Tucson Unified School Board members were misinformed and misled by district officials according to board member Michael Hicks.
The TUSD Governing Board member believes that district officials misrepresented the intent of the district’s appeal. Board members were told that the appeal was intended to lead to a better understanding of Huppenthal’s finding, when in fact the appeal challenged not only the constitutionality of the finding, but denied those parts of the finding that the district knew to be true.
“Michael Hicks was led to believe that by voting in favor of the appeal, Huppenthal’s findings would be explored further. Had he known the outcome, he would have voted against the appeal and regrets his original position. Mr. Hicks has met with individuals have come forward to express their continued concerns about the course and curriculum. This information also leaves Mr. Hicks with concern for the children who have been exposed to the program and the implications for the community,” stated Lisa Ruth.
As a result, Mr. Hicks regrets and rescinds his support for TUSD’s appeal of Arizona ’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Huppenthal’s finding that the district is in violation of multiple state laws.
Hicks believes that in light of revelations by staff and statements made by parents and children involved in the program, and the entire investigation conducted by Superintendent Huppenthal that the entire program must come to an immediate end. Electives are not an acceptable alternative in current form, and staff and curriculum must be reevaluated in their entirety.
Michael Hicks is disappointed that Superintendent Pedicone has elevated the formerly unassociated and unofficial Mexican American Advisory Board to a Superintendent Committee. Members of that organization may not have put the interest of the district’s students ahead of their own political and economic interests.