To: 10th Open Letter to the Community
Date: June 22, 2015
From: Whistleblowers- Comprised of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers and Parents
Subject: TUSD; Got Ethics?
The Wheel of the Sanchez Fortune and the Public’s Misfortune
Just when we all thought TUSD’s sly, slithering, shifty, shady, sneaky, snobbish and most greedy H.T. Sanchez had taken his majority Board to the lowest point ever witnessed in the history of TUSD superintendent compensation wheeling and dealing; he and they pull more stunts.
Just to quickly recap:
The newly Sanchez-clandestinely negotiated employment contract guarantees Sanchez’ compensation for the 2015-16 fiscal year at $427,500. The contract benefits provides for reimbursable travel and membership expenses, health and life insurance benefits, and $1,000 for each of the 50 vacation days that he does not use. Sanchez has 50 vacation days based on Section 13A of his contract. The Board majority also voted to add $30,000 to Sanchez’s contract in the last two weeks of fiscal year 2014-15. The raise would have violated state law, and as a result was removed from the contract but it is important to keep their intention on this matter in mind.
Another Pay Stunt
The June 23, 2015 Board agenda includes his pay for performance. He was evaluated based on his own subjective criteria from the strategic plan. Communication, curriculum, diversity, facilities, and finance are the areas which were evaluated. He set his own skewed self-interest strategic plan goals (a plan that was primarily built by him and his staff). He has achieved a self-evaluated 100% on each of the goals, without input from anyone except himself, which results in a whopping additional $12,600; the maximum he is able to receive this year. (We are NOT counting the Board majority as providing any input since all they do is agree with all that Sanchez does and says.)
The performance pay will occur only if his three minion-loyalists vote in favor of yet more money to stash in his pocket. It is our guess that this will turn into another kudos campaign for Sanchez and that he will either reject the performance pay, which everyone will see straight through as a phony ploy to make him appear humble; OR that the three loyalists will have scripted lists of accolades to once again pour on Sanchez and he will graciously accept the compensation. There could also be a combination of Sanchez rejecting the performance pay with the three Board members falling over themselves saying that the District has never been better off. He could also accept the undeserved loot and turn around and donate it to more schools to promote more hype in yet more effort to tilt the current sour public leaning in a sweeter direction. However, he and his three are underestimating the public. We are not stupid.
Another PR Stunt
Late last week Sanchez announced that he and his “family” will be donating $17,000 to Davis Elementary Magnet School and University High School. This will come from his bonus pay, which was allocated on June 9, 2015 along with all the other compensation.)
$7,000 will go to Davis to an all-male PE program, at least as it appears from a picture included in the June 19th Superintendent Newsletter. (And what of the girls?) $10,000 will go to University High School. Neither of these schools are not listed on the TUSD web site as the schools where students need the most help, which reveals yet another insincere gesture by Sanchez. He does not put his own money where the District’s mouth is. http://www.tusd1.org/contents/distinfo/aztaxcredit/needs.asp
Last year he kept information about any contributions to himself (if he made any contributions). This year, given the timing and heat he has gotten on his contract and salary hike, he has made sure to broadcast his contributions. It is as though those of us watching his circus performance cannot see through the hypocrisy of his superficial kindness. The ploy to add the “family” to his public relations scheme on the contribution shows just how low he will go to gain favor. At this point, we do not believe the community is going to buy his slick public relations gimmicks. It is impossible for him to mask the level of his greed that has been exposed over the last week.
Kristel Foster and Adelita Grijalva Grasping at Straws as they Go Down the River; Drowning in Their Own Deceptions or the Rationale-After-the-Fact Stunt
Since the revised and extended contract and salary/benefit hike became incredibly controversial, the tag team of Krystal Foster and Adelita Grijalva have each posted their rationale for the 24% salary increase Sanchez on Facebook. It is the same information, which makes their collusion that much more obvious. Foster makes a failed effort at damage control. She posts:
“What we did wrong: I didn’t present my support for Dr. Sanchez’s contract within the context of other Arizona & National Superintendent salaries. Any statement or explanation I give now appears defensive and most people have already made up their minds, with accurate or inaccurate information. Our community deserves to understand the whole picture when it comes to the salary decision for our superintendent.”
She then presents her lame “research chart,” which includes the salaries of superintendents from San Francisco at $310,144 and San Antonio, at $266,494 (the highest on her “research chart). Sanchez is shown as the highest paid in Arizona.
