Superintendent: Southwest Key wants TUSD to be sole educational provider

TUSD moving forward to teach immigrant kids

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Unified School District could soon be sending teachers into a local facility where immigrant children are currently being housed.

Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo said leadership at the Southwest Key facility wishes for TUSD to be the "sole educational provider" for students.

"This is the direction they wish to pursue with us," said Trujillo.  "This is exactly what we were hoping that they would pursue or what they would want to pursue with us."

Under the scenario, TUSD would fully enroll the students and collect perpetual funding from the state for the educational services to be provided.

"This additional membership funding would allow for the funding of the additional eight to ten highly-qualified English as a second language educators, that would be needed to service the students, all of whom would be Tucson Unified teachers and employees."

Superintendent Trujillo said all educational services would be at the facility on Oracle Road. With the funding, TUSD would enhance classroom resources, furniture, technology and professional development, made possible by the additional revenue from students enrolling in district.

Earlier this month, Trujillo said there were currently no preschool or elementary-aged students being housed at the facility, with teens at the ninth-grade level or older. He began conversations with Southwest Key officials following requests from board members and the community in July.

Superintendent Trujillo said Southwest Key would be deemed the guardian of the children at the facility, for purposes of enrolling in the district.

"There are still many details that need to be reviewed legally," Trujillo said, regarding the conversation between the Southwest Key facility and the Office of Refuge Resettlement, which funds the facility.

According to the Office of Refuge Resettlement, educational services are currently based on the individual academic level of each child at the facility. Each child must receive at least six hours of structured education in basic academic areas per weekday.

Superintendent Trujillo said the discussions will continue on September 12, when he meets with leaders at Southwest Key.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.