Superintendent of TUSD speaks out about goals, plans for distric - Tucson News Now

Superintendent of TUSD speaks out about goals, plans for district's future

H.T. Sanchez talks about his goals for TUSD. (Source: Tucson News Now) H.T. Sanchez talks about his goals for TUSD. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

More students, more teachers and more money – those are just some of the goals for southern Arizona's largest school district’s superintendent.

Tucson Unified School District's H.T. Sánchez will roll out his priorities for the school year at a school board meeting Tuesday night.

If completed, he'll tack on more than $15,000 to his salary.

In the past, he's donated that money back into the community.

Tucson News Now sat down with Sánchez before his presentation to the board to find out more about his plans.

He said the following goals are a combination of priorities from the school board, the state and the community. 

Right now, TUSD has about 48,000 students.

At the top of the list, is increasing that number.

Sánchez wants to save money spent on lawsuits, and instead spend more money in the classroom. 

He wants parents and the community to participate more and he wants to offer more opportunities for pre-school.

He added that he also wants to create a campus culture that promotes safety and security for all children. 

"I think the most important one is to continue to give students the opportunities to be engaged in advanced placement classes, rigorous course work, classes that get kids ready for college and career,” Sánchez said.

Another goal is to increase student achievement. 

The graduation rate at TUSD for the 2015-16 school year was 76 percent. 

Sánchez told Tucson News Now these goals won't go anywhere unless they can be measured. 

One of the goals he plans to measure is decreasing the number of teachers who aren't certified. 

Right now, there are 93 teacher vacancies in the district. 

There are 62 teachers in the classroom who aren’t certified.

They have bachelor’s degrees and receive training on classroom management.

The other 31 positions are being filled by teachers who are certified, but prefer to work as long-term substitutes.

Now the district is working on ways to not only hire more teachers, but keep them too.

“Look at annual pay increases that are guaranteed each year, at minimum we’ve done $500, last year we did $2,000 and doing the best we can to keep benefits, costs low, but stable and finding ways to really show teachers that we appreciate them,” said Sánchez.

The superintendent said he also wants to create more ways where teachers can earn extra money like additional training or endorsements. 

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