(Article continued below)
One of the many problems with Foster’s desperate-after-the-fact research is that she fails to factor in the substantial experience and longevity for a superintendent such as Richard Carranza, within his District or the fact that the pay base in San Francisco is incrediby higher than that of Tucson. Carranza served as the San Francisco Unified School District Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice from 2009-2012 and was appointed as Superintendent in June of 2012. Thus, he had 3 years of proven leadership within the District which gave his Board the confidence in him to promote him to the top spot. He has been in the top spot for 3 years. He oversees 120 schools. His background also includes serving as Northwest Superintendent for Clark County where he was responsible for overseeing 66 schools and 66,000 students. Prior to that post he was a high school principal in TUSD.
Thus, Carranza’s experience and expertise at the time of his appointment to the superintendent position in San Francisco was one of substance; unlike that of Sanchez who had 4 months experience as an “interim superintendent.” He currently has 4 months as interim and 23 months as superintendent for a grand total of 27 months experience; with a stretch for the interim portion. His 27 months still does not compare to the experience level of Carranza. It is really insulting for Foster and Grijalva to even make an effort to convince us that their decision to hike Sanchez’ salary and benefits had anything to do with Foster’s research (something she pulled together after-the-fact); it is even more insulting to present such flawed so-called research. Compare apples with apples Madams President Grijalva and Clerk Foster; otherwise, kindly please do not dabble in research. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristel-Ann-Foster-TUSD-Governing-Board-Member/276787602376421
Critical Performance Factors Give Sanchez an “F”
We believe that the compensation provided to Sanchez is clearly UNdeserved as well as very impractical. There are a number of critical performance factors that should have been taken into consideration in evaluating Rookie Sanchez, including those listed below. We wonder why the Board majority have consciously decided not to consider any of these factors in truly assessing Sanchez’ performance. Were it left up to us and/or the community, Sanchez would not have received a passing grade!
- Enrollment has decreased, resulting in less diversity and in less revenue.
- A 6 million dollar deficit is looming over TUSD, while Sanchez has continued to spend as though there is plenty of funding to support his pet projects.
- Board relations are extremely poor; Sanchez shows blatant professional and personal favoritism towards the three board members who give him unquestionable support; Hicks and Stegeman are disrespected, isolated from information) and treated poorly (made apparent during board meetings.
- Budget information is incomplete and confusing. Budget documents are difficult to comprehend and follow. We are almost at the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year and year to date expenditures remain absent from reports that are provided to the Board.
- The Efficiency Audit and Curriculum Audit (which came at a significant expense) were cherry picked and Sanchez addressed only portions of the recommendations as he desired; otherwise the documents are now gathering dust and critical recommendations have been ignored.
- Sanchez’ ongoing interference with the Audit Committee and the hiring of an Independent Auditor was inappropriate and damaging in many ways.
- This last school year, an outrageous number of classrooms were not staffed by permanent teachers which was exasperated by Sanchez failed 27:1 student/teacher ratio.
- The availability of substitutes to cover classrooms was the worst it has ever been.
- Hiring of teachers is helter-skelter and certain schools receive preferential treatment. Many, many schools will begin the school year with unfilled teaching positions.
- The process for hiring administrators is inconsistent. Some schools are held to following procedures while others end up selecting an appointee from a pool of one and no real process.
- The most successful parent group under Title I was disbanded by Sanchez.
- The 27:1 student ratio failed across the board and caused more havoc than support for teachers and students.
- The Federal District Court Judge overseeing the desegregation case seems to be growing agitated with TUSD’s inability to comply with the court order- as we imagine the plaintiffs also are.
- Sanchez’ Infant and Early Childhood Learning Centers are running at a significant deficit, without pubic reporting of the situation to the Board and without any explanation of how the District is compensating for the loss in revenue, without Governing Board approval.
- Turn-over rate of top-level officials is the highest it has ever been and Sanchez replaces positions previously held by experienced professionals with rookies, some of whom have been Texas buddies. Incompetency is the new 1010.
- Employee morale is at an all-time low within TUSD.
- Sanchez’ manipulation of TEA’s leadership has caused further erosion of employee rights.
- Some teachers’ compensation is so low that they qualify for government assistance; as do many blue and white collar employees, yet the priority and investment relative to compensation has been directed toward one person.
