Statement by Sylvia Campoy Pertaining to
Kristel Foster’s Recent Urgent Communication to Numerous Individuals
February 14, 2017
With this statement, I have forwarded an “urgent” email which I received from Kristel Foster at 8:08 this morning. I ask that you review the email prior to reading further. (Screenshot is below)
Long ago I was removed from Ms. Foster’s communications, thus, upon seeing an email from her this morning, I found it peculiar to once again be the recipient of one of her TUSD emails and even more so since it was tagged “URGENT TUSD ISSUE.”
As I opened her email, I assumed it had to do with the desegregation case or some top priority student-based educational issue. I was mistaken. As I read her email, which was a plea for individuals to attend tonight’s Board meeting because, as she states, “… this Board needs to hear from our community now more than ever,” I found myself disheartened by the desperate plea being made to individuals based on a communication which is saturated with conjecture and accusation.
The message itself is misleading since the entire Board executive session agenda item was not included in her email and since her opinion relative to the purpose of the agenda item is apparently based on hearsay and supposition. (I have included the full agenda item below.)The same type of solicitation by Ms. Foster has been made to her Facebook friends. It may be some time before the public learns more about said personnel matters but clearly, as of now, the matter is a confidential one that will be dealt with in the executive session, which mandates confidentiality.
In her email, Ms. Foster claims that “Our district is now vulnerable to lawsuits by both of these employees as no due process has been followed.”What we know is that the issue is a personnel matter being dealt with in the executive session, which may fall under one of more of the noted categories: discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, appointment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, salaries, disciplining or resignation of a public officer. This is all we know.
It is alarming to witness a member of the Board take such frantic and urgent measures to communicate to many individuals about a confidential personnel matter and to urge that they attend today’s Board meeting and address the Board absent all of the facts while fueled with plenty of speculation and accusation. Clearly, all of the facts are not known- nor should they be known with regard to dealing with a personnel matter in executive session. A reaction from community members is being provoked without the provision of substantive information.
What is of absolute paramount concern is the fact that the communicated sense of very high urgency on a confidential personnel matter (over which there is little known) is so blatantly misplaced. Where has such urgency existed in dealing with a current and viable lawsuit- the 40-year-old desegregation case? There was obviously no such high-level importance or attention devoted to doing what was necessary to support the six magnet schools which have now lost their magnet status due to TUSD’s failure to meet the requirements agreed to by the TUSD Governing Board. Certainly, student discipline issues have not been resolved since the USP was approved by the Governing Board in 2012/13. The list of USP areas which have suffered from a lack of priority attention or, it seems, any type of attention, does not stop with the ones listed here.
In her email Ms. Foster laments the District’s vulnerability to lawsuits, which frankly seems to be enticing legal action, yet, the District’s failure to resolve a current and real lawsuit through ongoing good faith effort has not seemed to cause such feverish consternation. Here, priorities are made clear and, frankly, seem absurdly upside down.
Ms. Foster is correct in stating that “… this Board needs to hear from our community now more than ever.” The issues, however, should URGENTLY focus on students, teachers, classrooms, schools, instructional leadership, and quality support services provided to the schools- with the Unitary Status Plan tied into these areas with visible, thoughtful and committed planning and implementation instead of reactionary resistance (both legal and operational). The priorities within TUSD must be readjusted to URGENTLY focus on these issues. This is what must be conveyed to the Board.
Executive Session Agenda Item:
D. Personnel issues pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03 (A)(1); legal advice/instruction to attorney pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03 (A)(3) and (A)(4) – Requested by Board Member Rachael Sedgwick
1) Discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, appointment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, salaries, disciplining or resignation of a public officer 2) Discussion of consultation for legal advice with the attorney or attorneys of the public body 3) Discussion or consultation with the attorneys of the public body in order to consider its position and instruct its attorneys regarding the public body’s position regarding contracts that are the subject of negotiations, in pending or contemplated litigation or in settlement discussions conducted in order to avoid or resolve litigation
a) Superintendent b) General Counsel
Also published on Medium.