TUSD Board Member Hicks: "TUSD Overhead Should Be Cut Before Schools Close"

CREATED Dec 7, 2012

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For Immediate Release: TUSD Overhead Should Be Cut Before Schools Close
Today Tucson Unified School District Governing Board member Michael Hicks released the following statement on school closures:
“I am concerned about the lack of evidence that the district’s administration took steps to evaluate the district’s budget line-by-line to identify areas in which cuts could be made prior to making the decision to close our neighborhood schools.”
“The administrative ranks have grown, administrative offices have not been consolidated, services have not been evaluated for efficacy, and other cost-saving measures have not been studied and indentified as alternatives to school closures.”
“While I recognize that the district must close some schools, due to our failure to attract new students and retain old students, I share the community’s distrust of the district’s decision-making on difficult community matters. President Ronald Regan told us to ‘trust but verify,’ and I have been unable to verify that all of the school closures proposed are necessary and prudent.”
“From the staged book removal from Tucson High School after the correct finding by Judge Kowal and Superintendent John Huppenthal, to the arduous school closure public forums, over the past year the district has stirred up the emotions of the community with little consideration as to the long term damage to both the community and the district. Therefore, I am approaching school closures with skepticism, and demand that a process begin to evaluate what other measures can be taken before any schools are closed. TUSD overhead should be cut before any schools are closed.”
Michael Hicks also believes that the district must end the district’s policy on rejecting out-of-hand charter school organizations’ bids on closed schools.