TUSD discuss important issues facing schools, including approving $25,000 for bond consultant

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 1:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Leaders of southern Arizona’s largest school district discussed several important issues during a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 25.

The Tucson Unified School District’s Governing Board decided to move forward with its plans to get public comment on a couple of items.

The first is how it plans to improve schools that received a failing grades. The second is how students are selected for enrollment when a school is overcrowded.

In the past, when too many students tried to enroll in the same grade or school, the district would use race and ethnicity as part of a lottery system.

The reason behind that is the district was under a desegregation order. However, now that the district is under unitary status they aren’t required to consider race or ethnicity in the selection process.

During the meeting, leaders discussed how they don’t believe these changes will impact diversity in enrollment.

In fact, according to TUSD, last school year there were only eight instances in the entire district where one grade was overcrowded and no cases where more than one grade was filled.

Leaders also discussed a plan approved by the Arizona Department of Education, which would delegate special councils to hold public meetings at schools that received below-average grades.

This year, nine TUSD schools received either a “D” or “F” grade. During the previous year, 18 schools had failing marks.

The specially appointed leaders will discuss the improvement plan for the failing schools and have a public meeting about the proposal.

On top of those two items, capital improvement needs were discussed by board members. Improvements like heating and cooling inside classrooms and renovation for school parking lots across TUSD were top needs brought to the governing board.

Leaders even approved $25,000 for a consultant for a possible bond they are looking to bring to voters.