Divided TUSD board set to discuss superintendent's contract, cla - Tucson News Now

Divided TUSD board set to discuss superintendent's contract, classroom changes

Dr. H.T. Sanchez Dr. H.T. Sanchez
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

For the third week in a row, the Tucson Unified School District's governing board will hold a special meeting to discuss the superintendent's contract Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The board voted to postpone the item during the last two meetings, creating tension with audience members who had waited hours speak.

Some still didn’t get that chance.

Critics of Superintendent H.T. Sanchez are questioning his leadership and the district's performance.

Supporters say those claims are unjustified.

Some say things like test scores and teacher retention are a bigger issue and not the fault of one person.

The public meeting is set to start at 4 p.m. at Duffy Community Center, located at at 5145 E. Fifth Street.

One of the action items includes the board dismissing one of the district’s two outside attorneys hired last week to provide legal advice on Sanchez’s contract moving forward.

TUSD board member Adelita Grijalva said that the attorney met with three board members before he was hired and helped write up a document with charges against the superintendent.

Because he didn’t disclose that to the board, Grijalva says it could be a conflict of interest and an ethics violation.

Rachael Sedgwick, the newest board member and the person who initiated discussions about Sanchez’s contract said she couldn’t speak to the dismissal of the attorney but that her ultimate goal is, “for the board and the superintendent to come together and decide how to proceed in the most beneficial manner possible for students, employees and the community.”

The board is expected to go into executive session, which will not be open to the public.

Last week, the executive session ran late, causing the special meeting to begin hours after the scheduled 5:30 p.m. start time.

[READ: Tensions rise as discussion about TUSD's superintendent postponed again]

Tuesday’s special meeting includes a jam-packed agenda.

For the first time, the school board will hear how six schools plan to transition away from the magnet programs. The schools lost their magnet status late last year because they weren’t diverse enough.

The school board will also hear more on attendance issues in the district. 

Right now, TUSD officials say the attendance numbers they recorded versus what the state recorded are different.

Officials say if not addressed, it’s possible the district could potentially lose thousands of dollars in state funding per pupil.  

Another informational item includes an update on sex education.

The board is expected to get an update from a Family Life Committee about what they’ve done so far.

Their goal is to make the sex education curriculum revisions by the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

The school board will also talk about a potential bond measure for the November ballot. 

A similar measure didn't make the cut last year.

TUSD will also make statements about how it addresses transgender and refugee students and anti-discrimination policies within the district.

Read the full agenda HERE.

TUSD has a FAQ page that can be found HERE: http://bit.ly/2m2p4ZL

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