Monday, October 31, 2016

Response to Foster's Op-Ed

Ms. Foster claims: "One of our first votes was to halt the outsourcing of transportation, custodians, payroll and human resources." How can she make such a claim when we all know that ESI was hired to the tune of $20 million dollars to outsource employees as recently as this past summer? We know that she knows all about ESI because an ESI executive gave her and Cam Juarez $5,000 apiece. We also know that Foster returned the money after the public discovered potential corruption, but Juarez has not--despite that he said he did.
The current board has voted to lower classroom spending to $.48 per dollar. Our children are worth more.
There are more administrators and fewer librarians, custodians, and counselors today in TUSD than there were last year, the year before, and the year before that. Administrators cost the district at least 2X what other employees cost and have little or no impact on student achievement.
Foster also claims that if the board changes, more schools will be closed; however, when Foster and Juarez first got onto the TUSD School Board, they had the chance to vote not to close schools. They did not. See: http://threesonorans.com/…/fact-check-schools-did-close-un…/.
Still, closing schools is no longer on the agenda. It's over. The fact that she brings it up in this article shows that she is trying to manipulate fear and incite the post-traumatic stress that this community suffers because of poor school management. How can a school board member be so willing to pat herself on the back at the same moment she seeks to incite the fear of past trauma?
And let's do try to be honest: enrollment is still down--despite a steadily growing Tucson population, including an influx of refugee students who attend TUSD schools. So how can enrollment still be falling despite Tucson's growing population? And how can this person be so brazen as to claim there has been an about-face when enrollment numbers are still negative?
Last, discipline--not school closures--is the major issue facing TUSD now (along with, as always, declining enrollment). Catalina Magnet High School is the next one that will implode due to discpline problems. Utterback is falling apart at the seams, Palo Verde suffers; I could go on and on. Why does this school board member not mention her plans for how she and the rest of her board plan to get Sanchez to address the discipline horrors in TUSD before tragedy strikes--again?!
TUSD needs change, not excuses. TUSD deserves success, not spin. TUSD will have transparency, accountability, and integrity--as soon as we vote for people who will face the facts, share them with courage and integrity, and then establish strategic plans for improvement.

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