TUSD Kids First is calling on teachers to join them and fight the current status quo. Currently teachers are experiencing over-crowded classrooms, lack of support from central administration in disciplinary issues, and broken promises related to Prop 123 among other issues.
The mistreatment of former TUSD teacher Celeste Aho, and the reporter, Valerie Cavasos, clearly shows the lack of regard for teachers and what happens to teachers who dare to speak out in the District’s culture created by the current Board majority.
The attempt to silence critics didn’t stop with Aho and Cavasos. In September, TUSD Kids First was forced to offer a $2,500 reward for “information that leads to the arrest and conviction of people or organizations responsible for the theft of TUSD Kids First political signs. These acts have been occurring consistently throughout the community and often within a few days of signs being placed.” The group has lost hundreds of legally placed signs.
Now the group is calling on educators to join their fight in an open letter. The letter reads:
An Open Letter to the Teachers of TUSD:
TUSD Kids First respectfully asks that you donate to help CHANGE THE BOARD. All individual donations of $25 or less (aggregated amount) are not required to be disclosed by donor and may well help improve your teaching environment. We ask that you consider the following:
1. The District “Balanced its Books with Money Intended for Teachers” (reported by Tim Steller in the 9/30/2016 AZ Daily Star.)
2. Compared to other large districts TUSD is overspending on administration costs by over $11M, money that belongs in your classrooms (numbers from the Fiscal Year 2015 AZ Auditor General).
3. The District will pillory anyone to stay in power. As shown in TUSD’s 9/30/16 “Open Letter to the Community,” the District will openly discuss your personnel records.
Donate your confidential $20 now! It is time to show your desire that TUSD put Teachers and Kids First by increasing classroom dollars and provide safe working conditions for you, our hard-working teachers.
Rich Kronberg, a long-time educator and education activist stated, “In many other parts of the country teachers and other certificated staff rely on their unions to represent them when dealing with school boards that treat their staff unfairly and create a toxic atmosphere for district employees in general. In TUSD, the Tucson Education Association abandoned its members a long time ago to play footsie with the District administration. As more and more members left TEA, the union did less and less for the members of the bargaining unit. While neither the union nor the District release actual membership numbers for TEA, it is often assumed the union membership is less than half of the members of the bargaining unit. In most states that would give the district administration the option of asking the state to hold an election asking all the members of the bargaining unit whether or not they want TEA to continue as the sole bargaining agent for the bargaining unit. It appears to many observers that TEA has cut a deal with the devil and simply nods its head and agrees with whatever Sanchez, Grijalva and their cabal want to do in exchange for the District continuing to recognize a union that fails to represent the interests of its members as the exclusive bargaining agent for the teachers in TUSD. How else can anyone explain the union’s endorsement of Foster and Juarez for re-election, two members of the Sanchez amen choir, who have rubber stamped all his policies that have harmed TUSD students and teachers?”