Darci Reutzel is a recently retired math teacher from TUSD who is actively fighting hard to get paid the Prop 301 money that is due to her, and all the other teachers, since HT Sanchez took over, which amounts to over $21 million.
Keep in mind that this is a Facebook post, not an article written for Three Sonorans, but I thought I would help in Darci’s goal to “seek exposure of this issue.”
Well, I think I am FINALLY done with all communications with TUSD. I have worked my way to the top and hit most every branch on the way up.
What a place…. How Tucson Unified School District even functions at all, is a miracle! My next goal is to seek exposure of this issue. People don’t know about it. Taxpayers who voted yes on prop. 301 back in 2001 voted to increase state sales tax, so 60% of it could go toward teachers’ salaries….my last 4 years, my salary was frozen…well, no wonder…TUSD was hoarding the money…and then, in their divine genius, returned this “back-pay” (ONLY BECAUSE THEY WERE CAUGHT) but only to anyone still in their classrooms.
So I know of individuals who left because their spouse was transferred. I know of individuals who left to raise their newborns. People who left the classroom and are now in TUSD administration…and of course, retirees whose pension was calculated on the improperly low salaries. NONE of these individuals will get “paid back” … UNBELIEVABLE!!! Ahhhhh Tucson Unified School District….ya gotta love it. UGH!!!!!!
No problem, but I will continue my communications with the Attorney General’s office. Some things that just boggle my mind is a statement or two made by Anna Maiden, a statement or two made by Jason Freed, and the general minimization of this entire issue. In the midst of our conversation, Ms. Maiden said ” This amount (that I earned and am not receiving) probably isn’t even worth returning (to TUSD).” She indicated “You must go wherever TUSD sends you.”
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However, here is the real kicker, which took every fiber of my being to keep from laughing, “There may not even be a high school math teaching position open.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…… WHAT?????? Are you kiddin’ me? HAHAHAHAHAHA… I may be an old, feeble, retired teacher but I am not an idiot! TUSD has so many teacher-less classrooms, it isn’t even funny. ESPECIALLY math! TUSD can’t get and/or keep teachers! Thus, your reasoning for trying to lure them back with this most recent debacle. How has that campaign worked, by the way? Hey, come on back to TUSD and re-earn the money you already earned. No high school math openings???? HAHAHAHAHAHA
Let me see if I can put this “trivial” amount of money into perspective for you. I was an employee for 2 of the 4 years in question. The minimum projected amount for those two years, amounts to 7% of my exiting annual base salary. The maximum projected amount would be 13%. For the individuals who were there 4 years , this would be between 14%-26%. How on Earth could an organization think this method of surplus distribution would fly without a backlash? These percentages are simply the immediate dollar values. This does not even include the life-long loss of monies from pension, calculated on this money!
At any rate, the minimization of these amounts is crazy. I’m not bellyaching about five bucks here! You act like it’s no big deal! Let’s put these amounts into “H.T. dollars”. Your current salary is a quarter of a million dollars, and that is a very conservative value but I will use it, none the less. Teachers don’t get company cars, etc… heck, they hardly get classroom supplies. At any rate, we will use a quarter of a million dollars. 7% (the lowest projection for 2 years) of a quarter of a million dollars is $17,500. 26% (the highest projection for all 4 years) of a quarter of a million dollars is $65,000.
Now correct me if I am wrong but if you had been working along side someone for any or all of those years and THEY got compensated but you did not, you would be perfectly fine with it? That is difficult to believe. You wouldn’t even go through the hiring process unless you were the ONLY candidate. This does not sound like a person who would be too thrilled by such an outcome. If that is the case, I will send you a self-addressed stamped envelop and you can personally send me my portion of the surplus. It’s OK if nobody else gets it, even though they earned it, you can just send it to me, no big deal. Apparently, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND…but teachers??? … no problem, we can leave a few of them behind, here and there….no big deal.
You think I am kidding? I am not. Since this is a minimal amount, you will have no problem sending me my proper percent.
I have said it time and time again, just because something is “legal”, does not make it right! You can say “it’s legal” or “we did out best”, all you want but no matter how you word it, spin it, or slice it, TUSD (under your watch) is the root of this problem, period. TUSD (under your watch) has put us here, period. TUSD is the reason that every former teacher (during those years in question) are screwed out of anywhere between 17,500 – 65,000 “H.T. – equivalent” dollars! I have taught teenagers for years. I am very familiar with your “smoke and mirrors” blame game. You can continue to blame the “laws”. You can continue to blame the 301 “rules”….but it’s TUSD (while under your watch) and their actions that have put us here, period. My work with the Attorney General’s office is NOT about the legality, it’s about the alternative efforts that TUSD could have/should have made, to rectify this situation.
However, as stated in Jason Freed’s reply , he/TUSD was not willing to take the necessary time. We were “in a hurry” to arrive at some sort of plan. This plan, of course, is not all-inclusive. You needed to take the time necessary to ensure it WAS all-inclusive! Clearly, you and Jason Freed have no problem completing a task, in a fast and quick manner, with no regard to the needs of the other parties, in this relationship. Clearly, this group of former teachers could not remotely be satisfied by this quick work.
At any rate, in closing, I understand you being intimidated by me and thus not wanting to meet with me. It would not be easy to meet someone face-to-face, who’s organization (under your leadership) is screwing them out of thousands of dollars. I have recently looked back at a few board meetings. Rest assured, this money for which I am entitled, would not be used (to quote your sage budgeting advise) on a new big screen TV. It would be used for my medical expenses, ICU/hospital stay, surgery, and Physical Therapy/rehab from these last 18 months. So any funds you contribute to rectify the situation you have created, would go toward that!
Also published on Medium.