A Pima County Superior Court judge has ruled Tucson Unified School District must reveal the names of the three unsuccessful superintendent candidates interviewed by the Governing Board during their search to replace John Pedicone.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, which was forced to sue for the information, the District has 10 days to release the information or appeal the ruling.
After receiving 67 applications for the position, the search firm PROACT, presented the four candidates to the Board based on the criteria developed by the firm and District officials. Those four were not presented to the public, instead they were interviewed in Executive Session. This in in violation of Open Meeting laws, however, the District regularly violate Open Meeting laws with no repercussions.
The newly installed superintendent H.T. Sanchez was presented to the public as the sole finalist after he advised the District that if there were other candidates under consideration he would not take the job. Board members Adelita Grijlava, Kristel Foster, and Can Juarez agreed to his terms. According to District insiders, the lone female candidate, who had comparable experience to Sanchez was not provided an opportunity to meet with District stakeholders in a public forum.
TUSD stakeholders were presented a scripted opportunity to hear from Sanchez shortly before the Board’s vote to hire him.
The District has a history of refusing Requests For Information. Even going so far as to refuse to respond to officials’ requests. Just this Spring, the Arizona Daily Independent has had to seek the intervention of the Arizona Ombudsman to obtain what should have been public documents related to the Culturally Relevant Curriculum.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that Barr “argued that the fact the final four applicants survived a series of cuts from an original field of 67, and participated in interviews with the full board, clearly makes them “serious candidates.”