TUSD Board Balks On Sanchez Firing, Out Played By District Lawyer

Tucson Bus Riders Union head, Brian Flagg addresses the TUSD Board with talking points.

On Tuesday night, Tucson Unified School District Governing Board President Michael Hicks pulled an agenda item that would have allowed a public discussion of the employment of Superintendent H.T. Sanchez. According to sources, the District’s lawyer, Todd Jaeger, recused himself based on a claimed conflict of interest.

It is up to debate as to whether the maneuver by Jaeger was coordinated with Board members, but Board member Kristel Foster did appear to violate Open Meeting Laws by advising the public as to how she would vote on Sanchez’s employment. Foster went so far as to call on the public to come out in support of Sanchez.

Stephanie Boe, the District’s public relations director, used District resources to send out emails on Sanchez’s behalf.

For his part, Hicks has aspirations to run for the Tucson City Council and due to a need for support from groups like the Southern Arizona Leadership Coalition, and chambers of commerce members, a move against Sanchez would have likely jeopardized his plans.

As expected, beneficiaries of the Sanchez regime, such as Mike Varney of the Tucson Metro Chamber, lined up for the Call to the Audience portion of the meeting to read the talking points that had been shared in email campaigns for Sanchez. The Grijalva machine was in full force with Tucson Education Association President Jason Freed, former Board member Cam Juarez, and head of the Tucson Bus Riders Union, Brian Flagg, leading the parade of Sanchez supporters.

When straying from the talking points, the discussion was truly fascinating. Marybelle McCorkle, a reliable Grijalva camp supporter, argued that Sanchez was a “wizard with the Legislature,” who she described as “crazy.”

There was vocal opposition, including activists David Morales, Betts Putnam Hidalgo, and retired teacher Lillian Fox. All urged the Board to bring the agenda item back called for quality in leadership, not the continuity Sanchez sycophants supported.

It was Gloria Copeland, one of the plaintiff representatives in the District’s desegregation case, who offered the most dramatic testimony. Copeland told the Board, “You think you know what I am going to say, but you don’t. Jason Freed,” said Copeland turning away from the Board, “I don’t know who you are talking to, but the deseg lawsuit isn’t going to settle any time soon.” Copeland was referring to Freed’s claim, which had been repeated by others through the meeting, that the desegregation case would be settled soon under Sanchez’s leadership.

Copeland stated, “Ms. Sedgwick you took a big hit tonight, but you keep on keeping on. You keep on keeping on.” Copeland then concluded, “The rest of you are criminals.”

The agenda item had been proposed by Sedgwick.

Putnam Hidalgo said after the meeting, “Continuity is great when there is high quality that should be continued. Unfortunately for the many minority students in the District and others, the current regime does not represent high quality. For the six magnet schools, that were just demagnetized because of willful withholding of funds, quality is not part of the administrative equation. If you are the parent of the child that cannot continue to 4th grade because third grade was a parade of subs, quality is not the first word that comes to mind. And yet, later in the meeting, there was an attempt to make Sedgwick look stupid for calling for exit interviews for teachers, particularly those leaving halfway through the semester. In fact, trying to devalue Ms. Sedgwick is clearly the new meme for the meanest of the mean girls, and the Superintendent too. It all just goes to show that the students of TUSD will benefit if and when Agenda Item 15 returns, especially if the whole community is involved in the selection of HTs successor, and not just the Board majority.”

12 Comments on "TUSD Board Balks On Sanchez Firing, Out Played By District Lawyer"

  1. The Oracle of Tucson | February 14, 2017 at 11:57 pm |

    The organisational flow chart needs to be explained to the board do they know who works for who.
    Sanchez should be fired as soon as possible for one of any of the hundred of reasons that are legit, but his subversion of the board should be top on the list.
    It’s always nice to see the Grafthulva machine out in mass
    at work for $pecial intere$t.


  2. I attended my first board meeting ever….I was NOT eager to go….what a pathetic mess. Some people are so short-sighted, I have no idea how they can think the current administration would fight for them. Take it from a recently retired teacher. They hope to through every single one of us under the bus. They demonstrate ZERO loyalty but expect loyalty, in return. Are you kidding me??? It was almost embarrassing to be in that room with some of these educators. Many of them seem blindly clueless! As long as they do not make the 301 money “right” I will be at those meetings but it is the LAST PLACE I want to be!!! My high school students seem more on the ball, than many of these individuals!

  3. SSDD in the COT, Pima County and TUSD. Failure is rewarded and excellence or the chance of excellence is kicked to the curb for the sake of the cronies and their buddies. How utterly pathetic that a majority of three board members don’t have enough sack to fire the slug that allows the Grijalva’s to run the district and screw the kids out of a quality education. However you can see how entrenched the mafia is in the organization. They run the TEA, the C of C is in their back pocket and some of the teachers are simply brain dead. It was in plain view last night that the board majority is not running the show, Grijalva still is in charge. And Hicks throwing the kids over for a chance to better himself is absolutely pathetic. Thought it was about the kids Mike, guess not. Its about you and your political future. What an utterly dysfunctional organization that steals taxpayer money and pisses it away on pet projects and leaves the kids in the dark with no real education. Hope you are happy Tucson, you get what you vote for and you are the biggest part of the problem.

  4. It’s fiesta time!

    Break out the mariachi’s.

    Make Tucson Mexico Again!

  5. Michael Hicks has become a power addict. I vaguely recall “Hicks is 4 Kids” saying all he cares about is a better education for TUSD kids and he was never going to use TUSD as a stepping stone to another political office.

    Fast forward to 2017 and he clearly has succumbed to the power of politics disorder and has lost his self awareness thinking he must provide his superior judgement to the entire City of Tucson as a member of the city council.

    One thing we know now his word (commitment) means nothing. He is a poster politician.

    From above:
    “For his part, Hicks has aspirations to run for the Tucson City Council and due to a need for support from groups like the Southern Arizona Leadership Coalition, and chambers of commerce members, a move against Sanchez would have likely jeopardized his plans”.

  6. Oh hicks you break my heart, you sir are a chicken and screw your aspirations for higher office, all this time and you finally had the one tool needed to drain the cesspool, and you folded like a cheap hooker, you are a huge dissapointment to all of us and especially the kids that need you most.

    Grow a set hicks, get this item back on the agenda and get this failure headed back for the tracks

  7. And they wonder why charter schools are doing so well. TUSD is not the only failing public school system. Frustration with the government sponsored liberal indoctrination system that public schools have become at the expense of basic education is why the public is becoming more interested in school choice. That’s how we ended up with DeVoss as SecEd at the national level. As students flee the public schools these people all become less and less relevant.

  8. Marybelle McCorkle, a reliable Grijalva camp supporter, argued that Sanchez was a “wizard with the Legislature,” who she described as “crazy.”

    Why does Sanchez spend so much time and wizardry expertise when the district spends thousands on Lobbyists for the Legislature. TUSD would be better served if he would work on the District Business. I imagine he will try to have the lobbyist expenditures transferred to his contract.

  9. Richard Hernandez | February 15, 2017 at 9:34 am |

    Just as I said yesterday. Mike is emotional and weak. Mark is well intended but has no back bone. Rachael kepp it up!

    It not just one thing it is sum total of issues that should push for termination with cause.

    Adi nets do this join me and we will all go together and push back demand his being fired! Si see puede?

  10. Please support vouchers for all parents and stop this insane run to the bottom provided at our expense by TUSD. get your kids out.

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