Administrators’ scathing H.T. Sanchez letter implicates Grijalva

H.T. Sanchez at emergency press conference
H.T. Sanchez at emergency press conference

Tucson Unified School District Governing Board member Michael Hicks has been inquiring over the past few months as to the financial health of the District. Last week, that inquiry led to the revelation by outgoing Deputy Superintendent Youssef Awaad that the District is in severe financial difficulty.

The District’s leadership Board president Adelita Grijalva and Superintendent H.T. Sanchez were forced to admit that the District is facing a $15 million deficit.

Later in the week after additional inquiry from Hicks, Awaad, who has been struggling under Sanchez and Grijalva to maintain the financial integrity of the District’s finances, told Hicks that he had been talking to the superintendent and cautioning him against decisions being made without consultation with his office as early as last March and April. According to sources, Awaad warned Sanchez to caution against his budget process and financial decisions.

Hicks also inquired about the reserve fund which had accrued to a considerable amount (in excess of $25,000,000 dollars) for the purpose of addressing a deficit situation. It appears now that those monies have been depleted and by the end of the FY2013 the District indirect cash balances totaling little over $18 million.

Awaad advised Hicks that the Board should be concerned about decisions made in Seg fund, Title I and Desegregation.

Also last week, an explosive rant was unleashed in an open letter from someone purporting to be part of  a group of administrators. The email was sent to TUSD Superintendent HT Sanchez with a copy also sent to the Governing Board.   HT Sanchez, after Adelita Grijalva’s forced his hiring, has run amuck according to the administrators’ letter. They claim that Grijalva and Sanchez have  put the District in a financial crisis and management chaos, losing a dearth of experienced administrators and teachers.

Highlight excerpts from “the Letter” are featured below validating many of the problems raised by Stegeman and Hicks previously reported in the Arizona Daily Independent:

… Those of us in schools feel abandoned, having to make due with little to support our teachers and students. Those of us in departments keep experiencing the “sweeping” of our budgets with no control over our budgets. Some have not even been allowed to see their budgets. “TUSD transparency” does not exist. Even desegregation budgets are being “swept.”…

By [sending a] copy of this to many of our peers, community activists, to those involved in the desegregation case and to those who have the power to investigate, we are hoping that the facts in response to our questions will surface. ….

“When you wash-out ALL of the budget reserve to use on YOUR projects and then make every effort to point to the state as the wrong-doer, it shows your level of immorality. You have depleted Title I funding and you are attempting to misuse desegregation money. The audits were funded for PR purposes; now you mostly ignore or twist the recommendations that were made in the audits.”

-When your wife attends professional development training sponsored by TUSD it is not only tacky, it is legally inappropriate. She should NOT be attending professional development training at the expense of TUSD. (Is she applying the training to obtain Arizona certification?) It is a good thing she was not hired as a principal in TUSD. Keep your personal life to yourself!

-When your wife enters a TUSD facility by using a security code, it is a violation of policy. It is likely your code she is using, which you were not supposed to disclose. If any of us did something similar, we would be disciplined.

– When you tell a large group of individuals that the people who filed the complaint at Tucson High Magnet ‘will all be gone..’ it is blatant retaliation. You may not like the fact that they complained but you should understand that YOU cannot punish those who complained based on the fact that they complained. (Steve Holmes, shame on you for doing H.T.s’ bidding.) Do you need to learn that lesson through the courts? Remember, there are now several witnesses to your statement.

– When you challenge your bosses (board members) when they question what the administration is doing or wants to do- it is unprofessional. That is their job. Do you not understand checks and balances? Stop threatening the board with your departure and learn how to be a superintendent. Stop being a whining politician. You talk over female governing board members and attempt to intimidate them. Stop the sexism. You are outrageously rude to Dr. Stegeman and Mr. Hicks and whether you agree with them or not, they are your bosses; treat them with respect. You are condescending to Mr. Juarez and pretentious.

– When you interfere with the hiring processes- everyone knows what you have done to “wire” the outcome. We know that there is a principal you hired who has NOT passed their state test. Yet, this is the reason you gave for not hiring a candidate that ranked above a board member’s [Grijalva] mother-in-law. ….

-When you say that if A. Grijalva loses, you are ‘out of here’- it shows that your destiny is closely tied to one single person. This is dangerous and does not say much about the depth of your work, which we agree is shallow. You are hurting her by making this statement.