- Fear runs rampant throughout the District; retaliation is common place.
- Sanchez did not follow the proper protocol in giving bonuses to his top-level administrators and legal counsel. The Board did not vote on the bonuses in 2014-15.
- Culturally Relevant Courses have been further compromised and commitments to the community have been breached by Sanchez.
- Teacher substitutes were subjected to a lay off without even the utterance of the word “lay off” during the Board presentation.
- Staffing cuts were imposed on schools at the beginning of the school year (2014-15). We could not find Board action that approved the cuts. Schools were told that positions were “on hold.”
- Schools do not participate or receive their budgets. Principals are kept in the dark, which is no way to run a school district.
- One more of our site administrators is being unjustly pushed out of their position without rhythm or reason.
- Blatant favoritism is shown toward only certain site administrators; others are dismissed.
- Communication is superficial and mostly absent, otherwise (press releases and the Sanchez newsletter are poor substitutes for real communication). As part of communication, we must mention the mistruths that are repeatedly told by Sanchez. He lies to the Board on an ongoing basis.
- Sanchez’ administrative team is weak and, it is at or below his own rookie level. As a commenter pointed out both in Three Sonorans and the Tucson Weekly:
“Take a look at the Sanchez “leadership” crew:
Adrian Vega was a high school principal in Sanchez’ former school district. Sanchez elevated his Texan friend to Deputy Superintendent. They are very close friends, having intentionally moved to rental homes within the same Fruchthendler neighborhood. Vega is best known for screaming at people and generally mistreating them. Allegations of sexual harassment resulted in warning him to cease any such inappropriate sexual conduct. In the two years as Deputy not one single notable accomplishment can be pointed in his direction- except having Sanchez’ back. Other than that, he is known for nothing. He is a rookie.
Ana Gallegos was promoted from a Title I Director to an Assistant Superintendent right at the same time Sanchez swept the Title I money from direct Title I services to haphazardly lowering class size. Fast climb. She is a rookie.
Eugene Butler was promoted from a director position at the middle school level by Sanchez to an interim position and then promoted again to Assistant Superintendent by Sanchez. Fast climb. He is best known for screaming, cussing, using vulgarities and bragging that he is looking to get another job in Florida. He is a rookie.
Karla Soto was promoted from Finance Director to CFO, on the heels of the former CFO leaving- Yousef Awaad. She is best known for saying yes to Sanchez; a dangerous word in her line of business; especially with his propensity to spend money. She is in over her head.
Stuart Duncan was hired by Sanchez. The verdict is still out on him. He is a rookie to TUSD.
Anna Maiden may be the very worst HR person TUSD has ever experienced. She is responsible for massive mistakes with the compression pay. It is a massive mess which has harmed several teachers. Sanchez hired her. She is the former HR Director at Sunnyside. Krystal Foster voted against her hiring. Foster is employed by Sunnyside and knew something the other Board members did not know. Maiden is not a rookie. She is a lousy HR director.
Scott Morrison was hired from the private sector by Sanchez. His experience base is in project management, client relationship management, technology implementation with positive ROI results, risk management and reengineering of system processes, in the private sector. He was hired by Sanchez to “project manage” anything and everything having to do with desegregation. He knows nothing about desegregation or public education. From that position he was promoted to Chief Technology Officer. Fast climb. He is a rookie.
Abel Morado is a recycled administrator. He is not a TUSD employee but rather a contracted employee. He is known as a get-along-go-along “company man.” He has the most TUSD experience of anyone remaining on the Sanchez central team which is alarming as hell. Does anything else need to be said? Oh, and he is the only person on the Sanchez team who was on the team when Sanchez arrived from Texas. All others were hired by Sanchez.
NOT a lot of depth. Not a lot of experience. Lots of lacking expertise and leadership. Lots of rookies. Lots of fast and furious promotions. TUSD has a so called leadership team that is comprised mostly of rookies, with serious smatterings of incompetence.
Steve Holmes’ departure from TUSD is a loss. He contributed more to the District through his work, direction and leadership than the whole group of people above combined.
Steve Holmes recently commented that with his departure as well as that of Ignacio Ruiz, TUSD historical memory would vanish.”
Overall when presented with most situations, Sanchez, his majority Board and his team seem to favor taking the low road. The high road has not been well traveled by TUSD in a long while.
With the current Board majority, it will take continued public exposure to keep them in check. What is needed is a change on the Board.