We begin at the TUSD board regular meeting for January 2016. Above you can see that the TUSD board voted 3-2 to approve a $5,000,000 contract for a Phoenix law firm to FIGHT the Desegregation Order. The two white guys voted NO.
Later at the board meeting, it is time to pay MALDEF who has been representing the Latino students in the Desegregation Case, and Kristel Foster, the only white woman on the board at that time, votes NO.
What does she have against the Desegregation Order, why is she voting to spend so much to fight it, and why isn’t she voting to pay the bills that the court order allows the attorneys representing the Latinos to get paid. It is MUCH less than the $5,000,000 Kristel just voted for. In fact, you can see for yourself that the bill MALDEF was charging was a mere $58,000, orders of magnitude less than this law firm of Steptoe and Johnson that was just hired to fight the Latino students.
One year later nothing much has changed. Now there are two white women on the school board. Guess who is still voting to not pay the Latino attorney fees?
Kristel Foster, the one who is calling everyone she doesn’t agree with a white supremacist.
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Foster also continues to spread lies about TUSD achieving unitary status this year. TUSD is in such gross violation of the Desegregation Order that we will be under the federal court supervision via the Special Master for years to come.
Speaking of the Special Master, I recommend you all read an article from yesterday where the Latina representative for the Latino students on the Desegregation Case, Sylvia Campoy, describes the current situation beautifully. A small excerpt is below.
The District has become notorious for claiming that it is working “collaboratively” with the Special Master and Plaintiffs. Yet, a review of the court filings and court orders over the last four years paints a very different picture. Two recent examples of laborious and, therefore more costly processes follow.
So called “collaborative efforts” were practically invisible last school year when the District immersed itself into a campaign that was created to blame the court order/Unitary Status Plan, along with the Special Master and Plaintiffs, for the requirements and timeline set forward for magnet schools dealing primarily with academic achievement and integration. School communities were not told that the District itself had created and committed to implement the magnet school improvement plans.
Parents from several magnet schools, inclusive of Ochoa and Safford were asked by school employees to sign petitions and letters addressed to the Court and Plaintiffs’ legal counsel both of which were based on and included false information. At one school this occurred during parent/teacher conferences. Great confusion was created through this campaign. Fortunately, the Court accurately assessed that the petition and letters received by the Court showed great misunderstanding and confusion and it ordered some actions to better inform those at the Board level by directing the SM to transmit court orders directly to the President of the Board so as have improved clarity about each court order. Part of this campaign involved notable public insults by the Superintendent- targeted at the Special Master, the Plaintiffs, their legal counsel and their representatives. None of what is described here can possibly be translated as “collaborative.”
Despite the disheartening environment, a stipulation was proposed by the Mendoza Plaintiffs which allowed for an additional year for the magnet schools to meet the magnet improvement plans as submitted to the Court in addition to ensuring that the schools were adequately staffed and supported. The District embraced the concept and it was accepted by the SM which resulted in a stipulated agreement. Nonetheless, as recently was made public, six of the magnet school will lose their magnet status by the end of this school year. Individuals who work at some of the impacted schools, along with parents have stated that they simply were not provided with the highly qualified teaching staff and resources needed to succeed.
Also published on Medium.