want to help the schools, they should invest their money toward spreading goodwill for a bond election so that we can increase the budget to pay for the buildings that everyone wants so badly to keep open.
No one wants to close schools. But if we don't stop this fight, families will just keep leaving, and there will be no choice. We can make this district great. But we have to work together. Tucson is a wonderful city, and TUSD has some great schools. They can all be great. We have to have faith, vote for school board candidates who will not blindly support the Superintendent, and smile! We got this.
Money matters, but it is equally--if not more--important HOW money is spent. The Tucson Unified School District, for example, receives at least $340 million dollars per year in funding for approx. 50K students. However, the money is misspent in opaque and suspicious processes, which is the case in most failing or suspiciously opaque districts. The result is low or stagnant achievement levels.
When, for example, a district decides to buy e-textbooks before ensuring that all students have access to a computer, money is wasted and students suffer. But the administration remains popular, well-liked. When classroom aids are fired and long-term substitute pay is cut so the superintendent can take 6 figures home each year, money is wasted and students suffer. But the school board can say they have strived hard to stabilize the district by keeping one superintendent in place and they can pat themselves on the back in front of their constituencies. Students continue to suffer.
The problem in TUSD is not money (or overly large classes). The problem here is a combination of the school board and the superintendent and the faulty way they spend money on things that do not benefit the students. Indeed, the students suffer.
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