Open Letter To All TUSD Stakeholders

By : Mark Stegeman, TUSD Board  Member

Dear, TUSD Voters, Staff, Teachers, Parents and other Stakeholders

    Dr. Mark Stegeman

I write, first and foremost, to express my appreciation to all the persons who supported TUSD’s bond, voted for the bond, or worked to pass the bond.

The results were discouraging, but I believe that there is great potential support for TUSD and desire for its success. The community needs more time to be convinced that TUSD will be consistently prudent in how it spends taxpayer dollars, will tighten its focus on student achievement, and will do what is necessary to ensure a safe and productive environment in all of its schools. Before we ask the community to do heavy lifting by asking for more financial support, district leadership must do its part by showing that we will tighten our belts and insist on consistent excellence in management and consumer service. TUSD must break through the inertia of the past and show that it is willing to embrace the radical change necessary to stem the rapid declines in enrollment. Only after we do our heavy lifting are we likely to earn majority support for more funding.

This critique includes the new board that took office ten months ago. On too many occasions and in too many ways it has been afraid to disrupt the status quo. If this dispiriting election has any positive consequence, perhaps it will be forcing everyone in district leadership to realize that they must not only talk but act, that they must not only accept but lead major change. Simply blaming the state, the desegregation process, previous boards or administrations, or even the voters themselves, is disingenuous and solves nothing.

TUSD’s teachers and site staff already do much heavy lifting. They deserve better from those of us in leadership positions. Thank you for your service, and I am sure that the vote does not reflect upon your efforts, which are appreciated by all.

Thank you, Mark


  1. Starve the beast. Then the swamp will drain when they go looking for “other” money elsewhere. They have gutted education in Tucson. Thank God, for charter and Christian schools. Support them. Political agendas do not belong in education. UA is next.

  2. Ok. Here is the bottom line,
    TUSD Proposed FY 2017 Budget outlay = $608,000,000
    TUSD Current Enrollment = 45,678 Students
    Current cost to Taxpayers per Student = $13,310 (Note: way more than the $7,000/student that is always bantered around)
    A standard classroom, which is essentially an office with 1 employee and 27 unpaid interns, generates $360,000 for the district. I am pretty sure there are a lot of business owners in Tucson that can make this work. How about you, Dr. Stegeman?

    Sorry @TheOracleofTucson, Hicks has chosen the swamp over the Taxpayers. So, it is still three looser board members to fight against.

  3. Perhaps eliminating the divisiveness of MAS programs might help curb the negativism toward TUSD? Just like our U.S. Congress, there is a ‘swamp’ within TUSD and it needs to be drained before we see progress and voter trust. The Grijalvas have created a ‘deep state’ and until that pus is expunged, TUSD, its teachers and students will continue to suffer the consequences.

  4. To: Dr. Mark Stegeman, thank you for your post. I’m one of those voters who have consistently since coming of voting age have voted “YES” on everything in order to make the schools, the city, the county or the state a better place.
    But I voted “NO” on the recent TUSD bonds. While I assure you it wasn’t anything personal, I have self saddled myself with increases in my school taxes year after year after year when asked in an effort to “help the children”, and while those children are real, those needs are real and my tax dollars are real, TUSD has consistently never produced real results in the past despite of all increases in funding.
    And while I don’t speak for the entire community, I assure you I’m far from alone in my assessment that as long as the two remaining jackasses on the board are present, I cannot in good conscience justify throwing more good money at a bad problem.
    I and every person within the district have sacrificed to fund the district when asked. But those pleas will fall on deaf ears from now on. The same deaf ears that for decades failed to hear the pleas of parents demanding a decent education for their children.
    Passing prop 301 (which was a huge mistake), hasn’t produced results, reports are showing that while the district coffers are stuffed with that cash, the money in typical fashion has failed to reach those it was intended to help, and despite this latest public ripoff, this district is again back with its hands out begging for more.
    Dr. Stegeman, the tax payers have supported TUSD since its inception, but until TUSD can produce real results with what it has, I just can’t justifying squandering more money into an endless pit of disappointment.
    Please don’t ask me to make do with less so that special interest programs like MAS can teach hate and racial division when those same assets could have been used more productively to teach core subjects. Please don’t ask me to make do with less so we can hire another over paid mediocre insider good ole boy as superintendent. Please don’t ask me to make do with less to support a distract that appears to almost forcefully drive students away to seek a real education.
    While TUSD is in the business of educating people, in my case it has excelled in teaching me to just say no. No today, no tomorrow and no ever again. I’m sorry but TUSD will either thrive or die, but it’ll do it without my further support of any increases in future funding.
    Next time you sit at the board meeting next to the two mean girls, be sure to thank then on my behalf for destroying the district and those who once supported it.

    The Oracle

  5. Wow, Mark, I find it very telling that you mentioned NOTHING about the students. TUSD promotes and graduates students that are not ready for the real world. At best they can take a test, but at worst they have no idea how the real world works and the really sad part is that they don’t care. TUSD does not demand excellence from their board, administration, teachers and service personnel let alone the students. Until that changes and a great change agent becomes the superintendent then nothing and I mean NOTHING will change and TUSD will continue to be an academic sewer and the students and society as a whole will be short changed. Might want to do some exit interviews with parents sending their children to other schools and take some of that information to heart. Until the student is made the center of excellence in this district, you will get nothing from this taxpayer and like it.

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