Foster, Grijalva Continue To Target Sedgwick, TUSD Pressing Issues Ignored

Mary Alice Wallace and Kristel Foster [Photo from TUSD Facebook page]

One would think that the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board would have their hands full with the pressing needs of students and teachers, but it appears those needs will be set aside once again on Tuesday night at the request of Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Foster in an apparent attempt to harass Rachael Sedgwick.

Grijalva and Foster have requested the release of an investigative report on a complaint filed by their friend, campaign contributor, and employee Mary Alice Wallace against Sedgwick. That complaint was found to be baseless months ago, but the two Board members hope to keep the controversy alive.

While they have called for transparency in the case of Wallace, neither Board member has called for a release of the complaint filed against their friend and employee Auggie Romero and the grade changing scandal that occurred in May 2016.

The appearance of hypocrisy on the part of Grijalva and Foster has been the subject of conversations between District employees for days.

A desire for transparency is a welcome change for those who have fought the District for public records for years. The fact that the new desire for transparency appears to serve a political agenda rather than students and teachers shows that virtually nothing has changed.

“It’s not clear that the two Board members cited here are the only ones interested in keeping this alive,” said TUSD parent and activist Betts Putnam-Hidalgo in an email response to the ADI. “Apparently something about the TUSD Board dynamic pushes members to be unable to constructively work with one another. The voters try to change the players in a desperate attempt to get five people who actually put the kids first and presto! bingo! within a very short time we get divos and divas that seem to put personality in front of those very kids we elected them to protect and advocate for.”

“I have never seen the Board release an internal investigation report on any employee,” stated Board member Mark Stegeman. “Releasing this report would be a bad precedent and merely perpetuate the pattern of some Board members going after each other in public.”

The District is facing real economic hardship due to declining enrollment. The likelihood of future school closings is all but inevitable. Yet, there seems to be little attention on the sort of cost cutting measures needed at this time.

An agenda item, requested by Stegeman, calls for the study of the “possibility of closing one or both of the Early Learning Centers, or transferring their management to an outside entity who can operate them without subsidy from TUSD. This includes the possibility of closing the Centers at the end of the current semester, with reimbursement of fees or alternative provision of services for anyone who has already paid fees for the Spring semester.”

According to the background materials attached to the agenda item:

The discovery by the Internal Auditor that the two Early Learning Centers lost more than a million dollars last year, before including any allowance for some operating costs borne by Central Administration or the opportunity cost of keeping the two sites out of any alternative use, mandates immediate consideration of shutting one or both centers.

Running a day-care business is outside of the District’s constitutional or District mandate. Most of the families who have children enrolled at the Centers are not TUSD employees. Aside from any ethical issues raised by the misuse of taxpayer dollars for other than the intended purpose, the substantial financial losses incurred by the Centers raise the possibility that the subsidies constitute a gift of public funds.


  1. The folks writing the comments haven’t been attending or watching TUSD Board meetings live streaming. TUSD is making progress. With Mr. Hicks and Dr. Trujillo, TUSD is changing. Mr. Hicks is keeping a contentious Board on track and focused. Progress was made at last night’s meeting.

    Last night, the Board approved tuition increases for the Early Learning Centers that are projected to eliminate the deficit. Even with the tuition increases, the rates are still a bargain, especially for TUSD employees. HR is now advertising the lower rate for employees to attract more teachers. Parents who spoke praised the high quality of the Early Learning Centers, but complained they only found out about them by accident. Staff committed to start advertising to fill the extra capacity in the Early Learning Centers.

    Last night, the Board did the right thing and voted not to close Catalina and turn it over to UHS. They did vote for an evaluation of all TUSD high schools. Dr. Trujillo was already working on a plan to revitalize high schools that are not growing or are in trouble. That work will be covered in the January meeting.

    The westside high schools are growing. They are either near capacity or over capacity. For example, Cholla is now the second largest TUSD high school. It’s over capacity by 250 students.

    Dr. Trujillo’s also addressing the discipline mess left behind by Sanchez. For a change, administrators will have to address discipline issues, so TUSD teachers can teach. Dr.Trujillo has his staff making personal visits and talking to teachers to check on schools that have problems.

    I think TUSD finally has a superintendent who understands what it takes to make schools successful and the kind of support teachers need so they can teach.

    Parents and teachers who have complaints will find a superintendent who is working hard to change TUSD and make it responsive.

  2. The district is in terminal death spiral. Hicks is a total failure and Adelita is worse than Raul. Kristel is a fool. Those three board members don’t know the difference between sh*t and shinola.

  3. TUSD is no different than Congress, which has become willing to harm it’s constituents to maintain power.

    Drain both swamps. It’s the only way.

  4. Concerned citizens need to start talking face to face, discuss concerns for the future of the city. Until we work together, participate in the meetings and fund a voice to push the TUSD scoop board to genuinely operate in developing programs that turn out successful, skilled graduates. This is an elected board, they need to honor the choice of the voters, but unless we speak up more often than every two years at the ballot box.

  5. The EC centers were run into the ground by Sanchez’s former girl friend Rachael Hochheim. She fled to Patagonia to be the Superintendent without taking any responsibility for the negligence. They should be closed.

  6. It won’t matter. With the falling TUSD enrollment, parents chased away by the Grijalva’s and their radical chicano indoctrination centers, and the flow of golden nuggets being shutoff at the border, TUSD will die. TUSD teachers, look for a future in a growing environment, not Tucson.

  7. Still, we are paying them $13,000+ per child per year. And yes, TUSD is not a Daycare.

    Hicks could put a stop to this if he wanted to. All he has to do is call for the release of all information pertaining to the Grade Changing incident.

  8. And you expect what from the idiots on the board? Brilliant conversation, deep research on money problems, equitable solutions to problems? Don’t hold your breath, its only about them and their precious reputations. Hicks is a failure and enough has been said about the two amigo’s to fill a book. So what do the kids and taxpayers get out of all this? Screwed and not even a kiss on the cheek. Thanks all you idiot voters. You did it to yourselves again.

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