-When you put the Strategic Planning Committee together did you inform the entire Board and the general public that Juarez’ wife and A. Grijalva’s sister were and are on the Strategic Planning Committee. You loaded the committee with your selection of TUSD employees, which was the majority of those who attended, and then manipulated members of the public into believing that they had contributed.

One of the overwhelming points made in the letter is that H. T. Sanchez works tirelessly to establish district policy which is the responsibility of the Governing Board. However under Adelita Grijalvas’s leadership with the help of Cam Juarez and Krystal Foster rubber stamping everything H. T. Sanchez brings to the board enables him to run amuck with his tyrannical management style.

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Related articles:

TUSD in financial crisis, board kept in dark

TUSD loses DSO, Board urged to give students charter options

Darland supporter, Foster accost TUSD board member

Adelita Grijalva’s high hopes: Sunday’s comic


  1. Sorry but I have voted for change for 25 years. It’s time to open full scale investigations and filing of criminal charges if so warranted.

  2. Once again,
    I have to say, if the allegations are true then file and OCR report of hostile work environment, sexual harassment and retaliation. How can a dysfunctional district office help students? Everything is public record, so check the newly hired principal at Tucson High, might she be one who does not have an Arizona Administrator Certification? Every school by law, is suppose to have teacher and administrator resumes on file in the front office, anyone can walk in and ask to see qualifications. Wake up people…This is your town, educators work for you. Go to the board meetings and voice your opinions during the call to the audience. If you want change to occur and A.G. wants back in she will have to listen to the public and get out of “Bed” with H.T.
    Go to the district office and request to see the district budget, ask for the names of the strategic plan committee and find out for yourself what HT is up to. If you want to know the school budgets go to the neighborhood school and join their site council. Just like Rickey Hernandez said…Be an active participant and VOTE for change.

  3. What about the pay raises the upper level administrators have received under Sanchez. The previous year the District was dealing with a 17 million dollar deficit. The next year Sanchez arrives and it’s nothing but spend spend spend. What about their attorney. Hired in September and by October was whining she needed more money and wanted a raise. Did she she get her $30k raise? Look into that and see.

  4. ADI find out how much TUSD spent on all those solar panels they put up. To be eco-hip COT spent 10 million to save 1 million over 20 years.

  5. I’m so glad John Pedicone got out of that snake pit. I was one of his students many, many years ago, and he’s a good man. Too good for the antics of the Grijalva’s and TUSD.

  6. Corruption, nepatisum, special interest. It not about ” the kids”.

    I am doing what I can but want ask for your help. This is how we end abuses , term limits! Two term limit that will stop Adelita, Eva Dong, Ray Carroll, Richard Elias, Sharon Bronson ete ete, you get the picture.

    As soon we have a new legislature call, write, Txt push hard for term limits. I know it a HUGE challenge. I recently spoke to Victoria Steele, District 9, House Rep she refuses to even meet with me. I am aware so vote her and anyone else who will not listen to tax payers!

    We can eliminate all this evil in so many communities across Arizona, TERM LIMITS. Help me / join me call demand your Legislators enact a new law.

    If the Governor & our President have limits let’s ensure local politicians do also. Just imagine how much $$$$ we could spend on kids education?

  7. Sound like HT is really from Chicago. Maybe he used to work for Holder at the DOJ. Same tactics.
    Lie, lie, and then lie some more.

  8. School Board elections are perhaps the most important vote you can cast.

    Call to Action, get off of your A$$ and work for the candidate that represents your values. This community needs a change of direction in so many places. This may be the last chance to fix TUSD.

    Do something don’t just comment help a candidaate by walking neighborhoods or sign waves.

  9. 1/3 of the accusations are easily true in the complete letter. Budget sweeps, true. Accusations involving bullying and harassment have been witnessed. Complaints against FORT (Friends of HT) have been filed. Public statements about a love of everything Texas, also true. Time for a change, likely. Who suffers the most, the kids.

  10. I read the entire letter posted here yesterday. If even 1/3 of the issues raised in the letter are true then here should be in outside independent investigation of the current administration and Ms. Grijalva should never be voted into a position of public power ever again and Sanchez should be fired, given no severance for malfeasance in office and sent packing back to Texas.

    But alas, in this dusty little liberal cowtown that will never happen. Grijalva will be reelected, Sanchez will walk away just like the Teflon Man that he is and as Rich K said the death spiral of the cesspool will continue. I will be very surprised if the board doesn’t change to the far left lean that Grijalva wants and the spiral will simply be faster. As a taxpayer that really irritates me that I continue to throw money down the liberal rat hole that TUSD has become.

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