Kristel Foster very wrong about TUSD teacher vacancies, so was Sedgwick

The video above contains the relevant excerpts from the TUSD candidate forum referenced below.

Ms. Foster’s claim at the Thursday board candidate forum about the number of teacher vacancies in TUSD and Sunnyside is just one of several outrageous statements.

Ms. Sedgewick claimed she had counted TUSD’s teacher vacancies Wednesday night and got 110.

That is also impossible.

I counted vacancies 6 days earlier and got 158. The vacancies would not have gone from 158 to 110 and then back up to 155 Thursday night.

It’s disconcerting to have Board candidates who are not scrupulous about their statements.

Thursday night, TUSD has 155 teacher vacancies and Sunnyside has 35. I’ve attached the listings for both districts. For the TUSD listings, I only counted jobs that were teachers.. The other positions on the listing weren’t counted. Neither the two vacant librarian positions, nor the various specialists were included

For Sunnyside, I also only counted the teaching positions. None of the other positions, therapists, coaches, etc. were counted.

TUSD is 2.8 times larger than Sunnyside. If Sunnyside were the same size as TUSD, Sunnyside would have 98 teacher vacancies versus the 155 TUSD has. (2.8 x 35 = 98.0)  If Sunnyside and TUSD were the same size, TUSD would have 58% more vacancies than Sunnyside.

In September and October 2015, when I recorded teacher vacancies for the local Tucson school districts and the other 9 large Arizona school districts, Sunnyside had an extremely high number of vacancies compared to the other school districts adjusted to be TUSD’s size. Last Fall, TUSD was the only school district worse than Sunnyside. TUSD’s teacher vacancies was much worse than Sunnyside, just as it is this year, even after adjusting for the differences in the districts’ sizes.

TUSD’s massive numbers of teacher vacancies are undoubtedly caused by the massive loss of teachers from TUSD. For the last three years, TUSD has lost over 400 teachers every year. The extremely high losses of teachers are dominated by resignations of experienced teachers.

-Lillian Fox

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  • independent thinker

    whether it’s 159, 90, or 110, the numbers aren’t as great of the issue, as obvious lack of transparency, via current school board members!!! Sedgwick has my vote, she’s informed, passionate, and has an agenda, on par with moving TUSD forward, and accountability!!

  • Lillian Fox

    So, it’s okay that Sedgewick didn’t tell the truth? Not telling the truth is not an example of transparency and it’s not an example of being informed. Furthermore, Thursday Sedgewick proposed closing more TUSD schools. She claimed the Efficiency Audit gave the names of the schools that should be closed. That wasn’t true either.

    We already have too many Board members who are willing to invent facts, instead of doing their homework and sticking to the facts. The LAST thing TUSD needs is another Board member who doesn’t do her homework and makes up numbers.

  • TUSD needs real leaders, people who are willing to step up and make change. There are many people who have opinions and perspectives on TUSD, but it is time for action now. It is time to change the school board, and it is time for those of us who do not approve of the status quo in TUSD to work together. To that end, I will meet face to face with anyone who is interested in helping to improve TUSD–in the name of progress.

    Clearly, there is some confusion about what I said or meant during last week’s forum–I am sorry I was not clear, but I will try again here. As to numbers of vacancies, my point (and what I said) was that TUSD lacks transparency. Whether there are 159 or 90 or 110 vacancies is far less important than the fact that there is much confusion about just how many vacancies there are. That confusion demonstrates that 1) TUSD lacks transparency and 2) there are many, many teacher vacancies despite that school started weeks ago.

    I also pointed out that the Gibson Efficiency Audit provides specific recommendations as to how to run the district more efficiently. Anyone who has an interest in TUSD (like our current school board members) should read it. Then we can have an informed conversation about it.

    To learn more about me and my ideas, right from the horse’s mouth, find me on Facebook at: or at: You can also read about my ideas at

    If you like what you read, please donate to my campaign at:

    Thank you!

    • Lillian Fox

      There should be no confusion about the number of vacancies. It’s a simple matter of counting. We need candidates who pay attention and have specific ideas about how to get to the bottom of TUSD’s disproportionately large loss of teachers and disproportionately large number of teacher vacancies.

      The transparency problem is with two candidates who, when provided with the accurate number of vacancies, claimed to know TUSD teacher vacancies were much lower. That’s an unnecessary distraction from TUSD’s failure to staff its classrooms and minimizes a serious problem. The teacher vacancies are a tragedy for thousands of children.

      • I agree that the continuous loss of teachers and the failure to fully staff schools with highly qualified teachers is a serious problem in TUSD. I am sorry that I gave the impression that the numbers were lower than they are—that was not my intention. I tried—but clearly bungled the attempt—to highlight a lack of transparency in the district. In fact, it seems that there are 153 teacher vacancies in TUSD, based on a count of the numbers at: That number is appalling. I believe the answer to keeping teachers in TUSD is, ultimately, to hold the Superintendent accountable. He is the person responsible for the day-to-day running of the district, and it is the school board’s responsibility to make sure he runs the district well. To that end, the board is responsible for seeing to it that he sets specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, time-bound (SMART) goals that include a plan for attracting and keeping teachers (and students) in TUSD. The board is responsible for the fact that no such goals exist.

        Until teacher (and other) vacancies are filled, TUSD should be holding hiring fairs, actively recruiting, and partnering with the U of A and other universities to attract teachers and to learn more about what the most talented teachers seek. TUSD leaders should conduct exit interviews and survey teachers (and other employees) still in the district for feedback on working conditions—and then they must respond to the feedback by making changes that solve problems and alleviate concerns.

        TUSD has a major problem, as evidenced by the number of teacher vacancies (among other things), yet its leaders seem only to make excuses. We have to make a change. I hope you will join us at Temple Emanu-El on Sept. 14 from 6 – 8 PM to hear more.

What do you think?